I will always love you…

What is your favourite brand when it comes to soy sauce?

A friend posted photos of the half-boiled/half-cooked eggs he had for breakfast…

Half boiled eggs with soy sauce & pepper

…and he mentioned that he used Maggi seasoning. I did buy that once long ago during my short stay at my brother’s house in Auckland, New Zealand as I only wanted a small bottle and there wasn’t any that I could choose and pick…and no, I can’t say that I liked it very much.

Ever since this mushroom soy…

Rejang River Bridge brand

…came into the scene in the late 50’s or early 60’s, we have stuck faithfully to it but of course, the brand was different then. I think it was Pearl River or something.

These days, we have the Rejang River Bridge but worry not, it is still the same made-in-China soy sauce, imported and bottled in Sibu…

Made in China, impprted & bottle in Sibu

I remember those times when my mum ran out of it and she would sent me on my bicycle to the Sungai Bakong market (since demolished – it was destroyed in a fire sometime ago) half a mile away from our house along Race Course Road…and I clearly remember it was only 50 sen a bottle at the time.

These days, it costs RM6.30 a bottle at the shop round the corner from my house but that does not stop us from buying it to use in our cooking, as a dip or with the eggs…

Breakfast

…plus a sprinkling of pepper, washed down with a mug of coffee, first thing in the morning.

Heat…

My cousin’s hubby was posted to work in Sibu for a number of years before he eventually got his transfer back to Kuching. It was not very long after that when he started missing the pulut panggang in Sibu. According to him, the ones here are the best, second to none.

Well, in our family, our favourite is what we call Kate panggang but the people at my regular kueh stall at Bandong call it Haji Luguk’s panggang. That is why everytime I fly over to Kuching, I will buy a lot to distribute to family members for them to enjoy.

I may have to buy them earlier and keep in the fridge and they may have to do the same as they can’t possibly eat them all at one go. The question arises as to how they will usually heat up the panggang before eating. I was aghast when I saw some of them steaming it – I am quite sure the fragrance and taste would be affected, perhaps even lost. Putting them in the oven may not be a good idea either as if you keep them in the heat for too long, you will end up with a hard outer layer that is not at all palatable.

I would use a non-stick pan to heat them up and I absolutely love those pans with grill lines…

Hj Luguk's aka Kate panggang

Incidentally, I also love toasting bread with this – you will end up with lovely pieces of toast with nice brown parallel lines and if you position the bread in the other direction in the process, you will end up with squares. Just as in the case of the toast, the panggang will not have complete contact with the surface of the pan so that would reduce the possibility of over-heating and ending up with a hard crust.

You can see in the above photograph that the banana leaf is quite burnt in parts and that is what draws the line between the men and the boys. That gives the panggang the special fragrance and taste that is so very nice that you can eat it on its own- my missus does that but she hates it when I buy panggang and I would pick it up and smell first. If you can’t detect the fragrance, just put it back! There’s no point buying that as it will not be nice.

Of course, you will need to be vigilant at all times – stand by the side turning the panggang round and round with a pair of tongs. Initially, it will be hard when taken out of the fridge. Perhaps the santan (coconut milk) and oil have hardened in the cold so once you feel it has gone soft – press gently with the tongs to check – it is done.

You can see that there is a light tint of brown…

Nicely heated up

…so it is not overdone and will not be hard. It will also be oily with traces of the santan so it will not be dry.

We can get pulut panggang very easily here in Sibu, RM1.00 each usually while these Haji Luguk ones are more expensive by 10 sen, RM1.10 but it is definitely worth it. Some of the RM1.00 ones are quite all right – just do not eat them together and you may not be able to tell the difference but some are really not worth the calories. I guess, like everything else, you need to know where to go.

HAJI LUGUK’S PULUT PANGGANG is available at what used to be known as Mak Met’s Breakfast Station, right beside KOPI KOPI Café & Kitchen which is located at the blocks of shops, at the back facing Bandong Walk (2.313869, 111.825808) and the main road.

Pretty pictures…

I first stumbled upon this guy when he was selling Mexican chicken quesadillas at a food fair at the town square some years ago. Not long after that, I gathered that he had opened his own place…

Gabriel's Recipe

…selling those as well as a wide range of burgers.

We never went to check out the place as my girl was on a gluten-free diet for a couple of years so she couldn’t eat the wraps nor the bread and we were not too sure about the batter they used to coat the chicken for frying.

More recently, I saw on Facebook that they had started serving some rice dishes as well but we still did not go to check it out until the other night when my girl went to attend her school’s end-of-year dinner and my missus and I dropped her off at the venue and we stopped on our way home.

I was attracted by this picture above the counter…

What I saw

…and yes, I do love those soups served in the crusty bread bowls so I ordered that.

Unfortunately, what I was served (RM14.90, two pieces chicken) sure did not look as great…

Gabriel's Recipe bread bowl mushroom soup

The soup was like the mushroom gravy they usually serve with chops and the bread was kind of soggy, not nice and crusty. The chicken was all right but at the end of the day, it was what it was – fried chicken.

My missus wanted the Tasty Thai…

In the picture

…and yes, it (RM11.50, one piece chicken)…

Gabriel's Recipe Tasty Thai

…did not look anything like what was depicted in the picture either.

Thankfully though, it tasted a whole lot nicer than it looked – the chicken rice that came with it was very good, tastier than at a lot of other places and my missus enjoyed the green curry gravy very much. Personally, I do think this would be much nicer than the Tasty Malaysian which, if I heard correctly what the girl said, would be served with nasi lemak sambal or the Tasty Indonesian, with sambal belacan.

I must say that the burgers seemed mighty popular. While we were there eating, I saw people coming in and leaving with bags and bags of those. Perhaps we shall go back and try those one of these days.

GABRIEL’S RECIPE (2.297300, 111.825012) is located along Jalan Tun Abg Hj Openg, opposite the old Sing Kwong, in between The Coffee Code and a hotel located beside Bateras Food Court.

I saw it…

Yes, I saw it…in zmun2‘s blog, the nasi lemak that she had and I made up my mind there and then that I would have that for breakfast the very next morning. That was why I headed to this place again – their nasi lemak is quite lemak, currently my favourite in town.

The one that I liked before isn’t as great these days – not so lemak anymore and very strong on the ginger…plus the surroundings at the stalls, the tables and what not are not all that pleasant. Their sambal is still as good though so I do buy and take home to eat sometimes.

At least, with the setting up of the little coffee shop with covered tables and all by the side, this one is a lot more comfortable and instead of buying home, like what I usually did, I had my nasi lemak fix…

Kopi Kopi nasi lemak

…there that morning.

It’s RM3.50 for the regular here but I asked for the very nice chicken rendang

Chicken rendang

…and that would mean an additional RM1.50, RM5.00 altogether.

As I was placing my order, I saw the tray of fried eggs and they looked so good that I simply must have one…

Fried egg

Yes, it was perfectly done with its runny yolk and the lovely golden fringe all around the edges. However, I was a little stunned when I paid for everything – the total was RM6.50 altogether. The egg was RM1.50 each! Golly gee! If it’s RM13.50 for a tray of 30 extra-large eggs, that would work out to only 45 sen each. Actually, I had expected that to cost a ringgit only.

Well, never mind! Most importantly, I enjoyed it all very much. The next time around, I must make sure I do not walk around looking at everything – some things look so good they are simply too hard to resist. LOL!!!

KOPI KOPI Café & Kitchen is located at the blocks of shops, at the back facing Bandong Walk (2.313869, 111.825808) and the main road.

Between the two of them…

That day, when I dropped by that dim sum place with the misspelt name, I saw that they were selling their own-made Hokkien bak chang (meat dumplings) at RM4.00 each so I just had to buy and try.

There was quite a lot of meat inside…

Thanksgiving Dinsum bak chang

…but at best, I felt that it tasted all right. The small ones at Rejang Park that I enjoyed did not have much meat inside but I thought they tasted better and they were cheaper, only RM3.00 each. I am quite sure that the lady said there would be an egg inside but there was none.

They also had the Cantonese chang, those big rectangular pillow-shaped ones and luckily, I decided not to buy those. I am pretty sure they would be much more expensive and inside, they would taste more or less the same.

In the meantime, I also bought this HUGE one…

Small & big bak chang

…from a stall at the Sibu Central Market. You can see in the photograph that it was almost double the size of the one I mentioned earlier.

The old ladies manning the stall were well-known for their kuehs, their kao teng koi (9-layer cake), for instance and at one time, their popiah (spring roll) was very popular. These days, they also sell yeu chang koi and I did buy it once for my missus and she said it was good.

Well, that morning when I dropped by the market, my attention was drawn to the bak changs at the stall. Gosh! I had never seen any so big so I grabbed one to take home and try.

It was RM6.00 each and inside, there was a lot of meat, a couple of kao lak (chestnuts), peanuts and one salted egg yolk and whatever else…

All the things inside

It sure looked like it was value for money considering the size and all the things inside but sadly, I did not think much of the glutinous rice…

Perfect cone

It did not taste as nice plus it was rather salty so I did not really enjoy it.

It sure looks like the ones at Rejang Park the other day are still my favourite…for now until I find one that is better if ever I happen to do so, that is.

Thanks to you…

This place…

Thanksgiving Dinsum Cafe

…has been around for a while and even though it is right round the corner from my house, we never felt like dropping by there since we are not really into dim sum – usually lots of msg and you just pick a few items and the price can shoot sky high and besides, we do have a lot of dim sum stalls here and there these days and they are not anything I would want to go for a second time…plus they got the spelling wrong in their shop sign too!

However, I think it is not their fault but a mistake made by the sign maker as they got it right on the cover of their menu…

Menu

It was only until I saw somebody sharing somebody’s photos on Facebook and the guy was praising the noodles to the skies that I decided to go there and check it out. Unfortunately, it was on a Tuesday – their off day so I ended up some place else and all this while, everytime I was in the vicinity, it was on a Tuesday…and once, we wanted to go there for lunch but we saw a lot of cars perked outside and we changed our minds right away as we would not like to go any place too crowded.

Well, finally, the other day, I managed to stop by and yes, I had their pork rib noodles (RM8.50)…

Pork rib noodles

…and yes, it was very good. I was wishing they had given me some cut fresh chili in soy sauce though but it seemed that I would have to ask for it – the people at the next table did – and I did not bother to do it. My missus most certainly would or she would not enjoy what she is eating, no matter how nice. LOL!!!

I so love that blue and white ceramic bowl that they used and I would give them the double thumbs up for not using those horrendous NCAA (no class at all) cheap plastic and melamine bowls and plates that they insist on using at a lot of places here.

They have a lot of alluring looking stuff on their menu and this caught my attention…

Pork leg rice

You can bet I shall go back there one of these days for that! I asked the guy and he said that they open till 8 something at night except on Tuesdays so it would be nice to go here for lunch or dinner, not just breakfast.

THANKSGIVING DINSUM CAFE (2.321373, 111.839286) is located at No. 12, Ground Floor, Lorong Teng Chin Hua 1, in the block of shops right behind the Sing Ang Tong Kindergarten/Methodist Church. 

He’s good…

The young and handsome guy…

Roti canai guy

…at this roti canai stall…

Roti canai stall

here actually hails from Bangi, Selangor and has moved to Sibu following his wife who has been posted to work at the hospital here. I went early one morning at 6 something hoping to try something from him but he was not there. They said he usually would not come so early.

Well, I did manage to catch hold of him the other morning and I asked for what he calls the canai tsunami (RM2.50)…

Canai tsunami

…which is actually made up of a piece of roti canai as the base and a fried egg on top, flooded with the dhal gravy.

I was also served this…

Roti bom

…and I thought that was part of my order but in actual fact, he made that specially for me to try, what they call roti bom. He said there is nobody selling that here and come to think of it, I haven’t seen it anywhere. I wanted to pay for that but he insisted that it was on him.

With the sprinkling of sugar and some margarine wrapped inside and fried till crusty and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, it was really very nice, something like those sugared puff pastry biscuits. As a matter of fact, it was so nice that I wanted to buy two home. Unfortunately, he said that he had run out of dough for the day which, of course, was a good sign – an indication that his business wasn’t too bad.

From our brief chit-chat, I found out that he would not open that early in the morning as he would have to send the kuihs he makes to the hospital and dunno where else. Upon saying that, he went over the the kuih section at that place and got me these – his apams…

Apams

…the apam coklat, apam pisang and apam gula hangus. I don’t know what apams actually are and why they are thus called and not regarded as cakes as to me, they are like mini-cupcakes, very soft and moist, very nice – all of them. I wanted to pay him for those too but he simply refused to accept. He sure is a nice guy, isn’t he?

The people there said that the roti bom would go very well with the nasi lemak sambal so they got me this…

Sambal & dhal

…the aforementioned sambal in the dhal gravy. Gee!!! If they keep pampering me like this, I sure would want to come every day! LOL!!!

Jokes aside, I certainly would love to drop by again for this…

Canai tsunami, roti bom & sambal/dhal

…or whatever else the guy has on his menu. His effort to earn a little something instead of idling around while his wife is at work sure deserves some support and the next time around, I shall insist on paying for everything.

KOPI KOPI Café & Kitchen is located at the blocks of shops, at the back facing Bandong Walk (2.313869, 111.825808) and the main road.

P.S.:
I am taking a break for a week or so but worry not, there will be the usual scheduled daily posts just that I may not be replying instantly to comments, if any and I may not go blog-hopping to comment in your blogs as well. Stick around! I’ll be back!!!

Victorious…

This coffee shop…

Victorious Cafe

…is located ideally beside one of the leading hotels in town and there is this other one right across the road plus all the other smaller ones in the vicinity. We did go there a few times a long long time ago but no, this would not be one of our regular stops especially when parking is such a pain in that area plus this road can be quite badly jammed at times.

I heard some favourable reviews of the mee sua here but quite recently, somebody said that he went and tried but no, he did not think it was all that great. I do not recall ever having that there but yes, I remember going for the beef noodles and I quite enjoyed it.

The other morning, after dropping off my girl at school, as I was driving past, I noticed that it was open so I quickly parked the car and walked over to have a look.

Yes, the beef noodles stall…

Beef noodles stall

…is still there, manned by a young guy who is bigger than I am, and a helper.

I guess I was way too early so no, he did not have the special (RM8.00) nor the mee sapi campur (RM6.00) so it had to be just the mee sapi/beef noodles (RM6.00)…

Beef noodles 1

…or nothing.

The soup was great, wouldn’t mind if the beef taste had been a little bit stronger and I seemed to detect a hint of sweetness in it. However, despite that, I rather enjoyed it and I loved the noodles and the meat with their special own-made chili dip…

Chili dip

…which I finished while I was halfway through and I had to ask for some more.

I can’t say I am all that fond of the use of plastic bowls…

Beef noodles 2

…though especially when it is served with the soup boiling hot.

The place was already very full by the time I was done and looking around, I noticed that many were having the kueh chap from the stall next to this one. Perhaps, I’ll try that the next time around.

VICTORIOUS CAFE (2.283657, 111.832501) is the corner coffee shop on the left at the end of Lorong Lanang 4, opposite the Li Hua Hotel, town centre and the Kingwood Hotel is right behind it.

Had to…

In my previous post, I said that I went to the post office at Rejang Park here twice to send my Christmas cards, the ones going overseas and the rest to their local destinations and while I was there, I bought some very nice Hokkien bak changs (meat dumplings) to take home.

The first time I was there, I walked past this coffee shop…

Leong Leong, Rejang Park
*Archive photo*

…and saw the photograph of their mango ice and I decided there and then that I had to go back and try some day.

I had this one (RM10.00)…

Mango No. 5
*Archive photo*

here sometime ago and I thought it was very nice.

The one here (also RM10.00)…

Leong Leong Mango Ice

…was good too and because this one was served in a bowl, it was easier to mix the mango on top with the shaved ice and evaporated milk below to give the latter a bit more taste unlike the other one where when one would be eating just the ice and the milk, one probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much.

I prefer how they cut the mango at that other place though, in big cubes but anyway, seeing how these do not come cheap, I don’t think I will be going for it all that often. Once in a long while is fine.

LEONG LEONG CAFE 亮亮茶餐室 (2.306688, 111.837028) is located at No. 42, Jalan Teruntum, among the Rejang Park shops, on the ground floor to the left (the inner side, not facing the main road) of the since-closed-down cinema complex.

I want some more…

Last week, I went to the post office at Rejang Park here to send my Christmas cards, the ones going overseas. I don’t know how long it will take, two weeks perhaps, maybe longer.

Even the local mails will take ages these days. My cousin in Kuching sent me an invitation to her daughter’s wedding next month, postmarked 30th October…

Postmark

…and I only received it on the 11th of November, almost two weeks from Kuching to Sibu, believe it or not.

Well, I dropped by the stall there, the one that sells all the nice Chinese kuehs but they did not have much that day – according to the lady there, they had gone on a holiday so all those that they usually made themselves were not available. There were a few things made by people at home, left there for sale and in the end, I bought some of the Hokkien bak changs (meat dumplings – we can’t get the nyonya ones here), RM3.00 for the small ones with meat and RM4.80 for the big ones with meat and salted egg yolk.

The small ones had bits of meat inside, so little and so minute that one would hardly notice it was there. Thankfully, the glutinous rice was very tasty and was, in a way, a consolation.

The big ones…

Bak chang, big

…were really something. After so many disappointing ones from here, there and everywhere around town, I was so glad to stumble upon these. Even my missus who would always say that her late mum’s were the best, second to none, and never liked any sold at the shops and stalls, admitted that these were good.

There were a few chunks of meat inside, shitake mushroom and a salted egg yolk…

Inside

…and if you’re lucky, you may stumble upon a slice of pork belly with the yummy layers of fat. Slurpsss!!!

I also liked the fact that they used the traditional straw to tie them into big, perfect triangles…

Perfect

…unlike those that use raffia nylon strings – imagine those being boiled in the water with the changs until they are cooked!

Well, on Monday, I went back to the post office again to send more Christmas cards, the ones intended for the local destinations and of course, I felt I wanted some more, the big ones, no less so I walked back to the stall and went home happily…with half a dozen of those delightful changs!

LIM TIONG KHAY Chinese kueh stall (2.306707, 111.836471) is located beside the Chinese medical store among the shops at Rejang Park in the block facing Jalan Teruntum to the left of what was formerly the Zenith Mint Cinema.