At least I tried…

This is Akok

Kuih akok 1

…or to be more precise, kuih akok, traditionally from the East Coast of Peninsula Malaysia – the states of Kelantan and Terengganu. I had never heard of it nor seen it before until quite recently when a friend managed to get hold of some at the Bandong Ramadan bazaar and shared her photograph on Facebook and somehow or other, I stumbled upon this one that looked very much nicer and that led me to the place…

Sambal Lado

…that day in search of this Akok!

Somebody did ask in one of the comments, “Pukul brapa ada?” and the reply was, “Pkl 4 dah ada.” That was why we went after 4 that day but when we got there, nothing was available, not till after 5, I was told.

The dishes for the nasi campur (mixed rice) were ready though, all laid out nicely…

Nasi campur 1

…and there was such a wide selection…

Nasi campur 2

…that it prompted me to ask the girl whether it was for a Ramadan buka puasa buffet but she said no, we would be charged accordingly, item by item depending on what we would choose to take. Well, since the guy said 5, we went and walked around the shops in the area and came back again later, after 5.

The umai (traditional Melanau raw fish delicacy)…

Umai

…looked great and the mango kerabu

Mango kerabu

…too and I spotted my favourite, liver…

Liver

…but no, I was not that keen on having nasi campur, not when the dishes were all left uncovered like that since God knows what time, not even when I did not spot any flies fluttering around.

My missus went for it…

Sambal Lado nasi campur

…and I was shocked when told the price, RM10.00 altogether, RM3 each for the beef and the sotong and the paku lemak and RM1 for the rice. At other places, vegetables would only be RM1.00 per serving and meat and seafood would be around RM2-3.00. She liked the paku lemak very much but she complained that the beef was very hard – nothing was said about the sotong.

I ordered their nasi kerabu special (RM15.00)…

Sambal Lado nasi kerabu special

…wondering what was so very special about it to merit that kind of price. It turned out to be pretty much the usual nasi kerabu with fried chicken…and one fried fish added and no, it did not taste all that great, nowhere near our favourite here and if we were to go and eat there, the one with ayam percik would only cost RM6.50 and a special request for its very much nicer fried fish to be added would probably be only RM2-3.00 more. For one thing, this place is more or less just another coffee shop, not one that is grand and classy in any way, so personally, I do feel that that kind of upscale price is really uncalled for.

My girl ordered their nasi khao mok (RM10.00)…

Sambal Lado nasi khao mok

…and no, she was not impressed, not at all. She said the nasi kuning ayam berempah at the Bandong Ramadan Bazaar at RM5.00 only, half the price, would win hands down.

They also had the mee celup Thai and my girl said that would be what is popularly known as the boat noodles. Of course, that prompted me to order that too but the girl said they had not started boiling the chicken or whatever, yet to start cooking it, and she did not know when they would be ready so I just said we would wait and see. After we had finished and were about to leave, she came and said it was available but we were already very full so we told her we did not want it anymore. Looking at what we had, chances are it would be yet another disappointment.

Back to the kuih akok, it did not look like they were making any that day but I saw one of the guys taking out a few, probably the previous day’s leftovers, and heating them up…

Kuih akok 2

…so I quickly went and ordered – 3 for RM2.00…

Kuih akok 3

…so that I could see what all that excitement was all about even though that contraption that they used did not look all that clean.

It did not turn out to be anything so very nice – in fact, it wasn’t anything much at all and I thought it was so very expensive. We can easily buy our very much nicer local Malay kuihs at half the price, 3 for RM1.00 only and enjoy it a whole lot more. Later I saw that they were done and they pushed everything to one side. I asked the girl how come they were not making anymore and whether they would making them again later, she just replied curtly, “Tak tahu!

Ah well! As we say here, “Jangan sik coba!” At least, I tried and now, I know…

SAMBAL LADO (2.295434, 111.895884) is located along Lorong Ulu Oya 11, off Jalan Oya among the “newer shops” in the Permai area across the road from the Sibu General Hospital, where Sugar Bun, Singapore Chicken Rice and 7 Eleven are situated.

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