We were both down with the flu last weekend so we didn’t go out
much. We’re both still recovering. Influenza will mess you up for at least 2
weeks. There’s been a virulent strain going around this year. You can hear
coughs and runny noses in the office and LRT/MRT and people start falling sick.
We even ran a fever for a couple of days, but we’re both much better now.
We headed over to the USJ 4 Bazaar Ramadan late Saturday afternoon. My experience tells me the best time to go is around 5 pm. That’s when all the stalls are running in full gear (but also when the crowd is at its peak). USJ 4 is the closest big Ramadan bazaar. I believe the biggest in Klang Valley is either in Shah Alam or Kelana Jaya.
I was tempted by this huge cucur udang so I got one at RM 5. It’s
more like a pancake udang. That’s how big the thing was. Unfortunately, it was
too doughy and thick so I didn’t enjoy it. I had to pack the leftovers into my
lunch box for the next two days. It also looked like they had huge prawns in
the cucur but compared to the sheer amount of dough, the shrimp was almost
One of the most tempting drinks in a Ramadan bazaar is the mango juice. This is an upgraded version with sweet mango cubes and vanilla ice cream piled on top. I’ve had these drinks at pasar malam before but they’re usually watered down and dismal. I had one just a couple of months ago with Mandy at the Setia Alam pasar malam. We were both disappointed. We got watermelon juice this time instead and loved it.
The longest queue at USJ 4 Bazaar Ramadan each year belongs to the
nasi briyani run by Arabs at the very end of the bazaar. They always have an
insane number of people lining up for their food! I tried it last year and it
was decent, but not something I’ll spend 30 minutes under the hot sun waiting
in line for. I gave it a pass this year. The murtabak opposite this stall also
has a long line of people.
I also got a Roti John Beef Special with Egg and Cheese for RM 11. For the uninitiated, Roti John is a long submarine bun filled with savory minced meat (usually beef or chicken) and wrapped with a thin egg. It’s then slathered with black pepper sauce, mayo and chilli sauce. I enjoy eating this calorie bomb, especially when it’s hot off the grill. This one is good but I wish they had more meat filling.
Mandy enjoyed the Malay style Sarawak laksa that she got. My
favorite among our haul was the ikan patin tempoyak. Tempoyak is fermented
durian and ikan patin is a type of catfish. Combined it results in a thick,
gooey gravy that’s acidic and appetizing. It’s delicious when eaten with rice!
I always love this dish and have even eaten it in Temerloh, the birthplace of
ikan patin tempoyak.
Walking around the neighbourhood Ramadan bazaar is a fun thing to
do during puasa month. It’s crowded and you have to jostle with sweaty, sticky,
smelly people from all walks of life (read: dubious provenance) so it’s not
something I want to do every day. But definitely worth at least one visit.
I was craving for chicken rice over the weekend so I cooked up a
batch with 2 kg of chicken legs. I boiled the chicken legs with lots of chopped
spring onions, garlic, and ginger. I also put chicken stock powder into the
broth. This broth infused with chicken essence and oils was then poured into
raw basmati rice to cook my chicken rice.
I later learned that a lot of people steam the chicken in a
steamer with sesame oil instead. I do it this way coz it’s more efficient to
boil large quantities of chicken but Mandy says steaming it results in a
smoother chicken texture. I’ll try that next time.
I’ve also been having a lot of “Sandwich Days” lately. Been craving
for these naughty empty calories sandwich bread. I eat them with lettuce,
sliced tomatoes and fried Danish luncheon meat or deli ham and a side of scrambled
It was the Labour Day holidays so we decided to go somewhere cooling for a short vacation. We’ve recently been to Fraser’s Hill and enjoyed ourselves so we planned to go to Genting this time. Cameron Highlands is too far away for a 2D/1N stay. I found a nice apartment at Midhills @ Genting and booked it for a night. I also planned to propose to Mandy on that night.
I sneaked out the Sunday before with her ring in tow to purchase
an engagement ring. I know she has a couple of rings at home but it took me a
long time to find it, coz she stored them in a random box in her luggage. I
went to Sunway Pyramid to look at rings before settling on a plain gold band.
There are two different options for even a plain gold band. One
was a simple ring while the other was a modern, square design. I thought she’ll
like the simple design better but I went with the square one for a modern
touch. Turns out she preferred the simple ring. Haha.
I also arrange to have 24 pink roses delivered to the office. I
had taken the car keys that morning and planned to put these in the boot so she
wouldn’t see it. I’ll find an excuse to come down to the car while she was
showering to retrieve them when we go to Midhills @ Genting. We both had work
on 30th April, so we’re only driving up at night.
We reached the apartment at around 10 pm and she went for a
shower. I told her I left something in the car and went to get the flowers and
the ring. I waited till she was about to exit the bathroom and went down on
bended knee to propose to her. She said yes.
In hindsight, I should have done this at our home. I could have
had more time to set up fairy lights, letters etc. I didn’t think of it at the
time. I’ll KIV that for the future. Haha.
She was feeling under the weather and didn’t feel like going out so I went to tapau some food from Gohtong Jaya. I’ve heard good things about Restoran Hou Wan so I headed there. Unfortunately, they were out of their famous steamed frog legs but they had their crispy kon chou sang mee (dry fried sang mee). I ordered chicken wings, Guinness pork ribs and two types of noodles.
The standout dish from Restoran Hou Wan is their famous kon chau sang mee. This was a dish of deliciously crispy noodles with a slice of century duck egg. You’re given wonderfully thick gravy on the side, which is poured on the noodles to rehydrate it. The gravy is full of seafood and egg and has notes of garlic and wine. Very yummy.
We headed to Genting Strawberry Leisure Farms the next morning. This is a strawberry farm in Gohtong Jaya. Mandy wanted to eat some strawberries.
The farm also has various cold climate flowers.
There’s a café selling all types of food with strawberries in
them. They also had a chocolate fountain where you can dip strawberries to get
chocolate coated fresh strawberries.
We also bought strawberry ice cream with fresh cut strawberries on
They also had freshly made waffles and we went for a strawberry +
chocolate filling. Not bad.
Mandy wanted more of the chocolate dipped strawberries so I
ordered another one, but told the lady to put it inside their fridge for a few
minutes so the coating will harden. Mandy liked this version better.
We walked around the farm some more…
…and picked our own strawberries!
You can get pruning scissors and a basket to collect your own
Just cut the ones you like from the vine!
There were some very luscious ones!
The ones you see at supermarkets are cheaper but it’s fun to pick our own strawberries. These are so much fresher. I paid RM 23 for this.
It’s a nice afternoon spent strolling around the flowers and
We headed uphill to Genting Highlands after and parked at First
World Hotel. While walking around SkyAvenue mall, we passed by the Genting
cinema and a poster for Avengers: Endgame. We both haven’t watched it so we
bought two tickets to the show.
It was almost dark by the time we finished watching the 3-hour
opus so we went in search of food.
Mandy wanted to eat Beauty in the Pot but they were so full due to it being Labour Day holidays that the earliest slot we could get was 11 pm! She settled for Palsaik instead.
Palsaik is a Korean BBQ restaurant famous for their 8 flavored pork belly. I’ve eaten here many years ago. We also needed to wait before a table was available.
The staff will grill the pork belly for you. You’re supposed to
eat it wrapped with leaves, Korean style.
Genting was fun but there was way too many people on Labour Day.
These public holidays tend to attract people from the Klang Valley so
everywhere was crowded.
We managed to get some fancy donuts to eat on the way back! It was
good short trip.
Mandy has been craving for sandwiches lately so I bought a loaf of
bread to make a few different types. I also got a can of Danish luncheon meat,
some deli ham, and eggs. 🍖 My plan was to make 3 different
sandwiches – a fried SPAM sandwich, a fried egg sandwich, and a cold cut deli
ham sandwich. Naturally, there were fresh tomatoes and lettuce to complete the
I fried 3 eggs with dark soy sauce, pepper, and fish sauce before
compiling it into a sandwich with chilli sauce. 🥪 The next
one was a cold sandwich with deli ham, tomatoes, lettuce and some Kewpie sesame
salad dressing. The third comprised of fried slices of luncheon meat from
Denmark with lettuce and tomatoes. They’re all really good! It’s worth it to
pay more for expensive SPAM since they hold their shape when fried.
My girlfriend works on weekends and the McDonald’s below our
apartment only opens at 8 am in the morning so we’ve never gotten a chance to
eat their breakfast hash browns before she has to go to work. 🥔
I decided to tapau one for her during breakfast on Saturday and keep it in the
fridge before heating it up when she woke up on Sunday. Haha. She said it
didn’t taste as good though.
Our Saturday date night was in Mont Kiara. We both love Korean fried chicken and we decided on Chicken House for dinner. 🐔 This is a small Korean run restaurant that serves mainly chikin and a variety of Korean stews. They’re better known for their chicken. I’ve been here before a few years back (but with a different girlfriend). Read my first Chicken House @ Solaris Mont Kiara review here.
We ordered a whole chicken – half in sweet and spicy sauce
and the other half in soy sauce + garlic. They’re both pretty good but the edge
goes to the sweet and spicy sauce. 🍗 The soy sauce also
tasted a little sweet. It’ll be better if it tasted savory and salty with no
sweet notes as a contrast.
The bill came up to RM 141 for 2 pax inclusive of drinks and beer. 🍺 Mandy felt that KyoChon tasted a lot better and I agree. There are free peanuts here as well as pickles though. You can actually get KyoChon to serve free pickles if you ask. Their pickles are better than the ones here too, but Chicken House tastes more like a home kitchen.
We went to a Korean grocery after that to check out what’s
on offer and came back with a haul of Korean instant noodles, ice cream and
drinks. Haha. 🇰🇷
This Paldo cheese jjamppong ramen is really good! Spicy and
But it was this Jin Jjajangmyeon that I was super impressed
with. 🌱 It’s so delicious! 9.5/10.
We capped the night with some mudslide ice cream from the
US. 🍨 This tastes heavenly with some cheese
crackers from the Philippines.
I enjoy eating fish more, especially steamed fish. This is asam tilapia (RM 39) which was recommended by the colourful waiter. 🐟 The savory asam sauce goes very well with rice! There’s a fair bit of meat on the tilapia too.
The restaurant also served us a bowl of complimentary bitter gourd 🥒 and tofu soup. It tasted slippery and starchy. Quite decent for a free soup.
Mandy also had butter prawns (RM 20). 🦐 You can choose either “dry butter” or “wet butter” – the former is deep fried strands of crispy butter and the latter is more like a buttery sauce. I tend to prefer the wet type since the sauce goes better with rice.
She also wanted tofu so we got salted egg yolk tofu (RM 12). 🍢 The tofu is homemade and coated with salted egg crust before being deep friend. I don’t like tofu but my dad and Mandy loves tofu so I’ve grown to tolerate it.
This is the main dish – black pepper crab (RM 68). 🧂 They gave us 3 medium crabs but the “medium” here was quite tiny. The crabs had tons of roe though! Crab roe filled the shells and the body. I love crab roe and the black pepper sauce was delicious!
This restaurant also has free self-service ice cream. They only had two flavors – cookies and cream and mint chocolate but they’re pretty good. I indulged in a big bowl of ice cream and ate another cone with two scoops. You’re never too full for dessert! We ordered too much food for 2 pax though. I managed to finish all the dishes except for the crab but I was stuffed! I tapau the leftover crab for Mandy. Dinner came up to RM 142.50. The food is actually very reasonably priced here. It tastes good too. 😋
My bro Eddy and his wife came down to KL so I went to Kota Raya to meet them. We had lunch at the stall formerly known as Mariza’s Delights. It’s under new management now but they haven’t saw it fit to replace the banner hanging over their shop. Kota Raya is a Filipino hub in downtown Kuala Lumpur – it feels like a mini Manila! 🇵🇭 This shop came highly recommended so we went to check it out.
It’s a Pinoy chap fan stall with various dishes you can pick and
choose from. The interior was PACKED with Filipinos! You have to be comfortable
eating with your knees pressed against the person beside you and having the
plump back of the person behind you rest against yours. 🍽️ It’s
that kind of place. I believe travel guides use “full of character” to describe
places like this.
The food was slightly unfamiliar but I liked the pork soup with
plantains and the pork cooked in thickened pig’s blood. 🐷 However,
all of the dishes were cold. It would have been a lot better if they’re cooked
to order, but this is a chap fan stall.
I also ordered a halo-halo. 🍨 I had halo-halo during my trip to Boracay in the Philippines and I enjoyed it very much. It’s a complex dessert with condensed milk, milk, coconut cream, yam ice cream, various jellies and a baked scorched milk custard. They go very well together and there’s so many textures going on, it’s like an adventure! Very nice.
The bill came up to RM 112 for 6 pax, which is a surprise for this kind of stall. 😱 That works out to almost RM 20 per person – quite a lot for this type of dining experience. It was fun to experience the Philippines in the middle of KL though.
Kota Raya had many grocery stores selling imported food from the
Philippines. I picked up several different flavors of Lucky Me! Pancit Canton. 🍜 This is a
dry noodle from the Philippines that I’ve heard a lot of good things about.
They’re selling it for around RM 11 per pack or RM 2 per packet.
I tried the Lucky Me! Pancit Canton Xtra Hot Chilli Flavor that night. 🌶️ Each noodle brick is 80 grams, similar to Indomie. There’s a powder sachet and a twin liquid sachet containing light soy sauce and chilli sauce.
I ate 3 packets of Pancit Canton (literally Cantonese noodles)
with the leftover crab and ayam pongteh. 🐔 It was decent but light years behind
the Indomie/Mi Sedaap benchmark, which I consider the best in the dry noodle
class. I gave it a 6/10 and Mandy rated it 7.5/10. We both rate Mi Sedaap as 10/10.
However, a Filipino commented on my Facebook the moment I posted
my review to disagree. 😄 He said he felt Lucky Me! tastes
better than Indomie and gave me some tips to improve the flavour, like adding 2
sachets of flavor to 1 packet of noodles. I like the loyalty Filipinos have to
their home country but from a neutral taste perspective, Indonesia is still the
king with their Indomie/Mi Sedaap duopoly. Haha.
It is true. I have turned 38. The big 4-0 is looming close,
practically nipping at my heels. 😱 That said, I’m pleased to report that
I still receive comments and messages expressing surprise that I’m 38. I hear I
look youthful. Although, truth to be told, there are fewer of these remarks as
I grow older. No matter. My (much younger) girlfriend gave me a birthday
surprise when I got home last Friday.
I already expected something coz she has been asking me strange
questions the past week. She also called to enquire when I’ll be reaching home,
which is quite suspicious. 🤔 I told her I’ll be back 15 minutes
later than I actually would and quickly barged in the moment I got home.
Hahaha. I’m terrible.
She was still in the midst of lighting a candle at that point. She
later told me she planned to turn off all the lights but I unlocked the gate
and ran in so quickly she didn’t have time to do so. 🚪
also prepared a lot of gifts on my bed for me to discover! She got me dress pants
from Uniqlo coz I tore 2 in a row at work. She also bought me a shirt so I have
more options to wear.
Mandy printed a photo of us she liked and got a frame so we can
put this at the bedside cabinet too! 💑 My cat periodically flattens this
frame though so I have to right it every few days.
Since it was my birthday, I thought it’ll be apt to break open this The Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition. I bought this for 4,300 baht (RM 553) in duty free a few years ago but haven’t found a suitable occasion to drink it. It was delicious! Complex, woody, nutty and deep. 🥃
She also cooked mayo prawns with condensed milk for me! 🦐
my grandma’s recipe that she asked for during our Chap Goh Meh trip to Sibu
recently. It’s best paired with 3 packets of Mi Sedaap and century duck eggs.
Thanks for making my birthday special babe. Love you always. 👫
I had work the next day (Friday) and our boss Sam took the entire SPU team out for a dim sum lunch at Eastin Hotel. 🥟 Our office is in Phileo Damansara and there aren’t a lot of great food options here. Ee Chinese Cuisine in Eastin Hotel is definitely one of the better ones! The restaurant is really nice and the food is great too! I ate till I was stuffed.
I liked their wat tan hor too – the flavors are spot on and
there’s lots of egg and seafood inside the noodles. 🍲
Here’s a photo with the SPU team! ✨
That night, I had 3 packets of Mi Sedaap again and got ice
cream, whole milk and keropok. I wanted Super Ring but the grocery downstairs
didn’t have it. My favorite Cadbury Caramello ice cream was unavailable too so
I went with Bulla, another Australian brand from Victoria. 🍨
We also checked out the newly opened Daboba in Subang Jaya Boba Street. This is another brown sugar bubble tea but with a cheese topping. You’re supposed to drink the cheese foam first before mixing it in. They blowtorch and caramelize the top of the foam with sugar so it tastes really good. Innovative and tasty, this is the best we’ve had on this street. 🥤
I felt like having chicken rice on Saturday night so we went to Kar Heong in SS14 for my steamed kampung chicken rice fix. They have one of the best chicken rice in my area. Kar Heong’s chilli sauce is the bomb! The other place I like is Kong Sai in Puchong but Mandy doesn’t like their onion oil. 🐔
We also got some 🍢 tofu…
…and bean sprouts. 🌱
I got to eat everything I wanted during my birthday weekend.
Happy 38th to me! 🎂 Now to get back on my
diet. I really stuffed myself last weekend.
We woke up bright and early the next day to head to my mom’s
grave. 🌞 This isn’t a grave per se – it’s more like a
tomb. The arrangement here is an above-ground sealed chamber where the coffin
slides in. It’s not buried underground. Someone slides a slab of concrete over
the entrance after the coffin goes in and seals it up with cement. I believe
this is common in Christian cemeteries to observe how Jesus was entombed.
I helped clean up the grave and we sang hymns and my dad led
everyone in prayer. That’s what we do during Ching Ming. It’s more like a
remembrance thing for Christians. ✝️ There’s no burning of incense or
hell paper and there are no offerings of food or fruit, although we prepared a
flower arrangement. My aunts were there too, as well as Mandy.
We all went to Aloha Café in Sibu for breakfast after that. This is one of our favorite coffee shops in Sibu, primarily due to the Sarawak Laksa here. 🍜 Mandy loves laksa so I brought her here to check out arguably the best one in Sibu. She said the Sarawak laksa I cooked tasted a lot better. Hehe.
My dad went for his favorite Sibu style char kueh tiaw. This is fried with an egg omelette on top, a unique local twist. 🍳 It’s kinda like mee goreng Pattaya or omurice, but not completely wrapped. Our kueh tiaw is flat and thick too. I don’t personally like it but plenty of people do.
I went for the interestingly named Fried Kompia. Kompia is a local unleavened baked bread, much like a bagel. 🥯 This stall uses the kompia as the base for frying. This reminds me of the Kothu Roti I had in Sri Lanka. I wouldn’t say it tasted good but it’s certainly novel! Good to see people trying new twists and takes on existing local food, although I’ll never order it again.
I also got Kompia with Cheese. 🧀 These are baked kompia with minced meat (pork) filling, with the addition of a small slice of processed cheddar cheese. It tasted pretty good though. I would order this again although I prefer deep fried kompia and kompia soaked in gravy.
We needed a caffeine boost after that so I went with Mandy to Starbucks Sibu. ☕ This is the biggest Starbucks in Malaysia! It’s housed in its own two-storey building – a vast, open space. I didn’t even know this was the biggest Starbucks in Malaysia until a Sarawak Tourism video mentioned it.
The place is clean and spacious so we sat here in the comfortable
sofas for a while. 🛋️ They even have a meeting room here!
I had my usual Iced Americano while Mandy went for a Frappucino. 🥤
Thus energized, we headed to the Central Market. Sibu Central Market is the biggest covered market in Malaysia. I also didn’t know that until a few years back. Haha. There are a lot of interesting, hyper-local products – produce you can only find in the jungles of Borneo. 🌴 It’s very interesting!
One of those examples is Keranji Madu. This is a type of dry fruit with a soft, crackable shell and a seed coated with sweet fibres. 🌰 I convinced the girl to sell me a small amount for RM 3. I remember eating this in my childhood when my dad bought some but I haven’t eaten it in decades. I can’t say it’s delicious but it’s an interesting fruit.
This is not salak fruit. We have that here but it’s not in season. This is another local fruit which I forgot the name of. It looks very similar to salak but is smaller and clumps together. 🍇
There are chickens nicely wrapped and ready for takeaway! 🐔
is a Sibu invention – wrapping live chickens in newspapers and binding them
with nylon string so they’re easy to purchase and transport back.
Mandy tried a local avocado ice cream which is made by hand churning. 🥑 It’s made from a powder mix so don’t get your hopes up about the flavour. It tastes quite artificial.
We saw some huge specimens of freshwater big head prawn. 🦐
I bought some ang chao (fermented red rice wine sediments) to bring back to KL. 🍷 These are not sold openly since wine brewing requires a license so they have to sell these under the table. RM 1 got me a sizable amount!
The most interesting item we purchased is engkabang butter. This is frequently called “butter from the rainforest”. 🏞️ It’s made with oil extracted from the engkabang fruit. This becomes a paste that’s stored in short lengths of bamboo and sold to be mixed into rice.
A small tube can cost RM 20-40 depending on the diameter! 🎍
tried this the other weekend and it tasted quite unfamiliar. Unusual, but I can
see myself getting into it. It’s like century eggs – a taste which may not be
immediately appealing but can get quite addictive if you let it.
That night, we had dinner at my grandma’s. 👵
popo just celebrated her 90th birthday and she has met Mandy during
CNY over Facebook Live. This is the first time she’s seen her in person though.
We had sweet and sour fish, mayo prawns, pork leg, dabai, chai bo – all my
favorite dishes! I ate till I was stuffed and then ate some more. I wanted to
be dangerously close to puking.
We went to a local mall after that to walk off all the calories. My niece and nephew were also in town and they wanted to get some toys. He’s really into Beyblades. I found a new dry type instant noodles – BruMee Kollo Mee Goreng. 🇧🇳 This is made in Brunei and quite expensive due to the exchange rate. Sarawak is adjacent to Brunei so we get their imports sometimes. The noodles aren’t really good but it’s spicy and Mandy enjoyed them.
I also bought a ciplak coconut ice cream to share with Mandy. 🥥 This is a ghetto Sibu version made with powder coconut cream (santan) so it tastes unpleasant and grainy. I struggle to find anything good to say about this ice cream. It’s like someone saw the success of coconut ice cream and made an El Cheapo knockoff version which only appeals to the unrefined palate of the least well-traveled local.
We wanted to eat Chip Chung beef noodles the next day so we woke up bright and early. 🐄 Their beef noodles sell out by 9 am and they start operating before 5 am! This is definitely something for the early birds. Our family used to eat this when they were located at the old Chopsticks in town but we haven’t had it since they moved.
Their noodles are tossed with a delicious garlic sauce instead of
the normal kolo/kampua mee mixture. I remember this distinctive taste from
childhood. This is how I developed a love for garlic. The springy and garlicky
noodles go very well with their beef soup. 😋
The soup is served separately with a variety of beef slices and
offal inside. 🥣 The hearty and savory soup is also
something I’ve missed. I highly recommend this place but be warned, the lady
can be a bit grumpy during service so don’t over-customize your order. She’s
very friendly when she’s not busy though. My only complaint is the serving
sizes, which can be too small for big eaters. The beef noodles here are
I had used up all my clothes so I picked something from my old
wardrobe to wear. ✨ Behold my Ah Beng past in all its
glory! Trust me, these hooks and chains were the height of fashion back in the
day. Positively haute couture.
We were flying back to KL that afternoon so we could squeeze in one final spot for lunch. I decided on Ak Kia Foochow Fried Noodles. This is their fully loaded Foochow fried noodles with lots of pork slices and pork liver. 🐖 It’s the bomb! Ak Kia is known for some of the best Foochow fried noodles in town and these don’t disappoint!
I also ordered their Seafood Fried Noodles. This is another fully loaded plate with shrimp, fish slices and squid. 🦑 The noodles are cooked in white sauce instead of black soy sauce and it also tastes amazing. We both couldn’t decide which one we liked better. This was definitely a perfect meal to end our Sibu trip.
I only go back once or twice every year but I enjoy every trip back
to my hometown. I spent most of my childhood here and I enjoy the flavors of Sibu.
It’s my first time bringing Mandy back to meet my family too and that was fulfilling!
I hardly ever go to Desa Sri
Hartamas nowadays coz it’s so far from my house. I like the place though – it’s
a small community of Korean 🇰🇷
and Japanese 🇯🇵 expats
and the F&B options there reflects this unique demographic. Our dinner
plans for date night was to start out at The Café Chicken for Korean Fried
Chicken. This was previously named WOW Chicken.
I was misled by Google into thinking The Café Chicken was still open. Upon venturing up to the dingy first floor, I popped my head into a dodgy bistro and asked where it was. One of the staff inside told me it’s permanently closed. 🔒 We walked around the area and Mandy suggested Burnin’ Pit. Burnin’ Pit serves Texas style BBQ – a variety of meats grilled low and slow.
The space that holds Burnin’ Pit is
open and inviting, with lots of incandescent lights. The place is mostly
staffed by Filipinos, although I believe they’re pork free. They serve alcohol
though so they wouldn’t be eligible for a halal certificate. I indulged in a
Carlsberg draft – only RM 8.54 during happy hour! 🍺
Mandy ordered pulled lamb (RM 22/100 g – 200 grams minimum order) 🐑 and I went for their beef brisket (RM 22/100 g – 200 grams minimum order) 🐄. We also got one side each – Mac and Cheese (RM 7.50) 🧀 and Mashed Potatoes with Beef Bacon (RM 7.50) 🥔. The beef brisket was nice and smoky and we also enjoyed the pulled lamb. The sides were a bit meh but edible. They also gave us 2 complimentary buttery dinner rolls (good).
Overall Burnin’ Pit’s meat products were good. I wanted to try their percik chicken but we were too stuffed from our order. Everything was so rich and heavy – even the sides were laden with cream and cheese so you can’t eat a lot without feeling jelak. Service was prompt and attentive. 💁 The prices were a little on the high side– our bill came up to RM 129.40 – but reasonable for the area and food.
This is a nice place to satisfy your meat cravings. 🍖
After dinner, we headed over to The Ice Cream Bar for dessert. This is run by Inside Scoop but under a different brand so they can do non-halal flavors. They did a partnership with Singleton (the single malt whisky) to produce a range of Singleton Select flavors. 🥃 They have a lot of alcoholic ice creams on offer, and they taste really good too!
One problem with alcohol ice cream flavors is that they’re sometimes done purely for the novelty factor. I’ve had beer and Red Bull vodka ice cream in Tongue Fun, Bangkok – all very dismal. The ones at The Ice Cream Bar is excellent though. We had Guinness Chocolate Brownie and Bacardi Chocolate Crunch in their homemade cone. They also had White Rabbit ice cream, which we tried but didn’t order. 🐇
Since we’re in Desa Sri Hartamas, I thought a visit to a Korean grocery shop was in order. We walked around and Mandy bought a melon milk drink priced at a staggering RM 10 for a small bottle. 🍈 I found the new Jjolbokki Buldak Bokkeum Myeon by Samyang at a more reasonable RM 22.40 for a pack of 4. I also picked up a really cheap box of Korean jjajang mixture for RM 7.50.
I cooked two packets of the Samyang Jjolbokki Buldak later that night. 🍜 Wow. Just wow. I eat Samyang new releases without fail coz I love instant noodles but I mostly left unimpressed. The only recent one I liked was Samyang Jjajang last year. But none left a huge impression on me until Samyang Jjolbokki – the noodles are insanely chewy!
It’s so textural and pleasurable to eat. Nyum nyum nyum. The crispy fried chicken cracker topping tastes like Mamee Chicken and goes so well with the gummy noodles. It’s a non-stop mochi party in your mouth! I need to get more of this.
Sunday was my cooking day and I made a huge pot of ayam pongteh with 4 kg of chicken legs. 🍗 I haven’t made this in a long time and I’ve been craving for it. I fried lots of shallots, red onions, garlic and Bombay onions in sesame oil before adding potatoes, taucu (fermented bean paste), dark soy sauce, sucralose, fish sauce and chicken stock. I also chopped the chicken legs into drums and thighs so it’s easier to store.
Mandy wanted some vegetables so I cooked a medley of green peas,
baby corn, broccoli and oyster mushrooms in oyster sauce. 🍄
really liked how this turned out. I only pan fried them for a while so
everything is still crunchy and fresh. The oyster mushrooms tasted really
savory and umami!
The chicken was good too but overtly oily. You need to skim the
top of the bowl coz there’s an oil slick there after cooking this amount of
chicken. 4 kg of chicken can make the pot look like the Exxon oil spill! 🛢️ However,
it’s hard to do when the gravy is still hot and solid. I usually do it the next
day after it’s been refrigerated – the fat rises to the top and solidifies,
making it easily skimmable.
We ended dinner with Tillamook Monster Cookie ice cream. 🍦 This is a delicious concoction of cookie dough ice cream, salty peanut butter, crispy oats and M&M type candies. I’ve been indulging a bit too much though. Mandy assures me I’m not fat but I think she has a secret agenda to make me overweight and unattractive. I need to diet stating today.
Mandy loves unicorns and desserts so I thought Crème de la Crème (CDLC) would be the perfect spot for our weekend date night. This is a new place that just opened a few days ago in Damansara Uptown. They’re a specialty ice cream shop with handcrafted ice cream made in-store. We actually popped by during dinner time so we could try these frozen delights when we’re hungry.
They have an interesting range of creative ice cream desserts from Beauty and the Beast (a rose shaped dark chocolate and Madagascar vanilla ice cream creation) to Da Bomb (which is shaped like one of those antique spherical bombs with a fuse running from the top). They’re all very beautiful and no doubt crafted for the Instagram crowd.
Mandy chose Unicorn (RM 22) – a Madagascar vanilla ice cream with lychee and raspberry sorbet, white chocolate dip and a pastel meringue. It looks like a very pretty Magnum, and I like the eyelashes, which really brings this unicorn together. The vanilla is good, contrasted by the sour sorbet components.
I went for the Longevity (RM 25) – Japanese matcha and black sesame ice cream with mango yuzu compote, lemon curd, matcha sponge and white chocolate dip. This reminded me of the bao that came out in Pixar’s recent animation. The Oriental components work well together but I’m not the biggest fan of black sesame – would not have ordered it if I had bothered reading the description. I’ll be the first to admit I choose based on presentation. Haha.
We wanted to try their Unicorn Drink (RM 18) but it was sold out on that day. We both didn’t want coffee coz it was late so we had another dessert instead – two scoops of ice cream! I chose Roasted Pistachio (very good and burnt tasting) and she had Kaya and Toast (the bread bits are super crunchy).
I really liked their store made ice cream. They have very
different flavors and local twists and the ice cream is well made. I
particularly enjoyed their roasted pistachio. The burnt and toasted notes
really come through. It’s a flavour profile I really enjoy. 10/10.
There are lots of spots where you can take photos for the
‘gram too. Most new F&B spots prioritize these feature walls nowadays.
The bill came up to RM 76.10. Not cheap for a dessert outing but on par with similar establishments. We ordered a little too much and it was cloying to eat so much sweet stuff but sharing one of their mini ice cream cakes or having a scoop of ice cream each would have been perfect!
We needed something salty after that (and we haven’t had dinner) so we headed to Burger Mbira around the corner. This place has good reviews and I read an article that (falsely) claimed Burger Mbira makes their own patties. This is untrue – they use Ramly beef burger patties as can be seen by the stack beside their grill. I asked if they have homemade ones and they said they do not, they only use additional toppings like hash browns to add some zest to their offerings.
I went for the Deluxe Big and Tasty (Beef) as recommended by the lady. This was a standard Ramly beef patty topped with a chicken slice and crispy hash brown. It’s not bad and I like the crunchy hash brown inside the burger. However, it took 40 minutes for the burger to arrive. That’s an insanely long wait for what is essentially a Ramly burger with a few pre-made, store-bought flairs.
Mandy had the Chicken Spicy Deluxe. This patty may be homemade or perhaps they just deep fried a regular Ramly chicken burger patty. It doesn’t taste extraordinary. There’s nothing remotely gourmet about the burgers here – these are merely street corner burgers masquerading as something more with a few off-the-shelf items added. It’s like The Mac’s in USJ – I don’t see why we should be glorifying mediocre food assembled with store-bought ingredients. Give this a pass. You can get way better burgers at places like myBurgerLab.
On Sunday, I decided to cook engkabang butter rice! I bought two sticks of these beauties in Sibu – one for RM 20 and the other RM 15. Engkabang is a type of nut in Borneo and the locals extract the oils and make it into a paste, which is then sold in short bamboo lengths. You just push the inner tube of engkabang butter out and let it dissolve in warm rice. It has an unusual jungle-y nut taste which is quite addictive!
I also bought some ang chow (red yeast rice wine sediments)
in Sibu and I used it to cook pork belly. This is more fried than stewed. I
first stir-fried ginger in hot sesame oil before adding pork belly slices, ang
chow and other seasonings. It tasted really good paired with the engkabang
butter rice! One of my better recipes.
I also bought a honeydew coz Mandy loves honeydew but
unfortunately, it wasn’t sweet. No worries, we’ll just make this into juice. 👌
I just came back from a short trip back to Sibu to clean my mom’s grave. It’s Ching Ming, an annual practice by Chinese for remembrance of the dead. I brought along Mandy along and the first thing she wanted to eat was Foochow red wine mee sua. We headed to Happiness Café in Delta – they do one of the better versions in town. I wanted to eat kampua mee but I couldn’t resist ordering this too.
It’s a new stall selling kompia burger! Technically, this is chu nu miang – the sweet and soft version of kompia. I think it’s called thus coz chu nu means virgin in Foochow and virgins are supposed to be sweet and soft. Don’t quote me on that though. My Chinese is terrible and I could be making all these up. I asked the two ladies manning the stall if it’s their own stall but it turns out they’re only working here and couldn’t tell me the background of the stall.
The stall is called Zen Don Bin and they have different types of kompia burgers with beef, sausage and fish fillet patties. I asked for a recommendation and they unreservedly told me the Fish Fillet Burger with Egg and Cheese (RM 3.90) was their bestseller. This actually tasted pretty good! I liked the crunchy fish fillet and the creamy egg with the pillowy soft chu nu miang. Nice!
I also had my kampua mee fix. This is a tossed dry noodle that’s a Sibu specialty. You don’t find a lot of people making this with lard nowadays. There has been a trend of using vegetable oil on the pretext that it’s a healthier option. I suspect it’s also a cost-cutting measure too since lard is significantly more expensive. I love the ones with lard.
Mandy had the Foochow red wine mee sua. This is chicken soup with Foochow unfiltered red wine with sediment. It tastes surprisingly good. I’m not a fan of this dish but they do a really nice version here.
Of course, you can’t leave Sibu without trying the Big Head Prawn Noodles. These are freshwater prawns with huge heads that’s cooked into a Foochow style soup dish. The noodles are fried then boiled and it’s quite a distinctive local taste. The head juice from the prawn heads leach into the soup, adding tons of flavour.
This dish costs RM 38 at Bosco Café, which is considered a reasonable price. A lot of other places charge upwards of RM 50 for this.
My sister came back in the evening with my niece and nephew so we went to pick her up from the airport and headed to Ruby Restaurant for dinner. This is a favorite among our family. The must have dish here is their butter prawns but since my niece is allergic to dairy, we went for the Nestum prawns instead. It’s not as good, but decent.
We also had their famous pandan chicken. These are dark boneless chicken pieces marinated in various spices before being stuffed into a pandan leaf and grilled. It’s smoky, sweet and delicious!
I also ordered midin belacan – a type of jungle fern – for Mandy. You can’t leave Sarawak without tasting midin. It’s a crunchy type of vegetable with a core like okra – ever so slightly slimy.
This is sour lamb, another dish I always order at Ruby. The lamb pieces are tenderized till they’re melt-in-your-mouth and tossed in a sour mayonnaise based sauce. Very delicious!
We also ordered a tapah curry fish head since there were so many of us. Tapah is a local fish that’s similar to catfish. The flesh can be incredibly fatty due to their sedentary lifestyle but it’s a real treat – creamy mouthfeel juxtaposed with firm flesh. This is quite a small fish head but costs RM 63. Tapah is a local favorite so the prices tend to be higher.
The meal came up to RM 186 for the 4 of us plus 2 children. We usually run up at RM 50 bill for two pax so this seems par for the course. I feasted until I was absolutely stuffed! This is one of my favorite places to eat in Sibu.
Mandy has never been to the Sibu pasar malam before so we
headed there after our dinner. Our pasar malam has lots of stalls specializing
in pork. Sibu is a majority Chinese town so pork is the choice of protein here.
You can get various different cuts of meat from pork belly to tail to even a
full pig face!
I bought a few pieces of chai kueh and also a crispy apam
balik. Both were dismal. I had better versions of both during my Penang day
trip for work before coming back to Sibu.
It was still fun to walk around town and do all the things I
normally wouldn’t do. It’s nice to see my hometown from the perspective of
someone else too!
Saturday is our date night and I listed 3 options for Mandy
to choose from – Carpenter’s Daughter, Big Hug Burger and Outdark Malaysia.
They’re all around the SS15 area coz she wanted to check out Xing Fu Tang.
That’s the latest bubble tea shop from Taiwan to open in Malaysia and the
queues are insane. We actually went there first but had to wait till 7:30 pm
for their drink allocation to open up so we headed to Outdark.
Outdark Malaysia is a Korean franchise that came from Busan. I went to Busan a few years ago for a work trip – it’s a nice place but I prefer Japan to Korea. They had a glass wall where you can write on with felt tip markers and Mandy drew both our names there.
I like the ambience of the restaurant – the warm lights
provide a nice vibe. However, the tables can be a bit sticky despite the guy
wiping it twice, the second time quite carefully. It may be the type of lacquer
which makes it prone to retaining the stickiness from food instead of wiping
We ordered the The Ultimate Cheese Kingdom (RM 88). This is their flagship dish of Korean fried chicken, tteokbokki and gooey cheese. There are sides of kimchi, short grained rice with seaweed, sweet corn with more cheese and mashed potatoes.
The server waits for the cheese to melt then wraps each
fried chicken in a cocoon of cheese. It tastes pretty good. The fried chicken
is covered in a sweet tomato and gochujang sauce which can be very cloying in
large amounts but the savoury cheese cuts through the sweetness well. We both
The bill came up to RM 104.50 including drinks which is decent for a weekend dinner. They serve reasonably priced soju compared to grocery stores too.
We left promptly at 7:30 pm and joined the long queue in front of Xing Fu Tang. There was a girl giving out tickets. Each slot (about 2.5 hours between slots) only has a maximum of 100 cups of their signature Stir-fried Brown Sugar Pearl Milk and 25 cups of their Strawberry Pearl Milk tea. I hear these tickets are fully taken up within 10 minutes! Each person can only have 2.
I wouldn’t doubt it. We got 84/100 for the brown sugar boba
and 10/25 for the strawberry boba and we were there at 7:30 pm when the slot
opened! Part of the problem is the newness – it’s only been open 4 days so
people want to see what they’re about.
It took us 45 minutes before we got to the front. There’s a
staff stir-frying the brown sugar pearls in a huge wok. This is then poured
into a cup, making sure to get the liquid on every side, to produce their
signature look. It costs RM 25 for two bobas which is on par with other
imported Taiwanese brands. They also use a better barista fresh milk to make
One quirky thing about Xing Fu Tang is they let each person
who buys a drink have a go at their lucky draw. You pick a random stick from a
huge basin and the number is matched to one of the drawers. This is similar to
the Buddhist fortune telling sticks. You basically get your fortune told, with
a grand prize of a free boba drink.
Mandy got Great Luck while I got Greatest Good Luck. We both
wondered if they have a Bad Luck drawer. Probably not.
Xing Fu Tang’s flagship Stir-fried Brown Sugar Pearl Milk was disappointing though. It tasted tepid and dilute. It’s still better than the commercialized Chatime/Tealive but nowhere close to The Alley’s standard. It’s milky, but not very tea-like. Mandy gave it 7/10 compared to The Alley’s 9/10. The Strawberry Pearl Milk Tea was better – acidic and refreshing, yet sweet. I quite enjoyed it!
I made a care package for Mandy and surprised her by putting
it on our living room coffee table with no comment for her to find. I filled it
with Korean and Japanese face masks, a chocolate bar, a packet of Ribena, a
lotion and a comic book. I noticed she really enjoys masks but finds them
expensive on her salary so I thought I’ll get them for her. She uses them so
frugally that I felt sorry for her. Haha.
Sunday night was my experiment with homemade Sarawak laksa.
I bought the paste during my trip to Kuching over CNY. Mandy’s mom provided me
with some mystery seeds which she says tastes good in laksa so I thought I’ll
make some. I made a deluxe version with chicken leg, lots of prawns, sambal,
lime, coriander and shredded omelette. You can barely see the rice vermicelli!
It’s decent but missing something. I’ll cook the paste with prawn heads and
shells next time. We’re off to Sibu next weekend for Ching Ming! I also have a
work trip to Penang this Friday and another one to Ipoh when we come back from
Sibu so it’s a busy week ahead.