This is one of my favorite places to eat in Sibu. I guess you can call it a dai chow place but over here we just call it “choo chiak” which is literally Hokkien for “cooking food”. I met up with Arthur a couple of hours after we touched down and headed over to this restaurant for lunch.
Ruby Restaurant has a surprisingly rapid turnover for a weekday lunch. I remember eating rice with cooked dishes for lunch when I was working for a short stint in Sibu. You can actually do that, and in fact, a lot of people do. There was a huge group of all-females in office attire occupying a huge table when we were there.
Anyway, when you go to Ruby’s (the Chinese characters for the restaurant apparently means “red ruby”) with Arthur, you’ll be remiss if you didn’t order their coffee. It is made to the exact specifications of Arthur, a bit of a regular here, and it’s really good, thick coffee.
You can actually watch it turn from milky brown to black as the coffee seeps up.
This is midin – a local fern. I can’t find it outside of Sarawak so it’s a must-have dish whenever I go back home. It actually grows in the wild and locals pick and sell it in the local market. It’s crunchy to the bite and very nice when you get it right. That means it should be in the wok for just a short amount of time.
The other vegetable dish that we ordered is what we called mani chai. This leafy vegetable is defoliated from its stalk before cooking – only the leaves are eaten. It’s usually fried with eggs and it’s one of the few vegetable dishes I would eat as a kid…mostly coz of the egg. ;)
Arthur also asked about specials and the chef informed us that they just cooked up a batch of beef curry so ordered that too. It came out in a bowl and the beef curry isn’t overflowing with thin gravy like most Chinese style curry dishes but sat in a thicker, clingy gravy like rendang. I loved it, the beef pieces were tender and the curry is flavorful. There’s even bits of potatoes inside, which goes very well with the curry.
This is the butter cheese prawns and the main reason I like going to Ruby. It’s not dry with sprinkles of deep fried butter on top, but made with a creamy butter sauce that’s heavenly sweet. I have really missed this dish – no one does it better than Ruby, IMHO. The prawns are battered and deep fried before being cooked in butter, resulting in a sweet, rather than salty dish. *drools
It was great to meet up with Arthur again – we had quite a long lunch before he had to go fix his car and it hardly felt more than 30 minutes. Time just flies when you’re catching up with old friends. Thanks for the lunch, Arthur! :)