How good it was…

I had been wanting to give this…

Mamee Chef curry laksa noodles 1

…a try to see how good it was ever since I saw that it had made the Top 10 list in somebody’s blog in 2014, Number 7 to be exact, and I also heard that it won some kind of award locally as well.

Why, it has also been endorsed by our own Malaysian celebrity chef, Chef Ismail…

Chef Ismail

…mind you! But of course, the test of the pudding is in the eating so at long last, I finally got round to grabbing a pack to cook.

A pack of 4 packets was selling at RM5.30 each or RM1.325 per packet at one of the shops round the corner from my house. I’ve noticed that the prices of these things may vary depending on where you buy them – some may be cheaper while others, more expensive. Inside each packet, you will find the noodles and these sachets…

Sachets

…of the oil, the seasoning and the garnishing.

Of course, I cooked the noodles separately, drained it well and put it in a  bowl. Then I cooked the egg, peeled and placed that by the side and after that, I cooked the soup. I boiled some water and added some fish balls that I had in the fridge and then, I added all the contents in the three sachets. Once it was done, I poured it into the bowl with the noodles and egg and served…

Mamee Chef curry laksa noodles 2

I thought it tasted all right – more like curry noodles than curry laksa, I would say as it was not on the lemak (rich with santan/coconut milk) side unlike the one that was No. 1 in previous years…or this one that managed to grab the top spot last year but its popularity seems to have dwindled and the prices have dropped drastically. For one thing, I do know that some people get put off (jelak) by the excessive lemak-ness (richness) of the soup and could barely finish half in the end. Thankfully, there did not seem to be any santan in this one even though when I was cooking the soup I was quite positive I could smell it – the smell of over-cooked coconut milk or santan powder that I am not particularly fond of.

The tofu pok wasn’t as big as what they show in the photo on the pack/packet and it was kind of hard, nothing like fresh tofu pok so I wouldn’t mind one bit if they had not included that. I must say that I liked the noodles though – what they call mi tarek (pulled noodles). It is firmer and very much nicer than the regular instant noodles that my missus says smells like (ordinary/common) biscuits.

My egg was perfectly done – no, it wasn’t poached, it was half-boiled/cooked…

Half-boiled egg

…the way I love it! The white was hard and the yolk was still soft and runny.

All in all, I would say it was, at best, o.k…

Mamee Chef curry laksa noodles 3

Maybe it was better in some negligible ways, nothing all that sensational and at that price, I think I would just stick to the cheaper ones and derive just as much satisfaction, more or less, without feeling the pinch.

We found love…

This bakery here used to be called WeCare but they have progressed to WeLove…

WeLove

…it seems. I do like the new name better, I must say, as the old one always reminded me of some nursing home for the elderly. I asked one of the girls there whether there had been a switch of owner or management or what but she said no, everything’s still the same – only the name has been changed.

This is one of my favourite bakeries in town and we would drop by quite regularly for some of the things here that we enjoy like these so-called Italy pockets…

WeLove Italy pockets

…which are actually slices of ham, cheese and lettuce in some kind of pita-bread. If anyone is wondering where this is, the main one is located in the Sibu Bus Terminal area, opposite the Public Bank branch there but they have branches at the Medan Mall (in the supermarket) and also at Sungai Merah, near the Everwin Supermarket there (next block) and I know there’s one in the Farley (Salim) area as well – somewhere on the other side of the road from the MayBank branch, next to the 100% Discount Store.

Of course, being this time of the year, the place was flooded with all kinds of cookies…

WeLove Chinese New Year cookies

…and layer cakes…

WeLove layer cakes

…for Chinese New Year.

No, we didn’t buy any. My girl bought one of her favourites here – the sandwich bun to the right of the Italy pockets which basically has the same filling. She probably prefers the bun to the pita bread. That day, I was delighted to see that they still had a few ma-ngee (horse hoof) aka butterfly fritters…

WeLove ma-ngee

…left. Theirs are so popular that every day, they would be sold out so very quickly…and they are only available at 1.30 p.m. daily. Do make sure that you go there around that time and not later than 2.00 p.m. if you hope to get hold of some. The ones here are really HUGE and though I would not say they are exactly like the traditional old school ones that we used to love, these are very nice as well. The locals have a not-very-flattering name for them – pelir kambing (goat’s testicles). LOL!!!

I spotted some pulut panggang

WeLove pulut panggang

…as well, RM1.20 each which is 20 sen more expensive than the price elsewhere generally. They sure looked good so I simply had to grab some to try. Unfortunately, I would not say it was a whole lot nicer than those I had had elsewhere – yes, it was very well cooked with the very nice panggang (cooked over hot burning charcoal) fragrance but no, it was not lemak (rich with santan/coconut milk) enough. The one I had was a tad salty but my girl had one and hers was all right – I guess they did not mix the salt too well.

And talking about Chinese New Year, I must thank my cousin in Perth, Australia and her family and my old friend in Kuching (we go all the way back to the 70’s and he has never failed to send me one every year) and his family for the lovely Chinese New Year cards…

Chinese New Year cards

My cousin sent me one for Christmas and it arrived around a fortnight later so this time, she’s not taking any chances and sent hers early – with our snail mail, literally, these days, one just can’t take any chances. It’s the early bird that catches the worm, they say. Qong Xi Fa Cai from me and my family to you two and yours as well – may God bless all of you abundantly with good luck, good health and prosperity in the coming Year of the Goat. Cheers!!!

Me and my uncle…

Well, actually it wasn’t MY uncle but Uncle Teh or Uncle Teh’s Corner, to be exact – the place that we went to for lunch last Saturday. If you’re too lazy to click the link to check its location, this coffee shop is located in the vicinity of the Sibu Bus Terminal among the shops opposite Everwin Supermarket right next to the Nissan showroom there.

I was there once and when my girl was home for the weekend, she said that she felt like having some pek koi (white cake)…

Uncle Teh's Corner char pek koi

…and I remember having that there. She quite liked it and said it was pretty good but what she had in mind was the black version with soy sauce and egg, something like char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles). I guess that would have to wait till the next time she comes home or some other time then.

My missus had the Foochow-style fried noodles…

Uncle Teh's Corner Foochow fried noodles

…and she said it was good. The total for the two came up to RM7.50 but I did not ask how much each one was specifically.

I could recognise the kampua lady there but no, we did not order anything from her stall – she was at this place opposite Sacred Heart School a long time ago and then, she was here. Gee! She does move around a lot, it seems.

The chicken and barbecued/roast meat rice stall sure seemed mighty popular so I decided to order from there to give it a try.  The siew yoke (roast pork)…

Uncle Teh's Corner - siew yoke

…was good – my girl sure had her fair share of that but the barbecued pork ribs and Chinese sausages (香腸 – xiāng cháng)…

Uncle Teh's Corner barbecued ribs & sausages

…were, at best, quite all right…in our honest opinion. I would very much prefer what I can get at the stall at Mei Le – round the corner from Delta Mall into Jalan Gambir, on the left…except that they have not made those Chinese sausages for a long while now.

They certainly were very generous with the rice…

Uncle Teh's Corner chicken rice

– that was such a huge scoop, really…and the complimentary soup with a hint of salted vegetables was nicer than the bland, almost tasteless ones that I had had elsewhere. One thing I must say is that the chili dip was really good, nicer than any anywhere…and that certainly was the saving grace. Everything sure tasted good…with the chili dip. In total, I paid RM15.00 for all that meat for 3 persons and the rice.

All things considered, we might drop by again should we happen to be in that part of town…and even then, maybe we would choose to go to the many other places all around that area instead but I would not think we would not make our way back there on purpose for any of the things that we have tried.

Fishy…

We got a can of this…

Fischeon 1

…from my niece who’s currently working in Singapore – Fischeon…or luncheon meat made of fish and as you can guess from the lion icon/logo, this was made in the island republic…

Manufacturer

…though I am not familiar with the address and do not know exactly where that is. “See end of can“? Hmmm…’nuff said! Hehehehehe!!!!!

All this while, we did not bother to give it a try as I had bought a can of the chicken version, made in Singapore too…and though it tasted fine, I was kind of put off by its softness. It was kind of wobbly or jelly-like as if there was not all that meat in it, mostly skin and fat…and besides, it certainly did not come cheap.

 Well, the other day, I finally made up my mind to open it and see what it was like…

Fischeon 2

Hmmm….it looked kind of pale and not so appealing, I would say. The smell was good though.

I sliced it up and fried it in a non-stick pan…

Pan-fried, dry

…in order that I would have a nice harder and crustier layer on the outside. When I do this with the meat (pork) version, the fat would melt and the oil would come out but with this one, there was none of that.

Once that was done, I cut the slices into bite-size pieces and got the other ingredients ready…

Fischeon & others

– half a Bombay onion and one chili, thinly sliced, spring onion, finely chopped, some Thai basil leaves, cut into bits and two eggs.

I beat the eggs in a bowl and added the spring onion to the batter and then I fried the Bombay onion in a little bit of oil before adding the chili and the basil leaves before putting in the Fischeon and after mixing everything and stir-frying a bit, I poured in the eggs. Once the eggs were done, I dished it all out…

Fischeon 3

I would say it still did not look as nice as the regular luncheon meat that we are more familiar with like this one or this, for example and even the chicken one looked a lot better but as far as the taste went – this tasted very good! No, it did not taste the same – it had its own taste of fish and the texture was not really like fish cake, more like meat or luncheon meat…

Fischeon 4

All in all, I would say we did enjoy it but especially considering that it would not come cheap, nothing from Singapore ever is, I would definitely stick to our regular luncheon meat.

Moving away from the topic in question for a bit, I’ve blogged about this sometime ago in 2011 but I guess there’s no harm repeating. This is the Horlicks honey cake…

Bandong Horlicks honey cake

…which is a variation of the more familiar kek batek (batek cake) with the layers of biscuits used in the making and instead of the usual chocolate, they have used Horlicks and honey and whatever else…and personally, I do think this is nicer than the regular kek batek.

Well, if you’re thinking of stocking up on cakes for your Chinese New Year open house, this, in my opinion, is a good one to go for – very much cheaper than all/most of the kek lapis (layer cakes) , now RM16 for a rectangular block as compared to RM14.00 many years ago, and available exclusively at my regular Malay kuih stall at Bandong here. I probably would grab a loaf/block or two myself.

Lucky star…

Yeah!!! My lucky star must be shining brightly ‘cos I won something in a contest and that’s not something that happens all that often!

aforadio, the online radio station that some of you may be familiar with, was holding a contest – the 12 Days of Christmas on AFO Live whereby listeners would need to share a photograph on Facebook and hashtag the station’s link, that was all! It would have to be a snapshot of one’s favourite dish AND a Christmas tree in one picture though, not just any picture, so I looked into my archives and found this one…

Christmas fruit cake

Ok, there was a fruit cake, the favourite of many, and a Christmas tree…plue a snowman holding a smaller one thrown in for good measure. Absolutely perfect! I promptly submitted that…and waited patiently for the results…and hey, I won! I won! LOL!!!

The postman came honking at my gate yesterday and he handed me this big thing…

From aforadio

…and inside, there was a t-shirt…

aforadio t-shirt

…size S so of course, that is too small for me and no prize for guessing who would be getting it. I love the frame that was in the shape of one of those old school black vinyl records…complete with the record sleeve (cover)!

Then, there was this tote bag  as well…

aforadio tote bag

…which certainly would come in handy when we go out shopping…and it would be so environment-friendly too as we would need any of those plastic bags that they always give out at the shops. Ain’t that great?

Last but not least, there was this…

aforadio prize voucher

– the actual prize for winning the contest, a RM50 voucher to eat at one of the venues sponsoring the contest, Miss Ellie Tea House. Oh? It looks like some of my friends have blogged about this place – here and here. Of course, that’s in KL but I have till March 31st to hop over to make use of it…or I may just give it to anybody who is extra sweet and nice to me. Wink! Wink! Muahahahaha!!!!

In the meantime, I think I have won some other stuff but I have not received them yet so I will just wait till they come. Hopefully, this is an indication of what’s in store in 2015…and the Year of the Goat – lots and lots of good luck!

Just one…

No, there were more than one of us – three, in fact…but we were at this place…

One O One

…called One O One, located at the Sibu Bus Terminal area round the corner from here, at the other end of the block where this coffee shop is and right next door to this one. I’ve blogged about this place a few times here and here, for instance…but the other day, my friend, Julia, who was home from Perth, Australia with her brother, Gabriel, contacted me and asked me if I would be free for either breakfast or lunch and of course, I was!

Initially, we wanted to go next door but it was closed – probably they do not open on Wednesdays so we decided to go to this one instead. After all, on my previous visits, I was of the opinion that what they served here wasn’t too bad.

Julia and Gabriel had their chao chai (preserved vegetable) hung ngang (the big bihun)…

One O One chao chai hung ngang 1

…with the big freshwater udang galah (bamboo prawn)…

One O One chao chai hung ngang 2

…for only RM10.00 each, served in a tureen complete with the lid, mind you! The serving was that big! Gabriel thought it was just nice while Julia said she would prefer it extra sour and she enjoyed the one she had here a lot more. For one thing, the crustacean was big, not as big as the one here but it was a whole lot cheaper at only one-third of the price. I noticed that they had laksa on their menu with an option whether to have it with these giant prawns or not – I certainly would go back there again soon to give it a try and see if it is any good or not.

I had their kampua noodles before and I thought it was pretty good so this time around, I decided to give their kolo mee

One O One kolo mee 1

…a shot.

It did not come cheap though, RM5.00 and you can choose to fork out an extra 30 sen for extra lard added but they sure give a lot of ingredients in that relatively big bowl…

One O One kolo mee 2

Ooooo…it was really very good!!!

I would say that it could give the good ones in Kuching a run for their money. There are some very nice ones there (and some that are really not worth the calories as well) and the taste may vary from one to the other depending on where you go to (which is the same with the kampua noodles here). Among the better ones, I liked this one a lot and I would say this one here is similar – just as good, if not better. No, it is nothing like many of the kolo mee we have here in town – those would taste like kampua noodles but are disguised to look like kolo mee…and no, they are NOT the same. I loved the pickled chili that they topped the noodles with and the hint of garlic and vinegar in the noodles. I don’t know if they are consistently this good but if this is their usual standard, the one in Kanowit that I love so much can now take a back seat.

I was kind of tickled by this page…

THE END

…towards the end of their menu. I guess when one sees that, one would know there would not be anything else after that so there would not be any need to turn the page and look for more. LOL!!!

Julia insisted on treating as she has graduated now and is currently pursuing her doctorate degree back in Perth and look at what she brought home all the way for me…

From Julia

I love that very very nice rack of spices and ooooo….my favourite flavour from the Adriano Zumbo range of Tim Tams – the Red Velvet plus the very much sought-after Lindt chocolate with sea salt.

Thank you so much, Julia. It sure was nice seeing you and Gabriel again. I truly enjoyed the breakfast and the company…and I sure am looking forward to seeing you two again on your next trip home. Take care there, God bless in your undertakings. Cheers!

My mistake…

This place sure needs no introduction…

Chip Chung 1

I guess most everybody in town would know about it, considering that there will be so many people there every morning and past 10.00 a.m., the beef noodles would have been all sold out. It’s just round the corner from my house but I do not drop by that frequently these days as unless I go very early, it can get rather crowded and it may be difficult to find a seat…plus another reason that I will reveal later in this post.

The last time I blogged about it was in 2008 when I was still using the old mobile phone camera but this lady…

Chip Chung 2

…goes a long way back. She was around at this location in the early 90’s when my girl was just a toddler and we would stop by there regularly as she loved the soup – she would finish all/most of it and no prize for guessing who ate all/most of the beef and the noodles…and even after the lady had moved here, we would still drop by time and time again.

Actually, I was going to the grocery shop next door that morning and seeing that it was still early and the place was not so crowded, I decided to sit down and have coffee and these…

Kampua & beef soup set

– her kampua noodles and beef soup set.

Yes, it was as nice as always and she certainly was very generous with the noodles – I thought that was really a lot more than what I would get before…in a small bowl. I love her own home-made chili sauce…

Chili sauce

…which goes absolutely well with the beef and if one adds a bit to the noodles, it certainly would bring it to a whole new level. Very nice indeed!

I gave her a RM20.00 note and she gave me one RM10.00 note and a RM5.00 one in return and without giving it a second thought (as I was busy taking photographs and could not wait to start eating), I just shoved the change into my pocket. When I was about to leave, it dawned on me that I had only paid RM5.00 for everything. Normally, a plate of kampua noodles without any meat added would be RM1.80/RM2.00…

Kampua

…or more, if they have jacked up the price since…and a glass of kopi-o peng (iced black coffee) is RM1.80 in most of the other shops in town. Then, that would leave only RM1.40/RM1.20 for that very nice bowl of beef soup…

Beef soup

…I thought. Gosh! The very small bowl with just a few meatballs that I had here was already RM2.00, mind you!

Pretty sure that she had made a mistake and assuming that the RM5.00 was just for the noodles and soup, I went to ask if she had charged me for the drink…but yes, it was RM1.50 a glass and RM3.50 for the noodles and the soup, making a total of RM5.00 altogether and the mistake was mine, all mine.

It was getting busier by then and yes, she was getting crankier unlike when I first got there when there were not so many people and she was very chatty, asking about my daughter and why I would not go on conducting English tuition classes and what not…and she did not seem very happy at all that I went to ask (or maybe she just assumed that I was going to complain that I was shortchanged)…and as a matter of fact, that’s the other reason why I have avoided this place during “peak hours” – one might be in danger of being snapped at as chances are she would be in one of her foul moods but I guess old folks like us reserve the right to be grumpy, no? I have to admit that my patience would be wearing somewhat thin too sometimes especially when I need to cope with a lot of things at hand.

Well, lesson learnt, next time if I feel that I’ve been under-charged, just leave…quietly. Don’t ask!