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The same thing…

I don’t know if this…

KOKA instant mi goreng

…was on special offer but it was only RM7.00 something for a pack of 5 and that works out to around RM1.50 per packet…unlike this other brand that, if I am not mistaken, at this point in time (obviously owing to our weakening ringgit) would set you back by that same amount of money for just ONE packet and frankly, behind all that hype about it being the best and what not, I really do not think it is worth it, not at all. At the end of the day, it is what it is – instant noodles.

This one is also from the island republic…

Made in Singapore

…south of the mainland and it comes in two flavours, this one and black pepper and as I am not a fan of the latter, I did not bother buying that.

There is one sachet inside…

Seasonings

…with two parts, one with the seasoning oil and the other, the seasoning powder.

I cooked a packet to try…

Koka instant mi goreng & fried egg

…served garnished with some fried shallots and chopped spring onions and one fried egg and yes, it is very nice, more or less the same, I think, as that Indonesian one, never mind whether it is the one sold locally or the one specially made for export to Brunei. I did try another Indonesian brand, the Mee Sedaap, extra pedas (spicy) and it was not bad but no, it did not win me over but of course, comparatively, that particular brand is a little bit cheaper. Even our own made-in-Sibu brand , their mi goreng (fried noodles), is pretty much the same too, I would say, and at more than half the price of the aforementioned Singapore brand, it sure makes a lot more sense to buy our own or one of the Indonesian versions instead.

As for the egg, I always insist on frying it the old fashioned way…

My fried egg 1

…in a wok, with the nice and fragrant golden fringe and the yolk still soft and runny…

My fried egg 2

…unlike some that I had had the displeasure of being served outside here…or here, for instance. No, I definitely would not say it is all the same and I do think you can’t do it in a modern pan, non-stick usually, or worse, in a ring on a hot plate. At times, the new ways are not always better, I must say. What about you? Do you, unlike me, think they are all the same?

In the meantime, my niece in Singapore went on a trip to Bandung, Indonesia…

Sarimi mi goreng

…and she bought this and gave us a packet to try. Somebody commented somewhere either on Facebook or on one of my earlier posts that I should go and try this brand. I think it is available somewhere here as I have seen the carton box in the house but I never did go and look for it to check it out but it sure looks like it is produced by the one and the same company there…

Indofood

There are many sachets inside…

Sarimi sachets

…and as for the noodles…

Sarimi mi goreng, cooked

…if you are expecting something that tastes like sate ayam (chicken satay), I did not think that it tasted quite the same. I was expecting something like peanut sauce but there was none or if what they mean is the taste of the grilled chicken on skewers, no, I did not taste anything like that either. I did not know what those white little round balls that came in the “solid ingredients” sachet, were either – they were crunchy like keropok (crackers) but were kind of bland and did not have much taste. Generally, I would say it was, at best, all right and rather strong on the msg, leaving a lingering unpleasant taste in the mouth for a long while after I had finished eating so all things considered, I would still prefer the regular mi goreng that I am more accustomed to.

Moving away from the topic of noodles and egg, it’s a special day for our country today…

I do think this year’s song is very nice and I quite like the video clip as well though I wonder why they are singing about Kinabalu (Sabah) while showing images of the Sarawak ethnic Dayaks and no, they are not the same…and why are they singing about “Rejang yang membiru” (the blue Rejang River) when the river is anything but blue?…

Rejang River
*Archive photo*

Sehati sejiwa indeed, with all of us here by our majestic river so YELLOW! For all it’s worth, Happy National Day to all. May we be blessed with better days ahead…

Another time…

I was here not too long ago and in fact, we were there for my brother-in-law’s birthday some time ago. Last week, we dropped by another time and this round, it was for my sister-in-law’s birthday and yes, her daughter was home from Singapore to celebrate the special occasion with her mum and of course, it had to be a cake from Marcus…

Marcus birthday cake

– her favourite!

Yes, there was my brother-in-law’s favourite too, the sweet and sour fish…

Tung Seng Sweet and sour fish

…and this dish of “Vietnamese pork”…

Tung Seng Vietnamese pork

…and this three-in-one…

Tung Seng Three-in-one

– their omelette with salted and century eggs added. The fish was all right, the usual and the pork tasted o.k. too – I did not know what was Vietnamese about it but yes, it did have a certain taste of its own but only slightly and as for the omelette, that was fine too though I was wishing they had added more century egg in it. We also had a fried vegetable dish – what they call the Sabah yeu chai.

My niece and her dad ordered this tong sui dessert…

Tung Seng Ngor bee th'ng

– their “today’s special” and it was huge!!! I did try a little bit and I absolutely loved it! We call it gor bee th’ng (5 flavours soup) or ngor bee th’ng and there was one stall, yes, just one (and it was the one and only tong sui dessert in town at the time and maybe even now), a long long time ago and everyone would crowd there just for this but everything in that area was demolished for the construction of the Sibu Central Market and I do not know if they are still in the business or not. I am not sure what the name means – if it is actually a reference to the number of flavours, I think there were five then in the bowl – there were barley, thin strips of dried winter-melon and persimmon, a bit of one red date and agar-agar (jelly, and it’s always green) but there seemed to be a lot more in this one! I must go back there again soon just for this, all to myself. Hehehehehe!!!!

Another thing that I certainly would want to go back there for would be their coconut prawns…

Tung Seng Coconut prawns

Oooo…it was so good and inside, there were prawns together with the soft and sweet young coconut flesh and I so loved the thick, a bit spicy and santan-rich gravy. That was really good! My niece picked up the tab for the dinner and I asked her how much this was and she said RM38.00.

Let’s see when I can drop by this place again for this and also the dessert…as well as their nice pork with cincaluk dip. Anybody keen on coming along as well?

Festival song…

I did mention in this post that the Borneo Cultural Festival 2015 would be from the 30th of July till the 8th of August and that would be a good time to come and visit Sibu.

Personally, I am not really into these things. Initially, I did drop by earlier sometime in the late afternoon to buy home the traditional ethnic Dayak ayam pansoh (chicken cooked in bamboo) but eventually, I stopped doing that as well. However, my girl and her colleague/housemate were around for the weekend…and she was not all that busy. Usually, even though she would be home Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday, she would be bogged down with all her work – all the lesson preparation, getting ready all the teaching aids and having to go through the mundane chore of writing the teacher’s record book. Who says teachers are so free, work only half a day and have so many holidays? It is work…work…work…and work!!!

Anyway, to get back to the festival, since she happened to be relatively free, I suggested going to walk around and look at what they had in store. After all, her colleague from Kuching had never been to Sibu before, much less to to the festival, so I thought she might enjoy it. Everyone liked the idea so off we went to the Sibu Town Square…

BCF 2015 at Sibu Town Square

I dropped them off at a convenient place and then I went to find a place to park the car before I made my way there myself. They had all the Malay stalls on one side, around the same side as these swan sculptures & fountain…

Swans, Sibu Town Square

…but since I already had dinner, I did not really walk around there to see what they had. I did stop by this Melanau Association’s booth though…

Melanau Association's booth 1

…and they did have some interesting things…

Melanau Association's booth 2

…on display…

Melanau Association's booth 3

…but there wasn’t anybody around! I did not have a problem…

Melanau Association's booth 4

…but I could imagine many visitors, tourists especially, trying to figure out what everything was and what they were for. They should have somebody stationed there to help in case anybody asked and I also felt that it would be a great idea to sell some of the Melanau delicacies such as sagu‘ (sago pellets), terbaloi (Melanau sago coconut crackers), tumpik and so on and their handicrafts too perhaps. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any.

There was a show going on and it did seem to attract a very big crowd. Some Indonesian fusion band with modern and traditional musical instruments was playing when I arrived. and after they were done, this girl took to stage…

Singing

…to sing Pink’s Try and yes, I would say she sang very well indeed. After that, there were cultural dances including a traditional one by a primary school. The three ladies actually went and watched for a while and they saw a group from China, an Iban performance…and they even saw my cousin doing his very popular Chinese mask dance but after the aforementioned song, I decided to go and walk around the Chinese stalls…

Kutien

…that included this one from the Foochow Association…

Foochow

…and this Teochew Association one…

Teochew

There was lots and lots of food, all the delicacies peculiar to each dialect…

Mang ngee

…but no, I did not buy anything…

Tee peang

Oh? They were even selling the traditional Foochow red wine…

Ang chiew

…and I watched with interest the ladies frying mee sua kueh, something like fried or koi (fried yam cake), that is not usually available anywhere around town on normal days. Unfortunately, the photo that I took came out a bit blur so I am not including it in this post.

By then, I was already feeling so hot and uncomfortable, dripping profusely in my sweat and I felt as if I was about to get cramps in my legs so I decided to walk back to my car…which I had to park so so so far away as they had blocked all the roads around the whole area and the few parking spaces that were closer had all been taken up. Only then did I remember why I had not been to the festival all these years and was quite happy to just stay at home, relaxing in comfort within the confines of my humble abode. Back at the car, I texted my girl telling her where it was and told them to carry on and enjoy themselves – I would just wait around there for them.

P.S.:
Incidentally, there was also a trade fair running simultaneously in the big open area right across the road from the town square where they would have the Ramadhan bazaar every year and also the food festival round year end. Of course, after walking around the food stalls, I was in no condition to venture there to browse around. I did see on Facebook though that my friend, Victor, had a stall there promoting his Uncle James’ products  and a friend of mine did drop by a stall and was so sweet and thoughtful as to get my girl this very pretty pendant…

Pendant

…and went through the trouble of sending it over to our house, thank you so very much, Catherine. That is very much appreciated indeed. If I am not mistaken, an old friend of ours had a stall there selling all these lovely hand-crafted trinkets and stuff and last I heard, she was into this kind of business at a shop in Bintulu.

A week ago…

We got together for dinner, a quiet low-keyed one at my parents’ house, just the family together, over a week ago – last Saturday night to be exact.

My dad and my sis went and ordered some nice dishes from this very nice restaurant in town, one of the oldest, most established around. Coincidentally, those included some of the very nice dishes that I had there when I was going around all over town to sample all the good stuff there was for the book that I was involved in writing last year.

We had the chess duck…

New Capitol chess duck

…as it is called and also the fried sea cucumber…

New Capitol fried sea cucumber

– sharks’ fins, dry version-style, minus the offensive stuff…and the claypot mutton…

New Capitol Claypot mutton

…and the ikan bawal putih (silver/white pomfret) slices with its very special sauce…

New Capitol Fried white pomfret slices

I would say that if I had to pick the best, that last one would be it.

We also had the hot plate…

New Capitol hot plate

…which was good too and the fried mee sua with eggs…

New Capitol fried mee sua with golden eggs

Those, plus this vegetable dish…

New Capitol vegetable dish

…came up to a little over RM400 (servings for 10) inclusive of free home delivery and I think my dad gave a generous tip to the guys. That was definitely cheaper than the RM500 per table set (not inclusive of everything else) that we had recently on my mother-in-law’s birthday…and I would say this was just as nice or perhaps even nicer!

No, there were no prawns either so I decided to cook my own version of the Chinese drunken prawn dish – Sarawak-style with tuak (traditional ethnic rice wine) added…

Drunken prawns with tuak 1

I would say it  was very nice…

Drunken prawns with  tuak 2

…but it may not go down too well with those who are less inclined towards anything with such exotic ethnic taste. My girl tried one and said it was nice but “very strong on the tuak“. Well, of course, it was – I used the wine, unadulterated and what was in the soup would be the wine plus all the sweet juices from the prawns and whatever moisture that might have dripped into the dish in the process of steaming.

I also went back to this place to buy some macarons…

Noodle House macarons

…for dessert. I remember the salted caramel ones (brown) were not as sweet so I bought some of those…and also the new pistachio ones (dark green), thinking that those would not be so sweet as well. Well, I was wrong! They were VERY sweet! Upon closer inspection, I saw the filling sandwiched in between layers of brown, probably chocolate. I also bought one each of their other new ones to try – from the feedback I got from those who had them, the orange and the raspberry (pink) were very nice but also very sweet and generally, everyone agreed that the nicest of the four new flavours would be the (pepper)mint (light green). It seemed to have a hint of pandan flavour with a light touch of the pleasant minty taste.

I would say this batch looked a lot better than the ones I bought the first time – the surface of the shell was glossier and smoother and even the texture was nicer – slightly harder and crustier, not as crumbly as previously…so either the one making them has improved or I caught her at a wrong time then. All in all, everyone said they were very nice – they loved them very much…just that they were all too sweet, not for those who are not into sweet things.

Well, that certainly was a delightful dinner that we all had that night – I sure enjoyed it very much.

Little boy…

I was at their wedding in September, 2013 and they had a son, Kingsley, a year later. Of course, I was delighted when Jimmy and Juliet invited me to the little boy’s 1st birthday party…

Kingsley's birthday cake

here.

No, they did not enlist the help of an event planner and did most everything themselves…

Birthday decor

…right down to the labels on the bottles of water…

Bottle label

…and everything. Gosh!

I cannot remember having many birthday parties when I was a kid. I know I had one once as I remember seeing a photograph somewhere of me cutting the birthday cake and my great-grandma standing beside me. Then, there was another one much later when I was in upper primary school but I don’t recall much of it either other than the fact that some of my classmates from school were there. One that I remember only too well was in 1972 when I was 20 – there was a cake, food and after that, we had dancing! But no, we did not bother very much about the decor and all that. I’ve seen in some blogs or elsewhere those birthday parties where they recruited some people to organise the whole thing and they even set up a playground in the garden for the children to play! Kids really have it so good these days, not like during my time.

There was the singing of the birthday song, of course…

Happy birthday

…and the blowing out of the candle and the cutting of the cake, followed by dinner…

Buffet 1

I didn’t take photographs of everything in the buffet spread, of course…

Buffet 2

– just these two.

It sure was nice to be invited to share the joy of this very happy occasion with them and their family and friends that night and upon leaving, I was given one of these door gifts…

Door gifts

…that they had prepared. Inside…

Door gift

…were one lovely cupcake, some sweets and an egg, coloured red in line with the age-old Chinese tradition.

Well, if anyone is curious as to what I gave little Kingsley, I got him this Korean-made patchwork quilt

Birthday present
*Juliet’s photo on Facebook*

I thought of getting him the Bob the Builder one but he might not be into that cartoon character so much (plus I did not think it was all that nice) and there was one very pretty one but I thought that would be more appropriate for girls so that was why in the end, I got him this one that my girl liked and I would agree that it was quite a good choice too. What do you all think?

Thank you once again, Jimmy and Juliet, for the invitation – now, I’m looking forward to the next one! Wink! Wink! Hehehehehehe!!!!

Dime a dozen…

No, you can’t get anything for one cent here…

One Cent

…not even for a dime…

Nothing for one cent

…despite the name. I’ve blogged about this place a few times before including that time in 2012 when I was here with my blogger friends from the peninsula and once when I was here with my young blogger friend for breakfast.

Well, if anyone is interested in the exact location (2.311277,111.847358), it is to the extreme left (facing Jalan Sena) among the shops in the Lot 9 area, right across Jalan Pedada from this mall…

Delta Mall

…and these are their opening hours…

Opening hours

It sure looks like they are open every day but be forewarned that some of the stalls may take a day off each week, like this one…

Closed

…which, I understand, sells every nice mee sua and they have something with their own home-made fish balls as well.

Food handling course certificate

My! It even has this certificate from a food-handling course that I hear, is compulsory for everyone in the food business in this town to attend in order that they may be allowed to carry on with their trade.

Well, since it was closed, I had to order something from another stall at that place and I had this (RM4.00)…

One Cent Fried lao shu fun

…the fried lao shu fun (rice drops) and yes, I would say it was very good indeed.

I also ordered the Sarawak laksa (RM4.50)…

One Cent Sarawak laksa

…to try. The broth was very good but I did not like the egg that way. For Sarawak laksa, it would have to be an omelette, fried very thinly and sliced just as thinly too. Other than that, I thought they could give less of the shredded chicken and tofu puffs and substitute those with a prawn or two even if those would have to be somewhat small ones.

My missus had the fried tom yam mee (RM5.00)…

One Cent fried tom yam mee

…from another stall and she said it was good as well.

People always say that one can tell whether the food is good or not by looking at the crowd and yes, this place was very crowded when my missus and I dropped by that morning.

On our way home, I saw this banner on the road…

BCF

It’s coming soon! The Borneo Cultural Festival, from the 30th of July till the 8th of August. That week would be a good time to come to Sibu and after that, you can hop over to Kuching for the renowned Rainforest World Music Festival from the 7th till the 9th of August this year…and you can fly back home from there, two birds with one stone. Any takers?

Eighty-two…

My mother-in-law celebrated her 82nd birthday…

Birthday cake

…last Wednesday, the 15th of July, but we had a small celebration earlier that Saturday evening before the actual date so that the grandson from KL and her grand-daughter from Singapore could fly back to join in the dinner. Yes, it was the birthday cake that we would order everytime as  my niece, the grand-daughter in Singapore, loves it so much and would insist on it and it alone.

We all got together at this restaurant, together with my two brothers-in-law and their wives and in keeping with the tradition, the evening started off with the longevity mee sua, fried…

Sheraton mee sua

…that came with a “golden egg”.

That was followed by the “hot plate”…

Sheraton hot plate

…our version of the Four Seasons except that we have a lot more than just four here.

Here, you can see the filial grandson…

Sangkaya

…dishing out some of the goodies from that platter for his grandma. I don’t know if he and his Thai girlfriend beside him would look familiar to any of you. Perhaps some of you may have seen them in person or on Facebook or in the newspapers or on TV – they are the people behind that Sangkaya coconut ice cream venture found at many places in KL and I hear it’s available at AEON in Seremban as well now and will be available in Malacca very soon.

There was this 2-in-1 chicken…

Sheraton 2-in-1 chicken

…roast chicken on one side and Thai-style chicken on the other or in fact, it was 3-in-1 as there was also the Thai-style jelly fish in the dish. We had this same thing not too long ago here.

Then, of course, we had their signature dish – the curry fish…

Sheraton fish curry

…with rice except that this time we had fish, not the head but I would prefer the latter as I did not quite like the texture and taste of the fish they used that night – everything else was great, of course and as always, the gravy went absolutely well with rice.

We had these spare ribs…

Sheraton qui-fei ribs

a number of times before too except that this time, they were served in a yam basket though it did not look like the ones I would be more accustomed with – those in which they would serve the mixed vegetables.

Talking about vegetables, we had broccoli…

Sheraton broccoli

…and everything inside the ring and a soup dish plus a fruit platter at the end.

My very nice niece and nephew (the grand-daughter and the grandson) picked up the tab and shared everything between the two of them. This was RM500.00 (excluding GST) which I thought was rather expensive for a 7+1 dish set dinner. We did not even have prawns other than what they served in the “hot plate”…

Sheraton prawns

…and I was told that there was a standard RM20.00 charge for the rice served with the curry, never mind whether somebody wanted just a spoonful or a big scoop or two, RM2.00 per head for 10 persons…and of course, the plate of stewed peanuts on the table at the start of the dinner did not come for free and neither did the wet towels at the end. Other than those, there were the charges for the drinks that we had and the 6% GST and I overheard them talking about a RM5.00 service charge  or something or was that for the corkage for some special beer or wine that they brought along?  All in all , the total came up to over RM580.00, almost RM600.00. Well, I would say the service was very good and the dishes were served promptly, piping hot from the kitchen and other than the aforementioned not-so-nice fish used, everything tasted fine but all things considered, I would much sooner go for the very much nicer RM400.00 set that we had at the other place here where I could request for the use of the VIP room, away from the crowds at the other tables and all the noise and everything…and I could sing karaoke too! Hehehehehe!!!!