Ties that bind…

Despite the not very conducive conditions at the school in the jungle and the horrendous hazardous journey on the yet-to-be-completed highway to go there and back, after over six years there, my girl did have some kind of bond with her colleagues there.

They are very nice people and they did help my girl out a lot of times…but when she left, it was kind of abrupt. The letter came and she had to report in her new school right away so there was a simple assembly that morning, the 12th of last month, before the pupils dispersed and all the goodbyes were said there and then and we left as soon it was done.

That was why I told her we could host a gathering and invite everybody to get together to express our sincere appreciation of the friendships made and the good times spent together over the years. We picked Sunday, the 21st of July, as Monday was a public holiday here, Sarawak’s Independence Day. It turned out that it was not really a good day as some of them had made plans to go home to the peninsula or to Kuching or go somewhere so not all of them could make it that night.

For the venue, we picked this place where I had my high school reunion parties in 2013 and again, in April this year and I picked my personal favourites here.

The daging masak hitam (beef)…

Li Hua masak hitam

…was a hot favourite. In fact, theirs is so good that people would specially order it to take home and serve, for instance, for Chinese New Year. They are selling it at RM60 a kg.

Everyone sang praises of the kiam sor hay (salty and crispy prawns)…

Li Hua kiam sor hay

…how fresh and how deliciously done they were. Those crustaceans that size sure do not come cheap here, around RM55 a kg.

My girl had quite a number of the honey chicken wings…

Li Hua honey chicken wings

…and I did have one or two as well and yes, they were nice too.

The curry was good…

Li Hua chicken curry

…though I was wishing there were a lot more potatoes in it. I love them in curry!

I did not try the mixed vegetables…

Li Hua mixed vegetables

I heard some people saying that it was good but everyone loved the cangkuk manis

Li Hua cangkok manis

…and I had quite a lot of it myself.

I asked for plain rice as some of those dishes would go well with it but I had a lot more of the fried noodles…

Li Hua fried mee

…and even packed what was left to take home.

There were fruits and some very nice agar-agar (jelly) in the buffet spread but I went and bought these coconut tarts

Aroma coconut tarts

…and also their mini sponge cake tarts…

Aroma mini sponge cake tarts

…for something a little bit extra special for dessert. They were a hit and no prize for guessing which one the kids loved the most.

My girl’s colleagues bought her a very nice cookware set……

Gifts

and I did invite some of my friends as well for what I called a makan selamat especially those who followed my posts on Facebook faithfully and never failed to wish us well on our perilous weekly drives up and down the Pain-Borneo highway over the years. Thank God we survived that without any untoward incidents or accidents, praise the Lord. Some of them did bring a little something for us though they shouldn’t have – thank you so much, and most of all, thank you to everybody for taking the time off to attend our simple get-together.

I sure enjoyed myself – the food, the company and also the karaoke singing. Should I have an excuse to host another party like this again, I most certainly would not hesitate to do so.

LI HUA HOTEL RESTAURANT (2.284477, 111.8316940) is located on the 1st floor of the hotel at the T-junction of Lorong Lanang 2 and Jalan Maju.