Last week we did a whirlwind trip to Bintulu and Sibu, because we were to celebrate my paternal grandma’s 80th birthday in Sibu. For clarification purposes, I come from a mixed Foochow (paternal) and Teochew (Maternal) heritage. Most of my Foochow relatives reside in Sibu, and Teochew relatives pretty much everywhere (Bintulu, Miri, Kuala Lumpur, South Australia). Anyway, because the trip was so short (2 days) we packed so much in our schedule. Mainly food.
The afternoon we arrived in Bintulu we went straight to my maternal grandma’s place for lunch. And this was what she cooked up. Pretty much all our favourite dishes!
Ang Jiu (Red rice wine) Chicken Soup, Spring Roll, Steamed Fish (Teochew of course), Kacangma Chicken, Chicken Wings and ‘Mua Chee’. The plate of vegetables not pictured though. This grandma is a great cook and she makes pretty much everything from scratch and in bulk. I’m always amazed by her tremendous amount of energy. Needless to say, we stuffed ourselves. To the point I couldn’t even have a proper dinner.
We went on the roadtrip to Sibu the next day, but that’s after we had somemore food at Maternal Grandma’s place.
I can never get sick of her Ang Jiu Chicken Soup. She makes her own Ang jiu (Foochow Red Wine) by the way eventhough she’s not Foochow (starting to get confusing yet?). I always like mixing a bit of Kacangma Chicken’s gravy in this soup to add the extra herbaceous note. Delicious.
Grandma also makes the best Ang Gu Kueh. The texture is out of this world. Shame I couldn’t eat more after the bowl of noodles. I was also saving my tummy for our second breakfast.
Unfortunately, this plate of Kampua mee with wantons left much to be desired. It was too salty and doesn’t hit the right spot. The wantons were all congealed with very little filling. Being the third day of CNY, most of our favourite Kampua shops are not open for business yet.
The condition of the road to Sibu is pretty bumpy, no thanks to the recent rainy season. There were plenty of pot holes on the road so the driver (dad) had to remain hypervigilant. Anyway, we arrived safely (just) in Sibu, in just over 2 hours. And what greeted us at my aunt’s place was: You guessed it, more food!
Another bowl of mee sua just a couple of hours before the dinner banquet. I think I have successfully prolonged my life (noodles signifies longetivity) by about 10 years. I believe I fell into a food coma after this, but we only had an hour or so to rest before heading off to the dinner.
The dinner was very much standard Foochow fare at Hock Chu Leu (福聚楼) with Chicken Soup, Deep fried Eggs, Fried Mee Sua etc, but what really got us excited was this.
I haven’t had this style of Sio Bee for the longest time and these are flavourful with nice thin skin. The Ou Nee was out of my expectations and I couldn’t stop reaching for more. Simplicity at its best. We managed to get some leftovers too because there were a couple of tables empty. Food coma ensued, once again, and I was already fast asleep by 11pm, most unusual.
We had to drive back to Bintulu the next morning as the three of us were leaving to KL that very evening. Of course, one does not go to Sibu without having Kampua mee. We wanted to go to Rasa Sayang as according to Arthur and Huai Bin they serves really good Kampua, but alas there were just way too many people. So we made a detour to One o One Cafe instead, which was quite busy too but we didn’t have to wait too long for a table.
This definitely hit the spot with the right amount of seasoning (I did add a little bit of soy sauce as I like it dark) and the aroma of pork lard. Even the lean char siew slices tasted pretty good. This was only RM2.80 and that’s CNY price too. Usually you’ll only pay about RM2.30 to RM2.50 for a plate of Kampua in Sibu (the price is slightly higher in Bintulu I believe).
So that was our short but sweet trip to Sarawak. In between the eating we did find time to visit our local market and supermarket to stock up on some food items.
Well, good news for you! I’d like to giveaway 2 of these lovely packets of Laksa Paste. All you need to do is to leave a comment and tell me which Sarawak dish is your favourite, or that you are most curious about. Do indicate that you would like a packet of Laksa Paste too so I know who to include.
It also won’t do you any harm to like my music page here: http://www.facebook.com/kellysiewmusic as you will be able to help me reach my goals.
You have until 24th February, so comment away! Open to Kuala Lumpur/Selangor readers, or those who thinks they will be able to pick up from me personally sometimes soon.
Meanwhile, you can also take a look at my Sarawak Laksa recipe.
For a good summary on Sarawak food, visit Feat of Feasts for the Malaysian Food Fest Sarawak Month Round up!