Give me some more…

This is the Malay kueh (cake) stall here

Bandong shop/stall

…that I frequent quite a lot including during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. I got there very early that morning so the crowd had not started coming yet. Business sure seemed rather brisk at that time of day on those previous occasions that I was there, mainly parents buying something for their kids to bring to school, so much so that one would have to queue up at the cashier’s counter to pay for one’s purchases.

My girl’s favourite, their cucur (fried fritters) are a best seller, 3 for RM1.00…

Cucur

…and will be sold out in no time at all. I guess the guy will fry some more if there is any more batter and if the time is right like how he would replenish the fried noodles (RM2.00 a cup)…

Fried mee

…when he sees that it is running out. I did buy the noodles once and though it was very good, it was the fried kway teow (RM2.00 a cup)…

Fried kway teow

…that got me coming back to buy some more. Yes, I thought it was very nice and I really enjoyed it.

Since I was there already that morning, I thought I would just buy something for tea that afternoon or on the subsequent days. I grabbed a packet of this what-we-called-Kate panggang (RM5.50 for a pack of 5)…

Panggang

…which I feel is no longer what it used to be, not so lemak (rich in santan/coconut milk) anymore but it still has a slight edge over the other good ones.

The pumpkin cake or bingka labu (4 for RM1.00)…

Bingka labu

…that I also bought that day was really good, lemak enough and not too sweet plus the texture was just perfect – not too soft and mushy and not chewy or rubbery either.

I was quite sure this is not called nasi manis (4 for RM1.00)…

Wajik

…as stated on the sign/label. I remember it being called wajik and when I googled that, I found that the full name is kuih wajik pulut manis and yes, it is made of pulut (glutinous rice) and not ordinary nasi (rice) with gula apong (nipah palm sugar). This is one of the Malay kuehs that I enjoyed a lot when I was young and I still do enjoy it to this day.

This stall/shop that used to be called MAK MET’s BREAKFAST STATION is located at the shops along Bandong Walk (2.313869, 111.825808) where PENYET BANDONG is in the evening.

Thing of beauty…

As the English saying goes, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” I, for one, do love beautiful things and when it comes to crockery, my regular readers and acquaintances via blogs that I frequent would probably know that I have this soft spot for those blue and white ones in particular.

That was why when my sister sent me a photograph of one beautiful dinner set that she said she would give away if I did not want it, I wasted no time at all in saying yes, send it over!

I know vaguely where that came from – when my parents were still around, family and friends would give them gifts every Chinese New Year and this was most likely one of those in one of the years. Of course, my father had to buy stuff to reciprocate but that’s another story altogether.

In the set, there is one big service plate…

Main course plate

…for serving the main course and eight dinner plates…

Dinner plates

…slightly smaller than the big one and there are eight small (bread & butter) plates and eight soup bowls…

plates and bowls

…as well plus one big bowl which would come in handy when serving the soup if I were hosting a Chinese dinner. Otherwise, that can be used as a salad or fruit bowl, I guess.

Bowl

There are cups and saucers as well in the complete set but I did not want those as I do not usually serve tea and coffee at my dinners and I do not have that much space in my small house to store all of them. Even though there are other colours in the flowers in the middle, on the whole, it is blue and white and yes, I love it so much!

Run to me…

There was an old couple here before but somewhere along the line, somebody told me that they were not a couple – they were not husband and wife, not married to each other. Anyway, I loved the old lady’s noodles and the special soup very much so of course, I went there a few times. I even brought my dad there a couple of times, when he was still with us, and at other times, I would tapao the noodles for him to enjoy at home.

One day, I saw the old lady at the restaurant a few doors away, buying something for lunch. They told me the old man had passed away and she had given up her business – at her age, her legs could no longer take it. A few people had taken over the coffee shop since but none of them lasted very long and this…

Marathon Cafe

…is the latest in line. I do not have the slightest idea why it is named thus – perhaps the owner is into marathons that appear to be the current trend these days. There seems to be some kind of run here almost every other weekend and many simply love to participate in these events and collect the medals.

I first got to know about this coffee shop when I saw friends sharing photographs of the prawn noodles…

Fried selections

…that they had here. It said on the notice in front of the shop that those were going for between RM13-25.00, probably depending on the size of the crustaceans and the ones with fish would cost a little less, RM10.00 only.

I had no intention of ordering any of those but I was thinking of trying one of the noodle dishes there. Unfortunately, I was extra early, before 6.30 a.m. and the chu char (cook & fry) guy at the back was not quite ready yet. In the end, I just ordered something from the kampua mee stall…

Kampua mee stall

…in front.

I had the kampua mee

Kampua mee kosong

…and liver soup set (RM4.50)…

Liver soup

…which I thought was rather cheap as most of these sets elsewhere would set one back by RM6.00 at least!

The noodles were a little on the mild/bland side which was good in a way, less msg and light soy sauce but I thought it was all right with the chili sauce that came with it, not anything to shout about nor was it anything to complain about either.

The liver soup was surprisingly very nice, very strong on the traditional Foochow red wine. I did not expect that as it was not red in colour but then again, the superior quality ones, very well filtered, will be lightly orange in colour, not red…so if you go for a bowl of mee sua here and everything, the soup and the chicken, is horrendously red in colour, then they have used the cheaper wine of poorer quality and probably a bit of the ang chao too, nothing to get excited about – it’s just a sales gimmick!

I suppose I will be back here again in the near future especially when it opens real early when most of the rest are still closed but I think I would like to try something from the guy at the back the next time around.

MARATHON CAFE is located in the same block of shops as the A-PLUS FOOD CENTRE/RESTAURANT (2.293355, 111.823653), somewhere in the middle, along Jalan Kampung Datu at the back of the block of shops (where Fair Price Supermarket is) near the traffic lights at its junction with Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg and Jalan Kampung Nyabor.

Cherished memories…

Everytime it was my parents’ birthday, I would buy something for them and maybe a cake as well, perhaps and at times, flowers for my mum too.

I remember buying this very nice casserole…

Casserole 1

…for her but I cannot for the dear life of me remember where or when. I don’t remember how much I paid for it either but I guess it was not much, probably something in the region of RM50.00. With my measly salary as a teacher, I wouldn’t be able to afford something very costly, that’s for sure.

All I can remember is I thought it was very nice and I was quite sure that my mum would love it. I do not know if she did. Typical Asians like us do not express our feelings all that much and all through the years, I did not see it in the display cabinets at the house and I don’t think I ever saw it being used either.

Anyway, the other day, I asked my sister if she had seen it lying around anywhere in the house and if it was still in one piece, I would love to have it back and she said yes and promptly sent it over to my house…

Casserole 2

When I bought it, I never checked the place of manufacture even. I only remember it looking quite classy, somewhat English or continental with images of ladies and gents dressed in clothes from the Dickens era like those on the lovely Quality Street toffee tin in the good old days but no, there were fruits by the side with lots of roses and leaves all over.

There was a plate…

Plate

…underneath and when I turned it over, I saw this sticker…

Sticker

Now, that’s interesting! It was made in Japan!

I turned the casserole over and I saw this…

Bottom

SANYO? Maybe it was a free gift with some SANYO product and they put it up for sale? And maybe that was why it was at a price quite affordable to the likes of me? I am pretty sure that otherwise, it would be mighty expensive.

At this point in time, I am not sure whether I will ever use it but I have  rearranged some of my collection in my cabinet to make way for it…

Casserole 3

…and there it will stay in its special place, in the meantime, cherished and treasured for the precious memory it holds of one so dearly loved.

Big nose…

This…

Dapi

…is my friend/ex-classmate’s coffee shop. I don’t know why he has named it da pi – I gathered that it means big nose. Perhaps he has one, a big nose but then again, many Asian Chinese have the same, and more often than not, it’s flat some more! Anyway, back to the coffee shop, I do recall my friend having one at Market Road but eventually, he moved here sometime ago. He kept asking me why I never dropped by – well, I just never did.

So what made me go there the other morning? Recently, my brother-in-law told me that the lady from one of his favourite kampua mee places in town has moved here. Oh? No wonder I’ve noticed quite a crowd there every morning when I drove past – obviously, the fans have shifted over here as well…but I do recall going to try at the old place and no, I was not all that impressed. Nonetheless, I decided to stop by to check it out one more time – after all, I probably caught them on a wrong day the last time and it is indeed very popular among the locals.

The coffee (RM1.70)…

Coffee

…that I had was really good – I would rank it among the best in town and the kampua mee (RM3.00)…

Kampua

…was very nice too and I liked those bits of minced meat in it, something different from a lot of the rest.

I also ordered the beef tripe soup, small (RM3.00)…

Gu tor

…and I was glad that the serving was not as huge as what I had here. The beef tripe could have been a bit softer – the one here was just nice – but though the soup had a different taste altogether, it was very nice as well and thankfully, it did not have any offensive smell like the one here.

I was delighted to see that they did not use those plastic plates and bowls here and I would give them a bonus point for not using plastic spoons…

Spoon

…as well. Actually, I do like the floral designs very much, the ones on the plate and the spoon and should I see these in the shops, I sure wouldn’t mind grabbing some for my own collection.

While I was there, I saw these…

Stuffed tau kua tang hoon

…on the counter, the pre-soaked tang hoon (glass noodles) and the fried tau kua (bean curd cake) stuffed with minced meat. I would love that! Well, no prize for guessing what I will order the next time I drop by here.

DAPI SEAFOOD CANTEEN (2.286508, 111.831739) is located at No. 2A, Ground Floor, Lanang Road, directly opposite the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Not the usual type…

I saw this…

Chapati chicken wrap 1

…here at the recent Ramadan Bazaar at Bandong Walk and I grabbed one to take home for my girl to try. She liked it so much that she quickly went back to buy another one but before she could go again, Ramadan was over.

Well, I was at the stall one morning last week and I saw it being sold so of course, I quickly got one for my girl and and one for myself…

Chapati chicken wrap 2

…since I had never tried it before.

I can’t say I liked the flimsy plastic packaging used, not all that environment-friendly, I think but I guess it helped make it look a bit classier and more presentable. Ah well! After all, when you buy those cold sandwiches at convenience stores in the cities here or overseas, they are all in some similar triangular plastic packs that all get thrown away once the sandwich inside had been taken out and eaten.

Well, they did state quite clearly that this was a wrap, though not the usual type that most would be more familiar with. Instead of those wraps or tortillas, they used chapati instead and inside, they had one piece of fried chicken, a bit of lettuce and a thin slice of cheese and I think there were traces of mayo and chili sauce squirted over everything…

Chapati chicken wrap 3

…but it was not in the least spicy.

Prior to eating that, I heated it up in the oven so the chapati became a bit crispy especially around the edges but it was still soft like Indian roti, not the hard kind of crispy like those wraps or tortillas…

Chapati chicken wrap 4

Generally, I would say it was all right – maybe it would be nicer if they had added a bit of coleslaw as well but no, it did not get me jumping with delight and no, you wouldn’t catch me rushing back for more. At RM4.50 each, I am of the opinion that there are a lot of other nicer things that I can get with that kind of money…or less.

Come over here…

This place…

Lau Dato Si' Canteen/Catholic Centre Sibu *Archive photo*

…is located in the same compound as my girl’s present school, where the majestic Sacred Heart Cathedral is.

I have been here twice, the first time for the kampua noodles and pian sip (meat dumplings) soup and the second time, I had the Foochow fried noodles but I got the dry version even though that was not actually what I had in mind.

It is very convenient for my girl to just walk over for a bite to eat especially during lunch hour if she has extra classes or activities in the afternoon. As a matter of fact, she used to do that when she was studying at that primary school and she did that again last week, once, and she had the wat tan hor, flat rice noodles in thick egg sauce (RM4.00) which she said was decent but nowhere near the one that she likes a lot here

Wat tan hor Colourful Cafe
*Archive photo*

…but that one sure does not come cheap, RM12.50, the last time we had it there.

On days when we are not that keen on cooking our own, we can always buy the chap fan (mixed rice) dishes from here – I did go and have a look and they all seemed very nice but I was not able to buy as I did not bring my own container. In an effort to save the environment, they will not provide plastic bags or containers here.

Well, it so happened that I dropped by here before 4.00 p.m. the other day. I saw that it was still open even though I heard that they would close at 2.00 p.m. every day and would not open on Sundays, this being a church-run eatery and all the people helping out are parishioners, all volunteers – Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath Day. I guess after two, one can drop by for drinks, nothing much else but that day, I saw a group of (old/elderly) ladies making paos (steamed buns) – tausar (black bean paste) and peanut filling.

Usually, one can get these and sio bee (meat dumplings) too at times at the coffee shops, those with the steamer by the side but I do not know where theirs came from, probably made in bulk somewhere and delivered everywhere for sale. I think I did try some here and there but no, I was not impressed.

I asked if they had any meat ones and the nice young girl said that they were not making any that day but they had some, frozen. I told her I did not mind – I could take them home and steam them the next morning for breakfast so I bought five of this…

Bak pao

…at only RM1.30 each. That was so very cheap – I am pretty sure bak pao anywhere else would definitely be more than RM2.00 each…and in line with their policy of being environment-friendly, they pack them in brown paper bags, strictly no plastic.

It tasted very nice even though there seemed to be more tang chai (preserved vegetables) in it…

Bak pao, inside

…and yes, there is a bit of egg too.

There is an old lady, now based at a stall at one of the pillars in the Sibu Central Market. Before the construction of the market in its present location, she was at the old market, right in front, across the road from Palace Theatre. Her chai pao (steamed vegetable bun) was the favourite of many and her meat ones were very good too. I did buy some from her sometime ago but the prices had gone up drastically and the quality seemed to be lacking so I never went back to buy from her anymore. This bak pao reminded me of hers but it was very much bigger – the old lady’s was RM1.20 in 2011, dunno now. I sure would be back for more of the ones here, that’s for sure.

LAUDATO SI’ CANTEEN is located in what was previously known as the Catholic Centre in the compound of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Jalan Lanang and St Rita’s Primary School, Jalan Bukit Assek.