Cafe on the corner…

Now, who knows Bee Guan? Well, if you are as old as I am and grew up in this little town, you probably would know the shop at the corner of the Sarawak Building…

The Ruai

…where the Sarawak Hotel, at one time the No. 1 hotel in Sibu, is…

The Sarawak Building & Hotel

Bee Guan was the shop belonging to the Teo family and it used to be here then, along what was Cross Road, now Ramin Way, right next to the Rex Cinema…

Rex Cinema

…across the road from this Chinese primary school…

SRJK Chung Hua Sibu

That was where I would buy all my DC comics – Superman, Batman, Spiderman…you name it, I had it, and all my black vinyl records, LP’s, EP’s and singles by names such as Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell and our local talents such as Rose Iwanaga and the Avengers, the ones from Singapore like the Thunderbirds (and Heather), Naomi (Suriya) and the Boys (and Henry), Shirley Nair and the Silver Strings featured in this special video clip in conjunction with the island republic’s 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebration in 2015…

…and the list goes on and on and on. This was also where I could faithfully buy my copies of The Dolphin (a Borneo Literature Bureau publication) and every Saturday, we would go to collect my father’s subscription of the weekly tabloid from Brunei, The Borneo Bulletin.

Right now, there is a newly-opened coffee shop, the Ruai, occupying that little corner but the shop sign has not been put up yet. Well, from the name and some of the decor that they have put up here…

The Ruai decor 1

…and there…

The Ruai decor 2

…one would know what kind of food they serve here. No, they do not have those cabinets with sliding mosquito-netting doors…

The Ruai nasi campur counter

…so it is not so easy to see what dishes they have unless they turn the lids a bit like in the photograph – that probably would help a little.

I heard someone saying that the food “bay hak nang ciak” (not suitable for us to eat) but the fried mee and kway teow were quite nice. That was why I ordered their fried kway teow with kerang/cockles (RM4.00)…

The Ruai fried kway teow with kerang

…but there was no sign of the kerang at all. Eventually, I saw those microscopic canned clams in soy sauce in it. At best, I would say it was all right, not anything to get excited about and I just tried a bit and tapao-ed the rest home.

If you are wondering why I did not eat it all up, it was because we wanted to try the ethnic food that they are serving for their nasi campur. My missus had the sayur ensabi

The Ruai sayur ensabi

– they had the fresh ones not the kasam or preserved version that we used to have at this other place. I did not want that as people told me it was bitter but when my missus gave me a bit to try, I found that it was not, not at all and it was very nice; I sure would not mind having that the next time we drop by here.

She also had the pork cooked in soy sauce and the tapioca leaves that I also had…

The Ruai nasi campur

…along with the pansoh ikan keli (catfish cooked in bamboo).

The pansuh ayam (chicken cooked in bamboo) came out later so we asked for some (RM2.00)…

The Ruai pansuh ayam

…to try and yes, it was good just that the soup was a bit too salty; it went very well with rice though and we did enjoy it. Still, I would say that I very much preferred the catfish…

The Ruai ikan keli

…but of course, one would have to be careful with the bones. What my missus and I picked for our nasi campur came up to only RM9.00 altogether – cheap and nice and for sure, we would not mind coming back again for more. They did say that they would put up the daily menu up in front of the shop (after the Gawai), all the dishes available each day.

They open everyday from around 6.00 a.m., they said, till around 7.00 p.m. and for one thing, although we were there early, past 10.30 a.m., the dishes were ready already unlike at the other place where we had to go away disappointed more than once as they were not open yet.

THE RUAI (2.289479, 111.827220) is located at The Sarawak Building along Ramin Way, formerly Cross Road or Jalan Lintang to the left of what used to be the Rex Cinema, opposite the Chung Hua Primary School.

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Author: suituapui

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

10 thoughts on “Cafe on the corner…”

  1. RM9 for what you both had is really reasonably priced. You’ve just reminded me that I have not eaten tapioca leaf for a while now. I used to love it back when I was still staying with my parents. Ever since I moved to KL, no more.

    I guess even buying the leaves would be a problem in KL? We love it! Can just go to some vacant land in our neighbourhood and pluck, free – it grows so very easily, all over.

  2. From the photo, the catfish cooked in bamboo looked like deep fried fish. Was the fish deep fried before being cooked in bamboo?

    No, it wasn’t. The fish would have been hard and would not have disintegrated, if it had been. You can put the blame on photo edit to give it a nicer shade of colour.

  3. Tapioca leaves, don’t think I try that before…

    Singapore? No, I wouldn’t think so either.

  4. “microscopic canned clams in soy sauce” hee hee… not a good sign. 😉

    Those made-in-China ones, AMOY. They are so very very small now but the taste and fragrance are still there – still great for frying bihun even though the clams would be hardly visible.

  5. RM9 for both is cheap. I have never come across pansoh ikan keli, most common is pansuh ayam. Love the decor on the wall.

    I’m not that fond of chicken usually as most would use “the old mother hen” like the places at Selangau – tough and has an unpleasant smell/taste.

  6. oi! spider-man is marvel, not dc! 🙂

    Oopsss!!! That was so long ago I can barely remember…around half a century, mind you! What about the rest of them, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Wonder Woman etc…?

  7. Well it looks like the food “hak lu chiak” 😀

    Indeed but they may have a problem trying to draw the majority Chinese population here – they are not that adventurous and they will just stick to the usual, what is more familiar to them.

  8. I shall go try some ethnic cuisine at that place in KL, any recommendations on which dishes are good?

    I looked at their menu on the wall, kinda limited but the main draw would be anything pansuh, cooked in bamboo. I like pork bet but I don’t think they have that so you’ll have to settle for chicken. Dunno if they have fish. Kasam would be stuff salted/fermented.preserved and salai is smoked. I guess like everything and everywhere else, it varies depending on where one goes – what is nice at one place may not be all that nice at another.

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.

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