Family & friends…

My good friend, Lim, and his family went back home to Kuching for Chinese New Year and they drove all the way back on the 3rd Day, arriving in Sibu late in the night.

I invited them over to my house on the evening of the 4th Day – we used to do this quite often before but with their kids all grown up now and their work commitments and all plus we were tied up at one time taking care of my ailing parents, we could barely find time to do this and since the schools were still having their holiday, I thought that would be a good time to get together like old times. I also asked my sister to join us, 9 of us altogether.

Of course, we did not serve them all the left overs from our reunion dinner and our open house on the first day. This was a fresh batch of my missus’ chicken curry…

Chicken curry

– the last of the lot. She cooked a whole lot and kept it in separate tubs so she could heat up a tub at a time to serve and yes, she also fried her ngor hiang

Ngor hiang

– she would pre-steam these to keep and then deep-fry a few at a time to serve.

This was a new one too – I ordered two that day and we had finished the first one, the duck stuffed with glutinous rice…

Duck sticky rice

…from a leading hotel in town. If anyone is curious, this is what it looks like inside…

Duck sticky rice, inside

– the duck, deboned and stuffed with something like lor mai kai that one would usually get at those dim sum places.

My niece, the one working in Singapore, gave us these when she came home that day – the overrated, celebrated Muar otak-otak

Muar otak-otak

I think she did say something before like this would be much nicer than the one at Payung but of course, we would disagree 100%. My West Malaysian friends from KL that day would vouch for the fact that the Payung one is in a class of its own, many many cuts above and a whole lot nicer – they loved it so much that they immediately placed orders to take home – and it came as no surprise that none of us that night had anything nice to say about this one.

I also steamed a fresh pack of sio bee

Sio bee

…from here and I had this super-duper spicy tempoyak

Payung tempoyak

…from Payung which, in fact, is cooked durian, not really the fermented version of the fruit and we also had this very nice sambal petai

Sambal petai

…from a Malay lady who sells some very nice dishes at her stall in front of her house along Jalan Ria at its T-junction with Jalan Kpg Datu Baru.

They went really well with the last bundle of the banana leaf-wrapped ketupat/kelupis


…that my aunt gave me that day.

My missus also fried this dish of broccoli…

Fried broccoli

…and steamed one of the two Chinese silver pomfret or 斗底鲳 (Dao Dai Chong/ikan bawal tambak) that I bought…

Steamed fish

…which one of my West Malaysian friends that day told me is a class above the regular pek chio (white pomfret). I did not know that before this – to me, it was either black (or chio) or gold (kim chio) or white (pek chio). Personally, I think the Soon Hock we had for our reunion dinner that day was nicer.

I guess they all enjoyed the dinner and I, for one, enjoyed every moment of the get-together – the catching up with one another’s lives, the bonding, the laughter and the joy. Such good vibes all round sure auger well for a bright and happy year ahead.