Kate…

Nope! This is not going to be a post about Prince William’s royal consort-to-be…but a woman that we used to know a number of years ago.

When I was young, there would be little Malay boys with a basket and the things in it covered with a Good Morning towel and they would walk around the neighbourhood calling out,  “Pulut panggang! Pulut panggang!” From that, we came out with this little ditty: “Pulut panggangkayu api (firewood)…orang bujang (bachelor)…cari bini (looking for a wife).”

More recently, however, there was a woman named Kate who would cycle around the kampung (village) and other parts of town selling what everyone would declare to be the best pulut panggang in the world! Eventually, she disappeared from the scene and we did not know exactly where she got those pulut panggang from. What we knew was that she did not make them herself. As a result, these past few years, we had to make do with whatever reasonably good ones that we could find around town.

Now, what exactly is pulut panggang?

Kate's panggang 1

It is simply pulut (glutinous rice) in rich, thick santan (coconut milk) and wrapped with banana leaves and cooked over an open fire (which, I guess, explains the kayu api in the rhyme).

What makes a good pulut panggang is it must be lemak enough…

Kate's panggang 2

…meaning that the maker must be generous and not scrimp on the coconut milk. One that is “tak cukup lemak (not rich enough)” would fail the acid test…and there would be no second time – nobody would buy it ever again.

Besides, it must be cooked to perfection…

Kate's pulut panggang 3

– just enough to taste the panggang fragrance but not too much to the extent that there is a hard overcooked outer layer all around.

Many would eat it as it is but usually, I would eat mine with a bit of sugar or condensed milk or kaya (coconut jam)…and true pulut panggang connoisseurs would scornfully scoff at those 2nd class ones with sambal inside that can be found in Kuching and elsewhere.

All this while,I would get my pulut panggang from a stall at Rejang Park here in Sibu at 50 sen each…and then, it went up to 60 sen…and eventually 70 sen. The last time I bought some, it was still 70 sen each but it had shrunk to half the size. The ones sold at the coffee shop at the Sibu Medical Centre probably came from the same supplier for they were quite similar in quality and taste. They would do fine if you do not eat them together as you would not feel the vast difference between them and Kate’s pulut panggang.

Imagine my delight when I found them being sold at my regular Bandong Malay kuih stall! They’re RM1.00 each but never mind because they’re very long! As you can see from the first photograph, one is as long as a fork…and most importantly, they taste as good as ever. I quickly bought some and my mother whose appetite had not been so good lately, finished one all by herself in one sitting.

If you love pulut panggang, I must say that you do not know pulut panggang until you have eaten Kate’s pulut panggang. It’s second to none…

Lemon tree…

I took this photo sometime last week…

Bandong, Sibu umai

…but I thought I would not want to use it and if I’m not mistaken, I think I’ve blogged on it before. For the uninitiated, this is the Sarawak umai – essentially raw fish with sliced chillies and onions in calamansi lime, usually eaten with sagu‘ (sago pellets).

Not wanting it to go to waste, I uploaded it on Facebook and was amazed by the response it got…and one of the comments was from an old friend of mine, Dorothy, who now runs this cafe in Petaling Jaya…

MigLemon Cafe PJ

The specific details are as follows:
MigLemon Cafe
No. 7, Jalan PJ Selatan 5/28
Pusat Dagangan PJ Selatan
Tel: 03 77856299 or 0173045299/0168932626

She says that she serves umai at her eatery and also the celebrated Sarawak laksa

MigLemon's Sarawak laksa

…and the equally popular Kuching kolo mee

MigLemon's Kuching kolo mee

Dorothy was working at the TanahMas Hotel in Sibu initially before she was roped in to run the Harbour View Hotel in Kuching…and then she opened a restaurant of her own at the Kuching Waterfront and I think before that, she was running the Sarawak River cruises. As for how good the things on her menu are, I would not know as I had not had the opportunity to sample them before. Perhaps those of you around PJ and the kawasan2 sewaktu dengannya can drop by to try and let me know your verdict?

Well, if you are not adventurous enough to give the Sarawak delacacies a try, you can stick to the more familiar lane and have her nasi lemak or curry mee instead…

MigLemon's curry mee

…or if you’re into something western or continental, there is the spaghetti meatballs…

MigLemon's spaghetti meatballs

…and the burgers as well as the chops.

But if you’re a rice person, then you can try what-she-claims-to-be the very popular Indonesian fried rice…or the lemon chicken rice…

MigLemon's lemon chicken rice

This deep fried banana dessert looks good…

MigLemon's deep fried banana dessert

…but I would strongly recommend that you try this love of our lives that goes all the way back to our teenage days loitering at the Ban Chuan coffee shop…

MigLemon's jelly pisang

– the jelly pisang…or what we called cherry pisang at the time and while you are there, you can ask Dorothy the whole history behind this dessert drink. As a matter of fact, when she went to work at that hotel in Kuching, she introduced it at the coffee house there…and the fad caught on like wild fire – so much so that now, you can get it at many cafes in the city.

So, what are your plans for the Easter weekend? Perhaps you can head to MigLemon and give it a try? Bon appetit!

*Photos from Dorothy’s albums on Facebook (except the 1st one)*

Fast…

By the time I got home from the airport that night when I flew back from Penang, it was already past  11.00 p.m. so I just took my bath and went straight to bed, leaving the unpacking, the laundry and what not till the next morning.

The next day, after finishing all the chores, I went  out…and somehow or other, I felt a craving for kampua noodles. Every time I came home from travelling in the past, unlike many people that I know, I never had any urge to rush to a nearby coffee shop for that so-called kampua fix but this time around, it somehow seemed to be the exception to the rule.

I went to Fast Cafe, a coffee shop in the Sungai Antu area here in Sibu located right next to Courts Mammoth. I am quite positive that it was called Happy Garden many years ago when I used to drop by for brunch every time I had some business on at the Sibu Education Department’s Examination Office located not very far from there. I don’t think the coffee shop has changed hands as I still saw the young and handsome man with a nice muscular built, probably the proprietor, there…or at least that was how he looked then but after all these years, he certainly did not look young nor handsome nor muscular anymore. LOL!!!

I guess the new name would be more aptly associated with speed, meaning that you will be served in a jiffy. I certainly would not want to eat at any place where I would have to fast and end up starving to death. LOL!!! Thankfully, it was indeed the former and my order came pretty fast…

FastCafe kampua & piansip soup

I had the kampua noodles, plain…

Fast Cafe kampua, plain

…without those few thin slices of meat, that is and I requested for the piansip, otherwise known as kiaw in Kuching or wantan elsewhere, served in the soup…

Fast Cafe piansip soup

All in all, it was all right – not the best that I’ve had but should you happen to be in the vicinity and you have no intention of driving all the way to the other places in town, this should be good enough to appease your hunger.

From me to you…

I mentioned in an earlier post that I took a box of stuff to Penang and having given away everything, I thought I could throw it away and go home with only my hand luggage and my laptop bag. Well, it turned out that it would not be possible as I needed to use the box again to put all these things…

From you to me

…and check it in on my flight back to Sibu.

My cousin went through great pains to book and collect the things from Him Heang (5.42392N 100.3212681E) which many claim to be the best in Penang and she gave a box of the tambun biscuits  for me and my mum. In the end, I decided to give them all to my mother as Eugene gave me three boxes of these…

Chuan Peng Heang 1

I have read some blogs where they claim that Him Heang‘s is over-rated and these are nicer. Well, I tried both and I would say that both are  nice and unless you eat them together simultaneously, you will not be able to tell the difference…

Chuan Peng Heang 2

The filling in these Chuan Peng Heang‘s ones has a stronger taste and one can actually make out the fragrance of the fried onions…

Chuan Peng Heang 3

Him Heang‘s seems lighter and one would be able to savour the green bean in the ingredient. All in all, I would think both are o.k. except that I’m not really a fan of tambun biscuits though I do not mind having them for tea sometimes.

I would very much prefer heong peah instead and I’ve always been told that the best ones would come from Teluk Intan…

Teluk Intan Heong Peah

My dear friend, Mandy gave me these SGT’s ones as well as all the packets of chicken biscuits and I loved them a lot – the heong peah, that is…

SGT Heong Peah 1

All this while, my favourite had been those from the Bisgood Company…but now, I would think this one is very much nicer.

SGT Heong Peah 2

Nope, I did not get any bananas from Bananaz but instead, he gave me a giant packet of peanuts. Ah well, I guess both are a monkey’s favourites – bananas and peanuts! LOL!!! He said they’re very nice but I have not eaten them yet so I cannot confirm anything right now. Claire gave me a big bag of shat kek ma, which is long gone by now…and also a USB fan for my computer. I have not tried it out so I’m not too sure how it works.

Incidentally, please do not think that we need to bring along things to give away as gifts whenever we go and meet a fellow-blogger. There is actually no necessity to do so. Being old, I would usually try as far as possible as it is the traditional etiquette to bring along a little something when one goes to visit somebody – what they call a “buah tangan“. But it is perfectly all right if you do not observe this practice. Having the heart to go out of the way to come and meet a blogger-friend and get better acquainted is something already very much appreciated and one can’t really ask for more. Many would not bother at all and make all kinds of excuses to wriggle out of it – I wonder why…

However, sometimes it is hard to bring things over when travelling by air, for instance and sometimes, something may be worth giving but then it may not be durable or it is perishable and may go bad during the journey…or there is no fridge to keep it and so on and so forth and it would be such a waste (and not worth the trouble) carrying such things all the way and having to chuck them into the rubbish bin in the end.

And talking about “buah tangan“, my godson/ex-student, Andrew and his wife, Michelle, were back in Sibu from Christchurch and he asked me out for lunch. Of course, the pleasure was indeed all mine to meet them and they gave me these – all the way from New Zealand…

Gifts from NZ

As for what we had for lunch that day, I’m afraid you will have to wait till another post to find out all about it. LOL!!

The good, the bad and the ugly…

It’s Erection…oops! I mean, it’s Election Day in Sarawak today. However, I’m not into politics and this is not going to be a post along that line. Instead, this will be my last post in connection with my recent trip to Penang for my niece’s wedding.

I checked out of the hotel and headed to the airport at around 10.00 a.m. that day, 4th April, 2011, so I had ample time to loiter and loaf around before my flight MH1145 departing at 12 noon. Knowing that I would only get a packet of salted peanuts on board and the only inflight meal I would get en route would be dinner on my KLIA-Sibu flight that night, I decided to stop by the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf outlet for brunch. I had been there twice before and I enjoyed what I had on both occasions here and also here.

Coffee Bean, Penang Airport

This time around, I wanted the Eggs Ben but they were out of those as well as the scones and the club. They suggested that I had the Brek O’Day but I had that before and I did not want to have it again so I opted for the salmon and egg muffin (RM20.30)…

Coffee Bean, salmon & egg muffin

It was very nice and I enjoyed it. Coffee was free flow…and I just could not resist ordering one of the tempting muffins for dessert…

Coffee Bean, choc chip muffin 1

This was the chocolate chip muffin (RM7.30)…

Coffee Bean, choc chip muffin 2

…and it was just right – moist enough, not dry and had a lot of chocolate chips inside…

Coffee Bean, choc chip muffin 3

After that scrumptious meal, I went into the departure lounge to board my flight to KLIA.

I was a bit put off by the cabin crew on that flight – for instance, as we were boarding, there was a steward who just stood there and I was the one who had to lend a hand to a lady passenger in getting her hand baggage into the overhead stowage compartment. I glared at the guy and he nonchalantly walked away. Frankly, I would think that his duties would go beyond just standing there and greeting passengers as they come aboard like a parrot…including helping everyone with their hand-carried items – young or old, male or female.

And if you think that was bad, the worst was yet to come. There was another one – petite and very “pretty” and effeminate to boot. He was serving the salted peanuts and not a word was spoken as he simply shoved the packet-filled basket into everybody’s faces (unlike the stewardess on my flight from KLIA to Penang who would ask everyone very sweetly, “Salted peanuts?” instead of adding insult to injury). After I had taken one, I said, “Thank you,” to him out loud…and what did he do? Like some kind of diva, he just flashed me a fake smile – you know the kind where they simply stretch their lips a little that reflects their insincerity true and true.

Well, to be fair, one or two swallows do not make a summer but these exceptions would be enough to spoil the MH = Malaysian hospitality image.

Another incident happened upon landing that day that quite disgusted me. For some reason, the aircraft stalled on the runway for a while and many of the passengers were on their feet getting ready to disembark. Despite the announcement on the PA system and the pleas of the air stewardess, none of them even bothered to bat an eyelid. What was worse was that one of the “ladies” was trying to get her things from the overhead stowage compartment. Obviously, she had stuffed them in the ones in  front before proceeding to her seat at the back when she boarded. That was so selfish, to say the least – she should put hers in the one right above her seat and if she was too lazy to carry them all the way, she should have checked them in. I would think that the cabin crew should always be on the alert and keep an eye on such recalcitrant characters to stop them from doing that when they board the aircraft.

Anyway, in the case of this one, she opened the compartment above the row across the aisle from where I was sitting…and something of hers fell out and onto an Indian man seated right below. It looked like a brush or a small broom and luckily, it was not something big and heavy. The infuriated man hollered at her, “Why don’t you sit down till the plane has stopped completely?” Ah well…not that it made any difference! She did not even apologise but instead, she just turned a deaf ear and went on chatting nonchalantly with her fellow-travellers like nothing had happened…and no prize for guessing what language they were using. Tsk! Tsk!!!

At KLIA, I just relaxed and lazed around while waiting in the departure lounge until I receieved an sms from Mandy saying that she would be dropping by. So, I went out and we met  for tea…at where else, but the Italian cafe, the Cafe Berbera again. I tried the spaghetti meatballs…

Cafe Berbera, spaghetti meatballs 1

…which I quite liked. The meatballs were nice but I think it was a bit too fine, probably because they used a blender in the making…

Cafe Berbera, spaghetti meatballs 2

We sat and chatted till it was almost time for my flight and I went back into the departure lounge to proceed to the stipulated gate. There was a delay of 30 minutes – MH2718 to Sibu…but that was no big deal. When you travel, you need to give some allowances for little hitches and bumps along the way…and the most important thing was that I landed at Sibu Airport safely at 10.00 p.m. that night.

It certainly had been a long day…and thus ended my most delightful weekend in Penang. Sigh!!!!

The beauty of days gone by…

I love those beautiful old colonial buildings in Penang and how they have restored and preserved them like the one that houses the nyonya restaurant that we went to on our first night on the island and the one that is now being used as a karaoke club.

Soon after I arrived in Penang that day, Eugene took me to Bangkok Lane where I was filled with awe and admiration of the houses there…

Bangkok Lane, Penang

We can hardly find any in Sibu anymore – most would have been demolished and replaced with structures of modern designs that I, for one, would not find impressive – perhaps there are people who would appreciate them a lot more than I do.

I saw this boutique there and was tickled a bit by the name…

MyCloset, Bangkok Lane

…as it made me wonder what skeletons they have in it and whether it is time yet for them to come out clean. Wink! Wink!

This also attracted my attention…

Roses, Bangkok Lane

…and no, it was not the spelling error in the sign or the awkward grammatical structures used but truth be told, I really did not know the meaning behind the number of roses that you give somebody. I did hear something once though, about giving 99 red roses to the one you love and that in a way would tell her the 100th rose would be her. Gee! Ain’t all that so very romantic? Eyewwww!!! Muahahahaha!!!

The following day, Bananaz took me and the rest somewhere in the vicinity of this place for lunch…

Nagore Place, Penang

…and there were a lot more nice old buildings there like these, for instance…

Jalan Nagore, Penang 1

But in my humble and honest opinion, I do think that they should not paint them like this…

Jalan Nagore, Penang 2

This reminds me of some places in Singapore where they make the buildings so colourful and they would even fix multi-coloured neon lights and equally glaring spotlights in an attempt to make it all look so grand and eye-catching but they come across to me like some kind of fairyland and seem to have lost their natural unpretentious authentic appeal.

If I may deviate a little, after lunch that afternoon, we stopped by this bakery cum cafe…

Continental Bakery & Restaurant Penang

…in that same area. It was a simple decent place – not one of those classy joints that you see everywhere these days and yet it seemed very popular with people going in and out non-stop the whole time we were there and all the bread and cakes, hot from the oven…

Continental breads and cakes, Penang

…would all be gone in a blink of an eye.

Edmund bought these cream puffs for us snd insisted that we should try them…

Continental cream puffs, Penang 1

…and indeed, they were very good…

Continental cream puffs, Penang 2

…but I do prefer the ones we have here, those that I had for dessert at my Christmas party in December last year…except that ours are a lot smaller.

Now, earlier that same day, I saw this building…

Old Majestic Cinema, Penang

…as we were walking along Burmah Road towards Tune Hotel and the New World Park. If  I’m not mistaken, it used to be an old cinema and now stands as part of the remnants of a fire that destroyed the whole row of the beautiful colonial-style structure.

I certainly hope that they will not bulldoze it to the ground but will try and rebuild it and restore it to its former glory. After all, these are but the shadows that remain of the beauty of days gone by…

The music of the night…

This is a follow-up post to the one yesterday on Von & Jon’s wedding and the focus will be on the food at the banquet that evening at the gHotel in Penang

The rose

The bride and groom and their parents were seated at the main table on an elevated platform at one end of the ballroom…

The main table

…and a copy of the menu was placed on every table…

The menu

You can see the couple’s musical influence in the names given to all the dishes that night.

The first dish was the Four Seasons, renamed the Fab Four which was how people used to refer to the mop-topped Beatles when Beatlemania took the world by storm…

The 4 Seasons

The sharks’ fins soup was called Beyond the Sea

Sharks' fins soup

…but I  would have used the French name of the song, “La Mer” instead though – for a touch of class. LOL!!!

I loved the ‘O Pato’ plays the guitar – the duck dish…

Roast duck

…and if you do not understand the name, neither do I. Hahahahaha!!! But  it was really nice…and though it was a teeny-weeny bit tough, it did not stop me from eating so many pieces (despite my being quite toothless) so much so that after I was done, I had to request for some toothpicks for some major excavation works. ROTFL!! As for the name, I would probably call it “Disco Duck” after that Rick Dees’ one-hit wonder.

The King Crimson – the prawns with butter and salted eggs were absolutely heavenly…

Butter salted egg prawns 1

…and rest assured that I did not settle for only the two that they reserved for me while I was at the washroom when the dish was served…

Butter salted egg prawns 2

Jimi Hendrix and the Psychedelic ‘Shrooms Experience?

Sea cucumber & broccoli

Nope! This blurry photograph was certainly not the result of me going on an all-time high on this dish and though it definitely was better than many that I have had, it is still not something that would leave me addicted and craving for more. As any musician would tell you, once in a while they might hit a flat note or two and it’s exactly the same with photographers. Muahahahaha!!!

The Supreme Jazz Chord was good…

Steamed fish

…except that the very moment it was served, they decided to call everybody from the bride’s side onto the platform to propose a toast and by the time we came back to the table, it was already a little cold. I wonder why they did not use those food warmers – the ones with little candles or whatever underneath.

As for the You Belong To Mee

Fried noodles

…I’m afraid nothing can compare to the Foochow fried noodles that we have in Sarawak in general and in Sibu specifically.

Finally, blame it on my sweet tooth or whatever but I loved the dessert so much – the Ice Ice Baby

Sweet dessert

…and I lost count of how many helpings I had. It was thick and rich…and some said it was like melted ice cream but say what you want, I loved it and I certainly was glad I could have everybody else’s share. Hehehehehehe!!!

All things considered, it was a delightful evening with the absolutely splendid dinner and the place, the entertainment, the company…everything was great!

So once again, Von and Jon – all good wishes from me and the family for a lifetime of bliss and abundant blessings. Cheers!

Mulanya di sini…

Gosh! It has been well over a week since my niece’s wedding on the 3rd of April, 2011 and finally, I am able to put up a post on it.

Over the years, Yvonne had been so sweet as to offer to help whenever my daughter, Melissa, needed to go back to Sungai Petani via Penang. She would meet her at the airport, usually on a Friday, and take her to her apartment where she would spend the night and the next day, Saturday, she and Jonathan, now her husband, would drive Melissa back to her institute in Sungai Petani. That was why the least I could do to reciprocate would be to show up at her wedding and I was not alone…

The clan @ Yvonne's wedding
*Alicia Toh’s photo*

Quite a number of my cousins from Kuching, KL and KK were there too. The wedding was a pretty formal black tie affair held at the gHotel in Penang.

This is the mum, my cousin, helping the daughter dress up for the big day…

Mother & daughter
*DanielYapChewSing’s photo*

…and this is the group photograph of the bride’s side of the family after the ceremony…

All in the family
*DanielYapChewSing’s photo*

Here is one of me and the blissful couple and my cousin (whose daughter got married in Penang in November last year) and her hubby…

The couple with the Tohs & a Wee.
*Alicia Toh’s photo*

…and after the wedding, the banquet followed. It was held in the grand ballroom with a very interesting and entertaining programme lined up. Jonathan, himself a Masters degree holder in Music, played the violin to serenade his bride…

Mualanya di sini
*HongMayLing’s photo*

The song was the one-time very popular hit of the group, Freedom, Mulanya di sini.

Then, there was the toast, of course…

The toast

…and their first dance as man and wife…

The first dance
*DanielYapChewSing’s photo*

…for which they specially chose the song, “So this is love” by James Ingram.

Jonathan sometimes jams with his friends in some jazz bands in Penang (and Yvonne too – she plays the saxaphone) and all of them came in full force to play and sing at the wedding banquet. I must say they were all very good and I certainly had a delightful evening enjoying all the musical presentations lined up. Jonathan joined in as well to play bass with one of the bands…

Jon plays bass

This was a very touching emotional moment between Yvonne and her father that evening…

Father & daughter
*DanielYapChewSing’s photo*

…that moved all and sundry present especially those of us who are very close to the family. Sobs!!!

As for the food served at the banquet, you will have to come back to have a look in tomorrow’s post… You will, won’t you?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
Most of the photographs in this post are not my own. What I have done is to look at all the others that have been shared on Facebook and pick the ones that I like best – the ones that truly reflect the beauty and the emotions at this very joyful and special occasion. If there is any objection from any party concerned with regard to any photograph being used, do let me know and I will promptly have the photograph removed. Thank you.

Tonight’s the night…

Ever since Claire suggested meeting up in Penang for some singing and dancing, I had been looking forward to it. Eugene was assigned the task of making all the necessary arrangements for the event but unfortunately, the response was not very encouraging. Nevertheless, as they always say, the show must go on…and it did!

Eugene and his sweet missus picked me up at my hotel that day (Saturday, 2nd April, 2011) and drove me to this beautiful colonial-style mansion (GPS coordinate: 5.4211563N,100.3236026E)…

Oriental KTV Penang

…which actually is being used now as a karaoke club…for their happy hours from 4.00 till 8.00 p.m.

He asked me if I wanted one of those little rooms…and of course, I did not. If I had wanted that, I would just go and sing in the toilet. Muahahahaha!!!! I started the ball rolling by singing Joshua Kadison’s “Beautiful in my eyes and Van Morrison’s “Have I told you lately (that I love you)…and in the meantime, Claire arrived and after that, Jessie came too…as well as Eugene’s sister and brother-in law.

Claire and I sang a duet – that Lionel Richie & Diana Ross’ favourite, “Endless Love” and I must say that we did very well…and considering that we never practised nor sang the parts together ever before, I would say that we were very good. LOL!!! I know! I know! Self-praise is no praise…but you can ask Eugene if you do not believe me. Right, Eugene? Wink! Wink!

We sang so many songs that evening including two that I had linked on Facebook not too long ago – Whitney’s “Where do broken hearts go and Barbara Streisand & Barry Gibb’s “What kind of fool and here, you can see the three of them doing Abba’s “Mamma Mia”

Singing Mamma Mia...

Gosh! We had so much fun that we did not even notice time flying past so quickly. I think the last song I sang was “Tiada lagi” that somebody requested but nobody seemed to want to sing it. Actually I had never sung that song (in public) before and unfortunately, the video clip they had was the cover version by Amy Search…

…and I’m actually more familiar with the Mayang Sari original but what the heck! I just went ahead with it. After all, it’s karaoke! How did I do? Let’s hear the comments from the judges – Eugene, Claire and Jessie. LOL!!!

We had a photo taken together while we were there…

The blogger-singers

…and after that, we adjourned to the Red Garden Food Centre at Penang Road (GPS coordinate: 5.4211616N, 100.3341705E) where Bananaz and his friend from KL joined us for dinner/supper…

Garden party gang

…and my good friend, Mandy, dropped by as well a little bit later.

We ordered all kinds of things to eat, most of which I had eaten before and had featured in my posts previously…for instance the or chian (oyster omelette)…

Red Garden or chian

….but this time around, somebody ordered the lala chian as well which is something similar but instead of oysters, they have lala (some kind of clams or something like that) in it.

I think I saw Jessie having the yong tofu and Claire had the Cantonese-fried hor fun which she did not seem to like. Actually I had that before and I thought it was not bad. I ordered the belacan chicken for all to share…

Red Garden belacan chicken

…and also the ikan bakar – bawal hitam (black pomfret). The chicken was o.k. – I thought there should be more belacan added to give it a stronger taste but I guess that’s the thing about the belacan in the peninsula – not as strong and fragrant as ours in Sarawak. Anyhow, I liked it a lot better than the inchi cabin chicken we had at the nyonya restaurant the night before.  The fish was good though and I particularly loved the sambal (dip) that came with it – so very pedas and so sedap.

I also ordered two sets of this Thai mango pulut (glutinous rice) dessert…

Red Garden mango pulut dessert

…and everyone enjoyed that but we did not finish all of it either because everyone was shy or we were already too full by then.

Then we called it a day…but before we dispersed, there was this exchanging of gifts. I had brought a box from home and I thought I could throw it away. In the end, I had to use it for all the things that I got and the box came all the way back to Sibu with me again. Stick around! I will blog about what goodies I received pretty soon…

I certainly had such a great time that evening and I hope that the rest did too…and Eugene, should I happen to hop over to Penang anytime in future, I would like to go croaking…I mean, karaoke-ing again. LOL!!!

Going bananas…

In my last post, I mentioned how I had to rush back to the hotel to change and freshen up for my lunch date but don’t worry as I did not have any secret rendezvous up my sleeves, not at all. Actually, I had agreed to go out with Bananaz who was home in Kulim for the Ching Ming Festival and he drove over to Penang to spend the rest of the day on the island. We had agreed earlier to go for lunch with his one-time working associate, Edmund, who happens to be my very old friend as well. Small world, eh?

We went to this place (GPS: N 05° 25.292′, E 100° 19.540)…

One Corner Penang

…and there we saw this mobile Indian hawker…

Mobile Indian hawker Penang

According to Bananaz, the guy used to park his vehicle outside his office when he was still working in Penang and he would buy food from him for lunch. I really liked the fact that he was dressed up so smartly like a real gentleman. Bananaz and his friend who came with him all the way from KL shared a small bowl of Penang assam laksa…

Mobile Indian hawker - assam laksa

…and we also had these cucur udang (prawn fritters)…

Mobile Indian hawker - cucur udang

…and kuih talam

Mobile Indian hawker- kuih talam

…both of which were nice but not something so great that I would want to come back all the way again for.

It was already way past 1.00 p.m. – almost 2, I reckon so most of the food stalls there were closed except for one lor mee stall. I ordered a small one (I wouldn’t be able to manage a big one – not after all that we had for breakfast and at the New World Park) and got this…

One Corner - lor mee wet

Actually, I had wanted to try the dry version but I did not order it right. This would be exactly the same as the lor mee that we have in Sibu except for the spoonful of sambal belacan that came with it.

The guys insisted that they ordered another one for me and Bananaz ate that bowl on my behalf instead. Eventually, what I had wanted originally came…

One Corner - lor mee dry 1

It was not really dry – in fact, it was swimming in some dark sauce like wantan mee and eyewwwww!!!! I wouldn’t want that chicken claw and thankfully, Bananaz helped me with that. LOL!!!

It turned out to be a mixture of mee (yellow noodles) and mihun (rice vermicelli)…

One Corner - lor mee dry 2

…and I really loved it! It was very nice indeed and I particularly enjoyed those slices of pig skin. Yum! Yum!

After that, we adjourned to a bread shop a stone’s throw away for “tea” but you will have to wait till another day for my post on that. I will blog on it eventually…so do be patient, eh? Hehehehehe!!!!