Come on over…

It’s the 2nd day of the Year of the Ox…and some parts of Sibu are flooded, so the ox is probably swimming around. Yesterday, I dropped by my parents’ place and also my in-laws, that’s all. The rest of the time, I was at home and I had a few visitors but I’ll blog on that in another post.

Well, my house is still open today (and the rest of the week…or in fact, anytime at all)…

STP's living room CNY 2009

…and you can help yourself to the cakes…

CNY 2009 - cakes

…the traditional biscuits such as kuih bangkit

CNY 2009 - kuih bangkit

…and pineapple tarts…

CNY 2009 - pineapple tarts

…or this gold-nugget look-alike version…

CNY 2009 - pineapple nuggets

…and these romantic looking white-chocolate biscuits…

CNY 2009 - white chocolate biscuits

So, anybody around these parts, do come over. I should be home all/most of the time to welcome you…

Tradition…

It is the tradition for members of the family to have the reunion dinner together on Chinese New Year’s Eve. We did not have the chance last year as my missus and I flew over to Penang for a few days to spend the festive season there with my daughter who came over from Sungai Petani in Kedah. This year, we decided to stay back and so we were able to sit down with my parents at this very significant once-a-year meal.

We had one of those dinner “packages” from the Sweet Family Restaurant that I have posted about here and here, and among the items on the menu was this Five Treasures dish…

CNY Reunion Dinner 1

…and of course, their signature dish – the Philippine pork leg…

CNY Reunion Dinner 2

…and fried snowfish, fish being a must-have on the menu for every reunion dinner as in Chinese, the character sounds like “have” and hopefully, one will have a lot of material gains in the coming year…

CNY Reunion Dinner 3

…and herbal chicken, as well as this dish of prawns…

CNY Reunion Dinner 4

…and a plate of fried sharks’ fins with egg and stuff, a broccoli and mushroom dish and this pineapple tart-like dessert, but we were all way too full at the end of the dinner, so nobody wanted to eat it. That was why the clingwrap had not been removed…

CNY Reunion Dinner 5

My father bought some sea cucumber soup and Foochow fried noodles from the Y2K Restaurant which is, in fact, a pretty nice place to dine in Sibu but I have not had a chance to drop by and post on it yet.

My sister asked somebody in the kampung to cook our Malaysian delights – chicken curry…

CNY Reunion Dinner 6

…and ayam masak merah, another Malaysian curry-like dish…

CNY Reunion Dinner 7

I must say that I enjoyed the last two dishes a lot more than the other dishes so you can bet that I had more than just a few helpings.

For one thing, there was way too much food for the 5 of us – my parents, my sister and my missus and me. My daughter’s not home for the celebration and I can barely recall the last time my brother (and his family) in New Zealand was home for Chinese New Year. But anyway, with the few of us around, I guess my parents were delighted enough and in our small way, we had managed to keep tradition alive.

Then, of course, there is this tradition for which everybody would have to wait till 12 midnight. Well, I had no part in it! I went to sleep early and I did hear “the war” raging but I could not be bothered to get up to have a look. I can’t stand the noise and besides, the toxic fumes would make me feel asthmatic. I did get up though – at around 1 a.m. to look for something to eat, but it was all over by then. Anybody interested to see what had transpired in the witching hour can hop over to alexallied to have a look at his pics. This photo taken this morning shows the aftermath outside the house of one of the culprits…

CNY firecrackers

This fella was obviously trying to keep clean and set off his firecrackers in his rubbish bin. Well, looking at the mess, it did not help much…and I can imagine where his good fortune would be going to in the coming year – into the rubbish bin! ROTFLMAO!!!

Anyway, I’ll just mind my own business and once again, here’s wishing one and all a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year!

Let’s get together…

Last night, I went to this bloggers’ get-together at Lot 9 Cafe here…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 1

Victor Kiu was the meet co-ordinator (right) and with him in the photo was James from Miri…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 2

…and willchua from Sarikei (left) and rubberseeds were there…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 3

…and so was bongkersz (left), with wongpk and alexallied (blurred as he was moving at the time)…

Lot 9 bloggers' gethering 4

…and the camera-shy Bengbeng (so he was not in any of the photos) who was recovering from his serious foot injury. Clare was not able to join us as her uncle took her family out for dinner after the sunset mass but Yan managed to drop by to say hello after her family dinner at another venue…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 5

So what did we have to eat? There was this dish of fried mihun garnished with fried anchovies (ikan bilis) which was not bad…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 6

…followed by this plate of salad chicken which was quite nice too…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 7

…but I did not like the curry fish head. I’ve tasted better elsewhere and even my own home-cooked version with A1 Mountain Globe brand instant curry mix (seafood) is much better…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 8

I liked the sourish Thai-style midin (wild jungle fern). I thought it was nicer than Ruby’s – they had strips of ginger in theirs and I did not like the fuss of having to single them out one by one.

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 9

The butter/cereal pork ribs dish is worth a try. Everybody enjoyed that…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 10

…and this dish of tofu was quite a hit, but I’m more a meat person…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 11

…and very much preferred the Philippine pork leg which could be comparable to Sweet Family’s…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 12

I did not touch the chicken feet/claws though! Eyew…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 13

All in all, the bill came up to around RM300 for so many people, inclusive of rice and drinks and each person had at least two or three. Rubberseeds brought a bottle of wine – Shiraz and they had that but I didn’t touch a drop! I was a very good boy! LOL!!!

It certainly was nice getting together to chit-chat and get acquainted with one another better. My pleasure meeting you, Victor (who was a student in my former school but I didn’t get to teach his class)…and I really liked his t-shirt…

Lot 9 bloggers' gathering 14

Ooo…William Shakespeare! “If music be the food of love, play on!” Luckily Victor’s not even half my size or he would have gone home without a stitch on his back! Hahahahahaha!!!!

Stay awhile…

I had lunch with Bongkersz yesterday. He managed to crawl through that section of the Bintulu-Sibu road around Tatau that had collapsed owing to a landslide. I understand that they have prepared a temporary bypass for light vehicles to use but at a snail’s pace. Needless to say, the queue was extremely long and those concerned would need the patience of saints.

We went to Rasa Sayang Cafe for the kampua noodles that Bongkersz enjoyed a lot that last time we went there together. I think people in Miri, like Goolooloo for instance, have been feeding him very well as it seems that he has put on a bit of weight…

Bongkersz CNY 2009

Here’s a photo of him with his Lin Dai pose! ROTFLMAO!!! Blogger Alexallied , an ex-student of mine, joined us for lunch too…

Alexallied

He certainly looks better than the last time I saw him around Chinese New Year 2008 with his very Ah Beng Sepilok-escapee hairdo (It was dyed in a colour that reminds me of those primates at the rehabilitation centre, you see! LOL!!!).

We had the kampua noodles, of course but as it was almost 1.00 p.m. then, they had run out of pian sip (or kiaw in Kuching and wantan in West Malaysia), so we could not have the soup. Instead, I ordered this mixed meat platter from the chicken rice stall there…

Rasa Sayang's mixed meat platter

and this plate of “lor” (braised) hardboiled eggs…

Rasa Sayang's

I must say that you can get better fare at the barbecue/roast meat stall at Mei Le Cafe or the Chopsticks chicken rice shop at Pedada Commercial Centre.

By 2.00 p.m. Bongkersz had to take his leave to proceed with his journey home to Sarikei to spend Chinese New Year with his parents. Gee! We have to stop meeting like this, Bong – like some hit-and-run kind of thing! Perhaps next time, you will stop and stay awhile…?

My wish…

Well, it’s Friday today and that means the weekend’s here and then, the Chinese New Year holidays. That, of course, also means that those of you who only blog from the office will not be online until you get back to work – the earliest on Wednesday, the 3rd Day on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. That is why I am posting my festive greetings today instead of Sunday, Chinese New Year’s Eve…

Chinese New Year greeting card

So, here then is MY WISH for all of you…

Gong Xi Fa Cai.
A very Happy Year of the Ox to all, and may you enjoy good health and abundant wealth and lots and lots of good food too…

STP's fusion breakfast

This is STP’s fusion breakfast – the typically-western egg and bacon (from Australia, courtesy of Stella) and our local mi poh goreng! Yummy!!!

Have a great time, everybody!

Hello! Hello! I’m back again…

I’ve had a post on this food stall along Bandong Road here that sells very nice Malay delicacies at very reasonable prices. For one thing, it is along the way when I come home from my parents’ house around noontime after spending the morning there keeping my mother company. So, on the way, I can conveniently stop by to get a few things for dinner and because of that, I have not been cooking for quite sometime now.

The other day, I bought RM3.00 of their chicken kurma. I did not check to see and when I got home, I discovered that there were only two pieces of chicken…

Sibu's Bandong stall - chicken kurma

That means it was RM1.50 a piece. My missus said that at the hospital canteen, they sell their chicken dishes at RM1.00 per piece but then they only use breast meat there…and the food is not as  nice. The kurma I bought from the stall was absolutely delicious – full of flavour and definitely the best I have ever eaten, so much so that I was actually scraping the bottom of the bowl for the gravy to mix with my rice! I wonder how much they will charge if I order by the chicken; if it is not too expensive, perhaps I can get them to cook for me for Chinese New Year.

I also bought RM3.00 of this – cempedak muda masak lemak (Young cempedak cooked with santan/coconut milk)…

Sibu's Bandung stall - cempedak muda masak lemak

…and RM3.00 worth of this pineapple dish…

Sibu's Bandong stall - pineapple 1

Other than that, the generous proprietor insisted on giving me a bit of this variation of the pineapple dish to try…

Sibu's Bandong stall - pineapple 2

The gravy was thicker and sweeter. Very nice…and the best part, of course, was – it was free of charge!

Imagine RM9.00 for dinner for two persons, and there was enough of the cempedak and pineapple left to be kept for dinner the following evening. With such affordable food selections easily available, you can be sure that you will not find me slaving over the kitchen stove for a  long while – until I get sick and tired of it all, at least.

Rain, rain, go away…

It has been raining incessantly for some two weeks or so now. It would not have been so bad if it rains heavily one go and then stops. Instead, it will rain – sometimes just a drizzle for some 10 – 15 minutes and then stop, and after a while, it will rain again. This will go on the whole day and night and it’s the same story every day. It is such a nuisance really and because of this, I have not gone shopping or marketing yet for Chinese New Year.

As a matter of fact, I have not been around to any of the shops for breakfast either and every morning, I will have to make do with what I can find in the house, like this bowl of shrimp noodles, for instance…

STP's shrimp and egg noodles

I have one whole carton box of the made-in-Sibu Mee Daddy in the house, so I can be sure there’ll always be something that I can eat. I just threw a few shrimps into the instant noodles, followed by an egg and the red seeds plus some chopped daun sup (Chinese celery) and that was it! Just use less water and use half of the soup base so that the hair will not start dropping owing to the excessive monosodium glutamate content. The soup will be nice enough with the flavour from the additional ingredients.

But yesterday morning, I had something outside. My daughter’s handphone was running out of credit, so I had to go and reload it for her. I usually go to this shop in Delta Estate here that belongs to a former student of mine. I have tried the kampua at the Delta Seafood  & Cafe there once but I did not like it due to the extra-strong ginger taste in the braised meat and the soup. This time around, I decided to try the other coffee shop in the vicinity that does not look as attractive or impressive…

Sibu's Tung Ming Cafe @ Delta Estate

I had this plate of kampua noodles there…

Sibu's Tung Ming Cafe - kampua

The verdict? Well, it was quite nice and I wouldn’t mind having it again considering the convenience of its location. I would not have to drive out of my way to the other outlets that have somewhat better fare to  offer but I do not find the idea very appealling especially in such foul weather.

Well, the weather here looks pretty good this morning, so let’s hope it stays that way. If you know the lyrics of the song, perhaps you would like to click this link and sing along and hopefully, your horrible croaking will keep the rain clouds away? ROTFLMAO!!