Looks are deceiving…

The other morning, we stopped by here…

Ming Xuan Corner

…round the corner from my house. It used to be a bakery…

Ung Tong Bakery
*Archive photo*

…but that eventually called it a day and now it is a coffee shop with the usual kind of stalls.

I saw this pulut inti/pulut sambal (RM2.20)…

Ming Xuan Corner pulut sambal 1

…and bought one to try. No, this was not our kampung-style pulut panggang – you can tell by how green it was that it was not panggang-ed, not cooked over some hot charcoal fire so you will not get that very nice fragrance, not at all.

I don’t think any santan (coconut milk) was used in the making…

Ming Xuan Corner pulut sambal 2

…or if there was, I could hardly detect it. The saving grace was that the sambal hay bee/udang kering (dried shrimps) inside…

Ming Xuan Corner pulut sambal 3

…was quite nice but at RM2.20 each, I would have second thoughts about buying any next time.

I was not impressed by the look of their ang koo kueh (RM1.00)…

Ming Xuan Corner ang koo kueh

– yellow in colour with the use of sweet potatoes to make the skin but my missus bought some home, pek tau sar (mung bean paste) and peanut filling and I did give them a try. You can get much nicer ones at this same price at the Chinese kueh stall at Rejang Park in the block of shops opposite the cinema, next to the Chinese medical store or somewhere around there.

Now what brought us to this place that morning was the photograph that a friend of mind shared on Facebook a few days earlier and his friend said that she went for it the day before. Oh? That sounded like it was really good so I made up my mind right away that I would want to go and give it a try – after all, it is very near my house.

I had the one with two eggs (RM6.00)…

Ming Xuan Corner pan mee, dry 1

– the pan mee, dry while my missus was quite happy with just one in the regular (RM5.00).

Their own handmade noodles…

Ming Xuan Corner pan mee, dry 2

…was kind of soft, not as firm as the rest that I have had elsewhere and it was white – others that I have had before were a little yellowish, probably the result of the egg used in the making. What looked like two poached eggs…

Ming Xuan Corner pan mee, dry 3

…turned out to be half-boiled/cooked eggs instead.

I would say it was not bad, not anything that I would go out of my way to eat but I would not mind having that should I happen to be in the vicinity and feel like it and no, this is not chili pan mee so don’t bother asking why there are no chili flakes. If that is the one you want, then you can go elsewhere…and no, I do not know of any place in town that serves this like that. My favourite pan mee, dry, would be the one here and if you click the link to hop over and have a look, the lady served hers quite differently from the rest and no, there were no chili flakes either…but unfortunately, the last time I dropped by there, the stall was closed, replaced by something else and I wouldn’t know if they had moved elsewhere or called it a day – I so loved their Penang har mee (prawn noodles), so very very nice.

While we were at this coffee shop that morning, an ex-colleague stopped by with his son with the intention of eating the kampua noodles there but the stall had closed for the day and the people were in the midst of cleaning up and clearing everything. He said he liked the one here very much so probably, we would drop by for that sometime. We’ll see…

MING XUAN CORNER (2.312754, 111.846595) is located in the second block of shops on your right if you are turning in from Jalan Pedada at the junction after Delta Mall, heading towards Lorong Taman Seduan 8, somewhere opposite the Bread Sense Bakery outlet there, a little to the left.

From coast to coast…

I was out early on Monday morning to go and top up the petrol in the car prior to making our way to Selangau and beyond to send my girl back to her school in the jungle after the long weekend. Somehow, I feel a lot more comfortable travelling long distances with a full tank and I would always check that my tyres have enough air and everything.

I stopped by this Malay kueh stall, now a shop, at Bandong here on the way. Usually when I dropped by, it would be mid-morning already and most of the things would be sold out. Since I was early that day, around 7.00 a.m., there were a lot of things to pick and choose.

However, my attention was drawn to the Kelantanese delights, from the East Coast of Peninsula/West Malaysia. My girl loves their laksam (RM3.50) a packet and there were only two left so I grabbed both of them.

When I got home, I opened one packet to try. Inside, there were these…

Laksam 1

…something like chee cheong fan or kway teow, all rolled up and sliced, and also the raw vegetables – cabbage, taugeh (bean sprouts) and long bean…

Laksam 2

…and also the rich and lovely fish/coconut milk gravy…

Laksam 3

…and last but not least, there was the sambal cili (pounded chili paste)…

Laksam 4

I mixed everything together…

Laksam 6

…and ate. Yes, it was very nice and I sure would not mind having that sometimes for a change. My girl took the other packet and had it for dinner at her quarters and she complained to the mum that she enjoyed it so much that it left her craving for more. This was one of her favourites when she was at the teacher-training institute in Sg Petani, Kedah. Hmmm…it sure looks like I would have to go again this coming weekend and hopefully, this will be available.

For one thing, not all the things sold here are available on a regular basis. They merely sell whatever those people cook at home and deliver there so if none is forthcoming, then there will not be any….like the nasi kerabu (RM5.00) that morning…

Mak Met Breakfast Station nasi kerabu 1

…another Kelantanese specialty from the East Coast. We had that for lunch and even though the portion was rather huge, my girl was able to finish all of hers and enjoyed it to the max (and that was the very reason why she kept the laksam for dinner). We love the one here but that one is only available on Saturdays and this one is just as nice…and cheaper too, with the whole works and two pieces of fried ayam berempah (spiced chicken)…

Mak Met Breakfast Station nasi kerabu 2

Well, if there is any available this weekend, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would be grabbing a few packs to take home…again!

From the West Coast of Peninsula/West Malaysia, there is the Penang asam laksa which is also available here and this is on a more regular basis, alongside the Sarawak laksa. I do buy these for my girl sometimes and yes, she likes the ones from here too. I don’t know of any shop here selling the laksa, Penang style…or maybe, I never ever took notice but if I should stumble upon one, I sure would like to give it a try and blog about it…if it is any good.

MAK MET BREAKFAST STATION (2.314111, 111.825678) is located at the shops along Jalan Bandong behind the stalls by the roadside along Bandong Walk, across the road from SK Pendidikan Khas, to the right.

Right next to you…

Some of my friends are regulars at this restaurant…

Home Cook

…and they did ask me why I had never gone there. Well, when my girl was little, very little, she loved the lokan

Lokan
*Archive photo – for illustration purpose*

…there so I would drop by very often to buy some for her but subsequently, they stopped making and I never went back again. Another reason was because I would go to the restaurant right next door to this one…

Home Cook Corner

…but the last time we were there, I told the lady boss that my girl would not be able to eat anything with wheat flour and soy sauce and she said that more or less ruled out everything – there wasn’t much there that she could eat and that was why we had not been there for a while now.

Anyway, we decided to go and check this one out last Sunday for lunch and these, according to the nice guy – probably the boss – are the specialties of the house…

Home Cook Corner specialties

We had the chao chai (fermented preserved vegetables) fish soup…

Home Cook Corner chao chai tapah soup

tapah no less and yes, it was very nicely done but I do think the one we had here was nicer but of course, the one there had those giant freshwater prawns (udang galah) in it so it is not very fair to make a comparison between the two.

For our vegetable dish, we had the Thai-style midin

Home Cook Corner Thai-style midin 1

…which was nice too but I think they used lemon or lime juice or vinegar…

Home Cook Corner Thai-style midin

…instead of calamansi lime juice so I would say that I’ve had nicer ones elsewhere.

The ang chao (the lees or the residue of the fermented red yeast rice from the making of Foochow red wine) pork…

Home Cook Corner ang chao pork

…was good as well but I prefer the one we had here that made use of tau joo (fermented tofu) though I wouldn’t mind having this one sometimes for a change.

All in all, I would say the food was all right – the bill for the three dishes came up to RM42.00 altogether. I thought that was quite reasonable as it seems that I’ve been charged a lot more elsewhere these days. Besides, I rather liked how the aforementioned guy was very accommodating and reassuring – he said that they would use tapioca starch for anything coated and fried and he would tell us if any of the dishes on the menu had soy sauce  in it. Other than that, somehow or other, my girl enjoyed what I had ordered very much and since that was the case, we certainly would be back again to try some of the many other items on their elaborate menu.

HOME COOK CORNER (2.292756, 111.825335) is located at No. 73. Jalan Kampung Nyabor right next to RUBY RESTAURANT with the AmBank Tunku Osman branch in the very next block.

Not every day…

My girl wanted to go for the chap fan (mixed rice) here but I remember they do not have it every day and definitely not on weekends and public holidays. Nonetheless, we headed to the place to confirm it is so and true enough, they only have that Tuesdays to Fridays, lunchtime – I think Monday is their off day.

So what do they have on weekends? Well, you can order things from their regular menu or go for one of their lunch sets. They had stewed pork leg (with an egg) rice, lamb curry rice and nasi lemak (RM6.00)…

One O One Cafe nasi lemak 1

I decided to try the latter and yes, the sambal was very nice and very spicy…and that was the first time I’ve seen anyone giving one whole egg (except when it was fried) with a plate of nasi lemak. The presentation would probably be a bit nicer if they had cut it into halves and placed them nicely by the side.

The rice, unfortunately, was not lemak at all – I might as well be eating plain white rice as there really wasn’t much of a difference. Thankfully, the sambal saved the day and I liked it, mixed with the rice and besides, I also ordered this bowl of lamb curry (RM10.00)…

One O One Cafe lamb curry

…which was quite good and it sure helped alleviate my enjoyment of my order.

No, I did not touch those very bland no-prawn-or-fish-at-all keropok (prawn crackers)…

One O One Cafe nasi lemak 2

…all artificial flavours and preservatives and I wished they had given the acar timun (cucumber pickle) instead. I saw it in a big plastic container at the counter but I did not see it served with any of the lunch sets. I wonder what they served that with – I would have loved that, anytime better than the miserable keropok.

My girl had their chao chai hung ngang (RM7.50)…

One O One Cafe chao chai hung ngang

…except that she passed me all the fish balls as we were not sure what flour they used to make them, those frozen ones available at all supermarkets, deep fried.

My missus had their char kway teow (RM5.00)…

One O One Cafe char kway teow

…a ringgit more expensive but she said it was nicer than than her former favourite here but at least, at the latter, they do not use those no-class-at-all plastic plates…

Colourful Cafe char kway teow
*Archive photo*

…and that place is a coffee shop, true and true. This one, on the other hand, is no regular coffee shop, it is a little classier than that and I would expect something a little better – using those plastic stuff makes it seem so cheap!

ONE O ONE CAFE (2.305823,111.84837) is located in the Jaya Li Hua Commercial Centre along Lorong Pahlawan 7C, near the wet market, among the shops on the other side from the Sibu Bus Terminal area.

The one you want…

I went back to this place

Colourful Cafe

…last Friday to try another one of the sets that they now have on their menu.

My missus asked for the Sarawak laksa (RM5.00)…

Colourful Cafe Sarawak laksa

…with a special request that the thin strips of shredded chicken be excluded. Lent is over and it is Easter but we still carry on without meat on Fridays…as and when possible.

I had their sweet and sour fish set (RM9.90)…

Colurful Cafe sweet & sour fish set
*Archive photo*

not too long ago and when I went to pick my girl from her school in the jungle on Thursday, I bought the honey chicken wings set for her to eat first before we set off for home. Normally, when she comes back on Fridays with her colleague, she will not have lunch before they leave and she would be so hungry by the time they get to Sibu at around 3-4.00 p.m. and after eating something at that time, she would be too full to eat much for dinner.

Well, I did not take a photograph of what I bought that day as I brought along a 3-tier tiffin carrier and had everything separated – the chicken rice, the salad and the wings…

Colourful Cafe honey chicken wings
*Archive photo*

If you go for the wings, you will get three for RM9.00 but for the set, you will get two only. Needless to say, my girl enjoyed what I got for her and finished off the wings but the serving was a bit too big for her so she did leave behind a bit of the rice, just a bit and quite a lot of the lettuce. Perhaps they could reduce that and give a few more than just the two slices of cucumber and the solitary slice of tomato.

So what did I have this time around? Yes, of course, I had the fish, the salad fish set (RM9.90)…

Colourful Cafe salad fish set

…and yes, it was good.

They were so very generous with the fried fish fillet…

Colourful Cafe fish fillet

…that by the time I had finished the rice and the salad, I still had some of it left in that huge (and heavy) 14-inch plate.

Other than the aforementioned three, there is also the salad chicken set and if you’re not a very big eater, perhaps it would be a good idea to order a set and share with somebody.  So which one do you want?

COLOURFUL CAFE (2.316673, 111.837539) is located in the Renew4U building at the junction of Brooke Drive and Lorong Kwong Ann 8, across the road from the Church of Jesus  Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

Scarce…

It is so hard to find ikan terubok (toli shad) here these days. Yes, we can buy the salted ones and the eggs as well but the fresh ones are really so very scarce these days and for a long time now, I have not seen any at the wet market.

That was why I was delighted that we had one, salt-baked by Angela, my friend/ex-classmate’s wife, when they invited us to their house for dinner once. She said she saw one at the market that morning so we were able to have that that very evening. I do know of two places, at least, in town where they serve this fish but it’s deep fried and I am not fond of it this way. I did have it once at a restaurant here, stuffed with all kinds of ingredients and grilled in the oven but no, it is not even available on special order – you will have to bring the fish and they will do it for you.

Imagine my happiness that day when my brother-in-law from Bintulu gave us one…

Terubok from brother-in-law

when he came back to Sibu for the Ching Ming Festival that day. You can tell how fresh it was…

Fresh

…and no, when it is that fresh, there is no need at all to cook it with lots of  ingredients in any fanciful ways. I did blog about how we would cook it once – just rub the fish with salt, wrap in foil and put it in our Tatung pot…

Tatung pot\
*Archive photo*

…and bake. My missus says it is not so nice if we do it in our electric oven.

I had to drive to my girl’s school in the jungle on Thursday to bring her home as she had something on in Sibu on Friday and we had this for our dinner…

Ikan terubok, cooked

…that evening. It was so sweet, lemak enough…

Terubok, so good

…and so very delicious – we sure enjoyed it to the max. The problem now is I wouldn’t know when or where we will ever get to enjoy another one again.

To go with the fish, we had this Bario brown rice…

Bario brown rice

…that I bought from here at RM11.00 a kilo.

Yes, it was nice…

Bario brown rice, cooked

…but I prefer the regular type that is so nice you can eat it on its own but of course, they will tell you that brown rice is healthier so it is better to eat that.

So sharp…

If you have been a faithful follower of my blog, you probably would remember this curry leaf plant of mine with one branch reaching up high into the sky

Tall branch
*Archive photo*

…like a coconut tree. A friend of mine gave me a German-made saw and all this while, I had been sawing off the branches including the one aforementioned but eventually, the plant looked quite untidy with stumps sticking out north, south, east, west…left, right and centre and I did let a few branches grow up high as well.

I got really put off by the fact that the leaves would get all spotted like the plant had some kind of ghastly infection or disease or something…

Infected curry leaves
*Curry leaf tree outside one of the teachers’ quarters at my girl’s school*

…so I would cut off those sprigs while the branches keep growing. I thought it would be easy to get those fresh leaves at the top but that day, my missus said that she could not bend the branches so she had to do without the curry leaves in her creamy butter prawn dish. Hmmm…she could have asked me to go and get some for her but she didn’t.

In the end, I decided to get rid of those tall branches as many of the leaves were spotted as well, anyway. I am not worried that there will be none left for us to use in our cooking as the new leaves would appear in no time at all…

Curry leaves
*Archive photo*

…and this time around, I used this new saw…

MR DIY garden saw 1

…that I bought from a MR DIY outlet here…

MR PIY garden saw 2

I can’t remember how much I paid for it but it was not expensive, in the region of RM14.00 or somewhere around there, I think.

It was so sharp and I really love using it so much. Honestly, I do think it is worth every sen that I paid for it. I can very easily cut through any branch, never mind how thick it is and just look at the clean cut it made…

MR DIY garden saw, clean cut

Nice and neat, eh? I was never able to do that with the saw I had because it was really big and often, I could not get the right angle and had to go in any direction and at times, I would run out of patience and halfway through, I would just break the branch instead of sawing it till the end.

It still needs a lot more work though…

Curry leaf plant today

…but I will just do it slowly, a little at a time. Elderly people like me should not over-exert ourselves – there have been cases of some dropping dead while working on something or playing a game, touch wood!

In the meantime, new leaves have started to appear…

New curry leaves

…and I am spraying them with this organic pesticide and so far, it seems to be working pretty well. We do not need that many, anyway, so even if the spots do show up eventually, there would be a few sprigs that are spot-free and we can use those…and the next time around, my missus would not have to bend down some tall branches to get the fresh leaves at the top, not anymore.