Old men in coffeeshop

old men talking

I was having breakfast early this morning at an old style Chinese
coffee shop in Padungan when I noticed the next table had a group of
senior citizens reminiscing about the Kuching of yesteryear. My
coworkers told me that they’re regulars in this coffee shop, and it’s
interesting to watch them just sit there every morning, read the
papers, talk (in fluent English) about how Kuching was in the past and
drink their hot coffees. There is a certain sort of charm in this
scene. I like this photo.

Chinese Barbecue Specialist

chinese barbecue specialist

Chinese Barbecue Specialist. It’s a big name to live up to. This
outlet is located at the end of Jalan Padungan and it’s quite famous
for it’s barbecue offerings. I went there for lunch today. This is what
the stall looks like:

chinse barbeque specialist

Apparently, the “e” has fallen off the sign, showing “Chin Se
Barbecue Specialist”, which puzzled me for a while since the shop sign
is Chinese Barbecue Specialist. This is the flagship of the coffee
shop, don’t go asking for steamed chicken or anything like that – this
outlet offers BBQ meat only.

chinese bbq offerings

As you can see, there are several BBQ stuff on offer. You can order
BBQ chicken rice, but to fully appreciate the wonders of barbecue meat,
you have to try the “mixed plate”. There are other BBQ staples like
char siew rice, pork ribs rice, etc. Basically just about anything you
see in the picture above is available in whatever combination you can
think of.

chinese bbq chopping

Your choice (in this case “mixed plate”) is prepared by the proprietor…and it’s delivered to your table:

chinese bbq mixed

There’s the fork and spoon with a napkin, sorry, i mean tissue,
broth, apologies, i mean soup (this joke is getting old, isn’t it? ;)),
sauces and a plate of mixed bbq stuff rice.

chinese bbq closeup

Here’s a closer look at the plate. There’s barbecue chicken (the
white stuff), crispy pork (the brown crispy stuff) and char siew (pork
cuts of an unknown origin). This is all lying on a bed of chicken rice.
It tastes really good, despite the simple appearance.

chinese bbq sauce

These are the two sauces – the BBQ sauce and the chilli sauce. You
want the barbecue sauce (the brown one). This is the secret to a good
BBQ meat meal…the sauce makes the dish (or something). Just liberally
apply the barbecue sauce and you’ll definately enjoy your meal. I like
this place, there’s a homely sort of feel to it, and they serve good
barbecue meat. Do they deserve the “specialist” title? Personally, I
think they do. πŸ™‚

Pizza Ria, Kuching

pizza ria
Pizza Ria @ Da-Light Food Court

This is Pizza Ria, an outlet with meat filled pancakes, pizza,
spaghetti and even combos like 1/4 pizza with spaghetti on a plate. It
used to be at this food court who’s exact name eludes me right now.
That was easily a decade plus in the past though. I know it moved (or a
branch opened up) to Siang Siang Food Court, King Center (?) when I was
studying in Inti College, Kuching (yes, I went through 3 colleges,
don’t ask :p).

pizza ria pancake
The pancake tastes better with a runny egg, this one is overdone.

I am also aware of a Pizza Ria in A La Carte (now defunct) at the
same time, around 97/98. Remember that food court below Star Cineplex?
It was bought out and renamed by Siang Siang, which was aggressively
taking over food courts then, but strangely enough, I haven’t seen any
this time around. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen Pizza Ria
outlets outside of Kuching as well, so it’s probably a local operation.

pizza ria special pancake
This is the Special Pancake with chicken (sausage), beef, cheese and egg. Best eaten with lots of chilli sauce!

It tastes just like the ones I remember – there’s this unique taste
to the pancake that I haven’t experienced in any of the other things
that I’ve eaten. It’s like Ramly burger…no other burgers seem to have
the same taste! I’ll equate Pizza Ria pancakes to that. The thin
pancake is smooth and soft, folded in half, with the meat and vegies
nestled inside. It’s the best savory pancake around. It’s certainly
something on the “must try” list if you happen to drop by Kuching.

I will post again and reply all comments later tonight (after dinner). πŸ™‚ I’ve finally got myself a monitor.

Sin Kwang Foochow Big Pau

foochow big pau

There is a shop in Jalan Padungan selling Foochow Big Paus. I passed
by while driving to work today and decided to check out the place to
see how large these buns actually are. I was not disappointed.

big pau display

There is only one option if you want the big (huge) pau – the
chicken ones. It goes for RM 2 – ask for Chicken Pau (Big) and you’ll
get what you want. Behold the sheer girth of the Foo Chow big pau:

big pau size
Bigger is better!

I’ve put it beside my drink and a couple of coins for a size
comparison. It’s much bigger than the largest offerings of McDonald’s
or Burger King. There’s also one of those squeezable bottles containing
chilli sauce that’s provided with the bun (a pau is a bun containing
meat inside), but IMHO it spoils the taste of the huge chicken paus.

big pau inside

Here’s a photo showing the inside of the big pau. It has chicken
(obviously) and egg. The chicken isn’t the grinded up kind but actual
chicken chunks. I was a little appalled by the size of the bun and the
big pau will be enough as lunch for most people.

Now, if only I could figure out why they call it Foochow Big Pau when all the shop proprietors converse in Hokkien…

Hello from Kuching, Sarawak!

I am now in Kuching…arrived here yesterday, went accomodations
hunting and settled on a RM 300 per month place that’s somewhere near
the Tua Pek Kong temple (have to be vague for the dan’s out there ;)).
It’s a pretty big place, two rooms, two toilets (one is busted though –
previous tenent was a couple who had legendary fights, or so I heard,
altercations so legendary it leaves broken toilet bowls, holes in the
walls and broken doorframes in their wake), kitchen, storeroom etc.
Basically it’s the whole place to myself…rent is a bit steep, the
premium is for privacy.

The other options I had was this RM 200 room in King’s Center on top
of a snooker center and beside a disco, where the other tenents are
mostly waiters/waitresses at the large food court downstairs and a RM
200 room in a nice house a stone’s throw away from King’s Center. I
didn’t go for the former because I can hear the people around me
talking, radios playing etc…sound travels all too well there, because
the rooms are all connected (!) from a shared ceiling space (it’s hard
to describe…imagine toilet stalls, the ones without full coverage
i.e. you can theoretically peek into the next stall from above if
you’re so inclined. it’s like that.). The second one is a little too
tidy, plus I’ll be living with the landlord, and I would not want to
live in a place like that, no privacy at all. Thus, the RM 300 place,
RM 25 per week for privacy. πŸ™‚

Anyway, this is my lunch hour, sorry for the all text entry, didn’t
bring my digicam USB cord along. I’m working somewhere in Padungan
(again obscurity for dan’s benefit) and I ate twice just now – chap fun
+ ABC and then I walked back, and in a spur of the moment decision,
went for belacan bee hoon + teh c peng. I am rather regretting that
now…regurgitation is a word that has been a permanent fixture in my
brain for the last 30 minutes or so, but I shall refrain to the best of
my abilities. πŸ˜‰

Thanks for all the support about the veritas issue everyone, I really appreciate that! πŸ™‚ I’ll update again tomorrow.

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