Two years…

They were here before, my cousins from Kuching, almost two years ago in July, 2016 but I could not be with them that time around as it was on a Sunday and I had to send my girl to her school in the jungle. Luckily, she is still on her extended mid-year break for the Gawai Festival and Hari Raya Aidilfitri so all of us could drop by the place that day to enjoy a sumptuous lunch of Thai delights together.

We had the phad Thai, large (RM31.90)…

Flavours Thai Kitchen phad Thai

…and the yum woon sen or seafood glass noodles salad (RM26.50)…

Flavours Thai Kitchen yum woon sen

They actually had this the previous time but they could not remember much else other than the very nice chicken rice that they had then.

For our vegetable dishes, I ordered our favourite bitter gourd omelette (RM17.50)…

Flavours Thai Kitchen bitter gourd omelette

…and their fried cangkok manis with egg (RM15.50)…

Flavours Thai Kitchen fried cangkok manis with egg

…that I thought they did really well the last time I had it here.

That day, I also enjoyed the pla sa moon prai, their deep fried barramundi, filleted (RM78.00)…

Flavours Thai Kitchen pla sa moon prai

…that my good friend, Robert, would always order everytime so I also asked for that for all of us to enjoy and yes, we all loved it, right down to the stuff used in its garnishing and presentation.

They all said they would prefer the seafood tom yum soup, creamy (RM90.00)…

Flavours Thai Kitchen creamy tom yam soup

…so that was what we had and they loved it to bits! One of my cousins added the glass noodles from the salad dish to the soup and had them together and she loved it to the max.

My cousins and our mutual friend, also from Kuching, insisted on picking up the tab and the total came up to RM259.40 for the 8 of us altogether. Actually, one of my cousins has two children and their families residing in Australia so I guess a lavish lunch like this one that we had for around AUD85.00, a little more than AUD10.00 per head, would seem mighty reasonable compared to what they can get over there…plus the last time, they were here were two years ago but most importantly, we did enjoy the food a lot and needless to say, the company as well.

FLAVOURS THAI KITCHEN is located on the ground floor of the ORCHID HOTEL, along Brooke Drive at its junction with Jalan Tunku Osman. You can use its main entrance at the back of the hotel building (facing Brooke Drive) or go through the lobby past the reception desk if you are using its hotel entrance.

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New found love…

First and foremost, allow me to extend my greetings on this very special and auspicious occasion to my dear and loved ones in the family and also to all my friends…

Hari Raya 2018

Tangan dihulur, maaf dipinta
Erat hubungan sesama kita
Semoga gembira di hari yang mulia ini
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Maaf zahir dan batin.

Earlier this week, Monday, the 11th of June was the 100th Day of my dear mum’s demise and this coming Sunday is Father’s Day so other than the prayers together with our relatives and friends at the house that night, that morning, we made our way to the memorial park…

Nirvana

…bringing flowers and to offer some prayers…

100th Day/Father's Day 2018

…before we made our way back to town.

We stopped by some place for brunch before sending my sis home and then we went to pick my cousins from Kuching at their hotel. It was near lunchtime by then and they wanted to go to the must-go not-to-be-missed place here so we took them there and we just had a bit as we were already quite full after the brunch we had earlier.

They wanted their favourite here, the belimbing prawns (RM17.00)…

Payung Cafe belimbing prawns

…and Peter, the boss, was so very nice as always and went out of his way to cook specially for us this huge serving! The people at the next table saw it and said they wanted that too but of course, their serving was very much smaller. I told Peter that if they complained, he could tell them that we ordered a double/triple. LOL!!!

They also wanted the otak-otak (RM13.00, with rice)…

Payung Cafe otak-otak

…that they liked a lot and the jelly pisang (RM9.00)…

Payung Cafe jelly pisang

…which they served in a bowl so that it would be a lot easier to stir and mix everything together compared to having it in a tall glass.

I suggested ordering the Payung fish (RM15.00, with rice)

Payung fish 1

…the ikan keli (catfish) cooked in soy sauce with a bit of taucheo (fermented beans), garlic, ginger and lots of serai (lemon grass)…and chili too. Initially, they were somewhat reluctant for fear of being disappointed as we used to cook this ourselves at home and like how we would go to some nyonya restaurants and order dishes we can cook ourselves, we end up feeling shortchanged in the end.

In the end, they agreed so we had that…

Payung Fish 2
*cousin’s photo on Facebook*

…and it sure bowled them over – it was so very good and they enjoyed it to the max, finishing all the fish and the sauce leaving behind only the stalks of serai and what have you. That sure was a new found love at the very first bite and I am pretty sure that the next time they come here, they would want to have 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.

Do you remember the first time…

One of my cousins from Kuching never liked bitter gourd before until the first time she tasted the one here and since then, every time she came to Sibu, she would make it a point to stop by the restaurant for the dish – their bitter gourd fried with salted egg…

Ruby Restaurant bitter gourd with salted egg

…and also the very very nice kopi-o-peng (iced coffee, black) here.

They contacted me on Sunday and asked us to join them for lunch there so there we were, nine of us altogether. I did ask for smaller servings but every order that came out looked so big like there was enough to feed an army.

Other than the aforementioned dish, we also had their salted egg spare ribs…

Ruby Restaurant salted egg spare ribs

– I had that before, twice, I think, but this time around, it was simply out of this world – so very generous with the salted egg yolk and the taste sure swept everyone off their feet.

We had another vegetable dish, the sweet potato leaves ching-chao (fried plain)…

Ruby Restaurant sweet potato leaves

…and everyone was amazed by how tender it was and was wondering if it was some other vegetable, bayam perhaps. In the end, they confirmed with the boss and indeed, it was sweet potato leaves – they said that the ones they had in Kuching were probably too old and were not as nice.

This has been my favourite ever since the first time I stumbled upon this place and yes, it won the hearts of all that I brought here for lunch or dinner over the years – their butter scotch prawns…

Ruby Restaurant butter schotch prawn balls

…and that day was no exception.

The Thai mango chicken…

Thai mango chicken

…was a hit as well and to wash it all down, we had the sea cucumber soup.

Everyone enjoyed the lunch very much and the bill for the 6 dishes came up to RM105.00 for the food.  I guess that was pretty reasonable considering that we had prawns and pork is not exactly cheap these days…and there was sea cucumber in the soup too, just that I did not think I came across any in the bowl that I had.

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.

Not for you…

My girl enjoys lamb very much and after the very nice roast rack of lamb that I took her to eat that night for dinner, I was thinking of going here

Le Cafe

…for the very nice lamb shank. I was very sure she would like that! And if anyone is wondering what the chef looks like, there is a photo of him…

Le Cafe Chef Ting

…at the back of the menu. LOL!!!

We went there for lunch the other day and the young girl who took our orders suggested something new on their menu, some Hong Kong pork chop rice (RM16.90)…

Le Cafe Hong Kong pork rice 1

…or whatever and in the end, my missus decided to give it a try.

She did not think it was anything great…

Le Cafe Hong Kong pork rice 2

…and yes, I did try a bit of the meat too and it came across to me like the soy sauce and ginger and Bombay onion pork or chicken she would cook time and time again at home…and since it probably had soy sauce in it, it was not something for my girl to have as it would not be gluten free. Otherwise, she would have loved to order their very nice claypot chicken rice but that too would have soy sauce in it so that would be another thing on the menu not for her as well. Sigh!!!

My girl and I shared the lamb shank (RM33.90)…

Le Cafe lamb shank 1

…as I had intended – it would be too huge for her to handle on her own.

We also ordered the mashed potatoes (RM6.90)…

Le Cafe mashed potatoes

…even though we did know that the meat would be served on a bed of that – we just felt we wouldn’t mind a little more and yes, it was very nice and had a sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top.

Other than that, I asked for their coleslaw (RM5.60)…

Le Cafe coleslaw

…which was good too though I would not say it was the best in town.

As for the lamb shank, it was so good…

Le Cafe lamb shank 2

…fall-off-the-bone tender and we really enjoyed it to the max.

We sure would love to come back for that again but I saw on their Facebook page that they also have crispy pata, aka Philippine pork leg (RM50.00). Perhaps the next time we drop by here, I should give theirs a try to see if it is any good.

LE CAFE(2.299452,111.830832) is located along Brooke Drive at the Brooke Business Centre, on your left if you are driving from town, in that block of shops past Jalan Kumpang after you have gone past the building where the Sheraton Restaurant is.

I’m still good…

We have been going out quite a bit in the morning, spending quality time together now that my girl is home for the long mid-year break, and we will have our lunch outside before heading back to the house. Dinner is usually at home especially now that lately, it has been raining mid-afternoon right through the evening. Pity the people at the pasar malam (night market) and the Ramadan bazaars – I am sure their business will be adversely affected to some extent.

We have not been here for quite a while for no particular reason whatsoever – we just didn’t but that day, we decided to drop by as it was one of the places along the way where we do enjoy what they have on their menu, most of the time, at least. They have a lot of new things – some Japanese delights but we did not feel like giving them a try. At this point in time, there is this promotion – you buy two of their crispy chicken (2 pieces) rice and you can get one free but I guess that is not gluten-free as the crispy chicken would be coated with batter and deep-fried.

My girl stuck to her smoked chicken rice, drumstick (RM5.50)…

Warung BM smoked chicken rice, drumstick

…and it was so good we could detect the fragrance of the rice the moment it was served. The typical chicken rice chili dip was really good too that day – extra spicy.

My missus wanted the mee mamak but I said she had that before and it was not that great (but looking through my old post on it, I found out that it was actually quite good) so she went back to her favourite here – the ayam penyet rice (RM9.80)…

Warung BM ayam penyet rice

…and she was praising the chicken to the skies – so well-fried, crispy on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside, a lot nicer than the ones here, she said.

I had their ais kacang/iced red bean (RM3.00)…

Warung BM ais kacang

…before and it was very good the first time, disappointing the 2nd time…and this time around, I would just say it was so-so. I wish they had added more santan/evaporated milk and gula Melaka (palm sugar) instead of the rose syrup which I am not a fan of. Thankfully, they did not add a lot so it was not all that strong.

This was one of the new things that they have, the nasi lemak beef rendang (RM8.50)…

Warung BM nasi lemak beef rendang 1

…and that was what I had that day. My missus said she had the nasi lemak before and it was not anything she would want to have again and I could see why. The rice did not have any of the much-coveted fragrance and taste of santan but thankfully, the rendang was really good and the spicy sambal

Warung BM nasi lemak sambal

…too, if only they had been a bit more generous with it. I wonder if I can request for more – they do oblige at some places but you will have to pay for it, around 50 sen or RM1.00.

Despite the rice being most disappointing, I did enjoy my order as a whole…

Warung BM nasi lemak beef rendang 2

…and I sure would not mind going for it again the next time we stop by here.

WARUNG BM (2.293317, 111.841781) is located right beside Medan Mall, among the shops to the right at No. 2, Ground Floor, Lorong Wong King Huo 1D. 

Got my attention…

When we went to the restaurant two doors away for dinner that evening, this signboard…

Daksemari signboard

…at the Korean place got our attention.

No, I don’t think we will want to order this…

Korean army base hotpot

…seeing that the egg noodles in it would render it non-gluten free. We are not too sure if there is anything in this one…

Korean beef stew

…but this one is definitely a no-no too…

Korean seafood hotpot

…as there are noodles in it as well. We did not notice this…

Like & share for free ice cream

…that day but when we were there for lunch that afternoon…

OPEN

…the girl brought it to our attention. Well, we were not all than keen on the ice cream so we did not bother about it.

Probably we could ask them to leave out the noodles but in the end, we did not feel like having any of the above as the servings looked so huge – a lot more than what the three of us could handle and we were not all that keen on such a heavy lunch. Besides, my girl wanted the beef dolsot bibimbap

Daksemari beef dolsot bibimbap 1

…so of course, we had to order that when we dropped by that day.

These were complimentary…

On the house

…and I did like the fish cake while the peanuts and the seaweed did not quite tickle my fancy and of course, I did not touch the kim chi

Kim chi

…which was also on the house.

My girl wanted their Korean spicy yangnyeom fried chicken and the seafood omelette but the girl said that they got the pre-mixed ingredients from Korea and they either have wheat in them or they were not so sure so she would not recommend ordering the two.

We ordered the grilled pork belly…

Grilled pork belly 1

…which came with cabbage for wrapping the meat and the raw garlic and whatever that black thing was – it did taste a bit of tau cheo (fermented beans).

Since we were not having the barbecue (nor the steamboat), it was done for us in the kitchen…

Grilled pork belly 2

…and yes, it was very good. I sure enjoyed that.

My girl enjoyed the beef dolsot bibimbap

Daksemari beel dolsot bibimbap 2

…very much and so did my missus. I thought it was all right and that’s saying a lot for someone not into anything and everything Korean.

Service was good and everybody was nice and friendly. The bill came up to over RM49.00 so I gave the girl a RM50 note and of course, I just asked her to keep the change. All in all, it was a delightful lunch and we sure would not mind dropping by again.

DAKSEMARI KOREAN BBQ (2.287332, 111.826574) is located at No. 8, Jalan Chew Geok Lin (formerly Old Street) that leads straight to the Tua Pek Kong 7-storey Pagoda Temple.

Nothing changes around here…

I wanted to take my girl here

Fisherman Restaurant

…for dinner that night to give her a really special treat but we were too early, even after our stroll around the pasar malam (night market) round the corner but that did not deter us from our plan so we just loitered around outside and waited for it to open…

Business hours

…and it finally did, for reasons unknown, a little bit after 6.00 p.m.

It is located along what used to be called Old Street (My father had his shop at No. 8)…

Old Street

…now renamed Jalan Chew Geok Lin, and yes, the restaurant is as old as its sign – nothing much has changed since the last time I was here and I am glad to say that it is the same with the food they serve too. I do enjoy some of their dishes here and I would not mind the higher-than-most prices even but parking in the area is such a pain so I usually do not bother coming here and that is why I have not been here for some years now.

Yes, we were served the keropok (fish crackers) – that is their usual practice here and no, it is not complimentary. You will find it charged to your bill eventually…but no, we did not mind that one bit. We never did! But this time around, we asked them to take it back as we were unsure as to whether any wheat flour was used in the making, rendering it not gluten-free…and yes, they were willing to do that, no problem whatsoever at all.

We ordered their very nice paku (wild jungle fern) with santan (coconut milk)…

Paku with santan

…and I dare say nobody does it better! It not only tastes good, it looks really good too, so much so that somebody saw it fitting to use the photograph from this old post of mine in her article here – without giving any credit whatsoever and it was only until I went and made noise that they linked my photos to my blog. Sadly, the story did not end there – others helped themselves to the photographs and they even cropped them to get rid of the credit given to my blog at the bottom to share on their Facebook pages. Sigh!!! Where is the decency and integrity, I wonder?

Anyway, back to the food, yes, this dish was very nice as always and we also ordered their midin (another variety of our local wild jungle fern) fried with belacan (dried prawn paste) as well but they had run out of it so we had it replaced with kangkong (water spinach)…

Kangkong belacan

…instead. I would be quite reluctant to order anything with belacan elsewhere as I would not be sure that they would use the best quality ones from Bintulu and what they dish out in the end may have a not-so-pleasant smell and taste. Of course we did not encounter any problem here and yes, we really enjoyed the greens very much.

We also had the lokan (clams), one each…

Lokan

…stuffed with meat filling…

Lokan, meat filling

…and deep fried and yes, they were good too.

However, the main reason why I wanted to bring my daughter here for dinner was because I wanted her to enjoy their roast rack of lamb served with mint sauce and some garlic and ginger dip…

Mint sauce & garlic ginger dip

…and my girl enjoyed it to the max. It sure looked like they had worked on improving their presentation…

Fisherman rack of lamb

…too but no, it did not come cheap – I had to fork out RM50.00 for the three thick slabs but one thing I must say is that I am pleased that that was exactly the same price I paid way back in 2014 for two much bigger slabs of the meat and after all these years, it was as good as it was then.

The total for the dinner did not come up to RM80.00 and I definitely would say it was well worth it. I sure would not mind coming back here again and perhaps next time, I could call a Grab car so I would not need to worry about looking for a place to park my car.

FISHERMAN RESTAURANT (2.287413, 111.826648), telephone no. 084-316888, is located at No 4, Jalan Chew Geok Lin, the road that leads straight to the Chinese temple in the Sibu town centre with the seven-storey pagoda.