Old friend…

Well, he’s not old, just that we go back a long way to the days when we were very active on the radio and I had a few posts from way back in 2008 when we got to meet a number of times. Lately, with his family commitments and his work in Indonesia, we do not get to meet all that often but he did make it a point to drop by every year round Chinese New Year, except this year as I was not celebrating.

It so happened that he was in town and I saw the photograph on Facebook of the kampua mee he had…

Kampua mee
*Friend’s photo on Facebook*

here. That is exactly what every true blue local born and bred would do the instant they come back home, go and eat kampua mee. Of course, I got in touch with him right away and we agreed to meet for lunch the following day here

Le Cafe business card

I have not had their claypot rice…

Le Cafe claypot chicken rice
*Archive photo*

…for a very long time – we can’t order it when we drop by there now because it is not gluten-free – there is soy sauce in it and what we had had elsewhere may look nice, more or less the same but no, the taste just wasn’t there. It so happened that my friend went and googled to check out the place and he too saw the photo of their claypot rice and was looking forward to having that as well as he too was looking for THE right one.

Unfortunately, we were informed that it was not available and we would have to call a day earlier to place an order should we want to have that. WHAT? But all the times we had it, we never had to pre-order? I was quite put off by it but what to do? They were adamant that we could not have it so we had no choice but to order something else on their menu.

My friend’s wife had their pork chop with orange sauce rice…

Le Cafe pork chop with orange sauce rice

…that my missus had once and loved it a lot but we do not order that anymore as the meat would be coated with bread crumbs…

Le Cafe pork chop with orange sauce

…and would not be gluten-free as well. It was RM12.90  in 2016 – I dunno how much it is now.

My friend went for one of the lunch sets (RM9.90 each), the tomato pork chop with rice…

Le Cafe tomato pork chop rice

…and when it was served, I thought I could detect the bolognese smell but he said it was lighter, not as strong and yes, it was good.

I went for what they call the Mexican pancake lunch set…

Le Cafe Mexican pancake lunch set

…and it sure looked a lot more substantial in the blurry photograph in their menu – I was positive I saw a slab of chicken chop and a sausage and something else, probably coleslaw, other than the fries but the lady did ask me if I wanted the big or the small and I chose the latter.

I can’t say I am all that crazy about the name especially with all those modern-day connotations and I did read somewhere that Mexicans call their pancakes honcakes and this one that I had looked like a chicken quesadilla, probably using those tortilla wraps available at the supermarkets – I did not ask if they made their own but yes, it was very nice – I loved the very tasty chicken filling…

Le Cafe Mexican pancake

…inside and I would say that I did enjoy it a lot.

All in all, we did have a pretty nice lunch and it was great getting to meet an old friend and his missus and catching up with one another’s lives but it could have been better if we had had the elusive claypot rice.

LE CAFE (2.299452,111.830832) is located along Brooke Drive, on your left if you are driving from town, in a block of shops after you have gone past the building where the Sheraton Restaurant is…before you get to the traffic lights where you turn right to get to the Sibu Medical Centre.

Lot more…

We went to the early morning service on Sunday and after that, I asked my girl where she wanted to go for brunch. She wanted something soupy and had the bitter gourd bihun (RM4.50)…

Colourful Cafe bitter gourd bihun

here in mind so of course, that was where we headed to.

I’ve tried that before and yes, I thought it was very nice with its clear soup but I sure wouldn’t mind some minced pork like those elsewhere. You do not get that here, of course, as this is a pork-free place and all you will get are those thin shreds of chicken.

The mum stuck to her favourite, the fried kway teow (RM4.50)…

Colourful Cafe fried kway teow

…while I had the nasi lemak (RM4.50)…

Colourful Cafe nasi lemak 1

No, this is not my favourite in town – there is only a slight hint of the lemak-ness (richness owing to the santan/coconut milk added). However, I do enjoy the one here as I would usually request for the curry chicken/beef or masak hitam beef to go with it. Even without those, it is still very nice as they are very generous with the very nice sambal

Colourful Cafe nasi lemak 2

Here, you will get a lot more unlike at many of the Malay shops and stalls where all you will get is a tablespoon of it placed on top of a slice of cucumber and they will usually give two – you get three slices here. Even at my favourite in town, I will always have to nudge the guy a bit, “Tambah sikit (add a bit more)!”

Soon after having had our fill, we would have to go back to the house and get all the things, all the bottles of water, the food rations for the week and so on and so forth before we make our way to my girl’s school in the jungle. We would not be eating anything else for lunch so to make sure we would not go hungry, I ordered these sticks of chicken satay (RM2.00 per stick)…

Colourful Cafe chicken satay

…to share.

Gosh!!! The place was so very crowded, full house – it is pretty obvious that everyone likes what is served here, never mind that it may be a bit more expensive – the fried noodles, for instance, cost 50 sen more than most other places.

COLOURFUL CAFE (2.316673, 111.837539) is located in the Renew4U building at the junction of Brooke Drive and Lorong Kwong Ann 8, across the road from the Church of Jesus  Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

Before…

Last Saturday evening, the ladies went to see a special musical performance at the ballroom of a leading hotel in town but I did not go as we did not have enough of the complimentary tickets. It was scheduled to start at 8.30 p.m. so we decided to go for dinner first and of course, it was very convenient to go here as they are, in fact, located back to back to each other.

I spotted this…

Payung Cafe centrepiece

…as soon as I got there. It seemed that they had not had that for a while, probably because they had been rather busy with this and that going on over these past few months or they ran out of those simple local flowers and it appears to me that all the plants here seem to thrive in the current dry weather – you can get to see all kinds in a myriad of colours all over town.

We had the papaya salad…

Payung Cafe papaya salad

…but my sis could not eat that as there was udang kering (dried prawns) in it – we did not know when we decided to order that. The rest of us enjoyed it a lot, a welcome change from the pomelo salad that we would usually have or their very nice Payung rojak.

Owing to her allergy, my sister could not eat the lovely belimbing prawns…

Payung Cafe belimbing prawns

…that Peter, the boss, took upon himself to specially cook for us that night and it was really exceptionally good.

My girl wanted her favourite here, the lamb masala

Payung Cafe lamb masala

…and the mum wanted her kacangma chicken…

Payung Cafe kacangma chicken

…and I also ordered the Payung otak-otak fish…

Payung otak-otak fish

After having had their fill, the ladies went to see the show and they sure enjoyed it very much, very good for a local production, they said but even though the newspaper report said it was a full house, according to them, it wasn’t so and I could have tagged along as well. For one thing, in my humble opinion, the organisers should have made the tickets available at some place more convenient and less obscure/desolate such as the hotel lobby, for instance…or the café where we had dinner before the show.

PAYUNG CAFÉ (2.284049, 111.833014) is located at No.20F, Lanang Road, Sibu, back to back with the multi-storey car park of the Kingwood Hotel which faces the majestic Rejang River.

A stroke of luck…

Somebody had a stroke of good luck – no, it wasn’t me, the born loser – and my girl chose to drop by here again for lunch last Saturday afternoon.

I had the teh tarek (pulled tea) with cincao (black grass jelly)…

Cafe IND teh tarek with cincao

…and their chicken vindaloo

Cafe IND chicken vindaloo

…with rice ( we had their mutton vindaloo once)…

Cafe IND chicken vindaloo with rice

…while my girl had their ginger tea and her usual, her favourite mutton biryani

Cafe IND mutton biryani

The mum stuck faithfully to her favourite kalio ayam

Cafe IND kalio ayam

…from their Indonesian menu with a special request for it to be super extra spicy and as always, we enjoyed our lunch to the max and rest assured we shall be coming back here again and again and again…

CAFE IND (2.290813, 111.829294) is located along Laichee Lane, right behind one block of shops facing the main road (Jalan Kampung Nyabor) where the Bank Simpanan Nasional, Sibu branch (2.290561, 111.829071), is located.

Everybody says…

…that the noodles here…

Sg Antu market/hawker centre

…is nice so I just had to go and give it a try.

Actually, a long time ago, some friends of mine were telling me that a friend of theirs was praising the noodles there to the skies and the next day, she took them there to try but they were not impressed so I never bothered to go and check it out…or perhaps I did go once and one look at the place…

Before photo
*From Google Maps, street view*

…I changed my mind about having anything there.

More recently, I shared on Facebook a series of photographs of the Foochow fried noodles that I had before and asked my friends where they had the one they liked the most – nobody bothered to respond except one and she mentioned this place and told me the stall number. I quickly went there but unfortunately, the place was closed for renovations.

The municipal council people sure have done a great job in upgrading the place…

Sg Antu hawker centre, stalls

…and when I dropped by early one morning, I sure was pleasantly surprised seeing the crowd there at the time – they certainly were enjoying brisk business in their nice new environment. They had a whole lot of fans lined up on the ceiling…

Sg Antu hawker centre, fans

…and being new, it was very clean, definitely a world of difference from how it used to be. I certainly hope that the tenants will cooperate and keep it that way.

An ex-colleague of mine shared this photograph of the fried kway teow

Sg Antu hawker centre, fried kway teow - friend's photo
*Ex-colleague’s photo on Facebook*

…that he had there and he was saying something about “Lau Peng Yau” (old friend) and a certain Stall No. 10.

It turned out to be a drinks stall so I was at a loss as to which stall the one with the nicest fried noodles was. While I was sitting there waiting for my orders, it looked like this guy at Stall No. 12…

Sg Antu hawker centre, Stall No. 12

…was the one as he seemed to get a lot of orders from the crowd.

I ordered this very nice kopi-o-peng (RM1.50)…

Sg Antu hawker centre, kopi o peng

…from Stall No. 15 and eventually, I decided to try the noodles from Stall No. 14…

Sg Antu hawker centre Stall No. 14

…because there was this very nice and friendly lady who probably noticed me in my predicament and she asked me what I wanted to eat. She said that they also served Foochow fried noodles (RM4.00)…

Stall No. 14 Foochow fried noodles 1

…and it turned out the be the so-called moon version that I like very much and yes, it was very very nice. I sure would not mind coming by this way for this again and I liked how they used those glass plates instead of the plastic one in that photo my ex-colleague took of his kway teow. Hot food served on plastic plates always get me worried.

Stall No. 14 also sells kampua mee and pian sip and I ordered a small bowl of the latter (RM2.00)…

Stall No. 14 pian sip soup

…to try and yes, I must say it was very good but somehow, the light clear soup tasted a little different from the usual, nicer! I wonder if this is one of those that they say they throw in one whole Chinese cabbage into the meat bone stock for the added sweetness.

I sure enjoyed my breakfast that morning and I most certainly would be back again sometime for the fried noodles that I enjoyed a lot…

Stall No. 14 Foochow fried noodles 2

…or maybe I shall try something else the next time around.

THE SUNGAI ANTU MARKET & HAWKER CENTRE/FOOD COURT (2.320030, 111.830741) is located along Jalan Sg Antu 2, on your right off Jalan Industri as you drive in from Jalan Kpg Nangka.

Style…

I dropped by here that morning to get these Saudi Arabian cheese wedges…

Saudi Arabian cheese wedges

…for my girl – she enjoys eating them so I would go and buy for her time and time again.

While I was there, I decided that I might as well drop by the stalls by the side of the road (Bandong Walk) and have a bite to eat. The nasi lemak guy, my favourite in town, was nowhere to be seen.

The guy at the drinks stall beside his…

Bandong Walk drinks stall

…said that he had taken a few days off after the Hari Raya Haji holiday – probably he had gone home to Sarikei or Daro or wherever and had not come back yet.

I noticed that the lady at the noodles stall had some helpers…

Bandong Walk noodles stall

…that morning, probably her children who would be on their one-week school break at that point in time.

I felt like having the roti canai (RM1.20)…

Bandong Walk roti canai

…so I went and placed my order at the stall next to the noodles stall

Bandong Walk roti canai stall

Business must be really good as the older guy had just come and he brought with him a whole lot of the pre-prepared soaked-in-oil dough.

These days, when I see people doing really well, I feel somewhat glad and also relieved as the economy is not all that great and the prices of anything and everything have been going up and up and many have called it a day, it seems. Hopefully, things will get better soonest.

I also had their roti telur (RM2.30)…

Bandong Walk roti telur

…which is basically roti canai as well but with egg added.

My friend, Merryn, shared some photos on Facebook of the roti canai she had that day and she asked how everyone would usually eat it – as roti celup (dip) or roti banjir (flooded). I saw a guy sitting at the next table having the latter and it sure looked rather messy. Besides, the roti would soak in the dip and end up less crispy and nice, I think.

Talking about the dhal dip, they sure have improved on it since the last time I tapao-ed some home (and that was a long time ago). It is now thick and creamy…

Bandong Walk roti canai dhal dip

…and I sure enjoyed it very much.

So how did I eat it? Well, I used the fork and spoon to tear the roti canai into smaller pieces and taking a bit of the dip, I would apply it to the roti and then roll it up nicely like what one does with a wrap, poke through the roll with the fork and place it my my mouth to eat, so elegant, so classy. I sure do it in style, don’t I, Merryn? LOL!!!

This roti canai stall is located at Bandong Walk, Jalan Bandong, beside the fried noodles stall to the immediate right of the drinks stall and The NASI LEMAK BANDONG WALK stall (2.313869, 111.825808) somewhere in front of the block of shops where Mastura Delite and the 1Malaysia clinic are.

No moon at all…

When I first caught a glimpse of this shop sign, I assumed it would be a place dealing in windows but upon closer scrutiny, there is an o in the name so obviously, it has got nothing to do with louvres

Louvores

It turned out to be another eatery, not anything like one of the many coffee shops we have here nor is it one of those upscale classy places but it is air-conditioned and I saw on their Facebook page that if you go upstairs…

Go upstairs

…you can dine on one of the low tables, sitting on the floor, Japanese style, not that there is anything Japanese on their menu. I sure would not want to do that as I am pretty sure than once I get down on the floor, I would need a forklift to get me back on my feet again. LOL!!!

You can go to their aforementioned page to look at the much nicer photographs of the things they serve here that include these…

Dinner menu

…and these…

Specials

…and they have their specials at RM8.90 each…

Lunch sets 1

…for lunch…

Lunch sets 2

There is a kampua mee stall in front…

Kampua stall

…so you can have that if you are thus inclined and Sarawak laksa too – I could detect the smell of the simmering broth and I thought it was good. Perhaps I will drop by and try that sometime.

It so happened that I met an ex-colleague of mine sometime ago and he told me that he had fried kway teow here with an egg on top and I imagined it to be something like the very nice one with a raw egg on top that they called “Moon River” (雲河)…

Dengkil's Moon River

…that I had on two occasions at a restaurant in Dengkil, Selangor – here and here and he said it was very cheap, RM3.50 only!

I went there but this was what I got…

Fried kway teow 1

…and I had to fork out RM4.00 for that! It did not have the wok hei fragrance but to give credit where credit is due, it tasted quite good with the bits of meat, slices of fish cake, egg and green vegetables…

Fried kway teow 2

…in it.

The egg was overdone though but even though the yolk was not runny, it was moist and soft…

Fried egg

…so I did not mind it so much.

At those prices, I sure would not mind dropping by again but no, not for the kway teow

Fried kway teow 3

Who knows they may have something really nice to offer, yet to be discovered?

LOUVORES (2.312758,111.8549007) is located along Jalan Deshon, right across the road from SMK Rosli Dhoby and the technical/vocational college beside it.