A good time…

Normally, it would be near impossible to find a place to park the car during their opening hours but I was thinking that perhaps it was a good time to try our luck at this restaurant last Sunday evening at around 5, seeing how dead the town is on Sunday afternoons plus I seemed to notice fewer cars around probably because many had gone back to their longhouses for the Gawai or on a holiday some place.

True enough, when we got there, there were a few vacant spaces available so of course, I picked one that was closest to it. Unfortunately, the restaurant was fully booked, just that it was too early (it opens for dinner at 5.00 p.m.) – most of the reservations were for 7.00 p.m. so the lady at the reception counter said we could just take any table we liked. There was just another table with 3 persons on the ground floor and it sounded like somebody was having a birthday party upstairs. We ordered what we wanted and waited.

The last time I was here was before the pandemic but I did drop by once to buy their curry puffs when word went round that they were making those to supplement their income during those difficult months. Unfortunately, they were made to order so I was not able to get hold of any but I did manage to buy a few packs of their celebrated local Sibu sio bee (meat dumplings)…

…to heat up and enjoy when we felt like it.

Of course, parking wasn’t all that difficult during the pandemic but we were not keen on eating out plus they were really serious about the restrictions and even laid down their own rules and regulations for diners. I saw on their door that evening a sign that said, “Please do not take off your mask until the food is served!

My girl and I love their checkerboard duck…

…but we did not want to order that as the mum would not touch duck with a 10-foot pole. Instead, we asked for their special pek chio/ikan bawal putih (white pomfret)…

…filleted and deep fried till nice and crispy…

…served with its lovely sweet and sour sauce, another one of their signature dishes that we enjoy a lot.

Yes, it was as good as ever and I was glad that the nice lady taking our orders said that they would cook for 2 persons only. I suppose that was why we got a smaller fish, just right for the 3 of us. At most places, they would just give you a big one even though there would be enough for a table of 10 – you want it, you pay for it!

My girl spotted this special own-made spinach tofu…

…in the menu and she suggested giving it a try. It turned out to be very nice, very much to our liking but we did not know at the time that it would be served on a bed of spinach so we ordered this plate of baby kailan with prawns…

…because we wanted a plate of green vegetables. Here too, midin (wild jungle fern) and cangkok manis were not available over the Gawai season, out of stock.

The total for the food came up to RM118.00 only (exclusive of 6% SST), so much cheaper than what we had here and needless to say, we enjoyed what we had here a whole lot more. I did not expect it to cost much less because that fish costs a bomb around here and they were very generous with the pretty big prawns too – those sure do not come cheap either. Both were really fresh and very much to our satisfaction.

While we were having our dinner, a lot of people came in but were turned away, disappointed as they did not make any reservation and many resorted to buying some dishes home instead. We finished before 7 and the crowd had not come in yet so we left quickly but the car park outside was full already by then and as I was reversing out, I noticed that a car was right behind us, waiting to grab my space, lucky bloke!

New Capitol Restaurant 新首都酒家 (2.288619, 111.830057)…

…is located at No. 46, Lebuh Tanah Mas, off Jalan Kampung Nyabor, in the block of shops opposite the Sarawak House/King’s Trioplex/Premier Hotel at the very far end on the right

Author: suituapui

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

7 thoughts on “A good time…”

  1. All the dishes looks great. The price is reasonable considered you have prawns and pek chio which is not cheap. At once glance of the own-made spinach tofu, it looks like a type of fish. Is that seaweed on top of the tofu?

    Yes, I also thought that was seaweed on top. It was spinach, none of the sea smell. Yes, pek chio costs a bomb these days – even or chio is expensive now. Nothing is cheap.

  2. Another very nice dinner! I also like going out early to avoid the crowd. I believe I have eaten a similar spinach tofu and I enjoyed it a lot. Somehow I have not come across this dish again.

    You tried before? Our first time, very nice. We sure would want to order that again if we drop by here another time.

  3. I see, so siew mai is sio bee in Foochow. I love siew mai with big chunks of prawns inside.
    They taste better that way.

    We don’t have checkerboard duck in my little kampung. We have pipa duck or roast duck only.
    Oh yes, we do have Teochew style braised duck too. For special occasions.

    I actually know how to make tofu. Just mix 12 eggs in 1 litre of unsweetened soya milk with a pinch of salt. Then steam it in low heat for about 20 mins. Very easy to make.

    1. “Sio bee” is Hokkien, not sure what it is in Foochow.
      “Siew mai” is in Cantonese, I think and the ones with whole prawns inside are “har kao”.

      There is braised duck stuffed with glutinous rice too – the filling is like lor mai kai, so very nice!

      We would not bother to make our own tofu here
      – can easily buy at the shops round the corner, so cheap some more.
      Many migrants overseas will learn to make all kinds of things themselves, cheaper and not easily available.

  4. Checkerboard duck is a new dish to me. The way they fried the pek chio is also new to me. Here, they usually do it with tilapia fish. The tofu with spinach looks like a vegetarian dish to me. I thought it was seaweed on the tofu. That was a great dinner. Always good to go early before the crowd comes in.

    Tilapia seems very popular at your side – here, it is so very common. We get them alive from the Batang Ai hydroelctricity lakes, cheap.
    I like it deep fried just like that at our Sarawak fast food franchise, Sugar Bun

    Right and left…

    or baked wrapped in rock salt – available at one place here, the other side of town – not bothered to go so far for it.

  5. Parking and traffic are two of the biggest things we consider when deciding on where to dine.

    Very sad that ever so often, we have to settle for something less simply because we cannot find a place to park the car. Here, many will resort to illegal parking (enforcement here is quite lacking) – I would never do that!

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 sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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