Too late…

I wanted to try the Penang char kway teow at this stall…

101 Food Court fried kueh tiaw stall

…here…

101 Food Court

formerly called M.U Cafe but my guess is somebody else has taken over and renamed it thus and I do not know if it has any connection with this place that goes by the same name.

Unfortunately, we were too late; the guy was already cleaning up his stall and calling it a day…or perhaps I should say that he was closing shop way too early as we got there at around 11.00 a.m. and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet. Maybe he only opens for breakfast and brunch or business was exceptionally good that day so he had run out of noodles.

I saw somebody having nasi lemak and it looked pretty good but when I looked around the place, I could not find any Malay stall. Eventually, I spotted where it came from…

101 Food Court No. 19 nasi lemak stall

– Stall No. 19 run by two very nice Chinese ladies.

We were at a loss as to what to eat so in the end, we just decided we would order something from them to try. My missus had the chicken rendang rice (RM5.50)…

101 Food Court Stall 19 chicken rendang rice

…which came with one fried egg and I must say that the rendang

101 Food Courst Stall 19 chciken rendang

…was really very good – not spicy, or not to us, at least, but it tasted great.

I was wishing she had ordered something else as I had asked for the nasi lemak

101 Food Court Stall No. 19 nasi lemak 1

…with chicken rendang too which would mean that I would only have one thing to blog about. However, the ladies got my order wrong and brought me a bowl of chicken curry (RM6.00 altogether, including the nasi lemak) instead and I guess the one who served us overheard what my missus and I were saying and was absolutely apologetic and even offered to take back the curry and get me the rendang instead. We managed to convince her that it was perfectly all right and as a matter of fact, I was quite happy as I would have something extra to feature here plus we could compare between the two.

The rice had a very slight hint of the richness of the santan/coconut milk, barely noticeable, but it was all right when eaten with everything else that came with it…

101 Food Court Stall No. 19 nasi lemak 2

The curry, though watery and not spicy – quite typical of Chinese curry…

101 Food Court chicken curry

…was very good but between the two, we thought the rendang had an edge over it; the latter was nicer.

All in all, we enjoyed our orders and yes, we would be back again to see what else we could try. I saw a stall in front selling all kinds of Japanese delights, sushi included and there is a western food stall (though it looked like it only opens at night) among the many at that place.

101 FOOD COURT (2.291330, 111.841751) is located in the vicinity of the shops around Medan Mall, Jalan Wong King Huo, back to back with Jiali Cafe along Lorong Tong Sang 4, two or three doors to the left of Wan Li Sheng Rou Mee.

False alarm…

On one of the weekends when my girl was home, she said that she wanted to go for the nasi campur delights here but when we got there, from the outside looking in, it did not look like the place was open. We went past again the following day and no, the place was quite deserted – a stall was open but it did not look like it was the one we were looking for.

I must say that I was somewhat disappointed as yes, I did enjoy the food here though I was not exactly thrilled by their nasi bryani, available only on Fridays and it looked like they have increased the price by RM1.00 for the mutton…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang nasi bryani prices

…but as far as I know, it is the favourite of some folks around here.

It sure was a welcome relief when my missus and I dropped by the other morning and yes, it was business as usual – it was a false alarm, after all…and I did ask the girl and she said that they usually open till 8 at night but when the food runs out, they may close earlier.

My missus had the sotong (squid)…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang sotong

…and the petai (stink beans) with prawns…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang sambal petai udang

…as well as the pineapple…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang pineapple

…while I had all three of the above plus the mutton curry with potatoes…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang mutton curry

…and the prawns…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang prawns

The boss’ wife came and did some calculations and collected RM21.00 from me and when I asked her, she said that it was RM10.00 for mine (3 meat and 1 vegetable)…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang 3 meat & 1 veg

…RM8.00 for what my missus picked (1 meat and 2 vegetables) and RM3.00 for the drinks.

I thought that was rather expensive…wait a minute, let me rephrase that! I thought it was exceptionally cheap the previous times we were here but considering the amount of everything that we helped ourselves to and how much we enjoyed it all, I would say it was all right and I would much sooner fork out that kind of money to have these here than what we had at that place that we went to not very long ago.

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. You can park inside for free on weekdays (no parking fee payable in Sibu on weekends) if you are going to eat there but if you leave your car there and walk to some place outside, I think the fee is RM2.00, no time limit.

From coast to coast…

I was out early on Monday morning to go and top up the petrol in the car prior to making our way to Selangau and beyond to send my girl back to her school in the jungle after the long weekend. Somehow, I feel a lot more comfortable travelling long distances with a full tank and I would always check that my tyres have enough air and everything.

I stopped by this Malay kueh stall, now a shop, at Bandong here on the way. Usually when I dropped by, it would be mid-morning already and most of the things would be sold out. Since I was early that day, around 7.00 a.m., there were a lot of things to pick and choose.

However, my attention was drawn to the Kelantanese delights, from the East Coast of Peninsula/West Malaysia. My girl loves their laksam (RM3.50) a packet and there were only two left so I grabbed both of them.

When I got home, I opened one packet to try. Inside, there were these…

Laksam 1

…something like chee cheong fan or kway teow, all rolled up and sliced, and also the raw vegetables – cabbage, taugeh (bean sprouts) and long bean…

Laksam 2

…and also the rich and lovely fish/coconut milk gravy…

Laksam 3

…and last but not least, there was the sambal cili (pounded chili paste)…

Laksam 4

I mixed everything together…

Laksam 6

…and ate. Yes, it was very nice and I sure would not mind having that sometimes for a change. My girl took the other packet and had it for dinner at her quarters and she complained to the mum that she enjoyed it so much that it left her craving for more. This was one of her favourites when she was at the teacher-training institute in Sg Petani, Kedah. Hmmm…it sure looks like I would have to go again this coming weekend and hopefully, this will be available.

For one thing, not all the things sold here are available on a regular basis. They merely sell whatever those people cook at home and deliver there so if none is forthcoming, then there will not be any….like the nasi kerabu (RM5.00) that morning…

Mak Met Breakfast Station nasi kerabu 1

…another Kelantanese specialty from the East Coast. We had that for lunch and even though the portion was rather huge, my girl was able to finish all of hers and enjoyed it to the max (and that was the very reason why she kept the laksam for dinner). We love the one here but that one is only available on Saturdays and this one is just as nice…and cheaper too, with the whole works and two pieces of fried ayam berempah (spiced chicken)…

Mak Met Breakfast Station nasi kerabu 2

Well, if there is any available this weekend, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would be grabbing a few packs to take home…again!

From the West Coast of Peninsula/West Malaysia, there is the Penang asam laksa which is also available here and this is on a more regular basis, alongside the Sarawak laksa. I do buy these for my girl sometimes and yes, she likes the ones from here too. I don’t know of any shop here selling the laksa, Penang style…or maybe, I never ever took notice but if I should stumble upon one, I sure would like to give it a try and blog about it…if it is any good.

MAK MET BREAKFAST STATION (2.314111, 111.825678) is located at the shops along Jalan Bandong behind the stalls by the roadside along Bandong Walk, across the road from SK Pendidikan Khas, to the right.

Say what?…

My girl wanted to pick up a few things as she wanted to cook dinner that evening so we went to the supermarket at Simpang Tiga here and since we were there, we decided that we would just go over to the hawker stalls opposite for lunch. After all, the African guy‘s pili pili grilled chicken rice (RM9.00)…

Stall No. 7 pili pili grilled chicken rice

…from Stall No. 7 there is one of my girl’s favourites in town. The mum had the same and yes, it was good as always.

For a change, I had the ais kacang or ang tao peng

Stall No. 10 ais kacang 1

…from Stall No. 10 but the beans were a little hard, not that it really mattered as there were so few in it…

Stall No. 10 ais kacang 2

Still, I quite enjoyed it as they added a lot of the gula Melaka (palm sugar) and they were also very generous with the evaporated milk. I certainly liked it a lot more than the one I had from the other drink stall (Stall No. 3) there that had all that rose syrup that I am not fond of.

I did not feel like having the pili pili nor the Moroccan grilled chicken rice so I went to the stall beside it, No. 6, to see what they had for their nasi campur. I chose the curry fish, ikan pari (sting ray)…

Stall No. 6 kari kian & telur sambal

…and the sambal egg and I picked this labu (gourd)…

Stall No. 6 labu

…for my choice of vegetable.

I asked the lady how much that would be and she said RM7.00. Say what??? RM7.00 for this…

Stall No. 6 nasi campur

…with only two meat and one vegetable?

The sign at the stall said, “Nasi campur RM4.00++,” so I asked the lady about that. She said it was RM4.00 plus what one picked…and in my case, there were one, two and three…so RM7.00 altogether.

Ah well, no prize for guessing who would not be coming back for more, thank you very much!

The SEDC HAWKER CENTRE is located at Simpang Tiga, facing the entrance of MDS Mart with the end of Jalan Kampung Hilir on one side and the end of Jalan Awang Ramli Amit (formerly Race Course Road) on the other.

At the junction…

When my girl’s coursemate and his wife visited us during Chinese New Year, they were telling us that the nasi lemak here

SEDC Hawker Centre Stall No. 9 laksa Sarawak

…was very nice.

I had the Sarawak laksa here before but no, I did not like it at all. The only attraction was the prawns that came with it…

SEDC Stall 9 laksa Sarawak special
*Archive photo*

…and when we were working on the book on food in Sibu, I actually insisted that we went here just to take a photograph of it as it looked pretty impressive.

Well, the following day, Sunday, was the 2nd Day of Chinese New Year so all the shops in town were closed, the Chinese ones in particular, but some Malay ones were open including a number of stalls at this SEDC Hawker Centre at Simpang Tiga here in Sibu. That was why we chose to go there for breakfast after the morning service at the church up the road.

My girl wanted the Penang laksa but it was not available so she went for the Sarawak laksa (RM4.00)…

SEDC Hawker Centre Stall No. 9 laksa Sarawak

…instead – without the prawns. That probably would be the special, I wouldn’t know. I tried a little and I thought it was all right – no, I did not say it was good, just all right which was more than what I would say about what I had from this stall on those previous occasions. My guess is perhaps they are using a different brand of the sambal laksa, one that is a bit nicer than the one before.

My missus and I both had their nasi lemak special (RM5.00 each)…

SEDC Hawker Centre Stall No 9 nasi lemak special 1

…but no, we did not think it was anything to shout about.

The rice was not really lemak, for want of a lot more santan and the sambal did not quite taste like the usual sambal that we would get with nasi lemak

SEDC Hawker Centre Stall No. 9 nasi lemak special 2

…and the only saving grace was that the egg was fried the traditional way – in a wok, the way I like it.

As a matter of fact, I do not recall any nasi lemak at any Malay stall or shop in town that I would pinpoint and say, “Yes! This is the one!!!” So far, my favourite in town would be the one here but I do not think it will go down well with certain quarters even though it is a pork-free place and they do have a couple of Malay/Muslim employees working there as well, taking the orders, doing the serving and what not…and the Sarawak laksa here is a whole lot nicer than many elsewhere as well.

We were in the vicinity again the following day, Monday – the day before the last day of the Chinese New Year holidays when I would have to send my girl back to her school in the jungle and she wanted to go for the peri-peri grilled chicken rice at the stall…

Pili pili grilled chicken stall

…there.

I ordered the banana smoothie (RM4.50)…

SEDC Hawker Centre banana smoothie

…which was like blended bananas – so thick and so much of the fruit in it!

My girl and the mum had the peri-peri grilled chicken rice (RM9.00)…

SEDC Hawker Centre peri-peri grilled chicken rice

Somehow or other, both of them prefer it to the Moroccan (RM9.00)…

SEDC Hawker Centre Moroccan grilled chicken rice

…which I personally like a lot more. Whichever one’s choice of rice may be, one would get the own-made peri-peri sauce and the salsa and a chicken thigh grilled to perfection…

SEDC Hawker Centre grilled chciken thigh

What matters most, of course, would be the fact that we do enjoy what the African guy dishes out at his stall here and rest assured we would be coming back for more again…and again.

I’ll wait…

We have known all this while since our first visit here that they only have nasi bryani on Fridays so that was why we dropped by there last week – I wanted to give it a try…

Hari Jumaat sahaja

It was already 11 something but the girl told us that it was not ready so my missus decided to have their nasi campur (RM5.00)…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang nasi campur

…instead. They had a lot of dishes ready in the display cabinet by then and to give credit where credit is due, everything looked very good and based on what I had on a previous visit, everything tasted good too and this time around, it was no exception. My missus loved her picks – the shrimps and the pineapples and the sambal buah kedundung – a distant cousin of the buah emplam. I guess the latter is not in season right now and I never liked this as an alternative but surprisingly, they did it so well that both my missus and I were so very impressed.

As for me, I was not about to give up so easily so I asked how long I would need to wait and they said around 10-15 minutes so I said I would wait.

In the meantime, I decided to try this new stall…

Sajian d'Rahmat

…at the place.

They have rojak tambi Sibo (Sibu Indian rojak)…

Rojak Tambi Sibo

…on their menu and for the uninitiated, nang nyaman is Sarawak Malay for memang sedap, delicious.

I would say it was not bad (RM4.00)…

Rojak Tambi Sibo

…and what I liked best was that there were potatoes and half an egg in it like the original Rojak Kassim that we used to enjoy so much here a long long time ago. These days, we have a lot of Rojak Kassim wannabes all over town and if I am not wrong, they go for around RM3.00 only, no egg, no potatoes.

Finally, the elusive nasi bryani kambing – the mutton bryani rice (RM10.00)…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang nasi bryani 1

…was served.

I was very disappointed that the papadum had gone limp, masuk angin, as we say in Malay, and the rice was like what it is usually like when we scoop it out immediately and serve once the auto switch goes click. Anyway, I was still under the weather so my taste buds were not in perfect form and besides, I had just finished that big plate of rojak so on the whole, I did not think it swept me off my feet…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang nasi bryani 2

…and I only managed to finish half of it.

I loved the mutton curry…

Hari Hari Daun Pisang mutton curry

…a lot though – it wasn’t actually authentically Indian curry but it was very nice and they were so very generous with the meat – all lean! Most of the time elsewhere, you would get slices of lamb with a whole lot of bone and fat and once you’ve got rid of those, you find that you do not have much meat left. If this is their usual standard, the next time, I drop by here again, I sure would not mind having it along with their other nice delights in their nasi campur selection…and yes, we would want to come again, that’s for sure.

Go ahead…

In our local Sarawak Malay dialect, we say gohead meaning to go on and do what one wants to do or to move forward like when one is driving a car or riding a motorcycle. I guess that is derived from the phrase in English, go ahead but to reverse a vehicle, we say gostan. Now how did that come about, I wonder?

Anyway, I’ve noticed that in our local ethnic Dayak cuisine, there is hardly any use at all of wheat flour or soya sauce, so my girl can gohead and eat what she likes without any worries about what may trigger her gluten intolerance…like the other day, when we went back here for lunch, the mum had this…

Anak Borneo nasi campur lunch

…while she also had the pansoh babi and the tapioca leaves and she also picked the cangkuk manis with pumpkin, one meat and two vegetables…

Anak Borneo cangkuk manis pumpkin

…and together with the mum’s one meat and two vegetables, the total came up to RM13.50.

Of course, she cannot gohead and eat what I had – I decided to try something from this stall in that same coffee shop

Champion Corner kueh chap lor mee stall

…but I did not want the kueh chap – I’ve  had before when they were at their previous location and yes, it was quite good.

I decided to try the lor mee, pardon the spelling but I think that is the transcription from how they say it in Mandarin, to see if it was anything like what we used to know and loved…

Champion Corner lor mee 1

…but no, it was like kueh chap minus the white pieces of kueh and adding our not-so-yellow noodles and some strips of kangkong

Champion Corner lor mee 2

…instead. That sure was a huge bowl, the special (RM8.00) with a whole lot of the usual kueh chap ingredients and yes, I would say it was very nice just that it wasn’t exactly like the lor mee I was looking for – the one with the slightly corn starch-thickened, slightly sweet gravy with a little bit of egg and a very mild hint of five-spice powder in it. Of course, my girl can’t gohead and eat this – there is soy sauce in the soup/gravy.

This is all right though – the peri-peri grilled chicken rice (RM9.00)…

SEDC Hawker Stalls, Simpang Tiga - peri peri grilled chicken rice

…that she had here. The mum also had the same and we noticed that they had gone back to grilling the chicken which we would very much prefer. The last two times, the chicken was fried and though it was quite all right done like that it would be more or less something one would get at those ayam penyet places all over town, nothing really special.

I went to the nasi campur stall beside it and this was what I had…

SEDC Hawker Stalls, Simpang Tiga nasi campur

…for RM9.00, 5 meats and one vegetable – two pieces of fish and two halves of salted egg plus one serving of umai (our Melanau sashimi)…

Umai & sambal buah emplam

…and the sambal buah emplam. Yes, my girl would be able to gohead and eat all that I have picked that day and quite a lot from such Malay food stalls, I think but there would be some that she would have to avoid – things in soy sauce or coated with batter and fried…like the very nice nasi kerabu that we had…

Sri Tanjung nasi kerabu

here. The mum went and asked and was told that yes, they would coat the chicken or the fish before frying so my girl had to eat it without the meat…nor the keropok (prawn cracker). Should we go for this again, we probably would ask for one fried egg…or maybe a bit of their curry or rendang for her to eat with her rice.

As you can see, it is not much of a problem and all it takes would be a little bit of awareness and it sure is not so bad after all – there are actually quite a lot of things that my girl can gohead and eat!