My father…

My father passed away on Wednesday, 12th July at 1.50 p.m…

Flowers 1

…and was laid to rest at the Nirvana Memorial Park here yesterday morning, the 14th of July…

Flowers 2

…after the funeral mass at St Mary’s of Divine Mercy here…

Flowers 3

– one of his final wishes, that is to have the service at the church where he would go for masses and services with my mum on Sundays and other days when both of them were fit and well.

Regular readers of my blog would probably be able to recall those occasions when we would take him some place to eat and he sure enjoyed those outings and as a matter of fact, when my girl was home for the mid-year school holidays, he wanted to ask her out for another round of the same the following day but that morning, when we dropped by the house, he said to her that he was sorry he could not make it as he was not physically up to it…

Flowers 4

…and since then, over these two months, he had not been well…and I did hint in my previous posts that I was “caught up with things at home” so I did not have the time for much else at that point in time…and last week, he came down with a fever on Thursday and on Friday, it got worse…and eventually, he was admitted into the Sibu General Hospital but things did not look too good so we were prepared for the worst, be it sooner or later.

My brother from New Zealand made it home in time on Tuesday and though it was not easy, we took our bed-ridden mum to the hospital to see him that same evening before he was called to our Lord in Heaven the following afternoon…

Flowers 5

…and I was thankful I was right there by his side at the hospital when he breathed his last. The grandchildren from Auckland were still in transit at KL then – they did not make it in time to see him one last time.

Born in the Year of the Ox on the 28th day of the 4th month, he always celebrated his birthdays every year following the Chinese lunar calendar. He was 93 at the time of his passing.

Eternal rest grant unto my father, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace…

Alternative…

This is bubuk

Bubuk

…those tiny shrimps that they use to ferment and make cincaluk, dried and sold in packs of RM2.00 or RM4-5 each for the bigger ones.

It is seasonal and when they appear at our shores, that would be the time when they would start making belacan (dried prawn paste), cincaluk (fermented shrimps) or just dry them for sale and that would be the best time to buy and stock up on these things as they would be very fresh.

With the soaring prices of hay bee/udang kering (dried prawns) these days, going up to over RM100 at times, those straight ones from Igan, this would be a good alternative to use for sambal like what I did when I fried some rice that day.

I soaked a handful in hot water for a while to soften and then, I pounded it, adding a little bit of belacan to it, and I also pounded these ingredients…

Ingredients

…as well.

Once done, I was ready to roll…

Pounded

I heated some oil in the wok and yes, you may need a bit more than usual as the pounded shrimps (left) may soak up all of it later. Once it was hot enough, I added the pounded ingredients (right) and fried till brown before adding the serai (lemon grass), bruised…

Ingredients, fried

…and then, the rice went in.

I added a sprinkling of salt and an egg and mix it all together thoroughly before dishing it all out…

Nasi goreng udang kering 1

…and yes, it was very nice…

Nasi goreng udang kering 2

…just like when frying rice with the regular hay bee/udang kering but when I used it for my sambal buah emplam that day, I could see some tiny black spots in the sambal – those would be the eyes of the bubuk, perfectly safe for consumption.

Do you like it…

I have not had canned sardines for a long time now as it has tomato sauce in it. I did not have a closer look at the ingredients but if it is the bottled tomato sauce, there is wheat in it and so it is not gluten-free. Besides, we’re just okay with it, will eat but no, we’re not all that crazy about it and the same goes to the grilled ones…

Sardin panggang
*Archive photo*

…that they sell at the roadside stalls at the kampung…and so far, I’ve never ordered those roti (canai)/murtabak sardin that they would have on their menu at most, if not all, of the shops and stalls.

I did blog about having it straight from the can with sliced shallots and chilies added and a squeeze of calamansi lime, no cooking required, but my missus would cook it sometimes…and that was exactly what I did that day.

This is my favourite brand…

My favourite

…when it comes to canned sardines but my missus will always buy Ayam – maybe she likes it better, I wouldn’t know. Yes, to cook it, one would need one Bombay onion, peeled and sliced and chilies.

I fried the onions in a little bit of oil in the pan…

Onions

…just enough to do the job so I did not really need that much. Once the layers had been loosened, I added the chilies…

Chilies

…before I poured in the sauce from inside the can…

Sauce

It would be good to turn down the heat as once the sauce gets into contact with the aforementioned oil, it would splutter and you may make a horrible mess all over your cooker top.

I added a bit of tomato sauce and a sprinkling of sugar…

Tomato sauce & sugar

…for a thicker and stronger sweet and sour sauce. If I am not wrong, my missus would add a bit of soy sauce too and some garlic as well perhaps but I did not do that.

Lastly, I put the sardines in and brought everything back to boil before dishing it all out…

Sardines, cooked 1

Yes, that was our dinner…

Sardines, cooked 2

…that evening and I would say that I enjoyed it and no, we did not finish all the sardines in the big-sized can so the rest went into the fridge to be eaten another day.

So, tell me – how do you want your sardines done? Do you like it this way too?

FOOTNOTE:
KINDLY BE INFORMED THAT OWING TO MY PRESENT SITUATION AT HOME, THERE SHALL NOT BE ANY REGULAR DAILY POSTS ONCE THE ONES SCHEDULED TO BE PUBLISHED RUN OUT. HOPEFULLY, THEY WILL RESUME WHEN DEEMED FIT. Thank you

Bag full…

This bag…

Chiller bag 1

…came all the way from Australia from one of the supermarket chains…

Coles 1

…there. My cousin who is residing there in Melbourne gave that to us on one of her trips back to Sibu a long time ago, filled with all the goodies inside to give to us.

It has been really handy all this while – we use it to pack all the foodstuff from the fridge or the freezer to bring to my girl’s school in the jungle even though it is just a 1 1⁄2 or 2-hour drive away. However, just the other day, one of the handles broke but that did not stop me, not at all. I stapled it back and sewed it down with needle and thread and it was as good as new and we could go on using it.

Well, the other day, I got this pretty one…

Chiller bag 2

…also from that same supermarket chain…

Coles 2

My aforementioned cousin was back in town on a flying visit to settle some business here and she brought that this time around and as always, it was filled with all kinds of things for us.

There was this shirt – 4XL…

Shirt & soap

…so that should fit me very nicely and the very special and fragrant soap. Hmmm…Mr Big indeed! I bet that brand made her think of me when she was out shopping. Hehehehehe!!!! Wait a minute!!! That sure looks like me…

Mr Big tag

…in the photograph in the tag, right down to the double/triple chin. LOL!!!

There were also all these gluten-free stuff…

Gluten-free

…for my girl and needless to say, she was thrilled to receive all those. We have that Australian Butterfingers pure butter shortbread at a supermarket here but not the gluten-free ones and she tried it for breakfast the very next morning and loved it to bits!

I did not try it myself as I can always enjoy these Scottish ones…

For me

…that were in the bag as well, along with the brand new line of Tim Tam…

Tim Tam

I’ve tried it already and yes, it was very nice, whatever that gelato messina may be. I so loved the caramel and vanilla in it but yes, it was very sweet so I just had one and nibbled little by little and will go for another one another day. Incidentally, that’s REAL milk in the toothpaste tube, not the palm oil sweetened creamer that they are selling at the shops and supermarkets here.

Going back to the bag, no, I would keep this precious brand new one and still go on using the old one till it is beyond redemption and cannot be used anymore.

Thank you so so so much to my thoughtful and most generous cousin for all the above and for carting the whole lot all the way from the Land Down Under.

I have waited so long…

This place

Kampung Grandma

…is brand new, officially opened last Saturday but we dropped by to check it out a few days before that.

There is the air-conditioned section and the decor…

Kampung Grandma decor 1

…was somewhat minimal, non-obtrusive, with a little bit here…

Kampung Grandma, decor 2

…and there. Probably in line with the theme of the place, that morning when we were there, they were playing Mandarin oldies from a few decades ago, not my favourites, and I wouldn’t mind if they do not play anything at all or perhaps they could, at least, turn down the volume. Maybe if I had sat outside…

Kampung Grandma, open air area

…the music might have been more bearable and I would not be leaving the place with all those songs ringing in my ears.

There wasn’t much on their menu…

Kampung Grandma, menu

…but I was told that these were just what they were starting off with at that point in time and there would be more once they had gone full swing.

I did not know what mee sian was and the waiter said that it was something like bihun (rice vermicelli), the bigger version. I did hear that they use some special ingredients imported from Hong Kong or Taiwan so my guess was they got the noodles from there.

I was thinking whether I should go for the longevity noodles and I asked the guy why it was so expensive – he replied that it was meant for two persons and since my missus was not keen on that, I had to give it a miss. In the end, I picked the first one, the Grandma’s fish head mee sian while my missus opted for Grandma’s Signature Noodle and we sat back to wait…

Waiting

…for our orders.

It was quite long before my missus’ noodles appeared (RM6.00)…

Grandma's Signature noodle 1

…and even so, our drinks were nowhere to be seen. I asked the waiter and told him to hurry as we had been waiting for a long time…and finally they came. My missus hot coffee, black and the one I had, iced, both cost the same, RM3.00 each. Of course, it is more expensive here – after all, this is no regular coffee shop and is a cut above those.

As for the noodles, yes, it tasted great but that is to be expected seeing that there were prawns and sotong (squid)…

Grandma's signature noodles 2

…and chicken. This is one of those pork-free places, by the way. After sometime, the waiter came to inform me that they were out of fish head and asked me to order something else. I requested for their salted fish fried rice and sat there and waited…and waited…and waited.

By then, there were a few other customers already – we were the first that morning – and I noticed that they were all having what my missus had. After what seemed like forever, I saw a plate of fried rice coming out of the kitchen. The waiter seemed a little lost like he was not sure whose that was so I gestured to him…only to see him serve it to a guy at another table. He came later but perhaps he had ordered that earlier, before I made my alternative order…but then again, it really was not my fault. Tsk! Tsk!

Needless to say, my patience was running out and when my missus had finished eating her noodles, I went to the counter to cancel my order and pay the bill. They said that it was in the process of being cooked already – well, too late! I did not want it anymore. They tried asking me if I would like it packed for me to take away. No, thank you very very much and I did not care that I did not have anything for breakfast that morning, other than my glass of iced black coffee. I had waited so long and was absolutely pissed off by it all.

I certainly hope that it was because they were newbies, still getting the feel of it and hence, there were all these teething problems…and to give credit where credit is due, what my missus had was quite good and so was the coffee that we had plus service was great, with all those eager beavers going all out to please.

KAMPUNG GRANDMA (2.297349, 111.824644) is located among the shops opposite Kin Orient Plaza (where the “old’ Sing Kwong Supermarket is) along Jalan Tun Abg Hj Openg, further in from the Coffee Code, right beside Bateras Food Court.

In the good old days…

I saw this (RM2.00)…

Nasi aduk ikan long

…at my regular Malay kuih stall at Bandong here and I wasted no time at all in grabbing that to try.

According to the lady, this is something they grew up eating in the kampung way back in the good old days, what they call nasi aruk (meaning fried without oil in Sarawak Malay) ikan long, not to be confused with nasi uduk, the Indonesian version of our Malaysian nasi lemak.

Ikan long is the type of salted fish that is not hard and dry like the usual ones – in Hokkien, we call it long kiam hu and this is ikan kembong variety, just a little bit of it…

Ikan kembong masin long

I don’t know how they cooked it but it was very nice with a hint of the salted fish in the rice, something like salted fish fried rice but this was not fried. I did enjoy it though I was wishing they would give a bigger piece of the salted fish and a bit more of the pounded chili – I wouldn’t mind if they charge a little bit more.

Of course, that would not be a complete meal by itself so for our dinner, we had two packets of the rice and I added a century egg…

Nasi aduk ikan long with century egg

…with strips of ginger and a sprinkling of soy sauce and we had that together with this fish that I cooked, masak kunyit we call it

Ikan masak kunyit

…and the acar timun I made the other day for something more balanced.

MAK MAT’s BREAKFAST STATION (2.314192, 111.825581) is located at the shops at Jalan Bandong in the block facing what they call the Bandong Walk, right beside Penyet Bandong (but that only opens at night).

Where have you been…

I think I have mentioned in my posts before how I encountered the nasi lemak at this hotel in Penang that changed the way I looked at the Malaysian dish completely.

Prior to that, I would eat it sometimes and to me, it was nothing more than just something different for a change and we would always have that at the buffet breakfast at any hotel in the country though most of the time I would go for something else and give it a miss…until one morning at the aforementioned hotel when I was helping myself to the peanuts and fried anchovies to go with my porridge and somebody opened the tub beside me with the steaming hot rice inside. The fragrance literally swept me off my feet and for the rest of my stay there, that was what I had every morning.

I did not think any that I had had since came anywhere close until this one here in Sibu way back in 2013 but my happiness was short-lived. The guy disappeared after a while and yes, I did go searching for him but to no avail. I had long given up trying to locate him and all this while, I went round the places in town looking for any nasi lemak that might be as good but no, none came anywhere near.

Well, the other morning, I saw a new nasi lemak stall…

Nasi lemak stall, Bandong Walk

…at Bandong Walk here and there was a girl buying from the guy so I went over to have a look.

I opened the insulated tub to have a look at the rice and yes, it was very fragrant so I ordered the special, RM4.00 a pack with a piece of fried chicken…

Fried chicken

…and yes, there was the salted fish…

Salted fish

…that I like too but of course, to me, the rice must be very lemak (rich in santan/coconut milk) and indeed it was, truly worthy of the name. Ever so often, I had lamented at how some people could call theirs nasi lemak when the rice was not lemak at all, so much so that I might as well have been eating plain white rice.

I chatted with the guy and much to my delight, I found out that it was that very same guy from 2013 (he was not wearing spectacles then and he looked darker now) and for one thing, his nasi lemak, the regular, still costs exactly the same as before…

Bandong Walk nasi lemak stall, price list

…despite the escalating prices of everything these days. The special used to be RM5.00 but he did not have all those varieties that he had then, just fried chicken and that is selling for RM4.00, a ringgit cheaper, believe it or not!

The sambal was really good, spicy…and I liked it a lot as well. I did try the kerang (cockles) before but I did not like it as he used the canned ones then but I certainly would be going back again and again for more of the special with a piece of chicken…

Bandong Walk nasi lemak, simple the best

…or the regular everytime I feel like having it.

I did try the rojak tambi (RM3.50) and yes, it was good. It had half an egg unlike all the rest here, but no potatoes. I did not take a photograph of it though so I guess that would have to wait till I go back there and get some more of that…and I sure would love to try his mee jawa too.

This nasi lemak stall (2.313869, 111.825808) is located at Bandong Walk, Jalan Bandong a few stalls away from the roti canai stall, somewhere in front of this shop in the block where the 1Malaysia clinic is.