Cosy corner…

We’ve been here…

Cafe Cafe, Giant 1

…before and yes, I did blog about it, the branch of the one in the rather congested part of town where parking can be such a pain, tucked in a nice cosy corner of the Giant Megamall…

Cafe Cafe, Giant 2

…here. Other than the fact that parking is a breeze, it is covered so you will not have to endure the unbearable oven-like heat in the vehicle once you have finished your lunch and are getting into your car to drive home.

We were there for lunch the day of the Mooncake Festival and the place was gaily decked up and ready for the occasion…

Cafe Cafe, Giant 3

My girl had what she would always order everytime she drops by here – the crispy chicken with maltaise sauce (RM19.90)…

Cafe Cafe, Giant crispy chicken with maltaise sauce

She enjoys it so much but this time around, they did not seem that generous with the sauce but still, it was good and she loved the potato salad by the side a lot too.

The mum had the grilled chicken with homemade brown sauce (RM19.90)…

Cafe Cafe, Giant grilled chicken with homemade brown sauce

…and yes, it was very much to her liking.

I loved their tuna toast so I decided to try the turkey ham and cheese toast (RM14.90)…

Cafe Cafe turkey ham & cheese toast 1

…for a change. It was all right just that it felt like I was eating pizza…

Cafe Cafe Giant turkey ham & cheese toast 2

…but I added the coleslaw and sliced lettuce on top and ate and that sure made a difference and I would say that I did enjoy my order as well.

We had their red velvet (RM9.00)…

Cafe Cafe Giant red velvet cake

…for dessert and though it tasted quite nice, especially the cream, we did not like the coarse and somewhat dry texture of the cake so let’s just say we have had better ones elsewhere.

The bill came up to only RM61.35, inclusive of GST, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised as I had expected a lot more. However, I did not say anything and just paid and left. Later, I heard from somebody that there was an on-going special promotion with a 15% discount for lunch or whatever and when I checked the cashier’s receipt, true enough, we got a deduction of RM10.83 from the gross total of around RM72.20. Now, ain’t that nice?

We just had a simple steamboat dinner at home that night, so I would say that this delightful lunch sort of made up for the lack of anything special in conjunction with the festival.

Good looking…

We went out with my dad one morning and as always, he would want to stop by some place for a bite to eat before going home. Where eating is concerned, he is not that adventurous and is quite happy to drop by the same old places and this is one of his favourites.

My girl wanted the kway teow

Y2K Foochow fried kway teow

…cooked with sauce/gravy, the same way they would cook the Foochow fried noodles…

Y2K Foochow fried mee

…which the rest of us had.

As always, it was very nice – they do it quite well here. If I am not wrong, the regular comes at RM4.00 a plate but with our special request for the extra slices of char siew on top, it was RM5.00 each. I did try a bit of my girl’s kway teow and I thought it was not that nice – the mee/noodles were better…or the tomato version that I had had before.

However, where the Foochow fried mee is concerned, personally I feel the one here (RM4.00, minus the egg)…

Friends Kopitian Foochow fried noodles with egg

…has an edge over that one except that they do not have anything special – you just take it as it is, no liver, no innards, no prawns or sotong (squid), nothing. The only thing extra that one could request for would be the fried egg…

Friends Kopitian fried egg

…and yes, that’s the way…ah ha ah ha…I like it!!! Unlike those miserable ones that I have had elsewhere, you can see the delightfully fragrant golden fringe in this one and instead of flipping the egg over and overcooking the yolk, you splash the hot oil over it to cook the top of the yolk lightly and inside, it is still nice and runny, exactly how I  would want it.

My missus had their fried pek koi, moist/wet (RM4.50)…

Friends Kopitian fried pek koi, moist/wet

…while my girl had the pian sip, soup (RM2.50)…

Friends Kopitian pian sip, soup

…from the stall in front. I did mention in an earlier post that a young and handsome boy had taken over the stall and I thought his pian sip, soup was really very good. That was why I took her there to try and she agreed that it was nice.

I did go and try the kampua noodles and the pian sip, dry from this same stall one morning but I was not all that impressed. They were all right but not what I would go running back for more. For one thing, I did not see the good-looking guy…

Friends Kopitian good looking kampua guy

…around that morning and a lady, someone older, was doing the cooking. I wonder if that made the difference. Perhaps I should go back there again one of these days and insist on him doing it for me…

Bad weather…

It was hot and sunny that morning and we were out and about doing this and that when suddenly, the sky turned dark and a raging storm broke out. There was no way we could run to the car, parked quite a distance away, without getting soaking wet so we decided to wait for the pouring rain to abate before attempting to do so.

There was only this place (2.291635, 111.827010)…

Islamic Nyonya Kafe, Kpg Nyabor

…in that block of shops, the non-air conditioned side of this café along Kampung Nyabor Road so we decided to seek refuge there.

I can’t say I was all that overwhelmed by their decor…

Islamic Nyonya Kafe decor 1

…with all the cooking utensils and what not hanging on the wall…

Islamic Nyonya Kafe decor 2

…and the fairy or Christmas lights dangling all over. I cannot imagine what that would look like at night when they switch them all on.

I saw roti paratha on their menu and that got me wondering – I think I read somewhere that what we call roti canai here, they call roti paratha or prata in Singapore but they already had roti canai

Islamic Nyonya Kafe roti canai
*Archive photo*

…as a separate item. That was why I decided to order one (RM2.00)…

Islamic Nyonya Kafe roti paratha

…to try and see what it was. It sure was different and there I was, wishing that they had given a bit more of the nice sambal

Roti paratha, sambal

…and though the dhal dip was thick, not diluted like some elsewhere…

Roti paratha, dhal dip

…it did not taste as nice as the one here. Well, as zmun2 pointed out in her comment below, this is actually chapati and I have no idea whatsoever as to why they have named it thus on their menu, as roti paratha.

The ladies wanted one roti tisu (RM9.90) to share and I had the opportunity to watch the guy making…

Making roti paratha 1

…and cooking it on a big circular hot plate…

Making roti paratha 2

Of course, the batter used was a different one from either the roti canai or the roti paratha. He kept pressing it down probably to get the air out from underneath…

Making roti paratha 3

…and to make it as thin as possible…

Making roti paratha 4

…and he also cut away the thicker edges as well.

When it was done, he rolled it up…

Making roti paratha 5

…in the shape of a cone…

Making roti paratha 6

…and placed it on a plate before pouring sweetened creamer all over it…

Making roti paratha 7

…and serving it…

Making roti paratha 8

Yes, it was very nice, paper thin…though he could have been a bit more generous with the sweetened creamer or they could have given that in a saucer for us to dip as towards the end, we were actually eating the roti minus the creamer especially the part that had been folded inside.

The rain was not all that heavy by the time we had finished so we had no problem getting back to the car and was finally able to make our way home.

Late in the night…

That day when we went here for lunch, my girl went to see a movie in the evening and it was quite late when she got home, around 7.30 p.m. Well, that was late by our standard as usually, we would have our dinner at around 6.00 p.m. but it was perfectly all right as that was during the school holidays so we were quite flexible where everything was concerned. Most importantly, that was the time for her to relax and enjoy herself, a welcome break from the dreary days she has to spend at her school in the jungle.

We headed to this place…

Eco Delite Cafe

…here where we had a pleasant and delightful dinner once.

My girl had their Australian strip loin steak (RM19.90, special promotional price)…

Eco Delite Australian strip loin steak 1

…which she enjoyed a lot and she loved the mashed potatoes too.

I did try a bit of the meat…

Eco Delite Australian strip loin steak 2

…and yes, it was very nice – nicer than any beef steaks I have had elsewhere before this. Of course, she had it well done – we do not get fresh beef here and I am quite wary about the imported frozen ones that we have around here, never mind that some may claim that it is air-flown or what. You certainly would not catch me having it red and oozing with all the blood and juices though people insist that beef is tastier and more tender that way. This one was nice and tender – even for ol’ toothless me – and was very tasty.

I was torn between the baked saltcrust white tilapia and the chicken cordon bleu and in the end, I decided to go for the later. Unfortunately, the waitress came back to inform me that it was not available. Tsk! Tsk! I was rather put off by that so I just decided to order their nasi lemak (RM12.90)…

Eco Delite nasi lemak

…to see if it was any good. The moment it was served, I was put off by those bland, not-all-that-crispy mini-keropok (prawn crackers). I just cannot understand why many cafés here love to serve those by the side of their dishes…and another thing that would put me off would be the ones where everything would be buried under all the squiggles of mayonnaise. So NCAA (no class at all)! I wouldn’t mind it one bit if they had given a couple of those cheap salted fish, RM2.00 for a whole bag of those at the supermarkets here. At least, those would be one of the standard condiments that usually go with a plate of nasi lemak and would not stick out like a sore thumb!

The fried egg…

Eco Delight nasi lemak - fried egg

…was not done the way I would like it.  Obviously, they used a pan to fry it and they flipped the egg so that was why it looked like that. Thankfully, they removed it from the fire sooner so the yolk was still a little soft and a little bit runny, not horribly hard and overcooked.

The sambal was so-so, not quite like the regular nasi lemak sambal but it was all right and the fried chicken…

Eco Delite nasi lemak - fried chicken

…was…like fried chicken. Period.

Of course, when it comes to nasi lemak, my prime concern would be the rice and for reasons known only to them, they were using basmati rice…with a hint of some spices used in the cooking but no, there was hardly any fragrance of the santan (coconut milk) nor the pandan (screwpine leaves). Why call it nasi lemak when it is far from being lemak, I wonder? I guess it is pretty obvious whether or not I would order this should I ever drop by here again.

As for my missus, she stuck loyally to her chicken chop (RM8.90, special promotional price)…

Eco Delite chicken chop mushroom sauce

…with mushroom sauce and yes, like the previous time when she had it, it was good.

The total, inclusive of drinks, came up to RM50.60 and even though that was substantially less than what I had paid for our lunch that day (RM76.00), we certainly derived a lot more satisfaction from the latter…especially with that very disappointing nasi lemak that I had.

Don’t miss it…

This is one place not be be missed if ever you come to Sibu. For one thing, where else can you get to see this…

Payung Cafe banana flower

…or this…

Payung Cafe flower 1

…or this…

Payung Cafe flower 2

…all around? These beautiful natural beauties along with all the herbs and green leafy plants plus the unique decor of the place would not fail to make the place stand out above all the rest, that’s for sure…and then, of course, there is the food!

My friend from Singapore who was here that day over one weekend was singing praises of everything that they had and enjoyed so much and was so delighted at being able to come here for dinner the night before they left town.

Well, we dropped by again that day during the school holidays last week and my girl wanted the herbs salad (RM8.00)…

Payung Cafe herbs salad

I quite like it too though I would not say it is my favourite. Those into healthy stuff would definitely love it, all the raw herbs and vegetables tossed with some very nice sourish dressing.

She also wanted their Bangladeshi lamb curry (RM19.00, with rice)…

Payung Cafe Bangladeshi lamb curry

– one of her favourites here and as their green chicken curry was sold out and they had not had the chance to cook some more, we settled for the lamb masala (RM19.00, with rice)…

Payung Cafe lamb masala 1

…instead, something that was not really on our favoured list, but she loved it a lot! The flavours are not as strong as the former and if I am not wrong, there is yogurt in it and it is not spicy…

Payung Cafe lamb masala 2

…and she seemed to eat a lot more of this dish than the other one that day.

I also ordered the Payung fish (RM15, with rice)…

Payung Cafe Payung fish 1

…which is catfish (ikan keli) cooked with a whole lot of ginger and lemon grass and chili and soy sauce…

Payung Cafe Payung fish

…and my girl kept saying it was so very good, probably dropping broad hints to the mum who can cook this dish very very well too but hardly ever does so as for some reason, she would not eat keli.

For dessert, we shared the durian ice cream (RM10.00)…

Payung Cafe durian ice cream 1

…with a special request for extra fresh durian cream…

Payung Cafe durian ice cream 2

…and never mind that lunch was not all that cheap, it certainly was value for money…compared to our dinner that same day but that would be in the next post.

There was a group at the next table, Mandarin-speaking and obviously from out of town, here for the international dance festival, and they kept saying, “好吃! 好吃!” (delicious/tasty) the whole time they were enjoying what was served to them. I don’t know about you but many who came and ate…would always leave, looking forward to the next time they could come back for more!

In a different way…

This is our own made-in-Sibu Daddy Mee…

Daddy Mee

…instant noodles. There has been a slight improvement, I noticed – the packaging is now some kind of thin aluminium foil not the flimsy plastic that they had in the past but other than that, it is still the same.

In case you’re wondering, the 3-in-1 does not mean there are three things you can get in one packet though there are the noodles and a sachet of seasoning plus a little pack of shallot oil inside. What it actually means is that you can have it in three different ways – in soup, dry or just eat it like that as a snack.

I rather like the soup version – it brings to mind the ching th’ng mee (noodles in clear soup)…

Ching th'ng mee
*Archive photo*

…available at all the kampua noodle stalls in town, minus the meat, of course, unless you add your own.

However, I did try serving it dry not too long ago and I thought it was nice. My missus was never a fan – she insisted the noodles tasted like some kind of plain biscuit but she did seem to enjoy it like this…

Daddy Mee, dry

…tossed with half the sachet of seasoning (do not use the whole packet or it will be too salty), the shallot oil plus a bit of the ABC Extra Hot Chili Sauce and garnished with chopped spring onions and sliced cili padi.

For one thing, people keep saying that when eating instant noodles, one must boil the noodles first and drain before adding to the soup. This way, that is taken care of as you would have done that before tossing with the ingredients.

Moving on from there, this is a different way of cooking that some of you may not be familiar with. Like how the ethnic population here have their pansoh – meat or seafood cooked in bamboo tubes over a hot charcoal fire, we have our masak kuden, masak meaning cook and kuden, if I am not wrong, refers to the pot. I am not sure if it is Melanau but it has been in my maternal side of the family for as long as I can remember. This is a very simple kampung-style cooking method whereby you line the bottom of the pot with banana leaf, rub the fish with salt and place it on top, cover the pot and put it over a very very small fire to slow cook until the juices come out and the fish is cooked.

I did not have any banana leaf so I used kunyit (turmeric) leaves instead and I could not resist throwing in a bit of ginger and daun kesum

Masak kuden

It was raining that day, otherwise I would have gone out to set some serai (lemon grass) as well.

I’ve baked fish with these ingredients wrapped in aluminium foil before and it was very nice too but of course, in the old days, they did not have an electric oven so traditionally, this was how they did it. What would separate the men from the boys would be the type of fish used and how fresh it is.

Last but not least, I was going to fry some leftover rice that I spotted sitting in the fridge that morning but it turned out that there was tang hoon (glass noodles) in one of the plastic tubs, not rice and I went ahead and fried that instead…with belacan (dried prawn paste)…

Fried belacan tang hoon

…and it turned out really nice – I thought it was nicer than rice or bihun (rice vermicelli), a welcome change indeed.

I do think that sometimes, it is good to stray away from the well-trodden paths and do things in a different way instead of following the same ol’ boring recipes day in and day out. What do you think?

On Sunday…

…after the morning service in the church, I was thinking of having something light as I did not have anything for breakfast prior to leaving the house that morning. I was thinking of the roti canai here but the stall was closed probably because it was Hari Raya Haji the very next day and Janggut’s stall was not open either – well, I did notice that his was always closed on Sundays.

In the end, we adjourned here

Sri Pelita

…as it is located a couple of minutes’ walk away. That nice and friendly Indian guy looks like he has put on a bit of weight and is much more handsome now. Hmmm…Sibu sure is a great place to live, eh? LOL!!!

My missus had their mee mamak (RM3.50)…

Sri Pelita mee mamak

…which was way nicer than what she had here and so much cheaper too, a difference of RM2.00!!! Even if you have to fork out the parking fee of 40 sen for half an hour around here, it will not come up to that much.

My girl did not want to eat anything as she wanted to save her tummy space for my mum’s birthday lunch at my parents’ house later but when we got there, she saw that they had dosai or tosai and she could not resist ordering one (RM2.20)…

Sri Pelita tosai

It came with this special dip…

Sri Pelita tosai dip

…and yes, she liked it a lot and sure enjoyed herself. We do not get this a lot here, maybe just at one other place, if I am not wrong.

She also helped herself to the very nice curry dips…

Sri Pelita curry dips

…that I got for my orders.

I was a little slow in walking from that other shop and by the time I got there, she and the mum had already placed their orders and I was not aware that she had asked for the dosai. That was why I requested for one roti canai (RM1.20) and one roti telur (RM2.00)…

Sri Pelita roti canai & roti telur

…and I had to finish both all by myself. Personally, I thought the roti canai was nicer – more fragrant, crispier and I enjoyed it a lot more than the other one with egg.

We had not been here for quite a while now, no particular reason, but looking at how we enjoyed our little breakfast, we certainly would be back again…soon.

FOOTNOTE:
It’s the 16th of September, the actual day in 1963 when all the states in the mainland peninsula, then-called Malaya, and Sarawak and Sabah across the South China Sea on the island of Borneo came together to form the Federation of Malaysia along with Singapore which left on August, 9th 1965.

Happy Malaysia Day!