Archive for March, 2007

Philippines’ Sua Tu Ka

March 27, 2007

This is obviously non-halal and the taste is incomparable!

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The Philippines’ Pork Leg is the most delicious thing in this kopitiam. Well, this is the same kopitiam that serve the crabs in my previous post. This dish is quite big for two persons but it would be perfect for the whole family.

The tu ka is roasted crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside. It is marinated before being roasted. The crispy and aromatic skin of the tu ka is the most sought after part. Best taken with rice. Dip the tender and juicy meat into their special sauce and savour it without the care for the world, you’ll be in heaven!

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It is advisable to suck clean the meat and tendons around the huge bones, they taste as nice. What do you do with the huge bones? Well, I’d advise you to use it to crack open the crab shell with it (if you are not provided with the small hammer)

No, this super-licious porky does not have fat layer under the skin like the usual porky you cook at home because, first of all, it is roasted to crisp and I guess that drains out all the unwanted fat. Savour it while it is hot and you are so going to have the greatest time in heaven. You are sure to beg to come back for this finger-licking tasty tu ka in no time!

The Legendary Crab

March 23, 2007

If you love seafood and you can’t seem to find cheap seafood anywhere, Sibu is THE PLACE for you. But do not mistaken Sibu for THIS:

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This is THE PLACE somewhere in Damansara but no, this is not Sibu. *slaps self* What the hell am I rambling about!!!

Now, I said, Sibu is THE PLACE for you to indulge yourself with fresh seafood. You can get them yiu pi, yiu chi, but don’t know many or not lah! Fresh seafood is widely available in the market, restaurants and eatery around Sibu. Well, if you are a sucker for fresh crabs (cooked, of course) there is one place you must visit if you are looking for cheap ones.

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Tempting enough?

You get to pay only RM17 for 1kg of crab. Cooked to your taste, you are going to have a great time here. This kopitiam is located near the Sibu Bus Terminal behind the UOB Bank. The whole groundfloor of the building block is conquered by the crab owner. The business is so good here a lot of times you can see families waiting outside the kopitiam just to grab a table to consume this delicious creature. You never know what Sibu people might do just to get a taste of this yummylicious delight.

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You can have them cooked in black pepper, Mongolian style (like the one in the picture – sweet and aour), typically foochow style with egg, etc. *drools*

Crabs here are pretty much alive and kicking before they are brutally murdered to satisfy your drumming stomach. But if you straigtaway send them into the boiling water, they will shed their legs and claws and I am sure as hell that they are suffering. You don’t wanna see those suffering yummy little thing, do you? But not killing the crab before you cook them will make the meat tough and they do not taste nice anymore.

Now forget about the slaughtering scene, you wouldn’t want to know. But once the dish is cooked, they’ll serve it straight to your table, hot, so that you can enjoy this to-die-for dish with great abundance! Yes, this kopitiam does provide small hammer for you to knock off people who want to steal your crab crack the shell open to have the heavenly taste of the white tender meat of the crab.

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Worry not about getting your fingers messy and all that. That’s the way people eat crab here and it enhances the taste of your crabs! Sibu folks travel long and far (if their house is located at Lanang, Ulu Oya, Teku or anywhere at the end of the town) just to savour this delicious dish! RM17 per kg is so worth it.

*Quickly check Air Asia for the next flight back to Sibu*

Sibu signature crown of glory: Kampua

March 19, 2007

Gather around again, my dear Sibu kia…

This is the moment we have all been waiting for. The sight of it makes the almost-asleep you awake immediately. The smell of it, man, you just cannot resist. *Drools. The taste of it is purely heaven!

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Yet another Foochow delight, this mouth-watering dish has put Sibu on Sarawak’s map. When you mention Kampua, people will think Sibu. This ever popular dish has made its way throughout Malaysia but the best Kampua is still the Kampua found back home i.e. Sibu.

A lot of myth has come about this innocent Kampua Mee. People thought Kampua Mee is something like kon loh meen in Peninsular Malaysia. The truth is, far from it. The structure, the taste, the ingrdients, etc are totally different. Another misconception about this dish is that Kampua Mee is another version of Kuching Kolo Mee. Well, something like that, but still far from the truth.

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Widely available in almost every kopitiam in Sibu, you can order your Kampua to your taste. You can opt for the plain light soy sauce or black soy sauce, with or without the sliced char siew, or substitute with bian sit (wantan). A plate of this lard-laden noodle is only RM1.80 with char siew and RM1.50/RM1.60 without char siew. Cheap isn’t it? Where else can you find such cheap dish?

Sibu kias far away from home usually crave for Kampua when they are away. And they must down a plate of this delicious spring-y mee upon touchdown of the plane on the runway. LOL!!! True or not? Kampua mee has indeed find its place in the heart of Sibu kias, young or old.

They say a picture says a thousand words. I am sure Sibu kias have a lot to say about Kampua so I won’t say much about it here except that: YOU HAVEN’T SAVOURED SIBU UNTIL YOU HAVE TAKEN KAMPUA!

I am so going to fly back to Sibu first thing tomorrow morning liao. DANG!

*Best Kampua in Sibu:
– Sing Long Cafe (behind Rejang Medical Centre)
– Choon Seng Cafe (new block at Sg. Merah, the best Sarawak Laksa is also there)
– A kopitiam behind Technique Music school at Jalan Pedada on the way to hospital
– Aloha Corner (also got best Sarawak Laksa here – but I think the Kampua so so only lor)

Tien Pien Hu: The unique Foochow delight

March 18, 2007

Sibu kia, gather around…

Now I am sure here is something that Sibu people will agree with me on especially the Foochows. This dish very Foochow, by the Foochow and for the Foochow – not only for the Foochow because this dish is enjoyed by human from all walks of life. Agree?

Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together…..the unique TIEN PIEN HU!!!

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Tien Pien Hu can be found almost anywhere in Sibu. This dish has somehow found its way to Kuching as well because Sibu Foochows has been migrating to Kuching since they arrived in Sibu from China. LOL!!!

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Tien Pien Hu is neither noodle nor porridge. See…the tien pien hu is made of rice starch. The way they prepare this dish is unique too.

Pre-prepared meat bone soup is poured into a heated wok. Then cooking oil is applied to the side of the wok followed by scoopes of rice starch solution which must be layered very thinly on the side of the wok. Repeat the applying cooking oil step before removing the almost cooked rice starch from the side of the wok. Continue boiling the whole thing and throw in some black fungus, salt, fishballs, vei chin, just to name a few, to give superb taste to the special dish.

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In Sibu, the secret of the best tien pien hu lies in the homemade fishball. The one and only shop that sells the best tien bian hu in Sibu is situated at the corner at the old bus station. Next door to the kopitiam where there was a guy being shot to death a few years back. I dunno the name but I can proudly show you the place when you come to Sibu. The shop has been around since my dad was a kid and he’s 50+ years old already.

The fishballs are so springy and they actually go ‘toing toing’ when you bite into them. Those fishballs couldn’t be found elsewhere in the world. They are the owner’s family secret recipe. They do not sell the fishballs separately.

Tien Bian Hu has been my all time favourite. Take it for breakfast, you’ll crave for the second serving. I do that all the time!

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Sprinkle some Sarawak pepper and add some vinegar, you’ll have the taste of your life!

Now who wants another Tien Bian Hu?

Sarawak Laksa Indulgence

March 17, 2007

Hear ye, hear ye!

Sarawakians will definitely agree with me that Sarawak Laksa is the best laksa in the world. Because you either like it or love it! LOL!!!

The state’s signature dish must be dished up pipping hot in a crowded, noisy and dirty kopitiam anywhere in Sarawak, be it Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu or Miri (just to name a few).

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Take one bowl of this delicious thick soup gravy, whose primary ingredient is the santan also known as coconut milk as well as enough amount of pungent spices, you will go straight to heaven! Hahaha! But cardiologists will have nigtmares for weeks! The amount of cholesterol swimming in the yummy soup will make them go crazy I am sure. Now, I do not want to spoil your mood to crap about health conscious bullshits, let us just concentrate on the dish alright?

Sarawak Laksa is the quintessential kopitiam dish. It is also one of the most sublime breakfasts known to man. The typical noodle used in the laksa is freshly made vermicelli (say vermicelli and nobody knows what you are talking about) a.k.a. bee hoon or any other noodle to your preference but I personally love it with you mee (the noodle for mee goreng)

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This mouth-watering delight are garnished with generous helpings of sliced omelette or egg, fresh prawns, shredded chicken meat. Usually served with small platlet containing a lime and a spoonful of belacan. Laksa-eating expert always squeeze the lime into the belacan to mix them up before pouring the pungent mixture into the laksa before savouring them.

Sarawak Laksa is nothing like Penang Laksa or any laksa found in Peninsular Malaysia. I mean, they are nothing if compare to Sarawak Laksa. Sarawakians, agree or not? *flashing peace sign. The taste is beyond description. I wonder why a lot of folks from the Peninsular Malaysia raised an eyebrow or smirked when I mention that the gravy of the Sarawak Laksa is made of santan. Hah! That is REAL food ok!

I have to say this: You have not savoured Sarawak until you have tasted Sarawak Laksa.

*Laksa lover’s guide to Sibu:
– Aloha Corner (opposite Guardian Pharmacy near Tai Kiong)
– Choon Seng Cafe (the first kopitiam at the new block in Sungai Merah)
– above Central Market

*Laksa lover’s guide to Kuching:
– Chong Choon Cafe (Abell Road, opposite Maybank)
– Choon Hui Cafe (Ban Hock Road, near Grand Continental Hotel)
– Min Hong Kee (Pandungan Road, past the police station)
– Kapit Cafeteria (Pandungan Road, below Kapit Hotel)
– Tiger Garden Laksa (Jalan Green Hill, opposite Chinese Primary School)

*For more information, ask the locals, they know which one is the best. Do NOT consult the travel brochures. The Tourism Board knows nuts about this kind of things.

Midin: The Sarawak special

March 16, 2007

Sarawak is famous for being stereotyped as under-developed, ulu, sua pa, all those jungle and forest related words you can think of. Now looking down on Sarawak’s jungle and rivers means you are looking for trouble, you could have been beaten up into pulp or even beheaded – Sarawak was known as The Land of Head Hunters.

Do you know why? Well, basically, rivers and forests in Sarawak have huge influence in the lives of the indigenous people where they relied very much on forest for food, medicine, building materials, etc while the rivers serve their purpose to give food, water, sanitation as well as means of transport to the local folks.

Forest fern has a special place in the heart diet of local people. One of which is known as the MIDIN is a MUST when you visit Sarawak.

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Midin is something like the pucuk paku but it is not pucuk paku, far from it. Midin grows wild in the secondary forests and is peculiar to the state.

It has curly fronds and is very crunchy even after it has been cooked. Only the tender tips of the fern is used in cooking. It is much sought after for its crisp texture and great taste. In fact, midin is a nutritious vegetable. Midin is uaually served in two equally delicious ways – fried with garlic or belacan. I personally prefer the third way of preparing midin – the Foochow style i.e. fried with ginger and appropriate amount of red wine! The taste is superb!

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Today, the midin is widely available in the market. A fist-sized bundle costs less than RM2. We simply love this dish. It is enjoyed by all. A lot of eateries have midin on their menu, usually stir-fried with sambal belacan.

Unfortunately, midin is not fond of travelling so it only stays fresh up to two days after harvesting. Therefore, Sarawak is largely the only place to try midin dishes.

Gluttonous attack on Dim Sum

March 15, 2007

After the Bloggers Together Gather Party, the first blogger that I met took me to this place (I forgot the name) for a Dim Sum breakfast.

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The restaurant is located somewhere in this building near the stage here under an escalator

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This restaurant has typical Chinese-style decor and the ambience is so cool and comfortable with the live band playing on the stage with soothing music. This gives pure calmness to the soul.

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This is how the interior looks like with all the wooden carvings, decorations, tables and chairs.

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Even the eating equipment they use is typically Chinese

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These were all the food that we ordered. Yes, they were for two person, don’t be so surprised.

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Now, let me introduce the dishes one at a time. This yummy-looking fella here is called The Carrot Cake. The deep-fried cake sprinkled with spring onions looks simply delicious and make sure you taste it while its still hot to get the right taste at the right time.

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If you love prawns and cheese, this dish is a MUST for you. Wrapped in beancurd skin, fresh prawns and melted cheese are there to greet your tastebuds once you take a bite. The aroma of crispy beancurd mixed with cheesy prawns just spread in your mouth without mercy that you’ll crave for more. I simply love this dish! It’s like having multiple orgasms with every bite you take.

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Har Kau is a must for dim sum lovers, no? I couldn’t resist the temptation to get my teeth into this yummylicious har kau. The best har kau is the one with transparent, smooth skin that does not stick to your teeth when you have a bite. Not forgetting the freshness and juiciness of the prawns.

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If seafood is your best friend, this dish is irresistible. I cannot remember the name of this dish. This is pure seafood and is wrapped in fried egg. The sliced thing on top of the dim sum is not ginger. They are shark’s fin! A lot of people will agree with me that the freshness of the seafood matters the most. This is just fresh and the taste is beyond description. You have to taste it to believe it.

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Sio Bee or Siew Mai always come together with Har Kau, therefore it is a MUST as well. I just love sio bee especially those with tender, spring-y ones everytime you bite into them. Though not the best I’ve tasted so far but you have nothing to lose to taste this one.

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The crispy yam with chicken filling. The feeling of bitting into the crunchy and crisy yam layer is simply ecstatic! But the chicken filling inside just so-so only. Main focus is still on the yam.

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Char Siew is also a must when you have dim sum. But it is very hard to find the perfect char siew. The char siew here is not what I expected since the other dishes tasted so damn nice. Oh, did I mention that this restaurant is fully HALAL? Now you know, chicken is used instead of pork. So the so-called ‘char siew’ is not up to my expectation.

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Last but not least, SEAFOOD PORRIDGE is simply to-die-for. It looked plain and tasteless but when you dig it, you’ll find some huge prawns, scallops and abalone swimming in there somewhere. The porridge taste so good that you’ll give up sex other food altogether. LOL!

Down all that with hot tea. We ordered a pot of chrysanthemum tea. Now, that’s what I call a complete meal. BURPS~!

Damage done: approx. RM100

*faint*