Location…

This new hotel…

Grand Wonderful Hotel Sibu

…is not located anywhere in or near the  town centre but Starbucks Sibu is just around the corner and Delta Mall and the popular eating places among the shops around it plus the Taman Muhibbah hawker centre at night are all within walking distance and the Italian Coffee is there, adjoining the hotel lobby…

Grand Wonderful Hotel Christmas tree

For the uninitiated, it goes all the way back to 2009 when I was still using my cheap handphone camera and then it moved to Ulu Sg Merah opposite the Wonderful Supermarket & Departmental Store there and now, it is here…

Italian Coffee cake

No, I did not try anything there as I just had brunch at the food court right next door…

Grand Wonderful Food Court

…and I walked over to check out their room rates. They start at RM75.00 only for a single queen and if you are keen on having a look at their rooms, you can click this link here to go to their Facebook page for a glimpse.

I saw flyers advertising their coconut pudding (RM2.50)…

Coconut pudding 1

…on the walls so I ordered one to try and yes, it was good…

Coconut pudding 2

…with the lovely taste of coconut in the pudding made with fresh coconut water and just the right texture, heaps nicer than the one I had before. Too bad they were out of the one with the young coconut flesh in the pudding (RM3.00) – I would have loved to try that one.

Both my missus and I ordered from this stall in the corner…

Grand Wonderful food court muslim stall

She had the nasi ayam penyet (RM8.00)…

Grand Wonderful food court ayam penyet 1

…which, according to her, was, at best, just so-so…

Grand Wonderful food court ayam penyet 2

– there are nicer ones around.

I had the nasi lemak special (RM5.00)…

Grand Wonderful food court nasi lemak special 1

…which was cheaper than most elsewhere but no, the rice was not lemak (rich in santan/coconut milk) at all, so much so that they might as well just use plain rice for their dish.

Thankfully, the nice sambal, though not spicy, and the salted fish…

Grand Wonderful food court nasi lemak special 2

…saved the day.

We certainly would want to come back again as there are so many different stalls all around the place selling all kinds of things – coming here, one would definitely be spoilt for choice and incidentally, this steamboat barbecue place is in the same building at the other end of the block.

GRAND WONDERFUL HOTEL & FOOD COURT and ITALIAN COFFEE (2.309601, 111.845163) are located along Jalan Pipit, off Jalan Pedada, on your left just before the Petronas petrol station a short distance from Delta Mall. You can also go in via Lorong Pipit 4, turning left into the lane at the junction where Starbucks Sibu is located and go straight ahead from there.

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Beef it up…

The other night, I felt like having jelly pisang, literally translated as banana jelly (RM9.00)…

Payung Cafe jelly pisang

…so I dropped by here…

Payung Cafe decor

…for that. Incidentally, lovers of their durian ice cream…

Payung Cafe durian ice cream
*Archive photo*

…do take note that they’ve run out of the fresh durian cream so it is no longer available till the next durian season comes around. You can have their mango ice cream though, the one with the cream of our local variety, the buah quinee

Payung Cafe mango (quineee) ice cream
*Archive photo*

…but no, you will not get chunks of the fruit in it. Maybe if the fruit is in season, you can ask for that but not right now – you will get just the cream.

Well, since we were there already that night, we went ahead and had our dinner before heading home. For one thing, there are no vegetable dishes here other than their rojak or salad and as always, we had our favourite, the pomelo salad (RM8.00)…

Payung Cafe pomelo salad

…that night. You may call up and put in a special request in advance for their tetek (tapioca leaves with sweet potatoes) or their paku (wild jungle fern)with santan (coconut milk) but no, you will not find those in their regular menu.

My missus stuck loyally to their kacang ma chicken (RM16.00, with rice)…

Payung Cafe kacang ma chicken

…and I decided to try their new dish, the sedha beef (RM20.00, with rice)…

Payung Cafe sedha beef

…which they say, is originally a Bangladeshi recipe. According to Andy, sedha means simple but from the taste, bursting with flavours with all the ingredients used in the cooking, I don’t think it is all that simple to cook. For one thing, they do not have beef on their menu either, other than their beef spaghetti…

Payung Cafe beef spaghetti

…if I remember correctly so this is indeed a welcome change.

It was very nice, the meat was tender but it was a non-spicy dish. I was thinking that some pounded green cili padi would spice things up a little or the next time I order this, I can request for that and add it in myself.

PAYUNG  CAFE (2.284049, 111.833014) is located at No.20F, Lanang Road, Sibu, Malaysia, back to back with the multi-storey car park of the Kingwood Hotel which faces the majestic Rejang River.

Come back tomorrow…

My girl could not come home over the weekend as there was some parent-teacher association event going on in her school in the jungle for two days so we had to drive all the way on Sunday to send her her rations for the week, the remaining one for the year as the year-end holidays will start right after Friday this week.

She enjoyed the sambal terung and also the sambal tofu so very much that she asked if we could buy those for her again and of course, we headed there right away, Friday, in the hope of tapao-ing for her what she wanted but unfortunately, it was not on their menu that day. However, the nice boss, Guna, asked us to come back the next day and he gave specific instructions to the cook to cook those two dishes.

Well, since we were there, we thought we might as well have lunch and of course, we were lured by the sight of the drool-worthy sambal petai udang (stink beans with prawns)…

Sri Pelita sambal petai udang

It was so good that I simply had to buy some home for our dinner!

Being my no-meat Friday, I had their fried fish…

Sri Pelita fried fish

…and they had this very nice sambal belacan (dried prawn paste)…

Sri Pelita sambal belacan

…to go with it and on top of those, I also had their sambal egg…

Sri Pelita sambal egg

My missus had the petai and the fish too but instead of the egg, she had paku (wild jungle fern).

This time, I quickly went to pay at the counter to the handsome and friendly Indian guy there before Guna could stop me and the total came up to RM19.00, inclusive of drinks. I think what my missus had was RM7.50 and mine was RM8.50, not really cheap but petai is so expensive these days and what more to say, there were prawns in the dish and my missus said that I helped myself to a whole lot of it, definitely more than just one regular serving.

Yes, we went back the following day and my missus had their nasi campur (mixed rice) again – the sambal terung and the fried cangkuk manis and two or three pieces of their tandoori chicken, just that theirs was deep fried not cooked in the traditional stone oven nor the cauldron that I’ve seen people using at some Indian eateries in the peninsula. The total was only RM5.00, a whole lot cheaper than when we had the petai and prawns and the fish the day before.

I decided to try their other varieties of the thosai – they have a new Indian guy…

Sri Pelita roti canai/murtabak/ thosai stall

…making that and the roti canai and murtabak and yes, he’s very nice and friendly too.

I loved the ghee thosai (RM3.00)…

Sri Pelita ghee thosai

…that had the added fragrance of the ghee whereas the onion thosai (RM3.00)…

Sri Pelita onion thosai 1

…was like regular thosai with bits of chopped Bombay onions in it…

Sri Pelita onion thosai 2

I enjoyed both of them especially with the dips that they gave me – the chutney, the nasi lemak sambal and the dhal dip…

Sri Pelita chutney, sambal and dhal dip

Yes, we got what we wanted for my girl – the sambal terung

Sri Pelita sambal terung

…and the sambal tofu

Sri Pelita sambal tofu

…and of course, she was delighted to get the good news that we would be coming the following day with those in hand.

SRI PELITA CAFE (2.293579, 111.820700) is located along Lorong Kampung Datu 11, off Jalan Kampung Datu, the first shop in the block to the right of Paramount Hotel.

Regular…

Yes, we were back here again – we sure are getting to be quite a regular at this place and yes, my missus had their nasi kerabu with ayam percik again and I really liked how they went through the trouble of removing the tails of the taugeh (bean sprouts)…

Warong Cafe taugeh

…unlike many other places here.

Yes, we had their teh-c special (RM3.00 a glass)…

Warong Cafe teh-c special

…again with a special request for it to be kao (extra strong) and with a lot of evaporated milk. So far, this is the only drink that we quite like here. I had their kopi-o-peng (iced black coffee) once and it had hardly any coffee fragrance/flavour. That was why I was not in the least surprised when somebody said the food was really very nice but the drinks were like H2O (water) – I wonder what he ordered.

Of course, I did not want to have the nasi kerabu again or I would have nothing to blog about. This time around, I got to try their nasi lemak with a special request for their very nice ayam percik, drumstick (RM6.50)…

Warong Cafe nasi lemak with ayam percik 1

I wanted that the last time I was here and it was sold out so I had their mee jawa special (RM6.50) instead and I liked it more than their mee mamak seafood (RM6.50) but usually, I would prefer rice to noodles for lunch.

The nasi lemak was quite nice – I could taste the lemak-ness of the santan (coconut milk) and detect the fragrance of the pandan (screwpine leaves) and they were quite generous with the sambal which was great but I would have liked it a lot spicier though.

I certainly enjoyed it a lot more than their nasi ayam penyet (RM8.00)…and besides being a lot cheaper than what I had here (RM7.50), they gave one whole egg…

Warong Cafe nasi lemak with ayam percik 2

…instead of just half like what they do at most places elsewhere.

I asked the boss and found out that one can tapao (take away) the lovely ayam percik

Warong Cafe ayam percik

…at RM2.50 a piece. I’ll KIV that for days when we are too lazy to cook – just stop by here and buy a few pieces home for our lunch or dinner, so convenient.

WARONG CAFE (2.318841, 111.831732), formerly Sri Tanjung Cafe, is located among the shops in between Jalan Tapang and Jalan Tapang Timur towards the end of Jalan Kampung Nangka on the left – RTM Sibu is located right across the road on the right.

The same one…

We dropped by here for lunch the other day – we had some pretty good stuff from their chap fan (mixed rice) spread a couple of times before so we went to have a look. Unfortunately, what they had that day did not tickle my fancy so I went to check out the kampua mee stall instead. I remember we had some beef tripe noodles, soup, from that stall before and it was very nice but the guy said he did not have anything else other than the noodles and the pian sip. For one thing, he did not look like the people running that stall before – there was a not-so-young lady, I think.

On the other side to the extreme left of the place, there were two new stalls, one selling Sarawak laksa and the other lor mee and a whole lot of other things. I did not feel like having laksa so I ordered the lor mee (RM4.00)…

Eco-Delite lor mee 1

…from the latter.

No, it was not quite like the lor mee I used to enjoy long ago, the one with the slightly sweet gravy with some taucheo (salted beans) and thickened with corn flour but this one…

Eco-Delite lor mee 2

…was very nice too and it reminded me of the Hailam lor mee

Eco-Delite lor mee 3

…that my friend, Eugene, took me to eat in Penang or the one I had in Petaling Jaya and it was as good as the other one I had before from a stall on the other side at the back but that one had a guy doing everything. When I went to ask, the lady told me it was the one and the same – they have moved from where their stall was before.

My missus went and ordered the char-chu mee (RM4.00)…

Eco-Delite Foochow-style char-chu mee 1

…from the chu char (cook & fry) place at the back, the people doing the chap fan there.

Char-chu mee, literally translated as fry and cook noodles…

Eco-Delite Foochow-style char-chu mee 2

…is actually our Foochow-style noodles, soup.

As stated in the name, the noodles…

Eco-Delite Foochow-style char-chu mee 3

…are fried first and then the soup is added, letting it boil a bit too cook and once done, it is served. The one here was really good, I could detect its lovely fragrance the moment it was served and for one thing, they certainly were more generous with the ingredients than a lot of other places.

The old guy who looked kind of mid-eastern, selling the very nice murtabak that I had once is no longer there and I did walk to the other food court/coffee shop a stone’s throw away and the people at the stalls there did not look all that familiar either. Maybe some of them have closed shop too or moved elsewhere, I wouldn’t know and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the former – times are hard, our miserable currency keeps shrinking, prices of petrol and everything keep soaring and if you keep jacking up the prices, people will just stop coming. Heads I win, tails you lose! Period.

ECO-DELITE CAFE (2.330846, 111.855645), that includes the food court/coffee shop section to the left, is located along Jalan Ulu Sg Merah among the shops on your left a short distance after you turn right at the roundabout along Jalan Ling Kai Cheng after Giant Hypermart.

All sold out…

We went back to this coffee shop that day as I thought of ordering their very nice sio bee (meat dumplings) that we bought home the last time we were here. They were very nice but I did not take any photographs then so I thought this time around, I could have it steamed there and then and served piping hot and enjoy eating it on the spot and blog about it. Unfortunately, they were all sold out and from what I could see, they were in the process of making some fresh ones. Good grief! Looking at the mountains of sengkuang/mangkuang (turnip) and Bombay onions, it sure looked like they would make a whole lot each time.

A lady was there and from the sprinkling of Mandarin that I could understand, she also wanted to buy the sio bee but was told to come back the next day. It sounded to me like they would make fresh ones on Mondays which would be ready for sale from Tuesday onwards…which stocks last.

That morning, they had these (RM1.10)…

Yong Chuan Fish Noodles stuffed tofu puff skin 1

– tofu puff skin stuffed with pulut (sticky rice) with bits of shitake mushroom and carrot and probably a bit of meat too…

Yong Chuan Fish Noodles stuffed tofu puff skin 2

I did not think they looked all that enticing so I was not tempted to order any. However, my missus bought some home and I got to try them. No, I would say they were as nice as they looked, nice but not really something to get excited about.

My missus ordered their zhao chai hung ngang (RM6.00)…

Yong Chuan fish noodles zhao chai hung ngang

…that her sister had the last time and was going on and on, singing its praises but she was not as impressed – she said she would prefer the tom yam one that she had then. Perhaps she likes it spicy, that’s why or we have grown used to those stronger exotic tastes so anything else would pale in comparison.

I spotted the stewed egg that last time but I did not get to try so this time around, I asked for one…

Yong Chuan fish noodles stewed egg 1

…and I was so surprised when I cut it open…

Yong Chuan Fish Noodles stewed egg 2

The yolk was orange and looked like salted egg yolk but no, it did not taste anything like salted egg. It was not like the regular stewed egg either and yes, I thought it was really very nice.

The lady said it was kampung (village/free range) egg and together with the kampua mee with stewed pork…

Yong Chuan Fish Noodles kampua with stewed pork

…that I had, the total came up to a whooping RM5.00! I looked at the display of photographs at the stall and a plate of kampua mee was priced at RM3.00, same as here but so very much nicer than what the old lady’s daughter there dished out. I suppose that would mean that the egg was RM2.00 each then? Golly gee!!! I don’t know the price of these eggs at the market but regular stewed eggs would usually be RM1.00 each. Seeing how it was double that amount, I sure would think twice about having it again.

The kampua mee was cheaper than some places but more expensive than others but it did stand out, a head above most of the rest – I sure would not mind having it again the next time I drop by here.

YONG CHUAN FISH NOODLES HOUSE (2.308016, 111.848896) is located among the shops on the right (next to WikiTea) along Lorong Sena 8, off Jalan Sena, directly opposite SMK Deshon.

I’m new here…

There were others here before and we did drop by to look around but I do not recall ever seeing anything that tickled our fancy and eating there. Well, these guys are new…

Ah Kiet Restaurant

…and we went to check it out the other day.

There is a kampua mee stall…

Ah Kiet Restaurant kampua mee stall

…and a dim sum stall…

Ah Kiet Restaurant dim sum stall

…and I think there are two other stalls that are still vacant or they were not open that day.

At the back, they have this chap fan (mixed rice) place…

Ah Kiet Restaurant chap fan 1

…that seemed to be immensely popular…

Ah Kiet Restaurant chap fan 2

…so my missus and I joined the queue to pick what we wanted.

She had these (RM6.00 with a bowl of complimentary soup)…

Ah Kiet Restaurant, chap fan - my missus' picks

…and she said the kangkong belacan was very nice and so was the tofu. She let me try the sweet and sour fish fillet and it was really good, better than some of the ones we’ve had at some of the chu char (cook and fry) restaurants.

I also took the pork with tau cheo (salted bean paste) that she had but I thought it was rather salty, nothing really great. Of course, I did not miss the stewed egg…

Ah Kiet Restaurant chap fan - my picks

…and I liked the cangkuk manis fried with egg. As for the brinjal with minced pork, I think I prefer that with sambal especially the one here. I requested for some curry gravy to be poured over the rice and there was no extra charge for that so mine was also RM6.00 too with the complimentary soup.

I rather like their system. You join the queue and they will get the rice for you in a tray and then one of the ladies will take what you pick…and go all the way down the line where there is a counter and you can pay before taking your tray to a table to enjoy the food. You will have to help yourself to the complimentary soup though – nobody is going to get it for you.

We did not try anything from the kampua stall but I did order this lor mai kai (RM4.50)…

Ah Kiet Restaurant lor mai kai

…from the aforementioned dim sum stall. It tasted all right except that it was over-steamed/cooked till the pulut (sticky rice) was way too soft so much so that when I removed it from the foil cup, it could not retain the shape of the cup and just went flat.

On the other hand, the prawn siew mai (RM5.00)…

Ah Kiet Restaurant prawn siew mai

…was very very good – I certainly enjoyed that a lot. I sure would want to go back there again to try some of the other things that they are selling at their stall.

AH KIET RESTAURANT (2.317307, 111.850023) is located right behind Comfort Furniture among the shops beside the Selemo traffic lights along Lorong Ling Kai Cheng 2, off Jalan Deshon if you are coming from town or you can go in via Lorong Ling Kai Cheng 4 if you are coming down from Teku or Ulu Sg Merah. The very popular kampua mee (and fried kompia stuffed with minced meat) place, Sing Ming Kee Cafe is in that same block of shops at the other end on the left.