Sooner or later…

My niece, my brother-in-law’s daughter, the one working in Singapore, flew home last weekend to celebrate her mum’s 65th birthday…

Cake by Marcus

…a bit earlier as she would not be able to make it this coming weekend which would be a day after the actual date of her birthday. No, we do not prescribe by that Chinese superstition whereby birthdays should be celebrated sooner/earlier and not later. We will just have it at any time convenient, no worries!

They asked us to join them here…

Fat Mum Coffee Shop

…and yes, they still have all the quaint decor at the shop. I was intrigued by this tapestry of a tree with a bird’s nest on a branch and some eggs in it. I thought that was nice…

Fat Mum tapestry

The hot and sour Szechuan soup…

Fat Mum hot & sour Szechuan soup

…was neither hot nor sour but I thought it was rather nice and had more than two servings of that.

I did not like the freshwater prawns…

Fat Mum prawns

…before and I did not think it was that great that night as well. Somehow, it was not succulent and sweet and was somewhat bland.

I wouldn’t say the midin (wild jungle fern)…

Fat Mum midin

…was great either – we can find a lot others in town that are much more to my liking. I think it was the quality of the belacan (dried prawn paste) used.

The cangkuk manis fried with egg…

Fat Mum cangkuk manis with egg

…was very good though and so was the sweet and sour fish fillet…

Fat Mum sweet and sour fish fillet

…and we all enjoyed their claypot pork belly with salted fish and dried chili…

Fat Mum claypot pork belly with salted fish & dried chili

All in all, it was a lovely dinner, RM100 for the food for 6 people…and more than anything else, it was always nice to get together and enjoy the company and catch up with things going on in one another’s lives.

FAT MUM COFFEE SHOP (2.283558, 111.833350) is located along Jalan Lanang, back to back with the Kingwood Hotel multi-storey car park in the same block of shops as Payung Cafe, to the right at the other end of that block.

Loved you first…

This…

Nur Islamic Cafe

…was probably the first place, or one of the two at least, in Sibu where one could get to eat nasi bryani and yes, I did blog about it time and time again like here for instance and this was the other place at the time but it has since closed down and has now relocated to this place in town.

I remember when my girl attained straight A’s in her UPSR, I ordered over 100 packs from this shop to give my colleagues in my former school a treat at the time and that was way back in 2001, if I am not wrong.

Well, we happened to drop by again the other day and it looked like the prices had increased a bit…

Nur Islamic menu

…but RM12.00 for their mutton bryani ain’t too bad, considering that some places are charging RM15.00 for that.

My missus had the chicken (RM9.00)…

Chicken

…and I must say that they were very generous with the curry gravy and there was this nice-looking acar timun (cucumber pickle)…

Acar timun

…and the dhal dip by the side as well.

Dhal dip

I had the mutton (RM12.00)…

Nur Islamic mutton bryani

…of course and no, there wasn’t all that much meat…

Kari kambing

…but I reckoned that was enough and no, they did not use the long-grained rice…

Bryani rice

…that some elsewhere are using for their bryani rice but that was fine by me.

On the whole, I thought it was still as nice as before and I sure would not mind dropping by again…provided I could find a place to park the car – this is another one of those places in town where parking can be such a pain.

NUR ISLAMIC CAFE (2.292183, 111.825945) is located along Jalan Kampung Nyabor in the Tuanku Osman area of shops, right beside the Academy Book Centre, Sibu, across the road from the RH Hotel.

How lucky…

My girl was home for three nights this week as she had to attend a two-day course here. We had to go and get her on Monday, after school, and we had dinner at home that night and the next. On the third night, we decided to stop by here for some western dishes.

I remember we thought the chicken chop (RM9.50)…

Colourful Cafe chicken chop 1

…was the best of the lot and the ladies ordered that…

Colourful Cafe chicken chop 2

…and yes, they did enjoy it very much – it was still as good as ever.

I asked for the lamb chop (RM14.50)…

Colourful Cafe lamb chop

…so at least I would have something else to blog about. I do recall it was quite good, nicer than the beef but not as nice as the chicken, and true enough, it was somewhat thin and I am not really a fan of black pepper sauce even though it was kind of mild and not straight from the bottle.

We had just about finished our dinner when the lady brought this…

Colourful Cafe wat tan hor 1

…to our table and told us, “老闆邀請你們吃!” My! My! It sure was our lucky night!

This was a special treat from the boss himself, this big plate of wat tan hor/yin yong kway teow/bihun

Colourful Cafe wat tan hor 2

– fried flat rice noodles and rice vermicelli, Cantonese style. The guy being originally from KL, probably Cantonese himself, for sure you can’t get anything more authentic than that here and yes, he could do it so very well even though there were just some fish slices and thinly sliced bitter gourd in it…

Colourful Cafe wat tan hor 3

…plus the lovely egg sauce/gravy. It could definitely beat all that we have had here hands down but unfortunately, the guy said that he would not add it to his existing menu as it would entail a little bit more work as he would have to fry the noodles first and then cook the egg sauce/gravy to pour all over it.

We sure enjoyed it to the max and went back home happily that night!

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

More and more each day…

Last Saturday, my girl said that she wanted Sarawak laksa for lunch so of course, we headed for the one here (RM5.50)…

Thomson Corner Sarawak laksa 1

…our favourite in town, one that we feel is like the authentic ones in Kuching unlike some around town that are very popular too but we feel that they are actually not quite there. Don’t get me wrong though! I am not saying that they are not nice – in fact, they are, just that they are not quite the same.

Yes, as always, we enjoyed the one here very much…

Thomson Corner Sarawak laksa 2

…and rest assured that if it is Sarawak laksa that we want, we would always come back here.

We wanted the sotong kangkong too but the girl said they had no place to cook it, whatever that was supposed to mean. Maybe all the stations were occupied, used to cook all the other things on the menu so we decided to cancel our order in the end. We saw on the notice…

50 sen more

…that it has gone up in price – by 50 sen and the rojak as well. Well, I guess that’s the way it is with most everything around here, getting more and more expensive each day. Sigh!!!

I decided to order their chendol coconut special (RM6.50)…

Thomson Corner chendol coconut special

the last time I had it was in 2008! It is actually a combination of cendol angtao and bubur cacar served in a coconut so besides the cendol and the ang tao (red beans), you will get some sweet potatoes…

Cendol ang tao & sweet potatoes

…and yam…

Yam & sago pearls

…and sago pearls too.

Yes, it was very nice but there was so much in that one coconut. I think it would be good for someone dropping by just for a refreshing drink but if one is having something else too, that may be quite a bit too much to handle.

My missus did not want the laksa and asked for the pian sip (meat dumplings), dry (RM3.20)…

Thomson Corner pian sip

The ones here used to be my favourite in town but for some reason or other, they took it off their menu. Now it is back again and I did have it once, if I remember correctly, but I was no longer all that impressed anymore.

SIBU THOMSON CORNER (2.296517, 111.840710) is located at Pusat Tanahwang, opposite Sacred Heart Secondary School, Oya Road or you can go to their other outlet on the 1st floor of the Medan Mall, Jalan Wong King Huo.

Black dog…

This place…

Dragon Door 2

…opened its doors in June, I was told but that was the time when I was caught up with all the things going on at home so I was unaware of it.

Then, the other day, I was invited to LIKE their Facebook page and so I did and soon after, I received a message from my friend inviting me to drop by to give the place a try and to let him know when I would be going so he could make the arrangements.

Well, I decided to drop by last week and I went looking around and taking photographs of the place. They are occupying two shop lots on opposite ends of two blocks of shops so they have the advantage of using the open area in between as well – there is a shade/roof over that part and it is nice and cool with the breeze blowing through from the front or the back depending on the time of day.

There is a bak kut teh stall…

Dragon Door bak kut teh stall

…in the shop on the left and another stall that was already closed when I was there. I saw a photograph of kueh chap there and I was told that their longevity noodles (Foochow mee sua) would be the one thing one should try. However, one would have to go there early as by around 10 or 11, it would all be sold out and the people would just close shop for the day. In the shop on the right…

Dragon Door 2

…there is a kampua mee stall (priced at RM2.80 a bowl) and this chu char (cook & fry) place…

Dragon Door chu char stall

…at the back. I was told that this guy is the brother of the one at Sibu Town in the Wonderful Supermarket area at Ulu Sg Merah.

A young boy came to take our orders and he gave us the very nice and impressive menu…

Dragon Door menu

…which, unfortunately, was completely in Mandarin…

Dragin Door menu, inside

…so that was Greek to me!

It sure did not help one bit that the boy was mono-lingual but we did manage to ask him to recommend some of their signature dishes. He suggested their 黑狗排骨/Hēi gǒu páigǔ which literally means black dog ribs! My missus was aghast and kept telling the boy that we would not eat any dog meat and the boy kept telling her it was not! I thought that was hilarious!!! What she did not know was that “black dog” or or kaw in Hokkien is the Chinese name for Guinness stout.

Yes, we did order that in the end (RM12.00, small)…

Guiness Stout spare ribs

…and yes, it was very nice.

My missus liked our other order more, the fried ang chao pork (RM12.00)…

Deep fried ang chao pork

…and yes, I would say it was good too, not too strong on the ang chao (red wine lees/hong zao jiang/紅糟醬) so I liked it more than the one we had here.

Their Four Heavenly Kings (RM8.00, small)…

Dragon Door Four Heavenly Kings

…was different from other places where they would fry it with sambal hay bee/dried prawns.

Here, they cook this dish with canned stewed pork…

Dragon Door Four Heavenly Kings, canned stewed pork

…and that reminded me of the time when I was teaching in Kanowit in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I did not have a refrigerator then so I would use the meat in cans as an ingredient to cook vegetables. I would have liked the way they did it here if they had not added cornflour which gave the sauce/gravy a somewhat starchy texture.

Well, my attempt to go in and out of the place unnoticed was not at all successful as my friend showed up right after we had struggled to place our orders…and he insisted on picking up the tab! He is running the coffee shop business here, he says. Thank you so much, Philip, for the treat and here’s wishing you every success and all the best in your venture…and incidentally, should anyone decide to drop by and try the food here, be forewarned that the servings are huge even though we ordered all the small ones – enough for 3 or 4 people, at least and there were only the two of us so of course, we ended up tapao-ing the leftovers home.

We certainly would want to go back again sometime as I would love to try their salt-baked tilapia. I bet I will enjoy that very much!

DRAGON DOOR (2.279520, 111.839882) is located along Jalan Aman, among the shops on your left if your are coming in from Jalan Wong King Huo or on your right if you are coming from Lanang Road.

On our way…

We were on our way home that day when we decided to stop by here…

Mei Le Cafe chu char stall
*Archive photo*

…for lunch. It had been a while since we ordered dishes from the chu char place at the back to eat with rice, not since December 2015, if I remember correctly.

We had the salted fish pork belly (RM10.00)…

Mei Le Cafe salted fish pork belly 1

…with dried chili and though it did not seem to have any hint of salted fish in it, it sure made up for it with its overall taste and yes, it tasted really good…

Mei Le Cafe salted fish pork belly 2

…and my missus and I enjoyed it till the very last drop!

The sweet potato leaves, ching chao (RM8.00)…

Mei Le Cafe sweet potato leaves

…was very nice too but if I had known that their servings would be this huge, I would have stopped there as these two dishes, with rice, would be more than enough for the two of us.

I went and ordered their salad sotong (RM10.00)…

Mei Le Cafe salad sotong

…as well but we did not really enjoy it. I would not know if it was the batter or the mayo or perhaps, the oil used in the deep frying but my missus and I were kind of put off by a certain smell/taste in the dish. We certainly would not order it again – perhaps the sotong would be great if cooked in that same way as the pork belly above. I will try and ask if they could do it like that the next time we drop by.

Yes, we certainly wouldn’t mind stopping by here again for lunch or dinner but I do know for a fact that this place can be get very crowded and one would find it difficult to get a table. That, of course, comes as no surprise as the food is good and so very cheap – the total for the three dishes we had came up to only RM28.00 and the servings were so very generous, enough for at least 3 or 4 people, I must say.

MEI LE CAFE (2.313147, 111.846968) is located along Jalan Gambir, a stone’s throw away from the Delta Mall, on your left as soon as you turn into that road from Jalan Pedada.

Tell me…

Pray, do tell me what the name means…

Hao Ke Lai Cafe & Rest

…for all I know is hao means good and lai means come and somebody told me that ke means guest or customer so the literal translation of the name in Mandarin would be good customer come. Well, if it actually means something else, then I stand corrected.

This coffee shop has been around for a long long time and business has always been very good. The fact that it is located beside one of the private medical centres in town and in the vicinity of all the doctors’ private clinics sure helps a great deal in bringing in the crowd, I guess but yes, there are some who would drop by here for the sole purpose of looking for something to eat, not that they are visiting anybody or need some medical attention.

I had the kampua noodles from this stall…

Hao Ke Lai Cafe & Rest Noal's Noodle

…in this coffee shop once and yes, it was good.

However, the other day, I decided to try something else and ordered the pork rib noodles (RM6.50)…

Noal's Noodle pork rib noodles 1

The dish comprised some stewed pork ribs served with mee pok (the flat noodles)…

Noal's Noodle prok rib noodles 2

…tossed in the sauce or gravy from the stew.

That sure looked like a whole lot of meat on top but upon eating, I found that some of them were in fact pieces of  tauhu pok (tofu puffs). Nonetheless, I thought it was nice, a welcome change from the usual stuff, and I rather enjoyed it…

Noal's Noodle pork rib noodles 3

…but for RM6.50 a bowl, I guess I would not be in a hurry to come back for more of the same. Perhaps I will try something else on their menu instead.

HAO KE LAI CAFE & REST (2.292095, 111.836698) is located along Lorong Mahsuri 1B, off Jalan Pedada, in the block of shops to the left of the Rejang Medical Centre, main building.