Most of my relatives are not in Sibu. Over the years, they have moved elsewhere and most of them on my maternal side are in Kuching. After my maternal grandmother and the eldest aunt who took over later as the matriarch of the family had passed away, the regular visits to Sibu ceased.
Of course, sometimes they have cravings for the stuff here that they have loved since they were small and they would ask me to buy for them whenever I happened to be going over to Kuching for one reason or another. Well, the other day, one of my cousins came to Sibu for one night on a working trip…and I got an sms from his sister saying that their mother wanted 50 sio bees from this Hock Cheu Leu Restaurant here in Sibu and she herself wanted 20 chai paos (steamed vegetable buns) from one particular stall at the Sibu Central Market.
I did not manage to get the specific sio bees that they wanted as I thought they were extremely expensive and another cousin bought a few once but thought they were not all that great. Instead, I got those from this Loke Ming Yuen coffee shop that I quite like but unfortunately they did not think they were comparable to the ones that they had at that restaurant, not the one in town but the new one across the river. Well, that one’s VERY far…and I wouldn’t want to go all the way – not unless, they come to Sibu and we can go together on a leisurely drive to the place in the middle of nowhere, enjoying the greenery and the peace and quiet along the way.
Well, the chai paos and the sio bees were definitely not all that I bought for them. The one who came is not a vegetable person and does not like the chai paos, so I bought 10 of the bak paos (steamed meat buns) specially for him. I parked my car along Market Road and used a small lane as a shortcut to the market, coming out the other end, more or less where the pao stall is every morning. Then I spotted the shop – Tiang Chuong, a few doors away (next to Hua Ing General Store) from where I had parked my car and I remembered that their mother loved the lung ngor (in Foochow dialect) from there…
*Gerrie’s photo on Facebook*
This is the Chinese version of the kuih bahulu or in Hokkien, they call it kay nerng kor (egg cake). I should have bought more as it seemed that everybody loved it and there probably wasn’t really enough to go round – I only bought RM5.00 worth, 20 in total.
Then, I bought these Foochow engagement sweet, the lay peang…
*Gerrie’s photo on Facebook*
…for another sister of the one who came to Sibu as when I blogged about it the other day, she commented and said that she loved eating them. I’m glad to say that it went down very well with those who managed to get a share – they all thought they were very nice.
Of course, Kate’s extra-long, extra-lemak and extra-nice pulut panggang were a hit with everybody praising it to the skies…
I bought a lot to be distributed to this uncle, this auntie, this cousin all over Kuching as I knew for sure that they would love it so much considering that they had not had it for years and years…and without a doubt, they all did!
I also bought some extra-hot homemade sambal rojak (prawn paste) for them to try. My missus loves it so much…but then again, she loves anything that’s extremely spicy but so far, I have not had any feedback from the other end.
So now that I’ve revived their dormant taste for all the goodies that Sibu has to offer, hopefully, I will be seeing some of them around here pretty soon…and incidentally, should anybody care to drop by here for a short visit/holiday, rest assured that you will not go home empty-handed. Wink! Wink! LOL!!!