The Duānwǔ or Dragon Boat Festival, otherwise known as the Chang or Dumpling Festival, fell on Monday earlier this week. My sister-in-law from Kuching was in town and my brother-in-law and his family came too from Bintulu and since the latter would be leaving on the actual day of the festival, we decided to go out for dinner on Sunday night, a day earlier. Melissa insisted on treating them and her maternal grandma and another brother-in-law and his wife here in Sibu to dinner as she had been working for over a year now and she felt this would be a good opportunity to reciprocate and show her appreciation to all of them for everything during her growing-up years to this very day.
I went to this restaurant to make the reservation – many in town were closed for the Gawai Festival as their employees had all gone back to their longhouses to celebrate but luckily, this one was an exception. However, bookings were real heavy and the lady boss asked if I wanted the 5.30 p.m. slot. I said that was too early so she said in that case, I would have to go for the 7.30 p.m. slot…and I agreed, not that I had much of a choice.
So there we were that night and even though we got there at around 7.15 p.m., the table was ready…
…waiting for all of us. Yes, yes, I know…I’m a Wee, not a Wong but it’s the one and the same thing actually. The character,黄, in Mandarin means yellow and normally, in Hokkien, we would say ooi…and hence, Wee whereas in Foochow, it would be uwong…so Wong, it would be.
The place was packed and the tables overflowed to the pavement outside. I was glad I made an effort to drop by that morning to select the dishes we would like to have so no sooner had we taken our places and ordered our drinks than the food was served. I could see many of the people sitting there looking rather bored, waiting for their orders to come out of the kitchen.
This was new on their menu – the chicken dish…
…with some Thai-style sour and spicy jellyfish salad underneath. All of us enjoyed that and needless to say, we also enjoyed my other selections that we had had time and again before. These included their sweet and sour fish fillet…
…and the creamy butter prawns…
…and I also ordered their bitter gourd, fried with three types of eggs – fresh, salted and century…
My mother-in-law loved this dish very much and kept saying how good it was and how well they had cooked it.
Everyone loved their fried pumpkin with salted-egg batter too…
…and to wash it all down, we had the Foochow-style tofu soup…
…which was exceptionally nice that night.
I must say that the fact that they were able to maintain the quality of the food served despite the crowd would be something praiseworthy. I have been to places where when there were a lot a people, the food did not turn out as nice…but not here. Unfortunately, we were informed halfway that hey had run out of midin (wild jungle fern) and they asked if I would like to order a substitute. I just instructed them to cancel that so we had 7 dishes altogether only instead of the original 8 that I had asked for.
7? Yes, we had 7, not just the 6 above. The stewed pork was a little slow in coming out…
…and the waitress seemed to be in a hurry, and not surprisingly so too as there were so many tables to serve, to cut it up into pieces for us to stuff in the steamed buns…
…and eat so I was not fast enough to take a nice photograph of the meat. We were all very delighted that the chunk we got was not very fat, mostly lean…just a thin layer underneath the skin – and that was so so so heavenly, I tell you! LOL!!! The fact that it was all gone in a blink of the eye would be testament as to how nice that was.
That scrumptious dinner, 7 dishes for 10 people, inclusive of rice and drinks, came up to RM226.90…and the nice lady boss waived the 90 sen and so, Melissa only had to pay RM226 for it all.
Having had the celebration earlier, we did not have anything fancy on the day itself. I managed to order some freshly-made popiah skin so I got the ingredients and prepared the filling and everything else…
…and that was what we had for lunch and dinner…
…and I even managed to make some to give to my in-laws and my side of the family.
Of course, we did not neglect to feast on the changs (dumplings) to uphold the tradition and preserve our heritage on this very auspicious occasion in the year.
13 thoughts on “We’re all here…”
that’s a big feast … and everything looks delicious. very heartwarming to read of melissa’s desire to show her gratitude with this meal 🙂
Yes, she so sweet, all heart…but I do wish she had a bit of a mean streak in her though – one would need that sometimes in this world that we live in today.
Yum yum on the chicken but why was there a lime? to go with some sambal or (refers to the chicken dish) ?
To squeeze onto the toasted salt and pepper in that saucer on top – I think this is traditionally, the dip that has been served with roast chicken since as long as I can remember.
Indeed a scrumptious dinner with all the nice & appetizing dishes. One plus point, worth the price and the lady boss is so kind to waive of the extra cents. That little gesture wins the heart of the customer.
Yes, she knew me from those days when she was the Captain/waitress at one of the top restaurants in town – the Blue Splendour. She and the chef hubby came out to open this place. Very nice, the food.
hmmm, but how could they put Wong as your surname?? i thot you went there personally to make the reservation and would have quote your own name, correctly?? anyway, nice dishes, love the chicken with jelly fish, the sweet and sour filet, the butter prawns, the bitter gourd, the pumpkin in salted egg yolk batter, the tofu soup, the popiah… but no thank you for the stew pork, eyewwwww~~
They knew us from the old days when they were working at one of the top restaurants in town…and they called my father Mr Wong in Mandarin – Hwang S** K** so when the chef and his wife left and opened this place, they could still remember me and to them, I am and always will be – Mr Wong…just like my father. That day, they asked for my first name…as there are many Mr Wong in Sibu (Foochow town) so I gave it to them – did not expect them to add 1+1 = 2…and I ended up becoming Arthur Wong! LOL!!! Never mind! As long as I can get a table…and special treatment throughout the night, good enough.
No pork for you? Ooooo…that’s one of the main attractions of the house!!! Slurpsssss!!!!!
Very scrumptious food here, Arthur!! The buttered prawns is what I missed the other time when I was there and had not tasted them… so.. the next sentence will be…”When.. when?? Air Asia got cheap tickets now!” haahaaa…
Of course! Promo going on right now…till tomorrow! 😉
Ooooh. All look yummy. I like them.
Did not taste any dumplings this year. So you can say, we didn’t not reall celebrating it. But we spent it in KL. Lol.
Haven’t tried this place? You should drop by – the food’s very nice. KL? Lots of dumplings all over – you didn’t get any to eat kah? I hear they had nyona ones at Jusco but of course, theirs would be chicken, halal…and at RM7.50 each, they sure did not come cheap. Sibu’s the best! Everything’s cheap and nice here. Hehehehehe!!!
All the foods are sooooo tempting, but no thank you to bitter gourd…
Oh? I hear it has health benefits wor. Besides, they’re crunchy, well-cooked…and not bitter at all. Melissa would never touch the veg until she tried it done this way…and now it’s one of her favourites. I’m sure they do it this same way as well in Singapore – go, go and give it a try!
Fried pumpkins? Wow. I want to try that.
With salted egg yolk batter… VERY nice!
Where do you get fresh popiah skin from?
You have to order from one of the tofu stalls at the Sibu Central Market and collect the next day.
That was a very grand dinner with and all dishes were excellent! How sweet of Melissa to give a treat to the whole family.
Yes, she’s very sweet. Glad that she has turned out so well. Can’t say the same about many young people these days unfortunately.
my mom made changs this year.. very very yummy! 😀 the chicken dish and butter prawns are my fave! ❤
They’re all good here. Everything tastes great but generally a lot feel that it is getting a bit expensive so we would reserve this place for special occasions and treats – like when there are people dropping by this little town.