A friend of mine posted on Facebook a photograph of what looked like lor mee to me (blame my ancient handphone for that – the photos are small and you can’t enlarge) and it sure looked very good but she said it was mee jawa. Never mind! It certainly appeared yummy enough for me to want to go and check it out so I asked her to tell me where she had that. She responded very promptly that she could not remember the name of the shop and it was opposite the government offices.
Hmmmm…that was kind of vague especially when there are lots of government offices scattered over different parts of town but I could jolly well guess that she was referring to the Federal Complex and I did recall there were some Malay coffee shops in the area right across the road facing the so-called Lovers’ Bridge…
…and yes, there was one, this one (2.324460, 111.839981)…
According to the guy, I assumed he was the owner, he was originally from Kelantan but has been here for many years now. I asked if he was in the army, retired and he said yes. Obviously there are those who came and never want to go back and they probably got married to the locals. We do have quite a few of them around like this one here who is a retired teacher, also originally from West Malaysia, and he too has stayed back and gone into the food business.
For once, the coffee…
…was quite good. Generally, what you will get at the Malay coffee shops would be very very sweet, very diluted with hardly any coffee fragrance but I would say the one that I had here was pretty decent.
You can get some of the things they serve here at this stall…
…and they also do some cooking at the back – I did hear somebody ordering kampua goreng (fried kampua noodles) but I did not have that.
I had the mee jawa (RM4.50)…
…and it was somewhat different from what I would be more familiar with elsewhere with the pinkish orange sweet potato gravy – somehow, this one made me think of the mee rebus that I used to enjoy a lot when I was in Singapore, 1973…
There was a lot of beef in it and half an egg, chunks of tomato and some green vegetable, sawi…and all in all, I would say it was quite nice and though it may not get me rushing back for more, I wouldn’t mind having that again should I happen to drop by this shop another time.
My missus ordered the mee kolok (RM4.00)…
…and ordering that at a Malay stall is a big mistake. Even the Chinese stalls here, most if not all of them, cannot get it right…so let’s just say that she was not impressed.
I also tried their nasi lemak (RM4.50)…
…and it was good – no, not that wow, it is so very good kind of good but at least, the rice was not hard and dry with a very faint hint of lemak-ness (richness with santan/coconut milk) and I could detect the ginger and the fragrance of pandan (screwpine leaf) in it. The sambal was very nice and I liked the bits of salted fish that they gave by the side.
It was only around 10 something in the morning and I saw quite a number of people having the nasi campur there. The ulam or our Malaysian salad…
…was ready and it did look quite enticing and there were quite a few dishes…
…already available as well…
The pandan chicken…
…caught my eye and I liked how they put everything in a cabinet with wire mesh-covered sliding doors to keep out those pesky flies, not that I could spot any the whole time we were there, and if you look at the photograph of the noodle stall above, it seemed that they had the noodles ready in the bowls already and they went through the trouble of covering each one of them with a plate. Ain’t that nice, their efforts to be hygienic and clean?
I certainly would be back here again to give the nasi campur a try but not as early as 10 something in the morning, maybe a little later. LOL!!
14 thoughts on “Tell me where…”
We both like a good coffee. I could not get any good coffee ground fit for the purpose where I was. It was the same coffee beans and roasted in the same manner, week in, week out. Yawn! Optimum roast is not an option there.
Flies! Flies! Yes, I agree with you, too. I can’t stand flies around food.
What is mee kolok?
I have never had an Ulan. I like the look of the nasi campur. Is the latter sold by weight or it depends on the serving dish?
You’re sure you don’t know mee kolok? And you are from Kuching? You left when you were a toddler or what? The Malays call it like that, in Hokkien we call it kolo mee. It is to Kuching like what kampua mee is to Sibu. One of my favourites is the one at the Green Road shops:
…or Oriental Park:
Ulam…with an M is raw vegetables or some lightly blanched eaten with sambal belacan – the one in front that look like eggettes is petai (stink beans) – you peel off the skin and eat the beans inside.
Nasi campur is like the Chinese chap fan (mixed rice) – usually there is a standard price list, how much for two meat and one veg and so on and so forth. The Chinese will scoop and serve you. The Malays will let you help yourself, buffet style, some places and then charge you for what you take – and they do not seem too strict about the sizes of your scoops, some places. The mamaks (Indian Muslims) have their nasi kandar, also along this same line.
Thanks for the explanation. It’s helpful. Mee kolok with bean sprouts, Malay style?
That is why I would not have ordered that, dunno what made my missus do it. Usually, we would have bean sprouts in the soup that comes with kolo mee like at Kim Joo:
or in the beef soup alongside the kolo mee kosong:
Some websites states that mee rebus and mee jawa are the same thing. Are they? Traditionally, does mee jawa come with shredded chicken?
Do the petai have an acquired taste?
Petai? Acquired smell, yes. Acquired taste, not really. You will have to get used to the stinky smell and that would take a whole lot of effort – tastes like any beans, very nice. Lots of health benefits, they say.
Mee jawa here has a sweet potato/tomato based gravy so it is pinkish orange in colour – my missus does not like it as it is on the sweet side. We do not get mee rebus here, not that I know of, but I used to eat that in Singapore – darkish brown gravy, not sweet, bursting with flavours. Totally different…other than the fact that they are both noodles with whatever condiments they give you on top – dunno of any rule that says you must have this or have that. You know of any? You can click the link somewhere below the first mee jawa pic to see my favourite in town and the special comes with yummy prawn fritters!!! To me, that is a major draw!
Generally, I do think it’s the gravy that is of utmost important….like Kuching or Sarawak laksa with those giant prawns or lobsters and what not. Why not? As long as the soup is nicely done, exactly the way it should be but not when it is adversely affected by all those added ingredients? I’ve tried doing that with our freshwater prawns – nice but no longer the same – the taste of the prawns was too overpowering.
I prefer to go for economy rice in the morning cos the dishes are fresh and hot during that time…. The jawa mee looks good, thick gravy…
Yes, but not so early. I prefer places where they start cooking around mid-morning so everything would be piping hot and nice come lunchtime. I enjoyed the mee jawa, the nasi lemak not so much.
Over here, the dishes start to come out around 10.30 onwards… So best time is 11am.. All piping hot…
They do have hot boiling water underneath the special stall to keep all the food in the metal trays warm…unlike some where all the food are kept in plates or plastic containers in their covered stall display cupboard.
I would want to go for the nasi campur too. Pandan chicken. Hardly seen this dish in Malay nasi campur over here.
Mee Jawa. Maybe the Kelantan version of Mee Jawa.
No idea but no harm doing it a little differently, as long as it is very nice.
I also like a good coffee, even though my preference is tea. Interesting, I drink tea at home and have a coffee when I go out with a friend.
I hardly drink tea though sometimes I may crave for the tri-colour special we have here – layers of tea, evaporated milk, palm sugar and wheatgrass or pandan (screwpine) syrup. Very rich and nice…if they do it well.
The mee jawa gravy looks good. What’s the vegetable that looks like peas in a pod?
Petai, stink beans! You open the pod to take the smelly seeds out to eat, the outside is not edible…or not that I know of.
Of course, I haven’t seen them for so long that I’ve forgotten!
Bet you do not see them all that much in Singapore. I think in big cities like KL, many would only get to see them pre-peeled, all the seeds neatly packed in plastic containers, ready to cook.
Mee jawa looks good. Yes, taugeh in “cheng” soup but not in kolo mee. Quite a good spread of food at the nasi campur stall.
I don’t think they had all come out yet, still a lot of vacant spaces in the stall. It was still early, anyway.
Have not eaten Mee Jawa in a long time, but as far as Halal Mee Kolok is concerned, the ones worth-trying in Miri are at Kafe Aseanika and Stall P. Ramlee(at Taman Seroja).
You have nice kolo mee at some places there, Chinese, not here in Sibu – they’re not quite the same even at the Chinese stalls.
Ooo, I’ve never actually known what mee jawa is … I assume it’s Indonesian … I think I’ve had it once or twice, but it didn’t really appeal to me cos the broth/gravy was rather one-dimensional – but maybe I’ve not had the authentic ones yet 🙂
I have no idea but I do know that Mee Bandung originated in Muar, Johore, not in Bandung.