One call away…

The other day, I dropped by a supermarket here and there was an event going on right outside the entrance. I did not bother to find out what it was all about but I did see something like a children’s colouring competition about to begin. I noticed there were stalls all lined up selling things so out of curiosity, I decided to stroll around to see what they had in store.

I saw one selling this kao teng koi (9-layer cake)…

Kao teng koi

…and this serimuka or kuih salat, the glutinous rice lightly stained blue using the butterfly pea flower (bunga telang)

Serimuka

…and I was rather surprised that they were selling them at only RM3.00 each! Normally at such events, fund-raising usually, they would jack up the prices and the kuihs were cut into around 10 small pieces inside a packet so in comparison, considering that I would have to pay RM1.00 for 3-4 pieces at the Malay kuih stalls, it did look like the price they were asking for was very reasonable.

The ang koo kueh

Ang koo koi

…was RM4.00 a packet and there were 5 pieces inside so it worked out to only 80 sen each. You will not get anything for less than RM1.00 here or here but these were a little bit smaller.

The lady was telling me in Mandarin about how no artificial colouring, all natural, was used in the making and whatever else she said – I wasn’t paying attention as I was not in the mood for any small talk that day. I only wanted to take the stuff, pay the money and leave.

I took my purchases home and sat down to try right away. Wowwww!!! Much to my delight, the kao teng koi was so very lemak, the texture was perfect – a whole lot nicer than the nice one that I stumbled upon here and the serimuka likewise. These certainly put those sold all over town to shame – I would never want to buy those! I think there is a Malay expression or something that says that those are not worth getting one’s teeth dirty for!

The ang koo koi was very good too – the skin was absolutely perfect and either there was no added sugar or they cut down a bit on it (perhaps that was one of the things the lady was rattling on and on in Mandarin about) so it was not as sweet as the ones sold commercially elsewhere.

I was thinking that these would make lovely desserts if one is hosting a dinner gathering like what we had the other day or they would be perfect for some light refreshment with tea or coffee after a prayer meeting or something along those lines at home.

You can place your order at this number…

Who do you call

…and go to the house to collect if they do not provide home deliveries. You can always ask about this and other details if you are keen – after all, it’s just one call away…

My pleasure…

Nothing beats getting together with loved ones on special occasions and that was why when my cousin invited me over to his Hari Raya Haji open house that day, I wasted no time in replying and telling him that it would be my pleasure and I would be very happy to be there with him and all in his family.

It so happened that his missus celebrated her birthday a few days earlier so when everyone was home, the daughter went and got a cake from none other than Marcus – just like us and everybody else, they love his cakes too – and got her to cut it, surrounded by all her grandchildren…

Birthday

It sure was a beautiful moment – one could feel all the love and joy all around.

Of course, there was a whole lot of food…

Buffet

I so loved the ayam masak merah

Ayam masak merah

…that I went back for more, twice, at least!

There was Sarawak laksa too, cooked by their West Malaysian daughter-in-law but by the time I had feasted on everything, I was way too full to go and have a try but I did try a bit of the broth from my daughter’s bowl and it was really very good.

My cousin will always get one caterer here everytime, the sister of the people at this cafe that is very popular for their kampua mee and they had that…

kampua mee

…in the buffet spread too. I did go for it and I would say it was a cut above their mee goreng

Mee goreng

I enjoyed the ikan terubok masin

Ikan terubok masin

…to the max and my cousin’s wife cooked this pajeri nenas

Pajeri nenas

…and it was very good too.

There were cakes and a lot of other things too and we sure had a great time there, sitting and chatting and laughing…and meeting other next-of-kin and old friends from the kampung.

Thank you so much to my cousin, his missus and all in the family for the invitation and the wonderful hospitality. I sure wouldn’t want to miss special occasions like this for the world!

Agree to disagree…

I went back to this coffee shop last Saturday morning because when I blogged about it that day, a friend/ex-student commented that the char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles) from the stall at the back…

Yalin chu char stall

…was very nice or in his own words, “one of the best in town” and of course, I just had to go and try.

Gosh!!!! There were so many people…at 7 something in the morning, before 8 and I could not find an empty table. In the end, I sat down at a rather large one occupied by a couple on one side. They finished eating soon after I had sat down and left so I had that big table – right in front of the stall, all to myself. I felt it was not a good location though as there would be people crowding around to place their orders with the lady who seemed to be the one in control of everything – the guy hardly said a word, he just cooked!

The problem was my friend/ex-student did not state specifically what char kway teow there was nice – was it the dry one? Or the one with sauce/gravy? Or was it their tomato kway teow?

I just asked for the char kway teow, dry…

Yalin char kway teow

…and asked for chili to be added. Unfortunately. that seemed to fall on deaf ears – there wasn’t any chili in it nor was I given any chili sauce or freshly-cut chili in soy sauce. It tasted all right but no, there are others elsewhere a whole lot nicer like the one here…or hereor here or even the one here but it only opens at night so I hardly ever go there – I do not usually go and eat char kway teow at that time of day. I do know of other places that were nice too but I have not been to those for a long time so I am not sure if theirs are still as good.

For one thing, when I was there, I did not hear anybody else ordering it nor did I see anyone eating. There seemed to be a lot of orders for kolo mee though – perhaps I should try that the next time I drop by. I did not think the kway teow was that nice to make me want to go for it again but it was only RM3.80 though, at least 20 sen cheaper than all the rest.

YALIN COFFEE SHOP (2.290902, 111.827723) is located along Jalan Kampung Nyabor, to the right of the Sibu General Post Office – the first one in that block of shops there.

Have another go…

I loved it so much the last time around and I was planning to go for it again but even though they actually extended it for another month, I just could not find the time.

Well, the good news is they are having their prawn promotion again this month and of course, I wasted no time in making a beeline to the place…

Cafe Cafe Sibu

…to have another go at it.

They had some nice refreshing drinks currently, their mint lemonade and the cucumber apple (RM10.00 each)…

Drinks

…and like on our previous visit, my girl had their creamy pasta with turkey ham (RM18.90)…

Creamy pasta with turkey ham

…that she enjoyed so much that last time and she sure enjoyed it again this time around too. She said that she did order the same at their other outlet in town but it was not nice, nothing like the one here.

Of course I ordered their absolutely out-of-this-world creamy tom yam prawn noodles served in a young coconut (RM38.90)…

Creamy tom yam prawn noodles

…to share and yes, it was as good as before, with two huge freshwater prawns (udang galah)…

Giant prawns

…and we were given a big bowl of the lovely soup – the girl said that it could not all go into the coconut and that was why they had to serve it separately. Well, there was enough in the coconut to go round so in the end, we asked for it to be packed nicely for us to take home and enjoy it with rice or whatever.

I also ordered their grilled king prawn with Thai green chili dip (RM14.90)…

Grilled king prawn with Thai green chili dip

…to try but I would not say we were thrilled by the prawn because it was just a nicely-grilled prawn, nothing more and nothing less. Having said that, the dip was so very nice and we sure liked it a lot.

There is a difference in their promotion this time around – they gave a 20% discount on the spot previously but that day, they stamped the cashier’s receipt and that would entitle us to a 20% discount on our next visit. They did not mention any deadline so I guess we would not need to hurry back to enjoy the privilege.

The food was great, the place was nice and comfortable and there is no 6% SST on the bill and they do not charge the 10% service tax either…but I happily gave a 10% tip to the girls who were very sweet and friendly, efficient and very obliging too.

CAFE CAFE, Sibu  (2.287387, 111.826487) is located somewhere in the middle of the block of shops along Jalan Chew Geok Lin – the Tua Pek Kong Temple and the Seven-storey Pagoda is to the left, across the road from the bank at the end of the block.

Harvest…

I was here…

Best Harvest Cafe

…once before, probably during their peak hour so I stood there by the stall and everyone was so busy and completely ignored me. Of course for someone my shape and size, it would be virtually impossible not to see me. Nobody asked me what I wanted to eat so I just walked away and went to another shop in the vicinity, feeling quite pissed off by the cold shoulder treatment.

I did catch sight of one old lady there though so I could jolly well guess that this was her stall…

Kampua mee stall

For reasons unknown, she was not around that morning but I would say she’s a celebrity in her own right – you can see a number of video clips of her on Youtube and this is one of them if you would like to click the link to go and have a look. I did ask some people sometime ago before she relocated here but they said her kampua mee was just so-so, more a gimmick than anything else.

An ex-colleague did share some photos on Facebook sometime ago of what he had here and said it was quite good. That was why I went there on that aforementioned occasion and after that, I was not inclined to go again until another friend told me she would drop by at 6 something on her way to work after dropping off her daughter at school. That, of course, told me that they open real early and I can go and check it out, thinking that there will not be so many people at that time of day.

I couldn’t be more wrong for there was quite a crowd there already when I got there. This time, however, they did ask me what I wanted so I quickly placed my order and took a seat at one of the tables where the customers had just left…and they had yet to clear up everything and wipe the table clean. Thankfully, they came and did that soon enough.

The kopi-o-peng/iced black coffee (RM1.70)…

Best Harvest Cafe kopi-o-peng

…was good but I was somewhat disappointed when the chap-chap (mixed) soup (RM2.80)…

Best Harvest Cafe chap chap soup

I saw some pig’s blood at the stall but there wasn’t any in the bowl that I got. I guess I did not order it right and if that was what I wanted, I should have asked for it. Another thing was I am never a fan of those frozen fish balls and meat balls plus I don’t know what brand they use but the latter had a very strong smell and a while later, I could detect it in the soup and that put me off – I did not finish all of it. They do have pian sip (meat dumplings) at their stall and that got me wondering as to why they could not use the minced meat to make their own meatballs. I would have enjoyed those a whole lot more.

Other than that, they did not have any special own-made chili dip that they would have elsewhere, like here or here, for instance. All I got was bottled chili sauce with soy sauce added – you can see that in the photo below.

Thankfully, the kampua mee (RM2.80)…

Best Harvest Cafe kampua mee

…was very good – I certainly would rank it among my favourites and it is a little cheaper than a lot of places around town, usually RM3.00…or more.

BEST HARVEST CAFE 富源茶室 (2.278144, 111.838905) is located at No. 6A, LORONG 2, Jalan Aman, facing Jalan Lanang, right after the roundabout junction of those two roads.

Always a first time…

I went back to this bakery again the other morning as when I shared the photograph of the Swiss roll on Facebook not too long ago, my foodie friend commented and said that their coconut roll was very nice.

It was just past 6.00 a.m. – VERY early but it was already open. When I went in, I spotted, among the others, one strawberry Swiss roll…

RM6.80

…so of course, I had to buy it because my girl really enjoyed it. It was a bit chilled so my guess was it was left over from the day before and they put it in the fridge overnight. That was perfectly all right by me as it was still good, still very nice though it got me wondering as to why there was a layer of white on the outside of the roll…

Strawberry with a layer of white

Perhaps that was the last one they made and there wasn’t enough of the strawberry batter and they used the vanilla one. Whatever the reason was, it did not matter one bit as it was just as good, the soft cake with the light strawberry essence fragrance, not very sweet and the salty butter cream…

Very nice

…in the middle. I could tell it was real salted butter as it had the taste and the fragrance plus it hardened when put in the fridge, not that we had to do that as it was all gone before the day was done!

I looked at what there was in the cabinets, nothing that tickled my fancy and then I saw the coconut rolls on the racks, piping hot from the oven. The baker was busy at the back but I think he noticed me and he quickly came out to see what I wanted. I asked for two of the coconut rolls (RM1.20 each)…

Coconut roll

…but I did not want any of the buns – he only had the pandan lotus, the butter and the red bean paste and I wanted the ones with the pek tao sar or mung bean paste.

Yes, the coconut roll was very nice – I could detect the nice buttery fragrance. Probably they brushed the bun batter with it before coating it with grated coconut and putting it into the oven to bake and I liked the toasted coconut and how the bun was very nice and soft.

I have seen these coconut rolls here, there and everywhere since God knows when but I never felt inclined to buy. Well, there is always a first time and I sure was glad I did.

YAT BAKERY (2.293035, 111.835887) is located along Lorong Chew Siik Hiong 1A, directly opposite Uncle Dom, at the other end of the block of shops where Sushi Tie is in the commercial centre behind the Rejang Medical Centre.

A little bit stronger…

Those of you who have been faithfully following my blog would probably remember our Sunday bak kut teh lunch here sometime last month.

I enjoyed their soup version with its fairly strong herbal taste and fragrance so I could not resist buying their DIY pack…

BKT DIY pack

…home to try and cook our own.

The other day, my missus decided to use it to cook and inside, there were four packets…

Inside

…one of the herbs, another filled with dark soy sauce and one, sugar and msg and last but not least, one had cornflour inside.

There was also this piece of paper…

Instructions

…inside with the instructions and what not. Unfortunately, they are in Mandarin and Malay only so if you are thinking of giving it to someone overseas who can read neither of the two languages, perhaps you will need to write a translation.

For one thing, the herbs are not packed in a pouch so one would need to sieve the soup once all is done. The lovely fragrance filled the house when the soup was simmering and yes, it…

Bak kut teh

…tasted really good but I thought it was somewhat watered down, not as nice as what we had at the shop. Perhaps, should we buy it again to cook, we can cut down on the water – by a quarter or more so that the herbal soup would turn out a little bit stronger.

The outlet of the MASTER LEE KLANG CLAYPOT BAK KUT TEH (2.306941, 111.836912) that we went to is located among the Rejang Park shops in the block to the left of what-used-to-be a cinema between Sin Nang Leong General Store and King Hua Hair Salon.