That spirit of Christmas…

I dropped by the mall near my house again the other day, the one with the somewhat minimal Christmas decoration but this time around, I was pleasantly surprised to see this house…

Delta Mall Christmas House

…there and this was what it looked like inside…

Delta Mall, Christmas House, inside 1

That sure was a welcome addition to the solitary Christmas tree, the cardboard cut-out snowmen and the rest

Delta Mall Christmas House, inside 2

…and I did see some people happily taking selfies and wefies of themselves with this in the background.

It was that very same day that the poslaju van stopped outside my house to deliver this…

From Phong Hong 1

…from my blogger friend, Phong Hong.

I certainly would agree with this…

The best people

people who love 2 eat are always the best people. Aren’t we all? Wink! Wink!

Inside, she had gone through all that trouble to so very generously send me these awesome bacon products…

From Phong Hong 2

…and a very lovely Christmas card. Yes, that’s right! Bacon! I have yet to try any of the three but if it’s bacon, I am pretty sure that they’re going to be good!

Thank you so very much, Phong Hong. Sorry, I didn’t send you anything but no worries, should I happen to come across anything here that can be sent and is worth sending, I will most certainly do that. A Blessed Christmas to you and all your loved ones. Cheers!!!

Christmas tree…

It’s that time of year again and with Christmas in around a fortnight away, the Sibu Town Square…

Sibu Town Square

…has all the Christmas trees, big and small…

The main tree & the little ones

…with artificial snow…

Snow

…and presents…

Presents

…and reindeers and sleigh…

Reindeers & sleigh

…that probably would light up at night and look a whole lot more beautiful and enchanting than in broad daylight during the daytime.

The official “lighting-up” was on last Friday night, the 9th of December along with the opening of the annual Food & Cultural Fair right across the road…and the annual Christmas Procession in the town centre was held the following night.

There is the annual Christmas tree decoration competition whereby those taking part have to use recycled materials for their trees…

Christmas Trees, Sibu Town Square 2016 1

…supposedly and some can be really creative and very pretty, I must say…

Christmas Trees, Sibu Town Square 2016 2

…but one of the two that I like the most would be this one…

Nativity Christmas tree from SMK Kpg Nangka

…which depicts the true meaning of CHRISTmas.

This is the view from the grandstand/stage of the main tree in the town square with all the canopies for the Food & Cultural Fair, plus the ferris wheel, in the background, across the road…

Main Christmas tree

I guess this is not as grand as in some other places especially when compared to those western countries overseas but we are indeed most thankful to those concerned for their genuine and sincere, non-commercialised effort to fill our hearts with the Christmas spirit this time every year. Joy to the world!

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 like my friend, Annie (who’s originally from Sibu, born and raised here), for instance. She commented that usually, she would have to drive all the way to another place that is very far away, this coffee shop in Puchong, to appease her craving for the noodles. Now, THAT is far…from where she stays. It so happened that another friend also mentioned this same one in his comment 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.