All in one night…

The one-week school holiday was coming to an end, so early in the morning on Sunday, I had to go to the airport to pick my girl’s friend/colleague and after an early lunch, I had to send them to their school, half an hour past Selangau Bazaar. That was why when my Singapore friends were back from their longhouse trip, I was not around and they were left to their own devices that afternoon.

I only managed to meet them at around 5.00 p.m. and because the restaurant that I wanted to take them to was still closed, we dropped by here as they insisted that they wanted to give it a try even though we were just an hour away from dinner time. We shared their signature barbecued pork ribs…


…that they all liked and they also loved their classic pork burger…


After that, it was still early so we went to stroll around the pasar malam (night market) round the corner. I had to keep reminding them not to buy anything and save what was left of their tummy space for dinner. Luckily, it started to rain so we had to leave the place and head back to the restaurant.

I ordered the traditional Melanau dish – the umai


…which comprises raw fish with lots of calamansi lime juice and other ingredients. They enjoyed that though I would say it was rather sour but it went well with rice. They liked the paku (jungle fern) in santan (coconut milk)…

Paku in santan

…too but all of them shared this same opinion – they would prefer midin a lot more. Unfortunately, it was not available at this restaurant that night.

I also got them to try the lokan


…which was basically the shell of the clams stuffed with the flesh/meat, minced and mixed with minced meat and whatever else…

Lokan - inside

…and deep fried. My! My! The ones we got that night were extremely small – about half of the usual size only. I wondered if this applied to the price as well…but knowing how things would usually go around here, I would think that was highly unlikely.

I did not want the prawns as I knew that would cost a bomb so we asked for three only…


 …for the three of them. That turned out to be RM25.00 each so the total was a shocking RM75.00, just for the prawns alone. They loved the huge prawns and they were really good – firm, fresh, sweet and succulent…


…but the soup, like the umai, was way too sour. There was no way one could just drink it like that or not a whole lot of it, at least. One of the ladies did not like how there was a little too much tumeric (kunyit)…and actually, when we cook our very simple version of this at home, Melanau-style, we do not make it THIS sour and we do not use a lot of tumeric or in fact, much of anything either, so we would have a lighter soup which, to us, would be very much more delightful. This, I feel, comes across more like gravy than soup – great with rice…but I do know for a fact that different people cook things differently like how the curry in one family may not be the same as that in another and preferences may vary too. To each his own!

I asked for TWO pieces of the lamb, each piece cut into two so each of us could just have a bit. After all, we were already rather full from the pre-dinner dinner. However, this was served…


– four thick slabs of roast lamb! It worked out to RM20.00 a piece which I would say was not all that expensive if we compare that to the prices of lamb chops here, there and everywhere…but the total for the dish, RM80.00, was indeed quite a pinch! Nonetheless, they thought it was very nicely done and worthy of praise.

The bill came up to a whooping RM202.00, inclusive of rice and drinks…but they still said it was all right, less than SGD80.00. I would have to think twice about bringing guests here in future, really…and if I ever do, there would not be any lamb, that’s for sure…and no prawns either!

Now if you think that was it, you are very very wrong! They insisted that we dropped by here for the durian…

*Archive photo*

…and mango ice cream…

*Archive photo*

…and I also asked them to try the banana cake. Good grief! My friend liked it so much that he wanted to buy some to take back to Singapore. Unfortunately, they were out of the cake and only had enough for their own use so the plan had to be aborted. It was too dark to take any reasonably good snapshots (that is why I have to resort to those old ones above)…but if you stick around, there will be a photograph of the banana cake in one of the posts coming soon.

There you have it – our two dinners plus dessert, all in one night!