Pit stop…

If you’re travelling between Sibu and Bintulu and beyond or to Mukah, you would pass by the Selangau bazaar. Long long ago, it was just a row of wooden shophouses and the buses would stop beside it and you could just enter any one of the shops and go straight to the back to answer nature’s call…and you could grab something to eat or stock up on snacks for the rest of your journey.

I was on my way to Mukah once and I did what everybody else was doing and went into a shop there. There was a woman doing the laundry and she said that the toilet downstairs was occupied and asked me to use the one upstairs. Gee!!! I really felt uneasy as I would not be accustomed to having strangers coming into my house and going upstairs to the living quarters some more, no way!

Well, eventually, they built some nice concrete shophouses at the location where the bazaar currently is and all the people there were asked to move. If I remember correctly, there were objections from left, right and centre at the time – I guess they would lose the business of the passengers on the many buses that passed by every day as those huge vehicles would not be able to turn into the bazaar proper for people to go and patronise the shops there.

These days, they  have what they call rest stops – two big ones…and some smaller ones like this one…


…where we stopped for brunch that day when we were sending Melissa back to her rural/jungle school, some 20 km. or more from the bazaar.

Of course, they’re nothing as nice as the ones along the highways in the peninsula, not even close but at least, one would get to use their VERY CLEAN toilet, free of charge…and have something to eat. They even serve western cuisine at this one such as, according to the menu displayed, mix grill and lamp chop [SIC] but I guess it is most convenient to have the chap fan (mixed rice) and since we were quite early, everything was all still hot from the wok…

Chap fan

I particularly appreciated their effort in placing everything in a covered cabinet like this…and not in the open, all exposed to flies and what not like what I have seen in some places.

Melissa had this…


…while the mum had this…


I did not want rice so I opted for the fried noodles instead…


…but they turned out to be not particularly tasty – I guess it was cooked Foochow-style which would pale in comparison with the much more flavourful Malay or mamak ones. The chicken wing was all right and I liked the long beans – crunchy and sweet and not overcooked till so very soft.

The bill came up to RM23.00, inclusive of drinks, so it certainly seems that things are not all that cheap at such places…or not at this one, at least. After all, we only had chap fan mostly unlike what we had here and I did not expect it to go beyond RM20.00.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

22 thoughts on “Pit stop…”

  1. We have a lot of economy rice stalls here, some are nice and cheap, some are nice but expensive, some are not nice and expensive, hehehe~

    The one here isn’t too bad, nothing great but for one thing, the food’s not oily and loaded with msg unlike some places here.

  2. Normally small town food r not that great,same here too.

    Not true – I’ve had some very nice stuff in the little towns like Kanowit and Bintangor…and it’s cheap too…and there are many who will say the same about the small places in the peninsula – anytime better than KL, and it’s expensive there, that’s for sure. Big city prices.

    This one’s not bad, I would say but it is probably for the “captive victims” – the bus passengers…and the charges probably include the free use of the washroom and the free food & drinks for the bus drivers. Cheaper to drive into the bazaar and eat at the shops there…

  3. Oppss, so pricey Usually cheaper in small town. Maybe that is the only eating place so whether you like it or not you have to eat to ease your hunger. Food looks nice. Anyway, thumbs up for the effort to cover the food in the cabinet.

    Yes, that’s the consolation. The food was not bad and they made an effort to make sure it is clean. This is probably something like those things we get at the airports – more expensive and like it or not, take it or leave it! 😦

  4. Yeah these places are meant for travelers or tourists who takes these buses – the drivers eat free or sometimes get a commission for that, I was told by the tourism people.

    The food can be good though and a lot strive for clean toilets for the growing older (retired elderly Caucasian couple going out of the way to visit here) demographics! 😀

    The chap fan looks good to me, all chap fan looks good to me. Haha! I’ve been craving for that even though I eat it every week. Nothing like a good ol dose of MSG!

    That explains the higher prices at these places, I guess.

    No msg overload at this particular one though – I wouldn’t have said it was nice then. Extra-sensitive these days since I’ve stopped adding that in my own cooking.

    Not particularly fond of chap fan – not really great though I would not mind the Malay ones at times. They do have some good stuff sometimes like their beef liver rendang. Slurpssss!!!!

  5. over here, if we were to sit the busses, they will stop at similar spots like these too. My guess is they have an agreement with the outlet owners to bring business in, sharing the profits. The prices are always very expensive, and not very tasty. I think what you have here looks way tastier!

    Have a nice Sunday !

    Hi! Long time no see… I guess for those travelling in the buses, they do not have much of a choice. Those in their own vehicles might as well go elsewhere nearby. At least the stops over at your side look much nicer – more touristy.

  6. Things are definitely not cheap anymore these days… Your noodles look very rubbery and last night i just took this type of noodles too.

    Our yellow noodles, not as “khiew” as the ones over at your side…just that there could have been more ingredients to enhance the taste like how the Malays or mamaks cook it. Too plain, so not really tasty – I can do much better. They’re much cheaper in the bazaar 50 metres away – not at these rest stops for the buses going to and fro.

  7. The chap fan selection looks quite alright. After many years of eating chap fan, I am calling it a day. Now I try to bring something from home for my lunch. But it does take a lot of effort.

    Home-cooked’s the best. Always so oily and lots of msg and overcooked – if long beans, sure will be black or greyish and soft. This place is good in that sense – I actually liked the long beans, so crunchy and sweet.

  8. I never really like to eat at these stops. Its overcharged and the food are not good. Usually, I just get some buns to fill up my stomach. Anyway, I have been driving now instead of bus, so I have more freedom to choose my meals. 🙂

    Ya, lucky you. Over in the peninsula, all you get is Malay food, right? And they never seem to bother about covering up the food. 😦

  9. C– class food but A++ class payment?!
    OK, I will avoid Simon’s kopitiam if I go there. ;p

    It isn’t all that expensive – maybe a bit more than at the shops in the bazaar but at least, the food was quite all right, can’t complain. Must consider that this is in a remote place in the middle of nowhere and it certainly is not as bad as you put it…and where you are now, I bet you can’t get anything half as nice, if anything at all, for less than £1 there, right or not?

  10. ooo, this reminds me, i actually haven’t taken a highway or long-distance bus for many years now, but i used to, in order to travel from malacca to kl, or penang to malacca, or kl to singapore, etc. and these pics remind me of all the pit stops the bus used to make, when we’d all trudge down and use the loo or to purchase snacks. gosh, feels like decades ago (and it is!) 😀

    I think I did stop by one not very long ago but only to use the washroom and maybe I did buy some fruits. Wouldn’t want to eat there when one could drive some place easily on the nice highway but I guess the bus passengers on long trips would have no choice. I think you have to pay to use the washroom there, right? Not here…it’s free and very clean.

  11. The food at rest areas are always expensive and not tasty wan! They just wanna earn $$$ >__<

    Never tried the ones over at your side – didn’t think they look great.

  12. well that spot is a very marketable spot i think,
    anyway they have a great set of meal and as for those
    you had, i liked it all most specially the second one

    My missus had that, no complaints.

  13. That is thoughtful that they kept the food covered to hopefully prevent flies from lighting on the food. Seeing a bunch of flies swarming about food within a restaurant is a big turn off. I only saw that once, lot of flies in a restaurant I decided to visit. I turned right around and walked out the door.

    Oh that’s too bad that the noodle dish wasn’t the greatest. 🙂

    The long beans I had were nice, fried with garlic…plain plus maybe a bit of seasoning – simple Chinese style. Beans must be fresh and young, really sweet and crunchy…not hard or soft, if overcooked. Ya…I’ve had my share of those flies-infested places – I would leave right away too, that’s for sure.

  14. Oh the price is not so cheap. All those dishes look like normal dishes served and sell in any economic rice stall.

    Yup, just that this one is in the middle of nowhere and intended for those captive customers – the bus passengers. Pretty much the same at your side, it seems…plus you’ll have to pay to use the washroom that is more often than not, very dirty, and the food’s not even nice.

  15. Maybe that was suppose your best pit-stop.

    You mean that’s the best pit-stop we have around here? Nope, not really. There are two bigger ones, probably nicer ones, further up but they’re on the other side of the road – more convenient for those coming in the other direction.

  16. Prices at pit stops are usually higher but what you had paid seemed to be really expensive for the kind of food served. 😦

    A bit too pricey perhaps – two meat (tofu is counted as meat, btw) is around RM3.50-4.00 normally…and my noodles was probably RM3.00, the usual price…and they added the cost of the chicken wing (RM2) and long beans (RM1.00) – plus the drinks, still more expensive than usual but at least now I know – avoid those pit stops, no matter what. Thankfully, the food was all right unlike at some of those chap fan places.

  17. This simple rest stop reminds me of the old days when we had many of them along the Malaysian roads before highways were built. Now we have so many concrete ones with toilets and stalls selling fruits & food in neat rows. I miss the old days but I still saw them in remote towns of China where their toilets are umph!

    The ones with no doors – the guide will tell you to bring an umbrella…to cover your heads. Wouldn’t matter down there…as all the same and people would know whose it was. Muahahahahahaha!!!!! The ones in this jungle place will put the one at LCCT to shame and those in the KL malls too – so dirty, so smelly…not the ones here. Very impressed.

  18. Expensive meal but I supposed its because its a rest stop…things do tend to be more expensive at rest stops. Had a nasi lemak biasa with half a soft boiled egg, a bowl of nasi lemak, ikan bilis and peanuts for RM6! Yes…plain sambal as well:P

  19. chap fan dishes look interesting, and your mee goreng, but you said taste so so only? hmmm…

    Ya, I’m sure if I fry my own, it would be much nicer. Hehehehehehe!!!!

  20. Usually if we go to Sibu we won’t be doing any stopovers unless my dad wants a coffee. So never tried these food. Only 3 hours (less when. My dad does it) drive anyway, and we usually have our Kampua beforehand so never get hungry on the way!

    Good grief! Your dad’s Schumacher kah? Muahahahaha!!!! Ya…I just want to give these places a try – who knows I may stumble upon something nice…but so far, nothing worth stopping for.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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