Come over…

2017 is Visit Sibu Year and Bubu

Bubu

…the friendly crocodile, is the official mascot.

I stumbled upon this very nice display at one of the shopping malls in town the other day. It probably has been there for sometime, just that I did not drop by…or walk past that way and hence, I did not see it before this.

I thought it was very nicely done – I could see the buah dabai (our local black olives)

Dabai and all the rest

…and the duku or langsat and it amazed me to see how cleverly they managed to replicate the hairs on the rambutans. Can you spot our famous/infamous delicacy, the sago worm?

There is the buah manggis (mangosteen) and buah nangka (jackfruit) in this section…

The Hornbill and more

…and the pitcher plant aka monkey pot alongside a nice carving of the Hornbill, our state bird, and you can see the midin (wild jungle fern) here, there and everywhere.

Well, it is already September, less than four months left in the year so what are you all waiting for? Come over and find out for yourself all that this little town has in store for you.

If you come over now, there is a new attraction, a new pasar malam (night market) at the Sungai Merah Heritage Walk…

Sungai Merah

…where the Lovers’ Bridge is located…

Lovers' Bridge

One of the NGO’s here has set up this structure…

LOVE Garden

…in the vicinity…

Lock the Love

…so couples can attach their pairs of padlocks…

Padlocks

…onto the frame. I think I did see them selling those at a stall/booth close by so no worries, you do not have to bring your own.

As for the night market proper, I don’t know if we were too early that day or many of the booths/stalls were still vacant, yet to be rented out. There was one selling soya bean products…

Soya Bean stall

…and another one specialising in the bak kua (barbecued sliced pork)…

Loong Kee

…one of the better known names in Kuala Lumpur.

I was glad to see this guy wearing a mask…

Hygienic

…while doing the grilling. That is a good hygienic practice, I must say. Unfortunately, he was not doing it over some hot burning charcoal…

Pork satay

…but nonetheless, my missus did buy the pork satay (RM2.00 per stick) from him to try. It was very tasty but a bit too salty for our liking.

You can get to enjoy some fried chicken at this stall…

MR Fried Chicken

…if that tickles your fancy and there is kompia

Kompia stall

…our so-called Foochow bagel, at this one and there are chicken claws…

Chicken claws

…available here. Eyewwwww!!! No, thank you!

This one selling rojak and kompia and a lot of other fried stuff as well seemed to draw quite a lot of people…

Free testing

…and as I went closer to have a look, I could see what the attraction was. Free testing! No, I did not bother to sample anything – by then, I was feeling a bit hot and uncomfortable so we decided not to go any further. I think there is a stall further up selling roast chicken or duck or whatever – I could see something like that in the distance and no, we did not feel like having that either.

The sun was setting…

Setting sun

…when we crossed the bridge and went back to where I had parked the car and left.

As far as pasar malams or night markets go, I do feel that the main one in the town centre has an edge over this one – for one thing, there are a lot more things, especially our local Sibu/Foochow delights and on the whole, it is more interesting.

Having said that, you may want to check out this one if you are keen but most people who come here will probably stay for a weekend and maybe a day or two more so they may not have the luxury of time. Besides, if one is staying at a hotel, chances are he or she would be at the town centre, quite a distance from here and it would not be so convenient to drop by unless one has one’s own transport…or a local resident, be it a relative or a friend, to bring them here.

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Without a doubt…

The nasi lemak guy at Bandong Walk here once asked me which ayam penyet here would be my favourite and I replied straight away that, without a doubt, it would be this one…

Penyet Bandong

Yes, I do drop by quite regularly but most of the time, I would buy and take home to eat instead of eating it there and all those times, I did not bother to blog about it as I’ve done that many times before like here or here for instance.

This young and friendly guy…

Penyet Bandong guy

…is the one running that place and he asked me when we were there on Friday evening last week, “Masih akif blogging?” (Still actively blogging?) Oh? It seemed that he knew who I was and my guess was that he heard it from Mak Met who runs the Malay kueh stall at this same place in the morning. True enough, he told me she’s his father’s sister, his aunt – all in the family!

My missus had the chicken (RM6.50)…

Penyet Bandong chicken

…while my girl and I had the pecel lele (RM6.50 each)…

Penyet Bandong catfish

…the grilled ikan keli. The mum is not into catfish, that’s why.

Well, if it is the chicken and whatever bumbu (garnishing) they have on it or the grilled catfish, they are more or less the same everywhere, give and take a little as they may be overdone at some places, hard and dry.

What puts this place a head above the rest would be the very lovely rice…

Penyet Bandong rice 1

…wrapped in banana leaf and steamed and served piping hot…

Penyet Bandong rice 2

It has that very nice fragrance and is anytime a whole lot better than the plain white rice that we will get elsewhere.

The sambal (chili dip) too is so very nice, so very spicy and so very much to our liking…and furthermore, at only RM6.50, the ones here are definitely a lot cheaper than all the rest that we have tried.

Needless to say, we certainly will keep coming back for more.

PENYET BANDONG (2.314192, 111.825581) is located at the shops along Jalan Bandong in Kpg Nangka here, facing Bandong Walk. It opens every day but only in the evening (and the guy did say that they will be closed for a couple of days this weekend for Hari Raya Haji.)

Ain’t what it used to be…

I dropped by the pasar malam (night market) here the other day. My girl said she felt like having some tee peang

Tee peang
*Archive photo*

…so I headed straight to the stall for what we feel is the best in town in the hope that I could get hold of some for her. This is one of few kuehs (local cakes) left that she can eat as most would be made using wheat flour so they are not gluten free.

Incidentally, I heard that they are no longer running the stall at a coffee shop in town in the morning so if you insist on getting theirs and theirs alone, you will have to try your luck at their stall at the pasar malam.

Yes, the handsome young boy was there…

Handsome boy
*Archive photo*

…helping his mum at the stall at night and he was all apologetic that there wasn’t a single one left.

One thing I’ve noticed about them is that if they are frying something, they would do just that and nothing else so if that is not what you want, you will just have to wait. They were frying the ngor hiang/lor bak at the time and looking at the crowd gathered at the stall that evening, I decided to come back and try my luck another day.

I walked around looking for the stall that was selling this yeu chang koi (fried shallot cake)…

Pasar malam yeu chang koi

…but I did not see it anywhere so I left the place empty handed, disappointed that my effort had all been in vain.

The one I had here was quite like the ones I used to enjoy so much in my younger days except that they used a shallow saucer, not a bowl, so it was not as thick as the ones before but at least, it tasted pretty much the same.

It so happened that I came across this…

Lok Ming Yuen yeu chang koi 1

…at this coffee shop behind the medical centre where my mum was warded at the time and of course, I wasted no time whatsoever in grabbing a pack to try.

Inside, you can find the koi (cake) with the special soy sauce…

Lok Ming Yuen yeu chang koi 2

…and the yeu chang (fried shallots)…

Yeu chang

You will have to sprinkle the yeu chang all over the koi

Fried shallots, sprinkled

…and  pour the sauce over everything…

Pour the sauce

…before you start eating.

Yes, it was nice but no, it just ain’t the same. For one thing, the koi was very thin and it reminded me of chee cheong fun, nothing like what we had before and loved so well…and not anything I would go out of my way to buy again. Sighhhh!!!!

When the night comes…

This place…

MUC hawker centre

…was undergoing some major renovations last year but it has reopened for quite sometime now. I’ve long wanted to drop by to see what they have in store but I never got round to doing that. For one thing, it only opens when the night comes and if you go too early, only a handful of stalls would be open. On the other hand, if you go a little later, it would so crowded and you may have to park your car quite a distance away.

This popular satay place…

ARS satay
*Archive photo – from 2015*

…has moved here now but when we were there that night, they had yet to light the fire so in the end, I decided to go to another stall…

Yong Satay stall, Dewan MUC

…which I did try before when they were at the Ramadan bazaar in that same vicinity.

I ordered five sticks of each (RM12.00 altogether)…

Yong Satay, Dewan MUC

…and yes, they were all very nice. They did not quite taste the same as all the rest – probably they had their own ways of marinating the meat, for instance, the chicken had a stronger taste of the kunyit (tumeric) and the lamb, unlike some, was not so over-marinated that one can hardly tell whether it was lamb or beef. I dreaded ordering the beef these days because it had been so very tough but the one here, though not exactly tender, was not too bad.

I did buy some satay for my brother and his children when they were back here from Auckland, New Zealand and he said that a stick like this would cost NZD2.00 each and I guess theirs would not taste as nice. The daughter had more than her fair share of the ones I bought and declared outright that it was the best satay she had ever had!

The teh-c special a.k.a. tri-colour tea…

Teh-c special

…that I ordered from one of the drinks stall was rather disappointing though.

We also had this plate of midin (wild jungle fern)…

Midin, Dewan MUC

…from one of the stalls that were open a little earlier than the rest…

Food stall, Dewan MUC

…and I could not believe my ears when told that it was only RM4.00, that plate of greens.

The ikan bakar (grilled fish), what they call black and white or hitam putih in Malay or oh pek in Hokkien…

Ikan bakar, Dewan MUC 1

…was only RM12.00 and yes, it was very nice too…

Ikan bakar, Dewan MUC 2

I certainly wouldn’t mind going for this…

Ikan bakar, Dewan MUC 3

…again the next time I drop by here.

That sure was a delightful dinner and it was so very cheap too! We would be back here again soon, of course but perhaps, I would like to check out some of the many other stalls there to see if they have anything good to offer. I was also told that they have karaoke on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. You think I should give that a go? LOL!!!

The DEWAN MUC HAWKER STALLS (2.313658, 111.825056) are located along Jalan Jasmin, off Jalan Bandong, more or less opposite the primary school there, on your left if you turn left into that road from Bandong Walk.

Separate…

I think most everywhere else, when you have sotong kangkong, you will get the sauce poured over everything in the plate like this…

Sotong kangkong, Thomson Corner
*Archive photo*

…but not in Sibu.

I do recall in my growing up years, we would get the sauce served in separate individual bowls…

Sotong kangkong, Sibu style

…for us to dip and eat and enjoy but I do not get to see them doing it all that often anymore.

I knew of one stall at a coffee shop along Ramin Way, opposite the now-closed-down Star Cineplex but I never got round to dropping by to give it a try as parking in that part of town can be such a pain. Eventually, I noticed whenever I drove past that the stall was closed all the time so my guess was either they had wrapped up their business or moved elsewhere. Then, I heard that it was the latter and the guy…

Sotong kangkong guy

…is here now…

Sotong kangkong stall

…at the coffee shop to the right of the Sibu General Post Office…

Yalin Coffee Shop

I loved the sweet potato and prawn fritters and everything else…

Sotong kangkong platter

…but personally, I would prefer more calamansi lime and sugar in the sauce to make it a little bit more sweet and sour as in my opinion, it fell a little short on these two counts. I feel that the sauce here is nicer – I wonder whether they would mind if I ask them to serve the sauce separately like this but all in all, this was good too so I wouldn’t mind dropping by for more…

Sotong kangkong, double

…should I happen to be in the vicinity.

I know there is a stall at the hawker centre on the 1st floor of the Sibu Central Market where they serve the sotong kangkong the Sibu way, just like this too but I am not particularly fond of the place so I wouldn’t know if I would ever drop by to give it a try.

YALIN COFFEE SHOP (2.290902, 111.827723) is located along Jalan Kampung Nyabor, to the right of the Sibu General Post Office – the first one in that block of shops there.

Only in the night…

I miss dropping by here for lunch but it has been a while since I last did that for the simple reason that they no longer have the nasi campur/mixed rice lunch with all the delightful ethnic specialties that I do enjoy a lot. It is business as usual at night though but you don’t get the same menu as in the daytime.

It’s actually just a stall at a coffee shop here but the place is nice and comfortable enough and service is great. As you go near the place, you will here the soft soothing sounds of the ethnic stringed instrument, the sape. That day when we dropped by, they had one on display…

Sape, hornbill

…in the shape of a hornbill with all the lovely intricate carved designs…

Intricate carvings

…on the instrument.

This is new on their menu but available only upon special order…

Anak Borneo crabs and prawns
*Anak Borneo’s photo on Facebook/Instagram*

…and since I did not put in a request ahead of time, I did not get to try that.

Another item that is relatively new on their menu would be their tilapia marinated with their special terung assam sauce, grilled over hot burning charcoal to cook to perfection. Well, they did not have that when I dropped by before (at night) and I did suggest that they could have some fish instead of all that meat, probably something like the wrapped-in-banana-leaf ikan salai and they came out with this…

Anak Borneo Tilapia 1

…which I ordered for our dinner that night…

Anak Borneo tilapia 2

It was absolutely delicious (RM20.00)…

Anak Borneo tilapia 3

..and I certainly would want to order it again the next time I drop by here, just like their lokan (RM10.00 for 12)…

Anak Borneo lokan

…cooked over hot charcoal, opened and served with their special ginger oil sauce with bits of chili and spring onion. That is absolutely out of this world!

I did not feel like having the pansoh (meat cooked in bamboo) that night nor the ribs or the chicken wings but I did ask for their pork belly (RM10.00)…

Anak Borneo pork belly

…and we also had their dabai fried rice (RM3.50 each)…

Anak Borneo dabai fried rice

We certainly enjoyed the dinner to the max but I was wishing the whole time that they could have a vegetable dish, at least, to go with all that meat…or perhaps, they can prepare some sambal belacan and anyone interested can ask for an ulam platter with raw vegetables like cut cucumber, long beans, ulam raja and so on. That would be nice.

While we were there, they were sitting down for dinner themselves and yes, they had this bowl of pumpkin…

Pumpkin

…and one huge tray of roast chicken…

Roast chicken

…with the pickled cucumber and carrot by the side. I went and snapped some shots of them and they insisted and serving me a bit of each to try. Hmmm…if that is what the staff gets to eat every day, I sure would not mind applying for a job there. Hehehehehe!!!!

ANAK BORNEO (2.293072, 111.836789) is located at the Fortune Commercial Centre (Lorong Chew Siik Hiong) at the CHAMPION CORNER coffee shop that faces the back of the Rejang Medical Centre along Jalan Pedada.

Don’t ask me why…

This is one place where the food is very nice and may have an edge over a lot of the rest in town and in my present health condition, we decided to drop by that day.

Like at that place the other day, they were running late here too. It was way past 11 and none of the fish dishes were out of the kitchen yet. In the end, both my missus and I had the shrimps…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang sambal udang

…and the sambal buah kedondong

Hari Hari Daun Pisang sambal buah kedondong

…and also the pumpkin and cangkuk manis

Hari Hari Daun Pisang labu cangkuk manis

I had the omelette…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang omelette

…as well but don’t ask me why when I went to settle the bill, we were charged the same, RM6.00 each, even though I did pick one extra item.

Maybe I was feeling a little better or the food was indeed better and I did enjoy what I had…to a certain extent. Having said that, it seems to me that generally, they have the same dishes every day or at least, those times when we dropped by here to eat so probably, if one comes very often, one may get tired of the same things day in day out. They certainly have a lot to pick and choose though so I guess one can change one’s selections from day to day.

Yes, nasi bryani is available on Fridays only and when we were here sometime in May, they had increased the price for the mutton by RM1.00…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang nasi bryani prices in May
*Archive photo*

…and you don’t have to ask me why the prices have increased even further now…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang new nasi bryani prices

I hear the price of (imported) lamb is rocketting sky high which certainly comes as no surprise considering our miserable ever-dwindling ringgit.

HARI HARI DAUN PISANG CURRY HOUSE (2.287364, 111.825614) is located at the hawker centre/food court along Jalan Temple (after the Tua Pek Kong Temple/7-storey Pagoda),  to the extreme left of the Sibu Trade and Exhibition Centre next to the Kedai 1Malaysia there.