Thursday, July 31, 2008


Roast Pork Shoulder

This was to be our last supper at this place, as there were whispers going 'round that the shutters would be going down for the last time pretty soon.; I have seen the 'For Sale' sign somewhere along Jalan Tuanku Osman.

In true Da Vinci fashion, we were seated in an elongated table, all 15 of us - followers of the Tham Chiak sect. This was a premeditated dinner, reserved a week in advance with the quintessential dishes ordered in advance, with final adjustments made a day before.

Breaded Shrimps

Apart from the Bruchetta and the shrimps tapas, potatoes accompaniment and salad, which were culled from its menu; the rest of the meats were non-standard fare. Fortunately, there were those among us who have had intimate dining rapport with the chef to cajole him to spring such off-the-cuffers; they take a couple of hours gestation period to in the oven, and that's why pre-order was a necessity.

Baked Potatoes & Salad

Due to the size of our party, there was no corkage charge on the wine we brought along. Wish they hadn't served the food so fast, and allow us savor the finger food with the wine before the mains arrived. Strangely on that particular night, customers kept streaming in like never before; probably those whispers had generated into talk of the town. Whatever it was, if they didn't quickly dispose of our order out of the kitchen, there would be a back log once the other order started coming in.

Roast Pork Knuckle

Hence, before we could chowed down on our salad, the knuckle arrived and was carved before us. Then the lamb, followed by the pork shoulder in quick succession. Hardly had time for a breather.

In a town like Sibu, it's not your every day's find of such follies - to some it's pearls before swine.; though they may not the best to be had, but it's like pulling a rabbit out of the hat - not many can pull that off. Sadly, it has come to pass and becomes the annals of historical eats. This place reminds me of a sign posted outside a restaurant along Orange Avenue, CT.: "Come in, or we'll both starve!" Guess, no one is reading the sign here, and discover the treasure trove they have in their own backyard.

Roast Leg Of Lamb

After the last supper, is there gonna be a second coming, you might ask? Well, coming once at such food orgy is good enough... it might seem tame compared to scenes from Monty Python's "Meaning of Life", but good enough for us country bumpkins.

I'm aware of people complaining of its price to the quantity of food served here. Before anyone jumps on the gun of accusing me of being bias, here's my sentiment on food and its cost without any religious overtone...

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear its not too late

Words - adapted from the Bible, Book of Ecclesiastes
Music - Pete Seeger

Source: Turn, Turn, Turn By The Byrds

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


This is a quick and simple dish that requires no frying or steaming... just stick it into the oven. It is poached in chicken stock while being baked at the same time in the oven. It has a wet and dry feel to the fish.

The fish I used is a
¾" thick steak of Threadfin (Ikan Kurau), which has a firm texture.

1 Fish Steak • 2 Stalks Green Onion • 2 Dried Mushroom 1 Chilli • 1 Tsp. Sa'Cha Sauce • 1 Tsp. Sugar • 1 Tbsp. Light Soy Sauce • 2 Tbsp. Oil

Dice green onions, chilli and mushroom, and put into a bowl.

Add 1 tsp. of Sa'Cha Chiang (Taiwanese BBQ sauce), 1 Tbsp. of light soy sauce, 1 tsp. of sugar and 2 tbsp. of cooking oil (sunflower oil).

Mix the brunoise well.

Wash and pat dry the fish cutlet, and lay it out on a baking dish. Spread the brunoise over the top of the fish.

Pour in ½ cup of chicken stock around the fish, covering ½ the thickness of the fish.

Stick the fish into a preheated oven of 200°C for 15 minutes.

Spoon the stock over the top of the fish before serving.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I made a side trip to Sarikei on the last trip to Sibu; met up with WillChua (left) for lunch to have a fabulous crustacean delight everyone was writing about (here, here and here). This was my first encounter with the big guy, and any blogger for that matter. I asked him to meet me at Wen Wen Café, and he didn't know where it was when it's just 2 doors down from his father's shop; apparently he wasn't aware of its change of name despite having patronize the place numerous times - the things we take for granted; don't realize its significance until it's gone...

The noodle here have the usual Foochow Char-Zi (used in reverse here due to the procedure of cooking). We opted for the Tom-Yam flavor with the round yellow noodle (Hokkien noodle to some). The soup was fury hot, but still manageable ( I didn't resort to scratching my head); one would assume a Foochow town is not 'susceptible' to hot stuff - it's a fallacy - then again this is not your usual kind of town... I digress. The soup was luscious; you see the abundant lemongrass there, it had a strong citrusy tang to it. No doubt the shrimps were fresh - steeped in the soup just right to absorb essence of the Tom-Yam.

Having just said about taking things for granted... well, I was chauffered around town and the meal paid for by the good Will... I forget to take note the name of the street and the cost of the meal (impolite to ask). If you look at the above links you'll get a fair shake of where the place is at and the cost of the bowl of noodle.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Pre-requisite 1st dish: Chinese Appetizers

This time we have a pre-ordered RM350 per table dinner. Whatever came to our dinner table is a mystery, as everything was a the chef's hand, and we have no part in determining the food except for paying the check.

One thing for sure was that the dishes were bigger than the ones we ordered a la carte. There was ample stuff to feed ten hungry mouths... and then some more. However, one thing still remains constant - its service
(or rather lack of any); still as awful as the previous encounter. But we'd come prepared this time; we put on our thick skin, and pestered the waitresses until we got what we wanted, rather than idly waited until kingdom came. The tactics sure worked!

Mukah Umai (raw fish) with Rojak (shrimp paste) sauce

The umai was brought one of the fellows who just return from Mukah, which is famous for it brand of raw fish. The fish used was Teburok, which has lots of tiny bones, but the way the fish was so thinly sliced through the bones, one hardly feels any thorny issue. The sauce is a deviant from the normal lime mix, in a way, a bit over-powering.

Bejing Duck

The duck was the same as last time, but Champion, being what he is, detected a bit of sogginess in the meat and texture, due to being prepared way ahead of time. I think it's the delay-dallying of the front staff contributes a lot to the timing of the food being brought out to the customers.

Herbal Chicken Soup

This tiny ginseng infused soup seemed to have all the tonic-packed properties in its content. The soup in mainly the source of contention; I didn't attempt to bite into the chicken and herbal bits.


The preparation of the fish was the same as the last time except the fish is different.

Braised Sea Cucumber

Some dishes can stand the test of time; like the one above, but most are best eaten fresh off the wok, like the one below, which was neither crispy for the shrimps, nor the fried stuffed dough, which was soggy - cooked way ahead of time.

Tea Fried Shrimps and Fried Stuffings

Yam Paste Biscuit

The yam biscuits was something I haven't seen before; yam paste sandwiched between 2 biscuits, coated with sesame seeds and then deep fried. I was told the chef served in Sheraton Restaurant and Sri Meranti before coming to this one. I suppose, both of those restaurants have the same creation.

Fruit Platter

The thing about this set menu is that there is enough food to go around, you have no inkling on the food you gonna get, and they tend to be the same and predictable over time.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Kampua With Shrimp Wonton

The last time I bumped into D'lady at Home Café, she mentioned that her Kampua was once voted one of the best in town by some newspaper or something... Hmmm, this I gotta try! That explains the noodle below. Best in town? That's stretching it a bit...

Anyway, there's a silver lining... my brother's Kampua classic with shrimp wonton looks delicious. There's a whole shrimp under the wrapping, much like a Har'Gao.

Yong Tofu

Its Yong Tofu is one of its must try as the place is known of its fishballs. Didn't have any fried koay teow this time... that's explains the 4 sisters sitting there shooting the breeze.

Kampua With Dark Soy Sauce

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Oxtail Stew

This was our first visit after a long spell, and it has since moved from its previous location next to the Simpang Tiga flyover; now it's located at the new block behind King's Centre.

The restaurant is a cross between east and west food culture: cooking western inspired dishes in a Chinaman's way, and eating them that way too - with rice in a bowl. This restaurant has been around for quite sometime, only going upscale a bit in its present swanky form, but minus the pretentious food getup of some of the more recent rash of chic concept restaurants.

Grilled Cheese Shrimps

Grilled Eggplant

It's certainly a change from your normal zi-char seafood eatery... much along the vein of Simon's Seafood at Sekama, as they are brothers. Er, this one is no Peter Parker... this one wields a rather sharp knife as we would soon discover. Ouch!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


For some earth shattering taste, this is some hot chick! But put asunder any misgiving you might have for this chick of fury. Its looks may be menacing, but its bites are just as pleasing to the palate as they are able to clear any sinuses; it's a contradiction in taste over perception.

The cooking method is simplicity in itself, with uncomplicated ingredients: as the name implies, just chicken and chillies. As in most Chinese meat cuts, they are bite-size that are easily handled with chopsticks without the use of knife to cut them into smaller size. The Szechuan peppercorn has its distinct fragrance to add another dimension to the dish.

Marinating the chicken is the same as the claypot scallop chicken rice minus the ginger and garlic.


1 Chicken Breast

1 Egg White

1 Clove Garlic

20 Dried Chillies

1 Tbsp.Szechuan Peppercorn

1 Tbsp. Shao Hsing Wine

1 Tsp. Sesame Oil

Beat the egg white until frothy. Dump the marinated chicken into the egg white to have them fully coated.

In a wok of hot oil, blanch them of a minute. Remove and strain off the oil.

Heat up 4 tbsp. of oil, and fry the Szechuan peppercorn for a while to extract its aroma, before putting in the dried chillies. Stir and toss to get the sizzle form the chillies. Add in the garlic; fry to a golden color.

Add in the blanched chicken. Mix well with the other ingredients.
Pour in about 2 tbsp. of dark soy sauce to colorize the chicken. Toss to have a even color throughout.

If the chicken is a bit dry, add some water to moisturize.
Spoon the red wine around... then a few drops of sesame oil.
Finally add a splash of cornflour slurry to give the chicken a nice glow..
Give another few stirs and then serve.

Mantou (steamed buns) is a good accompaniment instead of rice.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Had breakfast with Bonkersz of the Flaccid Mind.
Funny, the picture of him came out like a Magritte's painting.
I just remove the background to highlight the surreal nature.
Life imitating art?

Monday, July 21, 2008


Wonton With Hot & Sour Soup

On the second visit I thought I'd better try something different from the last order, even though we ordered the obligatory beef noodle. I had the wonton in hot and sour soup. The skin of the wonton is self-made, as obvious from its thicker wrapper. Also its filling is ampler than the meager Foochow wrap. The soup is like the Szechuan hot and sour soup, albeit minus the hot stuff.

My brother, who was back on his school break, took the trouble of flipping the Wok Tiak over from its seared sides for photographic purpose; I think they look better ugly side up. Btw, the lady serving us said that some of the customers complained on the noodle's price compared to the good ol' Kampua. How does one prosper in this town beyond the Kampua?

WokTiak & Beef Noodle Soup


As the name implies, it's all about nothing! Kongkaying is like grasping in the air - more like hot air with occasional fartulence. Hopefully, something aromatic will come out of it! If not...

May the Farce be With You!


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