Ain’t nothing like it used to be…

It had been six months since I last had my car serviced in May, around 2 months later than the scheduled date because of the lockdown at the time and the service centre was closed. No, I do not follow the kilometre count as I hardly ever used it and now after two years plus, I’ve only managed to cover around 1,800 km. only.

Well, since I was in the vicinity, I decided to drop by this place that was so popular at one time for their giant freshwater prawn noodles. It was a Friday and I was abstaining from meat. Of course, I did not want those overpriced prawns so I had the fish, ikan tapah (wallago attu/helicopter catfish) instead…

Brother Sing ikan tapah noodles

The last time I had it was when I came here in 2015 with my friend who was teaching in a school upriver and his wife, now happily settled with a kid in Kuching. Looking at the old photographs, they do seem to be a lot more generous with the fish these days and the best part was despite the prices of things shooting sky high, it was priced exactly the same, RM12.00 a plate! I also loved how they were a lot more generous with the green vegetables unlike most of the places around here.

At one time, this place was always packed with people flocking here for the giant freshwater prawn noodles…

Brother Sing giant freshwater prawn noodles

…with prices ranging from RM30.00 upwards to RM50 and above depending on the size of those crustaceans. I guess the novelty has worn off…or maybe, it is because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That morning, there weren’t that many customers around, mostly seated on the pavement outside, less than 6 tables there altogether, I think…

So quiet

…and I only saw one  guy, with a lady, having the prawn noodles. They even had a dish of steamed prawns as well. Probably they were from elsewhere, back here to have a feast of the udang galah.

I did ask the lady how much a bowl of prawn noodles costs now and she said RM35.00, no more no less and no longer dependent on the size of the prawns. I guess they do not bother stocking up on those humongous ones anymore. I may come back for that one fine day or I’d ask for the moon mien version of the fish noodles…

Brother Sing fish noodles

It tasted great but the mee wasn’t quite the way I would prefer it, soft and having soaked in the sauce…but not overcooked and soggy or perhaps I would give the kampua mee a try. It looked rather good and my goodness, the serving was so generous that the mee was literally overflowing off the rim of the plate! That alone is something worth blogging about. LOL!!!

BROTHER SING SEAFOOD CAFE (2.278256, 111.838701) is located at No. 4H, Ground Floor, Lorong Aman 2, off Jalan Lanang, past its roundabout with Jalan Aman.

Ever since…

The 2nd of November was All Souls’ Day so of course, we, together with my sister, went to visit my parents’ burial place to offer flowers…

All Souls' Day 2020

…and prayers. Like what we always did when we got back into town at around noon, we went for lunch first before heading on home.

Ever since that time when I first set foot on this place, I had always wanted to go back there for their too kha pui (pork trotter rice)…

Thanksgiving too kha pui

…and since that was the place we picked that day, I wasted no time at all in ordering that.

It was, by no means, cheap – that was RM19.00! The guy said that it would depend on the size of the trotter…

Thanksgiving pork trotter

…and prices might range up to around RM25.00.

I was all right with the price – after all, I had always wanted to try that and finally, I did. However, I would not say that it swept me off my feet – the ones my missus cooks at home would win hands down. It was nice albeit being rather watered down, unfortunately…and it was all skin and tendon, hardly any sign of any meat at all plus the sauce that came in a small bowl was so diluted, it could pass off as a soup!

My girl loved her pork ribs soup with their own handmade noodles…

Thanksgiving Cafe pork rib noodles

I had that the first time I was here and yes, it sure got my thumb of approval.

She also wanted the pan-fried shui jiao (pork dumplings)…

Thanksgiving shui jiao

She loved them the first time she came here and ever since then, she will always order those everytime she comes here. I did not have any – that platter I ordered for myself was big enough for me to handle but the mum had one and so did my sister – she finished off the rest all by herself! LOL!!!

My sister had the beef tendon soup with handmade noodles…

Thanksgiving Cafe beef tendon soup with handmade noodles

…while my missus had the same soup but with yellow noodles…

Thanksgiving Cafe super spicy beef tendon soup with yellow noodles

…and she asked for hers to be super spicy so it came across something like that infamous mala hotpot favourite.

Other than the pork trotter rice, I did not take note of the prices of all the other items but the total came up to around RM81.00 for the four of us, inclusive of drinks. We felt that was a delightful enough lunch, the place was air-conditioned and not crowded, comfortable enough and we sure wouldn’t mind going back there again sometime.

THANKSGIVING DINSUM CAFE (2.321373, 111.839286) is located at No. 12, Ground Floor, Lorong Teng Chin Hua 1, in the block of shops right behind the Sing Ang Tong Kindergarten/Methodist Church.

Just yesterday…

We went out for lunch last Saturday afternoon and the following day, Sunday, we went out again. Well, it was because my girl’s violin lesson was moved from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning and she said we could go out for lunch right after that and we did!

I don’t know whether it was a Sunday or it was in a different part of the town centre but boy oh boy, there were so many cars on the road, whatever happened to #staysafe #staywell #stayhome, a stark difference from the way it was just one day before – hardly anybody, so very few cars around.

Perhaps it was the weekend before the All Souls’ Day weekend and some people came earlier to avoid the crowd on the actual weekend which, actually, was a good idea but personally, I do think that during a time such as this, it would be best to just sit this one out and give this year a miss. I am sure the deceased loved ones would understand.

Anyway, back to our lunch, my girl wanted her favourite beef on a hotplate (RM15.00)…

Nice House beef on hot plate

here and of course, I told her that if the place was crowded, we would go some place else. Fortunately, there were only six tables with everyone observing the required physical distancing and sitting far apart. I picked a table for 4-6 by the wall, not too near all the rest, just nice for the 3 of us.

My girl is not so into leafy vegetables but she likes the baby kailan (RM13.00)…

Nice House baby kai lan

…here. I thought that was rather expensive so I grumbled about it to the lady boss. She said it was their signature dish and had special ingredients for the egg, probably some cheese and butter, both of which I could not detect. For one thing, it was so very salty that day so of course, I did not mince my words when I told the lady boss that! Unfortunately, all my rantings fell on deaf ears and no, she did not give me a discount. Tsk! Tsk!

The black pepper lamb (RM22.00)…

Nice House black pepper lamb

…was certainly an improvement from how I remembered it to be. My late father used to buy home from here for everyone in the house to eat, those years when my late mum was bedridden. This time around, the meat was very nice and tender and unlike before, the sauce did not taste like what came out of the bottle like what one would get when eating that once-a-year burger in the hope that one would strike it rich and be very prosperous!

We barely managed to eat half of the lamb though. The servings were so huge so we were so very full by the time we finished half of it and we left the sem boi kay/sour plum chicken (RM13.00)…

Nice House sour plum chicken

…another dish that my late dad used to buy quite regularly, untouched. I got my tiffin carrier from my car and we took the chicken and what was left of the lamb home for dinner.

The total for the food came up to RM63.00 which I thought was very reasonable as the servings were huge and we had three meat dishes.

We did have to wait for quite a bit though – they seem to have this practice, probably to ensure the quality of the food, whereby they will cook the orders according to the table – when it is your turn, they will cook all your orders at one go. I am pretty sure that at other places, if everybody is ordering that same dish, they would cook a whole lot of it, divide equally and dump on separate plates and serve.

NICE HOUSE RESTAURANT (2.29201,111.82739) is located at No. 5 Jalan Bindang in the vicinity of the Tunku Osman shops, opposite Rejang Bookstore.

I dreamed a dream…

We went out for lunch last Saturday afternoon and we dropped by here for my girl’s favourite lemon chicken in town…

Y2K lemon chicken

I did tapao this home once sometime ago when the MCO lockdown was relaxed a bit and these places resumed their businesses but of course, nothing beats eating it there, hot from the wok.

We were the only ones there that afternoon – there were two guys sitting outside, having a chat, but they left after a while. On the whole, the town seemed quite deserted – hardly any living soul around, not many cars and ample parking spaces. This, of course, isn’t all that good for all businesses but looking at the list in the SOP record book, I was glad to note that there were at least 30-40 people who were there before us, probably for breakfast or brunch.

I dreamed a dream one night that there was a new coffee shop in town and they had a huge banner in front that said, “Deer Meat Kampua“. I went in – the place was empty, very simple and clean and then I woke up. Deer meat? Gee! I can’t say that I’m a fan, actually so why on earth did I dream about it? And I did not even get to eat it in my dream! Tsk! Tsk! LOL!!!

Well, to make my dream come true in some way, we ordered their venison/deer meat with ginger and dried chili…

Y2K dried chili venison

…and yes, it was good. My girl sure enjoyed it and I did not even know she was that into venison.

We had cangkuk manis fried with egg…

Y2K cangkuk manis fried with egg

…for our vegetable dish – there are only a few kinds of vegetables that my girl likes, very limited choices and for our soup, we had the tofu & salted vegetable soup….

Y2K salted vegetable tofu soup

That sure was a very delightful lunch – we enjoyed all the dishes to the max and the total for the food came up to only RM55.00 for three persons. I thought that was very reasonable.

Incidentally, I noticed that they have acquired some nice white ceramic plates. I think they used to use all kinds of assorted plates before, maybe melamine once in a while even but no, I do not recall them using those plastic ones in all kinds of horrendously gaudy colours that they use in a lot of places here including that very popular one right next door. That is definitely a good reason why I would want to keep coming back. Say NO to plastic!!!

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

Name…

This is your name…and this is their name…and this…

noodle cafe

…is my name. We are all named “Noodle“.

This place is quite new. I pass by here after I have dropped off my girl at school and when I pick her up after school to take her home. Their opening hours seem quite limited…

Business hours

They open late, close at 2.30 and do not open at night but I have the feeling that they are affiliated to the hotpot place right next door because on every table, there is a metal cover, probably covering the induction cooker or whatever underneath. I’ve never been to this one – after all, I am no fan of such places – but I have heard friends say that this particular one is quite good and prices are reasonable. I guess if they have a full house, the customers can come over to this side since it is not open at night.

They have quite a variety of noodles dishes on their menu, priced between RM6.90 and RM9.90. Of course you cannot expect those cheap no-class-at-all coffee shop prices – after all, this is a very nice and comfortable air-conditioned café kind of place. I saw they had Penang fried kway teow, sweet vegetable (cangkuk manis) bihun, zhao chai hung ngang but no, I did not see any kampua mee nor Foochow fried noodles in the menu or maybe I did not look carefully enough. There are some set rice lunches, the sets with rice and some main dish to go with it and a somewhat limited dim sum selection as well.

I simply could not resist their Foochow prawn noodles (RM18.90)…

Noodle Cafe Foochow prawn noodles 1

– the Foochow fry & cook noodles (cha chu mee), soup with freshwater prawns (udang galah) and of course, at that price, you cannot expect those huge ones.

What came in  the bowl was about the size of my thumb…

Noodle Cafe Foochow prawn noodles 2

…and there were a whole lot of things in it – minced meat balls, liver, sotong (squid) and fish slices. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a bit more green vegetables. What they had inside was hardly noticeable.

Well, the size of the crustaceans aside, I would say that the noodles tasted really good which, of course, came as no surprise as there were prawns in it – that would surely add to the sweetness of the broth and bring it to a whole new level. I sure would not mind going for this again but I’d probably choose to try some of the rest on their menu which, of course, are a lot more affordable.

The bill came up to RM20.10 – I gave the boy RM25.00 when he served the noodles as I would like to leave the instant I finished eating without having to go through the bill-paying process when I was done. He came back with the RM5.00 note and asked if I had a 10 sen coin. Well, I did not and I gave him a RM1.00 note instead and told him to keep the change. In the end, he came back with the cashier’s receipt AND the RM1.00 note. Obviously, they decided to waive the 10 sen in the end unlike one of the two aforementioned places where they will insist on you paying the 10 sen to the extent of giving you RM99.90 change for your RM100.00 note, if they have to. Truth be told, I get quite pissed off by this everytime. Thank goodness they are not like that here!

NOODLE CAFE (2.291238, 111.837763) is located to the left of 一锅暖 WarmWarm HotPot at No. 11, Lorong Tong Sang 1B.

At least we’ve tried…

Ever since we had the chicken rice lunch downstairs, we kept saying that we would want to go and try their hotpot place on the 1st Floor…

HOTPOT CAFÉ

…but we never got down to doing it until that day, the day of the Mid-Autumn/Mooncake Festival.

We went early, before 6.00 p.m., in the hope that there would not be a crowd and we would be able to get a table as we did bother to make a reservation. I was thinking that since there are so many hotpot places in town sprouting out here, there and everywhere like mushrooms after the rain, if the place was too crowded, we could always try another one.

Luckily, there were tables available and believe it or not, there were others there already before us. If I am not wrong, the place was full by the time we were leaving – I don’t know whether that was because of the festival or they actually do enjoy brisk business like this every night.

My missus helped herself to three types of chili dip…

HOTPOT CAFE chili dips

…which I did try but none was to my liking. None of them came near to what my missus makes herself at home.

For the hotpot, we picked the classic pork bone soup on one side and the tom yam on the other (RM15.00 for a pick of 2)…

Classic pork bone soup & tom yam

…and for the meat, we had pork (RM10.00) and beef (RM12.00)…

Pork and beef slices

…and premium lamb slices (RM20.00)…

Lamb slices

My girl said that she could not tell the difference between the beef and the lamb and both did not stand out in any way so in future, we might as well just order the pork which we felt was the nicest of the three.

The so-called “fresh prawns” were expensive, RM28.00 for a set of 4…

Fresh prawns

…and I asked for two sets because I was expecting to get freshwater prawns (udang galah). To be frank, I felt these were way overpriced – I can easily get them at the shop near my house, roundabout 20 of them, this size or bigger, for around RM40 (usually RM45.00 a kilo). Had I known better, I would have given them a miss.

The Spanish mackerel fishballs (RM8.00)…

Spanish mackerel fishballs

…were great and so were the shrimp and pork dumplings (RM8.00)…

Shrimp & pork dumplings

I should have asked for two sets each of these two instead of the prawns.

The fresh red squid (RM12.00)…

Fresh red squid

…wasn’t all that cheap either, nothing to get excited about and something we would surely leave out, should we happen to come back here again next time.

The  Hakka yong tao foo (RM15.00)…

Hakka yong tao foo

…was all right and my girl loved their fresh tofu (RM4.00)…

Fresh tofu

– she said it was extra smooth and silky, nicer than the ones sold at the wet market in town. You may have noticed how they seem to qualify most items on their menu as being “fresh“, even the tofu. LOL!!!

The mushroom platter (RM8.00)…

Mushroom platter

…took quite  a long time coming and that got me wondering why. I thought it would not need much preparation, just dump everything in a plate and serve…and we also had these Q-Q (curly) vegetables (RM5.00) and tang hoon/glass noodles (RM4.00)…

Q-Q vegetables & glass noodles

…too.

We just threw everything in, equally divided between the two types of broth and when it started boiling…

Boiling

…it was time to dig in!

The tom yam soup was nice but way too spicy and too sour for me to handle – I guess the rest did not fancy it much either as by the time we had finished everything, there was still half left. The classic pork bone soup was really good, so “sweet” and bursting with flavours, so much so that it prompted my girl to remark, next time we shall just have the pork bone soup on both sides.

The total came up to RM183.00 (inclusive of drinks) for the four of us – we invited my sister to join us that night. That sure wasn’t cheap and we could have had our own at home for much less but at least, we did not have to do all the preparation and all the washing and cleaning once we were done. We certainly wouldn’t mind coming here again but I guess we shall just reserve it for special occasions.

HOTPOT CAFÉ is on the 1st Floor, right above TING KEE CHICKEN RICE (2.292362, 111.825681) which is located at No. 85, Jalan Kampung Nyabor, to the extreme left of the block of shops directly across the road from RH Hotel.

Stay inside…

Last Sunday, we went out for lunch. I asked my girl what she would like to have and she said she would want to go for the nasi biryani here…AGAIN! I said we were there just the other day but she insisted – she loves the nasi biryani from the North Indian chef so much, more authentic than elsewhere, she says and she doesn’t mind going for it again and again.

This round, she went for the butter tandoori chicken curry biryani

Cafe IND butter tandoori chicken curry biryani

…which, of course, took a while as the guy cooks the biryani rice from scratch upon order, not like most places where they cook one whole tub and scoop to serve to you when you ask for it. He also cooks the tandoori chicken fresh and uses it to cook the butter chicken curry – that is why you get the lovely fragrance of the tandoori-cooked meat in the dish. Needless to say, you will need to wait a bit but it is well worth it.

I saw that they had quite a lot of new dishes in their menu including some korma chicken or lamb and I requested for the latter with biryani rice…

Cafe IND mutton kurma biryani rice

…to try. It was very nice, completely different from our Malay kurma meat dish which, I feel, is something like their opor ayam

Cafe IND opor ayam

…on their Indonesian menu. Of course, my missus had something from that, with a special request for it to be super extra spicy, their mee nyemek

Cafe IND mee nyemek

…and yes, it was good, something like our mee mamak.

We were served this seafood mixed vegetable dish…

Cafe IND seafood mixed vegetables

…on the house to try and yes, it was great. It had a tomato-based gravy though – personally, I would prefer curry.

Yes, they have not put out the tables and chairs outside because of the SOP so once again, we had to sit inside. I am very sure you can tell the difference in the photographs, the current ones and those before, taken when we were outside where it was much brighter.

I forgot to ask for the cashier’s receipt so I do not have the itemised prices of what we had. Anyway, the bill came up to RM70.50, inclusive of drinks – I had their very nice Indian ginger tea and my girl had their iced lemon while the mum had sky juice. I did not have anything smaller so I paid using a RM100 note and the kind and generous boss gave me a discount on the bill and passed to me RM35.00 change. Ain’t that nice?

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.

Teach me…

In the good old days, nobody went to schools or colleges to learn the culinary arts.

If it was a family business, they helped out at the shop or stall and picked up the skills from their parents or elders, the ones who would teach them everything. If they were working for somebody, they would start from the bottom with the menial tasks like peeling and slicing onions, cutting the vegetables and what not and with the teaching and guidance from their peers and seniors, they eventually graduated into the actual cooking.

No, there were no qualified or certified chefs then, no Michelin stars, nothing – just real hard work, sweat and toil and true grit but were they able to dish out really awesome dishes? That, of course, goes without saying and some of the dishes were so good that none today, even with their list of credentials, could replicate.

All this came to mind when we went out for dinner here…

Hai Bing Seafood, new

…last Friday night to celebrate my girl’s birthday.

This is the sparkling new branch of this old place

Hai Bing Coffee Shop, original

…that has been around for such a long time but nothing has changed there since Day 1, this dark, unimpressive place with no decor whatsoever to shout about but what it lacked in appearance, it more than made up for it with the awesome dishes they serve here, notably its crabs – second to none. Why, as a matter or fact, my West Malaysian blogger-friends loved it so much and chose it to be, in their opinion, the best in town!

The new place is very nice, very spacious – I love its simplicity, not horrendously over-decorated like some places and it is so white, so clinically clean. They do not have a lot of tables, those marble top ones with simple but beautifully-designed chairs, which I feel is a good thing at this point in time. Even if they had a full house, there would still be a lot of spaces in between the tables to swing a cat! There were at least 10 tables that night but it did not feel like there were so many people – otherwise, I would have left and gone some place else.

Of course we HAD to have the crabs and for a change, I ordered the Singapore chili crab (RM120.00)…

Hai Bing Singapore chili crab

…instead of their usual style that everyone here is very familiar with. I asked what their going price for crabs was and the young man said RM120.00. Gosh!!! And I thought what I bought that day at RM80.00 a kg was expensive – and those were huge ones. What we had that night were rather small, nothing much to eat and it certainly did not taste anything like those very nice ones I had way back in 1973 at Bedok or Changi with French baquette to dip into the wonderful gravy to enjoy.

No, we did not have any of those loaves, just golden-fried mantao (RM4.00 for a set of 4)…

Hai Bing Seafood, golden fried mantao

Well, there were 6 of us so I had to request for 2 sets so there would be enough to go round.

According to the guy, this is the chef’s signature dish, his golden beancurd (RM15.00)…

Hai Bing Seafood, golden tofu

…and yes, we all thought it was nice. The tofu was yellowish, not white, inside so my guess was that it was their own-made egg tofu or what people call Japanese tofu. I would say that it was like something you can expect at a classy Chinese restaurant, most likely in a hotel or some Hong Kong franchise – not that great but not entirely all that shabby either.

Their Thai-style Mango three-layer pork (RM20.00)…

Thai-styl mango three-layer pork

…was all right but nowhere near the Thai-style mango chicken here – that one there is definitely a class above this one. Why, this one did not even look half as nice. As a matter of fact, for a place like this, I would expect more effort in their presentation, not the dump-in-the-plate-and-serve impression that I got.

My girl said the salty crusty prawns (RM58.00)…

Hai Bing Seafood salty crusty prawns

…were nice but the rest felt there are a lot of places around town that can do it a whole lot better than this and a whole lot more cheaply too even when they use those huge udang galah (freshwater prawns) like this place here.

We had two vegetable dishes, the baby kai lan, ching chao/fried plain (RM15.00)…

Hai Bing Seafood baby kai lan ching chao

…and the sambal kangkong (RM15.00)…

Hai Bing Seafood sambal kangkong

…both of which I did not get to try as there were so many things to eat but the ladies said they were o.k.

They also loved the zao cai fresh fish soup (RM25.00)…

Hai Bing Seafood zao cai fresh fish soup

…but good grief!!! It was so so so very sour that I had a sip and left the rest in the bowl. My brother-in-law shared the exact same sentiments. I guess guys do not like sour things all that much but honestly, if it was dependent on the preserved vegetables for its sour taste, it would not be so sour, no way! I don’t know what was added to it and personally, I did not think it tasted anything like our traditional Foochow zao cai soup, far from it!

While we were eating, I saw the chef stepping out of the kitchen to have a look at the customers enjoying what he had dished out. He was dressed in his white chef uniform, complete with his tall chef hat. I am quite sure he has all the formal qualifications of a chef to show but I’m afraid I did not think what we had that night, on the whole, was anything to shout about, nothing to get us rushing back for more.

The aforementioned guy, who took our orders, happened to be that same guy at the very nice chicken rice place (they’re all inter-related, one way or another) and he did ask me how the food was and I was very straightforward and honest in my reply, “Much nicer at the old place!” Indeed, what we can get there or at any cheap restaurant or chu char (cook & fry) stall in a coffee shop from the cooks doing all the cooking, not professional qualified chefs, would be a whole lot nicer.

It did not matter that the bill, inclusive of rice and drinks, came up to RM290.00 but I had my hopes up high, hoping that it would be so good as I wanted something really very special to celebrate my girl’s birthday. Unfortunately, what we had kind of dampened our happy mood over those two days but at least we tried and now we know. Maybe we did not know what to order as looking at the photographs on their Facebook page, some of the dishes look really good. Would we take the chance to go back there again to try? Probably not. Once bitten, twice shy!

HAI BING SEAFOOD since 1980 (2.290414, 111.820900) is located at No. 5, Lorong Lau King Howe 1. Tel. No.: 084-311975.

Go out…

We went out for dinner last Sunday evening which was a welcome change from eating at home most of the time and we asked my sister to join us as well.

If I am not wrong, the last time we were here was in February when my niece, the one working in Singapore was home for Chinese New Year and I did drop by too with my West Malaysian blogger-friends when they were in town and as a matter of fact, my girl said we had not been here for quite a while so she would not mind if we went there that day. I suggested going there early, past 5.00 p.m. so if there were others, there would not be so many people around.

Talking about my niece in Singapore, actually, the following day would be her birthday and normally, she would be home every year to celebrate the day with her parents and the rest of us but this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was not able to come home, not for her birthday nor anybody else’s, for that matter.

We had the Thai-style chicken…

Ruby Thai-style chicken

…which was very nice but the salted egg pork…

Ruby salted egg pork

…was a little bit too salty. Probably the eggs used were thus inclined and actually, we do feel we are getting quite bored with salted egg anything. Personally, I think it has served its time.

The hot plate tofu

Ruby tofu

…turned out different from the usual that we are more familiar with, the one with the dark (soy) sauce but it was all right.

The fried cangkok manis with egg…

Ruby cangkok manis

…was good, as always and we enjoyed the hot and sour Szechuan soup…

Ruby Szechuan soup

…too.

I forgot to tell them to cook for 2 or 3 – usually, there would be enough to go round – so the servings were huge, probably for 4, as a result of which we were so very full by the time we managed to finish everything. All in all, the total for the food was RM71.00 which, I thought, wasn’t all that cheap since we had neither fish nor prawn but it was all right – after all, we do not go out all that often anymore these days.

RUBY RESTAURANT  is located at No. 71, Jalan Kampung Nyabor right next to HOME COOK CORNER  (2.292756, 111.825335) with the AmBank Tunku Osman branch in the very next block.

Doing it wrong…

I was in the vicinity the other day and I felt like having their curry puffs

Junction curry puffs

…chicken curry filling with egg…

Junction curry puffs, chicken curry filling with egg

…selling at RM2.00 each but if you buy 5, you will get one free and that was what I did! Unfortunately, there were only 4 left in the warmer cabinet but the girl said that the fresh ones would be out in around 10 minutes. That was fine by me so I told her I would wait.

We have had their curry puffs a couple of times before and yes, we rather enjoyed them. They are deep-fried though – thankfully, they are not oily – and personally, I do prefer the oven-baked ones.

In the meantime, I wandered around the area and went to the coffee shop a stone’s throw away. While I was there, this photo display…

Jiali Cafe or chian stall

…caught my attention – now that’s the Kuching version of the or chian or oyster omelette that some call the Kuching pizza…

Kuching or chain/oyster omelette

The omelette part is thin and crispy – the texture is something like that of the rempeyek and the oysters are all in the middle. I do enjoy that but I did not want to buy that to bring home to eat. I am sure it will not be crispy anymore and will not be as nice.

In the end, I asked the lady for the or chian that everyone in the peninsula would be more familiar with and she started working on it right away. First, she started frying the egg, beaten and with a whole lot of chopped spring onion added…

Fry the egg

After the egg had cooked, she started breaking it up into smaller bits and pieces and I was wondering why she did not scramble the egg earlier – it certainly would be a lot easier to get it the way she wanted it.

After that, she added the oysters…

Add oysters

…and after cooking everything together for a bit, it was done!

Wait a minute! Where was the cornstarch or whatever solution? That would give that gluey bit to the or chian. Obviously, she was doing it all wrong. It was just a regular omelette with oysters added (RM15.00)…

Jiali or chian/oyster omelette

and even though I would say it was nice – well, I do enjoy omelettes, any which way they cook it – for or chian the way everyone knows it, I would go back here instead – they do it the way it should be done, the right way and is a little cheaper and it tasted really good too.

JIALI CAFE (2.292140, 111.841524) is located among the shops behind Medan Mall, Jalan Wong King Huo, a few doors away to the right of JUNCTION CAFE,  facing the road leading to the Medan Hotel there.