Very good…

I’ve blogged about this place so many times…

Chopsticks, Sibu

…and looking at the crowd here, it is very obvious that it is one of the most popular eating joints in town.

This stall…

Chopsticks new Malay stall

…did not seem to do so well though. Once, we used to enjoy the beef noodles but the people moved elsewhere and after that, there were at least one or two other people running that stall but eventually, they either moved elsewhere as well or called it a day.

I must say that I am glad there is another Malay/Muslim stall in this area of shops now as prior to this, I think there was only one at the coffee shop facing the back entrance of the mall and that roti canai stall here that has since moved in a bit, right behind this one and it does seem to be doing very well – it has been around for quite a while now. Other than those two stalls, one would have to go to the fried chicken franchise at the mall or the outlet of Sarawak’s own broasted chicken franchise in the vicinity…

Sugar Bun Delta
*Archive photo*

…if one wanted any halal food.

Well, that morning, I tried the nasi lemak special (RM5.00)…

Chopsticks nasi lemak special

…that came with the very nice fried chicken wing and one whole salted fish…

Salted fish

…and masak hitam beef…

Chopsticks masak hitam beef

…other than the usual condiments. I asked for the sambal egg in place of the usual plain one and no, they did not have a problem with that at all.

The rice was fine, quite lemak and had the light fragrance of pandan, and everything else tasted great right down to the little bowl of complimentary soup that came with my order and I thought RM5.00 was cheap for all that was in the platter. I sure would not mind going back again for this and I would want to see what they have for their nasi campur but the nice lady that I spoke to said that they do not have that at this point in time – they would probably start in March.

Moonlight…

Chap Goh Meh, literally translated as the 15th night…

Chap Goh Meh Rooster Year

…marked the end of the Chinese New Year festivities for the year.

It was not really due to the fact that we were juggling between taking care of my dad at their house and my mum at the medical centre that we did not have time to cook for our Chap Goh Meh dinner – we usually have steamboat on this auspicious night every year so we decided we would have that again this year…but at my parents’ house so my dad could enjoy it with us.

I bought 1 kilo of our local freshwater prawns, large and that cost me RM60.00 a kilo only to remember later that my dad would not be eating those for fear of a gout attack so we had to keep them to cook and eat ourselves some other time. The extra large ones were going for RM75.00 a kg that day and the medium and anything smaller, RM50.00 and below.

We could not have any of the paper thin slices of meat, pork or beef would be nice, as I do not think my dad would be able to chew those. That was why we only had minced meat balls…

Chap Goh Meh steamboat 1

…and I went and bought one ikan tenggiri (mackerel), over RM20.00 and my missus used that to make her own fish balls which, needless to say, were heaps nicer than anything sold outside especially those factory-made ones.

We also had quail eggs – my girl loves those – and I bought some sea cucumber which cost a bomb, RM120.00 a kilo but it is believed that they have a lot of health benefits. I also got some beef tendons from the same stall at the wet market. Those were cheaper, RM20 a kilo, if I remember correctly and the very nice seller just charged me for a few big ones and he threw in a lot of the bits and pieces into the bag and I went home happily with a bagful of beef tendons. I bought three of the best quality sea cucumber – I understand they were from Papua New Guinea and the guy gave me one extra, from Sabah. Of course, I kept insisting on him picking the softer ones, sea cucumber and beef tendon, so my dad would not have any problem chewing.

Other than those, I also got some dried fresh fish maw, over RM40 a kg, and we also added some bean curd sticks, tofu, wombok or Chinese white cabbage and glass noodles…

Chap Goh Meh steamboat 2

…and my dad was fine with everything except the bean curd sticks which he could not chew. My missus would just soak them in hot water to soften while I would usually boil some water and use the really hot boiling water straight from the kettle so that they would be very much softer.

 I also went and bought some chicken rice…

Chicken rice

…from here as I know jolly well that my dad would want rice at every meal and yes, he enjoyed the steamboat to the max and had two plates of the rice with the lovely clear soup and what was in it.

I was afraid that my dad might not enjoy the steamboat so I went and bought this very big ikan bawal putih (white pomfret)…

Steamed white pomfret

…RM50.00 each (the seller said they had not reduced “the Chinese New Year prices” yet) and had it steamed for him to enjoy. Yes, he did eat quite a bit of it but he was fine with the steamboat, actually and sang its praises the whole time while we were having our dinner that night and he kept saying that it was anytime nicer that the stuff they would usually order from the restaurants outside for such special occasions.

All in all, I would say it certainly was worth the effort going over and having this simple steamboat dinner with my dad.

How would you like it…

Well, how would you like it – on a plate…

Anak Borneo On a plate

…or in a tray?

Anak Borneo In a tray

I did share a photo of the revised prices at this place that day but I thought I would just include them here again, two instead of one snapshot and ones that are a lot clearer than what I had previously, I guess.

Yes, I’ve been back there again and again and I’ve a perfectly valid reason for that. The not-so-great-news is that my mum is still at the medical centre…and I would have to juggle between her there and my dad at their house including staying the night there to keep him company or else he would be on his own. That would mean that there would hardly be any time to do our own cooking and it would be so convenient just to stop by there and eat – it is located right behind the medical centre plus we really enjoy all the stuff that they dish out.

Well, that day, we had everything on a plate. My missus had her favourite tapioca leaves…

Anak Borneo tapioca leaves

…and this cangkuk manis & pumpkin combo…

Anak Borneo cangkuk manis & pumpkin

…and the kacang ma with tuak chicken…

Anak Borneo kacang ma chicken

I also had the kacang ma chicken…

Anak Borneo My plate

…but it was buried somewhere underneath that serving of the very nice pork and pineapple…

Anak Borneo pork & pineapple

…and other than the cangkuk manis & pumpkin that my missus also had, I could not resist asking for the kasam ensabi (preserved vegetables) with pork belly…

Anak Borneo kasam ensabi & pork belly

…once again as I do enjoy that a lot. I asked the nice sweet girl for my rice to be banjiri (flooded) with the kacang ma gravy/sauce and that was exactly what she did…literally. Nice!

Here comes the best part! For our orders, my missus and I, I only had to fork out RM9.00 altogether, cheaper than those times when we had everything served in a tray and no, we did not feel like we were getting less – both the food and the pleasure. We would probably have it this way from now on…and incidentally, I loved the professionally-taken photograph of the dabai fried rice…

Anak Borneo dabai fried rice

…on the counter so much that I simply had to snap a copy and share it here. Isn’t that absolutely stunning? Well, if you want a plate of that, it would cost you RM3.50 only…and all the rest that you pick would be charged accordingly.

They say that they open at 10 but my advice is not to go too early – they may not be open and even if they are, all the dishes may not have come out of the kitchen yet. I think the best time would be around 11.30 or noon to avoid the lunchtime crowd…and they told me that they would stay open till 3.30 p.m. but of course, you will have to take the chance if you go so late – there may not be much of anything left.

Puff puff…

This is new in town…

Hong Kong Puff 1

…located along Ramin Way (2.291180, 111.826634), beside Sin Kiaw Coffee Shop, right behind the petrol station across the road from the HSBC Building, Sibu branch…and it so happened that I was around that part of town very early in the morning that day so I decided to walk over to check it out.

Gosh!!! Even though it was only around 7 something, there were so many cars and it was quite difficult to even cross the road! There is a primary school nearby but I thought at that time, classes would have started already. Tsk! Tsk!

There was this tall and friendly young man running the place…

Hong Kong Puff 2

…with a few helpers who would assist him with the baking and what not. Yes, as you can see in the photograph, they have those bamboo steamer baskets by the side and yes, they do have steamed paos or buns here. I guess they are kept warm in that metal and glass case inside beside the counter.

I bought the ones with char siew (barbecued pork) filling (RM1.50 each)…

Hong Kong Puff steamed pao, char siew

…and yes, they were very nice. I sure would not mind going back for more.

The guy said that the baked stuff was not ready yet – I was too early – but I was in luck. Some came out of the oven when I was there so I was able to grab some to try.

I got some Portuguese egg tarts (RM2.50 each)…

Hong Kong Puff Portuguese egg tarts

…which were nice except that they had layered regular egg tart pastry instead of the usual ultra-thin and flaky layers of puff pastry one would usually get for these Portuguese variation. I did not buy any of the green ones but my guess is that they’re pandan-flavoured.

The sio pao, baked buns with char siew filling (RM2.00 each)…

Hong Kong Puff sio pao

…were nice too. The pastry was something like what one would get when buying those celebrated Seremban ones but I find the filling in the ones here…

Hong Kong Puff sio pao, char siew filling

…a whole lot nicer. However, I noticed that they were not very consistent with the size and while some were rather big, others were somewhat small. Perhaps if you happen to drop by here to get some, you could insist on picking your own so you could choose all the big ones. Hehehehehe!!!!

I also got these sio bee (90 sen each)…

Hong Kong Puff sio bee

The guy said they were from Kuching and if I am not wrong, they are the ones from the Open Air Market (only 70 sen each the last time I had them in 2014) and yes, they’re nice.

As a matter of fact, the guy said that they got everything from Kuching including the ingredients for the baked stuff and they just make and bake or steam here for sale. I would say that I liked what I managed to buy and take home to try that day so I wouldn’t mind going back there again for more of the same…

I’m in control…

This used to be a Malaysian franchise outlet

I prefer original 1

…but I heard that one fine day, the franchise owner decided to call it a day so these people here were left to take over control and manage on their own. However, I heard from my friend/ex-classmate, Robert, that the guy still holds the franchise under one of his companies using this new name which I feel is a good thing as I could never understand why the place should be named after that West Malaysian town when it had no connection whatsoever with it.

Other than the change in name, they did do a bit…

I prefer original 2

…here and there…

I prefer original 3

…with the decor of the place.

No, I did not drop by all that often even during those days when it was still a franchise but I do remember having enjoyed some of the stuff they dished out then. I had not been here for a long time though and I could not remember why until I saw this…

10% service charge

On top of the 6% GST, they are charging 10% service charge. I do not mind giving if the food is really great and the service is excellent but I do not fancy the idea of being forced to fork out the money for this.

My missus had their nasi lemak nyonya (RM10.90)…

I prefer original nasi lemak nyonya

…which was in their set lunch menu which meant that she could pick a free drink from the list…

I prefer original set lunch menu

…at the bottom somewhere. I did try a bit of the rice which was not lemak, unfortunately, and the chicken and also the sambal and I would say that I was not impressed – I still prefer the nasi lemak that I can get here but my missus insisted that this was nicer. Ah well! Like I always say, one man’s meat is another man’s poison, to each his own!

I had the nasi ayam penyet (RM11.50)…

I prefer original nasi ayam penyet 1

…which was on their set lunch menu before, going for RM9.90+ with one free drink. I wish they did not give those no-class-at-all mini keropok (prawn crackers) by the side – it would not have been so bad if they had been very nice but they were not, far from it!

The moment I started eating, it dawned on me why we liked it a lot when we had it before. The sambal was super spicy, very very nice and yes, the chicken was good too…

I prefer original nasi ayam penyet 2

…and I did enjoy the pickles by the side. Should I happen to drop by and order this again, I most certainly would ask them to leave out the keropok and give me a bit more of the pickles.

The total, including the kopi-o-peng (iced black coffee), RM3.90, that I had came up to RM26.30 and with the service charge and GST, RM4.37 in total, all in all, I had to fork out RM30.65 altogether. The service was prompt and efficient but considering that I had to pay 10% more for that, I did feel that they could at least smile a bit and make some effort to be more friendly or cordial. Other than that, looking at the general quality of what we had and the prices in general, I may drop by again should I happen to be in the vicinity and I feel like having something here but you will definitely not find me going out of my way for this.

I didn’t plan it…

This is a really old restaurant dating back to the 90’s…

Siong Lok Yong

…when I was staying at a housing area not far away from here. I did blog about it a few times here and here and here, for instance but that evening, I did not plan on dropping by here, just that I took the wrong turn and as we were driving past, my missus said we could just stop here for our dinner and be done with it.

Well, I do know it has its following – some people do like eating here quite a lot and my father, for one, loves the sea cucumber soup so my sister would come and tapao that home time and again for him to enjoy. Personally, I do not think I am a fan, nothing more than a place where I could go for something to eat sometimes.

That evening, my missus saw somebody at the next table eating this (RM4.00)…

Siong Lok Yong bihun soup

…which turned out to be just bihun soup. She was somewhat disappointed as she was expecting some of the sourish chao chai (preserved vegetables) taste but there was none.

I had the Foochow fried noodles (RM4.00)…

Siong Lok Yong Foochow fried noodles

…and I could not help noticing that they were using chicken instead of pork – chicken is a lot cheaper. It was all right but I do prefer the one here…or here.

I did order a few dishes to go with our noodles – the fried midin (RM7.00)…

Siong Lok Yong fried midin

…was not what we wanted. I had asked for ching chao, fried plain but what we were served had the traditional Foochow red wine in it.

The sweet and sour pork ribs (RM12.00)…

Siong Lok Yong sweet and sour pork ribs

…was mostly bone even though it tasted quite good.

Inclusive of drinks, the bill came up to RM30.00 which was all right, just that I did not quite fancy the lingering after-taste of msg in the mouth long after we had left the place. I guess a lot of people are fine with it, hence the popularity of this place but ever since we hardly add any salt to our cooking and no msg most of the time, I think we have become somewhat sensitive to the stuff and would prefer going to places where they do not have these additives or less of those, at least.

Once before…

We were here once before when it first opened its doors…

Hakka Yong Tau Foo Sibu

…in September last year and we quite enjoyed what we had then. However, somehow or other, we never did go back again until last Sunday, when we dropped by for lunch.

Hmmm…it looks like they have their fair share of impatient customers…

Sorry

…but we did not have to wait very long that day. Well, for one thing, there were not that many people around.

We wanted the eggplant slices (RM1.70 each)…

Eggplant & bitter gourd

…that my girl liked a lot the first time around but when it was served, the mum was grumbling away that they were no longer as nice. I tried a bit and thought it was all right, not as strong with the salted fish taste as before but like how my girl puts it, as long as it is eggplant, it is nice! I did not get to eat the bitter gourd (RM1.70 a slice) – the two ladies shared that piece between the two of them.

I thought of ordering the black vinegar pork trotter again but I changed my mind when I saw this pork dish (RM8.00)…

Pork

– I don’t think they had this on the menu before. However, we did not think it was all that nice, rather hard and dry and it worked out to about RM1.00 for each of those stamp-sized bits. I would enjoy the black vinegar pork trotter a lot more, I’m sure.

We also had this stuffed tofu puff and the meatball (RM1.70 each)…

Tofu pok & meatball

…in the very nice soup and this tofu with fried shrimps dish (RM8.00)…

Fried shrimp tofu

…as well.

Rice was RM1.20 a plate and with our drinks, the total came up to RM33.90. I guess that was all right but the thing was we did not think we had anything that would get us rushing back for more – at best, I would say it was something that we may consider having sometimes for a change.