Try me…

The people here…

Raja Cendol

…requested to be added as my friend on Facebook and invited me to drop by and give their cendol a try.

Their stall is located at this food court/hawker centre…

MUC

…right across the road from the primary school in the vicinity…

Primary school

Gee! If my girl could get her transfer here, it certainly would be very convenient for me to come here on a more regular basis.

A friend kept asking me to drop by on weekends for the karaoke…

Karaoke

…sessions but I have yet to do so. I understand that the proceeds will go to charity – in aid of some orphans, if I am not mistaken.

So how was the cendol?…

Cendol 1

…I asked for the one with pulut (glutinous rice) and when I shared the photograph on Facebook, a Malay friend of mine commented that she would prefer the Chinese ones. Gee!!! I did not know there would be any difference…but come to think of it, it seems that there is.

I’ve tried the ones at some Malay shops and stalls but none tickled my fancy especially those that added rose syrup to the shaved ice – I cannot stand the smell/taste. Thankfully, they did not do that here but they used evaporated milk and gula apong (our local nipah palm sugar) – I prefer santan (coconut milk) and gula Melaka (palm sugar).

I would say that taken as it was, it was nice and refreshing…

Cendol 2

…especially on the very hot days that we are experiencing right now and the pulut was good, something like what you would get in those ketupat lemak,  but they would need to do something about the red beans – they were hard. I did cook some the other day and I had to soak the beans overnight and cook them for some three hours or so…before it was soft enough but still not quite the way I like them, mushy but still whole.

The RAJA CENDOL stall is located at the DEWAN MUC FOOD COURT/HAWKER CENTRE (2.313658, 111.825056) along Jalan Jasmin, off Jalan Bandong, more or less opposite the primary school there, on your left if you turn left into that road from Bandong Walk.

Not my intention…

I drove past my favourite nasi lemak stall at Bandong Walk one fine day and this banner…

Nasi Lemak Bandong Walk banner

…caught my attention – it looked like they now had nasi biryani as well  so I made it a point to go there one morning and check it out. Unfortunately, it so happened that they did not have it that day, only their nasi lemak and I did not feel like having that.

I went back there again a few days later and yes, they had the rice, long-grained…

Nasi biryani

…and for RM5.00 only, you will get that with some acar timun (pickled cucumber) and a piece of chicken curry…

Chicken curry

…so I bought two packs for our lunch to try. Yes, I would say it was very nice, the rice…and the curry too. They certainly were very generous with the gravy but no, there was no papadum like at those Indian places…but for only RM5.00, I guess there is no cause for complaint.

Back to that earlier occasion when the nasi biryani was not available, though it was not my intention to go there originally, I just strolled over to this place, a stone’s throw away to see if they had anything that would tickle my fancy.

I bought this kuih jala (RM2.00)…

Mak Met kuih jala

…before and thought it was not too bad.

The curry gravy, with a few cubes of potatoes inside, was very nice and this time around, I opened the egg roll and heated it up in a pan, piece by piece so it would not be so soft and limp. I found it a whole lot nicer, a little bit harder/drier and crispier. I think I shall do it again the next time I buy any and I must say that RM2.00 for 4 pieces, plus that big bag of curry gravy with some potatoes inside, is quite inexpensive.

I also bought these cucur bubuk

Mak Met cucur bubuk

…or deep fried fritters with those dried shrimps, sold in bags of RM2.00 or RM3.00 and they were so very nice that when I went back the second time for the nasi biryani, I went over to buy some more.

I bought the RM3.00 pack the first time but I did not count how many there were inside, probably 10. This time around, they only had the RM2.00 packs left so I bought those – these had only 6 inside but fair enough, usually these Malay kuehs are tagged at 3 for RM1.00 these days like the apam gula hangus (3 for RM1.00)…

Apam gula hangus

…that I also bought to try. They were o.k., that much I would say, nothing that exceptionally good as to get me rushing back for more.

They also had this nasi lemak kukus (RM4.50)…

Nasi lemak Che'gu Joe

…from one place in the kampung. I did go and buy from the stall there a long time ago but no, I found it rather disappointing. The nasi (rice) was not lemak which to me was quite a surprise seeing that they actually sold coconut there…and to make things worse, it was hard!

Well, it so happened that quite recently, there were people on Facebook who were raving about some nasi lemak that was so so good, tagging their friends and what not so I went to have a look. It turned out to be that same place so of course, I did not bother to stop and buy, once was quite enough, thank you very much. However, when I saw it being sold here that day, I decided I would give it a second chance.

This time around, the rice was not hard but sadly, it was still not lemak enough. Other than that, everything else was fine except for that piece of omelette – the standard condiment for this traditional dish should be hard-boiled egg, usually half of it but I’ve had fried egg instead at a number of places here, not that I approve of that either (especially when they do not know how to fry it the way I like it). I don’t recall getting any omelette anywhere except perhaps in those cheap brown paper packs of nasi lemak where you may get a piece, the size of a postage stamp…or one eighth of a hardboiled egg. I guess by now, it is quite obvious whether or not I would go back for this particular nasi lemak ever again.

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 the 1Malaysia clinic is and MAK MET’s BREAKFAST STATION, the Malay kueh stall/shop, is at the other block of shops nearby, the back facing the main road, where PENYET BANDONG is in the evening.

Lost my way…

I got a message from my ol’ friend the other morning asking me if I could join him for coffee – he was back in Sarikei for Ching Ming and dropped by Sibu in the few days he had left before going back to work in our neighbouring country. I asked him for his location and since he was just a stone’s throw away, I suggested that we could meet up here.

I expected him to be there by the time I arrived as I had to make my way there from home and he was so close by but when I got there, he was nowhere to be seen. I waited for a while before getting in touch with him. Apparently, he had lost his way as he was trying to locate the place using Google Maps and it led him to a very congested part of the town centre. I did give him the directions briefly but I guess people these days tend to depend more on their smartphones to get around.

Well, after some fresh instructions from me, he made his way to where I was. I told him that I had the kampua mee kosong (no meat) with a bowl of liver soup once and I quite enjoyed them and yes, he wanted the kampua mee

Mum Mum Food Street kampua mee

He enjoyed it very much and according to him, the kampua mee here in Sibu is quite different from the ones in Sarikei. I, for one, was kind of put off by the red colour of the meat plus the plate was actually quite badly chipped but since my friend did not seem to mind, I just kept quiet.

At least, my order came in a special “personalised” plate…

Mum Mum Food Street plate

…the mee mamak (RM6.00)…

Mum Mum Food Street mee mamak

…from another stall there and yes, it was good but I did not think there was anything that would put it a cut above the rest elsewhere in town. I guess it was pricier, RM6.00, mind you, because of the prawns and though they were nice and fresh, I am not all that fond of these supposedly cheaper hard shell ones.

We had a lovely time chatting catching up with one another’s lives but where the food was concerned, it certainly would take a lot more than that to get me coming back for more.

MUM MUM FOOD STREET (2.290923, 111.821227) is located along Lorong Lau King Howe 1, a few doors before the Bakemore Bakery and the hotel that are located back to back with this coffee placeLim Teh & the Waterfront Apartments (our Sibu Twin Towers) are right around the corner.

Same routine…

After three days of bustling activity and merry-making, come Sunday, it was back to the same ol’ routine.

We went to the early morning church service as we could not go for the one the night before and after that, we went for a quick brunch here before making our way to my girl’s school in the jungle.

I had the nasi biryani

Sri Pelita nasi biryani mutton curry

…with mutton curry…

Sri Pelita mutton curry

…and it was so very nice that morning so I tapao-ed that for my girl’s dinner in her quarters that evening. We were so pre-occupied with all the things going on in the last few days that we did not have time to cook some nice things for her to enjoy during the course of the week.

My missus had their kampua mee daging (beef)…

Sri Pelita kampua mee daging

…and she loved it – better than a lot of the Chinese stalls, she said. For one thing, the complimentary soup…

Sri Pelita sup tulang

…would be definitely win hands down by a mile – here, you will get their very nice sup tulang, not the over-diluted bone stock soup with msg and a sprinkling of chopped spring onions added that I would usually leave untouched.

My girl wanted their murtabak daging (beef)…

Sri Pelita murtabak daging

…and yes, she enjoyed it very much except that for reasons unknown, it was so very big! She could not finish it all so she had it packed to be eaten later at  her quarters.

I also asked for their nasi lemak kukus with ayam berempah to be packed for us to take away in case we got hungry later as it was quite an early brunch.

The very nice boss, Guna, was not around – they said he was at their other branch in Permai leaving the handsome and just as friendly Indian guy in charge. Thus, I did not expect any “special discount” that morning but I was quite sure I saw RM42.00 on the calculator but the guy asked me for RM35.00 only for all the food and drinks. Gee!!! That was so kind of him, really!

We sure enjoyed everything we had and we certainly would be coming back again, no question about that!

SRI PELITA CAFE (2.293579, 111.820700) is located along Lorong Kampung Datu 11, off Jalan Kampung Datu, the first shop in the block to the right of Paramount Hotel.

Finale…

Finally, after three days of merry-making, feasting and endless chattering, so much fun and laughter and thousands of selfies and wefies, we reached the end of our Sacred Heart & St Elizabeth’s Class of ’69 50th Anniversary Reunion celebration.

Somebody went and complied a souvenir booklet…

Souvenir booklet

…to commemorate this auspicious event and inside, you will see, in alphabetical order, photos of all of us who took part  and a short write-up of what went on in our lives after we left school in 1969.

Well, my name starts with an A so there I was, right in front…

Front page

…with my family photograph taken six years ago at this same event

Family

– the Sacred Heart (SHOSA) & St Elizabeth’s (SEOSA) Old Students Association Annual Dinner at a leading hotel here. Of course, we grabbed the chance and had another snapshot taken together again this year for remembrance.

We only had two tables that time but this year, we had a record-breaking eight tables altogether…

Altogether now
*Friend/ex-colleague’s photograph*

…including spouses and in my case, I did bring my girl along the whole time over the past three days as well.

We had a group photograph of us boys taken too…

Just the boys

Sadly, not everyone came back to join in and I can think of a few residing right here in Sibu who, for some reason or other, were not with us.

I did not spend time taking photographs of the food…

Steamed fish

…but I thought it was not as nice as on previous occasions when I had dinner here, whatever the occasion was. I guess it all depends on how much you are willing to fork out per table but anyway, we weren’t there for the food – it was a night of happy reunions with classmates, schoolmates, ex-colleagues and even, teachers. There were two of my teachers there that night!!!

The previous time, I was feeling kind of bored so I marched up to the emcee and told him that we would like to sing…and we did (song starts at 1:00) and brought the house down. This time around, I heard from our organising chairperson, Robert, that the emcee informed him that we would be given the privilege of singing not one but three songs, probably because we were the largest group…so over the three days, we went through a number of songs and finally, decided on three.

The first one was not all that exciting and probably, that was when this photograph was taken…

Singing
*Friend/ex-colleague’s photograph*

It was some kind of a warming up before the ladies took over the frontline for a song from the disco era, the late 70’s and early 80’s – somebody behind me asked me to call my daughter to go up on stage and join us and so I did. That was why she was up there with us at the time…and for our third and last number, we went all the way back to our time, the rockin’ and rollin’ 60’s and sang this song by The Beatles! (I think if you are my Facebook friend, you can click the links to go to my posts there to watch the video recordings of us singing. Just click the PLAY icon!)

No, we’re not such great singers, that much I would say, but nobody cared – it was the spirit of togetherness, all of us getting up on stage to sing our hearts out and have a whole lot of fun – just like in the good ol’ days back at high school and that mattered the most to us. We most certainly did have a ball and it was something we would remember for a long long time.

Well, all good things must come to an end and that climax brought our grand celebration to a close. On behalf of everybody, I would like to extend a BIG thank you to the people in the organising committee and all who have helped in one way or another to make this memorable event a  roaring success. Till the  next time we get together again, next year perhaps, may the Good Lord bless and keep us all. Cheers!!!

Up the river…

On Saturday, the 6th of April, the third day of our Sacred Heart & St Elizabeth’s 50th Anniversary Reunion celebration, we went on a cruise in this old-time motor launch…

LINDA

…up the majestic Rejang River, the longest in the country to this very nice wooden house…

Our destination

…about an hour away. You can click THIS LINK to their Facebook page to find out more about it or THIS LINK to watch the youtube video.

We had a group photograph, one for the memory…

Group pic
*Photo from Robert’s Wooden House Facebook page*

…at the jetty before we left on the boat ride. Not everyone signed in for this event because in that brief weekend in town, they had other commitments so they did not have the luxury of time for everything.

I was attracted to the artworks on the walls of the employees’ quarters…

Wall art 1

…the moment we landed – they were all so very nicely done…

Wall art 2

…I must say. They should do the same…

Wall art 3

…here and there in the town to brighten up the place a little – we do have  a few scattered here and there, usually not noticeable enough to grab the attention of people passing by.

At the house…

Robert's wooden house

…one can get to see all kinds of interesting antiques…

Antique telephone

…and stuff – I did take a lot of photographs of quite a lot of them…

Old school food cupboards

…and shared them on Facebook and while we were there, those in the know…

In Robert's wooden house

…shared some very interesting stories of the place, the history, the culture and even the politics of the people, the town, the state and the country.

Lunch was included, catered by the people here who have now relocated to where our one-time favourite Thai restaurant was. There was the fried rice…

Fried rice

…and the fried noodles…

Fried mee

…and this was either chicken or fish…

Chicken or fish

…I don’t quite remember now and there was Japanese egg tofu…

Japanese egg tofu

…and a dish of mushroom and broccoli…

Mushroom broccoli

…and fruits…

Fruits

…and needless to say, this…

Kompia

…was the main attraction and all were gone in no time at all.

It certainly was a delightful excursion, a pleasant experience indeed…but we could not linger around longer as after that quick lunch, we had to make our way back to town to go back and rest before the grand finale that night…and that will be in tomorrow’s post! Make sure you come back for that, ‘kay?

Six years…

We were here six years ago, my 1969 Form 5 classmates in Sacred Heart Secondary School and the girls from our sister school right next door, St Elizabeth’s but this time around, there were a lot more people…

Reunion group photo

…than the previous time, this being our 50th Anniversary, 50 years since we left school and went our separate ways.

This was on Friday night after our lunch here and because I was abstaining from meat, I did not touch the lamb nor the chicken but that wasn’t much of a problem as I could have the fried noodles…

Fried mee and bihun

…in the buffet spread and the vegetables in the mixed vegetable dish…

Mixed vegetables

…and also the fish fillet with its very nice sourish sweet sauce…

Fried fish fillet

…and the prawns…

Prawns

Angela, my good friend/ex-classmate, Robert’s wife made these mini angku kueh (紅龜粿)…

Ang ku kueh

…with yam and peanut filling and I so loved her grated coconut-coated  ti kew or kueh bakul, aka nian gao (年糕)…

Ti kwe

I’m not a fan of the traditional sticky cake but hers was an exception to the rule. I sure feasted on it as I enjoyed it a lot!

Among the dessert selections from the hotel, there were fruits and these lovely cream puffs…

Cream puffs

I did not find out if they made them themselves or they got them from some bakery in town but they were very nice and I had at least half a dozen. LOL!!!

On the whole, I felt that the buffet dinner we had here the previous time was much nicer but this one was fine with us. After all, we were there to enjoy one another’s company and we sure had a whole lot of fun, singing and dancing the night away.

Day 3 of our 50th Anniversary Reunion celebration coming right up next…

LI HUA HOTEL RESTAURANT (2.284477, 111.8316940) is located on the 1st floor of the hotel at the T-junction of Lorong Lanang 2 and Jalan Maju.