Good start…

Gerald, my friend in Kuching who used to run this awesomely impressive restaurant there, contacted me and asked if I would be free to go round with him and some other guys to pick the winner(s) for this coveted award

Hornbill Tourism Awards

I spotted those at the hotel where they were staying – they were awarded to them a long time ago but I thought I would snap a photograph of them to show everybody what I am talking about. Well, of course I would be free, ol’ retiree that I am, shaking legs all day long. LOL!!!

When the day in question came, I picked them up at the airport at around noon and I took them here for lunch. I ordered Garfield’s favourite food – the lasagna…

Bistecca & Bistro lasagna

…that we had not too long ago and my girl enjoyed it very much but like me, they did not seem to enjoy all that tomato in the bolognese sauce in it and for that very reason, they enjoyed the seafood aglio olio linguine…

Bistecca & Bistro seafood aglio olio linguine

…a lot more. They said it was really very nice unlike the ones with those bolognese or the rich and creamy sauces.

But what won the day was their spinach egg pizza…

Bistecca & Bistro Bracio di Ferro

…which was bursting with flavours, so very delightful and all of them enjoyed it to the max, plus they were pleasantly surprised that this, something that they had never had before – a pizza with an egg in it, actually turned out to be so very nice! It seemed that they have decided to use the simpler name now instead of the original Bracio di Ferro which I would think would be more authentic and would sound a lot more impressive but maybe they have grown tired of having had to explain to everybody what that is on their menu all the time.

They loved the desserts very much too – the panna cotta…

Bistecca & Bistro panna cotta
…and also their crème brûlée…

Bistecca & Bistro creme brulee

…but there was a difference of opinion between the guys as which of the two was better. Well, like I always say, to each his own – one man’s meat may be another man’s poison but what mattered most was that there was a general consensus among them that both were indeed very nicely done.

The place, all the decor, the ambiance and everything, met their approval…and business was good that day – most of the tables were occupied even though it was not a full house and the service was great. There was this girl who served us. She was proficient in English, well-versed with all the items on the menu and was able to answer all the questions asked (unlike some who would just say they did not know or run to the kitchen to drag the chef out) and above all, she was very friendly, all smiles at all times even though those naughty guys kept teasing her. I must say there are not many of the likes of her around here.

Well, if anyone is interested in the award, there are many categories, one of them designated to all the eateries in the state, categorised under restaurants, cafes, food courts and kopitiams (coffee shops). One can nominate oneself or others may do so using the official form that may be downloaded from the Tourism Ministry’s website – I understand they will publicise this in the newspapers when the time comes and that would be the time to do it.

Nominations are, of course, closed already for the one this year…and incidentally, one’s eatery must be at least operational the whole year within the stipulated time prior to the event so those that are very new, not yet a year old, would be automatically disqualified, if nominated. I have not seen the form myself but from what I heard about it, it is not really possible for any man-in-the-street to nominate his favourite(s) as some inside information regarding the restaurant would be required. Personally, I do think that should be the case – that it should be open to anybody to submit names with a write-up of a reasonable length as to why that place deserves the award and special mention should be given to how it is related in any way to or may contribute towards tourism in the town or the state, other than some necessary information needed without having to delve into the kind-of-private nitty-gritty details that may not be all that relevant.

Two other guys came with Gerald, one from the ministry and another, an officer from the city council who, other than sharing his opinions on the food,  would look particularly into the cleanliness of a place including the kitchen and the toilet…and they brought this along with them…


…to give to me, Thanks, guys. That should come in handy the next time I go somewhere.

It certainly looked like we were off to a good start since everything at this first stop turned out pretty good. Do hang around for there will be lots more to come in the posts ahead…

Author: suituapui

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

25 thoughts on “Good start…”

  1. heheh, i like the hornbill tourism award backpack too – looks sturdy and stylish! 🙂

    I can save it for you – I don’t think I have much use for a back pack, old bloke like me – hard enough to carry myself around. 😀

  2. Why did they make the hornbill look like a duckling? 😉

    Obviously, you are unaware that the artistic incorporation of the ethnic Dayak design into the silhouette of our state bird, the Hornbill, has been our icon for a long long time now. Those trophies for example were awarded in 2003, over 10 years ago. The dayaks would mount the intricate carvings of the hornbill head of similar design onto the front of their boats, same as what the Chinese would do with their dragon boats, very nice!

    You sure have very nice ducklings if yours look like that.

  3. The lasagna looks delicious! For myself, I prefer pizza to be vegetarian, because I cannot digest pepperoni…however, I am O.K. if there is bacon on it. 🙂

    Those don’t look like pepperoni on top of the pizza, do they? But we do love that too – pepperoni, bacon, ham, salami, sausages or hot dogs or whatever you call those there, you said. Any of those would cost a bomb here and we would be delighted to get any at all on our pizzas – they seemed rather generous that day, so many pieces of the coveted stuff on it. Sure brought the taste to a whole new level.

  4. By looking at the foods, i am hungry, hehe…

    Can get the same there, even nicer with a real live authentic Italian chef even… If I remember correctly, the chefs here worked in Singapore for a few years before they came back, very good.

  5. So, helping to pick the winner for the award would mean many delicious meals, won’t it? Lucky you!

    Ummmm….let’s just say I got to enjoy the crumbs that fell off the table. Hehehehehehe!!! They were here for just one day though, so my happiness was short-lived. 😀

  6. That looks like a fine version of creme brulee – nice crisp top and creamy custard underneath. 🙂

    Yes, it was really very well done. Very very nice. The caramelised crystallised top was so paper thin, absolutely perfect, unlike some that I have had elsewhere – so thick I would have to break through it with a pick!

  7. Could not wait to read who are the winners this year.

    Love the food you guys have especially the lasagna, pizza and brulee. Beautiful shots too.

    Not really. The guys went and sat inside, not so bright. I would usually sit by the glass window and take advantage of the natural light from outside. Thank goodness the snapshots turned out quite all right. Not sure when the results would be revealed – I heard the award presentation is tentatively at the end of November, next month.

  8. All looks good & spinach egg pizza & desserts for me, pls. Thanks

    Anytime a whole lot better than the Bosnian-owned Italian restaurant in Kuching, the panna cotta I had there was like chai ian (agar agar), so hard, fail BIG time.

    No plans to come to Sibu? Ask that Gerald, your brother-in-law or something. It was an eye-opener for him. Like most everybody else, he thought there would be “nothing in Sibu”, one day trip more than enough. Now, he’s talking about coming again, bringing his wife and kids, to enjoy all that this little town has to offer. Rugi, tak datang cuba!

  9. That is a very beautiful award and a very nice bag pack. That bag pack actually fits u so well since you ARE THE Sibu food directory. So nice of Gerald all to give it to you.

    I am a huge fan of lasagna. I used to look like Garfield too during my college days.

    Impossible!!! So so so small, I can never imagine you ever being any bigger. Always wondered what lasagna tasted like when I was watching the cartoon with my girl during her growing up years and imagining it to be something so so delicious. Ok lah.

    Me? Food directory? No lah…there are many others too – on Facebook, Instagram…blogs as well, though many do not last very long and many are in Mandarin.

  10. Oh…you got to tag along to pick winners for the awards. That must be exciting 🙂 I’ve had lasagna before but I am not fond of it. I don’t like too much cheese. I would very much prefer the linguine or the pizza.

    It was nice. I got to enjoy the food and the company. I do it all the time anyway, anyone coming to town – family, friends, friends of friends.

    I don’t mind cheese but not too much if it’s in some rich and creamy sauce…and I am not fond of the tomato in bolognese, ok with it but I would prefer something else. But my girl loves bolognese, not so crazy about carbonara. To each his/her own, I guess.

  11. Nice, i been there once, didnt know they have so much to offer, i had a great laksa sarawak there.

    You must be talking about Absolute Tribal, Gerald’s former restaurant. He’s no longer running the place and the Thai chef has left too. The new people are having an entirely different concept, I hear…so you probably will no longer be able to get your laksiam there anymore.

    This one’s an Italian restaurant in Sibu – I took Gerald and the rest there when they came here last week.

  12. The food looks delicious and what a thoughtful gift! I love backpacks. I favor them over a purse.They are quite handy and can be roomy. 🙂

    A spinach egg pizza? Hmm… I must try my own twist on this and see what my daughter thinks about it. I’m sure the BF will get a sample when he pops by the house.

    I love lasagna,I usually make the stuffed shell variety. The last time I made that, was when I made lunch for my father, daughter, the BF’s parents, The BF’s son and girlfriend. My mom was working.

    I usually don’t carry much around, just stuff everything into my pockets so I guess I would not need it till I go travelling some place.

    I’ve seen some really good stuff you’ve dished out, can’t remember if I’ve seen your lasagna but whatever it is, bet it tastes awesome as it has that special ingredient, love. That’s what makes mum’s cooking stands out above all the rest. 😉

  13. Looks like you had a really perfect meal there. Look at all those delicious treats

    It sure was…and this was just the tip of the iceberg. More to come!

  14. I’ve thought about doing a raw vegan lasagna soon!!!

    That would be the pasta sheets with bolognese sauce without the beef, I guess. More nice ways than one to fill a lasagna, I’m sure.

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. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: