Blast from the past…

During my growing up years, there was a man whom we called Ah John. His house was around three doors away from ours and at a certain time each day, he would push his cart/trishaw with a canvas roof out, squeezing his rubber horn.  We would rush out to buy his kantong (ice balls) and sometimes, my mum would ask us to buy some of his rojak for lunch or dinner or just to enjoy. Eventually, he and his family moved away and I did hear of them having a stall at the junction of Hoe Ping Road but I never did go there to buy anything from them…and the last I heard they were running a stall at the hawker centre on the 1st Floor at the Sibu Central Market.

I had something on that morning so I told my Trengganu friends to go and have the Foochow longevity noodles, our mee sua in traditional red wine and ginger chicken soup, for breakfast at a stall at the coffee shop below the hotel where they were staying. The missus did and she loved it but despite my telling them that the Penang prawn noodles at that same stall were really very nice, the hubby went and had their curry mee instead…

Curry mee
*Archive photo*

He said it was very good, just that there were no cockles…and personally, I would love some pig’s blood too…plus they gave whole chicken pieces instead of the regular shredded bits.

We came at around 9.00 a.m. that morning to take them on a tour of the Sibu Central Market, reputed to be the biggest in the country and we spent a long time there. There were many things that caught their interest, things they would not find where they came from or anywhere in the peninsula and they did buy quite a bit to take back as well. They managed to get to sample our golden-coloured wild durian, the buah pakan/pakon that is not as sweet and mushy and they bought a kilo of our straight Rajang hay bee (dried prawns) and one whole long kiam hu (salted tenggiri/mackerel) – they said ours looked fresher and nicer…plus it was cheaper.

Having covered the whole of the ground floor – the dry and the wet sections and the jungle produce section, we proceeded to the hawker centre on the first floor where I spotted this stall…

Descendants of Ah John

I had been to this place a few times but somehow or other, I did not notice this stall there till this time around. Ah John’s daughter is the one running the stall now and after all these years, she could still recognise me! We stopped here for their ang tao cendol

Ah John ang tao cendol 1

…which I thought was all right…

Ah John ang tao cendol 2

…nothing sensational but we sure welcomed that after our long walk around the market on a blistering hot day.

After the tour of the market, I stopped by the Chinese Zodiac/Horoscope Park to let my friends go and take photographs (while we waited in the car) and then, we went to the Sibu Heritage Centre (which is air-conditioned)…

At the Sibu Heritage Centre

…so they could browse around the exhibition centre/museum there to gather some information about the history of Sibu, the cultures of the locals and everything else and they did drop by the handicraft and souvenir shop (where the things are cheaper than most, if not all, of the places in town…and do be prepared to bargain for discounts) and bought a few things from there…

Belian native handicraft
*Friend’s photo on Facebook*

By the time we were through here, it was already lunchtime and I wanted to take them here for the char bee lau (fragrant root) pork trotters but the place was packed to the brim and since it was a hot day, we opted for a more comfortable air-conditioned place and landed here instead. I ordered our favourites, their butter scotch prawn balls…

Ruby butter scotch prawns

…and the fried chicken with Thai-style chili sauce…

Ruby Thai-style chciken

…the fried midin with belacan

Ruby midin with belacan

…their sea cucumber soup which I personally feel is the best in town, and their Foochow-style fried noodles…

Ruby Foochow fried noodles

We had 5 dishes for 5 people and the bill for just the food came up to only RM48.00. They enjoyed everything and in their opinion, they found the food here very much nicer than at the restaurant that I took them to on their first night in town. Gee!!! This was not in the itinerary that I had prepared! It sure was a good thing that there was a change in plan and we ended up here instead.

Next stop, dinner!

Author: suituapui

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

28 thoughts on “Blast from the past…”

  1. wont go wrong wt the red ruby… but y the foochow noodle putus putus one… noodle cannot putus putus one leh… and where is the kopi O peng? So, they were not tat adventurous to eat the si’et?

    Didn’t notice that about the mee but I did think they could do a bit better with the presentation…especially for a restaurant, not some coffee shop stall. The mee here is not really the best in town – but we were coming to the end of the trip so I just ordered to let them try. There are nicer ones elsewhere. Oh yes! We had the kopi-o peng kao kao kao!!! Didn’t include in the post as I had blogged about it many times already…and luckily…or unluckily, no si’et in the market that day – probably not in season, or timing was not right. So they did not even get to see…much less eat! Will have to come again!

  2. Hardly see curry mee with hard boiled eggs here in Pg, more like taufu pok, coagulated pork blood, shrimps and cockles; some with long beans.

    Well, at least they did not say it is Penang…or KL…or wherever curry mee so it is up to them to add whatever condiments they want as long as there is curry and there is mee which is more than what I could say about places claiming to be serving Penang char kway teow…or Sarawak laksa…or Kuching kolo mee etc…etc. I love their hard-boiled egg and the deep-fried wantons…but like my friend, I am not fond of the chicken in chunky pieces – quite a hassle to eat.

  3. I’m Ok with the curry mee as I am also not a fan of cockles. Usually I will select them and put it aside till I got scolded by my makan mates. Seems like your unplanned itinerary didn’t go wrong. Well done !

    I love cockles, the bigger the better…but yes, they’re not healthy and there is all that talk about their diet…and the lead content, must be very very well-cooked but that would render them tough and not at all palatable.

    Yes, everything went well. One more post, the dinner…and then it’s the one on their last morning here, the end of the trip already. So fast! Still many things to try, many places to go…

  4. Wow, after so long the daughter can still remember you but both of you were children back then, right?

    Ya, I was surprised. I could vaguely remember her – just the father and the mobile stall…and his kantong and rojak…plus the manual ice-shredder he used and how he kept the blocks of ice in saw dust. Does that help, I wonder?

  5. Ohhh my you make me miss Malaysian food

    Oh? You’ve been here before? Nice eh, Malaysian food? 😉

    P.S.:
    Welcome, welcome. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Will link you in my blogroll. Do come again, eh?

  6. RM48 for all those scrumptious dishes, that a good deal.

    One of the comparatively cheaper places in town and what’s best is the fact that what they dish out is nice.

  7. that’s a nice story of ah john and his daughter … a delicious heritage that spans decades and generations 🙂

    Yes, good things never die – they go on and on…

  8. Wow! The food was good and RM48 was cheap! Gosh. That is 1 thing I love and going to miss about Sibu. Good food at incredible price!

    You’ve never been here, have you? Must drop by before you go back to Kuching. Text me for what you should order…or you can ask the boss or his wife what I always order, my favourites – they will be able to tell you. Hehehehehe!!!!

  9. Curry mee? I think should be ok, just that they didn’t have cockles there, like your friend mentioned.. I love my curry mee with lots of tau-pok and cockles.. Like you, I also wish they come with pig blood, but very seldom can find place that sells curry mee with pig blood here.. Like kuey teow thn’g with duck blood..

    Kway teow th’ng, I’d want the minced meat…and maybe the liver and intestine as well, not into whatever blood when it comes to that.

  10. Sibu Central market is the biggest in the country? How come I’ve never heard of it before?? OK will note it down to visit some day! 🙂

    Hah!!! Now you’re so far away – not likely that you will ever hop over, I’m sure.

    The wet and dry sections are very big, very spacious and airy – not hot and stuffy like most…and then there is the jungle produce section plus a wet section as well where the ethnic people sell their catch from the river and there’s CCK, the cold storage place that has branches even in West Malaysia selling all the frozen stuff plus a number of other shops…and then there’s the sprawling hawker centre on the first floor…and stalls selling clothes and stuff a la Jalan Petaling…and the multi-storey carpark…and I’ve heard that they have a BBQ place somewhere up there – never gone to check…and a gym and badminton courts…and dunno what else. Never really checked out every corner of the place and yes, if you include all those – it certainly is the biggest in the country.

    Don’t just take my word for it. Here, you can read the reviews on Trip Advisor:
    http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Attraction_Review-g1055332-d6415871-Reviews-Sibu_Central_Market-Sibu_Sarawak.html
    or you can check out this blog as well:
    http://lilyrianitravelholic.blogspot.com/2013/09/sibu-central-market-scm-sarawak.html

  11. Yes…Must visit Heritage Center. Behind there got nice place to snap photos too.

    ahem…why tarak bring for them to try the worm :p

    We went. Walked round the whole place, not even one. Timing no good, I guess. That time, we brought Mandy also – she so geli…but we still dragged her there. So lucky for her, not even one to be seen. 😀

    Behind there, got the place you liked, selling very pedas dried cili padi too! Didn’t bring them there though, no time…time for lunch already.

  12. Your first paragraph lost me, like why talk about that Ah John out of a sudden then go back to the present. Well, I wouldn’t mind going back to that rojak/cendol stall again and again. Being recognized by old acquaintance is good enough reason for me 😀

    Like in the movies – got flashbacks here and there…and gradually, everything comes together and falls into place. 😉

  13. Another very-worth-it meal!! Only RM48 for all that? Got prawns some more.. good to retire in Sibu… no wonder our Mayor so loaded!! hahahaa….

    Loaded, full of fat, you mean? Hehehehehehee!!!!!

  14. once upon a time i went to this Ho Ping stall and take away a few packets of ang tao chan lok, boy! that woman was not happy at all! normally i bought from the other stall, which was at the opposite end of Ho Ping, so the lady saw me on frequent basis takeaway drinks from that stall, and one fine day, I decided to give Ho Ping a try, she was not too happy at all. 😦 i was greeted with a rather sulky face.

    Oh? She was very friendly and chatty, talked non-stop and not only did she know who I was but she knew my missus and all in her family too. I did not think her ang tao cendol was much to shout about though – my sister would go all the way up there to tapao from her. On my part, I don’t think I’d go through all that trouble – prefer the ones at Thomson Corner…comparatively. You know of any other stall up there or at any place in town that is really very very good?

    1. all of them are just so-so. no consistency, sometimes ok, sometimes not. pretty much depends on the seller’s mood! but there is one stall that is better than the rest. i shall let you know the stall no. soon.

      Have you tried Thomson Corner’s? Always very good…but the last time I had, I thought it was not so great. Hopefully, it was just a bad day… 😦

  15. Ruby serve char bee lau? Will take note, maybe next time i can drop by there to have it instead of cook them ourselves.

    Actually a lot food stalls to explore at Central Market? Too many stalls, don’t know which is good and which is not.

    Not there – the corner coffee shop opposite the Chartered Bank. Some other places too but I think the one here is very nice. Not fond of the market hawker centre – the stools fixed to the floor…and when I sit, my watermelon gets in the way, cannot sit comfortably. 😦

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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