Taste this…

On their first night in Sibu, we took our visitors, my old friends from Trengganu, out for dinner here, together with my friends, Lim and his missus and children, and I wanted to let them taste our local Foochow cuisine so I ordered the ang chao pork belly…

Ming Mei Shi ang chao pork belly

…which I thought was good but did not come near what my missus would usually dish out at home.

We also had the Sibu Foochow-style sio bee

Sibu Foochow-style sio bee

…which were nicer than when I tapao-ed some home on one occasion some time ago. Maybe like most things. it is usually best to eat it on the spot at the restaurant itself and having it at home, somehow it may not taste quite the same.

We also had the mani chai/cangkuk manis fried with egg…

Ming Mei Shi cangkuk manis with egg

…and of course, the midin with Foochow red wine was simply a must…

Ming Mei Shi midin with Foochow red wine

…as they do not have this wild jungle fern in the peninsula and it is the favourite of many, locals and visitors alike.

Upon the suggestion of the lady boss, I agreed to give their kampua noodles…

Ming Mei Shi kampua mee

…a try and I would say it was indeed very nice except that I thought that whole mountain of it was really a little bit too much – perhaps, half of that amount would do especially when we had so many other things to eat.

Then, there was the Foochow-style tofu soup with canned oysters…

Ming Mei Shi Foochow tofu soup with canned oysters

…and other than all the above, I did order a couple of dishes that were not quintessentially Foochow. The fried pumpkin in salted egg batter…

Ming Mei Sgi salted egg pumpkin

…stole the show and was everybody’s favourite that night.

I asked for the  creamy butter prawn balls but I think they got the order wrong so we had these instead…

Ming Mei Shi butter prawns

…which did not really matter as they were pretty good as well.

Of course, there are many nice dishes here, maybe a lot nicer than these, but I wanted my friends to sample some of our local Foochow cuisine so that was why I ended up selecting most of what I picked that night. They also got to try some dabai that we brought from home – of course, they were not so nice as they were those that we had been keeping for them in the freezer, not the fresh ones from the market…but at least, they got to sample some.

The servings that night were extremely huge so much so that we could not finish everything and had to tapao some home. The bill for 7 adults and 3 children, 10 altogether, came up to RM210.00, inclusive of rice and drinks. I thought that was all right, not too expensive for all the eight dishes for so many people. Most importantly, my friends enjoyed themselves…and they had the opportunity to try some of our local Foochow delights during their visit to our little town.

After dinner, we took them on a tour of our pasar malam (night market) before calling it a day.