Yet another day…

The day after my friend, Jimmy , flew into town, Melissa and I went out for breakfast. It had been raining a lot around here and really heavily too so my car was a terrible sight – so very dirty! It certainly was time I sent it to the car wash and leaving it there, we went to the coffee shop opposite as I said sometime back that I would go there again to try the fried stuff from the stall at the back..

Melissa had the fried bihun, wet or with gravy, that is (RM4.00)…

FB, wet

…while I ordered the fried hung ngang (big bihun), dry (RM4.00)…

FHN, dry

She did not really like what she ordered so we swopped our orders but if you asked me, I would say that one was no better than the other – maybe I’ve been frying quite a bit myself at home these days so I find that what I get to eat outside isn’t really to my satisfaction. At best, I would say they were all right, edible…but not something to go out of your way to eat and THAT, I must say, was VERY expensive. We usually pay RM3.00 for that kind of stuff elsewhere and for the two of us, I had to fork out RM2.00 extra. Of course, I would not mind if it had been very nice, lots of added ingredients but unfortunately, that certainly was not the case. Tsk! Tsk!

After that, we went to collect my orders for the instant Sibu kampua that Jimmy wanted and also another friend who would be in town a few days later. When we got home, I packed Jimmy’s in a box and had it wrapped and tied…


…as he said that he was thinking of sending it back to Kuching by bus so he would not have to carry it all the way – I guess it is best to travel light when flying.

We skipped lunch that day as we were still full after that not-very-nice breakfast but we did drop by a supermarket in town and Melissa managed to grab whole of some ingredients to bake a cake for tea…

M's CC1

…with the lemon cream cheese sauce and all…

M's CC2

It was her own version of a carrot cake – not the usual one that everybody would be more accustomed to with all the ingredients, spices and all – just a simple one but this was very nice as well and I certainly enjoyed it very much.

That night, I went out for dinner with Andrew, my ex-student who was back in town for a while and we decided to give this place

The Ark

…a try as Melissa’s friend mentioned that she went there with her family and everyone was full of praises of what they had. This is the night view of the mighty Rejang River if you choose to sit and dine upstairs – I would say that it was really very nice…until we were attacked by the many mosquitoes. The mosquito coils that they lighted and places at strategic places all over had no effect at all on those pesky insects.

The Thai-style midin with roast pork…


…was not bad and good enough for a change from the ways the fern is usually cooked. However, I remember I had that before here and here when the place was run by  some other people and there was a different chef and it was much nicer then the first time but after that, I was put off by the excessive use of msg in this dish and all the rest and I never went back there again.

I met Sanjeev there – he used to work at Payung Cafe but he left and came to work here…and of course, with him around, we were accorded the best service and I did not have any problem whatsoever communicating in English. Sanjeev was as nice and friendly as I knew him to be and was very familiar with every item on the menu so he was able to give helpful suggestions as to what we should order. It’s a pity really – they should have retained him at the old place.

We had the salted egg fish fillet…


…but I could not really taste the salted egg in the batter even though there were bots of the egg yolk in the dish. Maybe they had their own recipe for that but I wouldn’t say I was thrilled by it and would want to have that again. I did not quite like the fish either – it came across like those imported fish fillet which I am never too fond of.

I also ordered the red yeast rice pork…


…which is actually a traditional Foochow dish. Red yeast rice or ang chao is used to make the traditional Foochow red wine and I read somewhere that it has a lot of health benefits.

We did not order anymore as Sanjeev said that the servings were huge, despite the fact that we requested for the small portion of each dish and true enough, they were. For one thing, things here did come across as kind of pricey – even the small servings would cost around RM20, give or take a little…and the bill for everything, rice and drinks came up to over RM70 for three persons. Water is free though so that is one point in their favour over many other  places around here but considering the food per se, or what we had that night, I do not think I would be in a hurry to go back there again but it would be an option when cracking my head as to where to go and have something different for a change.

Actually, this place has been around for a long time now. When it first opened, the food was great and then, the chef left and the one who replaced him was really awful so I never went back there again. I am not too sure when exactly it became a Thai restaurant but I did drop by and I thought the food wasn’t too bad. However, somehow or other, I never got round to going back there again…until it was taken over by some other people around here. That was when I went back a few times but with the mdg overload in their dishes, I stopped going. Now, the owner of the place has taken it back, it seems…and he’s got a new chef and other than the favourable comments from Melissa’s friend, I’ve seen some good reviews on Facebook as well.

After dinner that night, we adjourned here…


– no prize for guessing where this is…


…for the desserts, their usual delights – the durian ice cream, their banana cake with ice cream and the Mulu ice cream before calling it a day. Thanks so much for the dinner treat, Andrew. Hopefully, we would be able to do it again before you head on back to NZ…otherwise, we would have to wait till you come again around the middle of next year.

Now, if I am not mistaken , it was the following morning when Ajil, my friend from Penang, came back from his lightning visit to his former school in the lower reaches of the Rejang but unfortunately, he had to head right back instead of spending a night or two here in Sibu. I picked him and his friend, Eddy, from KL at the jetty and took them for breakfast at the old Malay lady’s stall in Sungai Antu here. I had the fried noodles…


…while the two of them had the nasi lemak


…knowing that for her special, she would give a bit of her daging masak hitam (black-cooked beef), an exclusive Sarawak specialty, so Eddy would be able to try it before heading back home. After that breakfast, I drove around town a bit to show Eddy some of the sights around here before taking the two of them to the airport to catch their flight back to the peninsula.

When I got home that day, Melissa was busy in the kitchen making pizza using whatever she could find in the fridge…

Mel's pizza 1

She had sausages, some mashed avocado, sliced fresh shitake mushroom and cheddar.

It was very nice…

Mel's pizza 2

…and there was more than enough for our lunch and tea.

We went out for dinner that night with some very old friends of mine but that would have to be in another post – the one that will appear the day after tomorrow. You’ll stick around, won’t you?