We went to see a movie that day and when we came out, it was pouring cats and dogs so we were looking for a convenient place to go for dinner, some place where we could park right outside and run in quickly and that was why we ended up here…

Caffeine Cafe, outside

It sure looked like they had removed all the ashtrays on the tables outside in compliance with the no-smoking ruling but if there were any signs anywhere regarding this, I did not notice them.

My girl liked some of the food they…

Caffeine Cafe, open kitchen

…dished out here and I did find some delight in some of what I had before, not all.

That night, we ordered the potato salad (RM12.00)…

Potato salad

…and it was served within seconds, literally! At best, we would say it was o.k. – we had had nicer ones elsewhere and for one thing, we thought the potatoes were overdone. They were so soft that they could easily be used to make mashed potatoes.

My girl wanted their pizza mascarpone but they were out of the vegetable for the topping, the aragula so in the end we settled for their Pizza Prosciutto e Funghi (RM32.00)…

Prosciutto e Funghi

…that we had here before and yes, the one here was all right as well.

The people at a table nearby were having the vongole bianco (RM26.90)…

Vongole bianco

…and my girl said it looked pretty good and picked that as our pasta dish. Yes, it was quite nice but I was pissed off by the chipped plate…

Chipped plate

…that they used to serve that.

This was not an isolated case – as a matter of fact, we had a chipped plate too the first time we were here (but I did not take a photograph of it at the time – my girl doesn’t like me doing that but I did mention it in the post) and when I shared the above photograph on Facebook, a friend commented, “I know where it is. We complained about the chipped plates too.” They want to give the impression that this is a classy joint but obviously, the slips are showing. They really must ask the people concerned to handle the crockery more carefully and at the prices they charge, surely they can jolly well afford to have those chipped ones replaced.

Service was good but somehow, the waiting staff insisted on speaking Mandarin – even when I spoke English to them, they would reply in the language. Thankfully, I could understand them pretty well and from what I could hear, the customers at all the other tables were conversing in Mandarin too. I guess this Italian-western and whatever fusion place caters to the kind of crowd in particular.

Initially, I had intended to order dessert after our dinner but I was so mood-spoilt by then that we decided to adjourn next door for that instead. Stick around, folks – post on it coming right up!

CAFFEINE CAFE is located on the ground floor of Wisma Liberty, Block 3, Lorong Pedada 7, off Jalan Pedada – on your left, past the Jalan Ulu Oya Road traffic lights if you are coming from town, just a few doors away from Nica Gelateria (2.302620, 111.842988), to the left at the end of that same block.

Right place, right time…

We dropped by here…

Payung decor

…that day – it needs no introduction, of that I am pretty sure – because I had something to discuss with Peter, the boss. He was busy cooking something and I could detect the wonderful fragrance from the road outside.

Well, since we were there, we decided we would just have our lunch so we promptly placed our orders. My girl wanted her favourite, the lamb masala (RM19.00, with rice)…

Lamb masala

…and for something a little stronger and spicier, I had their lamb curry (RM19.00, with rice)…

Lamb curry

…while my missus had their butter chicken (RM18.00 with rice)…

Butter chicken

She used to go for their kacang ma chicken each and every time we ate here but not this round nor the previous time. It sure looked like she now had a new-found love.

I also ordered their pomelo salad (RM8.00) for want of a vegetable dish and in the meantime, we were served this jug of unadulterated/undiluted coconut water…

Coconut water

…on the house. It seemed that Peter had asked Ah Peng, one of the nice guys here, to cut two for us.

Talk about being at the right place and the right time, Peter served us a big bowl of what he was cooking…

Peter's curry lemak

…to try – this very lovely extra-lemak chicken curry which was something like the ayam masak lemak cili padi but he used the product-of-England curry powder instead of serbuk kunyit (turmeric powder) and he did not make it too spicy hot because some of his staff were not thus inclined.

We sure enjoyed that and I did tell Peter that he could put that on his menu – I am sure many would like that too. That sure was a nice lunch…but then again, I would say the same each and every time we drop by here for a meal.

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

Makes me happy…

We have not been here for a long time for no apparent reason. At one time, it looked like they were doing some renovations and for a while, we thought they had called it a day. Then, we heard that they were still open for business and the other day, we decided to drop by.

The menu remained unchanged, more or less but the people did not look very familiar. We just ordered what we used to enjoy very much, their  Bracio di Ferro or spinach and egg pizza (RM32.00)…

Spinach & egg pizza

…which was very good, as always.

My girl wanted the lasagne (RM28.00)…


…which she liked. Personally I am just ok with that as I am not so into the tomato-based bolognese sauce.

The Ceasar salad (RM18.00)…

Ceasar salad

…was good too and I also asked for their fried calamari (RM16.00)…

Fried calamari

…which initially, we had agreed to leave out in case we could not finish everything but when I was doing the ordering, it just slipped my mind. I guess old folks are like that, very absent-minded but we sure were glad I did because it was really very nice, dipped in the lovely own-made tomato salsa that came with it, nicer than any I had anywhere else around town. We sure would want it again the next time we come here.

There were two young and sweet girls waiting at the tables, very friendly and efficient and both spoke very good English. That sure made me happy and I was indeed very impressed, so much so that since there was no 10% service charge on the bill, I left them that, around 10%, as their tip.

Looking at my old posts on this place, it is obvious that the prices of everything have gone up but then again, what hasn’t? As long as they can maintain the quality of the food served here and with the very pleasant and excellent service from the staff, we would come back again, that’s for sure!

BISTECCA & BISTRO (2.307630, 111.848188) is located off Jalan Sena – you drive into the area of shops directly opposite SMK Deshon and go straight to the end, make a u-turn and head back to where you come from – you will see it in the first block of shops on your left.

My lucky day…

Last Sunday, we wanted to go and check out the new hypermart in town – the previous one did not last very long, just opened around May last year and we planned to have lunch here on the ground floor of the mall.

When we got there, we saw a very long line of cars on the other side of the road, all queuing up to wait for their turn to drive into the megamall. Gosh!!! They could not even drive into that big place! We decided right away that we would go and check that place out some other day and  headed to the town outlet of that same café for lunch.

They were having a Vietnamese coffee promotion right now so my missus and I had that (RM7.90 each)…

Vietnamese coffee

…while my girl had a fruit juice. I had had Vietnamese coffee elsewhere before that was quite good and the one here was no exception but at that price, I certainly would think twice about having it again.

My girl had their creamy pasta (RM18.90)…

Creamy pasta

…and she sure enjoyed it a lot – she said it was nicer than a lot of places in town.

They were having a PRAWN-LICIOUS promotion too and I decided to pick one of the options in their special menu – their freshwater prawn noodles in creamy tom yam soup served in a young coconut. When it was served…

Creamy tom yam prawn noodles in coconut

…to say that we were impressed would be an understatement. Those gigantic prawns…


…would be selling for some RM80 a kilo at the market and you would not get all that many when they are that big, maybe 5 or 6 and we got two of the crustaceans. I just bought some at the market the other day, RM55.00 a kg and what I got were around half the size!

Much to my delight, I found that there was this pinkish orange stuff…

In the head

…in the heads. This is so nice (though some say all the cholesterol is in the prawn’s head and the body is fine) and I have a feeling that there is a conspiracy between the sellers and the people at the restaurants. They seem to have this in all their prawns but when I buy any home, there’s none at all in the heads.

The creamy tom yam soup was absolutely delicious and the noodles were perfectly done. There was enough in the coconut for five bowls of this size…

Noodles & prawn

…so I do think this can be shared by two or perhaps even three. The coconut was very young and of course, we scraped off all the flesh inside to enjoy.

This was priced at RM38.90 but at this point in time, they were having a 20% discount on all the items on their menu so that would work out to around RM30.00 only, around the same as at some coffee shops for one prawn only, cut into halves and their prawns are not as big plus theirs would just be the regular Foochow noodles soup with the prawns added and prices may go up to even RM50 or 60 for just one prawn, depending on the size. I don’t know how true it is but I heard the ones at this very popular place here are now RM45.00 a plate/bowl with only one and a half not really big prawns cut into halves so it would look like three prawns and anyhow, I am not keen on going back there for theirs because of the msg overdose I encountered the last time I went.

That certainly was a delightful lunch and when I checked their Facebook page, I found out that they only have this prawn promotion at their town outlet that we went to, not the one we originally wanted to go at the megamall. Gee! It sure was our lucky day!

CAFE CAFE, Sibu  (2.287387, 111.826487) is located somewhere in the middle of the block of shops along Jalan Chew Geok Lin – the Tua Pek Kong Temple and the Seven-storey Pagoda is to the left, across the road from the bank at the end of the block.


I was out early one morning to go to the market and I parked my car quite a distance away. I walked through the lane in between this building that once was a cinema, the Palace Theatre…

Palace Theatre

…and the KTS office on the right because a long long time ago, I heard people singing praises of the kampua mee at a coffee shop on the ground floor of the cinema building, at the back but that morning, it was not open. I don’t know if it is closed for good or they just took a day off to go for Ching Ming or something or they had gone on a holiday since the schools are having their one-week break right now.

I spotted another coffee shop right next to/behind the KTS office…

KS Cafe

…where there was this couple running the kampua mee stall…

Kampua mee stall

There were quite a lot of people eating there so I decided to give it a try.

The kopi-o-peng (RM1.80)…


…was very good and I was wondering if they got the coffee powder from this shop on the other side of the cinema building.

I ordered the gu tor (beef tripe) kampua (RM5.50) and the kampua mee

Kampua mee kosong

…was very nice and I sure enjoyed the beef tripe…

Gu tor

…dipped in the special chili sauce that they gave with it, very soft and very nice.

I did not quite enjoy the soup though – if I am not wrong, it usually has a light ginger test plus maybe a dash of vinegar.  The one here came across like plain bone stock soup and I could detect a slight smell, very slight but enough to put me off the soup so I just ate the tripe and left everything else behind.

I do not know when I shall pass this way again. Perhaps I can try something else and hopefully, I would enjoy it a lot more.

KS CAFE is located in the lane between what was formerly the Palace Theatre (2.288647, 111.829545) and the KTS Building along Jalan Bengkel.

What she said…

My sister said that the vegetable curry that she had here was very nice so last Friday evening, we decided not to cook and went there for dinner instead.

My girl loves vegetable curry and that would be an ideal dish for our no-meat Friday in the season of Lent. True to what my sister said, it…

My Chef vegetable curry

…was really very nice, a whole lot nicer than the half-baked curry dishes we may get at some Chinese restaurant in town. I asked the lady and she said that we could have beef or chicken curry as well and if we wanted fish, we would have to wait quite a bit as they would need to defrost the fish first.

My missus wanted the kangkong belacan

My Chef kangkong belacan

…which was really good too, definitely a whole lot nicer than what we had here and we got quite a lot of the leaves, not just the stalks. I was quite sure we had that before and when I checked through my blog, I found that I was right – except that we did not like it that time around but it was a different story altogether that night. Perhaps they used a different kind/brand of belacan and this one was a whole lot nicer.

We were told the seafood tofu

My Chef seafood tofu

…would come in a claypot but no, like the curry, it was served in that stainless steel food warmer. There was hardly any seafood in it, just a few very thin slices of the frozen fish fillet, Dory, and I did come across two tiny shrimps, nothing much else. No doubt, it tasted great but I wished the seafood in the dish had been more visible.

I guess I had no cause for complaint for the total for the three dishes plus the rice and the drinks came up to only RM40.00. I thought that was so very cheap but maybe it was because we did not have any meat. Still, considering how much we enjoyed what we had that night, we certainly would love to drop by there again.

MY CHEF RESTAURANT (2.311365, 111.846638) is located along Jalan Pedada in the block of shops to the left of Delta Mall, the second one in that block if you are coming from that direction, with the Astro Sibu office at the other end of that same block.

Right and left…

Last Friday, we drove to my girl’s school in the jungle as usual to bring her home for the weekend, followed by the week-long school break. We gave her colleague a lift and dropped her off at the airport for her flight home to Kuching and after that, we headed to the area of shops round the corner from our house and stopped here

Sugar Bun@Pedada

…for a quick lunch.

Normally, we would go straight home and I would hit the sack while the ladies would go out on their own to buy my girl’s weekly rations and supplies. That day, we had some business to deal with at the bank located at the other end of the same block of shops, on the left so this, an outlet of our very own Sarawak fast food franchise…

At Sugar Bun@Pedada

…on the right was a very convenient stop for us to grab a quick bite for our very late lunch – it was past 2.00 p.m. by then.

It being the season of Lent and our no-meat Friday, we would have very limited choices at most other franchises but not here. I love their Assam Fish and their Fish Burger/Sandwich and I would give them the double thumbs up for not using the Dory which is not to my liking as the texture and taste kind of put me off or worse, at times, it may be jelly-like and has an unpleasant smell.

They use the New Zealand Hoki here which we do like a lot but that day, my girl did not feel like having the sandwich/burger so she had it with chips (RM12.90)…

Sugar Bun fish & chips

She could not have it with their very nice special rice as there would be bits of sausages in that. Her mum also went for the same but I decided to go for their sambal eco fish (RM14.90)…

Sugar Bun sambal-eco fish

…one of my favourites here and I had not had that for quite sometime now. Just like the Assam Fish, they use the tilapia from Batang Ai, so fresh that at times, they are even delivered alive! The sambal was at best, o.k. and as expected for a place like this, it was not spicy and I wished they had some cut fresh chilies in the soy sauce – they had that in the photograph in the above display on the wall. Thankfully, the fish was great and I liked the pickled cucumber too so I would say that I did quite enjoy the meal.

If it had not been a Friday, there would be other rice sets to pick from – my missus had the chicken curry the last time and one of my girl’s colleagues would stick faithfully to their claypot mushroom chicken and I hear the beef stew is good too.

SUGAR BUN@PEDADA, the Delta Mall outlet (2.310929, 111.846391), is located facing Jalan Pedada, now Jalan Datuk Wong Soon Kai, in the block of shops on the left – ASTRO Sibu is the first shop in the block on the right.

Love takes time…

The first time I had gooseberries was when my ex-student, Raphael’s mum gave me some. “Just scatter them on the ground,” she said, “They’re very easy to grow!” Well, I did that but nothing appeared.

Around that same time, my dear friend, Mary, got me some from Thailand and yes, I did try planting a few of those too but to no avail.

Sometime ago, my niece, the one working in Singapore, got us a big pack – I think she said they were imported from some country overseas, I can’t remember where now. I did not get the chance to sample any and the next thing I knew, my missus had taken all that was left in the pack and planted them in a pot. I thought they weren’t nice but she said no, it was kind of damp and they did not want to eat them in that condition.

It did not take long for the seedlings to appear, lots of them, so I picked the bigger ones and transplanted them onto a space in the ground and yes, they grew and they grew. After a long time, there were little yellow flowers but no fruit. I was thinking they were male – they say male plants will not bear fruit.

Much to our delight, one fine day, my girl spotted some fruits growing…


…here and there. I guess it takes time and with a lot of loving tender care, it will bear fruit eventually. They are still green though so we have not harvested any yet to try.

Since we are on the topic of plants, I saw the photo my friend, Elin, in Ipoh, Perak shared on Facebook of her ginger. She planted that and it sure looked like she had a bountiful harvest. Seeing that, I was thinking that I could do the same especially when those things don’t come cheap anymore these days. I spotted a sprout coming out of the ginger we had in the pantry so I took that section of the tuber and planted it. Yes, it is growing…


…but it is still very small. Fingers crossed, hopefully, I will get something out of my venture in due course.

Now, if you may recall, a friend of mine gave me this

Started with one

…around August that year. There was only one then and now there are three and a fourth one is going to sprout out soon.

And talking about friends, Annie and her twins are home from KL for the Ching Ming Festival and she dropped by my house to pass me these…

Goodies from Annie

It’s so very sweet of her to bring me all these goodies everytime she comes home. I tried to give her some things in return but no, she simply would not hear of it and would not accept. Sighhhh!!!!

She just sent me a pack of their own-made wine-infused lap chiang (Chinese sausages) through her mum in November and I have not opened it – saving the precious stuff as I did not know when I would be able to get hold of some more. They are very nice and ever since I have been eating these, I would never buy those dry and hard ones from the shops anymore. I guess now that I have quite a lot, I can open one to use in my cooking.

Other than the sausages, she also gave me my favourite M&S all butter biscuits plus two more new ones to try. Gee!!! I am so pampered, truly blessed, am I not?

Thanks so much, Annie, for everything – great to see you and your boys again. Gosh! They’re so thin and so tall now – you must feed them more to fatten them up a bit. LOL!!! And congratulations to your nephew for scoring straight A’s in the SPM Examination and good luck, all the best to him in his studies at tertiary level. My! My! How time flies! They were just little boys, all the three of them, way back in 2010!

So near and yet so far…

This coffee shop…

Nga Chuong Cafe

…is very near my house but I had never stopped by to check it out like it was so far away.

As a matter of fact, it is located in a block of around 3 shops, a car workshop at the other end, an electrical shop in the middle and this coffee shop is on the left. We would drive past everytime on our way home from town and I do go to the car wash place at the corner house at the junction of this lane, Jalan Au Yong Selatan, and Jalan Pahlawan, just a stone’s throw away, quite frequently.

It did look kind of quiet before but ever since somebody opened a tuition centre upstairs, business seemed to have picked up quite a bit and I often see quite a lot of people eating there. Being in the midst of all the residential houses in the area, it would have been quite a nice spot for people staying around there to gather for coffee and to chit chat but of course, these days, smoking is not permitted in coffee shops anymore. I wonder how much this ruling has affected their business, if at all.

The kopi-o-peng


…that I had was RM1.70 a glass, a little cheaper than most places around town  and it was all right, not the best but definitely, there are others a lot worse.

I did not quite know what to order as the menu…


…was completely in Mandarin and that’s Greek to me even though I am quite conversant in the language these days.

In the end, I just asked for a plate of kampua mee and when it was served, I was all for the stainless steel bowl that they used for the complimentary soup…


That, of course, is anytime better than plastic!

The kampua mee (RM3.00)…

Kampua mee

…was served in a melamine plate though – I did read somewhere that it isn’t much better than plastic using that to serve hot foods. I do prefer this pattern though, a whole lot nicer than those plastic ones in the horrendous gaudy colours, red, orange, green and what have you. As a matter of fact, many Chinese restaurants and chu-char (cook & fry) places here use this same collection of melamine plates, this same pattern, to serve the dishes.

The kampua mee was good though there wasn’t anything to make it stand out above the rest but the slices of meat were dry and hard so I dropped them into the soup and they were a little bit o.k. after that. I sure wouldn’t go out of my way for that, that’s for sure, but while I was there, somebody was frying something and it did smell good, the wok hei fragrance and when I had a glimpse behind the panel, I saw that there was a kampua mee stall and another section for the frying and cooking. Maybe I’ll try the fried stuff next time…

NGA CHUONG CAFE (2.312134, 111.837763) is located along Jalan Au Yong Selatan past Lorong Au Yong 4 on your left as you turn in from Jalan Pahlawan.


Whenever he is home from Auckland, New Zealand, my brother would walk to a coffee shop in this vicinity when he is not going out – the house is right around the corner some 200 metres or so away – for his kampua mee fix. Personally, I am not crazy about most of what I had at the stall there and I thought the kampua mee paled in comparison with the old lady’s when she was there before. I would much sooner go to this coffee shop

Tung Ming Cafe

…to the extreme right of this same block beside the grocery store at the very end.

The kampua mee is very nice, more like the old school, original/authentic ones that we grew up eating and loving so much in our growing up years. I asked my brother why he would not go there instead and he said that he heard someone say that the shop was very dirty. It used to be run by an old couple, an old man and an old lady and they sure were no Marie Kondo – there were boxes and crates and bags of stuff strewn everywhere all over the shop but I do not see them there now. The shop is now run by a young man and a lady, probably the son and the daughter of the old couple as I could see the resemblance to the mother, and another lady, maybe the daughter-in-law.

I must say that unlike before, everything is arranged and put away nicely now…


…but of course, the mosaic-tiled floor has seen better days and a fresh coat of paint on the walls would certainly help spruce things up. However, I did not think it was dirty in any way, not at all…and I guess the many customers that I see eating and drinking here every day do not feel it is so either.

I dropped by the other morning and had the kopi-o-peng (RM1.50)…


…and it was very good, cheaper than most places by 30 sen and I would say it could rank among the best in town.

I saw a lady and her daughter having some fried stuff so I decided to give that a try for a change. While I was waiting, I looked at the menu…


…and noticed that it would cost only RM3.80, 20 sen cheaper than most places elsewhere and a lot cheaper than some.

When it was served, I was kind of disappointed as I would prefer the ones with the dark gravy…

Foochow fried noodles

…but once tossed…

Foochow fried noodles, tossed

…it would look pretty much the same, anyway. For one thing, I was very impressed by the amount of ingredients – elsewhere, one would hardly be able to see the bits of meat and vegetables with the naked eye. I am not all that fond of the vegetable though, the khiew chai (curly vegetable), great in soup – usually, they will use sawi and when it comes to fried noodles, I like that more.

It may not seem like a lot but for what I paid for the mee and the coffee, I did manage to save 50 sen and if my missus had been with me, that would be a ringgit already. As they say in Malay, sikit sikit jadi bukit (a bit at a time, a mountain in the end) but most importantly, the mee and the drink were great. I hear the Sarawak laksa is good too – perhaps I will try that next time.

TUNG MING CAFE (2.307601, 111.824983) is located along Lorong Delta 10, the second shop in the first block of shops on your right, after the first one – a grocery store, as you turn into the lane from Jalan Delta in the vicinity of the houses behind the Delta Public Swimming Pool.