Wherever I lay my hat…

The lyrics of this song go, “Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home.” Well, my daughter’s home for the holidays and I decided to cook something that she loves to eat – top hats or what are locally called kuih pai tee!

For the filling, I bought some sengkuang,(Mexican turnip) or what we call mangkuang/bangkuang here…

STP's kuih pai tee 1

…which I had to peel and shred real fine…

STP's kuih pai tee 2

…and I also chopped some long beans…

STP's kuih pai tee 3

…and some tau kua (tofu slices)…

STP's kuih pai tee 4

I used some minced meat but it would be nicer with minced prawns, or at least a bit of each. I wanted to give some to my mother and since she’s allergic to prawns, I had to do without it…

STP's kuih pai tee 5

…and once I had got some finely-chopped garlic ready…

STP's kuih pai tee 6

…I was ready to roll! After heating some oil in the wok , I browned the garlic in it before adding the minced meat. Then, the long beans went in, followed by the tau kua and the sengkuang. Finally, I added a tablespoon of chicken stock granules in place of salt and msg and this was how it turned out in the end…

STP's kuih pai tee 7

I also fried some omelette and cut it into thin bits to be added to the filling later. I did not mix the egg with everything else as my mother is also allergic to it…

STP's kuih pai tee 8

Now, many of you are dying to find out how I made the pai tee cups. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint all of you ‘cos I did not make the kuih pai tee cups myself. The truth is I do not know how to make them but the stall selling those delicious pulut panggang at Rejang Park sells those at RM10.oo for one whole container of them…

STP's kuih pai tee 9

I guess it is so much easier just to buy them. All that was left to be done after that was to fill the cups with the filling, add some chilli sauce on top and gulp it all up!

STP's kuih pai tee 10

It would have been nicer with some homemade hand-pounded chilli but there was not a single one at the market when I went in the morning, so we had to make do with chilli sauce instead…

STP's kuih pai tee 11

There was a bit too much of the filling for the number of cups in the container, so I guess I would have to go and buy some popiah skin to make some fried spring rolls. My daughter loves those too…

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One (2)…

My daughter arrived home safely yesterday morning and on the way home from the airport, we stopped at this place for lunch…

One o One Cafe 1

I have no idea why it is called One o One Cafe, maybe that’s the number of the shoplot – 101. Located at the Jaya Li Hua Commercial Centre in the vicinity of the Sibu bus station, this recently-opened eatery is in fact somewhere behind the Everwin Kopitiam that I posted on a few days ago.

The place is quite pleasant with its simple but pleasant decor…

One o One Cafe 2

It’s comfortable and though not airconditioned, the swirling ceiling fans ensure that the place is very airy. The service was fast and efficient but you will have to be able to speak Mandarin as they do not seem to be able to speak English at all.

I had the nasi lemak…

One o One Cafe nasi lemak

…for RM3.00 which is pretty reasonable considering that it is no ordinary kopitiam/coffee shop, and for an extra RM1.50, you get the special i.e. they’ll give you one fried chicken wing. That’s cheap ‘cos chicken wings these days cost RM2.00 – fried or barbecued even at the roadside stalls. Tastewise, the rice was so-so – nothing to shout about,  and the sambal as well. There weren’t any ikan bilis (anchovies) but I got one whole hard-boiled egg. I think normally elsewhere, they’ll just give half.

My daughter had the salad fish rice…

One o One Cafe's salad fish rice

…and got a piece of fish fillet, coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried, together with chicken rice. She enjoyed it, but unfortunately, I can’t remember how much that was.

Well, it was Friday so we had to abstain from the meat dishes and it seems that most of the items on the menu are available only at night. We were there just before lunch hour and the place was somewhat empty. Perhaps the crowd had not come in yet for when I drove past a couple of times on Sundays, the business looked very good and there were a lot of customers.

So to sum up, I think that it is a nice place and the food is ok, so I don’t see why I would not be dropping by there again in future…

P.S.:
Victorkiu had a post on this place sometime ago and he went there at night. You can click this link and hop over to his blog to have a look. Of course, he’s got much nicer photos – expensive high tech DSLR mah! LOL!!!

Millennium…

How time flies! It has almost been a decade since the dawn of the new millennium. I wonder how many can recall the fear of what the Y2K would do to all the computer systems in the world and all the rumours circulating at the time. They were even saying that those in the aeroplanes would malfunction and the aircrafts would all come crashing down. That was why when the September 11 incident happened, initially, when I saw the breaking news on tv, I thought it was the millennium bug aka Y2K.

Anyway, this post is not going to be about that, but on the Y2K Restaurant here in Sibu instead. It is located in Jalan Tuanku Osman, the block to the left of the one where the MAS office is located, right next to Mum’s. It does not look attractive, much less impressive and is not as popular as Mum’s for some reason. But personally, I like the food there and the prices are reasonable and comparatively cheaper than next door.

The other night, my missus and I went there with TheOtherCousin (TOC) and his parents for dinner. The chao chai (preserved vegetables) and fish soup was very well done and all of us enjoyed it a lot…

Y2K's chao chai fish soup

It was definitely better than Ruby’s where they tend to put too much ginger which I do not really fancy and they use the more expensive tapah fish (actually just the bits and ends), so naturally, it costs more over there.

We also had the braised too kha (pork leg) which was nice, but I always yearn for some sambal belacan when having too kha…and the serving was not very big…

Y2K's too kha

Other than that, we also had this vegetable dish with some char siew toppings…

Y2K's green veg with char siew

I liked it a lot and this other dish was also very nice – bitter gourd fried with beef…

Y2K's bitter gourd with beef

Maybe I was too hungry as I had not eaten much the whole day (or they were too full after feasting on the butter pastries and pulut panggang that I had sent over to them earlier that afternoon), but all of them insisted that they had enough, so I did not order any more dishes. Gee! They even turned down my offer of a plate of Foochow fried noodles! Y2K’s is very nice and the funny thing is that if you tapao some home, it taste even nicer when you get to eat it!

So that was all we had – 3 dishes and a soup, and the total for 5 persons came up to RM67.oo inclusive of rice and drinks. That day at Ruby, we had 2 meat and 2 veg dishes plus a soup for 3 persons and the total was over RM50.oo and the servings were much smaller, maybe by half. So you can all go and figure out which one is cheaper.

All in all, I would say that Y2K is a good place to go to…

Your song…

I received this book from a friend of mine – Ben on my birthday a few years ago…and I found it interesting and somewhat amusing. It’s really a delightful book to read.

STP's book

As you can see from the photo, the title of the book is “Honey, they’re playing our song” and it was written by Nancy Kennedy. It is  about this lady who heard somewhere that couples should have “their song” for their marriages to last but she and her hubby did not have one, so she went into a frenzy trying to find a song to call their own.

So what’s our song – me and my missus, you may ask? Well, we did not have one at our church service, other than that corny and boring-like-hell “The Wedding” that was sung by the choir…and I would not want that to be our song. Unfortunately, we did not have a song at our wedding reception either. But the whole thing was recorded on videotape and at the time, I managed to compile scenes from here and there into a short 4 to 5-minute clip. Then I recorded myself singing a song using one of the minus-one cassette tapes that I had and dubbed it onto the tape for the audio track in the clip. Gee! I must have been quite techno-savvy then to do all that…and I guess that makes the song in question our song…

STP's wedding pics 1

Too bad I do not have the video tape anymore. You know how they get mouldy and eventually, you are forced to throw them away.  Otherwise, I could have got it transferred onto video compact discs (VCDs) and  would still be able to play it once in a while. Besides, I don’t think many still have videotape players/recorders these days.

Well, which song is that? I bet ALL of you must be dying to know. ROTFLMAO!! It is this one; you have to click the link to find out and appease your curiosity. Hahahahaha!!!! Unfortunately, my missus doesn’t sing, so I had to do it solo like in this video clip. So what do you think of my song? Absolutely romantic, isn’t it?

STP's wedding pics 2

Talking about songs for the occasion, I attended a wedding once and they played Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack’s “Tonight I celebrate my love“. Maybe I’m old-fashioned but somehow, the line in the lyrics, “…when I make love to you…tonight“, in a solemn and holy church service made me kind of queasy! LOL!!!

These days, the most popular wedding song, it seems, is Jason Mraaz’s “I’m yours” but a few have used Savage Garden’s “I knew I loved you” and there was one with Bon Jovi’s “Always“. Personally, I would very much prefer a beautiful romantic song that would sweep everybody off their feet. What do you all think? So, now it’s your turn! Tell me what your song is…or if you’re still single, what song would you like to be played at your wedding or the reception?

Just in case you’re wondering, the character in the aforementioned book did not manage to choose a song but she came to realise that their marriage was a song in itself and she did not need another one. Instead, as the lyrics of this song go, she would have to work on keeping the music playing and with any luck, the music would never end…

I feel the earth move…

I feel the earth moveunder my feet Well, if Stanleycarter who lives across the road from my house, felt the earth tremble under his feet yesterday, I certainly hope that he was not unduly alarmed. No, there wasn’t an earthquake nor was it the Royal Rumble either. It was just Tweedledee Tweedledum…oops! I mean, Tubby & Tangki…oops again! ROTFLMAO!!! Well, actually, I was going to say that it was just Kpg Nangka Boy (KNB) and TheOtherCousin (TOC) who were at my house for tea.

I went to my regular stall to buy the pulut panggang – glutinous rice (with santan/coconut milk and salt added) wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over an open fire…

Pulut panggang

I think this stall has the best in town. Cukup lemak! Cukup wangi! (Rich enough! Fragrant enough!) Very nice! They’re actually made by some Malay folks and they will send them there daily at around noontime for sale at the stall at 70 sen each. I love having them with kaya (coconut egg jam) or in the absence of condensed milk these days, sweetened creamer.

I also bought these butter pastries at RM1.00 each at the Master Bakery Cafe.

Butter pastry

Actually, I had posted on these before – the pastry becomes extra flaky and nice and the butter filling will melt a bit and is extra fragrant after you have heated them up a bit in the oven. Yum! Yum!

The guys did not come empty-handed. They brought with them a bagful of the celebrated Sibu Foochow kompia (traditional open oven-toasted unleavened bread)…

Sibu's Tiong Hua Road kompia

Any ex-student of Sacred Heart Secondary School in Sibu and maybe the girls from St. Elizabeth’s next door too, would know these – the ones sold towards the end of Tiong Hua Road ever since the 60s. They slice the kompia open, stuff it with cooked pork belly and dip them in the very delicious gravy before serving.

But if you’re buying some home, you should ask them not to dip them in the gravy but to pack the kompias and the gravy separately or they will all become soggy and mushy. You can do that yourself, simply dunk it in like what KNB had done here…

Tiong Hua Road kompia

Other than tea and coffee, I also bought some tofu fa/tauhu hua

Tofu fa

I don’t know what it’s called in English or for that matter, whether it has an English name at all. I understand it is very cooling and if you take it regularly, you may get a very fair and smooth complexion – just like the tofu fa! LOL!!!

Well, they did not have these for tea; I had eaten them up before they came! Hahahahaha!!! But truth be told, I saw these yam balls at the shop while I was buying the butter pastries…

Yam balls 1

Yam balls 2

…and decided to buy 2 at RM1.20 each to sample. They were pretty nice but I prefer those sold at that shop in Kai Joo Lane in Kuching.

Well, the two of them had a dinner date with some big shot datuk at the Sin Hock Chiu Leu Restaurant across the Igan River from Sibu, so they left soon after tea…

The winner takes it all (2)…

Well, sometime back, Stanleycarter suggested that I should go to this Everwin Kopitiam to try what they have to offer and write a review about the place and I did just that…

Everwin Kopitiam 1

It was opened quite recently under a different ownership and name – Fantasy Food Court, but after a couple of months, it changed hands. Now, it has been taken over by the people of the Everwin Supermarket which is located in the same vicinity and seems to be doing roaring business since it opened. From the look of it, the kopitiam is also enjoying an equally favourable response.

One thing that caught my eye the instant I stepped into the place was this…

Everwin Kopitiam 2

…and do not be deceived by the banner hanging outside that says, “Fast food RM2.00 only”. If you can read Mandarin, according to the flyer, that is for three types of vegetables only. For one meat and two types of vegetables, it’s RM2.50 and two types of meat and one veg, it’s RM3.00. That’s more or less that same as what they charge at other places. I had a look at the fare they had to offer and the things looked pretty nice. I wouldn’t know about the taste though.

Everwin Kopitiam 3

For one thing, the place was hot! It used to be air-conditioned but under the new owners, they’ve opened up the walls on one side and they do not have any ceiling fans, just a few fans on the pillars by the side. It did not help one bit that they were playing some rather loud Chinese songs…and one English song that did nothing to save the day. It was something from Ling King Pak Linkin’ Park, “What I’ve done“. And the last straw was that service was extremely slow. You’ll have to wait for ages even for the drinks, what more the food! I think we had to sit there for a good half an hour before the drinks came and only after  another half an hour did the food arrive!!!

My missus had the kolo mee (RM3.00) which was not bad…

Everwin's kolo mee

…except that it was nothing like kolo mee, and was more like some fairly nice kampua noodles camouflaged with minced meat, fish balls and stuff to make it look like kolo mee.

We also tried the char kway teow (fried flat white noodles) with clams (RM3.00)…

Everwin's char kway teow

…which seemed to have strands of yellow noodles in it as well. It was okay but I wouldn’t go ooo and ahh over it, that’s for sure! I ordered the nasi lemak special (RM4.50) and I got this…

Everwin's nasi lemak special

The rice wasn’t too bad, though not as good as Thomson Corner’s or Sri Menanti’s, but just look at the half-fried ikan bilis (anchovies)…or should I say, anchovy heads! The sambal tasted like adulterated chilli sauce…and there was supposed to be one fried fish in the so-called “special” but I did not get any. Sigh! I was too mood-spoilt by then, so I just ate…and left!!!

The ultra-diluted kopi-o-peng kau (thick iced black coffee) was RM1.40 a glass, RM1.20 elsewhere and the kampua noodles were priced at RM2.50, RM2.20 at other places. Looking at the prices alone, I certainly would not consider this place a winner and taking everything into consideration, I must say that it is far, very very far from being one!

Drive…

Well, what car do you drive?

Mine’s an old 1.3 Wira…and as long as it can get me around, I must say that I am pretty happy with it. For the record, I have been driving for some 35 years now and I’m proud to say that my record is absolutely clean. Unfortunately, there were times when people bumped into my backside…oops!…I mean, the back of my car. Sigh! But what was most important on each occasion was that the accidents were quite minor in nature and I was unscathed, praise the Lord!

Well, this happened sometime last week. There was this old man living in a big bungalow in front of my parents’ place. His errant son came home in the wee hours of the morning, drunk despite all that has been said about drunk driving, and rammed into the gate of their house, knocking it off the rail…and leaving the house without a gate for the next few days. The crash from the impact was so loud that it woke up everybody in the neighbourhood and as for the car, it ended up looking like this…

Accident

Not too bad, I should say, considering the amount of damage it had caused. I guess that was because it was a huge vehicle…but imagine if that nincompoop had  knocked into some poor old man in a miserable  1.3 Wira like me. It would not be so bad if the Wira ended up becoming some horrible wrangled mess but what about the old man? Would he be badly injured in the impact? Crippled for life? Would he survive?

For one thing, I cannot, for the dear life of me, understand why people have to drive those  gigantic monstrosities in a small town with small, short and narrow roads, and I also cannot understand that why people cannot be more  considerate while on the road. They may not cherish their own lives but I’m sure many, no matter how old they are, are not quite ready yet to join the heavenly choir! No, thank you!

Drive, by all means, drive…but drive carefully and with a sense of responsibility to yourself and your fellow-road users.