What did I do wrong…

Well, firstly, I did not pronounce it right.

I always called it “pho” as in Phong Hong…or when somebody throws a tile in mahjong and you have two identical ones in your hand, and you shout, “Phong!!!” and quickly grab that tile to form a set of three.

Then my girl told me it should have the f-sound as in philosophy…and I guess she knew better as she had a Vietnamese friend in Wellington with a Filipino wife and nothing beats getting it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. In fact, it is not even pronounced something like for – if you click this link to go to the website and click the listen link there, you will find that it sounds something like far, the intonation going a little upwards at the end. Ah well!!! Guess one is never too old to learn new things, right? LOL!!!

Now, some of you may recall that I did buy a packet of the dried flat rice noodles – the one in a green packet and I cooked that not too long ago. It turned out all right, not quite there but it was good enough. I did mention in that post that there is another brand being sold in town, in a red packet and I would want to buy that to try as well, and I did…

bánh phở 1

…and it’s a product of Vietnam…

product of Vietnam

…true and true. Of course, we do have dried versions of our own noodles at the shops too but some people would insist they would not be as nice as the fresh ones but when it comes to this bánh phở, we do not have any fresh ones so this will have to do.

I had a glimpse at the instructions at the back and it said to boil for 6 to 8 minutes. Boil! 6 to 8 minutes? Oh me! Oh my! No wonder the ones I bought and cooked before were not all that satisfactory, not really fine and smooth. I would just soak in hot water like what people usually do to soften bihun (rice vermicelli) prior to cooking. No wonder I thought it was not quite like hor fun or kway teow (flat rice noodles) and more like bihun.

So this time around, I did as instructed and after boiling, I rinsed in “fresh water” as stated in the instructions and loosened the strands before draining them well. Then, I added a bit of soy sauce, not too much as I did not want it too dark, a sprinkling of sugar (a teaspoon) and pepper…

With soy sauce, sugar and pepper

…and I mixed them altogether well.

These were the ingredients I prepared to fry the bánh phở

Ingredients

– sliced shallots and chili, chopped garlic and spring onions. sliced sausages and some fishballs.

I fried the shallots and garlic in a bit of oil till golden brown, added the chili and the sausages and fishballs and when they were good and ready, I put in the pre-seasoned bánh phở. Finally, I broke two eggs and mixed them well with everything in the wok before adding the spring onions and dishing everything out…

Fried bánh phở 1

There you are! It sure doesn’t look too bad, does it? Well, I would say it tasted very good too – maybe not all that salty enough but no, I would not want to add more soy sauce and get it all black. Perhaps a little salt would be fine but it was all right the way it was – I could enjoy the taste and fragrance of all the ingredients that went into the cooking and with my missus’ extra-hot blended chili dip, that sure gave it an extra kick.

I only cooked half of what was in the packet…

Fried bánh phở 2

…but when I get round to cooking the rest of it, I think I would check one of those pad thai recipes and get all the ingredients ready to cook it that way – hopefully, it will be just as nice as some that I’ve enjoyed so much at some Thai restaurants here and there.

Different day…

We had not been here ever since that time when we dropped by on a Sunday and I was put off by the poor service and what we were served that day.

We did drive by frequently though (my house is just round the corner) and we noticed that it was open on Tuesdays which used to be their off day and they were closed on Mondays instead. True enough, when we dropped by the other day, we saw this sign…

Colourful Cafe sign

…there which means that they only open in the morning on Sundays and the shop is closed Sunday night and every Monday. If I am not wrong, I do not think they open the whole day – usually, it is from 7.00 a.m. till 2.00 p.m. and they open again in the evening at around 6.00 p.m. till 10 or 11.

A friend of mine was also grumbling to me that day about their smaller servings…and I thought my experience that Sunday was just an isolated case and it was because of the crowd and they were so busy that the servings were not consistent, not as much as what we would get usually. She said that she used to order one plate of fried kway teow and there was enough for her to share with her kid but when she went recently, there was so little on the plate that she had to let her kid have all of it and order another one for herself.

Well, that morning, both my missus and I ordered their nasi lemak and she wanted hers with beef curry…

Colourful Cafe nasi lemak with beef curry

It looked all right this time around – there was quite a lot of the sambal and even though it did not look like there was a lot of beef, they sure were very generous with the gravy…

Colourful Cafe beef curry

I did wish they were not all that messy though.

I did not want to take the chance of getting just a spoonful of masak hitam beef like the last time so I asked for the chicken wing – after all, a wing is a wing and surely they would not be giving me just the drumette or the rest of it and yes, I did get the whole wing…

Colourful Cafe chicken wing

…and yes, I got a whole lot of the sambal

Colourful Cafe nasi lemak chicken wing

 …as well. It was a little spicy that day, just the way I like it.

It so happened that my neighbour and his wife were there too that morning for brunch and both of them had the Sarawak laksa – it looked all right, the serving. I did not think they got less than usual so I guess things are pretty much back to normal…so it is all right to drop by here again but maybe, not on a Sunday.

The guy there who was making the drinks, including the horrible coffee that I had, was nowhere to be seen. My guess is they have terminated his service and what I had that morning, my kopi-o-peng (iced black coffee) was to me, good enough.

My neighbour and his wife finished eating first and as they were leaving, they told us that they had settled our bill for us. That was so kind and generous of them, thank you, Robert  and missus. Hopefully, we’ll bump into the two of you again some place someday. Hehehehehe!!!!

The old courthouse…

Gee!!! I didn’t know there actually is a song by this name…but thankfully, unlike the one in the song, they are keeping this beauty, this precious heritage of colonial architecture…

The old courthouse, Kuching

– the old courthouse in Kuching with the Brooke Memorial right in front…

The old courthouse, monument

If I remember correctly, there was a Lebanese restaurant here once but now, it has been taken over by some people and they sure are putting it to good use and at this point in time, it is an outlet of one Penang franchise.

This is the courtyard…

Old Courthouse, courtyard

…surrounded by all the buildings around it…

Old Courthouse, one of the wings

…filled with all kinds of antiques and stuff like this intricately-crafted table…

Old courthouse, antique table

…for instance, or these old suitcases and drawers…

Old Courthouse, old suitcases and drawers

…and this display cabinet…

Old Courthouse, antique display cabinet

…and all the things inherited from the state judiciary that once had its offices here in these buildings.

It looks like they have live entertainment at one of the sections…

Old Courthouse, live entertainment

…but probably only at night as there was nothing on when I was there at around noon that day. However, if you are musically inclined, I guess you are more than welcome to go ahead and make your own music here…

Old Courthouse, music corner

…with your own group of friends.

After my breakfast plus our brunch that morning, I did not want to have any lunch that day but my cousin insisted on taking me here…

China House, Kuching

…where we met up with another cousin…for cakes…

China House, Kuching cakes & stuff

…and coffee.

I wanted their scones, RM12.00 for a set of two, but they were out of fruit jam and were in the process of coming out with freshly-made ones and I did not want to wait so I went for a slice of their quiche…

China House, mushroom quiche

…instead. It was all right…

China House mushroom quiche, slice

…as nice as a mushroom quiche could be, just that I would prefer those with lots of ham or bacon or both.

I can’t remember what cake this was now…

China House, cake

…but this…

China House apple, rum & raisin

…was their apple, rum and raisin (contains alcohol) and yes, it was very nice and so was their ginger cake…

China House ginger cake

Well, I would say they were all very nice…sweet, of course, but nice.

Then two more cousins and the daughters of one of them joined us so we had more cakes to sample. Somebody ordered the carrot cake…

Carrot cake

…and I remember this was what they called the lumberjack…

China House lumberjack

…and if I am not wrong, this was the lemon curd pistachio…

China House lemon curd pistachio

…and this one, the passion fruit lemon sponge…

China House passion fruit lemon sponge

I had their coffee, black with a special request for it to be extra strong but unlike the cakes, I’m afraid it did not impress me much.

Yes, there is definitely more than just cakes and coffee here so if you do not have a sweet tooth, perhaps you would want to drop by here for lunch or dinner instead and enjoy looking at all the interesting things all over the place and be part of Sarawak’s illustrious history.

For old times’ sake…

When I was in Kuching for my nephew’s wedding, I took the opportunity to walk around the area around the hotel where I was staying…for old times’ sake.

This hotel…

Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching

…where I’ve stayed before a few times, is located right across the road from mine in what was called “The Golden Triangle” of the city. The Hilton, where my nephew’s grand wedding reception was held, is right behind it (with Tune Hotel right across the road) and the Pullman’s a stone’s throw away. There is a shopping mall adjoining this hotel but I did not manage to go and check it out.

I did drop by here…

Sarawak Plaza, Kuching

…though – the Sarawak Plaza and it actually looked kind of sad, nothing like what it used to be. I guess most would flock to the very much bigger and more impressive malls in other parts of the city  plus maybe it was because of the Gawai and the public holiday that weekend so there was hardly any life there…except at the fast food franchise outlets by the side to the extreme right. If anyone is interested, yes, that eat-all-you-can Hartz chicken buffet place is still there on the lower ground floor but I did  not bother going down to check their current prices.

Well, having said all that, believe it or not, I actually managed to buy something from the gift shop there – these cuties…

Luggage tags from the Sarawak Plaza Kuching

I thought they were so cute and simply could not resist grabbing a few to take home. I wish they had not missed out the apostrophe though. Sigh!!!

Things weren’t much better at this Tun Jugah mall…

Tun Jugah, Kuching

…opposite. The hair salon was packed, probably because it was the weekend and a public holiday but other than that, there was hardly anybody except for a sprinkling at the bookstore and the food gallery…

Tun Jugah, food gallery 1

Maybe it was that time of the year – even this favourite Sarawak/Kuching laksa place…

Chong Choon, Kuching

…that some insist is the best in the city, nicer than Anthony Bourdain’s favourite, was closed so there were only two or three stalls open at the food gallery…or maybe on any other day, there are only those few, I wouldn’t know. I used to enjoy some of what they had here a long time ago but this time around, I did not see anything that would be worth wasting my calories on. There were some employees at the stalls, chatting away and none of them paid me any attention when I was walking around. Why, they did not even bother to clear the tables…

Tun Jugah, Kuching food galelry 2

…where there were customers earlier! They have done up the place very nicely so it was kind of sad to see how things have changed, so different from how busy it was, the way it used to be.

This is another hotel a little up the road…

Abell Hotel, Kuching

…of that same name, the name of the 3rd Governor of Sarawak during those colonial times. It is newer than those established ones around but I have never stayed there before so I do not know how good it is. I used to love going to that eatery on the ground floor when it was at its former location a long time ago but I have not been there since they moved here.

There used to be a cinema, the Capitol, here – since demolished, and at the block of shops right beside it, there was one…

Chicken rice shop

…that was so very popular for its chicken rice. They told me that the current people are not the ones who were there before – the original people have moved to a shop towards the other end of this same block but I did not notice it when I was walking around that morning.

However, I do know for a fact that the people at this barbecue meat place…

BBQ specialist, Kuching 1

…were formerly the celebrated ones at the shop across the  road from the Capitol and the Odeon Cinema was right beside it. They are here now…

BBQ specialist, Kuching 2

…still enjoying brisk business and so is that “tim sam” place next door. The latter used to be beside the Pavilion, facing the Kuching General Post Office – both of which are beautiful buildings of colonial architecture. Personally, I am no fan of their pao, sio bee and har kao (that’s all they have, just these three things) but obviously, everybody else does not agree with me for the place was packed to the brim, as always, that morning.

A short distance away is this totem pole…

Totem pole, Padungan

…with what looks like Fort Magherita on top and yes, there are more cats here – you will get to see lots all over the city.

I went along the road and took a shortcut through one of the small lanes to that Sarawak laksa place that I have mentioned earlier and since it was closed, I moved on from there to this hotel…

Longhouse Hotel Kuching

…a short distance away. This used to be one of the leading hotels in town alongside the Aurora (now Merdeka Palace) and the Borneo Hotel but today, it is a pale shadow of its old self. My friends used to work at the coffee house there, now a coffee shop, and I used to hang out there with them. On Saturdays in the mid-70’s, there would be a live band performing and needless to say, I would be there rockin’ and rollin’ the night away.

Going round the corner, I spotted this hotel…

Padungan Hotel Kuching

I am pretty sure there was a bank here. I don’t think it was the HSBC – I think it was the OCBC. Can somebody in the know confirm this, please? What I do remember vividly is that there was a man who would set up his stall at the corner in front every night, selling char kway teow and we would walk over from the hotel regularly to buy, “Char kway teow gor kak, kway teow chay chay, nui chay chay, taugeh chay chay!!!” (fried flat rice noodles 50 sen, lots of the noodles, lots of egg and lots of bean sprouts) Yes, it was only 50 sen then, believe it or not and no, the guy knew us very well so he would just laugh it off everytime we said that.

I did walk further in search of one particular shop but that would be in tomorrow’s post…and if you go around the area behind that plaza in the 2nd photograph above, you will get some nice views of the Sarawak River like the ones in my earlier posts here or here and you may even get to see these colourful fishing boats…

Kuching, fishing boats

…at the wharf where the ill-fated MV Rajah Mas and Pulau Kidjang used to berth a long long time ago. I used to come to Kuching then using the former (I never did go on the latter) for only RM10.00, deck fare…but unfortunately, there is no way I can do that all over again…for old times’ sake.

Sabai sabai…

(I’m taking a quick break from my Kuching posts today to blog about this new place in town that I went to last week – those will resume tomorrow…and incidentally, this is NOT a paid post.)

I love Thai cuisine and of course, I was excited when I heard that they were going to open another Thai place in town and if you’re wondering what the title of the post means, it is the title of a very popular Thai song and it means “happy, comfortable, feeling fine, take it easy.

It is in the midst of the new blocks of shops in the vicinity of Simpang Tiga, the junction of Jalan Kpg Hilir and Jalan Kpg Nangka and what formerly was known as Race Course Road, right beside this place that I do frequent quite regularly. If you are standing in the lane in between the two facing the shops, that one is to the right and this one…

Sakhon Thai Restaurant

…is to the left. For one thing, the signs are not all that prominent – there is this one…

Sakhon 1

…at the side of the building and this rather small one…

Sakhon 2

…in front.

There are two sections – the non-airconditioned one with these very nice and interesting caricatures…

Sakhon caricatures

…on the wall. You can take note of the GPS coordinates at the bottom (right), if you think you are going to need that. Oh? Mango sticky rice? Hmmmm…my favourite Thai dessert! I don’t think I saw that on their soft-opening menu though – will certainly have to put in a special request for that to be made available the next time I drop by. I was told that this would be their eat-and-go section for people stopping by briefly for say, a bowl of noodles and leaving as soon as they finish.

Well, I was there…

Sakhon aircon section

…last week upon the invitation of my friend and ex-student, an ex-blogger himself, Alex, brother of Andrew, to join him for the food tasting session that those people had arranged for him and he also invited my friend and ex-classmate, Robert and two others – five of us altogether.

As for the name of this place, it is actually the province in Thailand where their Thai chef and his wife came from. I hear there is another one coming once they’ve got the immigration matters settled so when that one gets here, there will be three of them altogether.

I don’t think this is on their soft-opening menu (Well, it wasn’t then, at the time of writing, but according to their Facebook page, it is now!), their mieng kham or the Thai leaf-wrapped snack…

Sakhon Mieng Kham

I’ve seen people blogging about it like it is something really special, a must-try and I sure was glad to be given the chance. You take the betel leaf (daun kadok/kaduk) and put a bit of each condiment in it – the thinly-sliced serai (lemon grass) and little cubes of lime, the ginger and garlic bits, the peanuts and udang kering (dried prawns), the sliced shallots and the cili padi…and then, you add the sambal dip to it, wrap it all up and eat. Frankly, looking at all those, I did not expect it to be anything to get excited about but it was love at first bite! The combination tasted so good and I sure would love to have that again. I certainly hope they will put it down as a permanent feature in their menu (It sure looks like they have done just that now!)

The yum woon sen (glass noodle salad)…

Sakhon glass noodle salad
*My friend, Robert’s photo on Facebook*

…and the som tam (green papaya salad)…

Sakhon som tam

…were both very good but do watch out for the bits of cili padi if you are not into things extremely spicy. Should you bite into those, you would be calling for glass after glass of water, I’m sure…but I loved it! The chili and the sourish taste, the peanuts, the lemon grass and so on are among those unmistakable features of Thai cuisine without which it will not be the same, not at all.

We tried a bowl of the celebrated boat noodles (beef)…

Sakhon boat noodles

…but no, we did not think it was anything that we would want to have bowl after bowl after bowl of it and pile them all sky high like what I had seen in some blogs…and horror of horrors, some of those bowls at some outlets in KL were (badly) chipped!!! Tsk! Tsk! I am not surprised though considering that they have hundreds, maybe thousands, of bowls to wash each day. To me, it was some kind of trend, a passing phase – I do not hear of nor read about it anymore these days, so that obviously speaks volumes.

The green curry was very nice…

Sakhon green curry

…and I was enjoying a lot of that until Alex noticed that there were slices of bamboo shoots in it and he started eating and enjoying them. Oh? That was it – I didn’t have any more of it after that for fear of a gout attack and thankfully, I was all right the next day. I guess it all depends on one’s state of health at any point in time.

The massaman beef curry…

Sakhon massaman curry
*Another one of my friend, Robert’s photos on Facebook*

…was really good too and since I was staying away from the green curry, I indulged in this one, drowning my rice with the lovely gravy and yes, the chunks of meat were very nicely done too, very tender indeed.

This dish of stuffed sotong (squid)…

Sakhon stuffed sotong

…was good as well, a little milder in taste compared to the curries and a little sourish and yes, I did like it very much too…and yes, we all liked the tom yam

Sakhon tom yam

…too.

The Thai fried chicken wings…

Thai fried chicken wings

…was…like fried chicken. After all those strong flavours in the preceding dishes, I could not taste anything much, Thai or otherwise, in the seasoning prior to the frying – I did not try eating it with the dip though so maybe I would like it a lot more if I had done that. Having said that, I would say that it would be a good dish to keep on the menu as there may be people coming with children and they will not be able to handle all the spicy stuff and as we all know, kids all love chicken wings!

According to Andrew, Alex’s brother, these salt and pepper shrimps…

Sakhon salt and pepper shrimps

…were supposed to be served as appetisers for people to munch while waiting for their orders but that night, they came last so of course, they paled in comparison to all that came before. Besides, the shrimps were kind of small and tasted rather bland, none of the sweetness and taste of fresh prawns.

I did not get to try their pandan chicken and I noticed that they did not have pad Thai nor pineapple fried rice on their soft-opening menu…and neither did they have those lovely Thai fish cakes either. They are still working on it though – what to add and what to drop from their menu.

If you are so into Thai cuisine like me, do drop by this newbie in town – the Sakhon Thai Restaurant and give it a try. Thanks to Alex for the invitation and the people concerned for arranging the food tasting session. I did enjoy most of what we had and yes, I would be coming back, that’s for sure.

Playground in my mind…

This used to be my playground – the Holiday Inn, Kuching…

Grand Magherita, Kuching 1

…now the Grand Margherita

Grand Magherita, Kuching 2

…named after the historical fort on the other side of the river which would date back to when Sarawak was under the rule of Charles Brooke, the 2nd White Rajah.

The hotel was opened in 1976 and I was there every Saturday night at what was called The Bionic Disco with Singapore deejay, Bernard Salosa at the helm…and on other nights, I would drop by The Rejang Bar where a Singaporean duo, Adam and Ben, would entertain the crowd every night. In fact, I had seen them before in Singapore, 1973, at hotel lounges – either the King’s or Apollo at Havelock Road or Grand Continental around Orchard Road. Those were my regular watering holes at the time but I can no longer recall exactly who I saw where or when. I do remember vividly though how, in their repertoire, they would do excellent covers of songs by the Stylistics, if you are old enough to know who they are. LOL!!!

They have refurbished the rooms…

Grand Margherita, room 1
*I was wondering about that artwork on the wall though – that one on the right looks like somebody’s pants with the fly open and…*

…in what we used to call the old wing…

Grand Margherita, room 2

…so they are very nice and new and a whole lot more comfortable now…

Grand Margherita bathroom

…a far cry from what they used to be during the later days of the hotel as the Holiday Inn so there is no need to put in a special request for a room in the new wing anymore, should anyone plan to stay here when in Kuching.

Breakfast for two per room is served at the hotel coffee house…

Grand Margherita Orchid Garden coffee house

…but that will be in a later post and no, you will not get the morning papers delivered to your room first thing in the morning. However, these are available at the lift lobby…

Complimentary newspaper

…so you can pick up one on your way down to the coffee house.

This is one section of the lobby…

Grand Margherita, lobby 1

…and this is another…

Grand Margherita, lobby 2

…and there is another seating area on the other side, the “old wing”, not facing the reception counter.

This is their swimming pool…

Grand Magherita swimming pool

…and I must say that I am not all too fond of its location. I can imagine me in my sexy red speedos a la Baywatch…approaching the pool in full view of everyone sitting around in the lobby and they would all exclaim, “Die lor! Die lor! All the water in the pool would be gone the moment he jumps in, in one big mighty splash!!!” LOL!!!

From the poolside and also from your room, if you request for a river view, you will see this picturesque scenery…

Grand Margherita Sarawak River view

…and sometimes, you may be able to spot the tambangs crossing the river or these boats carrying some folks on a river cruise…

Sarawak River boat cruise

I stayed here for three nights when I went over to Kuching to attend my nephew’s wedding and he was so thoughtful and generously paid for the accommodation for all the guests from out of town. Thank you so much, Nicholas – not only did I have a great time at your wedding and all but I truly enjoyed my stay at this hotel as well.

Don’t shoot me…

I’ve mentioned it time and time again that all opinions expressed in this blog of mine are entirely my own – what I like, you may not, what I feel is expensive or cheap, you may think otherwise…so if you do not agree with me, do feel free to say so and like I’ve always said too, it is not so much what you say but how you say it.

There are more ways than one to say the same thing. I think this is from a book on communicative English by a guy named Littlewood. The example given is: Why don’t you close the door? Depending on how you say it, that may come across as a suggestion, a reprimand, a ridicule…and if you are sitting on the bed and you let your hair down and you say that to me seductively, you know jolly well that it is none of the aforementioned. LOL!!!

So if you come and tell me that I always blog about this place and praise it to the skies but the things there are so expensive, depending on how you say it, it may come across like you are not too happy with what I have written, just to put it mildly.

Well, for one thing I would always specify the prices (unless somebody else is picking up the tab and I do not have the information I require) so you can see and judge for yourself and don’t shoot me if you do not read everything I write in my posts. If you think it is expensive, then it is your prerogative not to go to such and such a place and no, don’t shoot me if you still choose to do so despite your opinion that it is expensive…but no, I would agree to a certain extent that it may not be all that cheap though I did mention once that it may relatively be the same as or perhaps even cheaper than many places elsewhere but that would depend entirely on what and how much you order.

For a start, let’s say that you pick this Bangladeshi lamb curry…

Payung Cafe Bangladeshi lamb curry

…which is a whopping RM19.00 with one rice…and if you ask for another plate of rice, that will be an additional RM2.00 – RM21.00 now. There is meat in the dish with potatoes, enough for two and with the rice, that is a complete meal by itself. For an upscale cafe, I would say that is not expensive unless you want to compare it with prices at a no-class-at-all coffee shop or hawker stall.

Ok, you feel that is not enough, so perhaps you would want the pomelo salad (RM8.00)…

Payung pomelo salad

…or the Payung rojak, small (RM10.00) to go with it and maybe, you would want a mushroom roll (RM8.00) as well…

Payung Cafe mushroom roll

…that would bring the total to RM37.00 or RM39 if you are having the rojak. All that, I would say, is just nice for three so you may have to share the two plates of rice or order another plate, RM41.00.

It may be less that that if you go for the chicken dishes instead of the lamb like the green curry…

Payung Cafe green curry chicken

…or the kacang ma

Payung Cafe kacang ma chicken

…or perhaps you can opt for the fish…

Payung Cafe Payung fish

…or the otak otak

Payung Cafe otak otak

…which are all very much cheaper.

Of course, if you get carried away and order everything, all at one go, and you just can’t resist the lovely desserts here, then don’t blame me if the bill goes sky high. For one thing, we always ask for iced water…and we get special treatment there and it is on the house, so we get it free. Three of you would mean an additional RM3.00 for 3 glasses…but I do know of places where they charge the same or even RM2.00 for a glass, mind you! Still, most of the time, I would spend more or less the amount I would fork out eating here or here…and definitely not as much as here or here but even at those places, it may depend on what you order and how much.

And while we are on the subject of places that I often blog about, I would like to state here in no uncertain terms that if you plan on dropping by here, perhaps it would be a good idea to go on any other day other than Sunday, but of course, it is closed on Tuesdays.

We stopped by two Sundays ago after the morning service in church and it was packed so we had to leave and go elsewhere. Last Sunday, we tried again and we did manage to grab a table…but I was quite put off by the guy who went around taking orders and did not bother to come to our table (which was on the pavement outside by the extreme side) no matter how frantically I waved…even when he was standing there looking quite lost. I had to get the boss’ wife’s attention to our predicament before she sent him our way.

As it seemed, they did not have the staff to cope with the crowd on Sundays so the whole family was set loose to run the show. Even the nice lady who would wait at the tables was roped in to go into the kitchen to help out there when usually, the guy would do most of everything himself and she would go and help out sometimes with whatever she can do.

Then the food came. My missus had fried kway teow

Colourful Cafe fried kway teow

…but it looked so little, like only two-thirds of the above serving that we would usually get. What I know is the guy actually weighs the amount of noodles for each plate so it should be exactly the same – I was quite sure that I saw a lot more in some of the plates going to the other tables and I remember when he was still employed at his previous station, we did encounter the problem of a lot one day…and very little on another day.

When my nasi lemak with masak hitam beef came, I think there was just about a spoonful of the meat, definitely not as much as what I would usually have in the past, not even half of this…

Colourful Cafe nasi lemak masak hitam

…and we waited and waited for my girl’s nasi lemak with beef curry but it never came. My patience was wearing thin and I was about to explode…but my girl kept frowning and frowning – she never likes me making a scene in public so I just asked them nicely and told them to hurry up – we were going to leave right away to send my girl back to her school in the jungle.

Looking at how things would be like there on Sundays, you can jolly well guess that I would never go there again, not today nor any other Sunday from now on…and if you choose to do so and have the same not-so-pleasant experience, don’t shoot me and don’t say that I did not warn you!

Incidentally, the kopi-o-peng (iced black coffee) I had that morning was like plain water with a very very slight hint of coffee in it – it was so so so horrible, the worst I have ever had!!! I asked when I was paying the bill and was told that they had a new guy there making the drinks. Well, if that is the kind of coffee that he is capable of making, I’d just have plain water next time…or I’d wait till I get home before having a drink. Sometimes, these things can really spoil one’s day! Tsk! Tsk!