What they say…

Last Sunday morning, I had to go out to do something and my tummy was acting up on me. It probably was the heat the day before when we had to leave the house before dawn to go to my girl’s school in the jungle for the replacement classes and then take her home again in the blistering hot afternoon for the weekend. While I was out, I decided to go for something to eat and even though the best thing for me in my condition would be a bowl of porridge, I just did not feel like it.

In the end, I stopped by this coffee shop…

Tung Ming Cafe

…where I liked the kampua mee

Tung Ming Cafe kampua mee
*Archive photo*

…and also the chin th’ng mee (noodles in clear soup)…

Tung Ming Cafe chin th'ng mee
*Archive photo*

I ask some people that I know why they prefer the coffee shop at the other end of that same block when personally, I do not think what they dish out there is all that nice. From what they say, it seems that they feel this place is rather dirty.

Hmmm…I guess they should do something to clean up the shop, arrange everything nicely and neatly and not simply throw here, there and everywhere and spruce up the place a bit. Otherwise, I do not think it is that bad and obviously, many do not think so too – there are always a lot of people stopping by there for a bite.

I should not be having anything too oily so I opted for the chin th’ng mee but with pian sip instead of the slices of meat (RM2.80)…

Tung Ming Cafe chin th'ng mee & pian sip 1

…and yes, I did quite enjoy it…

Tung Ming Cafe chin th'ng mee & pian sip 2

…along with my kopi-o that was only a ringgit a glass (small).

Yes, they did give the hot water as required by our municipal council for me to dip the chopsticks and spoon before using them to eat. The only thing that I was not all that in favour of was their use of plastic to serve something piping hot – I would rather that they use porcelain or glass instead.

TUNG MING CAFE (2.307601, 111.824983) is located along Lorong Delta 10, the second shop in the first block of shops on your right, after the first one – a grocery store, as you turn into the lane from Jalan Delta in the vicinity of the houses behind the Delta Public Swimming Pool.

Advertisements

Making up for lost time…

Right after class ended and a quick chicken rice lunch last Thursday, we left my girl’s school in the jungle and stopped by the memorial park…

Dad's 1st Anniversary 2018 1

…to offer flowers and prayers…

Dad's 1st Anniversary 2018 2

…on the 1st anniversary of my dad’s demise and after that, we headed on home.

It was already around 4 by the time we got to the house, too late and too tired to do any cooking so we went out instead. I asked my girl if she wanted to go here since it was on the way and she jumped at the suggestion instantly, saying that she would want the lamb chop (RM14.50)…

Colourful Cafe lamb chop 1

Personally, I prefer the chicken chop and it is cheaper too (RM9.50) but if it was lamb she wanted, then lamb she would have.

I think she forgot to mention that she would like the mushroom gravy so she got the black pepper sauce instead…

Colourful Cafe lamb chop 2

Thankfully, it was not very strong and not like something straight from the bottle and she sure enjoyed that huge slab very much.

She mentioned in passing that her one meal here would be equivalent to her meals for two or three days at her school, poor thing. I guess at the end of the day, she would be too tired, too stressed out to eat and needless to say, even though the mum had packed some nice dishes from home, she would still need to heat up and clean up and no matter what, somehow, everything that has spent some time in the fridge would not be as nice as when freshly cooked and served piping hot from the wok. That is why I would always makes sure that when she is home on weekends, she would get to enjoy all the things that she loves to eat in those few days to make up for lost time, so to speak.

That evening, the mum had their sambal char kway teow (RM5.00)…

Colourful Cafe sambal char kway teow

…while I had the char kway teow with a special request for their very nice masak hitam beef (RM8.50)…

Colourful Cafe char kway teow & masak hitam beef 1

…by the side. I don’t know whether it was because I was terribly hungry but I actually thought that the kway teow was so much nicer than usual…

Colourful Cafe char kway teow & masak hitam beef 2

…that day.

The ladies said they wanted the satay so I ordered 5 sticks of chicken (RM10.00) and 5 of beef (RM12.50)…

Colourful Cafe chicken & beef satay

…for them. Yes, they are more expensive than at the Malay stalls here but the sticks are thick and big, so much bigger and no less than two or three times the regular size and most importantly, they are very very nice. In the end, they just had one of each and declared that they were already too full to take in anymore so no prize for guessing who had all the rest.

After that delightful dinner, we headed to my parents’ house where we were having a gathering of relatives and friends that night for prayers.

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.

Close but not quite…

Early last Thursday morning, before we drove to my girl’s school in the jungle, I went to buy some flowers…

Flowers

…at the florist here – if I am not wrong, it’s the only one in town that opens so early, around the same time as the wet market opposite. Others will only open after 8 or 9 or even later, I think.

I stopped by this coffee shop for something to eat – it was going to be a long day, you see. The old lady at the char kway teow stall

Happy Hours char kway teow stall

…was nowhere to be seen – I gathered that the nice and friendly guy in the photograph was the son. It sure seemed very popular, I must say – the one that drew most of the people dropping by here that morning.

The guy at this stall had moved to help his wife at her stall at another coffee shop in the town centre and in the meantime, some ladies have taken over…

Happy Hours new stall

…and it looked kind of pathetic, no photos at all though I must say that was good in a way. You will not get your expectations up too high especially at those displaying some very nice snapshots of what they have on their menu and the moment your order arrives, it is an anti-climax, such a disappointment. Honestly, sometimes you wonder where they got those photographs from.

I decided to try the lor mee (RM5.00)…

Happy Hours lor mee 1

…which did not look all that enticing but I was quite impressed when I tried it…

Happy Hours lor mee 2

The gravy was quite thick though it could have been just a little bit thicker and it could do with a slightly stronger cinnamon/five spice powder fragrance and I did not see any tau cheo (fermented beans) in it either. It was pretty close like the ones I used to enjoy a long long time ago but I have not found any quite the same since. It used to be a bit sweet but actually, I was fine with it not being so sweet and I liked how the poached egg was perfectly done – the yolk was soft and runny and on the whole, I would say it was good and I sure wouldn’t mind going for it again should I happen to be in the vicinity.

The chili garlic dip…

Happy Hours lor mee, chili garlic dip

…that came with the noodles was very nice and it sure helped enhance the taste of the noodles a lot more – I sure enjoyed it very much.

When I dug into what was in the bowl, I was pleasantly surprised to see many slices of the stewed pork…

Happy Hours lor mee, stewed pork

…in the noodles. Perhaps they should work on the presentation – slice the meat thinner but bigger and display it on top of the noodles with the lovely poached egg and the greens by the side.

Somehow, I do think that a nice first impression would help whet one’s appetite unlike some who do not give a darn that what they serve is a complete utter mess. One would certainly enjoy eating whatever dish a whole lot more when it looks nice and presentable and enticing.

HAPPY HOURS CAFE (2.307165, 111.837312) is located at one corner of the Rejang Park shops/commercial centre in that residential area, beside the volleyball stadium and the surau, facing the vast parking area there.

Movin’ in…

There were others here before but they have relocated their businesses elsewhere – I was told that they are the ones here and here at this point in time and I also heard that both of them are all in the same family, dunno how true that is.

In the meantime, someone else has moved in…

Mastura Delight

…so the other morning, my missus and I dropped by for lunch to check this newbie up and see if it is any good.

If I am not wrong, they actually started around Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month – I did see them selling a wide variety of dishes on the pavement outside the shop at the time and now, they have put up the shop sign and formally set up the place and gone full steam ahead.

I saw somewhere that they have something called nasi bajet (budget rice) for RM5.00 only and I did ask the girl what that was. She did try to explain but unfortunately, I did not quite understand what she was trying to tell me. In the end, we decided to just go for the nasi campur (mixed rice).

They had a very wide selection of choices in those huge stainless food warmers with the very heavy lids and other well-covered food trays/containers. I liked the look of the ulam

Mastura Delight ulam

…but I did not go for it and I would have taken the shrimps…

Mastura Delight shrimps

…if they had petai (stink beans) in it.

I must say that they can fry the vegetables well…

Mastura Delite fried bayam

…unlike at many Malay/Muslim places – usually the meat dishes are very nicely done but the fried vegetables are more often than not somewhat disappointing.

My missus took this vegetable…

Missus' vegetable pick

…and the paku (wild jungle fern) and the sotong (squid).

I also took the latter two and what I thought was liver…

My picks

To my disappointment, it was black pepper beef and thankfully, it was not tough, tender enough nor was it too strong on the black pepper sauce. I am never a fan of that so I would not have liked it if it had been too overpowering.

The daging masak hitam looked good and the curry…

Mastura Delite kari ayam

…too but I did not feel like having those that day though I did take the curry gravy and poured it all over my rice…

Mastura Delight nasi campur

Yes, everything was very nice and we sure enjoyed what we had picked but when I paid the bill, I was stunned by the prices, RM9.50 for what my missus had – one meat and two vegetables…and RM11.50 for mine, two meat and one vegetable. I did not bother to ask how they came to those totals – maybe they saw that we took a lot of everything and charged double for each, I wouldn’t know.

Everybody else was having their fried noodle dishes which all looked pretty good and I saw somebody having the nasi lemak special, RM6.50 with a big chunk of fried chicken and one fried egg. I wouldn’t mind coming back again to try those but one thing’s for sure, I would be keeping my distance from their nasi campur section for a long while.

As we were walking to the car, somebody greeted me “uncle” and asked me how the food was. It turned out to be the boss and the lady that we saw running the shop was his wife. He seemed to know me but no, the face did not ring a bell. He did mention that they open every day except on Wednesdays unlike many of those Malay/Muslim shops here – they close on Sundays.

MASTURA DELITE (2.313924, 111.825900) is located among the shops at Jalan Bandong/Bandong Walk, the very first one in the block on the right, right beside the 1Malaysia Clinic there.

The flood…

I came to know about this place…

Nasi Lemak Banjir Bro, banner

…a few days before it commenced business but no, I did not bother to go and grab the special for the 1st 100 customers.

I dropped by the stall…

Nasi Lemak Banjir Bro, the stall

…at this coffee shop the other day and yes, they sure seemed to be enjoying brisk business – I did see a lot of people eating their nasi lemak.

These are the usual condiments…

Nasi lemak condiments

…and if you stick to the basics, you will have to fork out RM4.50 for it.

In the cabinet, they have the add-on’s…

Add-on's

…ranging from the ayam berempah, masak merah, rendang and whatever else. I think the former is more expensive while based on what I could see on their notice, the rest are RM2.00 each.

I opted for the beef rendang

Beef rendang

…and I was told that it would be RM3.00, RM2.00 for the chicken but I went ahead and stuck to my choice. I must say it was very nicely done, very fragrant on the kunyit leaves and it tasted great, one of the nicer rendang I have had around town, that’s for sure.

The sambal

Sambal

…was very nice too, bursting with the flavours of serai (lemon grass) or whatever, nicer than a lot around town and I loved the fact that it was quite spicy, very much to my liking.

There were two salted fish…

Salted fish

…too alongside the usual half a hard-boiled egg, two slices of cucumber, peanuts and ikan bilis (dried anchovies) though I wished they had removed the black insides, not just the heads.

It sure looked like a regular nice enough plate of nasi lemak

Nasi Lemak Banjir Bro with beef rendang

…nothing more, nothing less, though a more expensive one at that, RM7.50 altogether but there was no banjir (flood) at all, nothing. I was expecting it to come completely drowned with some gravy but no, there was nothing of the sort and actually, I was glad that it wasn’t. This way, I was able to taste the rice to see if it was lemak enough and unfortunately, it wasn’t. Thankfully, it was not hard and dry like some that I had had the displeasure of eating elsewhere – there was just a slight hint of the lemak-ness, so slight that it might as well not have been there.

All in all, considering the hassle and pain of finding a parking space in the vicinity…AND the price, I probably would not be going back there again all that soon.

NASI LEMAK BANJIR BRO is a stall located at the CAFE 63 (2.293970, 111.826350) is located at Jalan Tunku Osman, to the left of Blackball and Big Thumb.

Give me a try…

This place has been around like forever – this is evident in its shop sign…

SIENG HING CAFE

…that has seen better days and one look at it will tell you so.

This is one of those very very few places that my sister would take our parents for breakfast after their Sunday morning church service those days way back then when they were still around, strong and able and she had told me time and time again the things that they liked there. Unfortunately, I cannot for the dear life of me recall what those were.

Anyway, parking is a pain at this place especially on weekdays when the banks in the next block are open and around noon, when parents would hang around here, double or even triple-parked, to wait for their children studying in the school behind the blocks of shops to come out through the side/back door and go home or to drop off those in the afternoon session. I really dread venturing into that area during those horrendously congested hours.

Well, it was real early that Sunday morning and I did not have to go through all that hassle so I dropped by to give it a try. There is this lady running a kampua mee stall…

Kampua mee stall

…in front and from the look of the photographs, she does have quite a lot on her menu – I saw a bowl of noodles with those giant udang galah (freshwater prawns) going for RM27.00!  There is also a zi-char (cook and fry) place at the back and it looked like there is another stall, probably Muslim, at the other side but it was closed, probably because they were still having their Raya break or it was a Sunday – they do keep holy the Sabbath Day, it seems. For reasons unknown, most of the Malay/Muslim shops here are closed on Sundays.

I could vaguely recall something that my sister said about the mee pok (flat noodles) so I ordered that (RM2.80)…

Kampua mee pok 1

…and yes, it was very good…

Kampua mee pok 2

…even nicer than the nice bowl of kampua mee that I had here not too long ago.

I asked for a small serving of the pian sip (meat dumplings) dry (RM2.00)…

Pian sip, dry 1

…and it is pretty obvious from the look of the very thin and translucent skin…

Pian sip, dry 2

…that the ones here are very very nice, definitely a whole lot nicer than the ones at the aforementioned place that I went to that day.

The kampua/kolo mee stall from here that seemed to be so very popular has moved to this same block, two doors away but I did go and try once and no, I did not think theirs were all that great. Nonetheless, looking at the number of people there, obviously, there are many that do not quite agree with me.

SIENG HING CAFE (2.293826, 111.825905) is located at No. 45, Jalan Tuanku Osman in the same row of shops in the block next to the one where the RHB Bank and the AmBank, Sibu branch, are.

Take it slow…

My jasmine tree is dying, a branch at a time so I had no choice but to saw away those branches that had died. I would cut away the little twigs and pack them in a big bag and put it outside for the rubbish collectors to cart away. I am not like many selfish people around here – they would just leave them to dry, leaves, grass, anything and everything and on a hot day, they would burn it all, polluting the whole neighbourhood with thick, smelly smoke.

However, that day, I had some huge branches so I sawed them into shorter lengths and tied them together in a bundle like what I did with the branches from my rambutan tree. Sadly, when I woke up that morning, I spotted the bundle placed nicely by the side of the road. The rubbish collectors had refused to dispose of it for me. Ah well, it did not matter as I had another heavier bundle with all the very much bigger branches that I had intended to take and throw away myself so I just had to get rid of both the bundles together, no problem at all.

Usually, I would take them to those so-called ‘refuse bin centres” where they would have some very huge bins and I would throw everything there for the people concerned to take away to some landfill rubbish disposal dump and one place that I often go to is Rejang Park – as far as I know, they have four of those bins there, two beside the wet market and two more on the other side beside the parking area.

Well, since I was there that morning and I did not have anything planned, I decided to take a slow walk around the place. I spotted this little corner shop…

Corner shop, Rejang Park

…still going strong. They have char kway teow and whatever noodles, fried on a hot plate and these tee peang

Tee peang, Rejang Park

…which my cousin from Kuching had before and she said they were very nice but if you do not go early, they will all be sold out.

I bought some to try and yes, they were quite nice, ALMOST as nice as the handsome boy’s at the pasar malam (night market). These were smaller though, maybe by half, but a lot cheaper, 4 for RM1.00 as opposed to 3 for RM2.00 at the handsome boy’s stall and of course, here, you will not have any eye candy to feast your eyes on while waiting for your order. Hehehehehe!!!

I also dropped by here…

Leong Leong Cafe, Rejang Park

…the favourite of many. I often see a lot of people there, mid-afternoon, enjoying their cooling local iced desserts…

Leong Leong Cafe menu

…which I did try before but I was not all that impressed, not just once but twice. I prefer the ones here but those there are very much more expensive, by as much as RM1.00! The kopi-o-peng/iced black coffee (RM1.50) here was all right but no, it did not sweep me off my feet.

I heard the noodles from this stall there…

Leong Leong Cafe noodles stall

…were very nice and I did try the fried ones once but I did not get to sample their kampua mee then. That was why, that morning, I ordered their pian sip (meat dumplings) soup – small (RM2.00)…

Leong Leong Cafe, pian sip soup 1

…which turned out to be really big, more or less the same size as the regular servings elsewhere.

It was all right, the dumplings were fine and the soup had a hint of our traditional Foochow red wine…

Leong Leong Cafe pian sip soup 2

…but it was kind of diluted – I would like it more if it had been stronger on the meat bone stock.

The kampua mee (RM2.80)…

Leong Leong Cafe kampua mee 1

…was good, nicer than a lot of places around town but I did not think it…

Leong Leong Cafe kampua mee 2

…was anything exceptional, not something that would get me out of my way to come and enjoy though I would not mind having it again should I happen to be in the vicinity.

After I had had my fill, I strolled over to the wet market and I saw some very big seawater prawns selling for RM40.00 a kilo – I don’t know if the price has dropped or what but I used to see those that big at the central market going for RM45.00. Yes, I did buy a kilo even though I did not have any plans at that point in time as to how I would cook them. Of course, after buying them, I had to go straight home and get down to the chore of deveining them.

LEONG LEONG CAFE 亮亮茶餐室 (2.306688, 111.837028) is located at No. 42, Jalan Teruntum, among the Rejang Park shops, to the left (the inner side, not facing the main road) of the since-closed-down cinema complex.