tower chocolate double cheesecake

Before Secret Recipe opened up a branch in Sibu, the place to get quality cakes for birthdays and other celebrations was at Tanahmas Hotel. They have pretty good cheesecakes in Peppers Cafe (the hotel’s cafe) and I revisited the place with Anthea right before flying back.

jelly pisang sibu

I was here a couple of days ago to explore the mythical Sibu Famous Jelly Pisang. I had the exact same thing this time around. Heh! I noticed that the entire bottom is made out of jelly – probably a good 1/3 of it, and I really liked how the entire shaved ice dessert goes.

anthea goh

This time around I also ordered one of the cakes that caught my eye from the glass display counter.

tower cake

This is the Tower Chocolate Double Cheese. It’s a tiny cake about the size of two stacked Tiffany boxes – half of it contains their famous cheesecake and it’s topped with a layer of chocolate mousse. The entire shebang is then drizzled with chocolate sauce, a piece of their kitchen-made chocolate and a maraschino cherry.

chocolate mousse

It’s really quite good and reminds me of why Peppers Cafe used to be the king of cakes – if you wanted one, that’s where you go in Sibu. :)

sibu famous jelly pisang

I was having pre-dinner drinks at Peppers Cafe earlier today before finally capitulating and ordered the Sibu Famous Jelly Pisang (RM 7). It is described as “Fresh banana slices with strawberry jelly in sugar syrup topped with shaved ice, finished with Ideal milk and laced with strawberry syrup”.

I’m from Sibu and I’ve never heard of such a concoction before, much less with a “famous” tag preceding it. *squints suspiciously

tanahmas

However, it seems that there really is such a dessert despite my initial skepticism and dark thoughts about fleecing unsuspecting tourists. Eddy told me that Jelly Pisang was a very big thing back when he was a teenager – all his Malay friends would eagerly go for a bowl on a particularly hot day.

I’m not sure if it’s a Sibu thing or more of a Sarawak thing but anecdotes seem to suggest the former. This is further confirmed by Arthur’s blog post about it and a mention of it being a specialty of Ban Chuan Coffee Shop way back in the days.

jelly pisang

Jelly Pisang (banana jelly) is delicious – there is no sweetener in the iced concoction, the shaved ice only has cordial (for color) and evaporated milk.

However, when you bite into the huge mass of jelly, you get an intense sugar rush. The jelly forms 1/3 of the entire dessert and sets at the bottom. You scoop up large chunks of it like ruby red sugar icebergs when you dip your spoon down. There’s no fine dicing (a sure indicator of mass production) here, which is a good thing.

peppers cafe

The Jelly Pisang is really quite nice, as the unsweetened shaved ice contrasts nicely with the saccharine sweet in-house made jelly. The banana slices are lovely too. However, it seems that time has not been kind to this particular dessert.

It has largely fallen out of favor and is now mostly available in cafes and restaurants under “Local Desserts” as a historical ode to days gone by, instead of stalls.

golden palace

I went to Velvet Ting’s wedding reception last night. It was a shotgun wedding (not the type you’re thinking) in a sense, her younger sister Amy Ting was also having a combined wedding with her. I know both of the Ting sisters from my high school days and in Australia.

floral arrangements

The flower arrangements at their wedding dinner was simply amazing. The theme was roses and there were roses twined into the stairs and floral decorations on every table.

main table

The main wedding table for both pairs of bride and groom and their immediate families was the centerpiece of the place. The three tiered wedding cake and champagne flutes are arranged at the center stage in the backdrop.

ita ting

Most of the people at my table were my ex-classmates since Velvet used to be in our class. It’s like our 11th reunion out of high school. I sat beside Ita Ting, I’ve known her since Form 1.

velvet ting

This is the arrival of Velvet and her groom hailed by confetti all around…

amy ting

…followed by Amy and her groom.

cold dish platter

The dinner started soon after that with the traditional Chinese banquet cold dish platter.

cold dish

The cold dish is an appetizer which consists of a sampler of sorts – there’s a small portion of quail, mussels, squid and mushrooms.

shark fin soup serve

The next dish is traditionally the soup which is served into individual bowls by the waiter.

shark fin soup

It’s shark’s fin soup, which I’m sure the animal welfare groups would have a bone, I mean, fin to pick with. ;)

fish

The next item on the menu is steamed fish. Fish is a must-have at wedding feasts and Chinese banquets in general due to the association with prosperity.

sliced

It’s kindly sliced into more manageable pieces by the waiter.

chicken slice

Chicken cooked in herbs and wrapped in foil is the next item on the banquet parade. It is still wrapped in the foil when brought to your table and the waiter opens it up, releasing the fragrance of the herbs and slices the chicken.

chicken

The chicken is actually very tender, with an almost melt-in-your-mouth quality, so not much slicing was actually required. The process just makes it more manageable to eat using chopsticks.

cake

There was a much needed intermission while Velvet and Amy went on stage with their respective grooms to cut the wedding cake.

champagne

Champagne was also poured out into the flutes by the two newly weds.

yam seng

This is the customary “yam seng” toast which the Chinese do. It’s done in a very long refrain with the first syllable being vocalized for as long as you’re able to (highly variable depending on lung capacity).

wine

RM 135 bottles of Seifried red and white wine were served after that. It’s free flow, they had more than even I could drink! I think I partook in the vinos a little too much, coz my brain wasn’t functioning very well today. ;)

toast velvet

Here’s a toast to Velvet Ting and her groom. Congratulations! =D

toast amy

…and here’s to Amy Ting and her groom. Cheers! :)

bamboo shoots

The Food Parade (TM) went on after that with bamboo shoots and mushrooms…

bamboo clams

…bamboo clams (a local seafood) with mixed vegetables (at which point our table couldn’t even touch the food anymore)

prawns

…deep fried king prawns

honeydew

…before mercifully ending with an iced honeydew and sago dessert concoction.

me velvet candid

This is a candid shot of me talking to Velvet. I must have been reminiscing about this drama that most of the people at our table participated in while we were 14 years old during the school play.

me velvet

Congratulations Velvet! Now you’ve made me feel old and unwanted by marrying earlier than me. :p

fruits

There was another platter of fruits containing dragon fruit, pineapple, papaya and watermelon…

wedding cake

…as well as the mandatory piece of wedding cake you just have to eat out of courtesy despite having adjusted your belt buckle several times due to excessive gorging. ;)

wedding gift

The final dish is gift wrapped boxes that has a piece of fruitcake inside. It’s supposed to be taken home as a souvenir of the wedding dinner. It’s the custom over here and signifies the end of the dinner…

datina ting

…and it’s camwhoring time! ;) This is Datina Ting, another one of my ex-classmates in high school.

jeanie

Hello Jeanie! I met Jeanie at the wedding reception when she approached me and told me she reads my blog. Thanks for reading! :)

girl

There was also a camwhoring session with a girl I bummed a cigarette from who was helping out at the reception…

girls

…as well as the rest of the reception girls.

class of 97

Congratulations to Velvet Ting and Amy Ting on their respective weddings fro

m the Class of ’97. Cheers! :)

pool party

JCI Seduan organized a “Wet & Wild” pool party at Tanahmas poolside on Saturday at 5 pm. I went there dressed in little more than shorts and a T-shirt (the dress code was casual) with my trusty Speedos underneath. 

contingent

Our contingent (which were not from the JCI movement) arrived to disrupt the proceedings and behave in a generally rowdy manner. I’m kidding, we were invited to go there to boost up the attendance rates and liven up the pool party. ;)

view

The poolside at Tanahmas Hotel has a great view of Sibu and the evening sun was just right for a bit of swimming and pool games.

mandatory

Some of the girls didn’t want to get in the pool but ended up being chucked one way or the other into the water anyway. Participation is mandatory, resistance is futile. ;)

me eddy

This is me and Eddy, who needs no further introduction. He’s a really fun guy to be around. Our group staked claim to the pool for the rest of the evening. :)

no intro

I’m sure most of the people here needs no further introduction, being featured before in sixthseal.com and all that.

me mary land

This is Mary Ngo who didn’t want to get into the water…

me mary water

…but somehow ended in there anyway. ;)

me gatecrashers

There were three (3) girls in bikinis that didn’t seem to be from the JCI Seduan group so being, the nice host that I am (har har) I approached them and introduced myself to them.

girls bikinis

It turns out that they really were gatecrashers but I got them into the pool anyway to join us for the games.

me girls

It’s sixthseal.com lar, what did you expect. ;) Please do not focus on me sucking in my stomach when there’s plenty of T&A for your viewing pleasure.

other gatecrasher

This is the other gatecrasher who took the previous photo for us.

me rali

Just to break up the excessive display of skin, here’s a shot of me and Rali. I actually met him in NZ when I was studying there. He’s a Past President of JCI.

water polo

Anyway, we got a game of water polo (of sorts) going…

guarding

…and I sprained my ankle during a particularly enthusiastic block.

Water polo video

water polo second

Next round was with the gatecrashers, who really could swim.

drowned

I hard such a hard time keeping the pace with the girls that I nearly drowned.

sheesh

Sheesh…

guard

Eddy asked them how they came to be such good swimmers and it turns out that they grew up near a river and swam all the time.

dusk

Dusk came soon and the pool was temporarily cleared while dinner was being served.

carted

The platters were carted in from the restaurant below and put into the buffet warmers.

buffet

Dinner was prepared buffet style and contained:

sharks fin soup

Shark Fin Soup

salad bar

Salad bar

rice

Steamed rice

bee hoon

Fried rice vermicelli

curry chicken

Curry chicken

beef

Beef rendang

sweet sour fish

Sweet and sour fish pieces

mixed vegies

Mixed vegetables

dessert

Dessert of sliced fruits and cakes

my plate

I filled up my plate with an impressive amount of food…

my dessert

…and a visibly less impressive amount of dessert. My stomach literally increased in size after that huge meal.

dry games

Night fell and rendered the pool into a nice shade of green. The dry games session started soon after that. Our contingent was represented with Joyce teaming up with Colin and Mary teaming up with me.

balloon ankle

The game is about tying a balloon to the male partner’s ankle while the female tries to burst all the other competitor’s balloons.

balloon hold hands

The pairs must hold hands and the male must not lift up his feet (but shuffling and defensive gestures are allowed) at any time.

balloon game

Mary and I did pretty well, with her bursting quite a few balloons and me defending myself from all the other females. I made a pact with our side (the 10 teams were in a circle) to go after the opposite team first but promptly broke that pact by getting Mary to attack our immediate neighbor. Alls fair in love and war. ;) We lost though, due to a certain someone surprising me from behind. :p

me shirley

I teamed up with Shirley for the next game which involved a complicated dance around within a certain amount of tiles routine.

dancing

You’re allowed to dance within the confines of the stated tiles but you must keep within the tiles or you’re automatically disqualified.

smaller tiles

The amount of tiles you’re permitted to step on keeps getting smaller and smaller…

lift

…until you end up sharing two tiles so you either have to lift your partner up or get her to stand on your feet.

Mary and Shirley singing karaoke

pool green

It was fun, despite the rain that came pouring in towards the end of the pool party. Cheers to JCI Seduan for a well organized event.

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