Give me one more chance…

I received a call from a friend inviting me to dinner at this place that I’ve been to a few times before…

FishermanRestaurant 1

…but the last time we were there, we had a not-very-pleasant experience so I stopped going altogether.

I decided to put on the All Blacks’ official Rugby World Cup 2011 jersey that my friend had brought all the way from New Zealand to give to me when she came to town…

All Blacks' official Rugby World Cup 2011 jersey

…and on the way to the restaurant, while I was waiting at the traffic lights, I noticed the handsome and nicely-built young guy in the Hilux next to my car giving me the look. I turned to look at him and he quickly looked away. No, it wasn’t one of those “looks”…but the who’s-this-old-fart-wearing-the-All-Blacks’-jersey look! I think I must be the envy of the town that night – eat your hearts out, guys! LOL!!!

Well, like what they used to do in the past, once we were seated, we were served these special keropok (prawn crackers) from Mukah…

FishermanRestaurant keropok

They were nice no doubt but they did not come free. You would find these in your bill later even though you did not order them. I do wish they would give  a bit of acar timun (pickled cucumber) to go with the keropok – I love eating them that way.

We had the Melanau delicacy – the umai

FishermanRestaurant umai

…or thin shreds of raw fish with thinly-sliced onions and chilies drowned in calamansi juice. Now, where was the sagu‘ (sago pellets)? I thought they always go together? Humph!!!

When this was served, I thought it was beef rendang

FishermanRestaurant daging masak hitam

…but no, it did not taste anything like that. To give it some due credit, I must say that I did like it the way it was – this much I would say about it. Imagine my surprise/shock when I found out that it was supposed to be daging masak hitam (black-cooked beef), our very own Sarawak recipe. Heavens forbid! Imagine a visitor coming to town and eating that…and leaving thinking that was masak hitam! Tsk! Tsk! It was nothing like it at all – I would say that it was not much better than my failed attempt at cooking the dish, not at all.

This seems to be the restaurant’s pride and joy – the lokan

FishermanRestaurant lokan 1

…and they claim to be the only restaurant in Malaysia to have that on the menu. They mix the meat of the clams with minced meat and other ingredients for the filling and deep fry them so when you open them up, you will get something like this…

FishermanRestaurant lokan 2

Personally, I feel that it isn’t too bad and some people may like it a lot but like how I’m not all that fond of the favourite of many – the xiao lung pao at all, I don’t think it would get me jumping up and down with delight – in my opinion, it is quite forgettable and not one of those must-eat things when in Sibu.

I’ve always loved the paku (wild fern) at this place cooked with sambal udang kering (dried prawns) plus a hint of santan (coconut milk) and with the extra prawns added, I truly enjoyed it that night but unfortunately, the photograph came out blur so I would not be including that in this post.

Now this was around RM15 a bowl…

FishermanRestaurant assam prawn 1

…but considering that everyone got one huge udang galah ( freshwater prawn) or what we call tua-thow hay (big-headed prawn) in Hokkien, it was quite worth it as these prawns, especially the ones this size, do not come cheap at the market these days…

FishermanRestaurant assam prawn 2

I quite enjoyed it…especially when I drowned my rice with the soup but if I were to cook it myself, I would add more serai (lemongrass) and kunyit (tumeric) and also extra chili to make it a bit spicier and give it a stronger taste plus a little bit more assam (tamarind) as well so that it would be slightly more sour. But I guess they have to consider the general taste of the diners around here and the way I would like it may not be to the liking of some of them.

If you click the link to my earlier post on this restaurant, you would have seen that it was in fact featured in that TV3 food show – “Jalan jalan cari makan“…

FishermanRestaurant 2

…and besides, it is one of the few restaurants in town that are halal and serve those very special ethnic local cuisine. So if that is what you want, this is the place to be…