Same block…

My missus and I got here past 11.00 a.m. that morning but to our disappointment, they were not open for business yet. The food was nowhere to be seen and the two employees were busy cleaning the counter and the cabinet. I must say that I really appreciate their effort in ensuring that everything is always spick and span – at some hawker stalls, the sight of the mess on the counter top, on the floor and everywhere would put one off right away. I, for one, do not prescribe to what some people seem to believe – that the dirtier the place, the nicer the food. No, thank you.

In the end, we decided to check out the stalls at this coffee shop…

Jia Jia Lok Food Corner

…at the other end of the block.

I did not see anything out of the ordinary – most of the things would be available at coffee shops all over town, nothing that tickled my fancy. In the end, I decided to try the nasi lemak (RM4.00)…

Jia Jia Lok Food Corner nasi lemak

…from the Malay stall…

Jia Jia Lok Food Corner Malay stall

I thought that was not quite the right kind of plate to use for serving nasi lemak so to me, it sure did not look that enticing. The rice was very mildly lemak (rich with santan/coconut milk) and a little strong on the ginger while the sambal was not anything to shout about and there was so little of it. There was no ikan bilis (dried anchovies) but I did get a few salted fish – elsewhere they would give just one. Even with the one whole egg that they gave, not the usual half or the fried version, I would not think I would want to make my way here just to have this again.

The sup tulang (RM6.00)…

Jia Jia Lok Food Coirner sup tulung

…was another disappointment. It looked so very very nice in the photograph on display at the stall – I don’t know where they got it from and simply used for it certainly did not look anything like this – just two chunks of beef bones in clear soup with a few strands of taugeh (bean sprouts), thin strips of sliced cabbage and bits of some green vegetable. It tasted like plain clear soup, no taste of the beef in it and I have had many a lot nicer – the ones that came free of charge with my orders at other Malay shops and stalls…and to me, serving hot soup in a plastic bowl is a definite no-no.

My missus ordered the fried mee sua (RM5.00)…

Jia Jia Lok Food Corner fried mee sua

…from one of the Chinese stalls and she said it was quite nice but I was so put off by what I was served that I was not in the mood to even try.

After we were done, we went back to where we came and yes, the food was out of the kitchen already. Oh no!!! We did not have another round right there and then but we decided we would buy some of what they had for the day for dinner – that way, we would not need to bother about cooking that evening, just the rice, heat up everything and eat.

I thought the paku uban (another variety of our wild jungle fern)…

Anak Borneo paku uban

…looked really good but my missus was not keen on buying that. She has never eaten it and does not want to try – I have had it before, not as nice as the regular paku or our celebrated midin, a bit bitter but I wouldn’t mind it once in a  while for a change.

Of course, she must have her favourite – the kacang ma chicken…

Anak Borneo kacang ma chicken with tuak

…with the traditional Iban rice wine, the tuak…and I insisted that she bought this…

Anak Borneo ikan patin masak kunyit with terung Dayak

…too. She said that the patin (fish) might be smelly but I said that when we had it the last time, there was no smell and it was very nice so in the end, she bought it.

This was really very nice – tapioca leaves cooked with pansuh babi (pork cooked in bamboo)…

Anak Borneo daun Bandong with pansuh babi

…and I sure enjoyed it that night. That sure made up for the somewhat mediocre unexciting lunch that we had that day.

ANAK BORNEO (2.293072, 111.836789) is located at the Fortune Commercial Centre (Lorong Chew Siik Hiong) at the CHAMPION CORNER coffee shop that faces the back of the Rejang Medical Centre along Jalan Pedada…and JIA JIA LOK FOOD CORNER is in that same block of shops, right at the other end.

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