Little mistake…

The other day, I dropped by here

Good Happiness Restaurant Sibu

…to tapao some dim sum and I told my missus that since we were already there, we might as well just go in and have some ourselves. After all, we have not had dim sum for a while since my girl started going on a gluten-free diet and we are not sure what has wheat (flour) or soy sauce and what not so we reckon it is best just to stay away.

I was intrigued by the name of a noodle dish on their menu…

Ants Up To The Tree

…and even though the sweet young thing taking my order did not seem that keen that I should order it, I went ahead anyway.

It turned out to be fried tang hoon (glass noodles) with bits of cangkuk manis (RM7.00)…

Ants Up To The Tree, the dish

…some fish balls and prawns…

Prawn

…and whatever else. On the whole, I would say it was nice but not anything to get really excited about.

We had these (RM5.00)…

Prawns wrapped in bean curd skin

…prawns wrapped in bean curd skin and yes, they were good and I so loved their har kao/prawn dumplings (RM6.00 for a basket of 3)…

Har kao 1

…which seemed a little bigger now, jam-packed with prawns inside…

Har kao 2

…and the skin was so fine and thin that I hardly noticed it was there.

I also enjoyed the century egg siew mai (RM5.50)…

Century egg siew mai 1

…very much, the meat filling and the 皮蛋 (pídàn) inside…

Century egg siew mai

We sure had a delightful breakfast, my missus and I, and together with one big pot of Chinese tea (RM8.00) and my takeaway order of 3 baskets of char siew pao (two in each), 3 baskets of assorted siew mai (three in each) and 3 baskets of har kao (3 in each), the total came up to RM84.80, inclusive of the 6% GST…

A little mistake

Now, wait a minute! We did not have any lemon drink, neither hot nor cold!!! I guess the cashier made a little mistake but it was all right – we’re only humans and we all make mistakes sometimes plus it was not all that much to make a fuss about. Somebody probably was very happy that morning that he was not charged for his drink.

GOOD HAPPINESS RESTAURANT (2.307304, 111.849154) is located at the junction of Jalan Cena and Lorong Pahlawan 7A/4, somewhere opposite SMK Deshon in the Sibu Bus Terminal commercial area.

Stay longer…

Well, I sure am glad that the nasi lemak guy is still around. Hopefully, he will stay a whole lot longer this time and will not disappear again. There were two days when the stall was not open and I did ask him why once and he said there was a large order for some kuehs that they were making at home so they did not have time to prepare the stuff he would need at his stall.

I noticed that he has a nice new sign at his stall now…

New sign

…but he is still using his previous menu…

Old menu
*Archive photo*

…though already weathered and faded. It looks like his stall is also open for business in the evening as well, from 4.00 p.m. until 6.30 p.m. for those of you who can’t drag yourselves out of your beds till the sun is already halfway across the sky.

Actually, I did tell him that he should just increase his prices as he sees fit. After all, everything is getting more and more expensive – grated coconut for squeezing santan (coconut milk) was RM4.00 a kg before Ramadan, RM5.00 during the fasting month and the Raya and now it is RM6.00 a kg. The most important thing, I told him,  is that he should never scrimp on the ingredients and compromise on the taste of what he sells. If we want cheap, we can just go and buy those RM1.50 packets wrapped in brown paper at all the Malay kueh stalls in town (they used to be RM1.00 each sometime ago) while those who are looking out for quality, value for money, would not mind paying a little bit more.  I guess at this point in time, he does not see the need to so he is still maintaining those same prices.

I did buy the regular sometime last week as it so happened that he did not have any chicken that morning, 8 packets altogether for my friends to try. Needless to say, this time around when I dropped by a couple of days ago, I wanted the one with the chicken and I was delighted that he was having ayam masak merah

Ayam masak merah

…for a change. I certainly would prefer that to the usual plain fried chicken.

Yes, the rice was as lemak (rich in santan/coconut milk) as ever and there were the usual condiments…

No peanuts

Wait a minute! What happened to the peanuts? He must have forgotten to include those – I certainly would ask him the next time I drop by his stall.

The one with chicken is just RM1.50 more…

Nasi lemak ayam

…which is pretty reasonable, considering that they are selling it at RM2.00 a piece, never mind whether it is drumstick, wing or any other part of the chicken, at my favourite Malay food stall a short distance down the road that opens around 10.00 a.m till past lunchtime on weekdays.

I did ask him if his business had picked up since I blogged about it and he said yes and thanked me for it. He also added that there were some former customers from years and years ago and they all came back after reading about it in my blog. Hopefully, he will do well enough to keep him going and make him stick around…

This NASI LEMAK STALL NO. 17 (2.313869, 111.825808) is located at Bandong Walk, Jalan Bandong a few stalls away from the roti canai stall, somewhere in front of this shop in the block where the 1Malaysia clinic is.

Way too soon…

After my success at planting ladies’ fingers, I decided that I would try my hand at planting brinjal/egg plant so I buried the seeds in the ground. Nothing appeared and in the end, I had no choice but to abandon the idea and assume that nothing would ever come out of it.

Then, I went on to try my luck with chilies. Yes, the seedlings sprouted out soon enough and the leaves grew really well but one fine morning, I went to have a look and there wasn’t a single one left. @#$%^&*!!!! Thankfully, new leaves eventually appeared out of those pathetic stalks and right now, though still small, one has started to flower…but no, I am not getting my hopes up too high. I’ll just wait and see what will eventually happen in the end.

My sister-in-law fared a little better. At least, she did get a lot of chilies from her plants but she has been forced to pluck them all way too soon. If she waits till they turn red, they would all be infested and would be rotting inside, no longer suitable for consumption.

That was why she gave my missus one bagful that day and I decided I would try and use some…

Green chilies from SIL

…to make my own version of the cabe ijo/cili hijau (green chili) sambal.

I sliced 5 big ones and 3 cili padi and added three shallots and 5-6 cloves of garlic, all sliced and a few slices of ginger…

Shallots, garlic & ginger

…and some ikan bilis (dried anchovies), rinsed and some hay bee/udang kering (dried prawns) pre-soaked in hot water to soften…

Ikan bilis and hay bee

…and I pounded all that before squeezing the juice of 2 calamansi limes and adding a teaspoon of sugar to counter the sourish taste and mixing everything together…

Sambal cabe ijo, my original recipe 1

I thought it was rather nice and went absolutely well with rice but my girl said it was rather dry. I guess one can always add more lime juice but I was quite happy with it that way.

I did google to have a look at some recipes and yes, they all fry theirs in oil, the Padang, Indonesian way like how they do it at one place here…

Cabeijo sambal cabe ijo
*Archive photo*

…and one recipe had it steamed but that was not what I had in mind.

Of course, there are so many other things that I can add to make my own version of the sambal. My friend, Peter, the boss of Payung Cafe, said that I should add  some Thai basil leaves to my sambal – they would bring the taste to a whole new level. I certainly would love to try that next time…and maybe, some langkuas (galangal) or serai (lemon grass) that I have growing in my garden. I probably would leave out the kunyit (turmeric) so as to maintain the green colour of the sambal.

As it was, the way I made it that day, I really enjoyed it…

Sambal cabe ijo, my original recipe 2

…especially when I wrapped a generous amount of it in some ulam raja leaves and popped into my mouth…

My sambal cabe ijo & ulam raja leaves

Yum yummm!!! I had to refrain from going for a second plate of rice that day!

Back on top…

We went back here again, on top of the Rejang Park wet market in search of the kacang ma at the chap fan (mixed rice) place there. We heard that she would have it on alternate Thursdays but we did not know exactly which Thursday that would be…and it turned out to be this coming Thursday this week.

Never mind! I did mention in my post that I would like to go back and try the stewed pork ribs noodles (RM5.00)…

Stewed pork rib noodles 1

…at Stall No. 7 and I did!

It was very nice, very tasty – I was pretty sure I could taste a bit of black vinegar and they certainly were very generous with the meat…

Stewed pork rib noodles 2

…but by the time we got there, they had run out of noodles so I had to settle for kway teow (flat rice noodles) instead.

Yes, it was good but at RM5.00 a plate, if it is just for breakfast or for brunch, I would much sooner settle for something that is cheaper but nice as well, like their Foochow fried noodles that my missus had that day, for instance…and may go for this again once in a long while for a change. At times like this, with the escalating prices of anything and everything, it would be best to be a little prudent and try and stretch the ringgit as best we can.

My missus wanted the fried tang hoon, the glass noodles (RM3.80)…

Fried tang hoon 1

…that she saw somebody eating the other day and yes, it was very good and she sure enjoyed it a lot.

One thing I’ve noticed is that generally, tang hoon is more expensive than the regular freshly-made noodles or bihun

Fried tang hoon 2

I guess since it is manufactured elsewhere and sent here, it is priced a little higher than the rest.

Hopefully, we would be able to drop by again this Thursday to give the lady’s kacang ma a try. The guy at Stall No. 7 said I would not need to ask if she is cooking it – I would be able to smell it from afar…and if that is how fragrant it is, I bet it is going to be good, fingers crossed.

STALL NO. 7 is located among THE REJANG PARK HAWKER STALLS, right on top of the (wet) market on the upper floor. The market is located among the shops in the commercial centre at that housing estate, along Jalan Teruntum.

Send it…

As far as I know, there is just one place in town where lei cha (擂茶) is available and that is only on Friday, lunchtime. I gathered that it is good for detoxification and so far, I’ve had it twice only, the one here, the first time in March and once again, the second time, later that same month.

I’ve been wanting to go back for it again but being caught up with all the things going on in my life these past few months, I never got down to it.

Much to my surprise, the other day, I got a call from my friend, Robert, asking me if I was home and of course, I was. I hardly go anywhere every day except to spend some time with my mum in the morning and stopping for brunch along the way before we come back to the house (and of course, on Sundays, I would be sending my girl to her school in the jungle).

In no time at all, he and his wife, Angela, were at my house to give me some lei cha that the latter cooked herself. No, she did not have brown rice but instead, there was this very special one…

Rice

– I don’t know exactly what it was, whether it was fried or what, but there did seem to be some fragrant ingredients such as leek in it.

There were the added toppings, of course, all the vegetables and the beans, the peanuts and the chai po (preserved turnip)…

Toppings

…and of course, there was the very bitter green herbal soup…

Angela's lei cha

…that one pours over everything before mixing it all well and eating.

I sure enjoyed it but not my missus – she has yet to acquire the taste and did not like it so bitter.

Thank you so much, Robert & Angela, for the lei cha treat and for sending it all the way to my hose. Much appreciated and I must say thank you also to the Youngs, Stephanie‘s parents, for these XL beauties…

XL mangoes

…the size of papayas, the big ones! I have never seen any this huge and what’s special about them is the fact that no pesticides are used in the growing. That is why there may be some “unwelcome guests” when one cuts into them but no worries! If they are not badly infested, one can just slice away those parts and enjoy the rest of the fruit…

Cut mangoes

…like this one that I cut to enjoy – very sweet with a very light hint of the sourish mango taste, very very nice. Hmmmm….I think I will get some glutinous/sticky rice and coconut cream ready so when the other one ripens, I can make my own Thai dessert, my favourite!

Pata pata…

During my growing up years, the only pata that I knew was the name of this song…

…by one South African singer and in the spoken part in English in the middle of the song, the singer says it’s the name of a dance but according to Wiki, the song’s title means “touch touch” in the Xhosa language.

More recently, I came to know about another pata – the crispy pata except that the people around here call it the Philippine pork leg, pata being tagalog for pork knuckles.

This place was probably the first or one of the first, at least, to come out with this dish…

Hong Fu crispy pata
*Archive photo*

…and anyone dropping by to eat there would definitely order that. My cousin’s hubby who was posted here from Kuching would buy a few home to stock up in their freezer to take out and enjoy whenever they felt like it.

I’ve also tried the one here

Formerly Sweet Family crispy pata
*Archive photo*

…and it was pretty good as well but the restaurant has since moved here, the chu char place at the back, no longer where it was way back then and I think they were some place else before they moved to their present location. I have not had theirs for a long long time now so I wouldn’t know if they are still serving that and if I do, I don’t know if it is still good or not.

We did not think the one we had here

Sheraton crispy pata
*Archive photo*

…was all that great but I thought the one here

Tung Seng crispy pata
*Archive photo*

…was not bad.

The ones I had in Bintulu

Mandarin Restaurant, Bintulu crispy pata
*Archive photo*

…and Miri

Lutong Cafe, Miri crispy pata
*Archive photo*

…were quite different but they were nice too which was more than what I would say about the one I had at that full-fledged Filipino restaurant in Kuching but then again, that was a long long time ago, before I started blogging even, and considering it is still open to this very day and doing well, they must be doing something right. Perhaps they have something better now but I have not been there since so I am in no position to comment on that.

I do not recall having any others but this one from this restaurant

Beijing 2008 Restaurant crispy pata 1

…that I had the other day was really so very good that it left me craving for more!

No, the skin is not crispy but what won me over was how it was bursting with flavours and with the very nice sauce provided by the side…

Beijing 2008 Restaurant crispy pata 2

…it absolutely swept me off my feet. The meat inside was moist and tender and it wasn’t too fat (not like the one I had in Kuching and that was what put me off). Still, I’ve already had three over the last two weeks so I guess I’d wait a while before I have another go at it.

BEIJING 2008 RESTAURANT (2.291109, 111.827983) is located along Jalan Kampung Nyabor Road around the corner of this road and Brooke Drive. It is located at the block of shops, where a Malayan Banking branch is, to the left of the entrance into Hua Kiew Road, somewhere opposite the Sibu General Post Office.

Full swing…

Well, obviously they were not back in full swing yet after the fasting month of Ramadan and the Hari Raya Festival celebration as they did not have their nasi campur

MIA CAFE & RESTAURANT no nasi campur

…that day when we dropped by here for lunch and we were not the only ones – so many came and asked and they left when they found out that they were not serving that just yet. Others did what we did – we sat down and ordered some things from the regular menu.

I had their nasi ayam penyet goreng (RM7.50)…

MIA CAFE & RESTAURANT nasi ayam penyet goreng

…which had some kind of sauce that had a slight hint of rojak sauce on the chicken…

MIA CAFE & RESTAURANT ayam penyet goreng

…and all in all, I would say, it was all right. There are others elsewhere that would have an edge over this one here.

My missus had their nasi paprik seafood (RM7.50)…

MIA CAFE & RESTAURANT nasi paprik seafood

…which was quite nice – I could not place my finger on the taste, something like masak merah perhaps.

They gave one big prawn…

MIA CAFE & RESTAURANT paprik seafood

…and a whole lot of sotong (squid), no fish.

According to the boys, the chef had gone home to Indonesia for Hari Raya and would be back in action starting the very next day. Well, we would drop by some other day for the nasi campur but I can’t say right now when exactly that would be.

MIA CAFE & RESTAURANT (2.308507, 111.820287) is located among the shops at Jalan Bunga Normah 4, around Simpang Tiga, Sibu, facing inwards overlooking the houses along Jalan Kuda, off Jalan Kampung Nangka.