Used to be better…

I was thinking of checking out one new place in town, western, that night on my missus’ birthday but my girl said she felt like having rice and dishes and suggested going here…

Ming Mei Shi Restaurant, Sibu

…for dinner instead and of course, her wish was my command.

I had read comments on Facebook about how expensive this place had become and how the food served was not always nice anymore. I did feel the things getting a little pricey even before they moved here from the old place but quality control was always consistent – we did enjoy what we had, most of the time at least.

Anyway, since it was my missus’ birthday, I thought we should go to some place nice…

Ming Mei Shi, ground floor

…and a little more grand…

Ming Mei Shi, chandelier

…than our usual haunts, never mind that it might be a little more expensive and fingers crossed, hopefully, the food would be good…plus, this would be a chance for me to check out their new premises…

Ming Mei Shi, shop sign

– I had not been here since they moved.

My girl wanted this…

Four Heavenly Kings

…their combination of four types of beans fried with sambal belacan (dried prawn paste) but it turned out to be just long beans, ladies fingers, brinjal and baby corn so it was not really all beans, actually. I thought it tasted all right and so was this dish of asparagus…

Asparagus with inogi

…that I also ordered. Unfortunately, my girl was recovering from a flu that she had in the course of the week but she was getting much better already. Still, she had a bit of a stuffed nose that night and could not really taste what she ate. Everything came across as rather salty to her, nothing more and nothing less.

We also ordered our favourite, the creamy butter prawns…

Butter prawns

…and this was probably the third time they got our order wrong. We specifically said we would want the “wet” version and yet, it came out dry. If ever we were to go back again, which is highly unlikely, I would insist on them taking it back and cooking it again, the way we would like it.

We wanted steamed fish and they did not have our favourite, the lajong and the chief waitress who took our orders suggested their ngor hu, whatever that is called in English or Malay. This was what it looked like…

Steamed fish 1

…not a very pleasant sight, I must say, and I expected one or two slices of the fish which can be rather big sometimes but what we got in the end was one whole fish…

Steamed fish 2

…and thankfully, it was not a very big one. It would have been very nice but unfortunately, I think it was not all that fresh, probably kept frozen for quite a while already so it tasted bland, not sweet at all and not all that nice…so I had to resort to dipping it in soy sauce which I would never do with anything that tastes great.

Of course, with the fish and the prawns which were quite big, very fresh and firm and succulent, we did not expect the meal to be all that cheap and the total for all the food, rice and drinks came up to RM99.90, RM105.90 with GST.

Stunned by the price and somewhat disappointed with what we had, and rather put off by the songs by some Chinese singers in some kind of a reality show on those television screens blasting in our ears the whole time we were there through the huge loudspeakers all over the not-very-big place on the ground floor (may be good for around 15 tables or so only), we left as soon as we could and adjourned somewhere else for dessert in the hope that we might find a little consolation…but that will be in the next post!

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Author: suituapui

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

19 thoughts on “Used to be better…”

  1. Price seems ok since there is a fish dish but for 3 persons, the price is a bit steep as it works out to be about RM35 per person.

    It is, isn’t it? 😦 Not all that keen on going back there ever again…and it would not have been so bad if the prawns were done the way we wanted it and the fish was so very sweet and nice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, not at all.

  2. Two vege dish. If my family dined out on our own, without friends, there will be only one vege dish but lots of chicken and fish. My boys naughty dont eat sayur.

    I find it annoying if they get our order wrongly. You are so kind not to send the dish back into the kitchen.

    We don’t mind it dry but we do like the creamy version a lot more…but to get it wrong so many times is inexcusable. Hmmmm…all that meat, don’t they constipate? 😀 😀 😀

  3. My hubby is very particular when it come to meat. Like in my previous post about we having crispy duck. It was frozen and was not cook well and my hubby could taste it. He always the stingy type and want something fresh. Especially when dining out and he could not accept anything less. ^^

    Anyway I love the asparagus and butter prawns. Yum yum. And fish sure looked scary. Haha.

    Nothing cheap nowadays and we, customers expect more (if not the same) quality and service as we fork out our hard-earn money.

    I think they all use the VERY CHEAP frozen duck from Perak now, not a good idea to roast it since it isn’t fresh but ok for phak lor/braised five spice and soy sauce. I don’t like frozen chicken as well – the texture is hoo-hoo, not nice and firm…and of course, fish and prawns MUST be fresh especially when they charge so much for those. Pay so much and get to eat something so bland and tasteless – that is really the pits!!!

    Me too, don’t mind it being a little bit expensive but what they dish out must be very good and to our satisfaction. Like this, I would feel somewhat shortchanged and would not want to go there again.

  4. These dishes doesn’t look like restaurant standard. Presentation failed big time especially the steamed fish. Are those 2 yellow pieces ginger?…but I like the 2 veg. dishes.

    Yes, two giant slices of ginger, that was all! We would do a whole lot better when it comes to presentation even though it would just be for ourselves to eat at home. But presentation is secondary. I remember we went to a place called Green Hill, a long drive from Kuching and we had the steamed pek chio, a big one, not much ingredient used, no presentation but the fish was so fresh, so nice, so sweet that we ordered another one. Unfortunately, the second one was not so good, disappointing.

  5. Aiya, when I read your first sentence, I saw western, I thought got chicken chop and ribs.. But “kiu soong” (rice+dishes) is good too.. The 2 veggie dishes look nice, but the fish looks not so fresh..

    Oh? So that’s the term for it. Is that Cantonese? You hit the nail on the head – not fresh, frozen too long…so bland! 😦

  6. The place looks quite grand but has a ‘ah beng’ mentality with all these music blasting … Lol
    The butter cream prawns looks good but it seems their waiter is quite blur huh. Got your preferences wrong.

    Even the decor, very typically Chinese restaurant set up but then again, that’s what it is so one can’t expect anything different.

    You’d be surprised to find some western joints here playing Chinese songs full blast too – plus all the loud chatter like everyone was giving speeches, addressing everybody in the whole place, gives me a headache! No class at all.

    The prawns were ok – dunno the captain, maybe she could not understand my half-past-six Mandarin.

  7. To be frank… none of the dishes look great, they need to work more on presentation. Price-wise, pretty standard for a restaurant

    You mean those would be the regular prices in Penang. Gee!!! I would not survive long there. I am ok with presentation – it is the taste that I am concerned with…and as far as the fish went, I’d give it a zero…and maybe a few marks for the sauce which was not as bad.

  8. I have patronised the restaurant even more frequently ever since they moved to the new place for lunch (their Chap fan). The restaurant still has lots of customers esp during lunch break when most of the office workers as well as ITA students will grab their quick lunch there. HAHA! You really cracked me up with your remark about the blasting loudspeakers! My parents felt the same way like you; but for me, I did enjoy the songs!

    Old folks, can’t stand all that noise. I can’t imagine being in one of those cars, vibrating from the techno music inside. I’d die, I’m sure. 😀

    We used to go and buy their chap fan dishes home until they said we could not do so unless we buy the rice too. I did go and eat once – was ok, msg overload so not quite to my liking. I prefer the chap fan at 101, nicer. The shops in that area sure enjoy a lot of business from the nursing college students – the one directly opposite is always packed round lunchtime.

  9. Happy Birthday to Lucy! Yes, she deserves a good meal for celebration… but too bad the food disappointed you. The food is definitely a lot for three persons… can feed at least 4 or 5 people. 🙂 I think the evening ended with some slurping desserts? 🙂

    Thank you. Come back tomorrow to see what we had for our after-dinner treat! 😉

  10. haha, with all that sharp teeth, the fish looked like it was about to eat the diners!

    Muahahahahahaha!!! Good one! It sure was not good looking!

  11. That was a very fierce looking fish! 😀 Too bad that it was not fresh. Perhaps it would have been better deep fried.

    That is what they usually do at restaurants if the fish is not all that fresh – deep fry, serve with a thick and clear sweet and sour sauce (not tomato) with lots of garlic, ginger & chili. I would enjoy that, I’m sure.

  12. Oh, sorry to hear about the disappointing meal … I guess the thing about disappointing meals though is that they help us to appreciate the good meals more 🙂

    Yes, and we get all the wiser for it – wouldn’t know unless we’ve tried it ourselves. For one thing, I do see more people now in the usually not so busy ones – maybe everyone is going back to where the food is good and a lot more affordable.

  13. Oh, they have moved to a new place? Bigger now? Hmmm..it is not good, if they don’t maintain their standard.

    For Sibu standard i find it is a bit steep to paid for RM100+.

    The fish reminded me of what we had on mother’s day dinner. A huge 3kg+ Soon Hock fish, very nice and fresh and very meaty!

    I dunno – they said ngor hu…and my friend shared on Facebook – he says it’s chiok pan. I dunno fish – don’t tell me that is a cheaper fish and they shortchanged me on the type of fish used even. So pissed off!!!

    Yes, really expensive. No wonder I see a lot of people at Ruby now – maybe people are coming back because it is getting so expensive over here…and the food is not always nice now, they say, not anymore.

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