Little town…

I have some kind of hedge growing all along the fence at the back of my garden. No, I did not plant it – it just grew out on its own and yes, I would have to go and trim it once in a while. I have not done it for a while now, probably not since before Chinese New Year and I had not been feeling too well not too long ago so it had grown somewhat out of control, past the tall fence of my neighbours at the back. Obviously, they were not too happy about the intrusion so they just broke the branches and left them dangling over at my side.

That was why I had to go through the chore of trimming it short and I collected all the branches in plastic bags to take them some place to throw away. We do have quite a few designated places here with a “REFUSE BIN CENTRE” prepared by the municipal council so I took the bags to one of them to throw away…and I always do the same with the grass swept up everytime the guy comes around to mow the lawn. No, I would never leave all those things at some corner of my garden to dry up and then burn them…and with the blistering hot weather…

Sunset on a hot day, last Saturday

…here these days, I sure would not want to contribute to the hazy air.

That morning, I took the bags to the centre at Rejang Park here and since I was there already, I thought I would just walk around the place. I went to the market and I saw some very nice kembong (fish) but a lady wanted them so I just let her have them all – there were not all that many, five or six only, I think. I went to the other stall and bought some prawns from the nice elderly lady there – RM16 a kg. Buying is easy – it is the chore of having to peel off the shell and remove the vein of each of them that I dread the most. Still, we would stock up on some of those in our freezer. Like I always said, you can’t go wrong with prawns – just add a few to your dish of fried vegetables and they will bring the taste to a whole new level.

My missus had cooked some phak lor sa chan (stewed five-spice pork belly) the day before and there was quite a lot leftover in the fridge so I walked over to the kompia shop there to buy some. There are a few different ways to eat kompia, other than eating them plain, that is…and one way would be by stuffing them with slices of stewed pork belly and eating them, dipped in the lovely sauce.

Well, that was exactly what I did the next morning. I sliced the kompia and toasted them in the oven (some people may prefer them deep fried), stuffed slices of the stewed pork in them…

Kompia with stewed pork belly 1

…and enjoyed eating them with the sauce…

Kompia with stewed pork belly 2

Of course, it is much nicer cooking your own at home – you can stuff a lot more meat inside and the sauce is more garlicky and flavourful and not so terribly diluted…

Kompia with stewed pork belly 3

As a matter of fact, I prefer to dip the kompia into the sauce to eat rather than serve them swimming in the watery sauce and ending up all soft and soggy. Personally, I don’t think they are all that nice that way.

Back to the kompia shop, the young man and the mum know me quite well by now though I can’t say I am all that regular a customer. They are very nice people and that morning, I placed my order and the mum got what I wanted for me and when I got home, I found that she had given me an extra piece. No, it is not that much, just one extra piece but a little gesture like that would go a long way in making customers feel good and get them to come back again and again. The father was there too, as usual – he is a little more on the quiet side, I think and he sure looks like he was a very handsome man in his younger days.

That is one thing about living in a little town – that special human touch. As you walk around, there will be people smiling at you, greeting you with all the pleasantries and small chat. I don’t think you will get much of that when you go shopping in some huge supermarket…and definitely not when you shop online.

I went and bought two packets of the char kway teow with see ham (cockles), RM5.00 each…

Rejang Park ckt with see ham
*Archive photo*

…from the old lady at the stall in this coffee shop. I know the family very well, maybe not her but her brother and some of her younger sisters but I guess she could recognise me so when she was done, she came over to chat, asking how my parents were getting on and all that stuff. Her char kway teow was good as always but this time around, it seemed that she was using the canned cockles which of course, I did not quite like. I think the next time around, I would rather go without if she does not have any fresh cockles at hand.

I also bought two packets of the chao chai hung ngangΒ with fish slices (RM6.00 each) from the stall next to hers…

Happy Hours chao chai hung ngang stall
*Archive photo*

…and I would say that the guy was very nice and friendly too. He even took the initiative to separate the hung ngang (big bihun) from the chao chai soup, lest they ended up too soft and soggy and would not be all that nice in the end.

Well, that took care of dinner – it was a Friday so my girl would be home later in the day and I was very sure she would be delighted to eat all those things that I had bought – she is not all that fond of eating rice…and I really enjoyed my stroll around Rejang Park that morning…right here in my little town.

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Author: suituapui

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

13 thoughts on “Little town…”

  1. Like the theme song from the sitcom Cheers – “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”.

    Your kompia with the stewed pork sure looks absolutely yummylicious!
    Melissa must be very happy to see all the food that you have bought and prepared for her. You are such a doting father.

    I guess I am. Anything to make her happy. πŸ˜‰

  2. Your homemade kompia looks excellent – I like how you packed them with meat and soaked them with lots of heavy so they’re not too dry πŸ™‚

    Nope, I did not soak it in the gravy, just dip and drizzle a bit for the photo shoot. Hehehehehe!!!!

    Some people like it toasted, like how some people enjoy toast more than bread, others prefer it deep fried. I’m fine with whichever way but with sauce, I prefer to dip and eat like eating canai…or bread with curry, not soaked in the sauce like how they do it at some places here – as far as I know, there are two serving kompia like that. Soft and soggy, not to my liking even though I am more or less quite toothless. πŸ˜€

  3. Just a stroll in Rejang Park and you bought so many food home. Haha. Make me kind of missing some of the food there.

    I used to buy fishes from an elderly lady in the market. And since I were quite regular in the market, sometimes the vendor gave discount or omit the cents when I bought veggie. There is this friendly man (younger or around my age) who sell veggie. His stall mostly have those imported veggie and different from other stall.

    Yes. Small town people is friendly. We do get those over here especially in markets or old part of the city.

    That must be the nice lady I bought the prawns from. Only two stalls there, don’t think there was an old lady at the other one. I did not go round the vegetable stall – will look out for the young man next time. Yet to check out the stalls above the market too – I hear they are nice as well. Yes, some pretty good stuff in this little place and some very friendly people…and they all speak Hokkien. Many places elsewhere, they can only converse in Mandarin, not even Foochow.

  4. I gotta admit I never beli prawns before, malas wana peel the shells, black vein, etc.. Your wifey’s stewed pork looks so delicious, nice colour, nice layers of fats! Oooo I saw ckt with cockles, I can imagine raw cockles on the plate, then covered with hot noodles on top πŸ˜€

    You never had cockles in char kway teow? I thought that is the main draw there, no cockles/kerang/see ham = fail, the char kway teow. A must have! Here, we don’t usually have those, only at a few places.

  5. Usually for tree branches, I will put them in plastic bags & throw at the big garbage bins provided by the Council whereas for grass, put it plastic bag & dumped into the rubbish bins as it is not so bulky. I prefer kompia stuffed with minced meat & CKT, I can leave out the clams and & ask for more taugeh instead.

    My garden is very big, 13 points. Will end up with 4 or 5 bags of grass, so I would not leave them by the bins for the regular collectors. Will only do it when I trim some plant, like my curry leaves, for instance – just one bag.

    Minced meat in kompia – a lot! Everywhere in Sibu, so easily available…but I think all oven/toaster toasted, the kompia, only one place deep fried – my friend, Annie’s favourite.

    I love cockles, but fresh ones…not the canned ones – once in a very long while, ok – not a problem plus if it is in char kway teow, you would probably get two or three only. Can’t even remember the last time I had any.

  6. I must learn how to cook phak lor sa chan from your missus…

    Hers is the best! Same recipe for pork leg and duck too! So very nice. I never bother to watch and learn though…but I know her cooking, a lot of extra ingredients…lots of garlic, shallots, all those – not like my cooking. I’m more stingy, save money. Hehehehehehe!!!!!

  7. Yes, sometimes I don’t mind getting the basic and turn it into an abundance of treat. The kompia with the stuffed pork belly looks so yummy.

    Yes, up to one’s creativity and imagination, may come out with something really nice.

  8. Just like my girl who does not fancy rice but with an exception for Japanese rice… hahahaa… Yes, anything else is fine except for rice, why are they like that? I love eating rice… no doubt about that, if possible once a day, this morning took nasi lemak already… so I am okay for the day! Using tin can cockles? hmmm.. I wouldn’t like that too but the noodles looks good though, moist… and the kompia.. wow, long time didn’t taste that… πŸ™‚

    Yes, I don’t like those canned cockles but the canned clams in soy sauce are great for frying bihun, very popular dish here…or pek koi (rice cakes). But must be those Amoy brand ones.

    Dunno these young people, not into rice. But sushi, they super duper love…and pasta, number one. Times sure have changed. I’m ok with those, my missus not really but no choice, will eat also lah. What to do? πŸ˜€

    Miss kompia? You can go Sitiawan since you ronda-ronda all over Perak. But theirs are not the same though – very different and their kampua also, not the same. Of course, ours are nicer. Hehehehehehe!!!!!

  9. I’m sure your missus’ stewed pork belly is lots tastier than the shop’s.

    Of course! The one outside is so diluted, very watery and mostly soy sauce – even the meat is so pale.

  10. Yes, i think dipping them into sauce will be a better option or at least serve the sauce one by one instead of drowning all of them in one go…

    Try telling the old lady at the very popular kompia stall here that and she’ll snap your head off. Been there, done that…would never ever go back there again, thank you very much.

  11. I like zhao cai hung ngang very much. It is something I can’t find it here.

    Foochow delight. My missus loves it, the more sour the better. I am not really a fan – fat people don’t like sour stuff. Hehehehehe!!!!

  12. I neaver had heard of kompia before, must be really good. I like that saucy sandwiched pork in the middle. Yum

    Some people call it Foochow bagel but no, I think kompia is nicer! πŸ˜‰

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