Mee sua, which literally means string/thread noodles, is very versatile. You do not have to serve it with chicken or mushroom or egg drop soup cooked with ginger and traditional Foochow red wine…

Mee sua in chicken soup
*Archive photo*

…all the time and there is, of course, the fried version…

Fried mee sua

…at some of the restaurants in town. I have had it with pek ting eyok (8-herb combination) duck soup…

Pek ting eyok duck mee sua
*Archive photo*

…as well and I often serve it dry…

Bovril mee sua
*Archive photo*

…tossed in Bovril and all the other ingredients used.

The other day, I had some in tom yam fish ball soup…

Mee sua in tom yam fishball soup

…and when I shared the photograph on Facebook, Rose was stunned…and she imagined it to be very salty. Yes, mee sua is very salty – the way many people would cook it. They would boil some water and throw the noodles in…and once, it has started to boil again and the noodles float up, they would drain it and serve. That is why they never add salt to the chicken soup to be used for serving mee sua – the noodles would make it salty enough. Other than the fact that it is rather salty, I also do not like how sticky it is and the strands would all stick together in a clump and when you pour the hot soup over it, you would have to go through the chore of loosening the strands to make them come apart…at times, not very successfully.

So what I would do would be to boil A LOT of water to cook the mee sua. Stir it well so much of the salt would dissolve and get lost in the water. Then, I would drain away the water and refill the pot with tap/filtered water to rinse the noodles so as to remove what is left of the salt and also the starchiness so as to loosen the strands. This way, they will not stick together. Of course the mee sua will be cold but if you are pouring hot soup over it, it does not really matter. For my Bovril mee sua, I would pour hot/boiling water over it to warm it up before draining it again to toss with the ingredients prepared  for the purpose.

Coming back to my mee sua in tom yam fish ball soup, that morning, I wanted to cook breakfast but there was only one packet of the instant noodles left in the pantry so I cooked the noodles and put that in a bowl for my missus. Then I cooked the mee sua and put it in another bowl for myself. There was some cabbage in the fridge so I blanched a bit of that in a pot of boiling water to serve by the side…and I also boiled some fish balls that we had in the freezer to go with our noodles. Lastly, I emptied the sachets of the oil and the seasoning into the water to make the broth for the noodles and the mee sua. It did not matter that it was for two servings instead of one – it was still sour and tasty enough with the added flavours of the fish balls and the cabbage that I had cooked in it earlier (and in fact, it did not taste as strong on the msg as usual). Then I garnished it with a sprinkling of chopped daun sup and served.

Moving on, another thing that is versatile is tofu or bean curd. There are so many ways of cooking it and that day, I decided to have it steamed. I placed the tofu on a plate and put a layer of minced meat, mixed thoroughly with chopped garlic, a few slices of ginger on top of it. On top of that, I placed some slices of salted fish (the long kiam hu variety, not the dry type) and garnished that with chopped spring onions and thinly sliced chili and daun sup. Finally, I put it into at the wok and steamed it for around half an hour and this was the end result…

Steamed tofu with salted fish

I would say it was really very nice – the “soup” that had accumulated in the process of steaming was absolutely tasty.

Well, not everything works out all that well all the time, I’m afraid – this, I just cannot deny. For our vegetable dish, I decided to cook what was left of the aforementioned cabbage the same way I had cooked the long beans and cincaluk omelette a few days earlier…

Cabbage with cincaluk egg

…and at best, I would say it was all right, nice but it came nowhere near the latter, I’m afraid. Lesson learnt, I would most definitely stick to long beans from now on.

Read all about it…

How much of what I write in each post do people actually read, I wonder? I would think generally, we are all visually-inclined. We love to see photographs like how as kids, we would love reading comics compared to books with words…words…and more words. I do think, however, that if there are too many photographs, that would lead to an overkill. As they say, too much of a good thing ain’t all that good for you.

On my part, I would usually skim and scan when I hop over to other people’s blogs to browse. I would just skim through everything quickly, speed reading or so to speak and if there is any information that I think I have missed, I would go back and scan for it…or sometimes, I would see somebody mentioning something in his or her comment and I would say, “Hey!!! I didn’t see that!!!” Then, I would go back and look for it.

I have a good memory – I always say that I look like an elephant and I have a memory like one too!!! I would remember what I have read in other blogs should I encounter the same thing again elsewhere. I don’t really know but it seems that not many people are like that. For instance, there are places and things that I have blogged about MANY times and out of the blue, somebody would ask, “Where is this place?” or “What is that?” It’s the same with the photographs I share on Facebook.

Like the other day, I uploaded this photo of some Malay kuihs (cakes) that I had bought for tea…

Malay kuih
*Snapshot taken using mobile phone camera*

These were RM1 for each type, RM4.00 altogether…and then, there were people asking what that brown thing was….or they knew of it, ate it before but they did not know what the name was.

Actually, it was in one or more of my earlier posts but of course, since there are so many, it can be quite tedious to SEARCH for it. You may have noticed that magnifying glass on the right at the top – you can just type, say kompia and click the icon and all the posts that had kompia in them would appear. Of course, if you want to look for this particular kuih, you would need to know the name. It is called kuih ederam

Kuih ederam
*Archive photo*

…here or kuih pederam or kuih deram though there may be those that I’ve seen in some blogs with only one hole in the middle like a doughnut.

The ones here are made using gula apong (attap sugar, our version of palm sugar which is not quite the same as gula Melaka in the peninsula). There was a mini-market around half a mile from my house that we called Sungai Bakong (market) after the stream that flowed by it and whenever my mum needed something, she would pack me off on my bicycle to go there and buy. It is no longer there, of course –  a fire wiped it out completely sometime ago but at the time, there was a Malay man that I used to call Haji who had a stall there and I would buy this kuih from him.  He would always have some kept bottled up in a glass jar and if I remember correctly, it was 5 sen/cent each at the time. Now, they are selling at 3 for RM1.00…with the toasted sesame seeds added. I don’t recall there being any at the time.

Incidentally, there were only two of us in the house that day so we could finish all of what I had bought so I put away the curry puffs and the kuih ederam in the fridge and heated them up in the oven the next morning for breakfast. What I discovered then was that the kuih ederam tasted a whole lot nicer after being toasted. Usually, it would be quite soft and crumbly but the heat in the oven would make the outer part crustier and the kuih very much more fragrant, probably due to the sugar in it being caramelised further, best eaten when it is slightly warm. I certainly would do that again the next time I buy some home.

Anyway, back to the post proper, there are people who would ask again and again where this place…

Bandong shops

…is even though I’ve given the location more than once in my blogposts in the past. When I told them it’s at the shops along Jalan Bandong, then they would ask where along Jalan Bandong. Good grief! Jalan Bandong is a very short road and there is only one small area there with shops – a lot of people would commune there to eat at night and we would do the same too sometimes – for the ayam penyet, pecel lele, satay and ikan bakar. I even shared an aerial map showing the location…

Aerial map: Bandong
*Archive photo*

Ah well…I guess it is easier just to ask.

Then there would be people who have seen things in my blog and when the opportunity arises for them to go for it, they would just ask me via a comment on the current post…or the post in question for the location. I would give the information usually but if it is at a place that I had blogged about before, instead of just repeating myself, I would just provide the link…and at times, one may have to hop, step and jump…via one link to another to get to what one is looking for. Old people tend to repeat themselves, I know…and I may be old but I’m not that old…yet!

Others would contact me by phone or via sms to ask me where in town they would be able to eat this or that – they had read all about it in my blog, they said. Well, if that is so, they can jolly well browse through my blog again to search for themselves but of course, it is a lot easier to call and ask…and if you think they would have the courtesy to ask me if I would like to join them (and of course, I would say no, thank you very much), think again! I am like somebody providing this kind of public service – free for all. Tsk! Tsk!

And the worse would be those who would come and disagree with you and insist something else somewhere would be a whole lot nicer…like the kampua noodles that I like very much here

RTM Cafe kampua
*Archive photo*

…as opposed to the one that seems to be very much more popular here

Hock Lok Hong kampua
*Archive photo*

…or they would insist to no end that a certain brand of instant kampua noodles is a lot better than The Kitchen’s, seeing that I’ve blogged about the latter a lot as if I have vested interest in the enterprise, just to state a few examples…and maybe I am over-sensitive but it come across as if they are implying that I am so so so wrong and they are so so so right even though I have always stated time and time again that one man’s meat is another man’s poison – to each his own!  Note that I NEVER ever say something is THE best – I would always say it is my favourite…or the best, in my opinion. More often than not, it is not what they say but how they say it – they could have just said that they like that one some place else more and suggest that I go and try and that would be more civil and a whole lot more pleasant.

Well, unlike many other bloggers, I’m not making any money out of my blog so who knows, one fine day, when enough is enough, I may just decide to call it quits…for good. As they say, it is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Good thing going…

Everybody is moaning and groaning about the rising prices of everything…but despite all that, it sure looks like these people have a good thing going. If I’m not mistaken, they’re the same people running this relatively new coffee place…and I heard they had connections here too but they insisted they were only helping around, giving them advice on things there. Well, they’ve opened a sparkling new Italian place in town

La Vino

…back to back with this one that I’ve blogged about twice…here and here.

Well, when my girl was home for the weekend, I drove there in the hope that we could check this new place out and try what would be good on their menu. Unfortunately, when we got there, they told us that they were not open for lunch (temporarily) and asked us to come back that evening – they would only open for business at 6. Sighhhhhh!!!!

Anyway, since we had our minds set on pizza, we went back to the old place where they had put up a new sign…

Bistecca & Bistro new sign

Hmmmm….don’t the bright colours look kind of familiar? Like the ones used by one brand of pasta or pizza place or something?

We took our seats at the table…

Bistecca & Bistro table setting

…by the glass panel/window for better lighting despite the fact that they had let the blinds down…and promptly placed our orders.

To start off, we had their Ceasar salad (RM15.00)…

Bistecca & Bistro Ceasar's salad

…which was nice but this time around, they had mashed the egg. I remember on our previous visits, they served the egg on top, whole and we had to do it ourselves. I think I would prefer that.

I also asked for this aglio olio bacon mushroom pasta (RM16.00)…

Bistecca & Bistro aglio olio bacon mushroom pasta

…so that we would have something more filling along with the pizza…

Bistecca & Bistro pizza braccio di ferro 1

…that we had. The pasta was great and sure was a welcome change from the usual tomato-based bolognese or the overly rich and creamy sauces. We agreed that it tasted better with a generous sprinkling of the parmesan cheese provided and there was a hint of spiciness from the bits of chili in the dish. All in all, we quite liked it and sure would not mind having it again next time.

My girl wanted their pizza braccio di ferro (RM29.00)…

Bistecca & Bistro pizza braccio di ferro 2

…with the egg on top though it was a little overdone this time around. It did not really matter though as it sure tasted great too this way.

The total came up to RM61.00, iced water is FOC here, and while I was settling the bill, I asked the staff about that new place of theirs. They said that they would open at 10.00 a.m. and they did not know why we were told otherwise. Another thing that they told me that would be of general interest would be the fact that there would be new chefs at the new place and the original chefs here would be staying put at this outlet “to maintain the standard of their quality“, in their own words. Hmmm….if that is the case, I think I’d just stick to this one then. We’ll see.

A parting shot, I liked the very pleasant and friendly staff that day – one girl and a boy with a rather trendy haircut, and I was glad the two that I spoke to were conversant in English unlike a couple that I had encountered here before…but I do wish they would turn the music down. I loved it when they were playing some very nice Italian songs once and I did not mind their selection of oldies including Whitney’s “I will always love you”…and on other occasions, they played Westlife or Taylor Swift but this time around, they played Maroon 5 and…Uptown Funk, full blast and it sure felt like I was in da’club, not at some (classy fine) dining joint. Make no mistake, I do love that funky Matt Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars) song but surely there is a time and place for such upbeat numbers.

With or without you…

I still have some of the nyonya sauce I got from my friend, Merryn, left sitting in the fridge so I decided to use it to fry some rice…

Nyonya sauce fried rice

…with it one morning and it turned out really nice and I was thinking to myself that it would be nice to cook the same way using bihun and prawns. I did try using the sauce with bihun once but if you click the first link above, you would see that it was a different style – with gravy like Singapore nyonya mee siam.

Anyway, my girl came home for the weekend and I wanted to fry it for breakfast. Unfortunately, there were no prawns in the freezer – my missus said that she could not get hold of any at the shop round the corner from my house. Well, I decided to just go ahead and fry it, with or without the prawns…

Nyonya sauce bihun 1

…and these were the ingredients I used…


From left to right, clockwise, I had the leftover nyonya sauce, a handful of ikan bilis (dried anchovies), fish cake slices, serai (lemon grass) stalks, bruised, one shallot – peeled and sliced, two cloves of garlic – peeled and chopped, a spoonful of pounded chili, one chili, thinly sliced and some Thai basil leaves and spring onions which I later cut into fine bits for use.

I fried the ikan bilis in a bit of oil till golden brown and removed to use for garnishing later and after that, I fried the shallot and garlic. Once browned, I added the serai, a spoonful of the nyonya sauce, the fish slices, basil leaves and sliced chili in that order, saving a bit of the last one for garnishing as well. After I had mixed all those together and cooked them thoroughly, I put in the bihun (soaked to soften) followed by the pounded chili. Then, I added some egg white – my missus had been making cookies for the coming Chinese New Year and she only used the yolks, keeping the white in the fridge…so I thought I would just use that. Otherwise, two eggs would have been just right.

When everything had been done nicely, I added the chopped spring onions, also saving a bit for garnishing and a pinch of msg…and finally, I dished everything out onto a plate…

Nyonya sauce bihun 2

…and garnished it with the ikan bilis, sliced chili and chopped spring onion…

Nyonya sauce bihun 3

…that I had saved for the purpose.

Everybody loved it, despite there being no prawns. I guess with all the fragrant ingredients used, one just can’t go wrong, with or without those crustaceans.

365 days of a year…

The other day, I noticed this on my dashboard: Check out the fireworks you created on your 2014 Annual Report so I clicked on it and this was what I got…

2014 Annual Report 1

Gee! That was nice, I thought.

I scrolled down and saw this…

2014 Annual Report 2

Of course, I had a post a day, 365 days in a year without fail…and at the time of writing, the total number of posts has already increased to 2,573 from the day the report was published.

According to them, these were the posts that got the most number of views in the year…

2014 Annual Report 3

Top on the list was that time in 2013 when I was so pissed off with our national courier, Poslaju Malaysia as the consignment I sent to Seremban in Negeri Sembilan took almost a week to arrive despite its assurance that it would arrive the very next day – Dijamin sampai hari esok. I am surprised that there were still people reading it in 2014.

Now, it certainly was with very much interest to note that one very old post of mine was next on the list – this one features a patriotic poem that I wrote way before I retired from government service/teaching and since its publication, I have had people asking for permission to use it at their school assemblies, come August 31st or September 16th every year. You can see some of them in the comments on that post.

Third came the post on the making of The Kitchen’s instant kampua noodles. Hmmm…I certainly did not expect that to get so many views. I guess this and all the rest that I had on the noodles must have helped in some small way in promoting them to the general public so much so that the man behind the venture, Eric, saw it fitting to give me a special dinner treat even though he was not obliged in any way to do anything of the sort. That certainly was so sweet and generous of him.

The fourth on the list was written during that very sad time in the year with the extremely tragic and untimely passing of a very very dear friend of mine, Jimmy. It has almost been a year now and ever so often, I still think of him and there have been times when I missed him, his infectious laughter and his delightful company so much and I will never ever forget his selflessness, his readiness to be there whenever anyone needed him and of course, his unsurpassed generosity. He certainly was  a true friend, one that is so very hard to find, if at all that is possible. Without a second thought, I knew then that I just had to make the trip to his hometown for his funeral to see him one more time and bid him the last farewell…and to this day, the question remains – WHY?

Number 5 is another post on The Kitchen’s instant kampua noodles. I guess when people google for it, they will get the links to my blog so in a way, it has helped in increasing the traffic to my blog…or so it seems, not that it matters much to me as mine is not a money-spinning blog unlike those monetised ones that are desperate for an avalanche of views so they would be able to earn more. Right now, the total number of views has gone past 1.5 million, over 1,592,000 to be exact and the comments on the numerous posts currently totals around 72,000 with the best day in 2014 being Tuesday, February 18th, 2014. the day of Jimmy’s funeral.

Now where did all these people come from?

2014 Annual Report 4

According to the chart, they came from all over the globe, 152 countries altogether but the majority came from Malaysia with “Australia and the United States not far behind“.

Ironically, the posts that garnered the most number of comments in 2014 was Say something – a wordless post…and yet, many certainly had a lot to say about it, 56 comments altogether. LOL!!! Many came, some went…and according to the report, in 2014, these were the top commenters for the year…

2014 Annual Report 5

Hmmmm….it would be interesting to see the list in 2015. Will it still comprise this same 5 people or would they be knocked off the pedestal by some newbies to the blog? That, we will have to wait and see.

So, that wraps up 2014 – thank you all for your support, for never failing to drop by and most of all, for commenting – your comments are what keep me going, I assure you. Otherwise, it would feel like I am sitting here talking to myself and yes, I may be old but I am not that old yet and I am certainly not ready to go in that direction just yet. Cheers to all!

Can we do it again…

Some of my ex-students, the ones I taught in Form 2 in Kanowit in 1982 who invited me to their reunion a few nights earlier, contacted me and asked me if I could join them for dinner again as a few of them would be leaving to go back to their stations.

This time around, they chose to gather at this café…

Cafe Cafe, Sibu

where I had lunch not too long ago with my girl and her mum. The difference was that this was at night and the place was so dimly-lit that it was near impossible to take some decently good pictures to share…and I am never fond of using flash as the snapshots would not look so great.

Ok…ok…before anyone starts asking, here’s a photograph of the group…

Group photo

Hands up if you can spot me in the picture. LOL!!! We had no choice but to use the flash for this one, of course, but for the rest, I tried to manage without…and due to the insufficient light, some did not come out too well and had to be done away with.

The ladies ordered their pineapple fried rice…

CafeCafe pineapple fried rice

…and goodness gracious! This place is noted for its HUGE servings and that one plate would be enough for around six people to share and they ordered two plates of it! I did not think it was really great – I’ve had better elsewhere (though I enjoyed those two meatballs that you may be able to see at the far end) – and I still think their cincaluk (fermented shrimps) fried rice…

CafeCafe cincaluk fried rice

…still takes the cake. This one is not as big as the aforementioned – I would think there would be enough for two…or three or four for small eaters or if one is ordering some other dishes to go with it just like what we did.

They also asked for two of this dish of ladies’ fingers in sambal

CafeCafe sambal ladies fingers

…which was very nice, possibly better than any other place in town. There were also two of the other dish – bitter gourd in egg gravy that looked something like wat tan hor or ying yong, but the photograph turned out blur. Anyway, it wasn’t a sight to behold – the slices of bitter gourd were drowned in the gravy and were barely visible.

I asked for their tuna toast…

CafeCafe tuna toast

…that I remember was one of their most popular items on their menu before though I am not too sure whether it still is now. In fact, I don’t recall it looking like this but it did not matter one bit as yes, it was still as good as before.

Another favourite at this place is the mee mamak

CafeCafe mee mamak
*Sorry, blurry pic*

…which I felt was a tad too sweet but the ladies thought otherwise. In fact, one of them liked it so much that she immediately placed an order for another plate to take home, along with an additional order for this chao chai hung ngang with prawns…

CafeCafe chao chai hung ngang, prawns

…as well – they all loved it a lot. The guys begged to differ though – it was nice, no doubt, but we thought it was a little too sour for us. Ah well! Women are from Venus, men are from Mars…or so they say.

Needless to say, it was a delightful evening and like the previous time, there was so much to catch up with and to talk about…and somebody did suggest that they should get together like this at least once a year. I certainly enjoyed myself…on both occasions, the reunion earlier and this one as well. Thanks again to one and all!

A new level…

My girl came home as usual last weekend, the first after school reopened for the new academic year.

We were out that Saturday in question and for lunch, she wanted the nasi kerabu

Sri Tanjung nasi kerabu, chicken

here, RM5.50 for chicken and RM5.00 for fish.

It sure seemed to be getting very popular as it was very crowded with customers coming and going the whole time we were there. It did not help one bit that there were only two girls working at a snail’s pace…and I was really put off by the sight of the face of one of them. She looked so so so unhappy and was cold and unfriendly. It sure took a lot of effort on my part not to give her a piece of my mind…and she was lucky that my girl was around – I knew she, being so good-natured (unlike the father) would not like me making a scene so I had no choice but to refrain from doing that.

It probably would help a bit if they had a better system – for instance, I saw her going to the kitchen at the back to get the rice plate by plate…and bringing them to the stall in front…plate by plate…where she would arrange all the condiments and sauces…one…by…one…plate by plate…and at the pace she was going, it certainly came as no surprise at all that when it was FINALLY served, the keropok (prawn cracker) had gone a little bit limp.

This is the only place in town serving this for lunch and that too, it would only be on Saturdays…and if not for the fact that it is very nice and we do enjoy eating it very much, we certainly would not bother going back at all. While waiting, I went next door to this place to buy their prawn fritters…

Sunny Cafe prawn fritters

They have been selling them at 4 for RM1.00 for a while now ( used to be 5 for RM1.00) and this time around, we did not think they were as good as before. Maybe they had new workers on the job but the batter was a bit different and the prawn in each of them was very small and quite bland/tasteless…but at least, those kept us occupied – munching on a few of them while waiting for the nasi kerabu that took a long time coming.

After having had our lunch, we went to a bookstore in town as my girl had to buy some visual aids for use in class. I did not want to go in so I just waited for her on the pavement outside the shop. In the meantime, a young boy came along pulling a trolley full of these pulut panggang

Pulut panggang

…that he was selling at RM1.00 each and RM1.50 for the ones with sambal inside.

It had been raining on and off all morning and it was already way past noon, almost 1.00 p.m. and the poor thing still had so much left so I bought some from him even though I knew it would not be good – there’s only one that is really very good and that’s Kate’s but no, they do not make theirs regularly (not even on special order) so those would be really hard to come by. I tried them when I got home and to my delight, they were not too bad. They were not overcooked, like some that I had had before, till the rice became hard and not palatable but yes, it was not lemak enough as that would have brought it to a whole new level – one that would surely get me looking for the boy and grabbing more from him.

The next day, Sunday, we sent my girl back to her school. She did not want to bring the prawn fritters along with her since they were not all that nice or she had other plans of her own for her meals during the week so we had them ourselves at home and for our vegetable dish, I cooked my version of the long bean omelette. I had blogged about the simple original (Foochow) version sometime last year where minimal ingredients were used. This time around, I had these…


Clockwise, from left to right, I used 3 eggs, finely-chopped garlic (3 cloves), a handful of ikan bilis (dried anchovies), chilies and long beans, finely sliced, a spoonful of cincaluk (fermented shrimps) and spring onions, finely chopped.

I beat the three eggs well, adding the cincaluk and the spring onions to it…and put it aside. You may want to add a pinch of msg to it if you wish but do not add any more salt as the cincaluk is salty enough. I heated up some oil in a wok and fried the ikan bilis and the garlic till golden brown before adding the long beans and the chilies…

Step 1

I fried them till the long beans were cooked and whatever moisture there was in the wok had dried up before spreading it all out and adding the eggs…

Step 2

Make sure that you beat the eggs well before pouring as some of the cincaluk might have settled at the bottom. Once it had been fried enough on one side and had turned into a nice golden brown, I loosened it from the wok using the ladle…

Step 3

…and turned it over to cook and brown the other side as well.

Unfortunately, I’m not good at flipping such things over so it fell apart and did not stay in one piece…

Step 4

Never mind, I just went on cooking it and once, it was all nicely cooked on all sides, I dished it out onto a plate and served…

Long bean omelette with cincaluk and ikan bilis

Needless to say, this would be a head above the original recipe as the cincaluk and the ikan biliis added would bring the taste to a new level and I, for one, certainly enjoyed it a lot more, cooked this way.

Time passes by…

…real quickly when you’re having fun and that certainly was true as far as my girl’s end-of-year holiday was concerned. All too soon, it was time for her to pack up and go back to her school to start the new academic year but the Saturday before that Sunday, we did get to drop by this restaurant for lunch.

Of course, we had her favourite sweet and sour fish fillet…

Y2K sweet & sour fish

– she likes the one here the most.

We also had the sweet potato leaves…

Y2K sweet potato leaves

…that we also had the last time we were here. It seemed that she actually liked them a lot and asked why we never cooked those leaves at home. Well, actually we did and I had blogged about (cooking and) eating them many times before at home…or in some other restaurants like this one, for instance. At one time, my friend’s wife grew them and had a lot and she would always give us some time and time again but after she moved house, we had not been getting any from her anymore and we just stopped cooking our own. Somehow or other, for no obvious reason, we never got round to buying them whenever we went marketing.

For a change, we had their tofu

Y2K tofu

…which was very nice and for the soup, we decided to try their chao chai (preserved vegetables) with egg…

Y2K chao chai egg soup

Usually, we would have this with chicken or fish…or seafood but this was the first time we were having it with egg and I must say they did it really well. We certainly enjoyed it.

Many seem to have the idea that this place is a bit more expensive than elsewhere and that explains why the one next door is always full while this one isn’t all that popular even though the food is pretty good. Well, I forked out around RM45.00 that day for the four dishes for three persons and the soup came in such a huge bowl that we could not finish it despite having at least two servings each and had to tapao more than half of it home. Expensive or not, as long as what they dish out is consistently great, we certainly would not mind coming back here again…and again…and again, that’s for sure.

Flashback to the morning of the day in question, I went out early to my regular Malay kueh stall at Bandong to get this steamed delight wrapped in banana leaf (3 for RM1.00)…

Bandong kueh

…for my girl for breakfast as she tried it the previous time and loved it a lot. Personally, I thought they were a little bit nicer the first time around but they were still nice.

They informed me that they had this nasi lemak (RM1.00 a packet)…

Bandong nasi lemak

…from some newbie so I bought a packet to try but I would not say that I liked it. The sambal was very spicy but it was salty – I prefer the slightly sweet version of the sambal with my nasi lemak, plus there wasn’t any hard-boiled egg which I would consider to be the standard condiment as far as nasi lemak is concerned. The bottom line is I would still choose to stick to the ones with the nice sotong sambal (RM1.50 a packet) that I would usually buy from here.

While I was there, I also spotted these red velvet cupcakes (RM2.50)…

Bandong red velvet cupcakes

They were all right, that much I would say, and at that price, I think I would stick to our much cheaper and nicer local kuehs.

The following day, Sunday, we left the house very early at around 6.45 a.m. to drive my girl back to her school as she had work to do at 9.00 a.m. – the pupils were reporting that morning…and while she was at it, the mum and I spent the time cleaning her quarters from top to bottom so she could settle in comfortably and get ready to start the new academic year the very next day.


I dropped by this place once a long long time ago (2010) and somehow or other, I never went back again until one other time when we had some dim sum there (2012) but did not think it was worth a second round. But we’ve dropped by a few times lately because we love the steamed paos (buns) here…

Pahlawan Cafe steamed buns 1

Well, it so happened that sometime last week, I was up and about at 6 something in the morning as I had offered to pick up my friend, Philip, to go and buy some kompia and then send him to the airport for his flight to KL, in transit back to the US. Having done that, I decided I would stop by here on the way home as I had not had any breakfast and I felt like having some of those buns…

Pahlawan Cafe steamed buns 2

…but unfortunately, the young chap said that they were all sold out – at 7 something in the morning!

Ah well!!! Since I was already there, I thought I would just check out the place to see if there was anything nice that I could have. The Malay stall was open but all the rest were closed including this one…

Pahlawan Cafe chicken chop stall

…but this one in front by the side to the right of the coffee shop was open too…

Pahlawan Cafe noodle stall

…and I decided to try this (RM3.50)…

Pahlawan Cafe noodles 1

…which the guy said were noodles that he made himself…

Pahlawan Cafe noodles 2

…and I could have a choice of either white or black. Of course, I chose the white. The noodles were very firm, chewy and springy – nothing like our usual kampua noodles but I felt it would be much nicer if the oil used to toss them in had been stronger as far as the fragrance of lard and fried shallots was concerned. As it was, it came across rather mild/bland but with the chili sauce, I thought it was all right.

Then I spotted the pao guy serving one to a customer at another table so I asked him in Mandarin and he said there were only the char siew ones (RM1.80)…

Pahlawan Cafe char siew pao 1

…and without any second thought, I decided to have one…

Pahlawan Cafe char siew pao 2

…and yes, it was very good indeed.

After I had finished that, I went into the shop as I wanted to buy some home but the guy said there weren’t any more (except for a few tau sar or red bean paste ones) and that was what he said in the first place and I just ate one!!! I really wondered how the paos suddenly miraculously appeared out of nowhere. Tsk! Tsk!

Then I spotted four BIG ones (RM2.50)…

Pahlawan Cafe meat pao 1

…in one of the bamboo steamers with a green dot on top of each of them so I asked him what they were and he said something like lor with egg so I assumed those must have stewed pork filling and I bought all of them home.

When I ate one at home, it turned out that it had minced meat filling…

Pahlawan Cafe meat pao 2

…with a bit of egg. Maybe the guy said rou pao (meat bun) and I had misunderstood him, I wouldn’t know. It was very nice as well but I think I would much rather pay 60 sen less and settle for the char siew ones.

On my way home, I managed to snap this photograph of this new outlet of our very own Sarawak fast food franchise…

Sugar Bun drive-thru' Sibu

…located at the end of Pahlawan Road, right beside the traffic lights at its t-junction with Oya Road. This big place is actually a drive thru’ restaurant but one can dine in, should one choose to do so, and from the banner, it appears that it has a special place for kids to play and have fun. I hear they do not have the spin-off, the Red Carrot, there though – I would very much prefer that as there are more to choose from and I do like some of what they have on their regular menu.

I went on my way and drove home happily after having had my fill…which was more than enough to last through lunch so I decided to just skip it that day, believe you me! Hehehehehehe!!!


I was amazed when Daniel told me that he did not get to eat Sarawak laksa when he was in Kuching…and the kolo mee he had was not as nice as the kampua noodles that I took him to eat the day before? Gee!!! His friends never took him to eat the best in town? Maybe they were all busy with the wedding, I wouldn’t know…or they’re those that would eat anything, not overly particular when it comes to food.

Anyway, that was why when I went to pick them up at the hotel the next morning, I took them here for the laksa

Thomson Corner Sarawak laksa

Of late, I’ve heard of another place that they say is very nice but I have not gone to try so I did not want to take the risk. This one here is like the real thing, as good as any of the best in the state capital but many prefer the one that I took my Singaporean friends to go and try as it is more lemak (more santan/coconut milk), something Sarawak laksa should not be…or it would be more like curry laksa then. The taste isn’t quite there either but no, I am not saying it is not nice. In fact, it is very very very nice but if it’s the authentic taste of Sarawak laksa that you are looking for, that one’s not really like the laksa you’d find in Kuching. They enjoyed this one, Lina especially – different from the curry laksa they have over there in Australia, they said. Of course, they’re different…and yes, they did think this was nicer!

I also ordered the kompia with minced meat filling…

Thomson Corner stuffed kompia

…for them. They said they had that at the pasar malam (night market) the night before but those would be deep-fried ones (and I’ve tried one from a stall there but it was rather salty) whereas these were oven-toasted. Daniel did say the taste of the filling was not the same either.

We also had the sotong kangkong

Thomson Corner sotong kangkong

…which they had never tried before but they did not seem too thrilled by it. I am not a fan of the one here either – the sauce is way too thick, too much cornstarch but when you’re here for 2 days/1 night only, you would need to cram everything in as much as you can.

I had the nasi lemak

Thomson Corner nasi lemak 1

…and the sambal was nice but it was the salty version, not the sweet one, with the ikan bilis in it, not with the peanuts…

Thomson Corner nasi lemak 2

…and they served it with a fried egg, not a hard-boiled one. The rice was ok, not really lemak enough but it was fine. All in all, I remember Daniel paying RM21.60 (around AUD8.00) for all that we had, inclusive of drinks.

After that, we headed to the Sibu Central Market and look!!! We’re in luck!!! Big, fat, juicy, wriggling…

Sibu Central market sago worms

…sago worms!!! The lady at this stall insisted on selling them by the basin, around 20 of them altogether, but we only wanted one…for our hero of the day!

Eventually, we found another stall where the lady was willing to part with one for RM1.00, specially for our Australian visitor…

Daniel & the sago worm 1
*He looks kind of worried/scared, doesn’t he?*

…to try and he did!!!…

Daniel & the sago worm 2

He popped it into his mouth, bit off the head and threw that away…and ate the rest of it. Eyewwwww!!!!! LOL!!! The ladies said it would be nicer if it had been dry pan-fried first – I’ve tried that but no, thank you. Daniel said it was quite tasteless, like eating a piece of fat…but if you ask me, I would say that it tastes something like Parson’s nose/chicken butt. Some people love those, I know…but no, thank you very much.

They did not want to try the buah isu that my Singaporean friends tried the other day but I spotted some very nice buah pakan/pakon (wild durian)…

Buah pakan

…and got one for RM8.00 and insisted that they should give it a go…

Daniel & buah pakan

…and yes, they loved it! The one we had here was very good, not like the ones at the Durin Bridge that day.

They sure had an interesting tour of the market after which we adjourned to the Tua Pek Kong wharf to look at the floating grocery stores…and the park in the vicinity of the temple…

Tua Pek Kong temple park

…and then I took them to a nearby longhouse in Aup…

Aup longhouse

The one here is definitely more authentic, unspoilt and not all spruced up for the benefit of tourists and visitors. It started raining cats and dogs when we got there so I let the two go up and look around on their own. They did meet a very nice man who spoke to them and shared some background information of this longhouse with them…and yes, Daniel said that there were skulls hanging from the ceiling!

After that, I dropped the two off in town to roam around on their own and that night, they took a bus to Miri…