Take me to church…

Oh no!!! It’s Sunday already and the week-long Chinese New Year break has come to an end. That means that we will be making our way to our girl’s school in the jungle today before school resumes tomorrow.

This is the church…

St Mary's Sibu

…that we frequent here but we would usually go for the novena and the sunset service on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, we would be busy preparing this and that for my girl for the week ahead so it would not be so convenient for us to go then, only when we do not have a choice like when we have something on the previous night.

We did, however, go for the special Chinese New Year service at the usual time for all the Sunday morning masses here (7.30 a.m.) on the 1st day of the new year that day and we only got to eat the longevity noodles…

Mee sua

…the mee sua in our traditional Foochow red wine chicken soup after we came back, not the first thing in the morning like what we would usually do before.

The place was gaily and appropriately decorated…

CNY 1

…for the auspicious occasion…

CNY 2

…here…

CNY 3

…there…

CNY 4

…and everywhere…

CNY 5

At the end of the service, there was the customary setting off of firecrackers…

Firecrackers

…and the distribution of ang paos…

Ang pao

…to all present and also oranges…

Oranges

…two per person.

We did bring our own…

Our own

…though – we were encouraged to do that so we would have more than just two specially-blessed oranges to usher in the brand new year.

It certainly got off to a good start, our Year of the Pig, don’t you think so?

Just a little bit better…

This…

WeLove Bakery, Pedada

…used to be my girl’s favourite – they did have quite a lot of stuff that she enjoyed but of course, she can’t go for those anymore as they are all not gluten free….and I do know for a fact that my friend, Peter, gets his bread for his café by special order according to his specifications from this bakery too.

They have opened an outlet in the area of shops near my house, back to back with this Sarawak’s own fast food franchise there, right across the lane from this newly-opened bakery. We did drop by a couple of times, though not all that frequently. My girl went once to buy my birthday cake from there, my favourite Japanese baked cheesecake…

Japanese baked cheesecake

Well, it so happened that I popped into the place sometime ago and saw some ang ku kueh and deep-fried Chinese yam cake and I bought a few to try. They turned out to be really very nice, nicer than the ones that I would always buy from here but since then, I did not see them there anymore until that morning when I was walking  past after doing some business at the bank round the corner.

I’ve stopped buying the or koi from that other place since they increased the price from RM1.00 to RM1.10 but it was not so much because of that. The last time I had theirs, they seemed a little bit more wobbly than usual probably because of the addition of more flour, less yam. The ones here (RM1.20 each)…

Or koi

…did seem a lot nicer and I certainly would choose to buy these instead.

The ang ku kueh (RM1.20 each)…

Ang ku kueh

…had a nicer texture, the skin, that is and I also thought the filling inside tasted a little bit better, just a bit. However, it looked smaller and it is more expensive by 20 sen. I am not so particular about the difference in price – if I am here, I will just buy the ones here and if I am there, I will grab the ones there.

I also bought one pulut panggang (RM1.40) to try that was very much longer than the RM1.00 or RM1.10 ones at the Malay kueh stalls but though it was quite nice – it had that much coveted panggang-ed fragrance, it was not all that lemak, nowhere near those that we called Kate panggang which, unfortunately, aren’t that regularly nor easily available anymore these days.

I must say that I am delighted that there is another place here now that is near my house where I can buy some nice tea-time delights to enjoy.

WeCare Bakery, Pedada outlet (2.311098, 111.846125) is located at the corner shoplot where this coffee shop once was, back to back with the Sugar Bun outlet in that area to the left of Delta Mall, Jalan Pedada (now Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai).

O come, all ye faithful…

This and this used to be here…

Catholic Centre

…in what was called the Catholic Centre in the Sacred Heart Cathedral compound and there was a budget inn upstairs but they have all since moved away when the premises was taken back for some massive renovations.

It sure looks like they’ve got it all nicely done now and the other morning, I decided to drop by to check the place out. They have an eatery downstairs where they say all the workers are volunteers from the church. I don’t know what the arrangement is, whether they rent out the stalls and the proceeds will go to the church fund but right now, there is a drinks stall and also one food stall…

Food stall

I tried the kampua mee, kosong (RM2.00)…

Kampua mee

…and I thought it was all right. No, I would not say that it swept me off my feet but it was good enough which is more than what I would say about some of the noodles at some of the stalls elsewhere.

Likewise, the piansip/ meat dumplings (RM2.50)…

Piansip

…were o.k. too but it appeared to me that the fried stuff was more popular – everyone else seemed to be having something fried and looking at what was served and the lovely fragrances that filled the air, I did think everything looked nice and I sure would want to order and try on my next visit. I must say that I liked how they used glass and ceramics instead of plastic, all their plates and bowls.

I’ve heard people saying that the chap fan/mixed rice is cheap…

Prices

…and very good as well and when I was there, they already had a few dishes ready like these…

Chap fan options 1

…and these…

Chap fan options 2

…as well. I wonder if the ginseng soup…

Ginseng soup

…is any good or not – perhaps I can try that as well next time.

That day, after Stephanie and Andrew’s wedding at the cathedral, they had a buffet brunch/lunch here – everyone sang praises of the dishes served. I did not join them as I was already too full after what I had prior to the wedding service. It sure looks like I will have to go back there soon to try for myself first-hand, their chap fan.

For one thing, this place sure looks like a leading contender for the environmental award, the next round, if it is still going strong by then. If you wish to tapao (takeaway) the food, you will have to bring your own containers or tiffin carriers as they will not have any of those plastic ones…

No plastic

…for you to pack your picks.

There are these steamed paos (buns) too…

Steamed buns

…and if you want to buy those to take away, in line with their No Plastic policy, they will use these brown paper bags…

Brown paper bags

Why? You do not even get a plastic drinking straw…

No straw

…with your drink.

Other than all the aforementioned, this is a No Smoking zone so if your nicotine level is running dangerously low, you will have to stroll out to the main road outside.

This place opens from 6.00 a.m. till 2.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and it is closed on Sundays in keeping with one of the Ten Commandments that says, “Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath Day.”

I could not find any sign anywhere all around the building but the place has been called Laudato Si, which means “Praise be to You” in Latin…

LAUDATO SI

…after the second encyclical of Pope Francis in which he “critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming and calls all people of the world to take swift and unified global action”…and it sure looks like this place is heading in that right direction and I would say that it sure deserves the support of members of the public.

LAUDATO SI is located in what was previously known as the Catholic Centre located in the compound of the Sacred Heart Cathedral and St Rita’s Primary School.

Outright…

In my post a couple of days ago, I did say I would be blogging about this place…

Outright Coffee, this way

…again.

When we were there that morning, I saw in their display cabinet that they had beef pies priced at RM8.00 upwards but I was too full to eat anything at that point in time. My missus went to their bakery, back to back to this place with a hotel on top to look around and she came back with this beef and potato pie…

Outright Coffee beef & potato pie

…and another one with cheese. It seems that they would sell the unsold ones at the bakery at half the price. Now, that sure is a steal!

The pastry was very nice…

Outright Coffee beef & potato pie, inside

…and there was so much beef inside…

Outright Coffee beef & potato pie, filling

I enjoyed it very much and I would say that it’s value for money even at its original price. I have tried the other one with cheese, no potatoes – my missus said it was nicer but I prefer this one probably because I love those tubers with the beef.

In the meantime, let’s take a tour of the place. I am very sure anyone dropping by would not fail to notice the greenery…

Outright Coffee, greenery

…all around. I heard that Dennis, the owner, bought the plants from Peter, the boss of Payung, and it is good that he takes good care of them. I’ve heard of people buying from Peter too but eventually, all the lovely plants withered away and died. As a matter of fact, Dennis was outside when we got there that day, busy with the watering.

I liked this one…

Outright Coffee, plant

…and this one with the little purple flowers…

Outright Coffee, plant with purple flowers

…too and this gave me an idea – perhaps I could plant some wild ferns…

Outright Coffee, ferns

…in pots as well as I do think they make really nice decorative plants that one would not need to spend a fortune to purchase.

You can choose to sit inside in the air-conditioned section or outside…

Outright Coffee, outside section - side

…by the side and also in front…

Outirght Coffee outside - front

…and there are other sections here and there as well with some very interesting furniture…

Outright Coffee, unique furniture

…and the chairs here…

Outright Coffee - old school chairs

…caught my attention. We had those sets at our house in the colonial days and my paternal grandparents and my maternal grandma had similar sets at theirs too. Of course, we no longer have them anymore.

I did drop by here once a long time ago for the coffee and cakes but all my photographs did not come out as it was way too dark. In the meantime, my girl does drop by sometimes with her friends in the evenings to linger around and sit and chat but now that they do have quite a lot of stuff to eat, they probably would see me there…

Outright Coffee, front

…a lot more often, most likely in the daytime so that I would be able to take more flattering snapshots of what they serve.

OUTRIGHT COFFEE (2.290978, 111.820996) is located at 24B , Jalan Lau King Howe, at the end of the first block of shops immediately behind the Lay King Howe Memorial Museum.

Meet me in the shade…

I was in the vicinity of the shops at Bandong Walk here and I noticed that the somewhat prolonged construction…

Bandong, new look

…going on there was more or less complete already. I guess that roof will provide some shade from the rain on wet nights – I do not think any of the shops open in the daytime so there isn’t any need for protection from the sun.

It looks pretty nice but it would be good if the owners of the shops could give their premises a nice new coat of paint, the same colour throughout perhaps and something pastel, light and soothing – that will make the place look a whole lot nicer than now, with the myriad of horrendously gaudy colours, some of which have seen better days, that’s for sure.

This shop…

Noor Satay Islamic Cafe

…is open now, it seems. I used to frequent their satay stall and when they set up shop here, we did go a few times. Eventually, they closed down owing to the high rental there but they could not open here for a long time because of the on-going construction. I certainly would drop by one of these days to check it out.

While I was there that morning, I dropped by the nasi lemak stall to buy a couple of packets home with the super-yummy and spicy sambal sotong for the ladies but my main intention in going there was to try the guy’s mee jawa (RM5.00)…

Bandong Walk Nasi Lemak mee jawa 1

…and I sure was glad I did!

It was very nice and had quite a bit of beef in it…

Bandong Walk Nasi Lemak mee jawa 2

…but what won me over was the gravy – it was absolutely delicious and bursting with its most delightful flavours…

Bandong Walk Nasi Lemak mee jawa 3

…and I would say it certainly was a head above most, if not all, of the mee jawa that I have had around town.

I’ve yet to give the guy’s mi sapi (beef noodles) a try – perhaps, I will go for that the next time I’m around those parts.

The NASI LEMAK BANDONG WALK stall (2.313869, 111.825808) is located at Bandong Walk, Jalan Bandong somewhere in front of the block of shops where Mastura Delite and the 1Malaysia clinic are.

The old and the young…

I guess everyone loves ice cream, never mind old or young but of course, like everything else, especially when one is getting on in age, one should go a little bit slow on things that are sweet.

These two food trucks…

Food trucks

…have been around the vicinity of the grocer & deli here for quite sometime now, even before the month of Ramadan but I had not seen them open, not even once.

The red one is an outlet of this cafe that I went to a couple of times to eat and also for the gula apong (nipah palm sugar) ice cream…

Gula apong ice cream, fresh

…but I never had the chance to enjoy it here. At one time, there was a sign stating that it was closed because the ice cream machine was out of order.

Of course I was delighted to see it open that day and yes, they do have the ice cream that I enjoy a lot here…

YS Cafe food truck menu

…at only RM3.00 – I remember it was RM3.50 at the shop.

We ordered two cups – my girl and her mum would be sharing one as we just had our lunch and were still full. Unfortunately, we were informed that the machine was still out of commission so we had to go for the pre-made and frozen ones…

Gula apong ice cream, frozen

…take it or leave it. The young boy said that if we wanted the freshly-made ones, we would have to go to the shop for that.

Yes, it was nice, a bit hard and not quite like fresh soft-serve and while we were sitting there eating, I saw this man and a kid on a rather odd shade of blue Dumbo…

The old and the young

The little girl, probably his grand-daughter, was enjoying the ride and he was feeding her the ice cream at the same time – one scoop for her and three scoops for himself. LOL!!! I think sometimes the elders would do that to finish it off quickly so the kid would not eat too much. Cold, they would say, nanti batuk! (You’ll end up with a cough later!) If there is still any in the cup, of course, the kid would want more and more and would not take no for an answer.

Somehow it made me feel warm inside watching the young kid mouth wide open and wanting more and the old man giving it to her so very affectionately.

THE YS CAFE FOOD TRUCK (2.307981,111.820533) is located in the open area in front of the Bisonte Grocer & Deli, to the left of Mia Cafe & Restaurant that faces Jalan Kuda, off Jalan Kpg Nangka, beside the Simpang Tiga roundabout.

The walk…

This is Bandong Walk…

Bandong Walk

Those who were around in the 70’s and 80’s would probably remember the glory days when the eateries here would be jam-packed with people. It was a very popular place where the younger set would hang out at night, enjoying the food and one another’s company. Eventually, the crowd stopped coming – I hear it was because the place got very dirty and was infested with rats.

I must say that I am very impressed by the effort made by the people concerned to upgrade the place – the area in between the block of shops is near completion but I have no idea as to when it will reopen for business. I do hope that everyone, shop owners and members of the public alike, would make a concerted effort to keep the place very nice and clean and not let it go to rot all over again.

For some reason, some of the stalls by the side of the road are not open any time of day though I did gather from a reliable source that all of them have been rented out to somebody. Perhaps some of them only open at night and some only in the morning, like this one, for instance…

Nasi Lemak Bandong Walk, new sign

– my favourite nasi lemak in town!

They do seem to be enjoying brisk business…

Nasi Lemak Bandong Walk, stall

…which is good as that would mean that it will definitely make enough and more to keep them going and I can continue to drop by to enjoy the nasi lemak

Nasi Lemak Bandong Walk nasi lemak sambal sotong 1

…there or have it packed to take home and eat.

There is a canopy at the back and customers can sit in that somewhat makeshift area…

Bandong Walk, under the canopy

…to enjoy their breakfast. Personally, I am of the opinion that they should have something more proper, more presentable and a lot nicer.

I had the coffee…

Bandong Walk kopi-o kao

…from the stall beside the nasi lemak stall and surprisingly, it was really very good. Often have I complained that the coffee at the Malay shops are quite hopeless, not nice at all but this one is one of the few exceptions to the rule and believe it or not, it was just RM1.00 a glass!!!

There is another stall next to the drinks stall where a lady would be frying noodles and I noticed that she even sells kampua mee. Perhaps one of these days, I would drop by again to give it a try.

Back to the nasi lemak, it certainly is cheaper…

Nasi Lemak Bandong Walk, price list

…than the ones at the shops and what I had, with the sambal sotong (squid)…

Nasi Lemak Bandong Walk nasi lemak sambal sotong 2

…was RM3.00 plus RM1.50, RM4.50 only altogether, the same as what one would need to fork out if one would go for the regular here and elsewhere.

To me, a good nasi lemak would be one whereby the rice is really lemak, rich with the taste and fragrance of santan (coconut milk) and would taste so good without it being drowned by a multitude of sins and this is just about the only one that I have tried and enjoyed that truly lives up to its name.

The NASI LEMAK BANDONG WALK stall (2.313869, 111.825808) is located at Bandong Walk, Jalan Bandong somewhere in front of the block of shops where Mastura Delite and the 1Malaysia clinic are.