Old…

This place isn’t exactly new. It used to be the Yien King Restaurant at Wong Nai Siong Road, opposite the Sarawak Hotel and then it became the Peking Restaurant and somewhere along the line, it moved to its present location and is now known as the Beijing 2008 Restaurant. Some other people have taken over now, I heard – not the ones who used to run it before and I did see some Facebook friends sharing photographs of some of the nice dishes they had here but I never did drop by myself to check it out.

Following the Chinese tradition, all family members and friends who attend a funeral would be invited to a lunch that they call “old folks’ rice” for the bereaved members of the family to express their thanks and appreciation to all of them. The traditional belief is that it is good to go and partake in this meal as one would be blessed. We had that at the aforementioned restaurant after my late father’s funeral that day.

I remember going for those when I was very young and I was told then that there must not be anything red served at these lunches so dishes like sweet and sour fish or pork would be totally out of the question. These days, they are not very strict about this thing anymore but I do not recall having anything that was red that day other than perhaps, this dish of prawns…

Beijing Restaurant 2008 prawns

There were a lot of dishes but I only managed to capture a few photographs of what was served such as this one…

Beijing Restaurant 2008 first dish

…or this very nice steamed ikan patin

Beijing Restaurant 2008 steamed ikan patin

…and the lovely stewed pork with fried mantao….

Beijing Restaurant 2008 stewed pork fried mantao

They do cater for parties outside as well. Buffet dinners are only RM25.00 per head for a minimum of 20 persons – I probably would blog more about this in a later post but if anyone is interested, he or see can call the very pro-active and friendly managing director, Kenny Ling, at 019 8178 941. He would be very pleased to hear from you, I’m sure!

BEIJING 2008 RESTAURANT (2.291109, 111.827983) is located along Jalan Kampung Nyabor Road around the corner of this road and Brooke Drive. It is located at the block of shops, where a Malayan Banking branch is, to the left of the entrance into Hua Kiew Road, somewhere opposite the Sibu General Post Office.

My father…

My father passed away on Wednesday, 12th July at 1.50 p.m…

Flowers 1

…and was laid to rest at the Nirvana Memorial Park here yesterday morning, the 14th of July…

Flowers 2

…after the funeral mass at St Mary’s of Divine Mercy here…

Flowers 3

– one of his final wishes, that is to have the service at the church where he would go for masses and services with my mum on Sundays and other days when both of them were fit and well.

Regular readers of my blog would probably be able to recall those occasions when we would take him some place to eat and he sure enjoyed those outings and as a matter of fact, when my girl was home for the mid-year school holidays, he wanted to ask her out for another round of the same the following day but that morning, when we dropped by the house, he said to her that he was sorry he could not make it as he was not physically up to it…

Flowers 4

…and since then, over these two months, he had not been well…and I did hint in my previous posts that I was “caught up with things at home” so I did not have the time for much else at that point in time…and last week, he came down with a fever on Thursday and on Friday, it got worse…and eventually, he was admitted into the Sibu General Hospital but things did not look too good so we were prepared for the worst, be it sooner or later.

My brother from New Zealand made it home in time on Tuesday and though it was not easy, we took our bed-ridden mum to the hospital to see him that same evening before he was called to our Lord in Heaven the following afternoon…

Flowers 5

…and I was thankful I was right there by his side at the hospital when he breathed his last. The grandchildren from Auckland were still in transit at KL then – they did not make it in time to see him one last time.

Born in the Year of the Ox on the 28th day of the 4th month, he always celebrated his birthdays every year following the Chinese lunar calendar. He was 93 at the time of his passing.

Eternal rest grant unto my father, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace…

In full bloom…

It did bloom a few times a long long time ago like here, for instance, and after 7 years, it bloomed again in January this year and a few more times after that. I think this was the fourth time this year, that night on the last day of Ramadan, approaching midnight on the 1st Day of Syawal…to usher in the auspicious Muslim festival of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

It started at around 9 something…

9.00 p.m.

…and by around 10, it was still in the process of blooming…

10.00 p.m.

…and even by 11, it had not fully bloomed…

11.00 p.m.

…yet but it was already way past my bedtime and I was dead tired and very sleepy already so I just decided to call it a day.

There was another bud…

Bud

…but it did not bloom together with the one aforementioned and when it did so the following night, I did not bother to wait for it and had gone to bed early.

Well, if you are wondering, no, all those times when the flowers bloomed, I did not have any windfall unlike what some people would insist – that when they flower, one would be sure to win at one of those lotteries.

It so happened that a friend of mine has that same plant and it also flowered that same night and he PM-ed me a photo of his via Facebook…

Friend's blooms

…and he had two blooms at one go and maybe a third or maybe that one at the back would bloom the following night too…and no, he did not strike it rich either.

Not too late…

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all Muslim members of my family, friends and readers…

Hari Raya greeting

Of course, by now, all the Ramadan bazaars everywhere would have come to a close and one would have to wait till next year, perhaps, to enjoy all the culinary delights that one would not be able to get normally unless one cooks one’s own, like this delightful charcoal-grilled lamb…

Charcoal-grilled lamb 1

…here…

Grill lamb leg slice

…for instance.

When my girl was home the previous weekend, my missus bought some for her to take to her school in the jungle to eat. She had it on Monday night and enjoyed it so very much, especially with its very nice mushroom and black pepper gravy…and could not wait to tell us about it.

Knowing that it would be too late by the time she would be home again (Thursday) as most of the stalls would have called it a day, I went the very next day, Tuesday, to buy some and keep for her to enjoy at a later date.

When I got there, the guy…

Adi Lamb
*That friend of his had just knocked off work and happened to drop by – I remembered him as the guy at his cousin’s or somebody’s burger stall, no longer in business for a long long time now.*

…had just started for the afternoon and was still getting his fire going though I did see some of the meat, raw, on the grill already…

Meat on the grill

…He told me I would have to wait for at least an hour and I found out that it was his last day at the bazaar, no more the following day. So, I told him I would like three of those slabs of lamb…

Menu

…and I would come back later to collect them.

When I got back around an hour later, they were done…

Meat on the grill, done

…so I was able to go home happily with my loot!

I did cut a bit…

Charcoal-grilled lamb 2

…to try myself and yes, it was indeed, really very nice.

I sure would not mind going back for more sometimes but unfortunately, the guy, Adi Lamb, he told me his name was, said he is not in this business, full time but if anyone is interested, they can contact him and place an order for say, a kilo or two or more, and he would even do home deliveries. I do not foresee hosting any home parties/dinners in the near future and I would probably not be ordering till say, Christmas or New Year or Chinese New Year next year. However, if anyone is interested, he or she can post a comment with a genuine e-mail address and I can forward to him or her Adi‘s handphone contact…or if we’re Facebook friends, you can always PM me and get the number from me there.

There’s still time…

The weather has been unbearably hot again after a few days of a bit of rain but I did go back to the Ramadan Bazaar here. I would park my car in the shade behind the block of shops and walk to this stall/shop round the corner but no, I would not walk around to the other stalls, not under the scorching sun.

You will find the usual kuehs (local cakes)…

Mak Met's kueh

…there and maybe some that are not available on a regular basis on normal days.

I’ve bought this Rojak Mem twice…

Rojak Mem 1

– I think the lady has a stall at a coffee shop (formerly Kok Cheng, opposite the now-closed down Star Cineplex) in town and yes, it was very nice…

Rojak Mem

…though I would love some potatoes and a bit of egg in it.

There would also be the usual nasi lemak, Sarawak and Penang laksa and for Ramadan, they also have kampua noodles…

Mee kampua

…that look a lot more impressive than their usual.

I did buy this steamed kueh wrapped in banana leaf…

Steamed kueh

…made with rice/tapioca/sago flour so it is gluten free, sweetened with the gula apong (palm sugar) added…

Steamed kueh, inside

It was all right, not bad and I do think it would make a great after-meal dessert.

There is also these keria

Kueh keria

…that is not usually available – Malaysian-style donuts made from sweet potatoes and glazed with palm sugar. I did not want to buy any that day as I am not really into donuts, any kind, and despite the other customers who were there insisting that it was very nice, I was still reluctant. In the end, the very nice and generous Mak Met filled one brown paper bag full and gave them to me to try. That was so very sweet of her and yes, I am truly blessed with all the wonderful people all around, praise the Lord! Yes, they were nice but then again, a lot of these local kuehs and delicacies are all very nice.

We have been caught up with things at home lately so we did not have time to cook and it was very convenient to just stop by here and buy some food home to eat. I tried their  bubur pedas

Bubur pedas 1

…and it was very nice (RM4.00)…

Bubur pedas 2

…nicer than others that I’ve bought elsewhere. I saw somewhere that this is a Sarawak thing, though I am not too sure about this, but for the uninitiated, this is something like sayur masak lemak (vegetables cooked with santan/coconut milk) but it has all the fragrant spices and herbs and leaves added so those certainly put it in a class of its own.

They also have other side dishes, all in plastic/glass-covered serving trays, that one can pick from, such as the kerabu paku

Kerabu paku

…and the sambal tempeh

Sambal tempeh

…and there was this botok ikan

Botok ikan

…mashed ikan tenggiri (mackerel) mixed with all the aromatic herbs and leaves, wrapped in leaf and cooked in santan (coconut milk)…

Botok ikan, inside

…I did buy it to try and boy, it was really so very very nice. I must go back one of these days to grab more!

For the mains, one can have a choice between their ayam penyet rice or their pecel lele ikan keli (catfish)…

Ayam penyet and pecel lele

…and that day, I bought the fish…

Pecel lele ikan keli

…and yes, it was so good! I really enjoyed that.

There is still time left in the coming week, so I would be going back for more, otherwise I would have to wait till next year’s Ramadan to enjoy all these local delights.

PENYET BANDONG/MAK MET’s BREAKFAST STATION (2.314192, 111.825581) is located in the first few lots on the right of the block of shops facing the main road & Bandong Walk at Jalan Bandong, somewhere opposite the primary schools and to the right of the surau in the vicinity.

Just a few more days…

There is just a week or so to go till Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Selamat Hari Raya

…which means that pretty soon, the Ramadan bazaars here, there and everywhere around town would come to an end and we will have to wait till next year for this annual event.

We did go to the one at the Sibu Town Square once and since the weather has been a lot kinder and we have been getting a bit of rain time and again, I did drop by the one that I am more familiar with, at Bandong…

Bandong Ramadan Bazaar
*Archive photo*

…and I did buy the nasi kuning ayam berempah from the nice lady there…

Nasi kuning ayam berempah
*Archive photo*

…twice. Yes, it was still very nice and the best thing about it was that she was selling her delightful specialty at that same price all these years, RM5.00 a packet!

The satay guy…

Nor Satay
*Archive photo*

…is back here now and he told me that they have terminated their business at the shop that I blogged about a few times not too long ago as the rent was too high and they will be taking over this shop at the back in the photograph and will be based here after the Raya festival.

Yes, I did buy some satay from the guy to take home and enjoy with our loot and we did buy some of the stuff at our regular Malay kueh stall here – the putu mayam, kueh renjes, the bingka durian and bingka labu, the baksong and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, their nasi kerabu

Nasi kerabu
*Archive photo – they do not use those polystyrene containers anymore here since it has been banned by the municipal council and the last time I bought this, it was already RM4.50*

…(and laksam) was not available so left with no choice, we went to a new stall with a banner that declares that theirs is the nasi kerabu ori (RM5.50)…

Nasi kerabu ori

…which was all right but we thought it lacked all those herbs and leaves that would give the kerabu that very nice and special fragrance and taste. There is another stall but I saw that the rice was way too blue so I decided against trying that one there.

On another day, I bought the nasi bryani

Nasi bryani

…from Nasi Bryani Yusra, the very first stall on the extreme right of the bazaar, complete with the sambal egg and the cucumber pickle and a choice between chicken curry or ayam percik

Ayam percik

…and of course I wanted the latter as we can’t get that very easily here unlike the curry and though it did cost quite a bit, RM10.00 per set…

Nasi bryani ayam percik set

…I thought it was quite reasonable since they used the expensive long-grained rice and for the chicken, they gave the whole thigh, not just the drumstick or wing or worst, a chunk of breast plus they used a somewhat nice plastic container that I could wash and reuse instead of the flimsy cardboard ones that everyone else is using right now.

Yes, I did enjoy that and I may go for another round of it one of these days before the Ramadan bazaar for this year comes to a close…

This Ramadan Bazaar (2.314192, 111.825581) is located around the shops at Jalan Bandong and all along Bandong Walk, somewhere around the primary schools and the surau in the vicinity.

Blame it on the weather…

The weather has been so very hot lately and I remember it was the same last year. That was why I did not drop by the Ramadan Bazaars that much then.

Fortunately, there was a storm one night last week and the following day, it was kind of cloudy and we took advantage of the milder weather to drop by the main one at the Sibu Town Square. I think the last time I was there was way back in 2008 but I never went back again as it would be so very crowded and parking would be so very difficult. They have improved the whole area now – lots of parking spaces available.

However, it appeared to me that there were not that many stalls this time around unlike that time which, I guess, was a good thing. Only the strong would survive so there would not be any of those half-past-six ones trying to cash in on the occasion to make a few bucks. I remember I was quite disappointed with what I bought then and ended up throwing everything away. That was one reason why I was not keen on checking out the stalls there all these years.

Well, as they say, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Everyone would be selling more or less the same things and the thing is you will need to know which one would be better than the rest. That is also another reason why we would prefer to go to the Bandong stalls where the people are a lot more familiar than here and we would know who’s good and who’s not.

There were a few satay stalls…

Satay

…and some selling ikan bakar (grilled fish)…

Ikan bakar

…and sambal sotong

Sambal sotong

…some with kangkong, some without and there were those selling pulut panggang

Pulut panggang 1

…as well. This one seemed to be doing very well…

Pulut panggang 2

…The guy sure looked happy and you can see the wife at the back happily counting the money. LOL!!!

There were quite a few stalls selling all the lovely Malay and local delights…

Lauk

…so many that I really would not know which one to choose if I were to buy that.

There were stalls selling cakes such as this one that had the different types of kek lapis (layer cake)…

Kek lapis

…but at RM3.00 a slice, I think I would rather go for something more substantial.

This stall selling sugarcane juice…

Sugarcane juice 1

…would be enjoying brisk business…

Sugarcane juice 2

…considering the hot weather here on most days, as it is believed to be cooling.

Sibu is predominantly a Chinese town, Foochow specifically, and I noticed their influence on the Malay/Muslim population at the stall selling halal stuffed kompia

Kompia

…and there was this lady…

Kampua mee stall

…selling halal kampua mee and pian sip (wanton/meat dumplings)…

Pian sip

…too.

This ayam penyet

Ayam penyet

…looked good but no, we did not buy that.

My missus went to this stall…

Nasi kukus stall

…and bought the nasi kukus (steamed rice) and their ayam berempah

Ayam berempah

…but I wanted the ayam masak merah instead…

ayam masak merah

…and yes, it was very nice. It did not quite taste like the usual masak merah that I have had before – I would say that this one had an edge over the rest and I really enjoyed it. On the other hand, the ayam berempah, though very fragrant, was somewhat disappointing as it was all breast meat.

There were a lot more stalls and I did not take photographs of everything. Well, there are still two weeks or so left, more or less, and maybe we were a little early that day – we went at around 3.00 p.m. and there were a number of stalls that were not open. However, I would not know if I would go back to this particular Ramadan Bazaar again or not or for that matter, whether I would go to any at all – I guess it will all depend on my mood and most of all, the weather.