Touch of class…

This place…

LaDoree

…has been opened for a few months now but no, I never stopped by to check it out.

Why, you may ask? Well, so far only two Facebook friends shared photographs of the place. I asked one how it was and he replied, “Menu, one page only.” Another one showed a snapshot of what he ate and it looked quite good but when I asked, he said, “Expensive, chicken rice,” and one would be able to sense the disdain in the response. In the meantime, I was told that people had been sharing pics of what they ate here on Instagram and everything looked very good. Well, I wouldn’t know as I do not have a smartphone nor an Instagram account so I do not get to see all of them.

For one thing, it looks like a really posh place, real classy and I would feel like a fish out of water as I never bother to dress up nicely whenever I go out plus it did seem kind of crowded (and bright) everytime we drove past. Nevertheless, the other day, I decided to just go and give it a try.

There was this beauty parked right in front…

Harley

– I gathered that it belonged to the owner/chef and yes, inside, it was really very elegant…

LaDoree inside

…with a kind of continental setting and ambiance somewhat. I would say it was real classy but no, it is no fine dining kind of place. The crowd came in, all more or less dressed like me…and made themselves at home, if you can catch the drift. I met an ex-student there – that boy in black behind the counter. He had finished his tertiary education and was there to help out – his brother-in-law and sister are the owners – while waiting for his convocation later in the year.

They had set lunches that day though I am not too sure if that is an everyday thing. Nobody wanted the spaghetti, aglio olio with a sausage…so my girl and the mum both went for the chicken with mushroom sauce…

Chicken with mushroom sauce

…served with rice (RM12.90)…

with rice

…and a free drink, iced lemon tea. Rice? Yes, you heard right! No, nobody said it would be some western fare…even though one look at the place, one would expect nothing else but that. The chicken was nice though and the mushroom sauce was very good – I did try a bit and I thought it tasted…oriental, a perfect match for the rice by the side.

I saw there was nasi lemak (RM13.90)…

Nasi lemak

…on the menu and instantly, I said I wanted that. I had yet to find one that I, without a second thought, would want to go back for more.

The sambal was very good though I would prefer it to be a lot spicier – I think I like the one here more but the chicken rendang

Chicken rendang

…was simply out of this world, very very nice.

As for the rice…

The rice

…I would say it was the best around, a little more lemak (rich with santan/coconut milk) than the others and it was not dry and hard like many of the rest.

Sky juice/iced water was 50 sen a glass and the total came up to RM40.20, no GST here…but no, I had to fork out that miserable 20 sen to pay all that is due on the bill! *frown*

It seems that they have a separate/different menu for dinner here and I did have a glance at it and yes, they do have a lot more stuff that is a lot more western so it sure looks like I will have to drop by another time…in the evening to see what’s good or otherwise here. Stick around!

One after another…

Say what you want about the country’s flagging economy, some people certainly seem to be doing very well at this point in time. First, there was this café and then came this supermarket. Word has it that they’ve opened a chicken rice place right across the road opposite the supermarket but I have not been to anywhere around that area so I can’t confirm this but what I do know for sure is that they have a brand new food court…

Bateras Food Court

…here (2.297275,111.824849), right across the road from the Kin Orient Plaza (old Sing Kwong). Well, I would not say it is some fancy food court, just a big coffee shop and a very very big one at that with lots and lots of stalls.

I saw the kampua lady from here but she is no longer selling the noodles – probably somebody else has beaten her to it and is running a stall selling that so she has to sell something else. I am not sure what else she is selling now but I do know they have Sarawak laksa as when I was there around noontime, they were closed for the day and I saw the hubby or somebody frying the egg…

Frying

…and he said it was for the laksa the following day…

Done

Now, THAT, I must say, is the way to do it! The egg must be fried really really thin, like popiah skin, and then cut into very thin strips to garnish the bowl of Sarawak laksa together with very thinly-shredded chicken, taugeh (bean sprouts)and all. It seems that people are not so concerned about doing it like this these days so don’t be surprised to see many serving you their bowl of Sarawak laksa in their very coarse, somewhat unrefined and not too presentable ways.

At another stall, there is this lady who used to sell what many claimed to be the best kampua noodles and Sarawak laksa in town at her stall at a coffee shop opposite the school that I was attached to before I retired and then she moved elsewhere and the last I heard she was at this coffee shop in Sg Merah. Word had it that she was unwell so the husband had to run the business on his own and eventually, he too left. I did not know where they went to after that but I sure was glad to see the wife again, looking very strong and healthy, with the hubby and sons helping out at her stall. Of course, she cannot sell those two anymore as obviously, others are already doing it but on the sign at her stall, it looks like she is now selling sotong kangkong and some other stuff.

The place opens from 7.00 a.m. till 11.00 p.m., so I’ve been told, and yes, there are lots and lots of stalls but be forewarned that some open only in the morning and some only at night and like most elsewhere, they may close one day in the week.

My girl had the tom yam fish hung ngang (big bihun)…

Tom yam fish hung ngang

…from one of the stalls and she said it was good but she liked the one here a lot better.

I decided to try the dry bak kut teh

Dry bak kut teh

…from this stall…

Stall

…and it came with a plate of rice, RM9.00 altogether…

Rice

…while my missus had their bak kut teh noodles (RM6.00)…

BKT noodles

Both of us thought what we had were all right but we could hardly detect the herbal taste and it came across like our regular stewed pork or something along those lines. I would say that what we had here were very much better.

We may or may not drop by again but if we do, we certainly would like to try something else from the other stalls. I guess that is one drawback setting up a stall at a big place like this – most would want to hop from one stall to the other to try and if yours is among the best there is, it would be quite sometime before they come back to yours again…if they have not decided to just go elsewhere after a couple of disappointments in the meantime.

Dime a dozen…

No, you can’t get anything for one cent here…

One Cent

…not even for a dime…

Nothing for one cent

…despite the name. I’ve blogged about this place a few times before including that time in 2012 when I was here with my blogger friends from the peninsula and once when I was here with my young blogger friend for breakfast.

Well, if anyone is interested in the exact location (2.311277,111.847358), it is to the extreme left (facing Jalan Sena) among the shops in the Lot 9 area, right across Jalan Pedada from this mall…

Delta Mall

…and these are their opening hours…

Opening hours

It sure looks like they are open every day but be forewarned that some of the stalls may take a day off each week, like this one…

Closed

…which, I understand, sells every nice mee sua and they have something with their own home-made fish balls as well.

Food handling course certificate

My! It even has this certificate from a food-handling course that I hear, is compulsory for everyone in the food business in this town to attend in order that they may be allowed to carry on with their trade.

Well, since it was closed, I had to order something from another stall at that place and I had this (RM4.00)…

One Cent Fried lao shu fun

…the fried lao shu fun (rice drops) and yes, I would say it was very good indeed.

I also ordered the Sarawak laksa (RM4.50)…

One Cent Sarawak laksa

…to try. The broth was very good but I did not like the egg that way. For Sarawak laksa, it would have to be an omelette, fried very thinly and sliced just as thinly too. Other than that, I thought they could give less of the shredded chicken and tofu puffs and substitute those with a prawn or two even if those would have to be somewhat small ones.

My missus had the fried tom yam mee (RM5.00)…

One Cent fried tom yam mee

…from another stall and she said it was good as well.

People always say that one can tell whether the food is good or not by looking at the crowd and yes, this place was very crowded when my missus and I dropped by that morning.

On our way home, I saw this banner on the road…

BCF

It’s coming soon! The Borneo Cultural Festival, from the 30th of July till the 8th of August. That week would be a good time to come to Sibu and after that, you can hop over to Kuching for the renowned Rainforest World Music Festival from the 7th till the 9th of August this year…and you can fly back home from there, two birds with one stone. Any takers?

Had it all…

My (Facebook) friend living in Perth, Australia was home obviously and one fine day, he shared the photograph of the char kway teow (and another one of the church across the road) he had here, proclaiming it to be so very good and thanking me for blogging about it. He even added that he would go back the next day for more – dunno if he did. I did meet him once before here when he approached me and asked me if he could have his photograph taken with me – who could forget that and oh my goodness!!! He was on my same flight to Kuching, he said, and when he boarded and was walking past my seat, he asked me if I was going to Kuching…and added that thinking back, he thought that was a silly question. Why else would I be sitting in the plane, eh? Hehehehehe!!!!!

Yes, the char kway teow at this place is indeed very nice, along with a number of the other things available. I would say I’ve had it all, all that is available on the daytime menu, except for the bitter gourd bihun. This being a pork-free place, the guy uses chicken and for that dish, I would prefer pork – minced pork so that is why I have never given it a try. There are some western dishes available on the dinner menu though and I had yet to sample those until that night when we dropped by for dinner.

My girl had their lamb chop (RM13.50, the same as the beef steak)…

Colourful Cafe lamb chop

…with black pepper sauce and she loved it! Very juicy and tender, very nicely done. In her own words, this was the nicest she had had anywhere for a long time.

The mum had the chicken chop (RM8.50)…

Colourful Cafe chicken chop

…with the whole drumstick/thigh deboned and grilled to perfection, served with the very nice mushroom gravy. We all felt that it was the best of the lot – I had that too in the mixed grill platter (RM22.50)…

Colouful Cafe mixed grill

…that I had – with a choice of 3 out of 4 – lamb, beef, chicken and fish. I was not sure what fish he would use and I would not be keen on those frozen fish fillet available at the supermarkets so I opted not to have that. The beef was not all that great – I can’t say I am all that fond of beef, anyway, plus I am not a fan of black pepper sauce. I think if we ever drop by for dinner again, I would just have the chicken chop.

My girl and I had the mushroom soup (RM1.50)…

Colourful Cafe mushroom soup

…which did not thrill us all that much. We would prefer it thicker and richer but I guess for RM1.50, there was no cause for complaint.

It appeared that many of the things available in the morning and for lunch were also served come dinnertime except perhaps, the nasi lemak and chicken rice. I saw people having the Sarawak laksa and the char kway teow and the kampua noodles as well and I also saw somebody who had fried rice with the very nice masak hitam beef by the side.

We were so full already but I saw somebody having the waffle and I could not resist asking for one (RM3.50)…

Colourful Cafe waffle

…to try. They were out of honey so I settled for strawberry instead and yes, it was so very nice. In the meantime, I spotted somebody else ordering that – it certainly looked like it was quite popular and according to my girl, this one here was nicer than the more expensive one with ice cream and all at one of those pricey classy coffee places in town that she went to once with her mum – her verdict: expensive and nothing really nice.

Well, now that we’ve tried and liked what we had, we probably would go back there time and time again…and perhaps, I should find out a bit more about the fish and try the fish and chips (RM9.50) sometime.

Eighty-two…

My mother-in-law celebrated her 82nd birthday…

Birthday cake

…last Wednesday, the 15th of July, but we had a small celebration earlier that Saturday evening before the actual date so that the grandson from KL and her grand-daughter from Singapore could fly back to join in the dinner. Yes, it was the birthday cake that we would order everytime as  my niece, the grand-daughter in Singapore, loves it so much and would insist on it and it alone.

We all got together at this restaurant, together with my two brothers-in-law and their wives and in keeping with the tradition, the evening started off with the longevity mee sua, fried…

Sheraton mee sua

…that came with a “golden egg”.

That was followed by the “hot plate”…

Sheraton hot plate

…our version of the Four Seasons except that we have a lot more than just four here.

Here, you can see the filial grandson…

Sangkaya

…dishing out some of the goodies from that platter for his grandma. I don’t know if he and his Thai girlfriend beside him would look familiar to any of you. Perhaps some of you may have seen them in person or on Facebook or in the newspapers or on TV – they are the people behind that Sangkaya coconut ice cream venture found at many places in KL and I hear it’s available at AEON in Seremban as well now and will be available in Malacca very soon.

There was this 2-in-1 chicken…

Sheraton 2-in-1 chicken

…roast chicken on one side and Thai-style chicken on the other or in fact, it was 3-in-1 as there was also the Thai-style jelly fish in the dish. We had this same thing not too long ago here.

Then, of course, we had their signature dish – the curry fish…

Sheraton fish curry

…with rice except that this time we had fish, not the head but I would prefer the latter as I did not quite like the texture and taste of the fish they used that night – everything else was great, of course and as always, the gravy went absolutely well with rice.

We had these spare ribs…

Sheraton qui-fei ribs

a number of times before too except that this time, they were served in a yam basket though it did not look like the ones I would be more accustomed with – those in which they would serve the mixed vegetables.

Talking about vegetables, we had broccoli…

Sheraton broccoli

…and everything inside the ring and a soup dish plus a fruit platter at the end.

My very nice niece and nephew (the grand-daughter and the grandson) picked up the tab and shared everything between the two of them. This was RM500.00 (excluding GST) which I thought was rather expensive for a 7+1 dish set dinner. We did not even have prawns other than what they served in the “hot plate”…

Sheraton prawns

…and I was told that there was a standard RM20.00 charge for the rice served with the curry, never mind whether somebody wanted just a spoonful or a big scoop or two, RM2.00 per head for 10 persons…and of course, the plate of stewed peanuts on the table at the start of the dinner did not come for free and neither did the wet towels at the end. Other than those, there were the charges for the drinks that we had and the 6% GST and I overheard them talking about a RM5.00 service charge  or something or was that for the corkage for some special beer or wine that they brought along?  All in all , the total came up to over RM580.00, almost RM600.00. Well, I would say the service was very good and the dishes were served promptly, piping hot from the kitchen and other than the aforementioned not-so-nice fish used, everything tasted fine but all things considered, I would much sooner go for the very much nicer RM400.00 set that we had at the other place here where I could request for the use of the VIP room, away from the crowds at the other tables and all the noise and everything…and I could sing karaoke too! Hehehehehe!!!!

In the meantime…

We did not cook lunch that morning when we all went to the fund-raising food fair as we would be going out for dinner that night. In the meantime, we dropped by that Y2K Restaurant here that we had been to many times before for my girl’s favourite – their sweet and sour fish fillet…

Y2K sweet & sour fish fillet

She was not keen on the sweet potato leaves this time around so we had their cangkuk manis fried with egg…

Y2K cangkuk manis with egg

…instead. They seemed to do it a little bit differently here – notice how it looked like the egg had coated the leaves? Everyone thought it was very well done, no complaints whatsoever.

However, I can’t say the same about their bitter gourd fried with salted egg…

Y2K bitter gourd with salted egg

It was very nice, don’t get me wrong about that…but it came across like the vegetable fried with eggs – I could hardly detect the taste of the salted egg in it. The saving grace was the very strong wok hei fragrance so we did enjoy it very much.

No, this wasn’t my girl’s favourite…and no, they do not cook it the way I like it – how my missus or her mum or my mum would cook it but I just felt like having some pork leg…

Y2K stewed pork leg

…and they do it quite well here so I decided to order it. Theirs is a lot more diluted, not so heavy on the soy sauce and five spice powder…but with a strong hint of the spices used, star anise and cinnamon sticks. I asked for more lean meat and I told them that I did not want the trotters and they were only too glad to oblige and I loved the sauce in my rice.

All in all, it was a delightful lunch. The food came up to some RM48.00 something, I think – over RM50.00 with the rice. I had forgotten to tell them to cook for 2 persons only which probably would have reduced the total in the bill a bit,  so the servings were quite big – would be good for 6 persons, I think and more than enough for the 4 of us.

Next stop, dinner!!!

Lend a hand…

It was two Saturdays ago, the 11th of July, when my girl and the mum and her colleague/housemate and I dropped by here…

Agape Centre

My girl used to teach here voluntarily, for free, of course, to help out with the people there who are doing their bit for the children with special needs…

For children with special needs

Unfortunately, eventually, she was posted to a school in the Selangau district so far away and she only comes home on weekends so dropping by in the afternoon to help out is out of the question.

It is a very nice place…

Agape play area

…with offices, classrooms and even a nice play area that is a joint-contribution of the Japanese Chamber of Trade and Industry…

Jactim

Well, we were there that day for the fund-raising food fair…

Banner

…in aid of the Sibu Autistic Association. Sometime ago, I bought a few booklets of the coupons that could be used to buy whatever we would fancy at this fair.

There were many stalls and many people though I would say I was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t anything that really stood out. Perhaps they should rope in the big hotels or those very popular cafes and restaurants in town to come in and sell some really nice things and all the proceeds would go to the charitable cause. Day in day out, they are making a whole lot of money from the many customers that walk through their doors – it would be good if they could give back a little bit for a good cause in that just-one-morning affair.

There was this stall serving free samples and selling the drinks…

Drinks

…and stalls like this one…

Kim chi

– I think they were selling kim chi and there were others selling eggs, pineapples, salted vegetables and packets of bihun

Pineapples and so on

…and even potted plants…

Potted plants

This stall certainly enjoyed brisk business…

Burger stall

…but we did not get anything from there…

Burger

…and it was rather crowded and there was a long queue and we were told that we would have to wait for at least half an hour.

In the end, my missus used up all the coupons to buy one herbal roast chicken (which was really very nice) and some cakes and my girl bought some fish…

Fish

They also bought some acar (pickles) from this stall…

Acar stall

…not knowing that I had stopped there earlier and I had paid cash to buy that same thing…

Acar

…for my mum who seemed to enjoy eating that with her rice these days.

I would say that the fair was a huge success – the people selling the coupons must have done a really good job and I saw a lot of people going home with the cartons of eggs…or the packet drinks. Even those people selling the things were volunteers from some commercial firms, clubs and associations and others so kudos to all of them for chipping in and helping out. I told my girl that maybe if they have another one next year, I can volunteer too and set up a stall selling maybe…my pancakes…or popiah…or pies…or fried rice…or some special ethnic Melanau or Malay delights and she agreed that it was a great idea and it would be very nice if we could also go and in some small way, lend a hand…