Old Shop review

old shop cafe

Old Shop is the strangely named cafe along Jalan Padungan than
embraces the old days in the decor while maintaining a modern menu
repertoire. It blends well into the existing old and moldy looking
architecture of the old part of Jalan Padungan.

old shop interior

Old Shop or lau tien as it is simple called in Chinese is
usually packed at nights and yesterday night was no different. It
offers a menu which lists anything from NZ Tenderloin Steaks to local
fare. They also serve alcohol. Old Shop is indeed a place of contrasts
between the new and the old.

old shop pictures

The walls of the interior are decorated with the occasional black
and white picture which shows Kuching back in the old days. Yet, the
back of the cafe is filled with a full bar serving alcohol. The place
is contradictory, and it pulls it off well. It embraces both the past
and the present.

old shop noodles

Well, despite all the customers ordering mostly Western fare, it has
been my policy to try out the eating establishment’s flagship dishes
first, and I tend to lean in favor of the dishes that are named after
the cafe or restaurant. The above shows Old Town Fried Noodles. Please
ignore the baked cockles in the frame, there were eight of us who went
there last night and we ordered baked cockles to eat.

old shop noodles flash

Going back to the Old Town Fried Noodles, with a flash shot this
time, it tastes really good. I squeezed the lime onto my spoon (to
separate the lime juice from the pips – this is the old skool way to do
it) and splashed it liberally on the fried noodles before eating it. It
tasted wonderful, it’s salty and there’s enough seafood and meat to
give it a good texture.

old shop rice

Since I was pretty hungry, I also ordered the Old Town Fried Rice.
That’s the only two dishes that are named after the place, so I figured
I might as well eat the both of them.

old shop rice flash

Here’s a clearer shot of the Old Town Fried Rice. It is fried in the
same sauce that gives the fried noodles such a great and different
taste. There are treasures like bits of prawn, cuttlefish, sotong and
meat hidden inside to surprise you. It tastes good and it’s good value
for money at RM 4.50.

old shop durian

I finished the meal off with Durian Shaved Ice. It’s a mountain of
shaved ice with the usual suspects inside, topped off with a liberal
dousing of fresh durian paste.

old shop durian flash

My friends asked me whether the fresh durian paste is really fresh.
It’s not. I didn’t have time to go to the toilet this morning and I can
feel the Durian Shaved Ice screaming “Let me out!” right now. Excuse

Miri trip report – Miri City Fan, Canada Hill, The Grand Old Lady

miri airport

This is the write-up of my trip to Miri, which is an hour’s flight
from Kuching. This is a business trip so I didn’t have time to go look
around the city much, but considering the limited time, I’m glad I
managed to visit as many places as I did. We went straight for the
presentation upon touch down on Miri airport (which looks remarkably
like a small scale version of KLIA).

miri yu lan plaza

Miri has changed a lot since the last time I was here…there’s a
lot of new structures coming up. This is all in line with her aim of
becoming a Resort City by 2005. I only managed to see a bit of the old
part of town (Miri is built like a satellite town, with multiple
satellites) after the presentation.

miri the oil town

There is this sign on a hotel that says The Oil Town
which is what Miri is famous for – the petroleum industry. There has
been a change to concentrate more on tourism in the past decade or so

miri taiwan restaurant

I had lunch at Miri Taiwan Restaurant after the
presentation. This was where I met Joanne, and she asked me what I
ordered, and I said Mah Jong Noodles and she told me it doesn’t taste
good and told me what the specialty dish was, but I promptly forgot to
change my order as soon as we got off the phone. Must have been the
Xanax. :p

miri drunken lady

I ordered Drunken Lady for the drink, which is a concoction of fruit
juices. No alcohol though, blatant false advertising. πŸ˜‰ I appreciate
the thirst quenching nature of the drink though, that day in Miri was
hot and I was in a suit!

miri mahjong noodles

This is the Mah Jong Noodles that I ordered. It’s not as bad as I
thought, but I wouldn’t call it good either. It was alright, that’s all
I can say. It’s a noodle based dish with gravy underneath and neat
piles of very thinly grated cucumber, carrots, and water chestnut
together with shredded fried eggs.

miri city fan

It was straight to a site survey after that, which took most of the afternoon, and I managed to visit the Miri City Fan
in the evening. Miri City Fan Park is dubbed as an “award winning fan
shaped (aerial view makes it look like a fan) sculpted park”. It looks
remarkably similar to the Suria KLCC park…

miri formal garden

This is the Formal Garden, which has a fountain in the middle of it.
It’s carefully planned and developed with pathways lined with well
maintained brushes. It marks the beginning of Miri City Fan park (the
top most part of the fan).

miri pustaka miri

Pustaka Miri, which is an IT library of sorts, stands beside it with
its imposing architectural design. It is also known as the Miri
Resource Center.

miri chinese garden

The Chinese Garden flanks the other side of the Formal Garden.

miri chinese garden shrubs

The Miri City Fan park has several themed parks and this is one of them. It has a lot of water and shrubbery native to China.

miri chinese garden bridge

There are two small bridges to cross the pond in this garden, which leads to…

miri chinese garden temple

…a Chinese temple of sorts.

miri garden of vision

This is the Garden of Vision, which is supposedly the largest amphitheatre in Malaysia.

miri amphitheatre

It has wooden seats molded into the grassy surface and the acoustics
is supposed to be very good for an amphitheatre of this scale, if what
the brochure says is true.

miri musical fountain

This is the Musical Fountain at the back of the Garden of Vision. It
wasn’t on when we were there; I think it only operates at night.

miri civic promenade

This is the “tip” of the Miri City “fan”. Think of the fans you see
at satay stalls and you get what I mean. It’s called The Civic
Promenade and marks the end of the Miri City Fan. You can see the Miri
Civic Center building at the back, the Miri City Fan park is not as
large as I thought.

miri promenade walls

The Civic Promenade is flanked with walls of sculptured art.

miri promenade sculpt

It features various scenes, the most relevant of all being this one showing the petroleum industry depicted in clay.

miri promenade sign

There’s a plaque under each molded scene. This one says “The scene
of early discovery of petroleum in Sarawak and the traditional way of
petroleum processing”.

miri islamic garden

The last part of Miri City Fan that we visited is the Islamic Garden.

miri islamic dome

The main feature of this garden is this mosque dome structure.

miri islamic light

The stained glass panel has an interesting display of lights at the right angle.

miri canada hill

Next up, we went to Canada Hill, which overlooks
the whole of Miri (coastal and town areas) and has an important bit of
history attached to it to boot. I’ve wanted to visit this place and
wasn’t sure there was time, but as luck would have it, we still had a
couple of hours to burn before our flight. This was the last place in
Miri we visited before getting a seafood dinner and flying back.

miri the grand old lady

Meet The Grand Old Lady. This is the first oil well in Malaysia and it’s located on Miri Canada Hill.

miri grand old lady

I’m glad I managed to take a photo of this one. The 1st oil well in
Malaysia is depicted here in all of its glory. There’s a lot of detail
to this structure.

miri grand old lady people

There are four clay dittos straight out of the kiln machine which
pictures the way petroleum was obtained in the old days. There are two
people on each side of a pole who manually turns it around for drilling
into the earth for oil.

miri grand old lady me

Well, actually, there were three on one side that day, thanks to yours truly. I’m just doing my part, sharing the workload, being a team player and all that. πŸ˜‰

miri grand old lady history

There are also moulded depictions on the walls of The Grand Old
Lady, which depicts petroleum mining throughout the ages. Historical
stuff, basically.

miri grand old lady thing

There is also a mechanism of some sort, which was used back in the
old days of petroleum mining beside The Grand Old Lady, as the Miri Oil
Well Number 1 is fondly dubbed.

miri canada hill seats

There are also concrete seats on Canada Hill which allows people to
sit and see the coastline of Miri as well as the entire town. You can
actually see the entire city of Miri from up here; it’s supposed to be
the tallest point in Miri. Here’s a video clip of the view from Canada
Hill in Miri:


Download: Miri scenic view [sixthseal.com]

It took all of my willpower not to make a calm running commentary
and then suddenly shout at the top of my lungs: “OH MY GOD, THERE’S AN

miri canada hill end

I badly wanted to do that, but I was with my CFO and his friend and I doubt they would find it as amusing as I would. πŸ˜‰

Joanne from Miri

joanna fong 1

I’ve known Joanne and her bf Robin for quite a while, and since I
was in Miri today (just got back home), I called and made plans to meet
up…which proved to be quite a logistical challenge due to my
extremely tight schedule. It was straight to the presentation after the
plane touched down on Miri and I knew there were two other site surveys
to squeeze in, thus we decided to meet at 12:30 pm.

joanna fong 2

The problem is, I didn’t know where I would be at 12:30 pm and the
CFO that went to the Miri presentation with me had a friend who took us
out to lunch and I didn’t think it would be polite to ask, so I was on
the cell with Joanne while I was sitting in my CFO’s friend’s car at
the same time Joanne is driving down from Curtin, trying to coordinate
things, basically doing a running commentary on where to meet up:

Okay, I’m passing by Mega Hotel now.
I’m looking at this shopping center right now, its red…
Hang on, we’re turning…
Right, the car I’m on is back in Mega Hotel…
Turning into this…side road
I see a coffeeshop called Phua Chu Kang
Okay, we’ve stopped…we’re entering the one beside it
Miri Taiwan Restaurant…that’s where I’m now.

It was crazy…heh! Anyway, she said she’ll be there in 5 minutes
and I doing this “eating my noodles real slow” thing to stall for time,
and then Joanne sent me a message to tell me she was outside. Perfect
timing. It was so funny. πŸ™‚

Anyway, I excused myself from the table and went out to talk to her.
She’s really nice, and my friend (whom I was surprised to find in Miri)
took this photo for us. Thanks for taking the time to come all this way
for a 5 minute meet up, Joanne! It was great to meet up with you. I
wish I could have met with Robin too, I would have loved to talk to him
too. Nice people, they’re a nice couple.

joanna fong 3

Anyway, I just came back from Miri, so I’m hitting the sack coz today has been a really long day…I’ll reply all the comments and write the full report about my trip to Miri tomorrow. The Sandman awaits me…

Me, myself and Irene

me myself and irene

Meet Irene. I went to her place after work just now so I could get
my presentation handouts bound (our office’s binding machine decided to
take a leave of absence). I know, the whole scenario sounds so
ludicrous, it’s almost like a cover up story or something, but I swear
to God, the office’s binding machine really wasn’t there. :p

This is the first time I’ve met her, she’s really nice and has this
really good looking tattoo on her shoulder. I should have taken a photo
of it, it looks great, but I forgot coz I was in a rush. She gave me a
pack of Sobranie Mints before I left; I’m looking forward to reviewing
it when I come back.

I have to get up early tomorrow for my flight to Miri for the
presentation. I’m going to hit the sack now; tomorrow’s a really
important day. See ya.

NYE ’04 @ Harbor

nye04 harbor

Here’s a late report of my New Year’s Eve 2004 celebration. We went
to a lot of places, which were full and finally settled for Harbor.

Download: NYE ’04 [sixthseal.com]


The place was packed as well, but the atmosphere was great. Whole
bunch of party animals there and someone brought along some industrial
grade fireworks and set it off right in front of the club…in the
middle of the road. Heh!

nye04 wasted

It was crazy, and I got so wasted I took two days to recover. :p

Anyway, I’m leaving for Miri on a business trip tomorrow. I’ll be doing a presentation, wish me luck!

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