Quality control…

I do think that there must be some quality control at a few places around town like here, for instance. I enjoyed the Foochow fried noodles, special, so very much and since then, I had been telling everyone that none around here could be any better. However, when my relatives were in town in November last year and I took some of them there to eat that, what the lady dished out turned out to be rather disappointing. There were a number of us so I placed a large order for one big plate (RM15.00) for all of us to share so I would not know whether it was because she was not accustomed to cooking so much at one go or it was not her good day but what we were served that morning was certainly nothing to shout about.

Then, there was this one here…

Grace Cafe

The last time when I was here with the tourism award people, I had the Foochow fried noodles…

Grace Cafe Foochow fried noodles 1
*Recycled pic*

…and it was so good that when the rest tried, they ordered another plate to share on top of the dianpianngu that they were having – this place is actually one of the two in town noted for that Foochow delight.

Well, I was in the vicinity the other morning and I decided to stop by and have that again. This was the special (RM4.50)…

Grace Cafe Foochow fried noodles 2a

…and as you can see, the gravy is different, almost clear and despite the additional ingredients, it sure paled in comparison to what I had the previous time. Yes, they do it like this at a number of places and no, I am not fond of it this way even though once you’ve tossed the noodles…

Grace Cafe Foochow fried noodles 2b

…and mixed it well with the gravy, it does come quite close but no, that is not the way I like it.

In the old days, when we knew one was good, every time we dropped by to eat, it would always be good so we would always stick our favourites in town. Now that there is this predominant inconsistency, I really do not know which one to bring visiting friends and family to especially when owing to the limited time that they have here, they would probably be able to go to one and one alone and of course, they would expect a very good one, not one that is sometimes good and sometimes not really so. I wonder if anyone knows of one here that is ALWAYS good?

Now, moving on from the post proper, I was so very delighted that other day to have had the opportunity to meet John (the one standing beside me)…

Old friends' reunion

…again. We were classmates and even though he was in the science stream and I was in the arts, we were very good friends way back in 1969 after which I left the school to study Form 6 in another school in town and he left for further studies in Australia. We never saw each other again after that. Actually, there was some kind of a reunion gathering the day before, Saturday, but I was not around as I had to drive my girl back to her school…and it was very nice of Robert, seated next to me, to arrange another one here on Sunday so I could get to meet John before he left town.

And talking about Robert, his missus, who cooked the fried dabai that they gave me that day, made these popiah (spring rolls)…

Robert & Angela's popiah

…and they went through all that trouble to send them to my house for me to enjoy…and yes, they were very nice.

My missus said this was like how they used to make it in her family, the same as one lady known to us as Ah Lan, who was very well-known here at one time for hers. Maybe this is the Hokkien version, not quite the same as how we would do it in our family – I don’t know what version ours is, maybe something like the nyonya version, but this is how we’ve been doing it over the years since I was small (and no prize for guessing who was enlisted to do all the cutting and slicing as thinly as possible – khak eyeu tam pok, anchua anay cho!!!) and it is very nice too. Now I am itching to make some…but these days, there is no place in town where I can get very nice popiah skin or none that I know of, and I am not all that fond of the frozen ones. Anybody knows of any, come…do comment and let me have the details and contact number!

Author: suituapui

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

16 thoughts on “Quality control…”

  1. Inconsistency is a pet peeve of mine. Quite common over this side of the country too.

    I dunno why this was never a problem in my younger days. We did not eat out so often then but every time, we went back to the same place for something that we loved, it would always be the same, always as good. Times sure have changed.

  2. I agree with Monica, inconsistency is something I cannot stand. Thankfully, though, in my favourite restaurants, inconsistency is something I don’t need to be concerned about. 🙂

    I would go back to those same places where what they dish out is consistently good but for blogging purposes, I would need to check out new places and at times, when I happen to be in the same vicinity, I may drop by those that I have tried before and were good, though they may not be my regular places in town.

  3. Will it be awkward to meet someone that you haven’t met for decades?

    No, it felt so good like we have never been apart, and there would be lots to catch up on…and lots to reminisce together. Maybe that is the case for people our age, dunno about you, young people. Of course, we do bump into some who do not seem so keen to mingle or those who pretend not to remember, so we would just walk on by. It takes all kinds to make the world.

  4. STP I enjoyed your gathering post with old friends. Robert is a nice person, he arrange another gathering with you since you can’t make it the other day.

    He is. If not for him I would not have got to meet my long lost friend after 46 years.

  5. It’s nice of Robert to arrange the gathering…

    Yes, we’ve been friends for a long time, even our families. All very nice people.

  6. Friends since 1969, is been 47 years and three more years will be 50….that’s very impressive…as for me I didn’t even have any reunion gathering with my schoolmates in high school, just get in touch with a few closer one only.

    Yes, how time flies. One minute, we were together cycling home from school and next minute, we’re already old. Sigh!!! Glad that we were able to meet again, renew old ties.

  7. For those small kopitiams, it’s very difficult to maintain QA unless they follow a strict recipe like mcd or kfc. It’s mostly depends on the mood of the hawker as well as whether she rates well before.

    I don’t know McD but KFC, there is poor quality control between outlets in the same town even. Some nice, some not nice. Pizza Hut too – one here is good, the other is not so and another one opened for a while and soon closed down…and the good one, the service sucks big time. Post on that coming up soon. McD, there’s only one in town – I have not been for years and years.

  8. One of my Mom’s best friends was complaining about the QC in one of the cafes in SJ. He mentioned that whenever he’s with us, the food is exceptionally tasty but when he went alone, the food did not taste as good. Never expected the shop to have such inconsistency with the food quality, I’ll admit that.

    Where’s SJ? Sometimes, there are many chefs in a restaurant and if you get a not so good one, what they dish out may be disappointing. Even at the hawkers stalls, it varies between the father, the mother of one of the children cooking.

    I think in the old days, one would do it all – the others helped with the serving only…but this one that I went to, it was the same guy cooking. Maybe Foochow fried noodles is not what he is noted for, so he does not cook it all that often, once in a while and hence, it wasn’t as good the second time around.

  9. I agree with you regarding inconsistency these days. Places that I trust to serve good food will somehow fail me when I bring guests over >_<

    Not so bad if we experience it ourselves but especially when you bring visitors and you tell them it is so nice and yet, it turned out to be such a disappointment, that can be rather embarrassing. 😦

  10. it’s interesting to be able to reconnect with someone whom you knew nearly 50 years ago … and after all the changes in life since then … i haven’t seen many of my schoolmates in more than 20 years, since i’m really bad at keeping in touch…

    Thanks to Facebook, I’m in touch with a few…and any coming back home, some will get in touch with others and arrange a get-together. Nice to renew old ties, stay in contact – the world is no longer as big as it used to be.

  11. From my own experience, inconsistency is what is consistent in the few eateries I have been to. It is frustrating because I liked a dish and then the next time I order it, it doesn’t taste the same. I found out that one restaurant I frequent is now using a part time cook. That explained why the regular dishes I ordered that evening all came out lousy. I’m not going back there again for sure.

    Yes, sometimes they employ somebody to do it like this place at Jalan Alor, Foochow from Sitiawan. I went once and it was so good, I went again and he left it to the Indon maid – same thing, same ingredients but no, it was not as nice. I hear they do that at a lot of places over there – leave it all to the Banglas or the Myanmarese…and the quality goes down the drain.

    But the two places I mentioned in this post – the same people were the ones doing the cooking. I guess there are good days and there are bad ones… 😦

  12. In my opinion, cooking in small portion is easier than in big portion. This apply to myself. Noodles looks good but pork liver looks bloody, that I don’t accept. Popiah is great.

    If liver is overcooked, it gets hard, not so nice. For both reasons, many avoid eating liver.

  13. Everything looks very nice to me.. especially the popiah…made from fried dabai… Never tasted like that before…

    No, read it again. My friend’s wife gave me some fried dabai the other day…and this time, she has given me some popiah – two different things, two separate occasions.

  14. Glad you had nice meet up with your friends! The popiah looks interesting to me, so many ‘liao’ inside.

    Different from the ones there? I saw the ones at Jalan Petaling, all sengkuang boiled in oyster sauce till soft and mushy but I think they do add stuff like lettuce, pounded chili, crushed peanut when wrapping. Nice too.

  15. inconsistency is quite common too in Miri. I used to patronize a stall for its siobak. but the last time I went there, the meat was sliced so thin that I asked the tokay to give me some more. of course, he charged me more.

    Maybe it is because of the rising prices of everything. There is one place here that I patronise – I like going in the afternoon when the boss is not around – his Indonesian workers are a lot more generous but by then, maybe it will all be sold out or there isn’t much left.

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 sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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