He’s good…

The young and handsome guy…

Roti canai guy

…at this roti canai stall…

Roti canai stall

here actually hails from Bangi, Selangor and has moved to Sibu following his wife who has been posted to work at the hospital here. I went early one morning at 6 something hoping to try something from him but he was not there. They said he usually would not come so early.

Well, I did manage to catch hold of him the other morning and I asked for what he calls the canai tsunami (RM2.50)…

Canai tsunami

…which is actually made up of a piece of roti canai as the base and a fried egg on top, flooded with the dhal gravy.

I was also served this…

Roti bom

…and I thought that was part of my order but in actual fact, he made that specially for me to try, what they call roti bom. He said there is nobody selling that here and come to think of it, I haven’t seen it anywhere. I wanted to pay for that but he insisted that it was on him.

With the sprinkling of sugar and some margarine wrapped inside and fried till crusty and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, it was really very nice, something like those sugared puff pastry biscuits. As a matter of fact, it was so nice that I wanted to buy two home. Unfortunately, he said that he had run out of dough for the day which, of course, was a good sign – an indication that his business wasn’t too bad.

From our brief chit-chat, I found out that he would not open that early in the morning as he would have to send the kuihs he makes to the hospital and dunno where else. Upon saying that, he went over the the kuih section at that place and got me these – his apams…

Apams

…the apam coklat, apam pisang and apam gula hangus. I don’t know what apams actually are and why they are thus called and not regarded as cakes as to me, they are like mini-cupcakes, very soft and moist, very nice – all of them. I wanted to pay him for those too but he simply refused to accept. He sure is a nice guy, isn’t he?

The people there said that the roti bom would go very well with the nasi lemak sambal so they got me this…

Sambal & dhal

…the aforementioned sambal in the dhal gravy. Gee!!! If they keep pampering me like this, I sure would want to come every day! LOL!!!

Jokes aside, I certainly would love to drop by again for this…

Canai tsunami, roti bom & sambal/dhal

…or whatever else the guy has on his menu. His effort to earn a little something instead of idling around while his wife is at work sure deserves some support and the next time around, I shall insist on paying for everything.

KOPI KOPI Café & Kitchen is located at the blocks of shops, at the back facing Bandong Walk (2.313869, 111.825808) and the main road.

P.S.:
I am taking a break for a week or so but worry not, there will be the usual scheduled daily posts just that I may not be replying instantly to comments, if any and I may not go blog-hopping to comment in your blogs as well. Stick around! I’ll be back!!!

Victorious…

This coffee shop…

Victorious Cafe

…is located ideally beside one of the leading hotels in town and there is this other one right across the road plus all the other smaller ones in the vicinity. We did go there a few times a long long time ago but no, this would not be one of our regular stops especially when parking is such a pain in that area plus this road can be quite badly jammed at times.

I heard some favourable reviews of the mee sua here but quite recently, somebody said that he went and tried but no, he did not think it was all that great. I do not recall ever having that there but yes, I remember going for the beef noodles and I quite enjoyed it.

The other morning, after dropping off my girl at school, as I was driving past, I noticed that it was open so I quickly parked the car and walked over to have a look.

Yes, the beef noodles stall…

Beef noodles stall

…is still there, manned by a young guy who is bigger than I am, and a helper.

I guess I was way too early so no, he did not have the special (RM8.00) nor the mee sapi campur (RM6.00) so it had to be just the mee sapi/beef noodles (RM6.00)…

Beef noodles 1

…or nothing.

The soup was great, wouldn’t mind if the beef taste had been a little bit stronger and I seemed to detect a hint of sweetness in it. However, despite that, I rather enjoyed it and I loved the noodles and the meat with their special own-made chili dip…

Chili dip

…which I finished while I was halfway through and I had to ask for some more.

I can’t say I am all that fond of the use of plastic bowls…

Beef noodles 2

…though especially when it is served with the soup boiling hot.

The place was already very full by the time I was done and looking around, I noticed that many were having the kueh chap from the stall next to this one. Perhaps, I’ll try that the next time around.

VICTORIOUS CAFE (2.283657, 111.832501) is the corner coffee shop on the left at the end of Lorong Lanang 4, opposite the Li Hua Hotel, town centre and the Kingwood Hotel is right behind it.

Had to…

In my previous post, I said that I went to the post office at Rejang Park here twice to send my Christmas cards, the ones going overseas and the rest to their local destinations and while I was there, I bought some very nice Hokkien bak changs (meat dumplings) to take home.

The first time I was there, I walked past this coffee shop…

Leong Leong, Rejang Park
*Archive photo*

…and saw the photograph of their mango ice and I decided there and then that I had to go back and try some day.

I had this one (RM10.00)…

Mango No. 5
*Archive photo*

here sometime ago and I thought it was very nice.

The one here (also RM10.00)…

Leong Leong Mango Ice

…was good too and because this one was served in a bowl, it was easier to mix the mango on top with the shaved ice and evaporated milk below to give the latter a bit more taste unlike the other one where when one would be eating just the ice and the milk, one probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much.

I prefer how they cut the mango at that other place though, in big cubes but anyway, seeing how these do not come cheap, I don’t think I will be going for it all that often. Once in a long while is fine.

LEONG LEONG CAFE 亮亮茶餐室 (2.306688, 111.837028) is located at No. 42, Jalan Teruntum, among the Rejang Park shops, on the ground floor to the left (the inner side, not facing the main road) of the since-closed-down cinema complex.

I want some more…

Last week, I went to the post office at Rejang Park here to send my Christmas cards, the ones going overseas. I don’t know how long it will take, two weeks perhaps, maybe longer.

Even the local mails will take ages these days. My cousin in Kuching sent me an invitation to her daughter’s wedding next month, postmarked 30th October…

Postmark

…and I only received it on the 11th of November, almost two weeks from Kuching to Sibu, believe it or not.

Well, I dropped by the stall there, the one that sells all the nice Chinese kuehs but they did not have much that day – according to the lady there, they had gone on a holiday so all those that they usually made themselves were not available. There were a few things made by people at home, left there for sale and in the end, I bought some of the Hokkien bak changs (meat dumplings – we can’t get the nyonya ones here), RM3.00 for the small ones with meat and RM4.80 for the big ones with meat and salted egg yolk.

The small ones had bits of meat inside, so little and so minute that one would hardly notice it was there. Thankfully, the glutinous rice was very tasty and was, in a way, a consolation.

The big ones…

Bak chang, big

…were really something. After so many disappointing ones from here, there and everywhere around town, I was so glad to stumble upon these. Even my missus who would always say that her late mum’s were the best, second to none, and never liked any sold at the shops and stalls, admitted that these were good.

There were a few chunks of meat inside, shitake mushroom and a salted egg yolk…

Inside

…and if you’re lucky, you may stumble upon a slice of pork belly with the yummy layers of fat. Slurpsss!!!

I also liked the fact that they used the traditional straw to tie them into big, perfect triangles…

Perfect

…unlike those that use raffia nylon strings – imagine those being boiled in the water with the changs until they are cooked!

Well, on Monday, I went back to the post office again to send more Christmas cards, the ones intended for the local destinations and of course, I felt I wanted some more, the big ones, no less so I walked back to the stall and went home happily…with half a dozen of those delightful changs!

LIM TIONG KHAY Chinese kueh stall (2.306707, 111.836471) is located beside the Chinese medical store among the shops at Rejang Park in the block facing Jalan Teruntum to the left of what was formerly the Zenith Mint Cinema.

Something just like this…

We dropped by here the other day because I wanted to try the Bovril mee to see exactly how good theirs was. Unfortunately, they were not there so I had to go back again another time.

Thankfully, this time around, the stall…

The stall

…was open and I wasted no time at all in ordering my pick from their menu.

When it was served, I saw that there was this fried long beans with egg…

Fried long beans with egg

…by the side. In the photograph displayed at the stall, it was ladies’ fingers but I did not mind that one bit as I would be all right with either one.

Now, the moment of truth – the noodles (RM5.00)…

Bovril mee

Yes! It most certainly got my nod of approval and tasted exactly like how I would cook it at home. I sure enjoyed that! Even the fried egg was done the way I like it, the yolk still runny and the golden fringe all along the edges.

I also liked how they used the brown greaseproof food wrapping paper to serve the noodles so it did not matter what kind of plate they were using underneath. Other than that, minus the washing, that would help save water and it is good for our environment. I’m not that keen on the disposable chopsticks though – personally, I feel that is wasteful, clean and hygienic though that may be.

I asked the lady why the stall was not open that Sunday when we came and she said it was All Souls’ Day weekend and they came much later than usual. I did notice the cross and the holy pictures in front of the stall and the palm in the cabinet. It turned out that she is the sister of somebody that I know, an ex-student of my alma mater and an enthusiastic  rugby player to this day.

There are many other choices on the menu – I will have to come back again to try some of the rest. I hear the curry chicken is great and the ang chao pork belly looks like how my missus would cook hers.

TWIN CORNER (2.293179,111.820821) is located at the back at the corner of the block of shops to the left of Paramount Hotel, Jalan Kampung Datu.

Make it last forever…

This is kasam babi hutan

Kasam babi hutan

– salted and preserved wild boar meat.

It is protected here though I really wonder why as the animal is very productive, not endangered in any way, plus it is very destructive. However, there is a provision in the law that allows the ethnic tribes to hunt it for food and with the lack of electricity and refrigeration in the interior, they would salt the extra meat to make it last like…forever and eat it slowly. They are also allowed to sell the meat to supplement their income and some will also sell the kasam too.

When I was teaching in Kanowit in the late 70’s, I rented a little room on top of one of the shophouses and my neighbours were all Ibans and they ate it ever so often. Everytime they opened the tin with the preserved meat inside, I felt like throwing up – the stench was terrible! Ah well!!! Salted fish is so nice but we all know that the smell is just as bad. It was only until quite recently when I tried it at the ethnic food stall here in town that I thought it was very nice and I really liked it.

Now that my girl is no longer teaching in the school in the jungle, I no longer have the opportunity to stop by the market at the bazaar along the way to buy the meat. I’ve loved the fresh meat since young but not the kasam. I bought one kilo of this kasam way back in May or June and I did cook half of it, steamed with tuak (the traditional Dayak rice wine) but it did not taste great, overpowered by all the herbs and leaves and everything that I added to the dish.

Well, I tried cooking it again the other day, the remaining half and this time around, I toned down on the ingredients used and these…

Ingredients

…were all I used – a few slices of ginger, a few cloves of garlic, one shallot, two stalks of serai (lemon grass) and one chili, thinly sliced.

Instead of steaming, I cooked it the way I would cook the soup with the fresh meat. I put it in the slow cooker and left it till all the juices had come out and had started simmering. Then I added the ingredients and let it go on simmering.

After sometime I took it out…

Kasam babi hutan, cooked

…and garnished it with daun kunyit (turmeric leaves) cut into thin strips and yes it was very much nicer, just very salty.

I did read somewhere that one would need to soak it and rinse it a lot to get rid of the salt and the salty taste – perhaps I did not do that enough. I put it back into the slow cooker and added boiling water, not too much as this was not meant to be a soup…and it was quite all right and a bit nicer after that.

Feeling not quite satisfied with it, I went to an empty plot of land round the corner from my house and plucked a few tapioca leaves from the plants growing wild there, pounded them and added them to the dish…

Kasam babi hutan & daun bandong

…No, it did not help reduce the saltiness, unfortunately so we just mixed the sauce with our rice and ate and yes, it wasn’t too bad. Thank goodness I did not cook it as a soup!

RUAI AKU CAFE is located below Eden Inn (2.285223, 111.831256) along Jalan Maju to the right of Hai Bing Seafood Restaurant, right across the road from the Rejang Esplanade.

Who’s next…

This is most probably the third one in line serving that Sabah-inspired pork soup & noodles after the first one here and the second one but it…

Another one

…may well be a branch of the latter, I wouldn’t know.

Well, one thing I do know is that there were others here before like this Singapore laksa franchise and this pretty nice one with the beef noodles and there may be others before them too but somehow, they did not last very long.

Of course, I wanted the soup with innards (RM6.00, small)…

Soup

…just that there were only two bits of intestines and two slices of liver in it.

As for the noodles, I saw somebody having something that looked like KL Hokkien mee, big thick strands and black with the dark soy sauce used in the preparation. I asked the boy taking my orders and he said that would be the pan mee so I said I wanted that.

Unfortunately, this was what I got (RM5.00, small)…

Pan mee

…and no, that was not the one I wanted.

All in all, I thought both my orders were all right, not anything to get excited about and you will not catch me rushing back for more…especially at those prices. For one thing, there were quite a lot of customers there that morning unlike the ones before so it is quite likely that this one will last a lot longer than the rest.

This branch of Nibong Corner (2.292472, 111.826947) is located along Jalan Bindang among the Tunku Osman area of shops, right next to the Singapore Chicken Rice outlet there behind the HSBC Building.