Pay the rent…

Yes, we were back here again and yes, I had their pecel lele (RM7.50)…

Penyet Delta pecel lele

…again and yes, this time around, they served the rice wrapped in banana leaf…

Penyet Delta rice in banana leaf

…the way it should be like what they always do at their original outlet at Bandong and that certainly puts them a cut above all the rest where they will just serve you plain white rice by the side, take it or leave it.

While I was paying my bill at the counter, I asked the boy why it is more expensive here, by RM1.00, at least, and whether it is because they have to pay to rent the shop and he said yes – at the other place, they are sharing the premises with somebody’s sister-in-law or somebody, operating from a small section of the shop with tables and stools laid out outside under the extended awning so of course, comparatively, this is a very much nicer place.

Actually, the people at the coffee shop next door were occupying this place before, both sides, but I heard that the landlord wanted to increase the rent by leaps and bounds so they all moved over to the other side. I guess if these people here have to fork out so much, it is only reasonable that they charge a little bit more for the food. Besides, their other place only opens at night while over here, one can stop by any time of day…and as a matter of fact, there are places here where their penyet dishes are even more expensive, RM8.00 and above.

Yes, I did enjoy what I had that day – they probably ran out of tofu because I was given two pieces of tempeh instead of one tempeh and one fried tofu. The sambal was as good as ever and the ikan keli (catfish) was grilled to perfection…

Penyet Delta ikan keli

…very nice and juicy and very much to my liking, not dry and hard like at some places.

They now have nasi campur (mixed rice) laid out at where the roti canai stall used to be

Penyet Delta nasi campur spread

They have those stainless steel food warmers instead of a mosquito-netting covered cabinet but the guys will come and open everything up when there is anyone there to look at the food.

My missus had that…

Penyet Delta nasi campur

…that day and the total came up to a whooping RM6.00! However, considering that the asam fish (with a whole lot of vegetables added) was RM2.50 a piece and the egg was RM1.00 or RM1.50, leaving around RM2.00 or 2.50 for the rice and the daun ubi masak lemak (tapioca leaves cooked in santan/coconut milk), it more or less adds up to that amount.

She enjoyed what she had picked – in fact, the fish and the tapioca leaves were so good that we even tapao-ed some home for dinner.

PENYET DELTA (2.307969, 111.825223) is located at No.14, Lorong Delta 10, off Jalan Delta, right behind the Delta Swimming Pool, right beside the Delta Seafood & Cafe.


Trying to recall…

I guess there can be no denying that I am no spring chicken anymore and sometimes, I may have the tendency to be a little absent-minded.

I was here not too long ago and I did see something at this stall…

Joystar Garden food stall
*Archive photo*

…that I thought I would like to try the next time I drop by but that day, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t recall what it was until I saw the photograph again – their braised pork rice (RM5.00)…

Joystar Garden braised pork rice

Of course I wasted no time at all in ordering that and yes, it was very nice – very generous with the pork…

Very generous with the pork

…and there was one whole hard-boiled egg by the side. I certainly would much sooner go for this than what I had here for a ringgit more and no egg.

My missus had their chap fan or mixed rice (RM3.80)…

Joystar Garden chap fan

…and she said she liked what she had as well.

This complimentary soup…

Joystar Garden complimentary soup

…came with both our orders but it was somewhat bland, nothing to get excited about.

I also ordered a piece of siew yoke/roast pork belly (RM8.00)…

Joystar Garden siew yoke

…to share but my missus only had a bit as she was quite happy with what she was having and if I had known that they would be so generous with the meat in my braised pork rice, I wouldn’t have ordered this.

JOYSTAR GARDEN 花悅坊 (2.328329, 111.837701) is located at No. 2A & 2B, Jalan Igan, to the left of the Sungai Merah traffic lights, across the lane from SMK Tiong Hin and a church there.

Different ways…

My Facebook friend, Lucas, dropped by my house to pass me this…

Dabai paste

He cooked the dabai (our local black olives) and went through the chore of peeling off the  skin and using the very rich and creamy inside to make the paste which he said would go so well with bread.

I’ve done that before but I only needed a few to cook my dabai fried rice. It was very nice, much nicer than using the salted/fermented version but because it was so tedious, I never did it again. That day, since I had this paste, I decided to use a bit to fry some leftover ethnic brown rice that I had in the fridge…

My dabai fried rice

…and yes, it turned out really well.

I thought it would be nice with chips or nachos like those avocado guacamole dips but I did not have any in the house so I had it with some Osborne biscuits and yes, it was really good.

Of course, Lucas did not go home empty-handed – I gave him some of my best-in-the-world rambutans

My rambutans

…but initially, I did not get any comment from him so I did not really know what he thought of it. Later, he told me that when he got back to his workplace, his workers ate all of them and did not even leave one for him. Oh dear!!!

I did give some to the people at the workshop I go to too that day when I took my car for its routine servicing. Initially, nobody batted an eyelid – I guess durians would draw a whole lot more attention, not rambutans but the boss tried one and he exclaimed, “Ha mik angmotan chee leh anay ho ciak eh?” (What rambutan is this, so very nice?) and he kept eating one after another. Everybody rushed for it and the whole bagful was gone in no time at all. LOL!!!

I have been plucking the fruit and giving to family and friends and of course, everyone loved it so much. Unfortunately, the tree has grown very high and wide so it is rather difficult to get to the fruits – I would have to saw the trunks to bring them down to pluck them. I wonder how long it will take to grow back and start bearing fruits again – the last time I had it trimmed and got all those parasitic plants and wild orchids on the branches cleared was in March last year and it did not take all that long to grow back again and yield a bountiful harvest.

Of course, I gave some to the wonderful people at Payung who had helped me with the tree twice already – Andy, in particular, likes it very much and talking about the café, I did drop by the other day and they had this (RM19.00)…

Payung Cafe butter chicken spaghetti 1

…on the menu now, their very nice butter chicken served with spaghetti.

I’ve always enjoyed the dish with rice and they came out with this idea of serving it in a different way – with pasta. There were a whole lot of tomatoes…

Payung Cafe butter chicken spaghetti 2

…in the gravy so it came across like a very mild version of the bolognese sauce…thankfully! I am not a fan of this tomato-based pasta sauce especially when it is too strong on the tomato and comes across like tomato sauce straight from the bottle.

I enjoyed it all right but I was not crazy about having to wrestle with the bones – I mentioned that to Andy and he said that they were just trying it out and in future, they would use deboned chicken cubes instead like the meat in their chicken or beef spaghetti.

PAYUNG CAFÉ (2.284049, 111.833014) is located at No.20F, Lanang Road, Sibu, back to back with the multi-storey car park of the Kingwood Hotel which faces the majestic Rejang River.

I’ve been waiting…

…for the chance to come back here and try the mantao with mui choy stewed pork (RM5.00)…

BATARAS FOOD COURT mantao with mui choy stewed pork

…ever since I tried the one with plain stewed pork (RM4.50)

BATARAS FOOD COURT mantao with stewed pork
*Archive photo*

…and liked it a lot. I thought this one was just as good – I did not think there was a world of difference in the taste but it looked like there was not that much meat…

BATARAS FOOD COURT mui choy stewed pork

…while on the other hand, one can get to enjoy the mui choy added.

In the meantime, I spotted this stall…

BATARAS FOOD COURT nasi ayam gorneg stall

…that looked like the one at the other side of the food court before and I had tried the guy’s nasi daging hitam (black pork rice – RM6.00, chicken is a ringgit cheaper at RM5.00 only)…

BATARAS FOOD COURT nasi daging hitam

…before and I rather enjoyed it when I had it way back in September 2015 so that morning, I decided to have a go at it again. That old location is now occupied by the Malay stall from the other side so all this time, I thought he had moved elsewhere or called it quits.

It is still that same price as before but looking back, I had a stewed egg (RM1.00) with it then…

BATARAS FOOD COURT nasi babi hitam with stewed egg
*Archive photo*

I did not see any that morning at the stall or maybe, I just wasn’t looking otherwise I would surely have asked for one.

My missus ordered the braised pork fried kway teow (RM6.00) from the chu char (cook & fry) place at the back (to the right of the food court) and even though the bits of meat were barely visible…

BATARAS FOOD COURT braised pork fried kway teow 1

…it was very nice and had that lovely wok hei fragrance…

BATARAS FOOD COURT braised pork fried kway teow

…and she enjoyed it very much. I did try a bit and yes, I would say that I did agree with her on this.

BATARAS FOOD COURT (2.297349, 111.824644) is located among the shops opposite Kin Orient Plaza (where the “old’ Sing Kwong Supermarket is) along Jalan Tun Abg Hj Openg, right after Coffee Code and Gabriel’s Recipe, immediately before Kampung Grandma.

Same again…

A few days after our first visit, we dropped by here again for lunch. I did say in my previous post that we would be doing that very often as it is round the corner from my mum’s house, a convenient stop for us on our way home.

I had every intention of checking out what they would have on their menu but when we got there, the sight of what they had for their nasi campur (mixed rice) made me change my mind and in the end, I had the same again.

This was what I had…

La'zzaty Cuisine nasi campur

…that day.

The daging masak hitam (black-cooked beef) was, at best, all right. Despite spotting all the spices used in the cooking in the gravy, it came across like soy sauce beef, maybe just a little bit nicer than that but not much, and the beef was not as tender as I would like it to be.

The masak lemak cabbage, bean curd sticks and glass noodles with black fungus and potatoes was good but of course, when my mum used to cook that, with prawns added and sweet potatoes instead of potatoes and a bit of cangkuk manis too, hers was a whole lot nicer.

I prefer the sambal petai with prawns here – their sambal is a whole lot nicer – and  here, it was more like sambal prawns with petai and I had a hard time picking out the stinky beans as there were a whole lot of prawns and not much petai.

As for my fourth pick, I wanted the terung Dayak, not so much the fish, the ikan tenggiri (mackerel) but in the end, I took a slice of that as well…

La'zzaty Cuisine fish with terung Dayak

I don’t know which of my four picks would constitute a vegetable dish, maybe the masak lemak so all in all, I had three meat and one vegetable.


La'zzaty Cuisine pumpkin and cangkuk manis

…came out later otherwise, I would have taken some of it as well. Gee!!! I really must have a bit more self-control at places such as this as everything looked so inviting.

My missus stuck to her usual three and had the sambal prawns with petai too and also the masak lemak and she had another green vegetable. The total for the both of us that day was RM14.50 and my guess was hers was RM4.50 while mine was a whooping RM10.00 but yes, I did think it was worth it as I did enjoy all that I picked.

The following day, we headed back to this place and yes, it was open! I asked the boy if their off day each week would be on Wednesday but he said no – they would take Sundays off every week. I probed further to find out why they were closed ever so often and he mumbled something about waking up late and not feeling too well and what not.

Well, thankfully, their rather erratic irregular opening days did not seem to affect their business very much – there were a whole lot of people that day. I was thinking that their customers might get fed up going all the way there only to find that the place was closed and they might just decide to never come back again. Obviously, I was wrong.

We had the same thing again, their nasi kerabu with ayam percik, drumstick (RM6.50)…

Warong Cafe nasi kerabu ayam percik, drumstick

…that we do like a lot and yes, as always, it was really good. I love the stuffed green chili…

Stuffed green chili

…and I do think that the ayam percik

Ayam percik

…alone would be satisfying enough even if one had it with plain white rice.

I also ordered the Penang laksa (RM5.00)…

Warong Cafe Penang laksa 1

…to try but I thought it was a little mild – I felt that the one here had a stronger and more flavourful broth and a lot more of the fish flakes. Anyway, I ordered that just because I had seen a lot of people eating it and yes, it…

Warong Cafe Penang laksa 2

…did look good but truth be told, I am not really a fan of that Northern Malaysian delight.

LA’ZZATY CUISINE (2.307198, 111.828479) is located along Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg on the left if you are coming from town, right after the SHELL petrol station, at its junction with Jalan Nibong with the Sibu Buddhist Temple on your right on the other side of the road while WARONG CAFE (2.318841, 111.831732) is located among the shops in between Jalan Tapang and Jalan Tapang Timur towards the end of Jalan Kampung Nangka on the left with RTM Sibu right across the road on the right.

Still remember…

One of the most rewarding things about being a teacher is when the students still remember you, even those whom you do not have the opportunity to teach. I feel sad for those whose names their students cannot even remember – that thin one, wore spectacles…or that fierce one with a very loud voice and so on and so forth. In the words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Well, this group of ex-students of mine in Kanowit around 1980…

Ex-SMK Kanowit students
*Ex-student’s photo forwarded via Facebook*

…sure remember me still, praise the Lord. They could even recall that I was their Form Teacher for two years when they were in Form 2 and Form 3. I was not able to attend their 2017 reunion in December that was held in Bintulu and the other day, out of the blue, one of them contacted me and  invited me to join them for dinner here, upstairs…

Sibu Town Cafe

I was quite surprised as I was not expecting it at all – I did hear from one of them that they will hold another reunion in Sibu sometime later this year and this wasn’t it. It sure was great to see all of them again and I felt so very happy that they are doing so well in their lives. I guess nothing makes a teacher happier than seeing ex-students making it good once they have left school.

My photographs did not come out too well except for this plate of the Four Heavenly Kings…

Sibu Town Cafe Four Heavenly Kings with canned pork cubes

…that went so very well with the canned pork cubes it was fried with and this one, a sourish pork leg soup…

Sourish pork leg soup

According to them, they were all their traditional Cantonese Hakka dishes including the sour duck, roast and soy sauce kampung pig pork and there was a plate of kampung chicken too plus the fried sweet potato leaves were very nicely done as well.

One of them went and bought this ikan semah

Steamed ikan semah
*Ex-student’s photo forwarded via Facebook*

…the upriver Kapit fish, second only to the very expensive wang poo liao (cannot forget) or the empurau and this one did not come cheap either – RM180 a kilo and the one we had was 1.4 kilo altogether. He got it from the brother of one of their classmates who was not with us that night and of course, it was very very fresh and very very nice unlike some empuraus that I have had lately, frozen too long and I thought they were kind of bland, quite tasteless and could have been any other fish.

We had a joyful evening filled with lots of smiles and I sure look forward to the next time we can get together like this again. Thank you all for the invitation and thank you especially to Hoi Kian, the host for the evening. May God bless you abundantly and everybody too in this new year and all the years ahead. Cheers!!!

SIBU TOWN CAFE (2.328216, 111.855481) is located at Ulu Sungai Merah 18F, opposite the Wonderful Supermarket and Departmental Store in that area of shops.

Point at you…

I walked by this coffee shop…

Happy Points Cafe, signboard

…sometime ago when I had the roast chicken and pork rice next door and I saw a group of sweet young things sharing a plate of Foochow fried noodles and it looked very good so all this while, I had been waiting for the chance to go back there and give it a try.

It’s just a regular coffee shop…

Happy Points Cafe, inside

…nothing fancy and in line with the regulations laid down by the local council, once you’re seated, they will give you a glass of hot water and you can pick your chopsticks and spoon from the basket holder and dip them in to sort of sterilise them before use…

Good practice

The coffee was good and the Foochow fried noodles (RM4.00)…

Foochow fried noodles 1

…was to my liking too, tasty and with the much coveted wok hei fragrance. No, I would not say it was my favourite in town but yes, it was nice enough and I sure will not mind going for it again if I happen to be in the vicinity.

I particularly liked how generous they were with the green vegetables…

Foochow fried noodles 2

…or at least, they were visible unlike at many places around here where the minute bits of meat and greens would hardly be visible to the naked eye.

It seems that they have nasi lemak for only RM3.00 and a whole lot of selections on their “menu” on the wall and they have mee sua (the Foochow longevity noodles) on weekends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I probably would try those or something else that they have to offer the next time I stop by here.

HAPPY POINTS CAFE (2.310958, 111.831458) is located along Jalan Dewan Suarah, on your right as you are entering from Jalan Melur, two doors away from the Aroma Bakery so that makes it the fourth shoplot in the block.