About time…

I guess it was about time that I dropped by here…

HLH

…to try the kampua noodles at this particular stall…

HLH kampua stall

Why? Well, I have heard so many people singing its praises and claiming that it is the best in Sibu and in fact, I myself have asked friends staying at the hotel in the vicinity…

Kingwood

…to go over in the morning to eat it.

It is the corner coffee shop at the traffic lights at the junction of Lanang Road and Lanang Lane 2…

Junction

…and you can see this hotel across the road a little to the right…

Kawan

…while the aforementioned hotel is located at the back.

I did drop by for the beef noodles (RM3.50)…

HLH beef noodles

…a couple of times before but that was a long time ago and I understand that since then, they have opened another outlet in the town centre and more recently, a shop of their own. We love what they serve at the latter and do go there quite often for breakfast or brunch. That morning, Melissa had the one here and she liked it – I tried a bit myself and reckoned it was all right.

My missus had the mee pok (RM2.50)…

HLH mee pok

…with chili sauce added and she said it was good.

I ordered the kampua noodles (RM2.50)…

HLH kampua

…for myself and the pian sip (RM2.50)…

HLH piansip

…to be shared among the three of us.

I thought the kampua was good – very authentic, the way the original kampua has been and always will be, but I would not say it is my favourite. Personally, there are a few others elsewhere that I would very much prefer but I would say that the pian sip we had was very nice. The skin was so very thin that it was translucent and it was not oily and not overloaded with msg as well so as a whole, it was pretty well done.

I certainly would not mind dropping by again should I happen to be in the area and if I can find a parking space – this can be a quite a pain actually and the road tends to be rather busy especially in the morning – this much, I would say.

This is the moment (2)…

After the church wedding in my previous post, we proceeded to the grand reception at one of the ballrooms in a leading hotel in town…

A&S WB 1

This was the backdrop on the stage at the designated venue…

A&S WB2

…and I must say that I was very impressed when the couple made their grand entrance…

A&S WB3

…in their Melanau traditional costume. For the uninitiated, the Melanaus are one of the ethnic races here in Sarawak and my maternal grandmother was a Melanau too.

The food served was the usual fare, starting off with the Four Seasons…

A&S WB4

…and I loved this duck stuffed with glutinous rice, very nicely cooked with a lot of dried prawns and chestnuts inside…

A&S WB5

The steamed fish was all right…

A&S WB6

…but after feasting on the duck, I was really so very full and merely nibbled at the rest of the dishes that were served which included this dish of broccoli and mushrooms…

A&S WB7

…and another one of prawns…

A&S WB8

…before the dessert was served. We had the Chinese fried pancake with white tau sar (bean paste) filling…

A&S WB9

…and also the honeydew and sago pearls in coconut cream…

A&S WB10

Fellow-blogger, Yan, who happens to be the bride’s boss, was there to share the joy at the wedding too that day…

A&S WB11

Thank you so much, Alexius & Stephanie, for the invitation, our heartiest congratulations once again and  here’s a toast to your everlasting happiness! Tuuuuuuuu…..terng!!!!

A&S WB12

(“Tuterng” is a Melanau word meaning “drink” and is used for toasts as in “Yam seng!” or “Cheers!”)

This is the moment (1)…

We hailed from the same kampung (village) and he was my ex-student in the early 90’s and we are in some way related…and he finally tied the knot with his girlfriend of 8 years here last week…

A & S 1

I wonder what was going through his mind in his last few moments of bachelorhood…

A & S 2

Hehehehehehe!!!!

Well, as soon as the bridal car arrived…

A & S 3

…the father escorted his daughter into the church, up the aisle to the altar to hand over her hand in marriage…

A & S 4

…and once the service was over, the sacred union blessed in the eyes of God…

A&S wedding mass

…the happy couple walked out of the church as man and wife…

A & S 5

Incidentally, something in the booklet caught my eye…

A & S 6

…and I could not help but wonder who that “handsome bestman” was. Eyewwwwwww!!!! It turned out to be Louis, my lawyer-friend and also an ex-student of mine…

A & S 7

*choke*choke* Muahahahahahaha!!!!!!

Well, congratulations, Alexius & Stephanie, and here’s wishing the two of you every happiness and may God bless the two of you abundantly each and every day in the years ahead.

The wedding reception followed…but that will be in the next post.

Walk right in…

The Payung Mahkota Cafe here…

PM Sibu

…held an open house recently and I had the privilege to be invited.

The Chinese New Year decorations are up…

PM CNY 1

…and I love how they use those rattan “trays” and “recycled” flowers from friends (old flowers from their homes that would otherwise have been thrown away) for that purpose…

PM CNY 2

They are really so creative and innovative when it comes to these things like the floral arrangement decor…

PM floral decor

…that has become synonymous with this place or their original outlet along Lanang Road.

It was a buffet dinner and for drinks, we had a choice of roselle or the very nice pineapple and ginger soda…

PM drinks

This was new – their Cambodian-style beef rendang

PM beef rendang

…which was pretty good, I would say.

I’ve had their Payung chicken before…

Payung chicken

– cooked with yogurt but it was the first time my missus and Melissa were having it and they loved it very much. The thick gravy went very well with the rice.

There was my favourite Payung rojak, of course…

Payung rojak

…and also their pomelo salad…

PM pomelo salad

…and this green salad as well…

PM green salad

There was also their tomato noodles but I did not feel like having that but I did help myself to their lovely banana cake…

PM banana cake

…and sandwiches…

PM sandwiches & cake

There was quite a crowd that night…

PM guests

…and I was not fast enough to take photographs of some of the dishes before somebody had helped himself or herself to it like the asam chicken, for instance…

PM asam chicken

…that I just had not too long ago and quite liked it.

The Myanmar-style pumpkin…

Myanmar pumpkin

…was absolutely out of this world! It was really very very nice but the boss said that he made the mistake of covering it after he had cooked it and it went all soft and mushy – it would have been a whole lot nicer, otherwise. Still, all of us thought it was great and kept going back for more.

The paku (wild jungle fern), masak lemak (cooked with coconut milk)…

PM paku

…was very nice too. Unfortunately, this and also the pumpkin are not on the regular menu of the cafe – be it at this outlet or the other but the boss said that he would be able to cook that if one were to call the cafe a day or so earlier and put in a special request for these. If anyone is interested, the contact number is 016-890 6061.

It seemed they had forgotten to serve the very popular mushroom roll and somebody had to rush to go and get it but by then, we were already very full…and anyway, we had had that many times before. So we left before that made it to the buffet table that night.

Thank you so much to the management and staff of Payung for the invitation – we certainly had a delightful dinner feasting on all that was on the scrumptious spread and rest assured you will be seeing me again…and again…again. I certainly will be back for more.

P.S.:
Come Chinese New Year’s Eve, Saturday, 9th February, 2013, should anyone be feeling lazy or not that keen to go through all that hassle to cook, he or she can drop by here for the special buffet dinner:
Chinese New Year’s Eve Buffet!
5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Adult RM58.00 per person, children (below 13 years old) RM48.00 per person.
For booking, please contact 016 890 6061 or 016 893 7614.

Let me see…

Normally, I would eat tempuyak (fermented durian) as it is…as a dip with ikan bilis (dried anchovies) or with rice. I have tried cooking prawns with it before, and also fish…and I hear that some people fry it with shallots, chili and ikan bilis too. The other day, however, I stumbled upon this recipe and I thought I could give it a try…and see if it was any good. Of course, being one who cannot follow recipes, I decided to just grasp the idea and went about it my own way.

I got the ingredients ready…

Sambal tempuyak - ingredients

– a handful of ikan bilis and pounded one shallot – peeled & sliced,  one chili, sliced…and a little bit of kunyit (tumeric) – not in the photo, a little bit of belacan (dried prawn paste) and lengkuas (galangal)…and bruised the end of one stalk of serai (lemon grass).

First, I fried the ikan bilis in a little bit of oil till golden brown before throwing in the pounded ingredients and the serai and finally, I added three scoops of tempuyak. It seemed kind of dry and since I did not have any santan (coconut milk), I just used a little bit of fresh milk and pretty soon, it was ready…

STP's sambal tempuyak

So, was it nice? Hmmm…I would say it was – very pleasingly fragrant with all the ingredients used but unfortunately, I think that drowned out the smell of the durian. It went very well with rice too…but personally, I think tempuyak is best eaten on its own.

Moving away from the main topic of this post, I just want to add here that if anyone is thinking about what to buy and serve to family and friends who will drop by during Chinese New Year, this is a good option – the kerepek gunting

Kerepek gunting

…or if you translate that, it means crisps cut with scissors. These are sold at my regular Malay kuih stall at Bandong here in packets, each containing more than enough to fill a bottle or two – those in which people usually keep their cookies and leave them on their coffee tables in their sitting rooms for guests to help themselves. They’re savoury, and just a little bit spicy and so very fragrant with the curry leaves and all the other ingredients used…and the best part is – they are only RM5.00 a packet. Considering the prices of cookies they are selling all over these days, I think I would rather have these anytime.

Gosh!!! How time flies and Chinese New Year is just two weeks away! Have you got everything ready yet?

Give me love (3)…

My friend, Philip, who is residing in the US, came home to Sibu while I was in NZ. I did not hear from him at all when I returned so I just assumed that he had gone back. He will get a new mobile phone number each time he comes back so I will usually wait for him to get in touch with me first…and this time around, he finally did – a few days before he left!

So we went out for breakfast and had the very nice kampua noodles at Rasa Sayang

Rasa Sayang kampua

…and as always, he did not come home empty-handed…

From P

Thanks so much, Philip but please don’t trouble yourself next time. I know the hassle of flying long hauls and having to cart along a whole lot of stuff. Looking forward to seeing you again in July.

In the meantime, I did drop by this place for tea one afternoon and they gave me a packet of this…

From NH

…and I insisted on an extra packet and they willingly obliged! I remember last year, it was a different story altogether – no matter how I tried to persuade them, the answer was no. It certainly pays to be a regular customer, eh? Wink! Wink!

I also received this from Hayley via poslaju

From Hayley

She went to New York on holiday and was so nice as to send me this fridge magnet that she got from there. Thanks, Hayley – now I must look around for something I can send to you to reciprocate…and thank you to chinneq as well for these…

From ChinNee

I think that was the prize for taking part in this contest she was hosting sometime ago…and it certainly was timely indeed. I would not need to buy any tissue paper, come Chinese New Year. Hehehehehe!!!!! Hey! I did not know Jusco has changed its name to AEON now – I had to google to find out what I could get for those gift vouchers. There does not seem to be any grace period, no expiry date so I guess I can keep them till my next trip to KL and I would be able to use those to buy something. Hopefully, I will remember where I have kept them when the time comes – this old man can be so very forgetful sometimes. LOL!!!

Then, there was Julia too, home on holiday from Perth! If you may recall, we went out for dinner together at the new Italian restaurant in town and also at Payung…and she too gave me some stuff that she had brought back from Down Under…

From J 1

There were these chocolates…

From J 2

…and these…

From J 3

…and some Scottish shortbread as well….

From J 4

That is certainly so sweet of you, Julia – thank you so very much to you too…and thank you also to Mandy, on behalf of Melissa, for these very lovely key chains…

From Mandy

…and for the Chinese New Year card. That was the first I received and I reckon it would be the only one I would be getting this year. Sobssss!!!!!!

Next, a very BIGGGGGG thank you to [SK] for the cd…

From SK 1

…and the passport holder. Huh? A passport holder kah? Not a free air ticket to a country for which I would need to use a passport kah? Muahahahahaha!!!!!

Well, actually, the cd’s a prize similar to the one that I won last year

From SK 2

…and don’t play-play! It’s a personalised one, complete with a recent photograph of mine, and recorded under [SK]’s personal recording level, mind you!

If anyone is interested in the songs that I selected for him to compile the playlist on the cd, here they are…

From SK 3

…the first 10 songs with the exception of No. 1 and the rest from No. 11 onwards are entirely [SK]’s own. I bet he had a real hard time trying to locate all of them for me. Couldn’t manage to get James Brown’s “Regrets”, [SK]? Hehehehehehe!!!!!!

Other than the aforementioned, I also received these very nice mixed nut cookies…

From Annie 1

…from Annie-Q. She is currently back in Sibu for the long weekend and she brought me those and also some very special bak kua (barbecued sliced meat)…

From Annie 2

…that is so very nice, she says, that I must reserve it and eat it all by myself. Ahhhhh!!!! I’m going to save that for Chinese New Year – I would usually cut  them into little squares and while sitting there, waiting for family and friends to drop by, I would munch on those for some jaw exercise.

Thank you, Annie…thank you, everybody…thank you all….

Popular demand…

Melissa and her mum dropped by this place once…

Red Carrot, Sibu

…sometime ago and they enjoyed the Penang char kway teow there so the other Sunday, they wanted to go there again for that so there we were at the Red Carrot, Pedada branch for lunch. For the uninitiated, they now have any outlet in the Salim area round the corner from Farley.

Well, it looked like they were all geared up for Chinese New Year with these plastic cherry blossoms all over the ceiling…

RC CNY 1

…and lanterns here and there…

RC CNY 2

There was a good crowd, I must say – business certainly appeared really brisk and we had to wait for quite a while for our orders to be served. Both mother and daughter had the aforementioned Penang char kway teow (RM5.50 per plate)…

RC Penang ckt 1

…with all the cockles, prawns and everything…

RC Penang ckt 2

I tried a bit and it certainly was very good – just like the real thing and I would not mind having that should I drop by the place again.

I ordered the Thai fried noodles (RM6.50)…

RC Thai fried noodles

…with a lot of sotong (squid) and prawns in it but from the name, I was expecting something sour or tom yam-ish and spicy with a sprinkling of crushed peanuts…but it turned out to be something like our mee mamak. It was very good though, let me be very clear on this – just that I had expected something different and it wasn’t.

I also ordered the honey chicken wings (RM9.50) to share…

RC honey chicken wings

Hmmmm!!!! Tell me frankly – does the plating of those wings conjure some images in your mind? Come, come…tell the truth now! What do they remind you of? LOL!!!

The wings were all right – quite nice…but I would think that the price was a little bit too steep but then again, this is a cafe so one should be ready to fork out a little more than usual.

All in all, we were happy with what we had…and considering that this place is just round the corner from my house, we certainly would be dropping by again sometime.