Few and far between…

I overheard a visitor asking one of the distinguished quests at one function at a hotel in town if there were any mamak makan shops here in Sibu and the guy replied that there was none and added that there were no Indians in Sibu. That, of course, was grossly incorrect! Indeed, we may not have that many Indians around here but no, we do have a couple of mamak or Indian-owned shops in town, one that was right across the road from the hotel and another one not too far away.

If I am not wrong, they are all West Malaysians who have settled down here and so far, I only know of one that has an authentic Indian chef from North India, and a very handsome one at that, so anytime and everytime my girl wants something Indian, that would be the one that we would head to, no less.

That day, she wanted the butter chicken curry…

Cafe Ind butter chicken curry bryani

…with a special request for the bryani rice instead of the pilau rice and yes, it was consistently good and my girl enjoyed it to the max.

The mum stuck faithfully to the kalio ayam

Cafe Ind kalio ayam
*Archive photo*

…that she would always go for everytime we drop by here, and without fail, with her usual request for the curry…

Cafe Ind kalio ayam curry

…to be extra spicy.

We were early, at least an hour or so before opening time, and the Indonesian chef was out when we got there so her assistant had to cook our orders for us. By the time the former came back with the boss of the cafe, everything was more or less done and the boss was aghast that I had ordered the mee jawa

Cafe Ind mee jawa 1

…but I thought it was nice – different, very different from those that one would find at the Malay shops around town including my favourite here but I enjoyed it especially with a squeeze of the calamansi lime provided.

I read somewhere that mee Bandung did not originate from Bandung, Indonesia and actually started in Muar, Johore but I don’t recall seeing or hearing anything along this same line about mee Jawa – whether it is originally Javanese or Indonesian but I’ve read somewhere that it is served with a tomato-based sauce and this one that I had here had just that which made it a little different from the local ones which, among other things, would not be so strong on the tomato and would have sweet potatoes in the kuah (gravy).

I wanted the mee bakso too (noodles served in beef ball soup) but the girl said that I might not be able to finish all of that as there would be noodles too in the mee jawa

Cafe Ind mee jawa 2

…so I settled for just the soup…

Cafe Ind bakso soup


Yes, I loved the freshly-made beef meatballs unlike the frozen ones that they would use elsewhere or at least, that was what I thought they were, here or here and I enjoyed the light clear soup as well but I would not think it would be enough to go with noodles – that would need a much thicker and richer broth.

Our bill came up to over RM60.00 but the boss collected RM50.00 only from me as he was somewhat apologetic that I had ordered the mee jawa plus we had to make do with what the assistant, not the chief Indonesian chef, dished out…which, in my opinion, was no big deal really as what we had were, to us, pretty good and we sure enjoyed the delightful lunch that day.

Author: suituapui

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

15 thoughts on “Few and far between…”

  1. I always thought the gravy in Mee Jawa is made from sweet potatoes and tamarind. I made it once. It was nice, morish, thick and it had a touch of sweetness and tartness however it is not a noodle I can have on a regular basis.

    You cook mee jawa? Wow! I’m impressed! I guess we can always go out and eat, they can be found all over town, virtually every Malay shop or stall and it is cheap too plus there are some very good ones so we never bother. Like how many people in Kuching cannot cook Kuching laksa, never tried.

    I dunno if there were sweet potatoes in this one as the gravy was not thick and starchy like the ones I know, the consistency was different but it was darker to be just tomato sauce – perhaps there was tamarind juice as well and I could detect the slight hint of some of the spices used, very nice. I would not like that too strong, too overpowering. I liked it even better with the sour lime juice added. My missus is no fan of mee jawa – here or anywhere else – she is not fond of the sweetness nor the thick gravy so she never orders that when we eat out.

  2. Indian food outlets are mushrooming over here in my area. There is one Indian shop just open not long ago. Have not go there and try it out yet.

    Very nice gesture of the owner to collect less from you. Overall the food is good and delicious-looking.

    Yes, food here is very good. Too bad no banana leaf. Kept telling the boss to have that – weekend or Saturday lunch special, once a week enough. Hopefully, he will take up my suggestion and give it a try. My girl loves banana leaf.

  3. Butter chicken is one of my fav Indian dishes – lots of naan to wipe up the very last remains of the curry too is necessary of course. 🙂

    I love naan too but my girl will always stick to her favourite nasi bryani, the one here. She loves that a lot.

  4. i really do think your photos are getting better and better each day
    so crisp and clear.

    what’s wrong with ordering the mee jawa? just because it was prepared by the assistant instead of the boss?
    glad you felt its good all the same 🙂

    It seems it is not one of the boss’ favourite, he did not seem to like it much but it is on the menu and to me, it was all right, nice – no regrets ordering it. My missus is no fan of mee jawa as well.

    Photos nicer? Same to me, same ol’ digicam…haven’t changed to something better.

  5. I eat Indian foods, but not really into it…

    Lots there! Way back in 1973, I used to go to one stall, Katong, for the mixed rice – very cheap and very very nice. No more there, I went on Google streetview to see – place completely different now.

  6. I am not really into Indian food as I always thought that they are hot & spicy. The beef meatballs soup looks great, would love it heaps.

    That’s where you are wrong, very very wrong. North Indian is not spicy at all, not even a bit…and you get the rich fragrance of the spices and herbs used in the cooking. I know those uninitiated are not into those that they call “smelly stuff” but for me, I would go for Indian anytime…instead of the usual mundane and bland cuisines…and yes, they use a lot of yogurt in their cooking so if you are not into that, you may need sometime to get used to their food.

    Indonesian can be spicy but here, they let you choose – you can have it non-spicy but we will always request for extra spicy! Super hot and nice.

  7. Reading this put a smile on my face, as it’s clear from the description of how your family chose the food and ordered that you and your wife and daughter all love and appreciate food very much! 😉 maybe I’d choose the kalio ayam, since I don’t see that a lot at restaurants!

    Good choice, it is one of the best from the Indonesian menu…or one of our favourites.

    Three people, different likes and dislikes. So what more to say everybody in general? Sure there will be things that I say are very nice but they are not to their liking and vice versa, to each his own.

  8. Obviously that visitor you mentioned asked the wrong person. I wonder why the boss was aghast that you ordered the mee jawa.

    Obviously but for someone important enough to be invited to a travel function as a distinguished guest, he sure was ignorant of things around here. As they say, sometimes it is best to keep one’s mouth shut and let everybody think you’re a fool than to open it and remove all doubt!

    I think he tried it before and personally, like my missus who does not like mee jawa, he is not fond of it plus it was the assistant chef who cooked it and he did not think she was quite up to it yet, not as good as the chief chef but his fears were unfounded – the mee jawa was all right, nice enough for me, no complaint…just that it was not quite the same as the ones we have locally, maybe that was the Indonesian version. Same name but not quite the same.

  9. Never had mee jawa – looks a bit like the mee rebus I know. Sauce might be different.

    It’s something along that same line. I loved mee rebus when I was in Singapore, 1973, but I think it is more like mee Bandung in the peninsula. Mee jawa, be it sweet potato or tomato-based, has a slightly sweet gravy, usually pinkish orange, not something that my missus fancies.

  10. My, they are saliva-inducing to the extreme!

    Bet you have lots of Indian and Indonesian places in Miri, city mah! Saw a friend post pics of one so-called Indonesian place there – but in his photos, the only thing Indonesian I saw was ayam penyet. The rest – mee mamak, Hainanese steamed chicken and nasi lemak. Fail, big time! This one has authentic chefs from India…and from Indonesia.

  11. LoL why did the boss react that way to the mee jawa? If it is not one of his favourite, then he should take it off the menu. But Arthur said it is good, so no worries there.

    One man’s meat is another man’s poison. He may not like but others may love it so I guess that is why it stays in the menu – I think it was good, no wow factor but good so it will depend on the price. Unfortunately I did not take note as to how much that bowl was. Wouldn’t be cheap, lots of prawns in it.

  12. The presentation of that kalio ayam is good! I will make one at home and present it like this as well.

    Yes, we love the presentation, very nice, lovely colours.

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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