A night to remember…

I attended David and Laura’s wedding reception last night at the Rajang Ballroom, TanahMas Hotel here. It was a pretty grand affair with door gifts for everyone in quaint little pouches…

D&L's wedding reception 1

…and here’s a pic of the cutting of the wedding cake and a section of the crowd…

D&L's wedding reception 2

…and in the next one, you can see the couple on their table-to-table rounds to propose a toast to the guests. Laura’s mother is in the photo and you can bet that’s one very happy mum – having singlehandedly (after the untimely demise of her hubby) raised such great kids and now getting a wonderful son-in-law.

D&L's wedding reception 3

The food was good…and definitely better than what one would usually expect from the hotel restaurants here, compared to the more authentic Chinese restaurants. We started off with the 4-seasons platter…

D&L's wedding reception 4

followed by the not-to-be-named dish and hence, there isn’t any photo of that, and this plate of steamed snow fish that I liked a lot…

D&L's wedding reception 5

After that came the roast chicken and duck combination…

D&L's wedding reception 6

and braised sea cucumber…

D&L's wedding reception 7

before they served the lamb that seemed very popular among the other guests at my table. It was just ok by me as I’m not a fan of black pepper sauce…

D&L's wedding reception 8

…but I thought the chilli prawns were delicious…

D&L's wedding reception 9

…except that the serving was somewhat small – just a prawn each, I guess. Lastly, the desserts came – something like bubur pulut hitam (black glutinous rice sweet dessert) and a plate of fruits.

Thanks for the invitation, David and Laura. It was indeed my pleasure to share the joy on your very special day and once again, here’s to a life filled with happiness for the both of you. Yaaaa……..aaaam Seng!

D&L's wedding reception 10

STOP PRESS:
This may be of interest to some of the readers. After the reception last night at around 10 pm, there was a massive traffic jam in the town. The floods are here again…with only one lane left along Jalan Kampung Nyabor in front of McDonald’s while the fire station area was totally submerged and the Ngui Kee building looked like the Ark afloat on the flood waters. I heard Lanang Road was flooded…and needless to say, Jalan Pedada too.

It was the 29th on the Chinese lunar calendar last night and today’s the 1st. Usually, the tide will be the highest on the 3rd and that will be Monday, the 29th of December. I suppose it would be best to stay home…safe and dry until the water subsides. Take care, everyone!

Now and forever…

I went to another wedding this morning – David and Laura’s. David was my student in school before and Laura was in my English tuition class for a few months but we got to know each other quite well from our involvement in the inter-school English debates.

It certainly is flattering to get invited to ex-students’ weddings as I would like to believe it is an indication that I’m not one of those teachers whom they would never want to see again once they’ve stepped out of the school. Here, you see Laura’s brother, Gilbert, leading her to the altar to give away the bride on behalf of their deceased father…

Bride and brother

Gilbert, who comments quite regularly in my blog, is an ex-student of mine too, currently a JPA scholar in Canada. The wedding ceremony was held in St. Mary’s Church here…

David & Laura's wedding 1

…and in this next photo, you can see the couple happily walking down the aisle as man and wife, united in the eyes of God…

David & Laura's wedding 2

…and this one below shows the couple thanking everyone for coming to the church service, which I feel is the most important part of somebody’s wedding though many seem to think otherwise…

David & Laura's wedding 3

These days, it seems to be the norm to send out wedding invitations with the clause: “Gifts are respectfully declined.” Perhaps people should send out conditional invitations stating that they are invited to the dinner reception only if they attend the wedding mass in church. LOL!!!

Oops…sorry, I digress! Old people tend to do that a lot. Anyway, heartiest congratulations to the two of you, David and Laura, and here’s wishing you years and years of happiness ahead…

David & Laura

This song is specially dedicated to the newly-weds…

I’ll be home for Christmas…

Many of my ex-students are home for Chirstmas, airfare over RM400 via the cheap airline and they say it will be over RM1K when they come home for Chinese New Year end of next month. One of them, Mike, contacted me…

STP's ex-student, Mike

…and invited me out to lunch on X’mas Eve, together with Raymond…

STP's ex-student Raymond

…and Chok Hin…

STP's ex-student Chok Hin

They’re all JPA scholars, currently doing their foundation studies in KL. Mike’s going to Germany and the other two to Australia. We met at The Ark and since they’re not working yet and get a monthly allowance of around RM400 only, I just had the one-dish lamb curry rice (RM9.50)…

Sibu's The Ark lamb curry rice

…and all of them had the lemon chicken rice (RM6.50), probably sick of curry already after half a year in KL!

Sibu's The Ark lemon chicken rice

Thanks so much for the treat, boys! It sure is nice to be remembered. Incidentally, if anybody’s thinking that’s not very substantial, take a look at this…

Cafe2's RM60 Xmas Eve dinner - main course

My ex-tuition students, Alex aka jienster and his brother Andrew aka dunky, are home for Christmas from Melbourne and they had this at another place with their family – a RM60.00 Christmas Eve 4-course dinner. No, that was not the appetiser; that was the main course! At The Ark, they also had a set 4-course dinner for Christmas (and probably will have the same for New Year as well) with a choice of chicken (RM45.00) or lamb shank (RM60.00) for the main course.

Personally, I would rather go for the eat-all-you-can buffet at Kingwood Hotel – RM60.oo++ on the eve and RM45.oo++ on Christmas or New Year’s Day. You can check this out at cheekybear’s blog. I was planning to go on Christmas night but changed my mind as I came down with a flu. I think I’ll be going with my family on New Year’s night instead. Anybody wants to join us?

Yesterday…

…I went to the airport again. Gosh! I must have gone to and fro more than a dozen times these past few weeks. Well, my friend Jimmy is back in town and while waiting for his flight to land, I browsed around a diamond jewellery booth that was having a sale, and I ended up buying this…

STP's Christmas present

…so this is what the old lady’s getting for Christmas. Shhh!!! Don’t tell her yet! She’ll have to wait till Christmas! LOL!!! Now, on the way back from the airport, Jimmy and I and also my daughter stopped at the Mei Le Cafe at Pedada Commercial Centre here for lunch. We had this plate of roast chicken and roast duck (RM10.00)… 

Sibu's Mei Le Cafe roast chicken and duck

All the pork stuff – the char siew, BBQ pork ribs, roast pork belly/three-layer pork and so on – were not ready, so we could not have any of that. I also ordered this bowl of tom yam soup (RM4.50) which was very very nice…

Sibu's Mei Le Cafe tom yam soup

And since we did not have any for lunch, I decided to cook some roast pork for dinner…

STP's roast pork

…but we had a late dinner – 8.00 p.m. as we had to go to the airport AGAIN to pick the old lady coming back from Miri on a weekend working trip, arriving at 7.15. I wonder if she bought a nice Christmas pressie there for this old man??? Hehehehehehehehe!!!

Ride like the wind…

The other day, I did not feel like cooking, so I went to this place to tapao (takeaway) something for dinner…

Sibu's Rafie Cafe

This is one of my favourite Malay eating places in town run by a guy named Rafie and his wife…

Rafie and wife

As you can see from the caricature, the wife’s actually Chinese – Foochow, if I’m not mistaken…and as they say, “Behind every successful man is a woman.” They used to occupy two shoplots at one end of a block of shophouses but now they have taken over another shoplot at the end of the next shophouse block, and they have put up a roof over the space in between so that they can use that space too for their business.

Rafie is a big bike enthusiast, so on one wall, you can see these photographs…

Sibu's Rafie Cafe - big bikes

You noticed the Chinese New Year decor – those mini red lanterns? Now, on the other wall, you will see photos of well-known stars/personalities who have been there. I can see Dafi of Akademi Fantasia in the 1st one at the top…

Sibu's Rafie Cafe - star attraction

You can get a wide variety of food there – noodles like kampua or the fried ones, roti canai and so on but I usually go for the fast food. I went there at 4 in the evening, so there wasn’t that much available compared to the morning or around lunchtime. They have very good daging masak hitam (black-cooked beef), a Sarawak delicacy…and I simply love beef liver….

Sibu's Rafie Cafe - beef liver

…and don’t you think the fried paku (jungle fern) looks absolutely enticing?

Sibu's Rafie Cafe - fried paku

And what have we got here?…

Sibu's Rafie Cafe - Christmas tree

A Christmas tree!!! In a Malay shop! And earlier we have seen the Chinese New Year decor…and there’s even the national flag, the Jalur Gemilang!!! This, I must say, is a TRULY Malaysian shop!!! Two thumbs up for Rafie and his wife!

When will I see you again…

Last Sunday, after the evening church service, I thought of going for some ikan bakar (grilled fish) at Fat Mom’s along Lanang Road here but the place was very crowded, so we decided to go some place else. I was positive that somebody told me that the ikan bakar at the hawker centre adjacent to the Sibu Exhibition Centre was very nice but when we got there, most of the stalls were not open, probably gone out of business and there was no ikan bakar anywhere in sight. We decided to try the one selling among other things, some western dishes. I had this plate of mixed grill (RM9.50)…

Sibu Exhibition Centre's mixed grill

…while my daughter had this plate of spaghetti bolognese (RM5.00)…

Sibu Exhibition Centre's spaghetti bolognese

Both tasted pretty good and don’t you think that’s extremely cheap? Of course, if one is willing to pay more, one may get better dining atmosphere and service and perhaps, even something that tastes a bit better like this same dish at The Ark for RM10.50…

The Ark's spaghetti bolognese

…using the crockery and cutlery from IKEA no less! LOL!!!

The Ark's IKEA glass

Well, Gundot and her daughter, Sam, were in town, so I took them to the places that I had featured in my previous posts in my blog and the other day, we went to The Ark for lunch. She was really impressed by the place, to say the least. Sam had that dish of spaghetti bolognese while my daughter tried their pasta al forno, also at RM10.50…

The Ark's pasta al forno

It was very rich and creamy and so delicious, the sauce tasting something like the filling in those yummy meat pies I had in Auckland, New Zealand when I was there a few years back. But I would think that it is best shared as I cannot imagine me finishing all that by myself. Usually when I go for things like that, I can just take so much of it and the enjoyment will start going downhill after a while.

Gundot and I went for the local dishes and we had rice with chicken curry (RM8.00)… 

The Ark's chicken curry

I just thought I’d have chicken for a change as on my previous visits, once with Bongkersz and more recently with Jimmy, I had lamb…but I think the lamb is much nicer. But for the vegetable dish, I stuck steadfastly to the ladies’ fingers with belacan (RM6.00)…

The Ark's ladies fingers with belacan

It is that nice, I tell you. Gundot had this drink of bitter gourd, cucumber and sour plum with sugar syrup (RM3.80)…

The Ark's bitter gourd drink

…and I was quite amused by the use of a slice of bitter gourd for presentation.

So, when will they see me again? Well, the food is nice and the prices are reasonable, the service is good (It has improved a great deal since the first time I went, when the place was still quite new.) and the people are polite and friendly. Considering all that, I guess I’ll be dropping by again pretty soon…

Speak softly love…

Sorry, folks! If you’re expecting a romantic, lovey-dovey, mushy-mushy post, you are in for a disappointment. I’ve chosen this song for the title because it is the theme song from the movie, “The Godfather”. ROTFLMAO!!! You see, sometime back, my godson, Elias…

Elias

…who is also an ex-student of mine, contacted me and invited me out to dinner at Cafe cafe…

Sibu's Cafe cafe

…on Thursday night last week. He did not want to tell me what the occasion was, so I just guessed that it was probably some students’ gathering to celebrate the end of the academic year. When I got there, I was surprised to see him and his elder brother, Kevin who is also my godson…

Kevin

…waiting for me outside the cafe…

Elias and Kevin at Cafe cafe

Then only did they tell me that their parents and younger sister were waiting inside and that they had invited me out to celebrate my birthday!!! Horror of horrors! Adults! LOL!!! It was somewhat embarrassing but it certainly was a pleasant surprise that I found most flattering. They could not have it on the actual day as Kevin would have to sit for a few more papers in the STPM Examination around that time.

It was my first time at Cafe cafe (in its present location) and I must say that the place was very dimly-lit, so you will have to bear with the small, dark and blur photographs in this post. We had the cincaluk (fermented shrimps) fried rice…

Cincaluk fried rice

They gave some cincaluk in a small dish but I could not taste any in the fried rice itself. In my own version of that, I would have a generous amount in the fried rice but I quite enjoyed it the way it was, eating it together with the cincaluk provided. We also had this lamb and pasta dish…

Lamb pasta

It wasn’t too bad. The pasta was kind of bland but went well with the lamb in its dark gravy that tasted something like a very mild black pepper sauce. Its signature dish – the mee mamak – was a disappointment, I felt, with its excessive chilli/tomato sauce…

Mee mamak

…but I loved the tuna toast with its rich and creamy cheesey topping…

Tuna toast

I would order that should I happen to go to that cafe again. We also had this broccoli and mushroom dish…

broccoli mushroom

…and this huge bowl of sea cucumber soup…

Sea cucumber soup

We also had some cakes including this hazelnut cheesecake…

Hazelnut cheesecake

…which was just so-so and this extremely sweet chocolate cake…

Chocolate cake

and this white chocolate cheesecake that was everyone’s favourite…

White chocolate cheesecake

After dinner, we adjourned to The Queens next door for a round of drinks. It is a nice, comfy place with keyboards and guitars for anyone musically-inclined who may want to show of his or her musical talents…and even the waiter is willing to belt out a song or two upon special request…

The Queens

Thank you so very much, Elias and Kevin…and also to your parents and sister for that delightful start to my birthday celebration this year. It certainly was very sweet and nice…and thanks for remembering my birthday too.

P.S.
Incidentally, this is my 300th post since I started in March this year…and to date, I have had 89,245 views and 6,148 comments. My Google Page Rank stands at 5/10 and according to websiteoutlook, the estimated worth of my blog is US$4,109.90 with a daily page view of 1,132 and a traffic rank of 971,542. Ummm…at least, I’m within the top 1 million blogs in the world. LOL!!!

Thanks to shinyin, I think, for this award…

Blog award 1

and faisaladmar for this one…

Blog award 2

It sure is nice to feel appreciated… LOL!!!