Just yesterday…

We went out for lunch last Saturday afternoon and the following day, Sunday, we went out again. Well, it was because my girl’s violin lesson was moved from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning and she said we could go out for lunch right after that and we did!

I don’t know whether it was a Sunday or it was in a different part of the town centre but boy oh boy, there were so many cars on the road, whatever happened to #staysafe #staywell #stayhome, a stark difference from the way it was just one day before – hardly anybody, so very few cars around.

Perhaps it was the weekend before the All Souls’ Day weekend and some people came earlier to avoid the crowd on the actual weekend which, actually, was a good idea but personally, I do think that during a time such as this, it would be best to just sit this one out and give this year a miss. I am sure the deceased loved ones would understand.

Anyway, back to our lunch, my girl wanted her favourite beef on a hotplate (RM15.00)…

Nice House beef on hot plate

here and of course, I told her that if the place was crowded, we would go some place else. Fortunately, there were only six tables with everyone observing the required physical distancing and sitting far apart. I picked a table for 4-6 by the wall, not too near all the rest, just nice for the 3 of us.

My girl is not so into leafy vegetables but she likes the baby kailan (RM13.00)…

Nice House baby kai lan

…here. I thought that was rather expensive so I grumbled about it to the lady boss. She said it was their signature dish and had special ingredients for the egg, probably some cheese and butter, both of which I could not detect. For one thing, it was so very salty that day so of course, I did not mince my words when I told the lady boss that! Unfortunately, all my rantings fell on deaf ears and no, she did not give me a discount. Tsk! Tsk!

The black pepper lamb (RM22.00)…

Nice House black pepper lamb

…was certainly an improvement from how I remembered it to be. My late father used to buy home from here for everyone in the house to eat, those years when my late mum was bedridden. This time around, the meat was very nice and tender and unlike before, the sauce did not taste like what came out of the bottle like what one would get when eating that once-a-year burger in the hope that one would strike it rich and be very prosperous!

We barely managed to eat half of the lamb though. The servings were so huge so we were so very full by the time we finished half of it and we left the sem boi kay/sour plum chicken (RM13.00)…

Nice House sour plum chicken

…another dish that my late dad used to buy quite regularly, untouched. I got my tiffin carrier from my car and we took the chicken and what was left of the lamb home for dinner.

The total for the food came up to RM63.00 which I thought was very reasonable as the servings were huge and we had three meat dishes.

We did have to wait for quite a bit though – they seem to have this practice, probably to ensure the quality of the food, whereby they will cook the orders according to the table – when it is your turn, they will cook all your orders at one go. I am pretty sure that at other places, if everybody is ordering that same dish, they would cook a whole lot of it, divide equally and dump on separate plates and serve.

NICE HOUSE RESTAURANT (2.29201,111.82739) is located at No. 5 Jalan Bindang in the vicinity of the Tunku Osman shops, opposite Rejang Bookstore.

Doing well…

I dropped by this bakery one afternoon at around 3.00 p.m. and my attention was drawn to the chai kueh on the counter. There were two packs…

Big Thumb chai kueh 1

…left. I asked the lady (not the younger tanned one) manning the cashier’s till whether they were any good and she nonchalantly replied that they were all right. She sounded so unenthusiastic that I actually thought they were not nice but I went ahead and bought the two packs, anyway.

Much to my delight, when I steamed them to eat, I found that they were really good…

Big Thumb chai kueh 2

Everyone loved them but we never did go back to buy more. My sis told me that she did go and buy, after hearing my fave review, and yes, she loved it too!

It so happened that we went for lunch one afternoon at a restaurant in the vicinity that day and since the bakery was around a hundred metres away, after we had had our fill, we stopped by there to see if we could grab hold of those most delightful chai kueh.

I waited in the car while my girl and the mum went in but when they came back, they bought a few things but no, they did not manage to get any chai kueh. The girl at the shop told them that she was puzzled as to why out of the blue, the hay bee (udang kering/dried prawns) ones started to sell so well. Just a few hours in the morning and they would all be sold out!

Anyway, the girl suggested buying these…

Big Thumb chai kueh, meat 1

– what she called “the meat ones“. They cost RM1.00 more and yes, I did see them the first time around – there were a few packs still on the counter but they did not look like anything I had eaten before so I did not bother to buy any.

The ladies bought two packs and we tried them…

Big Thumb chai kueh, meat 2

…for tea that afternoon and boy, oh boy!!! It was also very very very nice!!!

Inside, there was a bit of meat and some vegetables, including a bit of salted vegetables…

Big Thumb chai kueh, meat 3

…and we all agreed that the combination gave it a very delightful taste.

My girl is of the opinion that I should not blog about these as they may start selling like hot cakes as well and in the end, everytime we drop by, they would be all sold out! Ah well!!! Never mind! As they say, good things must be shared – we just have to drop by a whole lot earlier so as not to be disappointed.

In the meantime, she and the mum went and tried making their own…

Own-made chai kueh

…that day and much to their delight, they came out really good – they were absolutely delicious. The first attempt at making the skin did not turn out right so they had to do it another time. It was thinner, more translucent than most of those sold outside but it sure looked like a whole lot of work though – I think we would just go out and buy when we feel like eating this!

BIG THUMB BAKERY (2.293889, 111.826492) is located at No.71-73, Jalan Tuanku Osman.

I dreamed a dream…

We went out for lunch last Saturday afternoon and we dropped by here for my girl’s favourite lemon chicken in town…

Y2K lemon chicken

I did tapao this home once sometime ago when the MCO lockdown was relaxed a bit and these places resumed their businesses but of course, nothing beats eating it there, hot from the wok.

We were the only ones there that afternoon – there were two guys sitting outside, having a chat, but they left after a while. On the whole, the town seemed quite deserted – hardly any living soul around, not many cars and ample parking spaces. This, of course, isn’t all that good for all businesses but looking at the list in the SOP record book, I was glad to note that there were at least 30-40 people who were there before us, probably for breakfast or brunch.

I dreamed a dream one night that there was a new coffee shop in town and they had a huge banner in front that said, “Deer Meat Kampua“. I went in – the place was empty, very simple and clean and then I woke up. Deer meat? Gee! I can’t say that I’m a fan, actually so why on earth did I dream about it? And I did not even get to eat it in my dream! Tsk! Tsk! LOL!!!

Well, to make my dream come true in some way, we ordered their venison/deer meat with ginger and dried chili…

Y2K dried chili venison

…and yes, it was good. My girl sure enjoyed it and I did not even know she was that into venison.

We had cangkuk manis fried with egg…

Y2K cangkuk manis fried with egg

…for our vegetable dish – there are only a few kinds of vegetables that my girl likes, very limited choices and for our soup, we had the tofu & salted vegetable soup….

Y2K salted vegetable tofu soup

That sure was a very delightful lunch – we enjoyed all the dishes to the max and the total for the food came up to only RM55.00 for three persons. I thought that was very reasonable.

Incidentally, I noticed that they have acquired some nice white ceramic plates. I think they used to use all kinds of assorted plates before, maybe melamine once in a while even but no, I do not recall them using those plastic ones in all kinds of horrendously gaudy colours that they use in a lot of places here including that very popular one right next door. That is definitely a good reason why I would want to keep coming back. Say NO to plastic!!!

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

I don’t even know your name…

This coffee shop…

Lian Kiew Cafe

…has been where it is like forever and I’ve driven past a thousand and one times but I did not even know its name until that morning when I went and took the above photograph.

All I could say about it is that it is always very crowded and I did hear people telling me that something there, can’t remember what now, is very good. I did buy the roast meat from the guy running that very popular stall in front but that was when he was at a coffee shop round the corner facing the left side of the bank.

Well, other than the fact that it is always crowded, it is located in a very congested part of town. Not only would it be near impossible to find a place to park your car, that road would be so terribly jammed with cars, double or even triple-parked while the selfish, inconsiderate owners dash into the bank directly opposite to get some cash or do whatever business…and they would not give two hoots that their cars are blocking someone’s way and there is a long queue all lined up waiting to go through. That is why if I can help it, I would take an alternative route and not drive this way.

I happened to be in the vicinity early, before 8.00 a.m. on Saturday morning, not a working day, and I noticed there were very few people there and ample parking spaces were available at the back of the block of shops. I was torn between a few places and in the end, I decided to take the opportunity to check this one…

Rest days

…out as I had never been there before.

Other than the aforementioned roast meat stall on the right, there is a kampua mee stall on the left and a dim sum stall behind it, followed by another stall – there are no signs, no photographs, nothing and I did not bother to ask.

The chu char stall is right at the back. An old man was taking orders and waiting at the tables while a young man, probably the son, was doing all the cooking. I saw they were selling or koi (fried Chinese yam cake)…

Or koi 1

…at 50 sen a piece so I asked for one to try. Yes, it wasn’t too bad, not white…

Or koi 2

…not jelly-like and wobbly like some that have way too much flour and too little yam. However, I did not think it was anything to get excited about so no, I did not bother buying any to take home.

The waitress asked if I wanted a drink and said they had their own-made barley and green bean. I asked for the latter (RM1.80)…

Green bean drink

…hot – I have been refraining from taking ice-cold drinks for a while now and much to my delight, it was sugar free! They do give some sugar on every table for customers who are thus inclined.

I ordered the Foochow fried noodles special, the moon version (RM10.00)…

Foochow fried noodles special, moon

…but no, I would not say I was impressed. The liver was overcooked till hard and not palatable and the intestines and whatever thrown in were such a chore to chew that in the end, I just left all of them by the side. Other than the fact that it is RM2.00 cheaper, I would say this one here is so much better on all counts.

To be fair, I would say that it tasted pretty good and since that nice one is on the other side of town, I wouldn’t stop anyone who would choose to go and eat here – just don’t order the special! Frankly, I don’t think it’s worth it!

LIAN KIEW CAFE 聯僑茶室 (2.292670, 111.826209) is located along Lorong Tunku Osman 2, opposite the Public Bank branch there.

Out of season…

Imagine my delight when I saw this…

Egyptian dates

…at one of the shops round the corner from my house. Normally, we will only get to see these around the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan every year but of course, with the MCO partial lockdown this year, we did not have any Ramadan bazaar and the month, as well as Hari Raya Puasa/Aidilfitri, came and went unnoticed…almost.

And imagine my surprise when I saw the price tag…

So cheap

RM3.80 only! That sure is a steal.

I quickly checked the expiry date…

Expiry date

No, that is not the reason why it was going so cheaply – it is good till December NEXT year! Maybe it was the last box left and it was kind of out of season and they were trying to get rid of it and be done with it.

I was intrigued when I saw that “PENANG 1940” in the logo…


…so I went to google to see what I could find. I certainly was surprised to see that it is a Penang company established in 1940 and is still going strong and Sunquick and HACKS are among the products it is connected to.

Well, with that kind of background, I sure have no worries about eating and enjoying these dates…


…slowly until they run out. There aren’t anymore where these came from and I shall have to wait till Ramadan next year and pay well over RM10.00 for a box to enjoy.

KIM WON TRADING & DRUG STORE (2.316239, 111.840260) is located along Jalan Ruby – Kim Tak is in the next block.

You’re so very special…

When I went to the supermarket at Simpang Tiga here that day, after I was through with my shopping, I decided to walk over to the SEDC Hawker Centre to look at what they have at the stalls there. I think we have not been there since the African wrapped up his business, left and never came back.

There is a satay stall…

Satay stall SEDC Hawker Centre
*Notice the aircraft cabin food trolley? I wonder how come they have one!*

…there now and the things on their menu include their mee jawa special (RM7.00) and another one, the mee jawa super special (RM10.00)…

Mee jawa super special 1

I asked what the super special was and I was told that it would include a few sticks of satay, one fried egg and I thought I heard udang (prawns) and of course, I said I wanted that.

Obviously, I was mistaken and what the girl said was probably something tulang (bone)…

Mee jawa super special 2

I was a little disappointed with the fried egg but thankfully, the yolk was still runny so all was forgiven. The satay wasn’t anything to get excited about – I felt it was over-marinated and became over-tenderised till it was kind of soft/mushy, not quite the texture of meat as one would know it. There was not that much meat attached to the bones but they were great – I did enjoy it very much, just that there was mostly bone.

The mee jawa in itself was very good. I loved the gravy and should I happen to be around here again, I wouldn’t mind going for the regular. I don’t mind the egg but I am not that keen on the satay nor the bones.

The SEDC HAWKER CENTRE (2.306488, 111.818695) MDS MART is located at Simpang Tiga at the end of Jalan Kampung Hilir/Jalan Awang Ramli Amit (formerly Race Course Road),  facing the MDS MART building.

Best buy…

I used to go to this supermarket quite frequently when my parents were still around as it is located around 100 metres from their house. I hardly ever go there now but I did drop by once not too long ago just to browse around.

I bought a pack of a particular brand of instant noodles, made in Indonesia, that I did blog about sometime ago last year – I was attracted by the Filipino/Tagalog  name on the pack, pancit canton and it turned out that my girl likes it a lot. We are down to the last packet now and I decided I would go there again to grab a  pack or two…

ABC instant mee goreng

I guess this may be considered as a best buy with its promotional price of only RM2.99 for 5 packets (less than 60 sen each) at this point in time.

My girl enjoyed the instant pasta produced by a West Malaysian company that I bought for her once when she was still in the school in the jungle. For one thing, it was so convenient – just heat it up and eat and for another, she loves this kind of things.

On my previous visit, I looked around in vain for them so I did not get to buy any. Well, luck was on my side this time and I managed to grab their spaghetti chicken sauce (RM5.10)…

Spaghetti chicken sauce

…and their spaghetti carbonara (RM7.75)…

Spaghetti carbonara

My girl liked their aglio olio but unfortunately, they did not seem to have that.

I would not consider the following as best buys where the price is concerned but maybe, it may  be categorised as such as far as the taste goes. I bought two before, one in tom yam soup, the other in clear soup – those were smaller, packed in bowl-shaped containers and I remember I had the shock of my life when the cashier keyed in the prices. I did not look at the prices on the tags stuck to the back of the freezer and actually, they were over RM10.00 each and the bowls were rather small. I did mention it to the girl and she was kind enough to ask if I would like to cancel the purchases. In the end, I went ahead and bought them to try and boy, they were really very very good!!!

I did see those again this time around but I also spotted this…

Shrimp wanton

Being older and wiser now, I checked the price and I THOUGHT I saw something around RM10.90 so I took two. It turned out to be RM15.50 per box, 12 wantons inside so that works out to around RM1.30 each. Well, they have whole shrimps/prawns inside and make such delightful wanton soup and no, I did not change my mind about buying – after all, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the MCO partial lockdown, we hardly go out anymore these days, no going to those classier cafés and restaurants where things sure do not come cheap so I reckon this is something all of us will enjoy and we do deserve that little bit of pampering sometimes.

Having said all that, frankly, I was rather disappointed to discover that they used farmed shrimps – yes, they state it very clearly at the back of the box so they do deserve credit for being very honest about it. We’ve tried one already – the soup was really very nice and I liked it a lot. The texture of the farmed shrimps, I would call them prawns as they were quite big – was not the same as the natural ones, not nice and firm and succulent. They were QQ, kind of rubbery – one bite and one would be able to tell the difference already. The ladies in the house did not want to eat it…and at that price, I don’t think I shall be buying it anymore.

The MDS MART is located at Simpang Tiga at the end of Jalan Kampung Hilir/Jalan Awang Ramli Amit (formerly Race Course Road),  facing the food stalls at the SEDC HAWKER CENTRE (2.306488, 111.818695)


There is this simple, unpretentious stall with no decor or anything to boast about among the ones right across the road from Bandong Walk and the shops in the vicinity that I happened to stumble upon one fine day and there has been no turning back since then.

There is this quiet and pleasant Malay lady…

Kuih stall at Bandong

…manning that stall. These days, it looks like she has more for sale compared to before but I suspect she did not make everything herself – most of the things would probably have been made by people at home and left there for sale.

I do not remember what brought me there that day – perhaps all the other stalls were closed and I just stopped by to have a look. There were not many choices, just some curry puffs (3 for RM1.00)…

Curry puffs


Potato filling

…or sardine and of course, I bought the former. I’m not really into those sardine ones.

Actually, my girl loves these kampung Malay homemade curry puffs while personally, I was never crazy about them until I had this one. They turned out to be really nice so everytime we felt like having some, I would go back there and there alone.

I cannot remember now but it was probably back in the 80’s when these mini-donuts made the scene at the kampung kuih stalls. They were really very very nice, bursting with their buttery fragrance and taste and above all else, they were only 10 sen each, 10 for RM1.00! I do not get to see them all that much anymore but yes, this lady has those…


…at her stall but they are now 3 for RM1.00. Those good ol’ days when things were dirt cheap and so very nice are long gone now.

I bought some that day but I noticed that they were not so nicely shaped like before. Perhaps I caught the lady on a wrong day – some of them were so thick they looked like scones! Thankfully, they still tasted great, anytime better than those branded franchise ones that are so very sweet, so very fancifully colourful and not half as nice…

Big Apple donuts
*Archive photo*

I also saw some basong

Basong 1

…those old school conical shaped glutinous rice coated with grated coconut and sugar, one of my favourite Malay kuihs, also selling at 3 for RM1.00 and I could not resist buying some…

Basong 2

…to enjoy. They were good but I remember the ones I always bought from my regular Malay kuih stall among the shops across the road had an edge over these. When I shared a photograph of this on Facebook, everybody commented that it is impossible to buy these days – I guess they are not that easily available anymore. Perhaps the old folks have retired or passed away, nobody making them anymore…or the young ones are just not into such things, not at all.

If I am not wrong, this hardworking lady would also cook a few dishes for sale together with her nasi campur (mixed rice) come lunch time but I have never given hers a try so I can’t say whether it is any good or not.

This Malay kuih & food stall (2.313822, 111.825619) is located along Bandong Walk, Jalan Bandong in Kampung Nangka somewhere in the middle among the stalls on the left hand side if you are going towards the primary school there.


This is your name…and this is their name…and this…

noodle cafe

…is my name. We are all named “Noodle“.

This place is quite new. I pass by here after I have dropped off my girl at school and when I pick her up after school to take her home. Their opening hours seem quite limited…

Business hours

They open late, close at 2.30 and do not open at night but I have the feeling that they are affiliated to the hotpot place right next door because on every table, there is a metal cover, probably covering the induction cooker or whatever underneath. I’ve never been to this one – after all, I am no fan of such places – but I have heard friends say that this particular one is quite good and prices are reasonable. I guess if they have a full house, the customers can come over to this side since it is not open at night.

They have quite a variety of noodles dishes on their menu, priced between RM6.90 and RM9.90. Of course you cannot expect those cheap no-class-at-all coffee shop prices – after all, this is a very nice and comfortable air-conditioned café kind of place. I saw they had Penang fried kway teow, sweet vegetable (cangkuk manis) bihun, zhao chai hung ngang but no, I did not see any kampua mee nor Foochow fried noodles in the menu or maybe I did not look carefully enough. There are some set rice lunches, the sets with rice and some main dish to go with it and a somewhat limited dim sum selection as well.

I simply could not resist their Foochow prawn noodles (RM18.90)…

Noodle Cafe Foochow prawn noodles 1

– the Foochow fry & cook noodles (cha chu mee), soup with freshwater prawns (udang galah) and of course, at that price, you cannot expect those huge ones.

What came in  the bowl was about the size of my thumb…

Noodle Cafe Foochow prawn noodles 2

…and there were a whole lot of things in it – minced meat balls, liver, sotong (squid) and fish slices. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a bit more green vegetables. What they had inside was hardly noticeable.

Well, the size of the crustaceans aside, I would say that the noodles tasted really good which, of course, came as no surprise as there were prawns in it – that would surely add to the sweetness of the broth and bring it to a whole new level. I sure would not mind going for this again but I’d probably choose to try some of the rest on their menu which, of course, are a lot more affordable.

The bill came up to RM20.10 – I gave the boy RM25.00 when he served the noodles as I would like to leave the instant I finished eating without having to go through the bill-paying process when I was done. He came back with the RM5.00 note and asked if I had a 10 sen coin. Well, I did not and I gave him a RM1.00 note instead and told him to keep the change. In the end, he came back with the cashier’s receipt AND the RM1.00 note. Obviously, they decided to waive the 10 sen in the end unlike one of the two aforementioned places where they will insist on you paying the 10 sen to the extent of giving you RM99.90 change for your RM100.00 note, if they have to. Truth be told, I get quite pissed off by this everytime. Thank goodness they are not like that here!

NOODLE CAFE (2.291238, 111.837763) is located to the left of 一锅暖 WarmWarm HotPot at No. 11, Lorong Tong Sang 1B.

I’m here now…

I went back to the coffee shop hoping to buy some more of the nice bak chang to store in the fridge and heat up and eat as and when we feel like it but unfortunately, it was not open. I guess Monday is their off day and this coffee shop round the corner was closed as well, another one off on a Monday. 

This guy used to be here but since they took over the coffee shop and renamed it…

Soon Kien Wang Cafe

…as well, they have taken over his kampua mee stall…

Kampua mee stall

…too so those people are the ones here now. I like that “Yes, we’re open!” sign – I don’t remember seeing it at any other stall, shops yes…but not stalls like this one.

I also liked how, unlike at many other shops and stalls, one does not get to see all kinds of things stuffed here and there including boxes and tins and whatever on top of the cabinet, plastic bags of all colours and sizes hanging here and there, carton boxes of all sizes and huge tubs of soy sauce and chili sauce and at times, even gas tanks, on the floor all around the stall. Blame it on my OCD but I get quite put off to see a place so messy. After all, it only takes a little bit of effort to clear everything and put them away properly where they belong.

The moment the complimentary soup…

Complimentary soup

…was served, I knew straight away from the look of it that it would be a whole lot better than most of the rest – most of the time, what I got tasted like plain water with salt or light soy sauce added and a sprinkling of chopped spring onion. I would just leave it untouched.

The pian sip (RM3.00)…

Pian sip

…was good but the kampua mee (RM3.00)…

Kampua mee

…was a bit on the mild side. It could do with a bit more shallot oil/lard but they were very generous with the chili sauce – they gave one whole bottle of it unlike many places where they will give you a spoonful in one of those tiny saucers – so I could add all I wanted and I also tossed the pian sip with the mee and yes, I quite enjoyed it after that.

Yes, I do appreciate the fact that they do not use plastic plates and bowls and they do not bother to dye the boiled meat red in colour like what they do at a lot of places in a failed attempt to make it look like char siew, which it isn’t! Having said that, yes, I may stop by again for this if I happen to be in the vicinity but no, I would not go out of my way just to come here and eat. It is good like many of the rest but there is nothing that makes it stand out and will get me rushing back for more.

SOON KIEN WANG CAFE, formerly Wan Long Cafe (2.312977, 111.847257) is located past Delta Mall, if you are coming from town, at the corner among the shops at the junction of Jalan Gambir and Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai, formerly Jalan Pedada.