Return to you…

I was driving past this Malay food stall at Bandong Walk here…

Bandong Malay food stall

…and I decided to stop by and buy some things for Peter and the ever lovely Payung staff to enjoy. He gave me the pork ribs cooked Hakka/Cantonese sour duck style that day and we have this traditional practice whereby if somebody gives you something, you have to give something in return…and it is regarded as bad manners if you return the container empty.

When my mum was still around, my missus and I would go over to the house to keep her company all morning and come lunchtime, we would make our way home. This stall was on the way so it was very convenient for us to stop by and buy a few dishes for our lunch and dinner. We do not do that anymore these days so we had not been here ourselves for a very long time now.

I bought them the masak merah chicken and the ayam berlada

Ayam berlada 1

…but somehow or other, I did not see any of those thinly-sliced strips of daun kunyit (turmeric leaves)…

Ayam berlada 2

…that they would usually use as garnishing. Nonetheless, everyone said it was very nice so it did not really matter. I don’t know how nice the masak merah was as they were saving that for dinner that evening.

It so happened that Peter’s mum celebrated her birthday at the café on Saturday and the mee sua (longevity noodles) and the traditional Foochow red wine chicken soup…

Payung mee sua in traditional Foochow red wine chicken soup

…was a hit among all the family members that evening, around 80 of them altogether. Good grief!!! I wonder if I can get half the number if I were to throw a birthday party, family AND friends.

Well, they finished all the mee sua and the absolutely out-of-this-world soup, leaving behind all the meat so Peter took it and fried it with sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger…

Peter's soy sauce ginger chicken

…and when I was there, he gave me two drumsticks to enjoy – it was very nice, of course!

He also let me try his pickled jellyfish…

Peter's pickled jellyfish

…and since I loved it a lot, he let me take a tub home. Isn’t he nice, this Peter?

This time around, he just used one of those takeaway plastic containers – I guess I will not need to return that so I wouldn’t have to crack my head trying to think of what I can give to reciprocate.

Author: suituapui

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

5 thoughts on “Return to you…”

  1. This is how we Chinese say, wu lai wu ki if you understand what I say. Yes, we were taught that too, never return an empty container.

    Taught since small so to this day, I would still practise it.

  2. My parents did the same thing too… receiving and giving back, even though it does not have to be a lot… and someone also told me that it is good to bless others more than to receive… basically, it shows that you have extras more than others… LOL..

    Yes, like I always say it is in giving that we receive.

  3. I love to eat mee sua a lot but no thank you to jellyfish hee hee

    No? Have you tried before? It’s tasteless actually, will depend on the added ingredients. And it has a lot of health benefits!

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