Miles apart…

My sister bought me a bottle of this Taiwanese version of Bovril

…in October last year in view of the fact that Bovril was always out of stock around that time and everyone had difficulty getting hold of a bottle. Somebody was selling this online and she managed to buy a bottle for me – if I am not wrong, it was not cheap at all, around that same price as a bottle of Bovril.

I had just bought and opened a brand new bottle at the time so I put this one away in the pantry. I finished that bottle a while ago and that day, when my missus said she would be cooking plain porridge for dinner, I quickly took it out to open and give it a try…

Much to my disappointment, it was miles apart from the real thing, as different as night and day or as we say in Hokkien, char th’nee, char tay!

It did not smell of Bovril or for that matter, beef in any way despite the claim that it was real beef and it tasted completely different.


…and Vegemite…

…are both different from Bovril and I don’t mind those with porridge or whatever. Frankly, I thought this Baoril was completely out. The porridge I had that evening would probably taste nicer with soy sauce even! No wonder at the time, I did google to see what I could find about this product and I stumbled upon an ad from a supermarket in Miri – they were selling it at HALF the price per bottle!

So it wasn’t like anything that I know of at all. As a matter of fact, I don’t know if it would be good for anything at all – I wouldn’t take the risk of using it to cook some dish and end up throwing everything away but perhaps, I can try to cook a bowl of noodles with it the same way I used to cook Bovril mee before. If it is not going to be any good, I guess I would have no choice but to just throw it away.

That evening, we had the porridge with the ngor hiang (meat rolls)…

…that my missus made for Chinese New Year and there were still a few in the freezer.

She tried this okra omelette…

…but because the vegetable does not have a strong taste of its own, it did not stand out at all unlike when we cooked bitter gourd or long beans like this. Perhaps if she had added some slices of lap cheong (Chinese sausage) or a handful of shrimps, they would have saved the day.

Author: suituapui

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

11 thoughts on “Miles apart…”

  1. I am not into Bovril myself but when my kids are small I used to buy for them to eat with porridge. I heard that they are heaty. The ngor hiang and okra omelette looks inviting.

    Yes, I guess it’s heaty – beef is heaty and so is chicken essence – they say duck essence is better.
    My appetite not too good these few days so I did not really enjoy both dishes – some dishes, I may enjoy the first few bites
    but after that, I do not feel like eating anymore. Hopefully, will get better.

  2. What sin did you commit??? During Lent! 😳. [see language, sentence just above pix on porridge]

    LOL!!! Thanks for the tip-off! Now you would not want to know what sins I have committed – it will take forever to tell you all. What a difference a letter makes! Let me go and edit that now!

  3. I have never tasted Bovril, so I don’t know how it tastes like. Even Marmite, I only know the taste from Marmite chicken which I love. These things are very pricey and at some shops, I have seen Marmite kept under lock and key. LOL!

    Here too! Bottles of Marmite and Bovril…and cans of abalone. Cigarettes, they take them all home so nobody comes and steal at night.
    They sell Marmite seasoning for cooking, cheaper, I think – dunno if it is the same taste or not. Marmite crabs or Marmite prawns are also very popular.

  4. I used to have Bovril in rice congee when I little in Malaysia.
    Here, it’s kinda rare. Marmite is more commonly found at major supermarkets.
    So I switched to Marmite instead. But big supermarkets like Tesco, they actually make their own brand yeast, the fonts and packing colour and all look just like the real Marmite, to trick gulliable consumers. Taste wise, I think Tesco own brand is less salty, which is not a bad thing, right?

    You know Malaysia’s policy. One must give up his citizenship if he becomes a citizen of another country. So PR is enough already. I know Malaysian passports are not as good as Singaporean, British or Australian, etc. But there’s no place like home, right? So one must know how to content himself. The funny thing is I didn’t plan to study in the UK at first place. My first choice was originally Japan, but then the Japanese government required me to pass Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) level 2 (advanced level) in order to study there. I only had JLPT level 4 (beginner) back them. Furthermore, upon passing JLPT 2, I would have to take another university entrance test before I could properly choose the uni I wanted to study.

    Too much red tape, so I went to British Council and tried my luck. To my surprise, I got all the offers that I applied for. No need to take English language test. Some more can skip year 1 in England or year 2 in Scotland. I chose Scotland at the end. What I didn’t know then was they actually use another set of law in Scotland, which is slightly different to English common law. So I had to adjust a little bit. I was lucky again, I got a job interview in London. The company also paid for me to travel from Edinburgh to London. And I got their unconditional job offer even before my graduation. They helped me to apply for UK work visa, I was lucky again, cos I got a 5-year visa straight away. It’s easier to apply for PR here if you got a 5-year work visa at the first attempt. If you are given 1-year or 3-year work visa, then you will have to try again before you can actually apply for PR status.

    Oh, I actually finished my JLPT level 2 here in UK. I did it as a hobby so not to waste and forget all I learnt before. To be able to study in Japan is still a dream to me, so maybe one day.

    1. Just like Vegemite in Australia. I quite liked the Kraft one that my friend gave me…much later. At a supermarket here, I bought the Sanatorium brand or something, also Australian, but it was so horrible so I did not think I would enjoy it ever. Marmite is British – I guess Bovril is not so popular now ever since the Mad Cow Disease.

      Aha!!! Your life history in a flash! Lucky you, getting to study and work and live in the UK. Well, good luck in achieving your dreams of going to study in Japan.

  5. Baoril! 🤣🤣🤣 Sounds like a Chinese knockoff, reminds me of McDnoalds, Sunbucks and iPed

    A rip-off, right down to the shape of the bottle and the colour of the cap and label.

  6. There is one shop about 45 minutes away that sometimes sells Marmite. I’ve had it a few times and have enjoyed it. It’s been too long since I’ve had it. Might have to pick some up next time I’m there!

    You like Marmite? I’m the only one in the house who likes it – they are not into Bovril either so usually I will buy these to enjoy myself.

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

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