Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Golden Happiness #2 金囍楼 Golden Happiness #2 (Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia)

Happy Chinese New Year to all our readers! ^.^ 新年快乐, 鼠年快乐!! Best wishes to everyone in the year of the MOUSE. :D

Sorry for the lack of posts in the past week - been busy with CNY celebrations and what not. Anyway, here's the promised 2nd Sibu restaurant post, and I'm almost done with Sibu food posts. I'll be posting some of CC's mum's yummy home cooking and that'll be about it. Next up with be a bevy of restaurant posts in Penang. :) I'll try to eat more hawker food...but no promises. :( It's a long story why not, but we'll leave it at that.

Okay! First up, we have 拉子菜炒蛋 La Zi Cai Chao Dan also known as 'Mani' veg with fried egg.

Eggy and Veggy.

Another kind of vegetable that I am unfamiliar with. It was very good though. I like the crisp, leafy texture and it had a slight, herb-y aftertaste that went well with the egg. The bits of egg were seasoned, which made it even yummier. According to CC, you have to cook the Mani veg with eggs, if not it'd have a weird, bitter taste that won't be too pleasant.

福州面 Foochow Noodles are the next dish.

Brothy noodles with yummies!

Mmm...yummy. The noodles were generously served with mushrooms, veggies, prawn and meat, and I especially like the broth-y feel of it - the noodles were not too dry, not too wet. The broth was good - seasoned just right.

Of course, we must have soup - and I didn't manage to take the soup bowl, so have a photo of my own bowl - 糟菜裕汤 Zao Cai Yu Tang, a mixed vegetable soup with fish.

Chunky, fishy, soupy.

It was a very hearty soup, full of vegetables and huge, generous chunks of tangy fish meat (as you can see). I actually had a second helping, although it was not a full bowl. I really liked the fish in the soup, the texture of it was really good. Some fish soups tended to have their fish pieces a bit dry, over-boiled and coarse to the tongue, but the fish in this soup was great.

The next one was another specialty of CC's family restaurant, 菜香豆腐 Cai Xiang Dou Fu, tofu with vegetables. My picture of the dish came out unclear, so again, have another pic of my own plate.

Fantastic tofu dripping with sauce.

The specialty was that the tofu is home-made fresh in the restaurant premises, not bought anywhere. You can't buy this tofu off the racks, nope. It's a trade secret. And was the tofu ever ever tasty. It was so smooth, and it was just different from any tofu that I've eaten. No wonder it's a trade secret. :D The mixed veggies and mushrooms with the tofu complimented it very well, along with a nice, thick sauce. Definitely a must-eat.

北平鸭夹包 Bei Ping Ya Jia Bao was next - literally means duck in a bun.

Duck~u all in the middle. sandwich. With mantou bread.

By now we were actually too full to eat much...and most of us only ate part of the bun and ate some of the duck pieces. The duck was delicious; tender meat with a crispy skin and dipping sauce. And the bun was actually quite soft and chewy, but we were really too full to finish the whole thing. I did eat a fair few pieces of duck though; I love duck meat (no dumb and unfunny jokes from those who know me, thanks).

Lastly...more noodles!! 粉干炒米连 Fen Gan Chao Mi Lian, which was short-ish noodles fried with the super good veggies I mentioned in the first post.

Hello, my lovely million veg...I miss you. Bet you don't miss me. One less person to eat you.

It looks super tasty, right? It is - I really like the combination of meat, oysters and those uber-delicious veggies. It was very fragrant and as San would say, enough "wok hei" definitely. But unfortunately, I was really much too full to eat anymore, so I only took a few bites, very regretfully. I would've polished off the whole thing if I could, and more. :D

And we had PINEAPPLE for dessert again, yay.

Here ends the restaurant posts...and yet again, please do NOT miss out Golden Happiness if you are ever in cute Sibu of Sarawak. I do understand that the dishes are hard to remember if you don't know Chinese, but just copy the pin-yin and people in the restaurant would be able to figure out what you want. Or just print my photos, haha.

Enjoy! ;) A couple of Penang posts are in the works next.


P.S. San ate this time. XD;;


金囍楼 Golden Happiness
5-7 Jalan Chengal
96000 Sibu

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Penang Hawker Food

Okay, I know I said the next post would be another one on CC's family restaurant, but seeing how I posted about Sibu hawker food here, I thought I'll just quickly write this on Penang hawker food, because I had some yesterday and there isn't a lot of pictures. :)

Liang and I went to a hawker centre in Lorong Swatow, near New World Park in Penang yesterday. Because I am lame, I forgot the name of the kopi tiam, it's the one opposite-behind Continental Bakery.

Both of us had Liang's favourite at the kopi tiam - TomYam Maggi Mee (RM3.00). Mine without taugeh (bean sprouts) of course, and Liang's with extra taugeh.

Not really a classic Penang hawker food, but it's good.

I've had that before last year - those were really good tomyam noodles. The soup was spicy and sharp, and the seller was generous with noodles, seafood and pieces of chicken. It's filling and very satisfying...some might complain it wasn't spicy enough - but because both me and Liang have low tolerance for chili, it suits us very well.

(You may be wondering why I didn't have Char Koay Teow. Cos the Char Koay Teow at that place wasn't fantastic...I prefer the TomYam noodles.)

We got badgered into ordering a plate of O-Jian (Oyster Eggs) (RM2.50) to share.

Liang asked for less oil...I think there's not much difference, haha.

I haven't had a lot of O-Jian previously on the account of health reasons. As good as they are, they really are quite oily and unhealthy. :( But the O-Jian we had was yummy. The oysters, although not super fresh, were fresh enough not to be smelly and the fried egg was crispy on the edges yet soft in the centres with the oysters to balance out a great crispy-gooey taste. I really liked it...such a guilty pleasure. Especially the crunchy bits of the egg!

And there you go - a Penang hawker food last. And only two dishes. I am such a bad Penangnite. :(

- Mouse

P.S. Our food, plus drinks, come up to less than AUD12.00.

Sibu Street (Hawker) Food

I finished writing this much later than I planned to. :x Anyway, here's the post on Sibu Street Food! Erm, I don't really know the exact location where we had these, but they are considered pretty common in Sibu. We actually didn't have a lot of hawker food because, y'know, CC's parents are like awesome chefs. But of course we have to try the most famous Foochow food in Sibu. For those who don't know, Sibu is primarily dominated by Foochow (福州) Chinese and CC herself is Foochow.

Possibly the most famous Foochow food to me is Kampua 干盘面. I've been hearing about these noodles for approximately 5 years and they are like, one of the primary reasons I went to Sibu. Hoho. Anyway, Kampua is a noodle dish traditionally made with hand-made noodles, char siew (roast pork) and dried shallots.

The famous last!!

Close up of the Sibu celebrity.

I really like it. The noodles are springy and yummy and I think it's a very simple dish that puts everything really well together. The sauce is just right for a dish of dry, yummy noodles, and the shallots are crispy and nice. Definitely not disappointed with it and definitely wishing that Penang has these noodles.

Mad bought her version of Kampua from Kuching - except they're more known as Kolo Mee there. I didn't manage to take a clear picture of the Kolo Mee alone - so have a group picture.

Kolo Mee in two kinds - I forgot what and why though...

It's definitely different from Kampua although they look similar. I can't exactly pinpoint the difference but there is a difference. Kolo Mee is yummy as well and they are served with steamed wantans as well as char siew.

Mad also bought some Sio Bee over - another traditional Foochow food.

Kuching Sio Bee.

It's rather like Siew Mai but I think it's so much yummier than the usual Siew Mai. Being that the 'skin' is thinner than Siew Mai, the Sio Bee is so much meatier and more fragrant. The way the meat is spiced is different, too. I could gorge on the whole plate! :D It's that good.

Next up we have Kompia 光饼.

Not your average burger.

It's a type of baked bread that is crispy, hot and yeasty when it comes straight out of the oven. Traditionally it's plain bread and you eat it with whatever filling you want - but CC's family brought us to this place where they served the Kompia fried with meat. Hot and meaty, the meat juices were soaked into the bread and the first bite is yum. So very good but also so very damaging to a girl's hips. :( CC's parents gave me a bag of traditional Kompia to take home but I unfortunately forgot to take a photo of those.

Backtracking a little, along with our Kampua meal, we had Wantan Soup 云吞汤 as well.

Wantan and veggies and soup.

It's not too different from the Wantan Soup I'm used to, but it's very good. There's a lot of veggies in the soup and the wantan is good and flavourful. Fishballs in the soup are munchy and nice as well.

We also had something called 红酒粗粉 Hong Jiu Chu Fen which translates roughly into Red Wine Thick Noodles.

Red as in red wine.

The soup is cooked with red wine and served with thick, short white rice noodles, black fungus and eggs. I didn't have a lot of it on the account that I can't really have alcohol - but the one sip of soup I had was rather good. The red wine wasn't very overpowering although you can taste it on the tip of your tongue. I think it's a really unusual dish - and I do love the boiled eggs. :D

The last Sibu street food on the list is 鼎边糊 Ding Bian Hu which is a kind of fishball koay teow soup with black fungus.


I will get the address from CC for this one (to be updated) because this is like one of the most famous dishes in Sibu. The fishballs are handmade and hand-beaten by the owner, fresh, every single morning. They are never NEVER served frozen. And I have to say those fishballs are like ten kinds of awesome. They are just so fresh, springy and tender, and you can really taste the fresh fish in every bite.

We are really spoilt for food in Sibu. ;) Bad news is, I think I haven't lost the weight from what I ate in Sibu...yet. Huhu.

Another restaurant post is in the works!

- Mouse

EDIT: 鼎边糊 Ding Bian Hu and 红酒粗粉 Hong Jiu Chu Fen are both made with black fungus not seaweed. Sorry, my bad and my bad memory. >>;;

Saturday, 2 February 2008

金囍楼 Golden Happiness (Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia)

Hello all...long time no see and I hope there are still people hanging around. :D Anyway, this is the official revival of Iron Eaters (I hope!! I really want to keep updating this!) and to start things off, the next few posts will be specials on food in Sibu, Sarawak!

(I'll be mostly blogging on food in Malaysia for a while as I'm not back in Melbourne till late February...bug San for Melbourne food posts if you want 'em)

A couple of weeks ago, me, San and Mad visited CC in Sibu - which was tons and tons of fun and tons and tons of food. Especially great for me and San because we haven't been to that side of Malaysia prior to CC's invite. Anyway...on with the food!

The first post of the Sibu series will feature CC's family restaurant, Golden Happiness 金囍楼. Now, please trust me when I say that their restaurant serves some of the best food I've EVER tasted in my life. And it's not because I'm biased either. Take my word for it - if you're ever in Sibu, don't miss out the Chinese food in Golden Happiness. You will regret it. And no, I'm not paid to say this, and neither am I saying this because I heart CC. My waistline after two days will attest to this. :(

CC's family restaurant in quaint Sibu.

And...urm...I have no idea how much the food cost as we didn't pay anything for food during the entire trip. :D (OMG i love you CC)

First off for dinner on the first day, we had the restaurant's ultimate signature dish: 龙船拼盘 Dragon Boat 'Long Chuan Pin Pan'.

Drooling yet?

Bet you are (drooling, I meant).

Just. Look. At. The. Boat. (!!!) It's filled with the most delish things ever: there's fish pieces and veggies, crabstick rolls, prawns in egg parcels and right smack in the middle are chunks of fresh lobster meat in mayo. Oh my was like food heaven. Everything is so delicious! Especially the seafood-prawn in egg parcels, it's like...WOW. I love love love this dish.

The greatest fish in Sibu.

Next up we're served some super amazing awesome fish. This fish is one of the most expensive kinds in Sibu (FYI, Sibu is famous for fresh river fish) and apparently it can cost up to RM600 (approx AUD$200) per kg. This is because the fish only resides in water near hills and only the locals (Ibans) catch them. Hence it's extremely difficult to get a hold of the fish in its entire glory. The fish is called 红不老 Hong Bu Lao but visitors love it so much that they called it 意难忘 Yi Nan Wang which translates to "Difficult to Forget". That's how good it is! The fish is served steamed lightly in soy-based sauce and a dash of spring onion, carrot and coriander. It's very light and absolutely delicious.

Such cute veggies!

Cute and wow...amazingly yummy wow.

And then...we had these most amazing vegetables, stir fried with oyster sauce, called 炒米莲 Fried Million 'Chao Mi Lian'. I've never ever seen these kind of fern-like veggies before but apparently they're not that uncommon. It's one of the most yummy vegetables I ever had. The texture is crispy and clean and the sauces used to stir fry it are simply fragrant and yummy. I love the vegetables so much that I actually contemplated buying some back to Penang...which was not advised as they will wilt. :( Which makes me sad.


Then we had the obligatory soup - 海参鱼鳔汤 Sea Cucumber Fish Soup 'Hai Shen Yu Biao Tang'. It's a great, thick soup with chunks of sea cucumber and fish plus bits of egg and crab meat. Filling and satisfying!

Huge ass prawn with pretty flower carrot.

Waaaaa...brings back such fond memories. :D

And finally - another signature dish - Cheese 大头虾 Cheese Prawns 'Cheese Ta Tou Xia'. These are huge prawns halved and baked with cheese. It's super tasty - the cheese doesn't overpower the prawn and all and the prawn meat is plentiful and tangy. Yummm! The pictures speak for themselves.

For dessert we had fruits. And among them is the best pineapple I've ever tasted.

Fruits are good for you.

PINEAPPLE that is ever. And I don't like pineapple.

And I carted two of those pineapples back to Penang, yippee!!

That's it for the dinner post...coming up next, some other local delicacies and ANOTHER restaurant post to whet your appetites!

- Mouse

p.s. I should mention...that poor San was sick and didn't eat ANY of the yummies above. Except pineapple. My condolences. *pats San*


金囍楼 Golden Happiness
5-7 Jalan Chengal
96000 Sibu