Go the distance…

That day, when I shared on Facebook the link to my post on the kampua mee place at Pandan Jaya, I did get a lot of responses from friends far and wide – those who have tried it before and they all gave it their nod of approval, one going as far as rating it a 9 out of 10!

I don’t know exactly where it is located but some said it is far from where they stay. I guess that prompted a friend to share this link to this blogpost on a  place in Brickfields but when I clicked to go and have a look, it sure seemed very delicious but despite the name, it did not appear to be anything like kampua mee as we know it, more like Kuching kolo mee. Those of my Facebook friends who have gone to try were quick in agreeing with my opinion with regards to the appearance…and also the taste. The blogger also featured the Sarawak laksa at this place – what? Sarawak laksa with fish balls and fish cake and sliced meat. True blue Sarawak laksa connoisseurs would certainly frown at the mere sight of it. He even said this one tasted nicer than the celebrated Auntie Christina’s in Bangsar. Well, at least, hers looks like what Sarawak laksa should look like. “The soup had what I think is a perfect balance of sambal belacan and tamarind so it’s not overly sour,” he said. Tamarind? Sour? I rest my case. Period.

Anyway, back to the discussion on kampua mee, my friend, Annie (who’s originally from Sibu, born and raised here) commented that she would have to drive all the way to this coffee shop in Puchong to appease her craving for the noodles. Now, THAT is far…from her place in Bangsar. My friend who shared the above link also mentioned this same one and shared a photograph of the stall…

Sibu Kampua Mee stall at Double D, Puchong

…and what he ate there…

Double D Puchong kampua mee, pian sip

He said that a lady and a girl from Sibu run the stall and he said the kampua mee is good, pretty authentic…and a few others also came and said that they have tried this one and gave their thumbs up. Good grief!!! Don’t those people do anything else other than going round all over to eat the kampua noodles?

In the meantime, Annie sent me the photographs of the kampua mee

Double D Puchong kampua mee

…and the pian sip

Double D Puchong pian sip

…that she had here…and if she too says it is good, I would take her word for it.

Well, if anyone is interested in dropping by to check this one out, here’s the address:
Restoran Double D
15, Jalan Puteri 2/5 (Bandar Puteri Puchong)
47100 Puchong Batu Dua Belas, Selangor

In the meantime, my blogger-friend, Sharon somewhere in Singapore has gone to try the kampua noodles in the island republic that I also blogged about recently. Do click this link and hop over to her blog to see her post on it – she did not actually say whether she liked it or not but I guess that photograph of her empty bowl says it all.

Wondering…

I am not really all that religiously-inclined but when we dropped by a mall in town that day, I was appalled by the decor…

Star Mega Mall Christmas decor

…they had put up for Christmas this year.

I was not crazy about the theme here, I think that was last year, and also at one supposedly classy restaurant in town, Frozen, but at least there was snow…and snowmen and I think there was a reindeer too, things that have long been associated with Christmas like Santa Claus, Christmas trees and presents but this got me wondering as I just cannot for the dear life of me figure out the connection between Christmas and Pikachu. Yes, it is the current craze or at least, it was not too long ago when lots of people went round catching those Pokemons or the short form for the Japanese name, Pocket Monsters. I guess those business people are trying to cash in on its popularity but somehow, it just doesn’t give me the feel or the spirit of Christmas.

Prior to stopping by this place that day, we had gone for lunch here. My girl wanted the bryani rice here but it was closed – Monday is their off day every week so we decided to go for more of our own Sarawak ethnic Dayak cuisine and ended up here again. True to their word, they had entirely different dishes in their selection that day except for the tapioca leaves that all three of us picked…

Anak Borneo tapioca leaves

…and they did it really well that day – it was always nice but we thought that day, it was even nicer. I guess it is a good thing to have different dishes on different days especially for the regulars – that way, they would not get bored unlike at some chap fan or nasi campur places here. You will see the exact same dishes day in and day out!

However, I was hoping to go for more of their kacang ma chicken with tuak (the traditional ethnic Dayak rice wine) and their pansoh babi (pork cooked in bamboo) but unfortunately, those were not in the menu for the day so instead both my girl and I picked the fish with the sourish terung Dayak (Dayak brinjal, which to me seems more like something from the tomato family)…

Anak Borneo terung Dayak fish

…and the umai

Anak Borneo umai

– our Melanau version of the Japanese sashimi, which we both enjoyed.

My missus picked the chicken curry…

Anak Borneo chciken curry

…and the two of us also had the pig’s intestines and pig’s blood with pineapples…

Anak Borneo pig's intestines & blood

…which we thought was pretty good as well.

The total for all our individual selections, plus rice, came up to RM19.50 altogether. I wonder when they will be having the kacang ma chicken and the pansoh babi again – I sure wouldn’t mind going back there again for those especially.

Wishing you well…

Congratulations and wishing you all the very best, Rosaline, on the recent grand opening of your business venture…

Ruai Cafe, Bintulu - address

…at this shop…

Ruai Dayak Cafe, Bintulu - shop

…in Bintulu.

Rosaline was my student in Kanowit way back in the late 70’s or early 80’s when I was teaching at a secondary school there, 1978 – 1982. You can see her in this photograph (in dark blue)…

Getting ready

…and it looks like they are stuffing the bamboo tubes to cook the very nice pansoh meat or fish.

For the uninitiated, the ruai is the common room or corridor inside a longhouse…

Ruai in a longhouse
*Archive photo*

…outside the biliks where each individual family stays. This would be where the longhouse folks would hold their celebration during festivals like the Gawai Dayak when there will be a lot of feasting, drinking and dancing…

Dancing in a longhouse
*Archive photo: from my Singapore friend, Alfred’s album on Facebook*

Of course, with a name like that, you can expect to enjoy all the Dayak ethnic delights at Rosaline’s shop such this paku (wild jungle fern)…

Ruai Dayak Cafe paku

…and this one – I’m not sure what that is, probably ensabi…

Ruai Dayak Cafe ensabi

…that some call sawi Dayak.

I managed to get some photographs from Rosaline’s Facebook page to share here and this looks like kacang ma chicken…

Ruai Dayak Cafe kacang ma

…and this meat dish…

Ruao Dayak Cafe meat

…sure looks good!

You can click this link to visit their Facebook page…for more photographs and there is even a video clip of somebody at the shop playing the sape, their traditional “guitar”…

I, for one, enjoy such ethnic native cuisine a lot and I sure would love to drop by and try, if only I were in Bintulu.

Far and wide…

Yesterday, I blogged about a place in Singapore where those in the island republic could drop by for the much coveted Sarawak Sibu kampua noodles, especially the ones from here who are currently residing there.

Well, an ex-student of mine from Kanowit where I was teaching, 1978 – 1982, who is now working in Kuala Lumpur shared this photograph of what he had…

Pandan Jaya kampua and pian sip 1

…on Facebook. Now that looked really good, the bowl of kampua mee and the pian sip on top.

Oh my!!! It certainly is spreading far and wide these days, as far as Australia, don’t play-play! You do not even have to fly all the way to Sibu to eat this anymore, it seems. Gone are the days when you could not even get it in Kuching and my friends in college in the mid-70’s used to moan and groan and complain about the Kuching kolo mee, craving for our own Sibu kampua mee all the time.

I asked my ex-student where he had that but he did not know the details. He did forward to me this photograph of the stall…

Pandan Jaya kampua stall

…though. I guess these were his own photographs. He did share with me some snapshots of the very nice kolo mee he had at Pantai Indah but I googled and found out that he got those from somebody’s blog so I would not include them in mine.

I am not sure but it looked like he went back the very next day and this was what he had…

Pandan Jaya kampua & pian sip 2

…the second time around and he got me the address:
Restoran Pertama
Jalan Pandan 2/3, Pandan Jaya

I went and googled and got this…

Restoran Pertama Pandan Jaya

…street view pic of the place (3.134424, 101.740939).

So if there is anybody from here craving for this hometown delight, he or she can drop by this shop to give it a shot…or if anyone who is keen on sampling, this probably would be a good place to head to – I hear that man is from Sibu, unlike the Foochow-speaking Miri guy in yesterday’s post.

Addicted to you…

Kampua (noodles) and kompia are synonymous with Sibu. As a matter of fact, I have heard stories of people who had been away for a while even if it was just for a week-long tour and the moment they touched down, they would head straight to the coffee shop for their kampua fix before heading home.

Needless to say, those who live and work elsewhere, when they come home, for instance, when they come back for Chinese New Year, they would go and eat like there is no tomorrow. I’ve seen some stopping by so many places and sharing the photographs on Facebook of the kampua noodles that they had eaten…all in one morning, believe it or not!

Well, my friend in Singapore, the one originally from Sibu who was here briefly over one weekend not too long ago, contacted me via Facebook, all excited about this kampua mee stall…

Sarawak Sibu Kampua Mee, Singapore
*Friend’s photograph*

…that she came across in Singapore.

She said that the guy…

Kampua mee guy, Singapore
*Friend’s photograph*

…is from Miri and speaks Foochow and makes his own noodles. She gave his kampua mee an 8 out of 10 but she did not like the pian sip though as she found the skin rather thick. According to the guy, she said, he used those factory-made ones so of course, those would not meet the standard of discerning pian sip lovers.

I shared their link on Facebook and tagged those friends of mine in Singapore and in no time at all, one went to try and sent me this photograph that he took of the stall…

Sarawak Sibu Kampua Mee stall
*Friend’s photograph on Facebook*

…and the  things he ate…

Sarawak Sibu Kampua Mee kampua & pian sip
*Friend’s photograph on Facebook*

The kampua mee

Kampua mee, Singapore
*Friend’s photograph on Facebook*

…got his nod of approval, very authentic, he said, just like any of the original ones that one would get to enjoy in Sibu but he too was not so thrilled by the pian sip as he found the skin too thick for his liking. We also buy the skin here from the stalls at the wet market and they are also sold at most/supermarkets in town. I don’t know if it would help but I’ve seen at a lot of stalls here people sitting down by the side rolling the pian sip skin sheet by sheet to make them thinner so it would be nice and translucent when cooked…like the ones that I enjoy very much here.

It seems that they have a lot of variations, deviating far and wide from the original, and of course, the die-hard true blue kampua mee lovers would frown on those. Perhaps it is to cater to the taste of Singaporeans and others who may not be so attached to what is authentic and would not mind trying the rest which may be more to their liking. Well, if anybody is interested in dropping by to give it a try, this is the location:
115 BUKIT MERAH VIEW #01-30
151115 Singapore
…and you can click this link to view their Facebook page to see what’s in store…and incidentally, I hear that you can put in a special request for the “Sibu chili sauce” to go with your kampua mee, otherwise you will get the regular ones.

Go, go ahead and try and let me know how you find it, whether it is to your liking or not.

When you least expect it…

I read about these awesome mochi

Sarikei mochi 1

…from some place in Sarikei a few years ago and the couple of times I was there, I was hoping I would be able to grab a few to try but I did not know where to go or as a matter of fact, I was not really looking as I was never a fan of mochi.

Well, if you do not know what mochi is, if I am not wrong, it is originally a Japanese delicacy made from glutinous rice flour and what separates the men from the boys would be the texture – some can be so rubbery, so difficult to bite and chew and I would feel like choking when trying to swallow it, not unlike those Chinese glutinous rice balls called tangyuan which I am not all particularly fond of either though I do not mind a few, coated with crushed peanut and sugar, during the Chinese Dōngzhì or Winter Solstice Festival, just to upkeep and preserve the tradition and the culture. Something along this same line would be the nyonya delight, the onde onde, also known as kuih Melaka, and I quite like those especially when they are well made and have lots of gula Melaka (coconut palm sugar) inside that will squirt out the moment you bite into the thing.

Anyway, back to the mochi, there is a fruit and vegetable shop round the corner from my house and the hubby would drive to Sarikei on alternate days and bring back a whole lot of stuff from there to sell and I was there the other day when I spotted these mochi

Sarikei mochi, pack of 6

…much to my surprise as I did not expect to see those there – I did not see them selling them before. There was no label, no sticker nothing but my guess was those would be the ones that everyone was talking about.

What got my attention was a little girl came out of a luxury car to buy a pack of 6, selling for RM6.50 so that would mean that the mochi would be a little more than RM1.00 each which I would say was by no means cheap. Of course, I bought some myself to try and yes, they were indeed very very nice, pandan-flavoured and hence, the green colour, coated with Nestum and with the generous peanut butter filling…

Sarikei mochi, peanut butter filling

…I would say that they tasted a lot nicer than any that I have had before and I never ever cared to go back for more.

Well, if anyone passing through Sarikei would like to grab some to try, he or she can get them at the Kim Hing Bakery and Confectionery (2.124171, 111.518061)…

Kim Hing Bakery & Confectionery, Sarikei
*Taken from Google Streetview*

…at No. 43A, Jalan Hua Tai 1 to the extreme right of that block of shops.

Days gone by…

These days, we have gelato…and all those branded creamy ice cream as well as those sold in the supermarkets.

Then, there is also the soft serve ice cream like the ones at McD’s or if you are in Kuching, at Sunny Hill and there are some shops selling that here too – I know there is one in Wisma Sanyan. We never had that during our growing up years until somebody brought in a machine making and selling that at a popular coffee shop in town, Ban Chuan, and how we loved it! American ice cream, we called it then.

All the while, what we knew as ice cream then would be the local made ones that they would bring around in cylindrical vacuum flask-like canisters to sell in scoops in those pink-coloured wafer cones. I can’t remember how much we paid for those then, probably just 5 sen a cone…and the Apek (old man) would go round either on foot or on a bicycle with two canisters, one on each side – ringing his bell, selling what might come in different colours – pink or yellow depending on the artificial flavouring and colouring used.

Despite what we called it, it was far from creamy. I think it was more like finely blended ice…

Dad's original gula apong ice cream

…something like the coffee I had the other day and that was what the gula apong (nipah palm sugar) ice cream that I had in Kuching that day was like.

I have heard or read of the popular places, one at the Open Air Market stalls and another in Padungan, beside this totem pole-like cat monument

Totem pole cat monument Kuching

…and that was the one I went to check out, the latter…

Gula Apong ice cream shop, Padungan

…that claims to be dad’s original recipe, the best in town and it seems that they have five other outlets…

DP gula apong ice cream outlets

…elsewhere in the city besides this one here.

There is this handsome young boy there, taking your orders…

Boy 1

…and getting the gula apong ice cream from the machine…

Boy 2

…and squeezing the gula apong syrup all over and sprinkling the crushed peanut or chocolate rice or both on top…

Boy 3

I did not want those add-ons even though they do not charge extra for them, or not that I know of, so I just had the ice cream with the syrup, unadulterated (RM2.00)…

Gula apong ice cream, Padungan

…and I only asked for the small cone as I just wanted to try to see what it was all about. You can go for the RM5.00 one, if you are thus inclined.

I thought it was all right, nice for the very hot days that we are experiencing ever so often currently but no, it did not sweep me off my feet. I think I prefer the more expensive one I had here in Sibu, RM3.00 each…with the soft serve ice cream plus the gula apong syrup and if you want, you can pay extra for the topping or toppings of your choice and even that one did not get me running back for more.