Homegrown…

This is made in Sibu…

Sibu's own Daddy Mee

– Daddy Mee…and this is their mi goreng (fried noodles)…or instant noodles with the taste of fried noodles. My favourite has always been the one from Indonesia and I personally feel that when they broke away and Malaysia started making its own, the only thing that was near identical would be the wrapper or the packaging. It was almost the same but somehow, I did not think it was as good. That was exactly how I felt about this one when I tried it a long long time ago and that is why I have never bought it again and stuck steadfastly to its chicken or curry flavours – those two,  I would say, are pretty good.

Well, this came free with the pack of 5 (curry flavour) that I bought sometime ago and since I had that at hand, I thought I might as well give it another try. For a start, the wrapper now is certainly much nicer than what it looked like when it first hit the market way back then. There are four sachets inside the packet…

Daddy mi goreng sachets

– the onion oil, the conjoined sachet of the seasoning and the chili powder and another sachet of the soy sauce so what I did was to empty all of them onto a plate, cook the noodles and toss them altogether well before garnishing it with some fried shallots and chopped spring onions…

Daddy mee goreng - cooked

I have not had the others for a while now so I cannot say that I can make a fair comparison but I honestly thought that what I had that morning when I cooked this was pretty good, not bad at all.

This was free but if you were to buy a pack of 5 for around RM3.50, that would mean that this would cost only 70 sen. Of course, some of you may feel that this would not be substantial enough to get you through the morning so what you can easily do is to boil an egg the way you like it to go with the noodles. That morning, I chose to have one half-boiled/cooked…

With one half-boiled egg

…with the yolk still soft and runny and the white already hard. I love it this way with a dash of dark soy sauce…

...with soy sauce

…and that was enough to last me till lunch.

So, let’s say the egg is around 30 sen each, the whole breakfast will cost only RM1.00…or if you prefer some meat to go with it, you can fork out a ringgit for a few pieces of char siew perhaps. It sure beats eating in the shops where it is much more expensive on all counts and what you get may not necessarily be nicer at times. What do you think?

Until you try…

One of the guys here shared a photograph on Facebook of a bowl of beef noodles that looked so good with all the beef and tripe and preserved/salted vegetables by the side…and of course, I made up my mind that I should drop by to try even though somebody did say in his comment that at first, he thought it  was a bowl of worms. Ah well, Melissa used to call those strips of tripe caterpillars and she would never touch those, no way.

I did know that they’re serving beef noodles here for breakfast in the morning till 10.30 a.m. and it is also available for dinner and as they always say, we will never know unless we try…so there we were that morning, my friend, Philip, and I. He has been home for a while now and other than the special Payung dinner treat that we went to, I had not had the chance to take him out some place to enjoy some of the best that we have around here…so I texted him to see if he would be free and indeed, he was.

We ordered the beef noodles (RM7.00)…

Payung Mahkota beef noodles 1

…without any second thoughts but when it was served, I was disappointed that it was not anything like what was in the photograph that I had seen. Later, Peter, the proprietor, happened to drop by and he did mention that that member of the staff took the photo some place else…probably not in this country and I just jumped into the conclusion that it was theirs.

It definitely was not the kind served in clear soup and it did not look like one of those spicy Taiwan-style ones either and as a matter of fact, when we both tried it, we found that it wasn’t like anything we had had elsewhere before…but both of us thought it was really very good. According to Peter, the noodles are obtained by special order from somebody who makes them at home…

Payung Mahkota beef noodles 2

…and as you can see in the photograph, it is not that yellow as in the case of the usual yellow noodles that many are more familiar with. Yes, yes…the egg was not what I would like usually and from its appearance, it was pretty obvious that it was not fried the way I would do it, probably oil-free on a non-stick pan.For one thing, they are into more healthy stuff at this place and put more emphasis on natural flavours instead of resorting to the use of salt and msg unlike at most other places…and since it is like no other elsewhere, let’s just say that this is beef noodles, Payung-style and both Philip and I liked it…plus at RM7.00 for a huge bowl and all that beef, it certainly is cheaper (and nicer too) than what we had here.

We also ordered these dumplings (RM5.00)…

Dumplings

…to try but no, I did not think they were something to die for – personally, I am not into these and maybe my girl would like them since she enjoys such stuff.

Peter served us this bowl of what he calls Japanese tomato noodles…

Japanese tomato noodles

…and insisted that we gave it a try. In fact, I’ve tried it before when he first started introducing it but no, it did not tickle my fancy. I thought its very light taste was kind of mild and I would prefer something a lot stronger. He said that he did not use santan (coconut milk) or milk though it did taste like the latter so this would probably be something more for the health-conscious. Ok, count me out! LOL!!! Anyway, we were already so full from our individual bowls of beef noodles so we just tasted a bit and left the rest behind – it was all right, I guess – perhaps those who are more into Japanese cuisine would like it, I wouldn’t know.

Philip and I sat there for almost two hours, enjoying our orders and chit-chatted away in the quiet and comfortable surroundings. I do think that this really is a nice place to get together with friends and while the time away, a lot nicer than at a coffee shop or any other place in town.

When I got home later that morning, my good friend, Lim, contacted me to see if I was home and he dropped by to pass me these…

Kanowit red kampua 1

my favourite red kampua noodles all the way from Kanowit that I had grown to love so much when I was there from 1978 till 1982. He was there on official business and he was so kind and thoughtful as to remember how much I love them and went through the trouble of tapao-ing me some and sending them to my house.

Gosh!!! There was so much in one packet…

Kanowit red kampua 2

…that I could not eat anything else for lunch that day.

That really was so very nice and sweet of you, Lim – thank you so very very much.

Roadside…

This stall by the side of the road at Bandong here in Sibu…

Bandong roadside food stall 1

…has been around for many years now since I first blogged about it in January, 2009 and to this very day, ever so often, when we did not feel like cooking, we would just go and tapao the food from there. In fact, when my blogger-friends came over from the peninsula over two years ago, I invited them to my house for dinner and I did buy some of the stuff from here – yes, they’re that good. That night, they had their masak hitam beef, the umai (the Melanau raw fish delicacy), their ayam belada and the sambal terung.

The food here is home-cooked – they cook it at their house right behind those shops at the back and at around 10.30 to 11.00 every morning (except weekends), they would bring everything out and start selling. I particularly love how they cover everything nicely unlike some places that I’ve seen in many parts of the country with a multitude of flies hovering all over the place and the food like Japanese war planes.

They’ve extended the stall a bit now so there are a few more choices than before and they even have a stall by the side selling barbecued chicken wings, fish and others and at times, you may even get some pa’is – fish or shrimps wrapped in banana leaf and cooked over some hot burning charcoal…

Bandong roadside food stall 2

Actually, the son is the one running this panggang stall – you can see him in the first photograph helping his father (a fat guy, though he seems to have slimmed down a lot now, wearing a cowboy hat) in his section of the business. The meat and seafood dishes here are consistently good – you have a choice of their very nice masak hitam beef, their chicken dishes be it curry, masak merah, belada, korma or kicap berempah…or you may prefer the fish – nicely marinated and deep fried or asam curry and I think they do have prawns too (though I am not sure if this is available every day)and even salted eggs!

I am not too fond of their vegetables though but sometimes, I may buy some that they cook masak lemak (with santan/coconut milk) like this nangka muda (young jackfruit)…

Nangka muda masak lemak

…that I got from there the other day for only RM2.00. It was all right that day – not quite lemak enough for me but the pineapple sambal (RM3.00)…

Pineapple sambal

…was really very good and so was their bubur pedas

Bubur pedas

…that they were selling that day at RM3.00 a tub.

That was all we had for lunch and dinner that day, total damage RM8.00 only and we still had quite a lot of the pineapple sambal left so we kept that for the subsequent days – it really went so very well with rice! No, we did not go 100% vegetarian that day – there was a lot of leftover rice in the fridge so I fried some cincaluk (fermented shrimps) fried rice with ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and egg in it as well and I also pounded some sambal belacan (dried prawn paste) to complement everything that we had…

Our lunch

Yes, we do have simple meals sometimes…and the best part, of course, was the fact that it was cheap as well!

Different…

I’ve tried the pineapple cakes from Taiwan a couple of times before here and here and what I do know is that some can be very expensive and despite that, many who go over would cart home a whole lot to give to their family and friends. Then I got some from my good friend, the late Jimmy, when he was based in Bintulu…and I did read in some blogs of the ones made in Penang which were, in no way, any cheaper, it seemed. Not too long ago, a bakery in town started making its own as well and I thought they were pretty good.,,but at RM1.50 each for that small thing, I would not say they were cheap either and lately, they are made available in boxes at RM10.00 for 6 pieces – the extra RM1.00 goes to the box, it seems, to make it more presentable when you want to give it to people.

Well, I would not say I am really fond of those – in fact, I am just so-so when it comes to those pineapple tarts that some would give an arm or a leg to get hold of some really good homemade ones, come Chinese New Year every year. Ok, I would enjoy eating the really nice ones but no, I would not buy any of those sold in the shops, not in the bakeries and even less, the ones at the supermarkets. I quite enjoy those made-in-Sibu pineapple cakes more than the rest because the jam inside is pretty fresh – like the jam on our own jam tarts…and it does not have that essence smell that would put me off anything that has it – like some of those factory-made cakes and biscuits.

However, I do appreciate the fact that my friend, Andrew, was so thoughtful and generous – he contacted me to get my mailing address as he had got some from Taiwan and would like to send me some all the way from Ipoh, Perak. I told him to just keep and enjoy them with his family for they do not come cheap plus the postal charges would be way too much…but he insisted. That was why, on Monday, the poslaju van stopped outside my gate and the guy handed me this…

From Andrew 1

Hmmmm…this one was different again – not the same as the ones I had had before and gee!!! There was salted egg yolk inside…

From Andrew 2

…and anything with salted egg yolk, I sure would like! Hehehehehe!!!!

Outside, it looked more or less like any of the rest…

From Andrew 3

…but inside, it was a little different…

You can see the layer of the salted egg yolk…

From Andrew 4

…sandwiched in between the pineapple jam and the pastry on the outside.

Yes, it was nice but no, it wasn’t something that would get me rushing back to the shops to grab hold of more…so when you hop over to Taiwan again, Andrew, thank you so very much but please don’t get me anymore. I love this that I found inside the box though…

From Andrew 5

– I don’t know whether it originally came with the cakes or whether Andrew slipped that in himself. Inside the box is a deck of cards with all the lovely family-themed quotations…

From Andrew 6

I really enjoyed going through them one by one and reading each and every line.

Thank you so much, Andrew. It is really so very nice of you and I am indeed flattered that you’ve kept me in your thoughts despite the fact that you’re no longer actively blogging and I may only get to see you dropping by or on Facebook once in a long while. I guess that now with your two little boys, you literally have your arms full! No worries – in the years to come, you will look back and realise that these are the best times of your lives. Do take care, all of you, and may God bless you and your family abundantly – as the card on the box says: A family is a God-given blessing, a treasury of love and joy.

Incidentally, should you be going on another working trip to Taiwan again, no, I don’t want those sun biscuits, much as I love them a lot, thank you very much…but the postal charges are far from cheap plus they are crumbly, not easy to bring home and send over – they may get here in powder form, believe you me. LOL!!!

Come in the morning…

My cousins, one from Kuching and one from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, came to town in the morning last Saturday for some family matters and left in the evening.

I picked one of them at the airport and we went round town buying the things he wanted to grab and bring home before stopping by here for what else…but the kampua noodles. I ordered the kampua mee pok (the flat version)…

RTM kampua mee pok

…for a change and we also shared the piansip (meat dumplings) with dark soy sauce…

RTM piansip, black

…and we waited there for the other cousin from Sabah to arrive. After he too had his kampua fix, they went off to do what they had to do in town and I went home.

Oh yes, before I forget, I must thank my cousin in Kuching for these lovely meat pastries from Kai Joo Lane in Kuching…

Kai Joo Lane meat pastries

…that she went through the trouble of getting and sending to me through the one who came. They’re heaps nicer than the overrated Seremban ones even though the filling now, though it is still very good, is not as nice compared to when I was enjoying them way back in the 70’s. The pastry is still as great as ever – so crumbly and so fragrant and I can confidently say that I’ve yet to come across anyone who does it better.

Later, I took Melissa and the mum here

Sri Tanjung

…for a nasi kerabu lunch…

Sri Tanjung nasi kerabu

…as we went there the Saturday before at the end of the mid-year school break but they were closed. Yes, you can only get this on Saturdays, not on any other day in the week…and as always, it was very very nice. I wonder why I did not get a keropok (prawn/fish cracker) with mine though? Hmmmmmm!!!!!

When they were through with what they had to do, my cousins came to my house and at around 3, we went here for these…

Payung jelly pisang

– their jelly pisang which, without doubt, with the horrible weather that we’re experiencing at the moment,was absolutely perfect for a hot afternoon.

They had run out of their banana cake and their garlic bread with creamy chicken sauce so we could only have their rojak

Payung rojak

…and their mushroom roll…

Payung mushroom roll

…and even though that did not look like much, Melissa and I were so full that we had to skip dinner before going for the sunset service in church that evening…after my cousins had taken their flight out of town.

Yes, we did go for dinner later that night after the service…but unfortunately, I forgot to bring along my camera so I would not be able to share the photographs of what we had here.

That certainly was a long and eventful day, last Saturday.

Going back again…

I have not been to this place for a long long time. In the past, I would drop by once in a while and have something from the stalls here for breakfast and I would buy the kuihs (local cakes) that they sell at this coffee shop located behind the Sibu Medical Centre.

I remember that I used to enjoy these a lot…

Pulut sambal kuih

– you have the grated coconut on top of the glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaf. There are two types – one is white and sweet with the sugar added to the coconut but these orange ones are probably cooked with sambal hay bee (dried prawns) and are spicy.

I bought a few when I stopped by the shop the other day…and I noticed that somebody else is running the kampua stall now so I wouldn’t know if it is any good unless I give it a try sometime. The other stalls were not open which means that I could not be certain as to whether they are the same ones or not. There used to be one here selling mee sua in black chicken soup, not that I am particularly fond of it but I did give it a try once. Thankfully, they are still selling the kuihs at the same price – RM1.20 for two so that means they are 60 sen each and I thought they were still very nice just that they seemed less spicy than before.

I also remember that the pulut panggang here was not bad as well…

Pulut panggang 1

…but of course, there could be none better than the ones that we used to call Kate’s panggang. Unfortunately, they are no longer available. I gathered that the old folks are not able to make them anymore and the younger ones are not really keen on the business – they even turned down a huge order, I was told. If I am not mistaken and if this is the same one, the ones here are made by a Chinese lady, a Muslim convert by marriage and the ones she makes are quite lemak

Pulut panggang 2

– you can see the traces of the santan (coconut milk) on the banana leaf.

A very good pulut panggang must be very lemak and it must have the smoked fragrance that would be derived from cooking it to perfection…

Pulut panggang 3

…over some burning hot charcoal. It should not be overcooked in which case it would be rather brown and hard and if it is undercooked, it is not fragrant which means it is not very nice.

I bought a few that day at 50 sen each – I would say they’re pretty reasonably priced as the longer ones were selling for RM1.00 each. My missus would eat it plain but I would rather have it with kaya (coconut jam)…

Pulut panggang 4

…or condensed milk or sugar.

It is easy to get pulut panggang here – they’re sold all over the town but I’ve tried a few here and there and I did not think they were really worth the calories. I suppose if I feel like having any, I would just have to make do with these – they may not be the best that I’ve had but they’re quite all right, definitely better than the rest.

Different time, different place…

It used to be here but the guy did tell me then that they would be moving here…

Mijawa Cafe

I think the road is Jalan Kpg Datu Baru, the bypass linking Bandong to the Jalan Ria/Delta area. If you are coming in via Jalan Cheku, go straight to the end of that road and at the junction, turn right – the block of shops(2.311322,111.826352) is around a hundred metres away.

It so happened that we dropped by there for brunch sometime ago. There is a stall selling nasi lemak, fried noodles and so on but the guy was not around when we arrived and we did not want to wait for him to come back as there was no indication as to how long he would take.

Melissa had their rojak (RM4.50)…

Rojak tamby

…our local version of the Indian pasembur plus the three complimentary sticks of satay as usual and yes, it was good – just like it was before when they were at their previous location.

I ordered the mee jawa special (RM5.50)…

Mee jawa special 1

…and I was kind of disappointed that the only extra that I got was that fried egg…

Mee jawa special 2

…on top.

It was nice, make no mistake about that but my missus ordered their mee jawa biasa (normal/ordinary) and though she did not get the fried egg, she got half a hard-boiled egg with hers for only RM4.50, a ringgit less which would mean that for the extra that I paid, I only got half an egg more. I honestly did not think that was worth it, not at all.

There is a stall by the roadside but it was not open – maybe it is operational only at night and I guess they would be selling burgers or stuff that would not interest me very much but I may drop by here again to check out that aforementioned stall to see if it is any good. For one thing, the place is kind of secluded – no traffic jam, no problem with parking, peace and quiet all around…so it certainly beats heading to some place in the town centre.