Hidden treasure…

It seems that after all this time, many people do not know of the existence of this place along Laichee Lane here (2.290813, 111.829294)…

Cafe Ind Sibu 1
*Archive photo*

…as it is hidden behind a block of shops facing the main road (Jalan Kampung Nyabor) where the Bank Simpanan Nasional, Sibu branch (2.290561, 111.829071), is located. I was asking Melissa’s coursemate and his wife when they dropped by my house for Chinese New Year why they never went there when the food was really very nice…

Cafe Ind Sibu 2
*Archive photo*

…and they had a Halal certificate from their religious authorities…

Certified halal by Jakim
*Archive photo*

…and they said they did not know there was anything worth checking out back there.

Well, when my godson/ex-student, Andrew, and his family were home for Chinese New Year, they did go past the place and they asked me about it and I told them that they should really make it a point to go and try the Indian or Indonesian delights served there and they did! The whole clan, over 20 of them from Andrew’s family!!!

Andrew’s wife, Michelle, had the ayam penyet

Cafe Ind ayam penyet
*Archive photo*

…which she said was good. For one thing, at least, it was cooked by a true-blue Indonesian lady chef, not some half-baked wannabe running some stall in a coffee shop or by the roadside selling this same dish. However, if she had asked me what she should have – since they only had one chance to eat there before going back to New Zealand – I would suggest their nasi kalio ayam

Cafe Ind kalio ayam
*Archive photo*

…with the very nice Indonesian curry served in a banana boat or their ayam opor (RM14.50)…

Cafe Ind ayam opor 1

…that I was glad to hear Andrew had – I so love this dish. It’s a milder version of the chicken korma curry, not so strong on those spices but very rich and creamy and full of flavours. As a matter of fact, if I were given a choice between korma whatever and this, I would not have any second thoughts in settling for this one and I absolutely love the egg and potatoes by the side…

Cafe Ind ayam opor 2

…too and the lovely pounded chili dip was so very nice as well!

Well, last Saturday, my girl wanted bryani rice for lunch so we headed there right away. It seemed that they now have this mutton vindaloo

Cafe Ind mutton vindaloo

…that is new on their Indian menu and one can have a choice of chicken instead if he or she is not into lamb/mutton.

In a regular set, one would have that served with basmati rice (RM17.50) but of course, my girl wanted her bryani so we asked for that instead…

Cafe Ind mutton vindaloo with bryani rice

…and from what I understand, they would charge a couple of ringgit more for that. It certainly is a little cheaper, with a whole lot of meat and potatoes in a serving (and it’s the same too if you are having their mutton curry) than anything that is lamb here but of course, they’re different in their own ways and they are all very nice so I shall not comment further on this.

My missus had their ikan sumbat or stuffed fish (RM17.50)…

Cafe Ind ikan sumbat

…with a special request for it to be extra spicy and it really is a wonder how they can remove all the bones from inside that ikan kembong and stuff it with the very nice filling. Yes, she loved it a lot and all that came with it – the grilled brinjal, skin removed, served with its special curry gravy…

Terung bakar with special curry gravy

…and the very nice kerabu


I thought I would just order this tandoori chicken (RM13.00)…

Cafe Ind tandoori chciken

…and I could eat what would be left from my girl’s order – she usually would not be able to finish the rice but she said she might be able to do that and I would not have enough to eat in the end so I ordered the aforementioned ayam opor for myself. As a matter of fact, I was craving for that ever since I heard that Andrew had it the week before and I sure was glad I did that – it was as nice as I could remember it to be.

In the end, I ate the papadum and asked for the tandoori chicken to be wrapped so we could take it home and have it for dinner. We sure enjoyed everything to the max – it certainly was a most delightful lunch…and when I went to pay the bill, the boss said that the mutton vindaloo with bryani rice was on the house  – he wanted to let me try it since it was new on the menu…and I only had to fork out RM50.00 when the total was actually RM68.50. That sure made my day!

Those of you who have never been here should drop by sometime and give it a try – I bet you will love what they dish out here and I can tell you many of the things here are a whole lot nicer that at some places around town that seem to enjoy a lot more business, for reasons unknown.

Author: suituapui

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

44 thoughts on “Hidden treasure…”

  1. Amazed at how they removed the bones from inside the kembong. Though I am not much into Indian cuisine, I still like all your choices.

    I hear it is not easy as the kembong must be really fresh and it is very small and the skin tears easily.

  2. A hidden gem. Good recommendation. The food looked great.

    You’ve never checked this place out when you were here? Too bad you missed it – make sure you drop by should you be passing this way again.

  3. I’m quite intrigued by what you said about the fish being de-boned – must be a very skilful chef to do that.

    The Filipinos do it too – I had that at their franchise place, Pancake International but the fish was bigger. Not easy doing it with an ikan kembong, I’m sure.

  4. It’s so nice when you find hidden gems like this.

    Yes, one more place to choose from when we feel like going for a little pampering and enjoy something really nice.

  5. Laichee lane … that’s the best street name I’ve heard this year! 😉 I’ll have the ayam opor- chicken and potatoes is a can’t-fail combo! 😉

    Why? We do have roads and lanes named after fruits and vegetables, mostly local. They do plant our own local ones these days except that it is usually spelt lychee. The ayam opor is a good choice, of that I can assure you.

  6. I love hole-in-the-walls kind of restaurants.
    Food looks good here.

    No, this isn’t a hole in the wall kind of place – two shoplots in the corner of the block, quite a big place. Food is superb!

  7. The ikan kembong is like ikan already kembang! I super like that…. hard to get this type of stuffed ikan kembong around my area, mostly are stuffed in ikan cincaru and their sambal is nowhere near to what my mom used to do… lots of work pounding the ingredients but really best in the whole world! hahahaa… Yes, I agree the lunch was delightful, somemore got discount! 🙂

    You can enjoy all the lovely stuff they have to offer if ever you come over again…though I doubt you will.

  8. What a gem! Everything looks great and hopefully more people will discover the place.

    It should be doing pretty well to be able to stay open all these years but with the delicious fare on their menu, they should be doing a whole lot better to make it a lot more worthwhile to stay open. I think they lack aggressive promotions to pull in the crowd. I do hope business will pick up after this. Other places half as nice or not even nice are doing a whole lot better. 😦

  9. Their curry really caught my eyes, especially the green curry.

    Green curry? Where? The ayam opor? That’s not green curry – more like the Indonesian version of our Malaysian chicken korma curry.

  10. That nasi kalio ayams presentation is great! I love that banana leaf bowl. I think I will look for that here in some of the Malaysian restaurants I know. Looks delish and great suggestion for someone that is going back in NZ

    All good here, everything – we sure would want to go back there again and again and again.

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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