Why don’t we go there…

Last Friday, over the long Deepavali weekend, we were out and about doing this and that. Despite the fact that it is not a public holiday here, the schools were given that day and also the following Monday off. It was already around 1.00 p.m. when we were through and started thinking of going some place for lunch.

My girl suggested going for the fish fillet…

Ruby fish fillet with mayo

here. We had not had that for a very long time as being bread crumb-coated, we could not order that during those days when my girl was staying off anything that was not gluten-free. Yes, that was very nice and my girl sure enjoyed it. I only had a slice and the mum probably had one too and she had all the rest!

We wanted tofu but we did not want it deep-fried served with mayo, just like the fish fillet, and we did not want their sizzling plate version as the bean curd would usually be buried under a lot of minced meat and it was our no-meat Friday.

In the discussion, I thought the boss said something about mixed vegetables and they could leave out the meat and I was expecting a dish of tofu served with that. However, what came out of the kitchen in the end was just a plate of mixed vegetables…

Ruby mixed vegetables

…no tofu. Thankfully, it was very nice and a welcome change from the usual vegetable dishes that we would order at such places.

My girl wanted one of our usual, the butter scotch prawn balls…

Ruby butter scotch prawn balls

…and needless to say, it was very nice, as always.

We also ordered their cangkok manis or mani chai fried with egg but it never came. When we asked the boss, he said he did not hear me asking for that so it was not in our list of orders. We were almost done by then and was already quite full so we just cancelled the order.

The total for the food came up to only RM41.00 – I must say that this is one of the places in town where the food is nice and very reasonably priced and it sure comes as no surprise at all that there are always quite a lot of people everytime we drop by.

RUBY RESTAURANT  is located at No. 71, Jalan Kampung Nyabor right next to HOME COOK CORNER  (2.292756, 111.825335) with the AmBank Tunku Osman branch in the very next block.

Don’t be fooled…

That morning, after my breakfast here, I headed on home and as I was driving past this coffee shop round the corner, my attention was drawn to the fact that there were so many cars parked all round the place and so many people were having their breakfast there even though it was still so very early in the morning.

We did go there once before but we did not think what we had was anything to get us to go back there again but perhaps, they had some new people there now. After all, I heard that the cook from the chu-char place at the back went and opened his own place here and was a hit at the time, dunno now – I have not been there for a long time.

Of course, I had to go there to check it out and see what the attraction was. The kampua mee stall…

Delicious Cafe kampua mee stall

…had shifted to the right side – it used to be in the corner on the left. I can’t seem to find my post on it but I am quite positive that I did go and try once and the fact that I never went back again speaks volumes of the fact that I was not impressed. I don’t know if they are the same people – perhaps the ones there now are new.

Anyway, I asked for a plate of the mee (RM3.00)…

Delicious Cafe kampua mee

…which, at best, was just all right and I definitely could not see nor taste whatever everybody else saw or tasted in it. Personally, I do think there are others in that area alone, no need to venture anywhere further, that have an edge over this one here.

The initial thought that ran through my mind when it was served…

Delicious Cafe spring onions

…was that the price of chay chang (spring onions) had dropped drastically. Normally, there would be a sprinkling in the complimentary soup and just a bit over the noodles, if at all. Most people would prefer eyew chang (fried shallots) instead, the more the better – this place here was noted at one time for their generous sprinkling of fried shallots all over their kampua mee but no, they are not so generous now. If you ask them, they will tell you that at the prices they are selling those chang kia (shallots), they jolly well can’t afford to be that generous anymore.

Actually, I also asked for a bowl of their pian sip (meat dumplings) soup to try but the guy said they had not arrived. I guess he meant that they had not delivered the skin yet as usually, these stalls will get the skin from some source and they will wrap their own dumplings themselves. In the end, I decided not to order anything else other than the noodles.

I guess there’s a lesson to be learnt from this episode – don’t be fooled by what you see; never judge based on appearance alone but like I always say, to each his own. What’s good for the goose may not be good for the gander – what’s good for others may not be good for me. Period.

DELICIOUS CAFE (2.313493, 111.846490) is located at the corner facing the junction of Jalan Gambir and Lorong Taman Seduan 8.

3 times in a row…

I first went to try this guy’s…

Mei Le kampua mee stall

kampua mee a long time ago when a friend, a food blogger at the time, no longer active now, told me that his was very nice and that it was special, different from the rest as he added garlic to his. Of course I had to go and try and yes, I loved it, the second time around. I think I did buy several packs for friends in West Malaysia before when I went over.

One fine day, this young guy took over and the guy took over the running of the drinks business at that coffee shop until the former left to join his family in their business venture. That was why the old guy came back to run the kampua mee stall the second time. Of course, I had to go back there again to see whether he was still as good but unfortunately, it failed to get me all excited so I never went back again.

After a while, some other people took over the stall and the old guy went back to concentrate on his drink business. I did give these new people a try and yes, I did like what they dished out but much to my surprise, they did not last very long. Perhaps they had moved some place else.

One fine day, a friend of mine, also an ex-blogger, shared a photo on Facebook claiming that his was the best kampua in Sibu. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that the old guy was back at it AGAIN…for the third time! I just ignored it until he shared another photo the other day declaring that same thing so I just had to go back there to see how best his best was.

Well, the kampua mee (RM3.00)…

Mei Le kampua mee

…was all right, not so strong on the garlic taste anymore, probably because of the quality of garlic these days and he added a bit of daun sup (Chinese celery) to the noodles and the soup and I liked that – the added fragrance brought the taste to a whole new level. However, I did not like how he cut the meat into long strips like that. I prefer how they usually do it – in thin broader slices.

All in all, if it is good authentic kampua mee that you are looking for, perhaps you should look elsewhere. Otherwise, this one is good enough for a decent breakfast, that much I would say.

MEI LE CAFE (2.313147, 111.846968) is located along Jalan Gambir, a stone’s throw away from the Delta Mall, straight ahead from the first turning to your left as soon as you turn into that road from Jalan Pedada, now Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai.

Enough to go round…

We decided to go out for dinner one Sunday evening and since we had not been here for quite a while, not since January, if I am not mistaken, I suggested that we went there and of course, my girl jumped at the idea.

This was my late father’s favourite restaurant and their lemon chicken…

Y2K Cafe lemon chicken

…is my girl’s favourite – the best in town, she will insist. She went out for lunch at some Malay restaurant in town with her colleagues once and she said that everyone commented on the small serving of the lemon chicken there but when all of them had tried a bit, they left all the rest on the plate untouched – it was that bad! I guess this one that we had that night more than made up for the disappointment and as a matter of fact, she had most of it that night.

I also ordered another one of her favourites here – their sweet and sour fish fillet…

Y2K Cafe sweet and sour fish fillet

Personally, I prefer this to the lemon chicken but generally, both were good. I guess that was dory but I liked how they sliced it so very thinly and had the slices pre-fried till very nice and crispy and the sauce was, in my opinion, a cut above the rest elsewhere.

We had their tofu with salted vegetable soup…

Y2K Cafe tofu salted vegetable soup

…before and we all enjoyed it so that night, we had it again.

We never had their kangkong (water spinach) fried with belacan (dried prawn paste)…

Y2K kangkong belacan

…before so we asked for that for a change. It turned out to be really very nice – we sure would want to order that again the next time around.

No, dinner was not cheap, RM56.00 altogether for the food for the 3 of us – this place is not known for being cheap unlike the restaurant next door which is forever packed and noisy.

However, for one thing, I did not ask for smaller servings that night and there was more than enough to go round, enough for 5, I would say, except for the soup, just nice for 4 individual bowls but if everyone gets a little less, there is every possibility that it could be stretched to 5. Anyway, I do not mind forking out a bit more to be able to dine in comfort plus in comparison, we do like the food here a lot more.

Y2K CAFE (2.294220, 111.825753) is located in the Tunku Osman area, round the corner from that block of shops where the branches of AmBank & RHB Bank are located. with its back entrance facing the side (right, not the main one) entrance/exit of Methodist Secondary School


When we were here for lunch that day, I felt like having cake so I had a look at their menu. Well, it wasn’t in their regular menu, just one laminated A4-sized card with photographs of the four types of cakes available.

The so-called red moist cake with cheese whatever looked like red velvet and I wanted that but the lady said it was not available. In fact, all the cakes were not available which got me wondering as to why that card was placed with the menu and everything else on the table. Since they did not have any of those cakes, they might as well put them aside for the time being till fresh supplies arrived. Sometimes I really wonder at these people – no common sense whatsoever.

Anyway, I was glad that I did not get what I wanted as I had it before at their other outlet in town…

Cafe Cafe red velvet
*Archive photo*

…and we did not like it – moist would be the last word we would use to describe it. That was three years ago and I had forgotten all about it.

It was my good friend, Richard‘s birthday a few days later and he shared a photograph of himself and four different types of cakes that he had here…

Secret Recipe

…and lo and behold! One of them was a red velvet!!!

Of course, I simply had to drop by and get myself a slice(RM11.21)…

Secret Recipe red velvet

…and yes, it was so good…but of course, at that price, I do not think I will be going back there for more all that soon. Perhaps I shall wait till my birthday and I can go and order one whole cake to indulge to my heart’s content.

And talking about being indulgent, my girl, for reasons unknown, kept mentioning her favourite here, their Chocolate Indulgence but when I asked if she wanted to drop by for that, she said no. Of course, since I was there already, I bought her a slice (RM9.01) and one of their white chocolate macadamia (RM9.01) for my missus and while I was there, I saw this…

Secret Recipe buy 3 1 free

Gee! That was on a Tuesday and if I had gone one day later, Wednesday, I would have been able to get another slice of cake on the house. Sigh!!!

SECRET RECIPE, town outlet (2.303270, 111.849253) is located along Jalan Pahlawan, round the corner from the Sibu Bus Terminal.

One and one…

I saw their post on Facebook – you buy one and you will get one free. I scrutinised the ad carefully and no, it did not state anywhere that the promo would only be on weekdays, not available on weekends. I commented on the post, asking them regarding this so as to confirm but unfortunately, just like that previous time, there was no reply – sometimes I really don’t understand these people. Why bother having a Facebook page when you do not bother about customers’ queries? That really puts me off, I must say!

Anyway, that Saturday, we dropped by their town branch and my worst fears were confirmed – it was available on weekdays only! Probably they have these promos for the sole purpose of luring the lunchtime crowd from the offices but since we were already there, we decided to just order something from their regular menu. I guess you can categorise us as “unsuspecting victims”, there because we were attracted by their BUY ONE, FREE ONE offer.

My girl had their lamb chop with mint vinaigrette sauce (RM26.00)…

Cafe Cafe lamb chop

…that we had before at their other outlet and liked very much.

The mum had their grilled chicken with homemade brown sauce (RM19.90)…

Cafe Cafe grilled chicken

…while I decided to try their Cantonese seafood yee mee (RM18.90)…

Cafe Cafe Cantonese seafood yee mee

The ladies enjoyed their orders and yes, my yee mee was nice too.

I gave some to my girl to try and yes, she liked it – she said she would want to order that the next time we drop by here. However, for that kind of price, I would expect a bit more than those slices of fish, Dory, obviously…and thankfully, it had the fish texture, not jelly-like and it did not have any unpleasant smell. There were some tiny shrimps, not many – in fact, there were so few that they were barely noticeable and no, there wasn’t any sotong (squid) even, so do not expect a mussel or two!

There was just one piece of the yee mee in that huge plate flooded with the gravy so if you think the serving was big and there was a lot to eat, take my word for it – it was merely an optical illusion.

Iced water was RM1.00 a glass and the total came up to RM68.70 and just as in our previous visit, they stamped on the cashier’s receipt our entitlement for a 20% discount on our next visit. We had that too when we were there last and I gave that to my girl but she never got to use it. I don’t know if we will ever get to use this one but I have that gut feeling that when the time comes, there will be some terms and conditions creeping out of the woodworks and we will not be able to claim that 20% in the end.

Incidentally, if you are going there for the promo, do be forewarned that when you order an item from the list, you are NOT going to get another one of the same free. There is a list by the side, not all that obvious, I must say, and you will have to pick one of the not-so-attractive items there.

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.

No stranger…

My sis bought the chai peah (Chinese vegetable pancake) from here…

Ho Ho Cafe

…one day and gave my girl two. Personally, I was not into those, the ones that I had had before but anyway,  since my girl enjoyed them so much, the other day, I stopped  by there to buy some more for her.

There were only three left…

Chai peah

…but the nice young guy was good enough to fry some more…


…for me.

He also sells sweet potato fritters, fried fish balls and popiah (spring roll). I heard people saying that the latter was very nice but I did try it before and no, I was not in the least impressed – nowhere near the ones that I make myself but then again, his is only RM1.00 each. Even those around RM3.00 in Kuching, these and these, are not up to my standard. Hehehehehe!!!

Once he was done, I took my order from him and paid him the money. “谢谢, 老师!” (Thank you, teacher!) he said, taking me by surprise or at least, that was what I thought he said. Hmmm…obviously I was no stranger to him and yes, he did look kind of familiar, possibly a student in a school where I was teaching but I don’t think I taught him. I had to go some place after that so I just let it be – maybe I’ll ask him the next time I drop by.

I tried the chai peah when I got home and yes, it was indeed very very nice. I will certainly be back for more!

HO HO CAFE is located to the left of NICE HOUSE RESTAURANT (2.29201,111.82739), the last shop in the block opposite Rejang Bookstore, in the vicinity of the Tunku Osman shops.

High and low…

This sotong kangkong guy was at another coffee shop for many years before he moved here and I did drop by to try once

Sotong kangkong
*Archive photo*

…but soon after that, he disappeared. I heard that he had decided to call it quits and more recently, a young guy took over the stall. His father runs the same business at the hawker centre on the 1st floor of the Sibu Central Market and as they were doing some renovations there at the time, the old guy was there that day to give his son a helping hand. He told me that the previous one stopped because of health problems – there was something wrong with his eyes.

I gave this new one a try and I would say it was good but the dip was somewhat lacking in the coveted sweet and sour taste, probably in need of a bit more calamansi lime and sugar. In other words, it wasn’t as nice.

Well, the other day, our discussion on Facebook drifted to this aforementioned sotong kangkong guy and nobody seemed to know where he had gone too – most just assumed that he wasn’t doing it anymore until one of them said that he had his stall in the Permai area now – his son who stayed opposite his house told him, he said.

I’ve been to the shops around the market many times and I did not see him so I just guessed he was not around that part of the housing estate. I searched high and low at the (newer) shops in another area and also the stalls around the Lake Gardens but to no avail. There is another area, also newer where there are a food court and some Malay eateries, and no, he wasn’t there either.

It so happened that I was in that area again that morning and I stopped by this coffee shop

Pau's Cafe

…to buy some roast chicken and char siew to take home for lunch. While the tall and handsome guy was doing the chopping and slicing, I went to the washroom at the back and when I was done, I came back to the stall. Only then did I notice this one…

Sotong kangkong guy

…located right behind it, somewhat hidden if you are outside looking in.

I could not recognise the guy anymore so I asked him where he was before and it turned out that he was the sotong kangkong guy…

Sotong kangkong guy

…I had been searching for for so long. Gee!!! I could have missed seeing him there!

Of course, I HAD to buy some home and of course, we had it with the dip served separately…

Sotong kangkong, dip separate
*Archive photo*

…the way we had enjoyed it since young, unlike how they do it in Kuching – they would pour the sauce over everything in a plate. My girl prefers it that way and that is why she likes the sotong kangkong here more but the one there would only have the sotong and the kangkong and the tofu cakes, no sweet potato and vegetable fritters.

While I was waiting for the guy to get my order ready, a lady stopped by – obviously she knew him from where he was before and she had been searching high and low for him too. From their conversation, I gathered that the guy operates his stall daily till around 2 or 3 p.m. in the afternoon except on Thursday.

PAU’S CAFE (2.298564, 111.893951) is located among the shops opposite the Pasar Tani Permai to the left of Jalan Permai as you turn in from Jalan Ulu Oya, a little to the right of the Sibu General Hospital.

Back in business…

I was here

5th Ave. Kopitiam

…once before but we did not think what we had from the Malay stalls there was anything to go back for.

Soon after, they closed down the place. I heard that there was a fire there, the work of an unhappy customer or somebody and they stayed closed for a long long time. I actually thought they had given up the idea of running the coffee shop for good until one fine day, as I was driving past, I saw that they were back in business once again.

I walked around the place and saw one Malay stall – the dishes in the photographs at the stall looked good but no, I did not order anything from there. There was also one “Curry Station” selling curry rice and stuff but it was not open. The chu-char (cook & fry) place at the back was but I had decided to order something from the kampua mee stall in front…

Kampua mee stall

…already, run by a not-all-that-young couple. Another time perhaps!

I had been thinking of going for the Eight Treasures (pek ting eyok) mee sua for a while now but I never got round to doing that and the photograph at the stall was quite alluring so I asked for that. It came soon enough (RM6.00)…

Pek ting eyok too kha

…and yes, it was very nice. I was expecting chicken but no, it did not matter that it was pork trotter instead. I was fine with that.

I asked for some freshly-cut chili in soy sauce and when the guy brought it to my table, he saw that there wasn’t that much soup in the bowl so he brought some more and poured that in…

Extra soup

– no extra charge! Now, wasn’t that nice?

There is a canopy at the parking spaces opposite and there is a Malay stall there selling nasi lemak and stuff. I don’t know if you can order and ask them to deliver to you to eat at the coffee shop or not but I, for one, would not want to do that as that would be very unfair to the rent-paying Malay stall inside and yes, the one in the coffee shop does have nasi lemak and everything else too.

I liked the counters they constructed for the stalls – very neat and proper and they certainly brought the place to a higher level, very much nicer and cleaner and a lot more impressive and comfortable than the regular coffee shop. I think this bubble tea franchise has an outlet there as well and being far from the town centre, the place is not crowded and noisy, just great for people to gather and sit and chat. I know many church groups and gangs of retirees do that on a regular basis but no, I have never joined any of them, thank you very much! LOL!!!

5TH AVE. KOPITIAM is in the block of shops before the block where WOW WOW WEST Sibu (2.296407, 111.885216) is, on your left along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, the road leading to the Sibu Airport, past the traffic lights junction where you would turn left to go to the Sibu General Hospital but before the next junction where you would turn right to go into Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce.

By night…

This is a chicken rice place by day, probably the most popular in town – it occupies the whole of the right section whilst on the left, there are a selection of stalls selling kampua noodles, kueh chap and so on and they will stay open till past lunchtime, around 2.00 p.m.

By night, however, for sometime now these days, some other people will run the show. When they first started, there was a promotion – RM25.00 for their curry fish head dish and we did drop by then. However, it was a very hot evening and in the end, we decided to go some place else and we never went back again.

The other night, it was raining and was very nice and cool so we decided to go and have a look. The curry fish head probably came from the chu-char (cook & fry) place at the back and a lot of people were having the dishes from them. I had a glimpse at the curry fish head that those at the next table were having and it looked very good. One thing I noticed was how slow the dishes were coming out but then again, there were a lot of people, probably a good idea to go there early if one wants to check out the place.

Otherwise, there are two other stalls in front, a lok lok stall…

Lok Lok stall

…and this one…

The other stall

I ordered the pork intestine soup (RM10.00)…

Pork intestine soup

…from the latter and it turned out to be peppery and milky. My girl said it was soya bean milk – she had something similar before in Sg Petani and yes, it was very nice.

I also asked for a large plate of fried kway teow (RM10.00)…

Fried kway teow

…to share and this too was very good and I liked how they went through the trouble of removing the tails of the taugeh (bean sprouts) – they do not bother doing that elsewhere.

We were taken by surprise when the oyster omelette/or chian (RM15.00)…

Or chian

…was served. It did not look anything like what I had in the peninsular before where actually, I would not consider the egg an omelette as it would be scrambled or at least, those that I had over there. Thankfully, this one tasted great and there were a lot of oysters…



This (RM15.00)…


…however, was a disappointment. The cockles were not juicy and succulent – maybe they were pre-cooked to prevent them from going bad and when cooked again, they shrank till there was so little left that it was difficult to get the flesh out of the shell…plus they were VERY small. I certainly would not want to order this again.

Well, despite that last one, we did enjoy what we had that night but a word of warning if you intend to drop by. Do not be too happy if you see a lot of vacant parking spaces in front of the two stalls. Do not park there unless you want your car to be covered with the fumes of the cooking oil used in the cooking. It would be best to park further away and walk there.

CHOPSTICKS CHICKEN & RICE (2.312434, 111.845917) is located in the Delta Mall, Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai (formerly Pedada) area of shops, facing the church along Lorong Taman Seduan 8, off Jalan Gambir.