At the end of the holiday…

It was on Sunday, the last day of the week-long Chinese New Year holiday when we had to go out for lunch. My late cousin’s wife, whom we had met here and also here previously, invited us to dim sum here

Dim sum? I didn’t know they had dim sum there? I went and checked their Facebook page and it looked like they had just started in early January. Of course I was keen on going – hopefully, it was going to be good because the last time we went to the very good one here in Sibu, it turned out to be rather disappointing.

I met Iggy, my ex-student, now a practising lawyer, there – he was just leaving with his wife and daughter (and one more on the way) when I got there. Thank goodness!!! Otherwise before I knew it, he would have paid my bill for me like what he would do everytime we got to meet somewhere.

Also there that day was our very popular and most outstanding and pro-active politician, our YB Datuk Dr. who was having his lunch there with his parents and others in his family. My missus and his mother, both retired, were colleagues in the Sibu General Hospital many, many years ago (she’s 88 now) – she was the Nursing Sister and my missus was a nurse attached to the Nursery (the ICU for babies). My missus went over to their table to see her and yes, despite it being so long ago, she could still remember her.

I went over as well to thank our YB Datuk Dr. for all that he did to help when my girl was at that God-forsaken school in the jungle in Selangau, the one with no electricity nor water and everything was falling apart. All this while, we merely communicated via Facebook (and at times through his admin, probably his political secretary, on Facebook) – I never got to meet him personally face to face.

I wonder what the school is like now because it was shortlisted as one of those dilapidated schools in the state in dire need for repair, renovation and rebuilding. It sure was a relief when my girl got her transfer to a school in town and I had a feeling at the time that they couldn’t wait to get rid of her so the YB Datuk Dr. would not come breathing down their necks anymore. LOL!!!

Anyway, back to the dim sum, unfortunately, they had run out of their steamed char siu buns and their lotus lava buns. We only managed to try their mushroom buns…

…which were very good. The filling had a strong taste of shitake mushroom…

…and I loved the very nice pao skin. Hopefully, I will get to try the other two types of steamed buns the next time I drop by here for this.

The sui mai

…was very good! I certainly would want to order more than one storey (basket) next time so we would have more to enjoy.

My girl asked for the deep fried spring roll…

…and also the dumplings…

– things that she enjoys a lot!

My late cousin’s wife, our host, ordered the otak otak

…and she also insisted on ordering the satay

…and the fried kway teow (flat rice noodles)…

…from their regular menu.

The otak-otak was the Muar version – people in Singapore and the southern states of the peninsula would be familiar with this. I thought it was so-so – I prefer the one here, of course. The satay was nice and the fried kway teow was quite good except that despite there being so many cockles, they were hard and dry and were not all that nice.

I like how the drinks here are stevia-sweetened or as in the case of the iced soya bean milk (in the above photo) that I had, unsweetened.

While we were sitting there, chatting and eating away, one of the waiting staff came over to inform us that the YB Datuk Dr. had paid for our bill. Goodness gracious me! We felt so bad and of course, we went over to his table to thank him profusely for his generous gesture. If anyone should treat anybody, we should be the ones treating him for all that he had done for us. Thank you so much, YB – may God bless you and your family abundantly in the days ahead throughout the Rabbit Year.

And thank you, Ai Chang, for the invitation! It sure was a fitting end to a wonderful week. Even though we did not go anywhere and stayed at home most of time, all in all, I would say that we did have a great holiday.

PappaRich (2.291606, 111.821291)…

…is located at Lot 23-35, Jalan Lau King Howe in the block to the right of the Lau King Howe Hospital Museum, to the left of the Sushi King outlet there

Just two…

No, I did not get a lot of visitors this Chinese New Year, just a few students from one of the schools where I was teaching for 9 years after 5 years in Kanowit. I spent the rest of my 30 years in service at a boys’ school here in Sibu, the longest but unfortunately, none of my ex-students from that school dropped by.

Just when I had almost given up hope of any of them showing up, I received a message from Raphael, telling me that he would be coming back all the way from the US to spend Chinese New Year with his mum and family and he hoped we could get to meet. In the end, I invited him to just drop by my house which he did, with Teo, another student of mine – his classmate in school, home from China for good…

Both of them looked good but unfortunately, there wasn’t much in the house to offer but they did enjoy what was left of the very nice, super-intoxicating fruit cake…

…from my Bintulu cousin that day and all the cookies and stuff. We sure had a great time chatting, catching up with one another’s lives.

As always, Raphael brought back a whole lot of stuff to give to me. There were these boxes of Annie’s pasta…

…that my girl loves a lot. We can buy them here but of course, imported from the US, they do not come cheap. Well, Raphael gave me so many of each so I am pretty sure those would last a very long time.

I never had the chance to stop by any Spanish restaurant anywhere to try their paella but we did cook our own once…

…or twice…

…just that I was not sure if those were anything like the real thing and I never got to try the one from this chef here at his restaurant that had since closed down for good.

Much to my delight, Raphael gave me a packet of this…

Hopefully, we shall be able to use that to cook our own version of the paella and fingers-crossed, it will be very nice and very much like the real thing.

Thanks so much, Raphael and thank you to you and to Teo, as well, for dropping by. Ah well! I guess two is better than none, wouldn’t you agree?

Day 2 day…

Usually, Day 2 of Chinese New Year would be a very busy day. If I am not wrong, people say that Day 1 would be for visiting one’s immediate family and everyone would start visiting their friends from Day 2 onwards.

It was very quiet though throughout most of Day 2 – nobody came until mid-afternoon when I got an sms from my ex-student, Dr. Toh, saying that he was on the way. He came soon after that with his lovely wife and handsome young son and he brought his younger brother, also my ex-student, and his wife home for Chinese New Year from Singapore. They and also, Dr. Toh’s younger sister, are faithful followers of my blog and the latter would go and try whenever she sees anything that I say is very nice. Yes, she went all the way too and loved the fish and chips here and yes, she also came to my house that day with her two pretty daughters.

There were a few more in 2020

*Flashback: Chinese New Year, 2020*

This time around, some of the kids have gone for further studies or were sleeping at home after staying up all night for the fireworks and firecrackers!

Much to my surprise, the parents showed up a little bit later. I met the mum before…

*Flashback: Chung Hua School Centenary Celebration, 2016*

…but this was the first time I had seen the father. He said that he had often heard his children talking about a certain Mr. Wee so he wanted to come and meet me personally. I certainly felt so flattered by the compliment and he even insisted on giving me an ang pao (red packet containing money)…

…as he was leaving and the children gave me one too!

I had a photo taken with his grandchildren (the children’s children, the 3rd generation)…

I must say that he is truly blessed to have such good and filial (and capable) children and such endearing grandchildren too! Thank you so much to all for dropping by! May God bless everybody abundantly with good health, wealth and all that is good in the Year of the Rabbit!

In the meantime, my cousin in Bintulu was in town for Chinese New Year and some kind of reunion in the family of one of her hubby’s brothers. I guess they were busy and were caught up with everything going on so they did not drop by my house – they used to do that, the whole family with the brothers and their families. Of course, I was delighted when she called me on Day 1 of the new year and told me that her daughter (I drove all the way to Bintulu for her wedding in 2014) and her family would be driving over from Bintulu the next day and she would like to invite my family and I to join them for dinner here

…that night. She also asked the wife of her brother, since deceased, to join us.

I am not sharing any photographs of the food that we had that night because the snapshots did not turn out nice in the very dim light there. We had some of the usual stuff we would order but the problem was they had run out of many of the dishes. It was good that they were open throughout Chinese New Year and the response had been really good, so much so that they started running out of a lot of the dishes and since all the shops and supermarkets were closed, they could not go and buy the ingredients needed to cook some more.

Nonetheless, dinner was great and so was the company that night. Thank you so much, cousin Pauline and family, for the invitation and thank you for giving us this…

– some more of your gorgeous, super-intoxicating fruit cake…

I should be on a no/less sugar diet but I could not refrain from helping myself to a lot more than I should!…

Yum! Yum! LOL!!!

A new dawn…

Yes, it was a new dawn, a new day…a new year – the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Lunar Calendar!

We went to church, first thing in the morning…

It was not mandatory, not what we call “a holy day of obligation” but lately, we would go…and start the new year on the right foot.

In the past, we would have our longevity noodles, the mee sua and then, we would drop by my parents’ house and after that, my in-laws’ but we do not need to do that anymore as all of them are no longer around. These days, we would come home and have the noodles…

…for our brunch and for the rest of the day, we would just help ourselves to the cakes and cookies and whatever…or the leftovers from the previous night’s Reunion Dinner.

I did mention in yesterday’s blogpost that my niece, my brother-in-law’s daughter, came home for Chinese New Year and she brought this huge box of abalone…

…for us.

My missus did add one of the two packs inside…

…to her broccoli dish and despite being from that same brand of abalone from our growing up years (in a tall pink and blue can), the ones in the pack turned out to be quite small, a bit too chewy/tough – definitely not as nice and sweet as the ones long long ago. I guess these are still VERY popular, much coveted because of the exorbitant price that gives it its snob appeal.

My niece also gave us these…

…also from the same brand…

…and these truffle oil-coated prawn rolls…

I am not a fan of truffles in anything but these prawn rolls were very nice with the lovely sambal hay bee (dried prawns) inside. The fragrance was rather overpowering though so I could hardly detect the presence of the truffle oil.

I do not know what is so special about these noodles…

I suppose I will find out sooner or later when I get down to cooking it.

She did see my recent photographs on Facebook or here in my blog and yes, she thought I had lost so much weight so she went and bought me this t-shirt, Harry Potter, no less…

Thank you so much, Mary – the red colour sure makes it very appropriate to wear during Chinese New Year.

We did not have a lot of visitors on the 1st Day of Chinese New Year, just one – my ex-student who eventually became an English teacher and taught in my sister-school and has since moved to a school in Sarikei. She came with her husband, also my ex-student, her classmate…and their two sons. Their eldest, a daughter, has left home for further studies so you can imagine how old I am. Just like my niece, she too was alarmed when she saw how thin I had become in my recent photographs. It certainly was so sweet and thoughtful of her to want to come to see how I was getting on and they even brought along these dragon fruits…

…from their fruit farm for me, thank you so much.

Cycles…

A Blessed and Happy and a Bountiful Chinese New Year to one and all!

*CNY gifts from my dear cousin, Mohd Syaiffuddin Suyong and wife, Saliah Japaruddin and all loved ones in the family, thank you so much*

It’s the Rabbit Year this year so that means it is the end of the 6th cycle in my Chinese zodiac – next year, the Dragon Year, I will be 72!

We are keeping it somewhat low key this year so we have not been busy doing all the preparations. I have not put up any decoration – the idea of having to climb up and down the ladder to hang up the lanterns and everything else sure does not appeal to me, not at my age and in my condition!

But worry not! We do have quite a lot of things in the house. My missus insisted on cooking for our reunion dinner even though I asked her not to bother. She did not make any nyonya acar (pickles) though so I went out and bought a bottle…

…to eat with all that keropok (prawn & fish crackers)…

…in the house. She did make some cookies – two types and some light snacks such as that seaweed wrapped in popiah skin that my girl likes a lot. Other than those, she did buy some pistachios and baked some cashew nuts too and I got a whole lot of groundnuts and kuaci from my ex-student that day.

Other than those that she made herself, my missus did buy some cookies from our local bakeries and I went and bought these pineapple nuggets…

…from the bakery not far from my house. Yes, they…

…are still as nice as the first time I bought them from that same shop many many years ago when I was still teaching but of course, they do not come cheap anymore these days. There were jars and jars on the racks when I went but when my brother-in-law dropped by as Chinese New Year drew near, they were all sold out! He did not manage to get any at all!!!

My missus did not make/bake any cakes but my girl’s coursemate, Mona, dropped by the house to give her these…

I last saw her in 2011 when they were coming back from Wellington, New Zealand! Now teaching in Daro, she was driving home to Bintangor to spend the week-long Chinese New Year break there. How thoughtful of her to drop by to pass the cakes and whatever else to my girl! I did get two from my friend/ex-student, Alex that day and one from one of my cousins from Kuching (and some cookies as well) that day…so there should be enough cakes to serve to any family members or friends who care to drop by.

In the meantime, my girl also got these cookies…

…from her good friend, Dayang. Thank you so much to the two of you, Mona & Dayang!

Because of the widespread ASF (African Swine Flu) in West Malaysia, the import of pork bak kua from there is banned at this point in time. I did not feel like buying any of our local ones or those from Sabah either but I did grab a couple of boxes of the chicken bak kua from Loong Kee…

…which isn’t too bad as well.

And talking about West Malaysia, I sure had a pleasant surprise when my ex-colleague/student, Richard dropped by my house. He is home from Johore for Chinese New Year and it sure was so very sweet and thoughtful of him to give me this HUGE box of honey ponkam (oranges)…

…thank you so so much, Richard! The last time I saw him was when our borders first reopened in 2021 after the pandemic.

I must say that I am so very glad and thankful, praise the Lord, that I survived this past year. I actually thought I was going to kick the bucket and join the Heavenly Choir when my health was not too good and I had no strength to do anything nor the appetite to eat anything and started losing weight like nobody’s business. Thankfully, I am a lot better now – it sure looks like I’d still be around for a while.

Now that the brand new year is here, let us pray that God will bless and protect all of us with good health, blue skies and everything nice in the days ahead throughout the Rabbit Year. Do drop by if you’re in town – there should be enough for everybody to munch, don’t you think?
新年快乐!…恭喜发财!…身体健康!!!

Came all the way…

I was at their wedding, my nephew, Nick and Jean’s, in Kuching in June, 2016 and in April, 2018, they did come all the way to Sibu. The pandemic in 2019 put an end to any kind of travelling, near or far, across land and sea and all this while, they were stuck there in Shanghai, China.

Finally, at long last, they opened their borders and Nick and Jean and this time around, with their little cute and endearing boy, Nathaniel, were finally able to spread their wings and fly! They stopped in Hong Kong before proceeding to Singapore and from Singapore, they took the now-available direct flight here to Sibu! Nick’s mum now residing in Kuching flew over to join them here before going back together to Kuching, all of them, for Chinese New Year.

Of course I was delighted when Nick sent word inviting me and my family and my sis to dinner while they were in Sibu so I went and booked a table for all of us that evening. I made sure the menu that night would include some of our local delights, such as our Foochow fried noodles…

…for instance and our wild jungle fern, the midin

Nick was delighted that what we were served that night was fresh, plump and crunchy! It looked like they had something quite disappointing elsewhere.

I did not forget the cangkok manis fried with egg…

…either and the Foochow tauhu tear, the tofu with canned oysters soup…

I could not resist ordering the dishes that I fell in love with when we were here on our previous visit a few days earlier – the kangkong (water spinach) fried with pork fat crusts…

…and the sweet and sour spare ribs…

Yes, Nick said that they do have kangkong in China, thick, huge leaves with big hard stalks, definitely not as palatable and enjoyable as what we had that night.

I did not miss out my girl’s favourite, the lemon chicken…

…which we all feel is the best in Sibu and I also ordered the or chio (black pomfret/ikan bawal hitam) with taucheo (fermented beans) sauce…

A friend, a retired teacher like me, had it here and she said it was something not to be missed and it certainly was good, very very good! She was the one who got me to try the pek chang kay (steamed/poached chicken) here, saying that it was addictive…and true to her word, we had been coming back here for more again and again since. I did not include that in the menu that night though as we already had chicken in the list.

Nick’s mum’s eldest sister, residing in Sibu, joined us for the dinner that night and the wife of another cousin of mine, since deceased, as well. We had a group photo taken towards the end of the dinner…

The empty plates on the table would bear testimony to how good the food was that night.

Nick insisted on picking up the tab but I did ask the lady boss and she told me that the total, inclusive of rice and drinks, came up to RM297.00. That was very reasonable, don’t you think?

Thank you so much, Nick & Jean for the treat. It sure was good seeing you all again and I enjoyed the company so much, all the chit-chatting and catching up with one another’s lives, that I hardly felt the time fly by! I don’t know when we will meet again – in the meantime, may the good Lord bless and keep all of you wherever you may go throughout the coming Rabbit Year. 恭喜发财 新年快乐!!!

Y2K CAFE 千禧餐馆  (2.294220, 111.825753)…

…is located at No. 16, Jalan Tunku Osman, round the corner from that block of shops where the branches of AmBank & RHB Bank are located, with its back entrance facing the side (right, not the main one) entrance/exit of Methodist Secondary School.

Big shot…

The first time I dropped by this café was towards the end of 2011. I guess I was not too impressed at the time and I never went back again. In June the following year, 2012, my friend, Annie in KL, came home to Sibu and her mum took her there. She was wondering why I had not featured it in my blog – I guess she missed that earlier post of mine. She liked it a lot, it seemed and because of that, I decided to go there again and there has been no looking back since.

To this very day, this is one of the few places that we would go to again and again and again. My girl loves the biryani rice from the authentic North Indian chef, Ravi so everytime she feels like having that, no prize for guessing where we would head to. In her opinion, the biryani rice at the local Indian as well as the Malay shops and stalls is more or less like their yellow rice or nasi kuning or nasi minyak or whatever they call it, not quite like the real thing.

The dishes from their Indonesian menu are very good too. My missus, who is not so into Indian cuisine, has her favourites and will order those same few dishes over and over again everytime we drop by.

This was on Sunday that day when my girl said she would like some biryani rice so there we were, like so many times before. Business has been pretty good lately unlike before when many did not even know there was a restaurant behind the Bank Simpanan Nasional branch here in Sibu…and sitting at one of the tables with his family enjoying the food was this big shot, the so-called “Mayor” of Sibu, the Chairman of the Sibu Municipal Council!

He said he went there after seeing all my posts on the place, probably on Facebook – I don’t think he follows my blog but I did hear somebody mention something about his son wanting to go there. If I am not wrong, the boy has migrated overseas or is pursuing his studies abroad and is currently home for Chinese New Year. Of course, I asked them whether my reviews were reliable or not and they said yes – they thought the food was really good. I guess that means that they will be coming back again for more.

I ordered the lumpia (RM14.00)…

…the Indonesian popiah (spring rolls) from the Indonesian menu that day to share and yes, they were very good.

Unlike the popiah which is more vegetable, mostly sengkuang/mangkuang (turnip), this is mostly meat…

In fact, I thought it was more like our ngor hiang (meat rolls) except that instead of the bean curd skin that we use to wrap those, they used the popiah skin for these. I thought they were much nicer than the Vietnamese deep fried spring roll that we had here but those were cheap and at a coffee shop, with not much filling inside.

At the same time, I asked for their Indoneisan mee tek-tek (RM16.00)…

…which was somewhat disappointing. It was nice, just that it wasn’t anything exceptional, a little bit on the sweet side and I was wishing the whole time that they had given me a calamansi lime to squeeze the juice all over the fettuccine like what I did here and it sure helped enhance the taste of the noodles I was having that day.

I was somewhat put off by the added ingredients too which turned out to be nothing more than slices of fish cake and a couple of imitation crab sticks…

…made to look like the claws. It tasted exactly like those long cylindrical ones that never tickled my fancy! Other than those, there was a plain omelette, rolled up and placed by the side…

This was a far cry from their mee nyemek

*Archive photo*

…with all those prawns, sotong (squid) and what not. That was really good and of course, you simply can’t go wrong with all that seafood in your dish, can you?

Incidentally, that last photograph was taken outside in natural daylight. They took in all the tables and chairs on the shaded pavement outside during the pandemic but they have not bothered about them since. Hence, the photographs that I have been taking lately are not nice at all, yellowish and not very clear because of the dim lights inside. As a matter of fact, I did not bother to take any photographs of what the ladies ate that day. They were having those same dishes that I had featured many times before…and they would not look great in the snapshots taken inside, anyway.

My girl had the Indian mutton masala biryani (RM27.00)…

*Archive photo*

…while the mum had their Indonesian ayam bakar berempah (RM16.00)…

*Archive photo*

With the escalating prices of everything, lamb and beef (and pork) are all much more expensive these days so it came as no surprise at all to see that they have increased the price of what my girl had.

This…

…was new! They had those by the side in my missus’ ayam bakar berempah. Frankly, they might as well don’t bother as it was purely for decoration. Those rice crackers were bland, quite tasteless…and came across like styrofoam/polystyrene.

Incidentally, if anyone is home for the Chinese New Year holidays and is thinking of dropping by here, this place is open every day as usual, around 11.30 a.m.-2.00 pm and from 6.00 p.m. onwards but it will be closed on Monday (23rd), their weekly off day.

The CAFE IND (2.290813, 111.829294)…

…is located along Laichee Lane, right behind one block of shops facing the main road (Jalan Kampung Nyabor) where the Bank Simpanan Nasional, Sibu branch.

He did it again…

A sweet young thing dropped by my house the other morning. I could see from the box…

…she was carrying that she was delivering the festive gifts from Anthony & Nica Plus

He did the same thing not only for Chinese New Year last year but for other auspicious occasions as well like the Mooncake Festival, for instance.

Inside the box, there were two packets of these marinated lamb chops…

…and two of these…

I remember I did mention in my review then that the kambing perap istimewa was really good and if one were to go and buy just one of the very wide selection, this would be the best choice!

Anthony also gave me what they call their “Rolling Fortune Set” that costs RM258.00! Gasp!!! It includes their curry chicken…

…beef rendang

daging masak hitam

…and a new addition this year, their yogurt lamb curry…

I certainly am looking forward to trying the latter!

Thank you so much, Anthony and everybody at Nica Plus! Here’s wishing you all a Happy, Healthy & Bountifully Prosperous Chinese New Year!!!

In the meantime, my ex-student, Dr. Toh, also dropped by my house to give me these peanuts…

…and these canned ones…

…as well. I went and googled and found out that in the Chinese culture, peanuts symbolise vitality, longevity, riches and honour, the unshelled ones, in particular.

Dr. Toh and his wife are the people actively involved in helping the special people at the Agape Centre and he enlisted my help in editing the books they are publishing for those special children. Of course I was only too glad to be able to lend a hand in some small way – “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:45-46)

Dr. Toh also gave me these kuaci (melon seeds), black and white…

…as well as the flower (chrysanthemum) seeds…

A BIG thank you to you too, Teck Hock and your missus for the auspicious gifts. Wishing you and all your loved ones endless successes, good health and lots of wealth in the Rabbit Year!

NICA+ or NICA PLUS (2.296883,111.825859)…

…as it is called, is located on the ground floor of the block of shops, the first one to the right of the Old Sing Kwong Supermarket (Kin Orient Plaza) along Jalan Tun Abang Hj Openg.

Today is your day…

Last Friday, the 13th of January, was my sister’s birthday so of course, we went out for dinner together that evening.

She invited two of her friends as well and yes, we had the traditional Foochow longevity noodles, the mee sua, fried…

…with the “golden” eggs by the side.

The Thai-style midin (wild jungle fern) with mango and jellyfish…

…was a hit – everybody enjoyed it a lot and the Four Heavenly Kings (四大天王), fried with canned pork…

…as well. It sure was a nice change from the usual fried with sambal recipe.

My girl said that this tofu dish…

…was as nice as what we had at another place recently and yes, this one had a lot more toppings or added ingredients.

The sweet and sour fish…

…was great too – I liked how the sauce was on the light side and did not taste like tomato ketchup straight from the bottle. This was the threadfin or ngor hu in Hokkien that I do enjoy a lot – no fishy smell, no small bones and an absolute delight to eat.

We also had the Guiness stout pork…

…which was one dish that I had had a few times before but if I am not wrong, the last time was a few years ago in 2017. We also had it when my dear friends from New Zealand came to town in 2011 and in the midst of our conversation that night, somebody mentioned that previously, the owner of this restaurant was the chef at that one that unfortunately, did not survive the pandemic.

This was our 2nd time at this restaurant…

the 1st time was also on my sister’s birthday in 2020. We certainly enjoyed the food and one thing’s for sure, we would definitely be coming back here again. We also enjoyed the company that night, catching up with lost times…and yes, a very Happy Birthday once again to you again, Bea. May God bless you abundantly in the year ahead. Cheers!!!

MJ HU SEAFOOD RESTAURANT(2.291971, 111.834740) is located along Lorong Mahsuri 2, the second shop on the left after Kuching Cafe, opposite Bateras Supermarket.

Always remember us this way…

I first met Roy in 2010, around 12 years ago and if I am not mistaken, the last time I saw him was in the middle of 2011. He used to work in Singapore before he came back to Sibu. He was here for around a year only, I think before he moved to Kota Kinabalu…and the last I heard of them, they had moved to Ipoh – if I’m not mistaken, his wife came from Ipoh.

Imagine my surprise when he saw me at this sparkling new place in town and he greeted me!!! I would not expect him (or anyone for that matter) to recognise me as I am now so thin, half of what I used to be…and as a matter of fact, I could not recognise him as he had grown bigger/hunkier and more a man now, better looking than before but of course, I still remember so very vividly how much I loved his Spanish chicken croquettas! According to him, he was running this place and also the eateries at the outlets of this bakery in town.

This café/restaurant is actually part of the hotel where my cousins and everybody who came that day stayed when they were here but it was not open for business at the time. Well, it is now…and when I saw it on Facebook, I couldn’t wait to go and check the place out.

To start off, we had these arancini mushroom rice balls (RM10.90)…

I googled and saw that these were Italian or Sicilian in origin. Yes, they were as good as they looked and we all enjoyed them very much. It certainly looked like we were off to a good start!

The chicken creamy pie (RM18.90)…

…was very good too. I loved the filling…

– it reminded me of Roy’s Spanish chicken croquettas that I enjoyed so much! My girl, however, was of the opinion that the puff pastry could be a bit puffier/fluffier or more flaky.

The dry Sarawak laksa pasta (RM24.90)…

…was all right but we felt it paled in comparison with the one here which had more added ingredients but was more expensive. It tasted great but I was put off by those tiny bits from the sambal – normally, when we cook Sarawak laksa at home, we would sieve the broth/soup to get rid of those. It did not have any santan in it so one would not feel jelak after eating it for a while but somehow, on the other hand. that took away the richness in the taste.

Of course we had to order one of the crepes on their menu and my girl wanted the banana fritters crepe (RM16.90)…

…which was good but my girl felt that they could improve on the crepe. It was a bit chewy/rubbery, not quite like those layers of crepe in a mille crepe…or for that matter, the well-made skin of the kuih lenggang/ketayap.

Other than that, my girl was suggesting that perhaps they could caramelise the bananas…

…instead of coating them with bread crumbs and deep frying them like what they did with the aforementioned rice balls.

On the whole, we thought that the lunch was delightful enough. Together with the drinks that the ladies had (longan tea, iced RM7.90 & cucumber with salted plum, RM6.90)…

…and my lemon drinking water (RM1.20), the total came up to RM87.60, cheaper and a lot more reasonable that what we had to fork out at some of those new places in town over the past few days.

Service was excellent – very efficient and pleasant and cordial and they all were proficient in the English language unlike those at some places around here. The place was empty when we arrived but by the time we were leaving, it was already quite full (despite the heavy downpour that day). We certainly hope to go back there again soon.

CREPES N CHOPS…

CnC1

…is located on the ground floor of the Starlink Hotel at Lot 8427, Block 10, Seduan Land District 13, Lorong Tunku Abdul Rahman 2C (among the shops beside Star MegaMall).