You gotta go…

You gotta go and try the Foochow fried noodles here…

Chu Lai Cafe

…they told me. Obviously they liked it a lot and felt it would be worth my while.

It is located right across the road from the old Sibu mosque…

Old Sibu mosque

…that is undergoing massive restoration works at this point in time. Some may recall that a photograph of this coffee shop was in the news at one time like it was the epitome of the racial harmony between the races here, quite unlike in some other parts of the country.

I would never have dropped by if I had not been urged by my friends as parking around here would be a pain especially when there is that forever-crowded bank at the other end of the block. Often I would see cars lining the side of the street, illegally parked, so of course, it would be virtually impossible to find a parking space around there.

Well, I was early last Saturday morning and it was raining as a result of which, business was slow…

Chu Lai Cafe, inside

…plus it was the weekend, not a working day so there were ample parking spaces all around.

There is a Malay/Muslim stall…

Chu Lai Cafe Malay/Muslim stall

…in front and it looked like it had its following for while I was there, I saw customers dropping by for the nasi biryani with curry chicken (and pickles by the side), RM6.50, available only on Saturdays. Good grief! Somehow or other, you would not see me having that or chicken rice at 8 o’ clock in the morning even though I would go for nasi lemak for breakfast once in a while.

No, I did not order the A Mo coffee…

Chu Lai Cafe A mo coffee

Literally translated, A Mo or ang mo, to be exact, means red hair, a local reference to westerners or Caucasians so that probably was their version of the kind of coffee one would get at those celebrated coffee places at at least four times the price. The one with ice is RM3.00 a glass.

I happily had my local coffee, black and extra strong with ice (RM1.80)…

Chu Lai Cafe kopi-o-peng

…and yes, they did it pretty well and it was very much to my liking.

I had the Foochow fried noodles special (RM8.00)…

Chu Lai Cafe Foochow fried noodles special 1

…and yes, it was good, loaded with a whole lot of ingredients…

Chu Lai Cafe Foochow fried noodles 2

…and if you’re from out of town and you are staying at the hotel around 100 metres away from this coffee shop, this would be a good place to drop by for this authentic Foochow dish – not everybody does it well, that much I can tell you but for me, at that price especially, I would much sooner go for this cheaper and to me, nicer moon version round the corner from my house and other than its very much closer location away from the congestion in the town centre, parking is a breeze there plus it is free!

CHU LAI CAFE (2.292279, 111.824598) is located along Jalan Kamoung Nyabor beside/behind the WTK Building directly across the road from the old Sibu mosque and two blocks of shops away, within walking distance, from the RH Hotel.

Break it to me gently…

I did say in an earlier post that I would drop by here…

Kiong Chuong Cafe

…again to check out the kampua mee stall…

Kiong Chuong Cafe kampua mee stall

…now run by a young guy, unlike before. It looks like the shop has a new sign now, no longer the old worn-out and faded one that they had before.

I ordered the dumpling soup (RM5.00)…

Kiong Chuong Cafe dumpling soup

…which turned out to be very much to my liking. I loved the very nice clear soup, no msg overload and I enjoyed the dumplings too which is actually saying a lot for someone who is not into those  睡觉 (shuijiao) or jiaozi (餃子) or whatever they are called.

I shared the photograph on Facebook and somebody instantly made a curt comment, “Too much meat!” Honestly, I really wonder why people want to do things like that – I see friends sharing photographs of food that do not appeal to me but I will never go and shoot them down like that. Usually I will not comment or I may just LIKE the photograph to give them a bit of encouragement especially if it is something they cooked themselves. Like what the old folks used to say, “If you have nothing nice to say, then it is time to keep quiet!”

I wonder what she meant by there being too much meat…

meat dumpling inside

Perhaps she did not even bother to look at the photograph properly and thought it was a bowl of piansip in which case there should not be too much meat as it is quintessentially a noodle dish to be enjoyed mainly for the skin but if she had taken a little bit of time to just look carefully, she would have realised that this was not piansip.

I enjoyed the dumplings with the Thai chili sauce that came with it…

Thai chili sauce

…and I would give the guy top marks for not using plastic or melamine plates and bowls, a practice that ought to be stopped at a lot of places around here as that may be hazardous to health. The chives lacked the much coveted fragrance though – it seems to be a problem these days whereby chives are not fragrant and quite tasteless, bitter gourd is not bitter, terung Dayak is not sour and chili is not spicy.

I also ordered a bowl of kampua mee, kosong (RM2.00)…

Kiong Chuong Cafe kampua mee kosong

…to go with the dumpling soup and here’s another bonus mark for the boy. Not only does he not use those horrible factory-produced fried shallots with the unpleasant smell, sold at the shops and supermarkets (they do that a lot at the Malay shops and stalls) but obviously, he slices them thinly manually, never mind that it can be quite tedious and time-consuming – many use a food processor these days so you will see unsightly bits of fried shallots all over your bowl of noodles, nothing like these whole slices in the one here. However, the mee was just so so – I could not detect any fragrance and taste of lard in it but it was all right and with the added chili sauce, I did enjoy it.

Going back to what I was ranting about, some people are really so full of themselves and more often than not, it is not what they say but how they say it. I just cannot understand why they cannot try and put their opinions across gently and in a much nicer way. Somehow or other, they do not seem to realise that they actually come across as snooty, high and mighty and somewhat offensive, not very pleasant at all and if I may quote this line from a favourite poem of mine, “Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit,” (Desiderata) so I just unfriended her – goodbye, bad rubbish. I do not need the likes of those lurking around my Facebook page just to find fault in everything I share and shoot me down, thank you very much. With friends like those, who needs enemies? Goodbye.

SYARIKAT KIONG CHUONG CAFE (2.291062, 111.827381) is located along Jalan Kampung Nyabor at the bend where one turns left or right when coming from Brooke Drive, a stone’s throw from Malaysia Hotel in the next block.

Same thing all over…

…again, or almost, that is!

We were in the vicinity that day so we dropped by here again for lunch. I did try the kampua mee and the liver soup from the stall here but out of the blue, for reasons unknown, the lady decided to call it quits. The corner was vacant for quite some time until a young guy took over…

Kiong Chuong kampua stall

All this while, I’ve been wanting to drop by and try but so far, I have not got round to doing that and when I do, one thing’s for sure, I will not be ordering this, No. 22…

Mee spicy Korea

…not even if the price had been a lot cheaper, thank you very much!

In the meantime, we had been here a few times because we did enjoy the food from the chu char (cook and fry) stall there very much and because we had to stick to what would be gluten free, we would order the same things all over again, more or less each time we were there.

That day was no exception, of course, and we had the fried or chio/ikan bawal hitam (black pomfret)…

Kiong Chuong fried or chio

…which I thought was not all that fresh that day but the ladies did not complain and we did finish it completely all the same.

Yes, we had the siew yoke (roast pork)…

Kiong Chuong siew yoke

…again and the steamed Szechuan vegetable pork leg soup…

Kiong Chuong Szechuan vegetable pork leg soup 1

…that we found was nicer here than the same thing that we had another place in town and yes, it was very nice as well this time around…

Kiong Chuong szechuan vegetable pork leg soup 2

…and my girl particularly enjoyed the soup.

This was something new – we had not had it before…their leek fried with egg…

Kiong Chuong fried leek with egg

…and yes, it was very nice. When I ordered that, I had expected it to appear as an omelette dish but I guess the cook did not have that same thing in mind.

The total for all the dishes came up to RM52.00 which I thought was a little on the high side especially since it is just a coffee shop, not a very nice place, not air-conditioned and all and so far, it had always been 40-something, almost 50 and never over…but as long as the food is nice plus the servings here are rather huge and we do enjoy it very much, I guess that is all that matters.

SYARIKAT KIONG CHUONG CAFE (2.291062, 111.827381) is located along Jalan Kampung Nyabor at the bend where one turns left or right when coming from Brooke Drive, a stone’s throw from Malaysia Hotel in the next block.

Somewhere down the road…

I had to send my girl every morning to her meetings and one morning, I decided to stop by this food court…

Eco Delite Food Court

…somewhere along the road leading to the secondary school, the meeting place.

We’ve been here a few times before and yes, we did enjoy some of the stuff we had but we have not gone back for a while now. That morning, only the two food courts were open and a branch of the dim sum place but only this one seemed to be enjoying brisk business so I went to have a look at what they had in store.

They had a makeshift stall…

Eco Delite Food Court, stall

…selling all kinds of buns (and curry puffs too)…

Eco Delite Food Court, buns and puffs

…and some of these kuihs…

Eco Delite Food Court, kuihs

…and packets of nasi lemak as well. They did not have that before on our previous visits or maybe they only have it early in the morning for breakfast, I wouldn’t know – I was never here this early.

I tried the steamed meat pao (RM2.00)…

Eco Delite Food Court, bak pao

…and it was quite good – I like paos with egg in it but I thought the char siew pao (RM2.50)…

Eco Delite Food Court, char siew pao

…was nicer and it also had egg in it, something rather unusual for these char siew buns.

There was a young girl there at that same time (not the one in the above photograph) and for reasons unknown, she kept poking at the paos on display in a tray. The Iban lady was quite pissed off and gave her a piece of her mind, “You cucuk cucuk, nanti orang tak mau beli lagi lah!!!” I must say there is a lot of truth in what she said – in fact, I was glad that my orders came from those in the steamer…not from the tray and I really cannot understand why people do that – many will squeeze the fruits and vegetables and may or may not buy and spoil them. Sometimes we find bruises, for instance, in tomatoes – obviously, somebody has got to them before we do. Tsk! Tsk!

I also ordered the lor mai kai (RM4.50)…

Eco Delite Food Court, lor mai kai 1

…which was good as well…

Eco Delite Food Court, lor mai kai 2

…but at that price, I probably would not want to go for it again. I wouldn’t say it was anything that would get me coming back for more.

The coffee (RM1.60)…

Eco Delite Food Court, kopi-o-peng & lor mai kai

…was good and cheaper than a number of places around town.

I don’t know when I will be going back there again as we seldom frequent that part of town, in the other direction, unless there is a reason for us to do so.

ECO-DELITE FOOD COURT (2.330846, 111.855645) is located at the shops on your left along Jalan Ulu Sg Merah, a short distance from the roundabout if you are coming along Jalan Ling Kai Cheng and take the right turn from there.

We’re on our way…

We had to go all the way to our girl’s school in the jungle on Tuesday morning to get her and bring her home as she has some official business to attend to here yesterday and for the rest of the week.

We were early so on the way, we stopped by Selangau bazaar for a bite to eat and we dropped by this place…

Everfull Kopitiam, Selangau

…with a somewhat optimistic-sounding name. This is located in the new buildings at the far end of the place – they now have a big branch of that popular supermarket in the green building on the other side in the photograph and yes, on previous occasions, I did notice that there were quite a lot of people eating there.

The coffee…

Everfull Kopitiam, Selangau kopi-o-peng

…was great but it was RM1.80 a glass, the same as many places in Sibu but we do have some that are a little cheaper around here.

The selections at the Muslim stall…

Everfull Kopitiam, Selangau Muslim stall

…looked good but it was a bit too early for rice so I went to the kampua mee stall directly opposite…

Everfull Kopitiam Selangau kampua mee stall

…instead.

I saw the lady preparing something and asked her what it was. She said it was their chap-chap (mixed) soup with all the innards and everything so I told her I would like that with a bowl of kampua mee kosong (no meat) but she suggested that I should just go for the special instead for only RM7.00. Well, whatever that was, I decided to just go ahead with it.

My missus had no idea what she would like to have so I got a bowl of the kampua mee kosong (RM2.00)…

Everfull Kopitiam Selangau kampua mee kosong

…for her so she could have that and share my bowl of soup. Of course she wanted hers tossed in chili sauce and yes, she did ask for some sliced chili in soy sauce as well – that went well with the aforementioned soup…

Everfull Kopitiam Selangau chap chap soup

We could dip everything in it to eat but I was sort of surprised that it had intestines, stomach, kidney…everything except liver!…

It was very nice and the best thing was that it came with a bowl of kampua mee

Everfull Kopitiam Selangau kampua mee

…with meat for only RM7.00 altogether.

I saw the prices at the stall – RM3.00 for kampua mee, RM4.00 for kolo mee (with minced meat added, I guess) so the soup worked out to only RM4.00 a bowl. I believe that would be at least RM5.00-6.00 here in Sibu and they do not give that much ingredients here so I reckoned that was kind of cheap.

After having had our fill, we headed to my girl’s school.

Not what I had in mind…

I loved the sambal (dip) here so much that day so I went back there again in the hope of enjoying some more of that.

I had the fried kway teow on my previous visit and this time around, I asked for the fried bihun (rice vermicelli) instead…

Uncle Lau Corner Malay/Muslim stall fried bihun 1

…kudos to the lady once again for not using a plastic plate like a lot of places around here. Unfortunately, it came without the sambal nor did I get any of the nice chicken soup that was served with the kway teow the last time around. I tried asking her and she did not seem to know what I was talking about.

I also ordered one fried egg to go with the noodles and sadly, it was a bit overdone…

Unlce Lau Corner Maly/Muslim stall fried egg

…and did not have the nice golden frills all along the edges.

The bihun (RM3.50)…

Uncle Lau Corner Malay/Muslim stall fried bihun 2

…tasted great though, a little spicy and I only had to fork out an extra 50 sen for the egg.

On the whole, I did enjoy it but it definitely was not what I had in mind and it kind of left me a bit disappointed. The next time I drop by here, I shall have the photographs ready and for sure, I will ask her for the sambal…and the soup!

UNCLE LAU CORNER (2.328131, 111.840397) is located back to back with Udak Kitchen which is to the left of Everwin, Sg Merah along Lorong Sungai Merah 2C, off Jalan Teng Chin Hua, across the road from the St Teresa’s Catholic Church and the SIB Church next to it.

Heard ’em say…

Ooopsss!!! I woke up that morning and found out that we had run out of eggs. There was some leftover rice and I was thinking I could fry that for breakfast but everytime I fry rice, I will add an egg or two so I had to abandon the idea.

I went out right away to the shops at the next lane to grab some. It is so convenient really; they’re right behind my neighbours’ houses opposite actually…and since I was there, bright and early – around 6 something in the morning, I decided to just drop by the coffee shop there for breakfast. That would save me the trouble of having to cook my own, if only for just one day.

I ordered the char mee, tam (fried noodles, wet/with gravy) from the chu char (cook and fry) place at the back and sat at a table to wait. It so happened that the guy who does the cooking just came back from the butcher and I heard him saying to somebody at another table that he had managed to get hold of some liver. Liver!!!??? Now, I would want that so I told him to add that to the fried noodles that I had ordered.

The kopi-o-peng (RM1.70)…

Ah Kau Cafe kopi-o-peng

…was good and I was wondering why they had two of the tables covered with nice tablecloth, something quite unusual in a coffee shop. I was thinking that perhaps, one can have rice and dishes here in the evening but I did not bother to ask.

The fried noodles came…

Ah Kau Cafe Foochow fried noodles, special 1

…and boy, I certainly was impressed. That looked really good with not only the liver but there were intestines too and a number of slices of char siew (barbecued pork) and everything else for only RM6.00, their special. Elsewhere, for RM4.00, you would get bits of meat so small that you would need a magnifying glass to detect them.

I was somewhat disappointed though that there was no sign of any green vegetables in the plate but when I went rummaging through the noodles, I did find a few bits here and there…

Bits of green vegetables

…but I certainly would ask for more the next time I drop by here to eat.

It appeared to me that the guy there now is not the same as the ladies who were there when we dropped by to give it a try that time when it first opened. What the latter dished out were good too but we had to wait a mighty long time and that was why we were not all that keen on going back there again. I did not have a problem with the one there now that morning though – what I ordered sure was served pretty fast, no problem at all.

So, was it any good?

Ah Kau Cafe Foochow fried noodles, special 2

Well, I certainly thought so – in fact, I felt it was so good, so very generous with the ingredients and so cheap – it was RM7.00 a plate here and RM8.50 here (and I did not even think it was all that nice), dunno now – that I tapao-ed a plate home for my missus to enjoy for her breakfast.

From what I’ve noticed, the coffee shop seems to be enjoying brisk business – I see  a lot of people there very often but this area is not congested and parking is never a problem, plus it is free!

AH KAU CAFE (2.316346, 111.839861) is located along Jalan Ruby, off Jalan Lim Han Swee, in the same block as Kim Tak Mini Supermarket, to the extreme left.