TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2015
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2015
It was on Mother’s Day that I brought my mother to try out this little Saigon Vietnam fusion restaurant at a small lane off Carpenter Street Kuching.
Just a few shops away from the popular pub for tourists lay this little gem. The place was decorated with some Vietnamese painting, an aquarium greeting you at the entrance and some small cloth toys at the counter, which I imagined is for sale. Some wood painting decorated the wall, and dim light with wooden furniture all combined to create a urban oriental feel, though I felt that the furniture was a bit large for a small restaurant, as it occupied more space than necessary.
The restaurant is not very big, and there were a few diners already having their dinner when we arrived but the staff there was very busy taking orders and helping out at the kitchen. The ambience stayed lively with many tourists flocking in.
The food variety was not many, and there were some Vietnamese coffee and soft drinks at RM4 a can. We were greeted with cold wheatgrass drink each upon sitting down. Menu was simple, the usual ever popular spring rolls consisting of sliced prawn, vegetables and a slice of meat and beef noodles.
It being a Mother’s Day, we ordered some spring rolls at RM18 a plate, baked crabs with special Vietnam sauce ( 3 small crabs at RM42), some vermicelli with pork chop, and vermicelli with prawns stuffed over lemongrass stick.
Baked crabs with special Vietnam sauce
We find the spring rolls a bit bland but perhaps that is how Vietnam spring rolls are like and the dish that we liked the best was the baked crab. It was a bit sweet and yet tasty. When I asked for a shell breaker to break open the crab shell, they gave me a piece of paper and the shell breaker. That was great because usually when you pound down on the crab shell, the juices from within the shell or the broken pieces of the shell would fly away and may landon your face which could be rather embarrassing. So with the paper, I wrapped it over the crab before I pounded down on it. Nice, neat and no mess except when you have to diligently pull out the broken shell from the flesh, which was also fun in eating crab meat.
Vermicelli with prawns stuffed over lemongrass stick
After that, our Mango Sticky Rice dessert arrived. It cost RM25 a plate. It was not exactly what I expected. I remembered tasting them in Thailand, and the sticky rice with the sauce which is actually made up of coconut cream is a bit salty. Here, the sauce is sweet only, and not salty like the Thai mango sticky rice dessert. Again, perhaps this Is their own version of a Vietnam Mango Sticky Rice dessert. My brother however enjoyed the sticky rice, as he found it cooked just nice and tender. As novices about Vietnamese food, we were not sure what to expect but the simple menu and the delicious baked crab was satisfying enough and it was a very fulfilling dinner for my whole family.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 2014
If you have been working in West Malaysia for several years and are now returning to Sarawak, let us tell you a secret.
If you have been yearning for that Kuala Lumpur Cantonese cooking style dishes, then you can find just the restaurant here in Kuching. It is located Golden Jade Restaurant.
Exterior & Interior of Golden Jade Restaurant
The taste is a bit on the heavy side, but we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner that night. Let us share with you what we ate.
We had stew pork with mui chye (salted vegetables). Thick succulent stripes of pork stewed to tenderness with salted vegetables. In the olden days, most people love to eat it with plain porridge.
Stew pork with mui chye
Tofu deep fried with anchovies and mince pork. Most restaurants here in Kuching usually deep fried tofu with mincemeat and soya sauce poured on top of the tofu. Here is a slightly different version, we had mince pork and anchovies deep fried with onions and soya sauce, and then poured over the deep fried tofu. It was delicious, and it prompted me to cook the same dish at home over the National Day weekend.
Tofu deep fried with anchovies and mince pork
The captain recommended us their new dish, which was Mongolian pork deep fried with pepper and vegetables. We absolutely loved this dish. The taste was more on the heavy side, but we loved the peppery taste of the pork. Ohh lala! I just love it and ate most of it.
Mongolian pork deep fried with pepper and vegetables
We also ordered this rather new style cooking of kailan vegetables that had its leaves sliced into thin slices and then deep fried with anchovies. Then it is stir fried again with its other branches.
Kalian vegetables deep fried with anchovies
We wanted to order steamed fish but they only had Tilapia fish that night but we did not like Tilapia fish. This dish like how it is cooked in most Chinese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, it is steamed, and with lots of sliced ginger over it. Most of the restaurants here in Kuching would steam the fish with tofu, tomatoes, ginger and chilly. The taste would be too bland for us. After a while, you will get bored of eating the same cooking style dish all the time.
We also ordered a sweet corn soup. Flavour was nice, though nothing extra ordinary here.
Menu for Seafood and Poultry Menu for Fish and Shark's Fin
The whole meal cost us only RM88. All in all, we would give it an 8 out of 10 rating. If you are in Kuching and do not know where to go for your meal, do drop by Golden Jade Restaurant and we are sure you will love the food. Be warned though, the taste is more on the heavy side but you will definitely ask for 2nd bowl of rice. Bon Appetit!
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 03, 2014
Rock Road seafood restaurant has been around since before we were born. It is located at Jalan Rock, Kuching. It was established in 1960s and previously known as Rock Road Café, taking after the name of the road that the restaurant is located, but in 1983, its name was changed to Rock Road Seafood Restaurant.
Its reputation being that they serve good variety of seafood cooked in various different styles. It is more of an upclass restaurant, with even the current Governor as one of its patrons.
We visited this restaurant several weeks ago. Here is our review of the place and the food served there. The restaurant consists of 2storey. They have outdoor seating at ground floor and indoor seating on 1st floor and where you can opt for private room if you wish to. The moment you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by a wide array of live seafood, vegetables and fruits placed around a booth of sort to display all that they have. There, you can choose the type of fish or crabs that you want and how you want it cooked. You actually order your food even before you are even seated.
Then you are led up to the first floor to your table, where friendly waiters and waitresses in uniform serve you. For starters, we were served pickles made from cabbage. Its more like kimchi to me, though I would prefer pickles made from papaya like how the restaurants in Kota Kinabalu would serve pickled papayas as appetiser.
We ordered sharks fin soup for 4 persons. The taste was fine. Lots of crabmeat and sharks fin in the soup. It cost RM52 for 4 of us.
Next, we ordered a plate of Hock Chew Style noodles. Taste wise was delicious and our friends thoroughly enjoyed it.
Hock Chew Style Noodles
We also ordered Crabs stir fried in satay sauce. We used to come to this restaurant often because of this dish. However, this time around, it tasted different from our last visit, several years ago. The sauce used to be peanuty, and sweet, with very nice flavour and we would dip deep fried golden buns into it. This time around, the sauce seemed a tad thicker, and was not what we had anticipated. There were not enough peanut in the sauce. We would suspect that perhaps there was a change of chef. As they say, the chef will determine how much business your restaurants get and the flavour may differ from one chef to another.
Crabs stir fried in satay sauce
Deep fried golden buns to be dipped into the satay sauce
One of our favourite dish from this restaurant, is the Lohan vegetarian dish. We used to love this dish very much and would order this dish on each visit. This time around, it tasted different from our last visit. Again, we would attribute this to a different chef.
Our next dish was Scallop with broccoli. Just a few broccoli, and a few slices of scallop set us back by RM38. Expensive or not?
Lohan vegetarian dish
We also ordered Fish pan-fried with soy sauce. The fish was fresh and succulent enough, and tasted good with the soy sauce.
Fish pan-fried with soy sauce
This night, I was looking forward to my crab dinner but it was not what I expected. Of all the dishes that we had this night, the thumbs up would be the sharks fin soup and the pan-fried fish.
This is an upclass restaurant, and the whole dinner, together with drinks cost us RM283.95. No doubt it was on the high side, but if you enjoyed the food, what is there to complaint right?
MONDAY, AUGUST 04, 2014
This is not a new concept and has been around in Europe since several years back. Usually this concept is practiced by organizations wanting to do charitable deeds as they believe in doing kindness to mankind.
Lovely Vegetarian Restaurants is one such restaurant. It is located right behind Hock Lee Centre, along Jln Datuk Abang Abdul Rahim Kuching. They practice the concept that you can eat as much as you want and pay whatever amount that you like or can afford to. It is up to you.
They are opened only from 11:00am -1:30pm . Their lunch is buffet style and self service. You help yourselves to the food and after you finish eating, you just need to wash the plates or utensils after you finish eating. They serve about 10 dishes, 2 soups, tea, coffee, dessert and some ice drinks.
The restaurants can sit over 100 persons and sometimes the local folks can celebrate their wedding or birthday functions here. The environment is quite cozy for dining as it is all air-conditioned. The place is also very clean.
If you enjoy healthy vegetarian meal, come check out this restaurant with a unique concept.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 07, 2014
Bubur pedas is the most difficult dish to make. It was not that hard actually, but to make this dish, you need to spare a lot of time. For most people, they need to prepare the powder mixture before cooking the real porridge. You can buy the powder mixture, but for my family, we will dedicate a day just to make the powder, since it will be for six families. This is one of the annual family gathering that we cannot miss. Plus, you will need all the help you can get if you need to prepare 15kg of bubur pedas powder.
We were supposed to meet up at my Udak’s home in Semariang at 10:00am. By the way, we Sarawakians called our aunts and uncles with names such as Wa for the eldest, Anjang, Ngah, Mok, Udak, Achik, Yak and Usu for the youngest. I believe there are others and in Peninsula Malaysia, they have different titles. I still did not manage to figure out how they arrange these titles according to their ranks, because one of my aunts is called Aunty, maybe because they ran out of titles, and since that aunt is an English teacher.
Anyway, at 10:30am my aunt started calling people up because nobody shows up at the allocated time. We were still at home, preparing to leave the house, so we arrived there at 11:00am. They already started the preparation process.
When we arrived, there were big plastic bowls on the table and people around the table were busy with slicing the ginger, onions, lemongrass and shallots while some others were peeling the lengkuas (galangal). Since I wanted to avoid dealing with the turmeric at all cost, I rushed to the only empty chair to slice the ginger. Everybody knows that turmeric equals disaster. In the end, my mother and sister were forced to peel them.
“What’s wrong with the ginger? Can’t it be bigger?” my Aunty pointed out sarcastically when we were almost done with the slicing. Only then did I look at the humongous slices of ginger filling the big bowl. It was not my fault, is it? Since I am not the only one slicing the ginger, I cannot take all the blame.
So, when I was forced to slice the turmeric and risking four days of orange colour on my fingers, we decided to mince them to avoid my aunt’s sarcasm.
We stopped for lunch. While we were busy with slicing and mincing, my Udak was at the kitchen preparing lunch for us. This is one of the reasons I love about family gathering. All of my aunts are great cooks, including my mother. Even if they were not, I still love the atmosphere at these occasions.
We sat on the floor with the spread of food in front of us. There were plates of Ayam Pansoh (cooked in pot, not bamboo), cencaluk (fermented small shrimps), umbut masak lemak (coconut shoot cooked with coconut milk), ulam mangga and umai. The umai was made from ikan yu (small shark?) so it was less popular among my aunts and cousins but since umai is one of my favourite foods; I gobbled it down in no time.
After lunch, we resumed working. The grated coconuts, spices and dried chillies were fried without oil separately. Two big woks were put on the portable stoves, and all the sliced ingredients were mixed together with uncooked rice. Then, a smaller portion of the mixture was fried without oil in the big woks. This was the most tiring stage in the whole process, because you need to stir the mixture continuously and endure the heat from the wok. This needed to be repeated until all the mixture was fried.
All of the mixture needs to be mixed with the fried grated coconut. Then, a small accident happened when my Achik wanted to put the grated coconut into the giant pot. She sprained her leg while attempting to stand up from a crouch resulting in spilling quite a lot of the grated coconut.
Apart from that, the process went smoothly. We just need to put the mixture into the food processor. However, since there was only one blender, the process took about one hour to complete.
While saying our goodbyes, I looked at the big containers of bubur pedas powder and secretly feeling relieved as the trouble of making bubur pedas had ended for this year.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2012
Sarawak Kek Lapis
Congratulations to a winner from Ipoh Perak for winning the 20 rolls of Sarawak Kek Lapis which co
mes in different colours and flavours. The winner was Cikgu Muhammad Izuddrin or also known as Nematodenz on Facebook.
The competition which lasted for a few weeks, gave him the opportunity to do something creative and funny. The competition theme was Kek Lapis Funniest Videos. His video was a few minutes length featuring a few number of teachers did the chicken line dancing to humour his students. His video was voted to be the funniest among all.
The Sarawak Kek Lapis is a well-known traditional recipe. Most of the time, tourist would not hesitate to buy a pack bag. Kek Lapis got its name from its multiple layered taste and presentation.
The Kek lapis was first introduced back in year 1988 from Indonesia. It was said during the Ducth Colonial Era, the secret recipe for Kek Lapis was revealed. Until today the Indonesian most iconic Kek Lapis is Lapis Legit and Lapis Surabaya.
From time to time, the well-known Kek Lapis tend to change recipe in Sarawak. New recipes and flavours are always in the market today. There are several flavours such as Horlick, Milo, Strawberry, Vanilla, Nestum, Chocolate, and so on.
In year 2011, a new innovation of Kek Lapis was introduced. It is known as the Kek Lapis Qalas which combines a mixture of modern techniques and traditional recipes from their ancestors.
The popular Kek Lapis Qalas is another modern taste and flavour touch created by Sarawak. Hence Sarawak Kek Lapis is to be categorized as the modern day Kek Lapis.
The recipe for Kek Lapis is never an easy one. It can be divided into two categories. First one is with motifs, shapes and colour while the second one is just plain and simple with two colours.
The requirement to make one is the chef must have a very strong hand or an electric mixer to batter the ingredients. Ingredients consist of eggs, vegetable oil, butter, and other flavours will be mixed together.
When it comes to baking it patience is needed. The strong texture of Kek Lapis is then stuck on together with jam so that it will not come off easily when serving. The battered flavour is then poured bit by bit to make one thin layer each. Once it is done, it will be then baked inside the electrical oven rather than using the gas oven. But of course the best result still comes from using traditional charcoal oven just as how the Dutch did.
The price of the cake depends on the size as well. In Sarawak, a standards size Kek Lapis is 8 inches by 3 inches. Price range is from RM 15 to RM 30/- for a roll.
All Occasion Kek Lapis.
Sarawak Kek Lapis alone is a perfect gift item for all occasion and celebration such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Gawai, Deepavali, and Christmas. It is also a perfect gift for birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings.
The best of all, Sarawak Kek Lapis tastes better with the perfect aroma blend of a cup of tea or coffee when you shared with your love ones.
So come one down to Kuching or Sibu, Miri, Bintulu, and have a stroll around town for a slice of our delicious Sarawak Kek Lapis.
What is Buah DABAI?
Have you ever wonder what is that mysterious, shining looking seeds packed up in the boxes that come in red or yellow colour? The answer to your question is Buah Dabai also known as Canarium. In Sarawakian Hokkien Chinese it is called Or Kanna.
Many tend to get confused by the appearance of Dabai. Some call it as a type of vegetation and some will look at it as a fruit and wondering if it is edible. Some even think that it is a type of avocado. Then again it is none of the above.
Buah Dabai is a type of exotic fruits that grows in certain part of the region and consists of 75 types of species.
The fruit tree itself is so large and grows on thick green trees up to 40-50 meters height, with alternate, pinnate leaves.
Its furry leaves are thin and twigs covered with golden brown.
How do I prepare?
Now that you know what Buah Dabai is, so how are you going to eat it and how edible is it?
The Buah Dabai is very edible. No worry as it is safe for eating.
To eat it is simple. Even making it is just like making tea using ready-made tea sachets. Preparation will take a minute or two. Then you are good to go to eat it.
All what you need to do is just fill your Dabai inside a container mix it with hot water. Add a little bit of soy sauce and add either sugar or salt! Close the lid and go do other things while waiting.
Then again, the very fragrant of Dabai depends on your preparation, either sweet or salty.
Cooking is magical. You can even melt a man’s heart with it. As people said, the heart of a man is through his stomach. In Malaysia, the experience of cooking varieties of food is a walk to remember. Here is how you can do it!
As you know, Malaysia is a very well-known mix of culture. As a result we have the Traditional Nasi-Goreng (Fried Rice). Be it Tribal, Malay, Chinese, Indian and even the Free Style! The dish is so simple and flexible that it has no specific methods of preparing it.
As usual, dunk the Dabai inside the hot warm water and close the lid. Except that this it is just plain tasteless Dabai. Once it is ready, peel off everything and leaving only the seed. Both the seed and flesh are actually edible. Once your fried rice is already inside, you can mix it with your ready peeled off Dabai. Stir your fried rice well along with the Dabai inside it to get that perfect blend of taste and aroma.
In Sarawak, if you can find the right place, you will see, Nasi Goreng Dabai on the menu.
The seed is edible. You will have to cut it into half and dig out the flesh inside it using tooth pick. The Dabai inner seed flesh contains lots of calcium which is good for health!
Where to buy?
Dabais are like Durians and it is not your everyday fruit. You will only get it once a year. The price of Dabai ranges differently in kilograms and depends on the seller. But once it is towards the end of the fruit peak season, it gets cheaper as the exotic fruits cannot last for more than a week.
Normally, the best quality Dabai comes from places in Sarawak such as Kapit, Betong, Oya, Sibu, Sarikei, and Kanowit. The freshness of Dabai depends on how the packaging is doneand the soil quality. If you are a far traveller, and you want to try out the Dabai by bringing it back home, you need to pack it properly and make sure it is not exposed to heat. If you do, the Dabai will eventually cook even for a little.
It is a very sensitive fruit even with very little heat exposure; the fruits will be cook with direct sunlight! So do pack and wrap it well.
Why there is a yellow and red flesh Dabai?
The colour is not something for you to worry on. If it is yellow, the flesh is usually thicker than the red ones.
What are you waiting for?! Book your tickets now and come over to Sarawak and have a taste of it.
For more inquiries and information, do visit us at:
FRIDAY, JUNE 08, 2012
TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2012
Cincalok dish in Sarawak is the most delightful, most mouth-watering dish that comes from the sea and the source for such delicacy is the bubuk, or small shrimp.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY06, 2012
If you love hot and spicy food, then on your next trip to Sarawak, especially to the capital city of Kuching, you must not miss the famous Sarawak Laksa. what food is it actually?