If one is in the food business, one very crucial thing that is of utmost importance is that one must be able to maintain the quality of what one sells, more or less, so customers would know exactly what to expect and get that much-coveted satisfaction without fail everytime.

I dropped by the Malay kueh stall here again last week and no, the elusive Kate pulut panggang was nowhere to be seen as always and I did not feel like settling for the ones that I would consider second best. I remember buying the fried or koi (yam cake) here not too long ago at only 3 for RM1.00 and it was so good. There were chunks of yam inside and bits of udang kering (dried prawns), so very cheap and so very nice. That was why I bought some more…

Kpg Hilir fried or koi

…that day for tea but unfortunately, it was so so very disappointing.

The quality was way below what I had bought and enjoyed so much before, no chunks of yam, no udang kering, nothing…

Kpg Hilir fried or koi, inside

…mostly flour and it would not be so bad if it had not been so very salty. We just ate a few pieces and in the end, I threw all the rest away. Never mind that it is cheaper – I would much sooner fork out a little bit more to buy the ones here, 50 sen each but 5 for RM2.00 and derive a lot more satisfaction from those.

It was a hot day that day – well, it is getting hotter and hotter here, not a single drop of rain for a long time now – so I decided not to have my usual kopi-o-peng (iced black coffee) which, usually, they do not do well at the Malay shops and stalls, I dunno why. Once in Kuching, I asked for iced Nescafe, black, thinking that they couldn’t possibly go wrong with instant coffee…and they did. Tsk! Tsk! Instead, I asked for the ang-tao peng or ais kacang from one of the two drink stalls at the hawker centre in the vicinity…

Simpang Tiga ais kacang 1

…and never mind that they probably gave just a teaspoon of the red beans…

Simpang Toga ais kacang 2

…it was so so so good, so cold and so refreshing. It was very rich, very lemak and if I am not wrong, they had santan (coconut milk) plus evaporated milk…and I had the feeling that they used our local gula apong (attap or nipah palm sugar) which does not taste quite the same as gula Melaka (coconut palm sugar) but it is very nice in its own way. I sure wouldn’t mind going for it again if this unbearably scorching weather persists, heaps better and a lot nicer than the disappointing one that I had here.

Ahhhh!!! The African’s back!…

Simpang Tiga SEDC hawker centre - food stall

…His stall was closed all throughout the fasting month of Ramadhan and even after Hari Raya, business did not resume till not too long ago. I was wondering if he had decided to pack his bags and go back to his continent or not but no, he’s still around!

My missus had his pili-pili (peri-peri) chicken rice (RM9.00)…

Pili-pili chicken rice 1

…complete with the peri-peri sauce and tomato salsa…

Pili-pili chicken rice 2

…while I had the Moroccan rice (RM9.00)…

Moroccan chicken rice 1

My missus commented that the chicken was no longer grilled/barbecued and instead, it was fried…

Moroccan chicken rice 2

…which made it nothing more than those slightly cheaper ayam penyet ones all around town with a few cosmetic differences.

Yes, it was still quite nice but if the chicken is going to be fried from now on, we would not be in such a hurry to come back here for more – somehow the quality is not quite the same anymore. I’ve heard comments from friends – they all came to try and they all liked what they had. That guy should think twice about rocking the boat when the sailing all this while has been smooth and good.

Author: suituapui

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

14 thoughts on “Quality…”

  1. Yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly – consistency is key!

    Kinda disappointing to go all the way to find it is not as great as the previous time. We had steamed fish at a seafood town somewhere near Kuching – it was so so so good that we just had to order a second one but the latter was quite disappointing. We never went back there again.

  2. I like crispier yam cake.

    Peri-peri chicken!! Hmm. Maybe fried easier than grilled? Not sure. Why change the method?

    I have no idea. Maybe we were early and the guy had not started his charcoal fire yet? Normally people would have rice for lunch, we were there around 10 something.

  3. I agree with you, I wouldn’t mind forking out a bit more for the satisfaction you get from food! Especially now I’m getting older, stomach space is precious commodity LOL!

    PS: Thank you for the very nice comment on my blog post. It touched my heart.

    Most welcome. I feel for you – been there, done that. Not easy being a parent but we try our best. You have two – boys and I just had one, a girl so I can understand what you have to go through.

    Yes, I sure will not mind paying more if something is nicer or good. No point paying less and wasting all the money and calories. In this case, I threw all the rest away, at least RM2 worth and we did not even enjoy what we ate. So pissed off by it all.

  4. See the pili-pili (peri-peri) chicken, makes me think of eating briyani, but i have to share it as find the rice a lot…

    Yes, I do think the rice could be a little less, a bit too much. We can share the rice, if you come here with me but no, I will have all the chicken. You just eat the rice. Hehehehehe!!!!

  5. I cannot stand food that is any of the following: too hot and spicy, too salty or too sweet. So sorry you were disappointed.

    I like it hot and spicy but too salty, no…and too sweet, no as well.

  6. Both the chicken dishes looks good though the chix are deep fried instead of grilled. Ang tao peng, good to have especially during this so so hot season.

    Yes, despite being fried, it tasted ok, and the meat texture was nice, juicy – not the frozen chicken where the meat is hoo-hoo and quite tasteless. The hot weather persists, every day I feel like going back for the ang tao peng but the idea of going out in the heat puts me off. 😦

  7. Did you manage to provide feedback to the african? he might not realize that though…

    Nope, left as soon as we finished eating – didn’t see him in front, probably busy at the back. Next time we drop by, we will request for charcoal-grilled, not fried – that or nothing.

  8. That’s my major complaint too – the quality not consistent or dropped totally. Even at my favorite place, sometimes I get disappointed.

    I guess it depends on who’s cooking. Sometimes they get their assistants or their apprentices to cook and hence, the quality is not quite the same. There should be better supervision and quality control especially at the upscale classy places.

    I had very nice kway teow th’ng at a stall at Jalan Alor once – guy from Sitiawan.
    Second time I went, he was there but he left the cooking to the Indonesian helper – same thing but not so nice.

  9. Ooo, authentic peri-peri chicken by a South African? Is it nicer than Nando’s? 😉

    I had Nando’s a long long long time ago when my girl was still in school. I can’t remember how good it was…but I’m sure it is nicer, lots more choices of sauces and everything, I hear. This one here, it is the special rice that is the main draw, bursting with flavours with the herbs used…served with peri-peri sauce, dunno if it is Nando’s sold in bottles here or his own-made one. The chicken is…just chicken, used to be nicer when charcoal-grilled. Ummmm…he’s African, not sure from north, south, east or west. 😀

  10. I usually provide feedback to the vendor or eatery when I eat out or buy their fruits etc unless there is a language barrier.
    When I was asked about the pasta in Munich, Germany we were given two spirits on the house because the pasta was just so-so.

    I rather they put the price up a bit rather than cutting corners, for example your ice kacang. I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for the red beans if I requested for more. Are red beans expansive?

    Is Gula Apong inferior? I probably cannot distinguish the difference between Gula Apong and Gula Melaka, visually and when consumed.

    I’m learning a lot from your blog.

    I will not give comments nor complain (or maybe I would if it is really bad like the meat is uncooked or something). I would just eat and if it is not good, I will not come again. Sometimes at the classier fine dining places, the chef will come and ask if everything is satisfactory, but usually at such places, the food is good enough, not much to comment or complain. Ordinary restaurants and shops and stalls, I would take note – if I go back again, I will tell them things like not so salty, less msg, I don’t want this or I don’t want that…or I will just not go back again. Some are very fierce, you comment – they will snap your head off, especially the old ones. Different culture here.

    I don’t mind there being very few red beans – these are the bigger ones – they use those in Kuching too and I prefer the usual small ones that we have here so I am not all that keen on them adding more. Yes, I would be willing to pay a bit extra too for a bit more of things that I like a lot.

    Gula apong and gula Melaka are two different things – the tastes are different, not that one is inferior to the other. In ais kacang, cendol and stuff, I would be more used to gula Melaka as everybody else uses that elsewhere but with the gula apong in the one I had here, I thought it tasted pretty good too. Normally, we use gula apong to eat as a dip for boiled tapioca, in the making of our local cakes and delicacies…and more recently, we have gula apong ice cream – it is actually soft ice cream, vanilla, served with gula apong. It seems to be doing very well in Kuching, people queuing up for it…

  11. Ang tao peng, I like! Weather is hot here, always want something icy and cooling 😉

    Hot there too, eh? We did get rain once or twice in the past few days but no improvement. Other times, still as hot as ever.

  12. This quality on food or consistency is one of the problems from smaller eateries. Even the kopi also differs, from the same person who make it. I guess that’s common everywhere but the really good ones did maintain the quality of their food. Another factor is the sifu is not around and let the assistance handle the cooking.

    Happens often especially places where they leave everything to the China nationals…or the Indons, Banglas or Myanmarese though there may be some who can do their job really well.

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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