My mind playin’ tricks on me…

I saw a lot of people sharing photographs of what they had at this place…

cabeijo 1

…on Facebook and somehow, my mind registered the second word as ijio and I thought that sounded something like Indonesian or whatever and I could not figure out how on earth café could be cabe…or was that in Indonesian or some foreign language too? So when I dropped by that day, I asked the waitress how to pronounce the name and she said, “Cha-bik hi-joe!” Good grief!!! That’s in Bahasa Sarawak, the local Malay dialect, meaning green chili and there I went thinking far and wide trying to figure out what the name actually was. Tsk! Tsk! I must say that is a very clever use of the colours…

cabeijo 2

…red for the chili and green for the ijo (hijau meaning green).

I was early – 11.30 and they were not open yet but I went in, anyway – never mind that they were still cleaning here and there and arranging this and that. I saw this lady barbecuing those lovely chicken thighs at the back…

Panggang the ayam

…so I just had to order that…from their one-page menu.

One thing that caught my attention when I saw my friends’ photographs was their three different kinds of sambal and  I noticed that they were still cooking the light-coloured one…

Sambal cili hijau 1

…when I was snooping around the kitchen. Hehehehehe!!!!

Word had it that the service was poor and slow but no, that certainly was not true or at least, it was not so in my case. What I ordered came very fast – their lalapan ayam panggang (RM12.50)…

Lalapan ayam panggang 1

…with one huge slab of nicely-panggang-ed chicken but it came with only two types of sambal. I did not bother to ask but a little bit later, they brought the third one…

Sambal cili hijau 2

Hey! How come this one was not in those nice little stone bowls? In case you’re thinking those were lesung batu (mortar and pestle), they were not. Those were very shallow sauce plates made of that same kind of stone so don’t expect a lot of the sambal in each of the thing – what you see is what you get! Nonetheless, it did not matter one bit as with three different types to savour, there was more than enough.

Back to my order, the very nicely-done chicken came with rice wrapped in banana leaf…

Lalapan ayam panggang 2

…and by the side, there were blanched cabbage and bandong (tapioca) leaves and cucumber plus two teeny-weeny pieces of fried tofu and tempeh – you can order more if you want at RM2.50 per order for 3 pieces though I would not know if they would be just as puny or bigger.

I also had their sup tulang (RM13.50)…

Sup tulang

…and yes, it was quite nice and the meat clinging to the beef bones was quite tender all right. The serving was really big though – there would be enough in that bowl for at least 3 or 4 people.

Looking at the menu, however, I must say I was rather disappointed as with a name like that, I would expect more of our own Sarawak Malay or Melanau specialties. Why! They don’t even have our daging masak hitam but yes, they have the Melanau umai (raw fish) and the Dayak ayam pansuh is on the menu. Their paku and midin (wild jungle ferns) are served kerabu style which I would think is more Thai-influenced northern West Malaysian, not quite our Sarawak’s own. Lalapan or lalap is Indonesian, something like our ulam and according to wiki, it is usually served as vegetable side dish next to the main course, such as ayam goreng (fried chicken), ayam bakar (grilled chicken), pecel lele (fried catfish)…and many other ikan goreng (fried fish) or ikan bakar (grilled fish). I googled and found out that in Indonesian, green chili is cabai hijau or chili ijo in Javanese. Ah well…I guess they’re just starting – on the 8th of July to be exact so hopefully, given time, they may be able to add to their menu things that are quintessentially Sarawak.

All in all, I enjoyed what I had that day though it was indeed somewhat pricey…but of course, this place is more upscale, very very nice (They have an air-conditioned section occupying half of the big place but no, I opted not to sit there) and the people are very friendly and while I was there, I loved the English songs that they were playing – the current/recent hits such as Sam Smith’s Stay with me and my favourite, Lay me down and so on…and even Hozier’s Take me to church! Hmmmm!!!!

Well, if anyone is wondering where this is (I think they normally open for business at 12.00 noon), it (2.307974,111.820536) is around the new blocks of shops (not quite visible from the main roads) at Simpang Tiga and if you walk left to the end of the building facing Jalan Ria, you can see the roundabout and the supermarket close by…

Simpang Tiga

…where I would usually go for the very much cheaper and equally nice (though some may insist these are nicer) Moroccan or pili pili (peri-peri) grilled chicken.

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Author: suituapui

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

35 thoughts on “My mind playin’ tricks on me…”

  1. i have to admit. i am so jeles of you having these delicious fooddddd. i would rather visit here than a fine dining. cheap nice thumb up

    Me too. Not into dressing up nicely and having to watch my every move, so uncomfortable…and eating without making a sound. This place is nice, classier than the usual coffee shop and stalls but it is not one of those very restrictive places. Not all that cheap though…for us. 😦

  2. The food looks good! I love those bowls too. I’ve seen similar; however, they were small clay pots. You could cook your meal in the pot and eat from it too!

    These are stone bowls, the stone they use to make our mortar and pestle – not sure if they may be used for cooking. Nice new-found use for it! Anytime nicer and more impressive than those plastic or melamine sauce plates.

  3. Haha. Very creative in the name and color. Such pity not really our local food but give it some times. Maybe they will improve and expand from one page menu to more pages.

    I like the mortar-like saucer. So cute. It looks deep to me from the picture. Looks can be deceiving.

    Indeed! I poked my spoon in and it did not go straight down as I had expected – just that surface deep.
    Nice place, nice food…sure I would be back again and again but at those prices, maybe not all that often. Poor retiree can’t afford. Hehehehe!!!

  4. Creative name & nice colour combination. That huge slab of ayam panggang looks juicy but oh, that big patch of burnt, gonna peel/scrap it off. 3rd sambal dippings looks like blended garlic. Yes???

    Nope, green chili sambal. Peel off? Oh no!!!! Hehehehehe!!!!

  5. When I see the restaurant name, I thought it’s something like Chilis, similar colour – fajitas, quesadillas, beef chilli, chilli cheese fries, mac & cheese.. I’m attracted to the sup tulang, soup looks very flavourful, I can slurp the whole pot !!

    I prefer how the Chinese do it at the beef noodle places – theirs would be a lot stronger but the one here is all right – not so diluted like some that I had had elsewhere – could hardly taste the beef flavour.

  6. Well, I stared at the name for a few seconds before proceeding with your post. And I got it – cabai hijau. Oh my, the sight of those plump juicy chicken thighs on the grill is so tempting! And it comes with 3 types of sambal. I like! And of course I would love the sup tulang too.

    Come! Come! Hop over to Sibu and for sure, I will take you here. One of the nicer newer places around!

  7. They must have know Sibu Food Mayor coming so fast fast prepare food .LOL. I thought you went to Indonesian restaurant. Cabe reminds me of indonesian word for cili.

    The Soup tulang looks good. Tender meat is nice

    Yup! See my reply to your big boss’ comment below. The sup? See my reply to Princess Ribbon above. 😀

  8. Tis is an indonesian word and indonesian restaurant alright. Y expect local sarawakian food there….? Lalapan is so much diff compared to ulam… another word for cabe is lombok… @wks

    Yup! As far as the name goes, yes, I would agree. Mostly Indon food except for a few isolated items and even the name is derived from Indonesian/Jawanese. I did state that in no uncertain terms in my post, didn’t I? It was the way the waitress pronounced it and she did say it was Bahasa Sarawak but if it is the dialect, like I did say in my post as well, it would be chabik hijo…unless I dunno how to pronounce it correctly.

    Lombok? I only know that’s the name of an island – read in Monica’s blog that some chef is going to get married there. That would be so nice, so exotic…and I think she did blog about some of the special dishes, unique to that place, too sometime ago.

    As for lalapan and ulam being different, I am certainly not surprised. You can go to every shop in town, there will be differences in the ulam or so-called lalapan…and the sambals are also different from one another. For one thing, if you use belacan from different places, the sambal would not be the same already. If you go to Payung, they have three types of sambal too – one, the boss says, has Myanmarese influence…and one nice one with tomato reminds me of Mexican salsa. Or if you went to my grandma’s house for linut, she would have the special sambal for that, another sambal for raw cucumber and another one for blanched kangkong or boiled long beans and so on…and don’t be surprised if the neighbours next door had their own variations. I did read somewhere that there is a very very wide variety in Indonesia, different regions will have their own and the same goes to their other dishes and stuff as well, same as between us here and you all over there. Is there any standard recipe that something MUST be one way and not another? I guess not.

    Ummmm…why the fella not coming to comment himself? Wahhhhh!!!! So nice, got private secretary.

  9. That sure looks good but eat moderately… can be quite heaty

    Yes, the barbecued chicken thigh. They say one barbecued chicken wing is equivalent to 8 sticks of cigarettes, so how many wings would make one thigh? Oh me oh my!!! 😀 😀 😀

  10. Nothing is more delicious than a well panggang-ed chicken thigh…yumz! Why is it called lalapan ayam panggang? I think I would love the first chilli dip…coz I see a limau on top! 😀

    Now I am not sure if it was called ayam panggang actually – I think it is ayam bakar on the menu. Ah well!!! One and the same thing. I guess the lalapan would refer to those raw & blanched veg by the side to be eaten with the sambals – I wouldn’t know. You’ll have to ask the expert in Indon cuisine. To me, that’s ulam.

  11. They should put Cabik Gadong instead. hehe. I must go and try. 😁

    Aauk eh! Nang betul kata kitak tek! Gadong. Tapi sik kalak aku sebut gadong, biasa makay hijo. Hmmm…macam ni kitak nak coba mun buang batu dah, lawa gilak sik mau datang Sibu agik? 😀

  12. WK seems interested, Arthur! And that includes me too.. the grilled chicken looks good leh… makes my mouth water with all the sambal and the lime… indeed very appetizing! Should go there once again…

    All your bags are packed, you’re ready to go…but where? Not Sibu, I know, no need to ask one. So nice, fly here, fly there…like taking a bus. Some people have all the luck in the world.

  13. oh wow…the lalapan is good. and the 3 types of sambal! 2 types also ok lah….i will love to have extra rice with the lalapan and sambal…of course throw in midin…hmmm i really miss east malaysia noms.

    They have kerabu midin but I haven’t tried that. Extra rice! Gee!!! They actually have a lot in that packet wrapped with banana leaf, more than enough for me, that’s for sure.

  14. it’s a rather strange-sounding name for a restaurant, ya, and it sounds like it could have been some very foreign language (I wouldn’t have guessed Cha-bik hi-joe) … the chicken with sambal sauces looks excellent! 🙂

    And there I went – kha bay…as in cafe, cracking my head trying to figure out what name it was! 😀 Never mind! What’s in a name! As long as the food is good, that’s the most important thing! Second most important thing, the prices – I wish the things were a little less expensive though.

  15. My mum tried after she read from your FB or your blog last few days, she said taste ok. I would like to try this out on my next trip back. Hopefully it will still be around. haha

    Should be, seeing that their business is so good. Packed!!! Ya, it will be perfect for you…not all that good for us – not spicy! Hehehehehe!!!!

  16. Actually I won’t know how to pronounce the name also, LOL! :p

    …and the two words are joined together like that, makes it even worse! 😀

  17. Red and green…sighboard. That represents the color of the sambal right. OOo…love the sambal sauces. So appetizing to go with the rice.

    Red and green chilies, I guess. Sure makes everything a lot more appetising but I would prefer it if it had been spicier.

  18. OMG, i am drooling now over the foods….

    If it’s Indonesian, I bet you can get a lot better there. Loved the nasi padang…in 1973! Slurpsssss!!!

  19. a rather tough name to spell and pronounce, but oh my.. the chicken thigh! I want!

    Bet you have really good ones in KL but come to think of it, I hardly ever see anybody blogging about nice Indonesian food over there. I wonder why. Don’t think I’ve seen Filipino either.

  20. I saw these numbers on your blog post: (2.307974,111.820536). Are these geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) in decimal degrees? So you use GPS when you travel.

    No, I don’t but somebody asked for it, said it would be more convenient for people to locate these places and gave me this link to get those numbers:
    http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html

  21. Huah… really so appetising lor! Make me wanna grab something to eat at this wee hours. Anyway, that lesung saucer so cute! 😀

    Shouldn’t be a problem there. As they say, the city never sleeps…

  22. You were there really early and good of them to let you see them cooking instead of chasing you outside to wait like some restaurants do.

    They’re very nice people, very friendly – I would say most/many of our Malays/Melanaus are like that, very cordial and chatty even though we have never ever met before, that old-time kampung/communal living friendliness is still very much alive.

    P.S. I notice that your comments are one post behind. Something to do with the blog links? I noticed some are a bit slow in updating.

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.

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