Not again…

I saw a lot of friends sharing photographs of what they had at this new place in town so of course, I wanted to go and check it out even though I did see in the menu that the big head prawn noodles did not come cheap…

…because we had not had this fish noodles with the creamy soup…

…for a long, long time (we had a good one here once but not anymore). My girl enjoys it a lot and I wanted to take her there last Sunday morning to give theirs a try.

So there we were, the four of us…

*I guess they mean live, not life*

– I asked my sister to join us – so very early last Sunday morning at just past 8.00 a.m. They open at that time every day, I hear.

I would say it was a very nice place, not much decor to get excited about but it was comfortable enough and air-conditioned. Gosh!!! It’s the early bird that catches the worm, they say but no, we were not the earliest. The place was almost full when we arrived and thankfully, there was a table available. Many who came a bit later, had to go some place else, disappointed. They did not know how lucky they were!!!

I liked this little duckie…

…that they had on every table. Too bad it wasn’t a fish nor a prawn. LOL!!!

The boss served this slice of papaya…

…to every table on the house. I think he said something about the fruit coming from his own house/compound.

After sometime, two bowls of the fish noodles(RM18.90)…

…came.

My sister and my girl had that with bihun

– the latter thought it was good and was pleased with her order. My sister did not quite fancy the fish – I think it was ang chor (red snapper) – she prefers the tapah that they have in their fish noodles here but they do not do it in this creamy soup style there.

My missus ordered their prawn noodles (soup) and this (RM18.90)…

…came. I had a feeling that they had made a mistake as there was a big head prawn in it, even though there was one only, not three or more like what we can see in the menu above. In my honest opinion, seeing how ONE prawn can cost up to around RM10.00 each (see details below), I would consider RM18.90 quite a reasonable price for this bowl of prawn noodles.

Unfortunately, my order never appeared and I just sat there and waited and waited and waited. Oh dear!!! Deja vu, history repeating itself…like how I had to wait for the beef noodles the day before.

After more than an hour, it FINALLY came (RM35.90)…

…with ONE not very big prawn, a lot smaller than the giant ones I bought from the Dewan Suarah (Civic Centre) wet market…

…earlier that morning. At RM75 a kilo, I bought RM166.00 worth of those lovely crustaceans, 17 of them altogether and that works out to less than RM10.00 each. It sure looked like I had been shortchanged, seeing so very clearly that there were at least THREE of them in that photo of it in their menu. Just ONE not really big one for that kind of money is really pushing it a bit too far!

My girl insisted on picking up the tab – including the cup of kopi-o, hot that my missus had (RM3.90!!!), the rest of us did not want anything to drink, the total came up to RM96.50.

Yes, I would say that what they dished out tasted quite good, that much credit I would give to them but they would need to cut down on the msg by at least half and at those prices and that very very long wait, no price for guessing whether or not I will be back there ever again.

FISH PAPPA is a few doors away to the right of HIDEOUT (2.301547, 111.843569) at Lorong 4, off Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai (formerly Jalan Pedada) in the block of shops back to back with Kim Hock Premier Food Court.

I couldn’t believe my eyes…

I had just finished my lunch yesterday so I went upstairs like what I would do every day for my afternoon siesta. However, before I could doze off, I heard a car stopping at our gate so I got up and went to the window to have a look.

I saw a young man passing a HUGE box…

…to my missus.

I quickly went downstairs to see what that was. “It’s from Noodle House lǎo bǎn/老板 (boss)…

…the guy said,” my missus told me.

Gosh!!! “That must be from Anthony of Nica Plus,” I said. He gave me this awesome gift of gelato mooncakes and gelato for the Mooncake Festival in September last year.

I opened the specially-designed gift box to look at what was inside and I just couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all those packs of awesome pre-marinated ready-to-grill/cook dishes that he had given me.

There were two packs of this rosemary & garlic lamb…

…and two of this kambing perap istimewa (special marinated lamb)…

…as well.

There were also two each of the teriyaki chicken wings…

…and two of the honey chicken wings…

Other than the aforementioned, there was a pack of kung pao chicken…

…and these Malaysian delights, the beef rendang

…the daging masak hitam

…and the curry chicken…

…and there were two bottles of their own-made sambal

…some more. Gosh!

Like what I said when I shared these photographs on Facebook, “I must have done a lot of good deeds in my previous life to deserve all these awesome pre-marinated goodies!” Now, it sure looks like we do not have to cook anything for our reunion dinner anymore – we can just pick what we like and grill and serve…and I am pretty sure there will be some that we can keep for Chap Goh Meh as well.

My friend, Yan, commented on my Facebook post. She said, “Just hopped over. Very reasonably priced!” She must have checked out their post on this on their Facebook page – the CNY 2022 Family Prosperity Set is only RM168 and all that I got (minus the two bottles of sambal) is their CNY 2022 Family Premium set, RM228 only. Wowwwww!!!! I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with my friend, so reasonably priced indeed!

Honestly, I really can’t thank you enough, Anthony Ting, for your very generous gift for Chinese New Year. May you and all at Nica Plus, Nica Gelateria and Noodle House be abundantly blessed with lots of happiness, good fortune & prosperity in The Year of the Tiger!!! Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!

NICA+ or NICA PLUS (2.296883,111.825859) as it is called, is located at No, 18 & 20 Lorong Intan 6, on the ground floor of the block of shops to the right of the Old Sing Kwong Supermarket (Kin Orient Plaza) along Jalan Tun Abang Hj Openg, directly below the Kimchee Korean Bar.BQ restaurant on the first floor. For orders and inquiries, please WhatsApp Nica Plus https://wa.me/60167945449.

Don’t wait…

I dropped by Payung Café the other day because they have started taking orders for Chinese New Year…

…and like what I’ve done in previous years, I wanted to book some of my favourites here. If you’re thinking of doing the same, don’t wait! Do drop by to place your orders or call them. I simply cannot understand why one would want to slave for hours/days/weeks in the kitchen when one can just go and buy something just as nice or perhaps, ever nicer.

Their decorations for the forthcoming festival were up already…

…and of course, you can get to see those delightful floral displays…

…at every table.

I was feeling a little hungry but it was Friday so I was not able to order their meat dishes plus I only wanted something light, a pasta dish perhaps. I was tossed between their belimbing prawn spaghetti or their tom yam prawn spaghetti and in the end, I settled for the latter…

The former will have to wait till another day and anyway, we just had it, minus the pasta, not too long ago.

I am sure if you take a look at the serai (lemon grass), the lengkuas (galangal) and the daun limau perut (kaffir lime leaves) in the dish…

…plus the onions and tomatoes, you can jolly well imagine the fragrances of all these contributing to make this dish…

…so absolutely awesome, to say the least. Elsewhere, they probably would just use the bottled tom yam paste to cook something for you, as simple as that.

While I was waiting for my order, Andy passed me this…

…to munch. He probably got them from one of his girlfriends – it seems that a lot of people like to make these tidbits for Chinese New Year and if I am not wrong, these were chicken or prawn floss in wanton skin, tied into a knot and deep fried.

I told him what I wanted and paid for my orders in advance. I said I would collect them in the afternoon of Chinese New Year’s Eve and take them home, still warm so we could enjoy them for our reunion dinner straight away, no need to go through the chore of warming them up first. I don’t know how much the tom yam prawn spaghetti was (probably RM17.00) because the very nice guy insisted that it was on the house.

Incidentally, according to Andy, they will be open that night (and throughout Chinese New Year) so if you are looking for a place to eat (or hang out) – I guess most places, Chinese restaurants especially, will be closed – you can always drop by here. In fact, you can even arrange to have your reunion dinner here but of course, at a time like this, you will have to limit the number of people and sit at least one metre apart, unlike that time when I had mine in the afternoon of Chinese New Year’s Eve with my in-laws here. It sure was good and won the praises of all and sundry!!!

PAYUNG CAFÉ (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.

Quiet celebration…

The other day, Thursday, the 13th of January, was my sister’s birthday so of course, we had our longevity noodles, the mee sua

…in the traditional Foochow red wine and ginger chicken soup. She got this very nice free range kampung chicken so it was kind of skinny and small but no worries! There was more than enough to go round = there were not that many of us.

Usually, in the past, she would celebrate her birthday at some place outside and she would also invite some of her friends. With all the SOPs and physical distancing, a maximum of 5 per table, one metre apart and what not, we told her to go ahead – we would not mind sitting this one out but she said she did not plan on doing that. She said that she would just tapao a few dishes and bring them over to our house for a simple and quiet celebration.

I went out and bought this fresh mango sponge (RM48.00)…

…for her from this bakery near my house so we could have the usual birthday wish and cutting of the cake accompanied by the singing of the Happy Birthday song.

For the food, my sister went to this restaurant where she celebrated her birthday in 2020 and bought this awesome crab platter…

Gosh!!! It had been so very long since the last time we had this crustacean and boy, we really enjoyed ourselves to the max.

My girl did mention to her aunt that she would prefer sotong (squid)…

…to prawns so there was this fried squid dish with mayonnaise that looked somewhat pale but it tasted great.

We already had mee sua that morning so she opted for their Foochow fried noodles…

…for a change and yes, they did it pretty well too.

The aforementioned birthday cake turned out really good…

…with the fresh mango cubes and the fragrance of mango in the sponge and the fresh mango cream. I loved it a lot but I had to confine myself to just two slices to avoid an overdose of sugar.

I also took out these lovely kek lapis slices…

…that I bought from this bakery here. Obviously, these are samples of the variety of layer cakes that they have for sale for Chinese New Year. There were (going clockwise from the left) prune, yam, matcha/red bean, san cha (haw flakes), vanilla (the traditional Indonesian kek lapis) and in the middle, the expresso cheese.

I did not tell my sis that we would be having these cakes so she came bringing along these…

from here that she got from her helper.

I can’t remember the last time we had the double chocolate mille crepe…

– usually, we would go for the rum & raisin or the tiramisu but my girl loves chocolate and she insisted on having that instead of all the other cakes and yes, she enjoyed it immensely! We did not try the other one – my girl said that it probably was their salted caramel cheese.

There you have it! Our simple and quiet celebration of my sister’s birthday and needless to say, it was no less meaningful and we sure had a great dinner together and enjoyed all the cakes as well.

MJ HU SEAFOOD RESTAURANT(2.291971, 111.834740) is located along Lorong Mahsuri 2, the second shop on the left after Kuching Cafe, opposite Bateras Supermarket and C&C GALLERY (2.311247, 111.846177) is located at No.24, Lot 62, Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai among the shops in Pusat Pedada at the extreme end of the block of shops to the right of Delta Mall, back entrance while LOUIS BAKERY LW.Pattisserie (2.316411, 111.839847) is located along Jalan Ruby in the same block of shops as Kim Tak Co., right next to Ah Kau Cafe at the end of the block to the left and NICA+ or NICA PLUS (2.296883,111.825859) as it is called, is located on the ground floor of the block of shops to the right of the Old Sing Kwong Supermarket (Kin Orient Plaza) along Jalan Tun Abang Hj Openg, directly below the KIMCHEE KOREAN BAR.BQ restaurant on the first floor.

Take it home…

Last Friday, the ladies in the house wanted to go to town to buy some things so I offered to drive them which was a good thing because they would not be able to find a parking space. Now that we’re in Phase 4, there were jams everywhere, so many cars all over town, rampant illegal parking in every nook and cranny and I saw long queues at the banks – I guess they were giving out some of the taxpayers’ hard earned money again. Tsk! Tsk!

I parked along a yellow line in an inconspicuous back lane and waited in the car – that is not illegal and I was not obstructing traffic in any way. Once the ladies were done, they came back to the car and we were on our way out of the busy town centre.

Since we were out and about already, we decided to stop by some place for lunch and everyone agreed to go here, just round the corner from the town centre. Even so, I had difficulty finding a parking space but after going round a couple of times, I managed to locate a vacant space, just that we had to walk a bit to the restaurant.

Yes, they still had their chap fan (mixed rice) but no, we did not want to go for that. Occasions like this nowadays when we would get to go out and eat are few and far between so we would prefer to go for something a little bit more special.

I ordered this platter of prawn fritters and their own made egg tofu, deep-fried (RM16.00)…

I would love to order their mini-ngor hiang (meat rolls) too but it was a Friday. Another time perhaps!

I liked their prawn fritters because the batter was nice, very crispy and tasty but in the past, there was hardly any prawn inside, just the tail stuck to one end. That day, much to my surprise, there was one whole prawn…

…inside, coated with the lovely batter. We sure enjoyed them and the tofu too!

I wanted the midin (RM10.00)…

…because we haven’t had it for quite sometime now. They do not seem to be selling it at the neighbourhood shop and vegetable stall in the next lane from my house anymore, just paku (wild jungle fern, another variety) sometimes.

I asked for it ching chao (fried plain with garlic) but it came with a bit of sauce. I was quite positive I could taste our traditional Foochow red wine in it – probably the cook in the kitchen got a bit mixed up but it did not matter at all as it tasted great too, cooked this way.

My girl wanted the cangkok manis fried with egg (RM10.00)…

…and it came, looking very nice but like a mountain! Wow!!! That certainly was a whole lot for two persons.

The boss did say that he would cook for two so I was expecting the servings to be smaller. In the past, such plain vegetable dishes used to be priced at RM8.00 only at most places here. It looks like the prices have gone up but that is perfectly all right as long as they taste great.

He kept insisting that those three dishes I ordered would be enough but I was craving for his claypot yam with a choice between tofu, prawns or fish. We already had the first two in the aforementioned dish so in the end, I picked fish (RM30.00)…

Initially, I was reluctant to pick fish as I expected them to use those cheap frozen fish fillet (dory) that I am not fond of. Much to my surprise, they had slices of pek chio/ikan bawal putih (white pomfret) in the claypot and I was not surprised at all that it did not come cheap.

Gosh!!! That was HUGE!!! It took a bit of time to come out and we were already so full from eating the other dishes (with rice) so we just had a small bowl each and asked for it to be tapao-ed for us to take it home. The total for the food came up to only RM66.00, a little cheaper than what I had to fork out here that day but it was no less satisfying, that’s for sure.

I guess now that Sarawak has gone into Phase 4 and there are very few cases – single digit, if any, daily, things are starting to pick up once more and have more or less gone back to normal. We sat at one of the tables outside on the pavement at the very far end and by the time we were leaving, all the tables were occupied including those outside in the shaded area. Thankfully, they were placed far apart so physical distancing was not a problem at all. There was a big Iban family at the next table and the sweet and sour tilapia that they had looked very good and oooo…they were having braised/stewed pork leg!!! Drool! Drool!!! LOL!!!

A-PLUS FOOD CENTRE/RESTAURANT (2.293355, 111.823653) is located among the shops along Jalan Kampung Datu, behind the block of shops (where Fresh & Pay Supermarket is) near the traffic lights at its junction with Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg and Jalan Kampung Nyabor.

Mother and child reunion…

We loved the Sarawak ethnic/Dayak delights at this place that they called Anak Borneo (Child of Borneo) so much that we kept going back again and again but for reasons unknown, not very long after it started, much to our disappointment, it called it a day.

If I am not wrong, one of the partners opened another place along those same lines and called it Mak Borneo (Mother of Borneo). It was sharing its premises with a pub and it seemed that they did not open that early, probably to cater to those people who would drop by the watering hole later in the night to eat, drink and be merry. I was in the vicinity once, not too early – the people were just getting started but nobody paid any attention to me. No one asked me to take a seat or what I wanted to eat – nothing, stone cold silence all round. Of course I left the place right away and never went back.

Eventually, I heard that they had opened their own place here…

…but before I could go and check it out, disaster struck! Because of the pandemic, for nearly two long years, I never got to drop by until yesterday, Sunday. I asked my girl if she would like to go out for lunch and she did so off we went.

Much to my delight, the place was very open, not air-conditioned (wifi is available for anybody thus inclined) and there were a lot of fans, left, right and centre so even though it was a very sunny and hot afternoon, we were quite comfortable and did not feel the heat at all.

I saw one of the boys cleaning the barbecue grill…

…before putting the ikan keli (catfish)…

…obviously marinated with kunyit (turmeric), over the hot burning charcoal to cook and serve to us once it was ready…

Yes, I did order that (RM25.00) and yes, it was very nice.

They gave two types of chili dip with the fish – the chili soy sauce (left) was all right, nothing to get excited about but the chili belacan (dried prawn paste) on the right was simply out of this world. It was so very nice but super spicy. Both dips are available for sale in bottles at the shop and I would have bought the latter if it had not been so blisteringly spicy.

This is their barbecued pork or babi tunu (RM16.00)…

…and I would give it my two thumbs up! It certainly was as good as it looked!

If I am not wrong, they also cook these delightful lokans (RM11.00)…

…on the barbecue grill after which they will open up the clams and add the seasonings and the garnishing prior to serving them.

This was the pansoh babi (RM28.00)…

…the pork in bamboo tubes placed beside hot burning charcoal to cook. Yes, this was very good too.

We loved both the vegetable dishes that we ordered – the midin with langkau (ethnic rice wine)/belacan (RM11.00)…

…as well as the daun ubi gosok, the mashed tapioca leaves (RM8.00)…

…and we had rice (RM2.00)…

…with all the aforementioned dishes. I really loved their ceramic plates, made to look like the Dayak matted woven basket/tray, so ingenious, so appropriate and so beautiful!

I just had a small bottle of drinking water (RM1.50) while my missus had a glass of teh C (tea with evaporated milk), RM3.00 and my girl asked for their fresh coconut water (RM5.00)…

All in all, the total came up to RM113.50. No, it was not cheap but considering how much we enjoyed all the dishes, it truly was value for money. We certainly would go back there again to check out the other items that they have in their very extensive menu.

I did not buy their tuak (ethnic rice wine)…

…this time around. The regular is selling for RM22.00 a bottle, the pandan RM25.00 and the apple RM30.00. I may pick up a bottle or two the next time we drop by here.

MAK BORNEO (2.301301, 111.843548) is located at No, 21, Ground Floor in the block of shops behind Nam Heong Ipoh/Kim Hock Premier Food Court, Lorong 4D, off Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai (formerly Jalan Pedada).

French connection…

Long, long ago, our lives were very simple. We did not have much of anything beyond our basic needs. Yes, we had bread and buns but I only came across this…

…in 1973 when I went over to Singapore.

They called it “French loaf” and it was hard and crusty. They served it with sup kambing (mutton soup) at the Indian shops or with their celebrated Singapore chili crab at their seafood restaurants at places like Bedok. We dipped the slices in the soup or gravy to soak and to soften and ate.

I only got to know its other name…

…more recently, not that long ago.

The guy at this bakery doesn’t use that name – he calls it a French loaf. I guess if he uses baquette instead, some customers may have a problem pronouncing it and will come out with their own peculiar versions. Have you heard the one about the guy who went to a restaurant and ordered a quiche? LOL!!!

Personally, I feel that the ones from that bakery are slightly harder and a bit more crusty than this one that I bought from here, not like the ones in the good ol’ days in Singapore – those were so hard that it could be used as a lethal weapon. LOL!!! I don’t know if it is available at the other bakeries in town but I sure am glad that these two do not come across as regular bread made in that longish cylindrical shape and are a little bit like the baguette that I used to know.

Now, how do I usually eat it? For one thing, we can cut it into short lengths, cut slits in them and stuff them with whatever filling we fancy to make our own Vietnamese banh mi. but usually, I will just slice it diagonally and toast the slices and eat it just like that or with any bread spread I fancy and not too long ago, I made some sprinkle toasts with it.

The other day, my girl made these garlic toasts…

…for her breakfast. She applied butter on the slices that I had cut, sprinkled chopped garlic, cheese and parsley on top and put them in the oven to toast till the cheese had melted and had turned into a lovely golden colour…

Yes, she enjoyed it done this way.

As far as I know, the guys here get theirs by special order, done the way they like them (I think they come in shorter lengths) for their toasted garlic bread served with their very nice chicken sauce…

They do not cut the loaf diagonally like I do so theirs are round, not so long.

What about you? How do you usually enjoy yours?

Better like that…

We went out for dinner the other evening on New Year’s Eve so my missus could just sit and relax and enjoy the meal with the rest of us instead of slaving away in the kitchen the whole day and even after the dinner, there was all the cleaning and washing up to be done. I am sure everyone would agree that it would be heaps better like that.

Initially, I planned to go out to tapao our favourites from here, there and everywhere for the dinner but after our lunch that day, my girl was complaining that she felt thirsty the whole afternoon. My missus and I did not feel that there was a lot of msg in the dishes but perhaps, because we hardly add any, if at all, to our own cooking at home, she is no longer used to it. That was why I suggested going some place where they do not use so much of “the white stuff” and since my girl loves Indian cuisine a lot, we ended up here for our very delightful New Year’s Eve dinner.

The biryani rice from their authentic North Indian chef is my girl’s favourite; in fact, it is the only one in town that she enjoys.

We ordered this set (RM19.00)…

…with the awesome Indian butter chicken curry…

…and also the one with the gorgeous masala lamb curry (RM23.00)…

…for the four of us (yes, we asked my sister to join us) to share. Personally, I prefer the latter but my girl insisted that both were good.

Just in case the rice wasn’t quite enough, I ordered two pieces of naan (RM2.50 each)…

… that we could enjoy with the gravy in the aforementioned dishes or this aloo gobi masala (RM12.00)…

…that lovely Indian vegetable curry dish with cauliflower and potatoes.

At the same time, I also asked for the tandoori chicken (RM15.00)…

…to make sure there was enough meat to go round, and also their fried fish (RM11.00)…

I shouldn’t have bothered about the latter as it was just mackerel (bay kar/ikan tenggiri) coated with batter and deep-fried, nothing spectacular, nothing quintessentially Indian.

My missus wanted the tofu isi/stuffed tofu puffs (RM13.00)…

…from the Indonesian menu so of course, we had those as well. They were very nice with the tang hoon/glass noodles and whatever else inside…

…and we loved the crusty outside, best when piping hot from the wok, served with Thai chili sauce.

My girl had their Indian ginger tea while my missus had teh tarek (pulled tea) and my sister, their fresh soursop. As for me, I was so disciplined, obediently sticking to my low-sugar diet so I just asked for warm drinking water. The total for everything added up to RM124.50 and as always, the nice boss rounded it up and collected RM120.00 only from me.

We sure enjoyed the dinner especially when we had been craving for those Indian delights for so long now – the last time we were here was in April, I think.

The boss reserved for us a table in the inner section of the restaurant, with nobody else around. That was so thoughtful of him – he said that if we were to sit at the regular section, there might be other customers coming in so this way, it would ensure that there were no close or casual contacts with anybody else that evening. All this while, my girl simply refused to go out to eat but she was quite comfortable with the arrangement that night. I am pretty sure that if I were to suggest coming here to eat again, she would jump at the opportunity.

The CAFE IND (2.290813, 111.829294) is located along Laichee Lane, right behind one block of shops facing the main road (Jalan Kampung Nyabor) where the Bank Simpanan Nasional, Sibu branch (2.290561, 111.829071), is.

One year ago…

Gosh!!! It had almost been one year ago when we last dropped by here, on New Year’s Day, 2021.

Well, I had to go to town again the other day to stock up on my prescriptions – yes, it had been a month already – so I asked my girl if she would like to go some place for a nice lunch and we agreed to drop by here for the things we loved so well and had not had for such a long time.

Of course, we had her favourites, their sweet and sour fish fillet…

…and their lemon chicken…

…which we feel is the best in town!

For our vegetable dishes, we wanted midin (wild jungle fern) but they did not have that but they had paku (a different variety) so we had that, ching chao (plain fried)…

…instead. Actually, we wanted it fried with belacan (dried prawn paste) but it came out like this and because it was very nice, we just let it be.

We also had the cangkok manis fried with egg…

…and for the soup, we had the Foochow tauhu tear (bean curd soup with canned oysters)…

Everything was so nice and we sure enjoyed ourselves to the max especially when we had not dined out like this for such a long time, such a welcome change from our day-to-day routine.

I paid RM70.00 for the 5 dishes for the 3 of us and I would say for the amount of pleasure derived, it was worth it. Usually, I would have to fork out around RM50-60.00 for a meat dish, vegetable and soup but this time round, I insisted on ordering more to buang gian (appease the craving) and I did not bother to ask them to cook for two – the smaller servings would be enough to go round and it would be cheaper this way.

Of course, the prices have gone up and I am sure it is no exception here. Their fried noodles, usually 50 sen more than elsewhere, is now RM5.50 a plate…

…and with the extra char siu that we would always ask for, the total would be a whooping RM6.00.

Obviously, nobody cared as when we got there at around 11, the place was full so we had to sit at one of the vacant tables on the pavement outside. The lady boss said we would not have to wait too long as they were all having their fried noodle dishes and true enough, before our orders were served, they had all finished eating and left so we adjourned inside where there was just another table that was occupied, also a family of three but with one little kid also having their lunch there.

Y2K CAFE (2.294220, 111.825753) is located in the Tunku Osman area, round the corner from that block of shops where the branches of AmBank & RHB Bank are located with its back entrance facing the side (right, not the main one) entrance/exit of Methodist Secondary School.

It’s getting better…

I guess everybody went through a bad patch during the pandemic, some worse than others and there were some who had to call it a day eventually.

Yes, business was very poor all this while for my friends here

…too when they were depending on takeaways and food deliveries but thankfully, they did manage to pull through. Things sure seem to be getting a whole lot better now with only a few cases each day and with the state election just around the corner, business has started to pick up a bit.

The schools have closed for the end-of-year holidays so last Saturday, I managed to persuade my girl to go out for lunch. All this while, she did not want to go anywhere #stayingsafe #stayingwell and #stayinghome but I managed to convince her – usually, there are not many customers around and the tables are all well-spread out so if there are others around, physical distancing is definitely not a problem…plus the place is not air-conditioned (they say this is bad – all schools are advised not to switch them on and to open all the doors and windows) and you can enjoy the fresh air that comes in with the breeze from the river.

Christmas…

…is just a few weeks away but I guess due to the pandemic, nobody is in the mood so the decoration this year is very minimal…

Yes, they were playing those Christmas songs that day but somehow, the mood just wasn’t there!

The ladies had a glass of buah kedondong (ambarella) juice (RM7.00)…

…each but I did not want that just in case there was sugar in it so I just had a glass of warm water.

We shared this plate of nasi kerabu (RM12.00)…

The serving was so big that there was more than enough to go round.

Yes, we enjoyed that and to go with it, I ordered this lamb curry (RM25.00)…

…and their belimbing prawns (RM17.00)…

I must say that I was very impressed by the size of the prawns…

…in the latter – they were so much bigger than the ones I always buy from my favourite fish & seafood stall near my house and those sure do not come cheap! These must have cost a bomb!!!

My girl wanted their very popular mushroom roll (RM8.00)…

…so I ordered that as well and since they were out of their pomelo salad and their papaya salad, we had their Payung rojak (RM12.00)…

…for our vegetable dish to go with all our orders.

Yes, this was like in the good ol’ days before the pandemic – it has been so long since we dropped by here for lunch or for dinner and it sure felt good to be able to do that again.

PAYUNG CAFÉ (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.