Things…

People collect all kinds of things as a hobby – stamps, first day covers, coins or if they’re rich, they can afford to collect more expensive stuff. Sophia’s hubby, I know, collects antiques. No, no! She’s most certainly not part of his collection! ROTFLMAO!!! In one of my previous posts, I touched on my daughter’s candle collection and somebody in his/her comments asked what I collect. Well, I am not a serious collector but I do have some things that I keep for the sake of keeping them…

I have, for instance, my collection of drink/cocktail stirrers from hotel lounges and pubs…

STP's hotel stirrers collection

These go back a long way to the time when I was in Singapore in the early 70s. I won’t be surprised that some of the hotels and pubs have closed down or changed names. Other than these, I also have some pencils from the hotels that I’ve been to…

STP's hotel pencil collection

I used to travel a lot in line of duty. Other than teaching in school, I also had to attend meetings, seminars and conferences and other than that, time and time again, I had to go round conducting courses for English language teachers or work on projects for the ministry or department. Then there may be some from hotels where I stayed when on holiday with my family. Of course, some give ball-point pens in which case, there will not be any pencils to help myself to.

Other than that, some hotels used the conventional metal keys but many are now using key cards. Some will not allow you to keep them as souvenirs but others are not that bothered whether you return the cards to them or not. So I have a collection of key cards from hotels in Kuching…

STP's hotel key cards 1

STP's hotel key cards 2

STP's hotel key cards 3

…those in Miri and Bintulu…

STP's hotel key cards 4

…Kota Kinabalu, Malacca…

STP's hotel key cards 5

…Kuala Lumpur and Penang…

STP's hotel key cards 6

STP's hotel key cards 7

I may have missed out a couple but these are more or less, what I have in my collection. I bought a name card holder to keep all of them and I do have a lot of extras from the same hotel. So if you have any and would like to swop, I’d be happy to do so with you.

There you have it – the things that I collect, and I do not even need to spend a dime on them. After all, as they say, the best things in life are free…..

Friday on my mind…

It was Friday yesterday, so I decided to go to Yong Siong Cafe that Kongkay posted about recently. It is located along Lanang Road, the shophouses to the left after the first roundabout if you are going from town. According to him, the cook was originally from Min Kong but probably he was still sleeping when I went. A woman was doing the cooking, but I still went ahead and ordered a plate of Foochow fried noodles with fish…

Sibu's Yong Siong's Foochow fried noodles with fish

It was okay, perhaps a bit too much msg to my liking…and I think I prefer the noodles at Min Kong, even without the prawns. However, I noticed that they used pretty good fresh fish unlike many places where they would just give you those slices of frozen fish fillet.

Then, around noon, I had to send my friend, Jimmy, to the airport for his flight back to Bintulu right after his meeting here. Well, we did have time for a quick lunch on the way and I reckoned the quickest would be at this barbecued and roast meat place at Mei Le Cafe at the Delta Commercial Centre near my house.

BBQ meats @ Mei Le Cafe Sibu

I requested for an assortment of barbecued pork ribs, some char siew and the sausage thingy. At least, I had the decency to skip the sar-chan sio bak, the roasted three-layer pork belly. LOL!!! Other than that, we also had some roast chicken and roast duck…

Roast meats @ Mei Le Cafe, Sibu

I’m not too sure but I think the dishes of meat cost around RM10-12 and the rice was RM2; it is now a ringgit a plate, no longer the old price of 50 sen each. Inclusive of drinks, it was less than RM20.00 for 2 persons. The brother operates the stall at the coffee shop opposite Public Bank in the town and both stalls are very popular. This one opens earlier in the morning selling roast duck and chicken only. The barbecued stuff will be available only around 11.30 a.m. onwards and will usually be sold out over lunchtime.

I know! I know! I don’t usually take meat on Fridays as far as possible, so to make up for the indulgence during lunch, I just opened a can of sardines for dinner to eat with rice and dabai and terbulus. LOL!!!

Used to be…

It used to be at the original SRC (Sibu Recreation Club) premises next to King George VI Memorial Ground (Gosh! What was it renamed after that? I can’t seem to put my finger on it now!) where the Wisma Sanyan stands today. Then it moved somewhere…and I remember that once, it used to be in the block of shophouses behind AmBank, Tunku Osman branch…and now it is in Kampung Datu. I am talking about the A-Plus Restaurant here in Sibu. 

It used to be very nice and I would frequent it quite regularly. The only thing to bear in mind was to avoid the fish and the prawns as they could be somewhat expensive. I have not been there for a long time though, for one reason or other, one being the fact that it is not air-conditioned. If I’m not mistaken, the last time was with Gundot when her hubby first moved to Sibu and that was quite a few years ago. I’ve always loved their clear soup…

Sibu's A-Plus clear soup

…which seems quite plain – just some Chinese cabbage with a bit of sweet corn, some pieces of bean curd sticks, a few pieces of fish maw and meat and a couple of shrimps granished with fried onions and daun ketumbar/sup (Chinese celery), yet it tastes very nice!

So when my friend, Paolo, came over from Kuching, we went there for dinner and of course, I had to order the soup. We also had some braised pork leg…

Sibu's A-Plus braised pork leg

…with ONE lor nui (braised hard-boiled egg). I wished they had given us one each, and talking about limited servings, I also ordered an assorted dish of prawn fritters, mini ngor-hiang (meat roll – one of their specialties) and fried homemade tofu and this was what we got…

Sibu's A-Plus assortments

Good grief! We were given ONE each! Other than that, there was also the ladies’ fingers fried in sambal hay-bee (dried prawn sambal) which some claim, is the best in town…

Sibu's A-Plus ladies' fingers with dried prawns

…but they were very generous with the bitter gourd fried with salted eggs, it seemed. We got a mountain of that…

Sibu's A-Plus bitter gourd with salted eggs

…but unfortunately, it came nowhere near, compared to the same dish at Ruby. In fact, I did not think it was nice. It was pretty cheap, around RM25.00 for all that, but on the whole, I must say it was quite a disappointment. Somehow, the dishes were not piping hot; as a matter of fact, they were quite cold. Nope!!! I did not take a long time taking the photographs. Perhaps we talked a lot, catching up with all that had been going on in our lives…but still, it should at least be a bit warm. After all, the place is not air-conditioned.

Well, if your instincts tell you that I will not be going there again for a long, long time, I must say they are absolutely right. I think I’ll just stick to Ruby from now on!

Thank you for loving me…

I have received a couple of awards before, one from elegant coral and the other from buwau98. They include this one…

Brilliant Award

…and also this one…

Kreativ blogger award

The most recent award I have received is this one…

BUTTERFLY AWARD – COOLEST BLOG

Butterfly Award

Thank you so much, Calvin, for giving me this award. Sorry, I can’t seem to find my acceptance speech…so I will just take this opportunity to pass it on to 10 other “lucky” bloggers. Now, who should I include in the list?
Ummm….the award goes to:
eiling
annant
yan
clare
chris
pinkcotton
cbenc12
choonie
foongpc
jeremy c
who have been most regular in posting comments in my blog. ROTFLMAO!!! So the rest of you should comment more often, and only then will I consider including you in the list for the next award. Some of you, of course, e.g. peteformation, are already in Calvin’s or somebody else’s list. As for the 10 of you, if you’re keen, this is what you can do:

1 Put the logo on your blog.
2 Add a link to the person who has given you the award.
3 Nominate 10 other blogs.
4 Add links to those blogs on yours…and
5 Leave a msg for the nominees on their blogs.

Cheers!!!

Again…

My friend, Jimmy, from Bintulu is in town and owing to his tight schedule, we could only manage to get together for breakfast this morning. He consented to my suggestion of having some dim sum, so there we were at the Mitsu Tea House again. I opted to sit downstairs instead of the air-conditioned 1st floor section so that I could take better photographs in the natural light and they would not be affected by the yellow lights inside. It was quite cool actually, after the whole day of rain yesterday.

We had the usual dim sum favourites including siew mai

Sibu's Mitsu siew mai

and har kau

Sibu's Mitsu har kau

and char siew pau

Sibu's Mitsu char siew pau

…and I also ordered these crabstick rolls wrapped in seaweed. I had some the last time I was here and I felt it was nicer than both the siew mai and har kau…and Jimmy agreed. He was impressed that he could feel the texture of the meat inside unlike other places where the filling is all so finely-minced  that you really do not know what is inside.

Sibu's Mitsu crabstick seaweed roll

We also had these pork ribs with black beans…

Sibu's Mitsu pork ribs with black beans

It was nice but I would not think that it was anything to rave about. I also ordered this for Jimmy as he loves it…but on my part, I would never touch the stuff!!!

Sibu's Mitsu chicken claws

Chicken claws! Eyew!!!…Thanks, but no, thanks! LOL!!! I also had these custard tarts before…and I ordered them again as I liked their puff pastry. You can taste/feel the crispy layers and this special characteristic makes it better than any puff pastry that I had had elsewhere…

Sibu's Mitsu custard tarts

Hey! Wait a minute! What are these? Either they are new, or I did not notice them before in the menu. Durian pastry!!!

Sibu's Mitsu durian pastry

Suddenly, the puff pastry of the custard tarts is redelegated to second place! This one is so very fine, so brittle…that it melts in your mouth and yet, it does not crumble in your hand! I do not know if the ones in Kuching have the same kind of filling…but what was inside looked and felt like kaya but tasted somewhat like durian dodol, except that it was not rubbery or chewy like those things you get from Tan Kim Hock (which I do not quite fancy!!!) nor was it too sweet…

Sibu's Mitsu durian pastry - inside

The verdict! Well, should I be going there again, this is one thing that I definitely must have! Between the two of us, we managed 6 laus (storeys) and 2 plates of pastries…

Sibu's Mitsu multi-storey

…and we got another 2 storeys of char siew pau for my mum. All that for around RM40, inclusive of drinks. I would think that’s pretty reasonable for a special dim sum restaurant; at best, it would only be a bit cheaper if you eat at the coffee shops and there is/are none/no nice ones in Sibu, anyway!

So what do you think, Cooking4stp? Dim sum breakfast on the 18th morning??? I wouldn’t mind going there….AGAIN! LOL!!! 

Have you ever (2)…

Have you ever eaten these before ?

Buah pangai

These are called buah pangai in Melanau and if I’m not mistaken, the local Malay name for it is buah bawang (which sounds like onions) and the Foochows call it mawang…which sounds like the name of a local YB’s name mispronounced. LOL!!!

I usually eat it when it is ripe. Inside, it is orange in colour and it is sliced like mango and eaten ulam-style with sambal belacan. As for the taste, it is sort of sourish sweet and something like quinie (the local mango) or buah emplam. Other than that, you may eat it when it is not ripe yet by removing the skin the way Tom (Gundot’s hubby) did it, like this…

Buah pangai peeled

I am positive that’s Tom (not his real name) as I cannot imagine Gundot’s arms being so hairy! ROTFLMAO!!! Then it is chopped into thin strips or pieces like this…

Buah pangai chopped

After than, you pound it with belacan (dried prawn paste), chillies, udang kering (dried prawns) to make the sambal…and serve it with rice. I seem to have lost the remaining two photos that Gundot emailed to me, so I’m afraid there is no pictorial support available. What you’ll get in the end is something sour, hot from the chillies and fragrant from the other ingredients. I guess you can add a bit of sugar if you want, so it will not be too sour to your liking. Anybody would like to share anything of interest on the fruit?

Incidentally, Gundot, I did not lose the other photos that you sent. Perhaps I forgot to click “SAVE” after uploading them onto flickr. I still have this one, for instance… 

Monkeys in the tree

Hey! Just look at those two monkeys in the tree! Hahahahaha!!!

Gosh! It’s mid-week already! How time flies…and in just two days, the weekend will be here again! Well, Clare sent me an MMS early this morning to show off the Wednesday popiah at Handsome Court in Nanas Road (Kuching)…and as it was raining here, I did not go out for breakfast. Instead, I just cooked myself some instant noodles – curry flavour and I threw in a couple of udang galah (freshwater prawns) and an egg…

STP's instant noodles

I sent this via MMS back to Clare and I guess that was enough as a counter-response to what I got from her. She never replied after that! ROTFLMAO!!! So what have the rest of you been eating?…..

Save me…

Groan!!! My head is spinning, probably from replying to all the comments in the previous post…or perhaps, it is due to the intoxicating white wine in the kacang-ma chicken I had for dinner. Anyway, I think I’d better publish a “safe” post next, and what safer thing is there to write about than…..food? LOL!!!

These days, the activists will come up in arms against those who indulge in the consumption of sharks’ fins…but actually, if we think of it, it is quite senseless to spend a fortune on something that is virtually tasteless. What will make it delicious is the soup and the ingredients used in preparing that. So thankfully, more and more people are opting for other alternatives besides sharks’ fins e.g. fish lips or sea cucumber or as in the case of dinner receptions here in Sibu, they are serving the very nutritious herbal black chicken soup instead.

But if you are craving for something that tastes like sharks’ fins soup, you can just hop over to the nearest grocery store and grab a packet of this…

Maggi's packet soup

This is Maggi’s crab and tang hoon soup – only RM2.70 and if you look carefully, it now has 25% less salt and is msg free! It is very easy to prepare! Dissolve the contents in 750 ml. of water and bring it to a boil, stirring continuously. Add 1 tablespoon (or slightly less) of soy sauce to it, and after breaking an egg and beating it, pour it slowly into the boiling soup, beating the soup with a fork or spoon so that the egg will be dispersed. You will get something like this… 

STP's soupy soup

Of course you can improve the taste if you add two or three slices of ginger (or you can cut it into thin strips…but I hate the taste of ginger in the mouth), minced meat or prawns…or even crab meat! Fish lips or sea cucumber is optional as, like sharks’ fins, they make no difference to the taste at all. Sometimes I even add a dash of Foochow red wine…and I assure you it can rival the sharks’ fins soup in many restaurants around!

So hopefully, this practice of eating sharks’ fins soup will eventually fade away…and the scenario where guests judge the value of the dinner you host by the size of the sharks’ fins will be a thing of the past. I HAVE seen somebody at the same table dipping the ladle into the soup to check…and making snide remarks like, “Only cornflour!” Or he/she will say, “Aiyor! As big as my pnee-khang-sai (What’s in your nose, that is!)!!” On the other hand, if there is a substantial amount of sharks’ fins…and huge ones at that, he/she will sneer and cast knowing glances at the friends at the same table as if to say, “Huh! Show off!!! Trying to tell us he/she is so rich!!” Obviously, it is all a matter of “face” and something quite as ridiculous as in the case of some Chinese brides wearing tonnes and tonnes of gold jewellery… ROTFLMAO!!!

(Image received via email and inserted in original post removed for fear  of copyright infringement)

Stand up against cruelty to all living things! Save the sharks!!!