A few days…

An ex-student of mine, Raphael, was home from the US for a few days and I offered to pick him up at the airport upon arrival on Monday last week. First things first, and what else if not the Sibu kampua noodle welcome here

RTM Cafe kampua noodles

He felt it was a little light on the lard and I certainly would agree that it was not as fragrant as before. Perhaps owing to the escalating cost of pork and other related products here, the lady had seen it fit to cut down a bit on that…or maybe it was just one of those days. At another place here, sometime ago, the seller told me that she would mix the lard with a bit of vegetable oil as it was getting a bit too expensive for comfort. Nonetheless, Raphael loved the braised/stewed pork used in place of the ultra-thin slices of red-coloured boiled pork char siew wannabes that you will see elsewhere.

A few nights later, he was free so we were able to go out for dinner and I took him here for the grilled chicken (RM12.50)…

Cabeijo grilled chicken

Actually, I did go with my girl and the mum during the week-long school break but I did not blog about it. The fried chicken (RM9.50) that I had was very good but unlike what we had the first time we went and also the second time, the grilled version that the two ladies had turned out to be most disappointing. The meat was dry and hard and I was quite sure at that point in time that it was some leftover chicken from the night before that they just reheated and served us.

That was why this time around, I kept emphasising the point and reiterating to the waiter that we would want one that was freshly cooked, not dry and hard like the ones on my previous visit and he promised it would be to our satisfaction, no worries. Unfortunately, it was still rather dry and hard, not as bad as before, but no, if I had known it was going to be like that, I would have suggested to Raphael that he should go for something else instead, like the fried chicken that I had (RM9.50)…

Cabeijo fried chicken

…which was perfectly ok, very nice.

The umai (RM15.00)…

Cabeijo umai 1

…that we had, thankfully, was really very good and went absolutely well with the rice…

Cabeijo umai 2

For the uninitiated, umai is raw fish with lots for thinly sliced onions and chilies drowned in calamasi lime juice, a Melanau specialty here and I was of the opinion that this one that we had, also made using fresh ikan bawal hitam (black pomfret), was a lot better than what we had been having all this while here as theirs had always been a tad too sour and could only be enjoyed if eaten with rice, not on its own.

One thing that puts me off here is how there are things on their menu and yet, they are never available – like their ayam pansoh or oxtail soup…and they are always out of ikan tenggiri (mackerel) so if it is fish one wants, then one would have to order their ikan duai aka bawal (black pomfret). If they have no intention of serving those ever, then they should leave them out of their menu or at least, place stickers to block them out or write “NOT AVAILABLE” so one would not need to ask if they have something or not.

After dinner, I took Raphael to the back of the restaurant to see them grilling the chicken on the barbecue stove and there and then, it dawned upon me why the meat was so hard and dry. They would cook a whole lot at one time and they would arrange those that were done all along the sides while they went on and grilled some more. My guess would be that the heat from the grill would go on cooking the already cooked ones and hence, they all turned out that way.

This would be that same reason why many people told me that they do not like tandoori chicken as it was always hard and dry and from what I saw, they also cooked the chicken and then, they left it on the skewers in the tandoori oven or cauldron and when there was an order, they would just remove one and serve. The ones that we have here would only be cooked upon a customer’s order and hence, it would always be juicy and tender and nice!

After dinner, we went for dessert but you will have to stick around for that as it will be in the next post. LOL!!! In the meantime, I really must say thank you very much to Raphael for all the goodies that he had carted home from the US for me…

Goodies from Raphael

…and thanks also to the mum for the dates and guavas…

From the mum

My missus enjoys the guavas that she did give me once the last time when Raphael came back to Sibu.

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Author: suituapui

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

22 thoughts on “A few days…”

  1. Are those fresh dates? Wow. First time I’m seeing it. I always eat those dried ones.

    I don’t like Tandoori chicken for that very reason too. Dry.

    Yes, that’s what everyone tells me and I have had the ones there before, did not like it either…but the one at one place here is very very nice, succulent and tender.

  2. y’know, we used to have a few places in kl/selangor that served umai several years ago … and one by one, they’ve all closed, as far as i know. now i have no idea where to get umai in KL! 🙂

    Everyone can fly! Come, come…hop over and I will make sure that you get to eat that and all the nice stuff we have over here.

  3. The only thing out of the packages that you are photographing here that I know and get here in Montreal is the Stove Top stuffing. There is a Kraft food company right here in Montreal, and Kraft are the ones who make this. 🙂

    I think he bought that for me once before, can’t remember what I used it for – stuffing in roast chicken, I think.

  4. I very much enjoy reading cultural differences in opinions about food. “Light on the lard” would be a highly desirable characteristic in my books. 😉

    That’s because of the bad press it had been getting – looks like there is shift in the attitude towards it now – lots of articles on it like this one, for instance:
    http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401137/Is-Lard-Healthy.html
    But some may get put off by the smell/taste…while others love it nice and strong. I guess it depends on the individual, to each his own…and of course, moderation is the key, no need to overdo it.

  5. Ah, the joy of giving and receiving. Your ex student must be happy to see you and vice versa. Too bad about the hard and dry chicken but good company made up for that. The red dates look like deep red cherry tomatoes. Can they be eaten raw when they are ripe?

    Yes, I ate it raw, very sweet. The mum said I could use to steam chicken – I guess people use the dried ones for that and also in those cooling desserts. Sure was great to see Raphael again.

  6. Very nice of you to go pick him up at the airport, yep, agree, first thing to have is the famous kampua! Ooooo, no sup tulang? Only rice set? I see mac & cheese.. Last week I was watching Food Network, they used MANY types of cheese for their mac & cheese, mafan..

    Nope, the sup tulang…not concentrated enough for me so I would much sooner order something else. One very nice place here – mac & cheese but they refurbished and renovated the place, became very nice…but no more on the new menu. Maybe the old chef left. Got one other place but not nice. So no more… My girl loves it! Hope this one will be good, can buang gian a bit.

  7. Lol…kampua a must when first day home.

    The mom so nice. Gv fruits. The dates must have been very juicy

    Yes, so nice of her to give me those. Indeed, everyone from here would probably even dream of kampua in their dreams – must eat as soon as they get home.

  8. I prefer the grilled chicken to the fried chicken…

    But not when it is hard and dry…and cost RM3.00 more.

  9. First thing first, I like the kampua & umai. I have a few dates plant in my garden & blooming well too. It is called peanut butter fruit if I am not wrong. Do they really use the mortar & pestle thingy for their chilli when they serve their customers? With the goodies received, stay tune for more cooking coming up.

    Those are just stone sauce plates – very shallow, for dips…very small and not like mortar & pestle at all…and cannot use for that purpose, I hear – will break. I dunno those dates – first time seeing them. I hear my SIL plants them but my missus never gets from her, she does not really like them.

  10. A pity the grilled chicken was too dry. It looked good.

    Yes, with all the charred parts, looked really good. Would have been really nice if they had removed it from the barbecue pit once it was done.

  11. Chicken that’s left in the oven for too long will dry out and it’s not nice to eat 😦 Wah, got fresh dates! I haven’t seen any sold here before. I’ve eaten before and I was surprised that the dates were crunchy like apples. I thought they were soft like plums.

    I loved them – had the taste of dates…but not so hard and dry and shrivelled. Indeed! Even when reheating leftovers – not the same anymore, best eaten freshly roasted to perfection piping hot from the oven.

  12. With all those gifts constantly coming to you, I guess your diet (when not eating out) is filled with a lot of packaged/processed food.

    Not necessarily. Will probably keep till the school holidays, my girl would want to cook to enjoy – expiry dates still along way off. Annie’s a famous brand, I think – one of those natural and organic stuff.

  13. You must be a great teacher as it seems all your ex students seem to be very fond of you. BTW I met ahong today, and correctly identified him as one of your ex students. Hehe.

    How on earth could you tell? Not solely based on the shape and size, I’m sure. 😀 😀 😀 I did comment on his post on the contest on Facebook that you’re my friend. Good luck to you two – may the best man or lady win! Cheers!

  14. So nice of you, offer to pick him up at the airport, just wondered is that your house very near to the airport ya? Because for my case right, my house is like 45 minutes from the airport, so usually nobody will offer me that though.

    It’s 15 miles away, around 25 km. Not really near but not a problem as I am very free. I always feel it is not worth taking a taxi as the fixed rates are very very high…and anyway, that’s what friends are for. My friends would do the same for me when I travel anywhere – what goes around comes around…do unto others what you would have others do unto you.

  15. All these food above looks so good to me! I didn’t have any proper dinner just now.. imagine my hunger now after looking at these…. *salivating*

    Poor thing! I guess living alone, one tends to neglect one’s meals – lazy to cook anything, no appetite as well.

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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