Meant to be…

Early that morning, at 6.30 a.m., the day when I was going to fly back from Kuching to Sibu, I walked back to the coffee shop as I wanted to buy some of the very nice popiah home.

When I got there, I found that only the kolo mee stall was in full swing, the porridge lady was just getting ready but there was no sign of the laksa and popiah people. According to the aformentioned lady, the popiah stall would only open at around 7.30 a.m.

I decided to have something for breakfast but I did not want the kolo mee again. In the end I asked for their loti kiap (kaya toast) with two half-cooked eggs and a cup of coffee, the true blue Malaysian breakfast…

Choon Hui Malaysian breakfast

As far as I know, their loti kiap is very popular – at around 3.00 p.m. in the afternoon, you can see cars stopping by to buy that. My late uncle, my late maternal aunt’s husband, used to do that and there was this story going round about him buying the toast and because they tied the plastic bag with nylon string in one corner, when he got home, he found that the toast had fallen out of the bag so he did not have any for tea that day.

I can’t say I was impressed by the loti kiap – we can easily get that anywhere and everywhere. I noticed some nyonya chang on the counter and I asked for one to try but no, it was not worth the calories so I did not bother buying any to take home.

I did not want to sit there and wait so I went to the shops across the road and walked to the other side, not facing the main road, to this coffee shop…

Yang Guan Cafe

…where I had the lek tao suan (RM2.00)…

Lek tao suan

…the previous morning, one for the road, so to speak.

The lady…

Stall

…asked if I wanted any yew char koi/you tiao (Chinese crullers) but no, I did not want any as I already had breakfast but I could not resist ordering these steamed chai koi

Chai koi

…to try. The skin was really very good, so soft and so smooth but I only liked the plain sengkuang filling so I bought some of those home. My girl enjoys these and yes, she thought they were good. I wish they could be a bit more generous with the filling though, lots of empty spaces inside.

While I was there, I saw her frying…

Frying

…these…

Fried

…so I asked her what those were. She said it was her own steamed tee koi (kuih bakul) with yam and sweet potato. I was keen on trying so I bought two to take home to Sibu and lived to regret it.

It was so so so good, a slice of tee koi sandwiched between a slice of yam and a slice of sweet potato coated with batter and deep fried (RM1.50 each)…

Tee koi with yam & sweet potato

If I had known it was so nice, I would have bought a dozen, at least!

After that, at around 7.20 a.m., I went back to the earlier coffee shop to see if the popiah stall had started their business for the day. There was no sign of the two Chinese ladies but there was a helper getting the stall ready. I asked her, “Belum buka?” and she just replied curtly, “Belum!” Then I asked her, “Bila buka?” and this time, she replied somewhat rudely, “Tak tahu!!!” I was so pissed off by her attitude that I decided there and then not to buy any to take home and walked back to the hotel.

I had intended to use the hotel shuttle service to the airport, only RM6.99 per head but I did not make any prior reservation and it looked like nobody else would be taking it that day so the driver had taken the day off. In the end, I contacted one of my cousins to see if she could give me a lift and yes, she could. God must have been watching me from a distance because when she showed up at the hotel with her brother, guess what they had bought for me to take back to Sibu. Popiah!!!

They got the ones from this stall…

Popiah stall
*Photo through the kind courtesy of my cousin*

…here…

Gala Food Court
*Photo through the kind courtesy of my cousin*

…at Gala City, a new area in Kuching and yes, the popiah

Gala City popiah
*Photo through the kind courtesy of my cousin*

…was really very good. My cousin thinks it is the best in the city! It certainly looked like it was meant to be – my bringing home some popiah for everyone to enjoy. LOL!!!

Gosh!!! I was in Kuching for only four nights and all in all, I managed to cover the whole trip every step of the way in 16 posts! I had a great time – thank you so much to everybody for everything and I sure am looking forward to the next opportunity to hop over again. Just give me a reason!

CHOON HUI CAFE 春园茶室 (1.552768, 110.354468) is located at No. 34, Jalan Ban Hock in Kuching to the left of the Hotel Grand Continental there and YANG GUAN CAFE 阳光茶室 (1.553644, 110.354284) is along that same road among the shops across the road from Choon Hui but facing inside, not the latter nor the main road while GALA FOOD COURT (1.513013, 110.353807) is in Gala City at the Gala Street Mall SL11-SL12, 801-2B Jalan Tun Jugah, Kempas Heights.

Author: suituapui

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

10 thoughts on “Meant to be…”

  1. The chai koi sure looks good. wow! they could read your mind that you wanted to bring popiah home. Sure was a very nice surprise!

    Yes, I sure did not expect that. Good thing I decided not to buy any or I would have a whole lot on my hands.

  2. I think i will like that tee koi as i have a sweet tooth. So nice of your cousin and her brother to pack popiah for you to bring home. A very heartwarming trip for you with so many gatherings and get-togethers.

    It was not very sweet, a very thin slice only plus it was homemade, sugar reduced probably. It sure was a worthwhile trip, truly a great one.

  3. I like the tee koi and popiah. I have heard of the nice popiah at Gala City but haven’t try yet. Was wondering whether it is the same popiah my friend was telling me the other day. That tee koi is to die for.

    I heard the very popular Irene stopped making for sometime but she is back at it again, selling hers at that same food court or something like that but they said hers not so nice anymore. This one is nicer.

  4. Next round you have to buy and enjoy more of the fried tee koi. I would to try it myself.

    Nice surprise from your cousin. Yes, Gala city is a new place, I haven’t go there.

    Another cousin did drive past Gala City when she took me around all the newer places in town…so I’ve beaten you to it. LOL!!!

    I would love to grab hold of more of the tee koi but next trip in December, I will not be staying in that part of town. Dunno if I will have the chance to go there or not.

  5. All mouth watering snacks!! I like the Tee Koi too, my favourite! In Ipoh, you have to telephone to book for these at one stall! LOL..

    You have that in Ipoh too? Sandwiched in between yam and sweet potato slices like that? First time seeing that, we sure do not have it in Sibu. So very nice!

  6. I am rather fond of those old school blue and white coffee cups and it seems a must that the coffee always flow over the top into the saucer.

    In the old days, the old-school way to drinking the coffee was to pour the spilled coffee back into the cup, pour some into the saucer and drink from the saucer. Maybe that helped to cool it down faster, I wouldn’t know. I never knew how to drink boiling hot drinks till very much later in life and even so, I still like mine iced.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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