With the escalating prices of virtually everything these days, it would be best if we could tighten our belts in whichever way possible. The Malay expression for that is to ikat perut or tie up your tummy. I guess that means eating less and thus save some of the money spent on food.
I must say that I am amazed by the increasing number of new eateries these days despite all that talk about the weakening ringgit and an economic recession and what I cannot understand is the number of customers making a beeline to these places despite the fact that the prices are shockingly astronomical, over RM20-30.00 for a bowl of something, for instance. They do seem pretty loaded, I must say but I, for one, would prefer to be frugal and count my pennies and not spend like there is no tomorrow.
The price for a plate of kampua mee has gone up to over RM4.50 at most places now, some even as high as RM4.80 and RM5.00 and they push the blame to the non-stop increases in the price of pork lately though we do know for a fact that in each plate of kampua mee, they will only give you a few miserable paper-thin slices of boiled meat coloured red to make it look like char siew. Obviously, they are merely jumping on the bandwagon to cash in on the opportunity to fleece the customers and squeeze them dry. Anyone can tell from those places selling their noodles at RM4.00 a plate or even less, that they can still make a profit and can carry on WITHOUT increasing the prices like that.
Back to the title of this blogpost, as consumers, I do think that at times like this, we should do something to tighten our belts and not go with the flow blindly. If they increase the prices, go some place else. Nothing is THAT nice that you MUST pay those insane prices to eat it. There are lots of others that are just as nice or even nicer…and even if some may pale in comparison, surely there are some that are nice enough. Basic economics will tell you that if the demand for something decreases, the prices will drop. In other words, if the buying stops, those unreasonable increases in prices will too!
I went to one kampua mee place that some claim is the best in Sibu but I am not so sure about that, I’m afraid. The last time I heard, the price had gone up to RM4.80 but the place was as crowded as ever, always packed with people and of course, I wondered why when it had become so expensive and many had told me that the quality had dropped – it wasn’t as nice as before.
I wanted to tapao home some of their pian sip (meat dumplings) and I told the lady to just add one or two dumplings and round up the price to RM5.00. Well, she told me that it would be RM4.80 for the regular, RM5.60 for the large, nothing in between!!! Yes, I did buy what I wanted that day but no, you will never see me going back there again, not when I also felt it did not taste as nice as before anymore.
There are so many other things that we can pick and choose instead of those noodles or the other expensive stuff. One steamed bak pao (meat bun) is only RM2.50 and ONE should be filling enough. Tee peang, the Sibu Foochow version of the oyster cake, is 70 sen a piece and also RM2.50 if there is any meat filling inside, that is if they have not increased the prices so far…and of course, I was delighted to come across these…
…at my neighbourhood fruit & vegetable grocery store round the corner from my house, going for only RM2.50 for a pack of 6!
They are smaller (around the size of our Sibu Foochow kompia) than the regular ones which seem to be shrinking as well these days or worse, they may not taste that great anymore, probably as the result of those people scrimping on the ingredients even though they retain the usual prices. I bought a pack the other morning and they certainly were like those authentic ones in the good ol’ days and tasted the way they should…
I did come across some that were not worth a second bite!
And why should we go for the nasi lemak at the shops when we have to pay RM3.50-5.00 a plate for the biasa (regular) and most, if not all of them, are not lemak – an absolute disgrace to the name? I know of one very popular place here that is so very popular and when a friend who had it there, shared a photograph of it looking impressive with the curry chicken or whatever added on Facebook, I asked him if the rice was lemak or not. I can’t say I was surprised, not in the least when he said there was no santan (coconut milk) in it – it was nothing more than plain rice, not lemak at all.
I, for one, have stopped going for our national breakfast dish outside not because of the prices but because I have not come across any that is truly lemak and deserves to be called thus. Instead, I would just head to the aforementioned shop and buy the one there at only RM1.50 a packet…
…the home-cooked one from a Malay lady here. It definitely is more lemak that all the rest and I like how the sambal is spicy and nice. Never mind that there is no egg – I can always boil my own.
And talking about eggs, that is something that is often in short supply lately and the prices keep increasing as well. The last time my missus bought a tray, I think, they worked out to around 50 sen each. Sighhhhhh!!!! I guess I do not have a choice as those are my daily source of protein. I take two…
…every morning and that would be around RM1.00 altogether…and RM2.50 in total, if I have the nasi lemak as well.
That’s not too bad, I would say! I guess I can still afford a decent breakfast in the morning, the most important meal in a day – no need for any desperate measures so far, praise the Lord!
SWEE HUNG (2.316161, 111.840441)…
…is located along Jalan Ruby, in the block of shops on the right – next to a hair salon at the extreme end…and on the other end, to the left is the Kim Won Chinese Medical Store and Mini-supermarket.