Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mysterious attraction to Sarikei and Sibu


SIBU:  Sarikei and Sibu are the two towns which we will try not to miss whenever we are on the current trunk road linking Kuching to Miri.  They seem to have some mysterious magic that tends to pull travellers to them, at least for a short stay.

Though about 100 km apart, Sarikei and Sibu have many similarities.  They are both Foochow settlements where each town has its own strengths.  And because both are Foochow towns, food found in both towns are rather similar.

Perhaps their biggest difference is that Sarikei and especially Jakar which is considered part of Sarikei is famous for its prawn noodle while Sibu cannot boast about the same dish.

For both Sarikei and Sibu, Foochow dishes such as kampua, preserved vegetable vermicelli rice noodle (zao cai hun gan) and red wine chicken vermicelli are commonly served.  Then there are cheap and delicious pastry and cakes like the egg cakes and kompia (the Chinese bagel) as well as “zheng dong pian”, another variety of kompia.

As for BAT6, there is one place that we will always frequent for breakfast – Lai Lai Coffee Shop. Initially it is because the coffeeshop is right below our lodging place.  However, we slowly fell in love with the food offered in the coffeeshop where there is a variety of Foochow dishes including the lesser known “fried pa kuek” which is something quite similar to kuek tiao but thicker and of a different texture.

Apart from the fact that it offers good food, what makes BAT6 like to stop by the place is that those running the coffeeshop are not only friendly but honest people.

In one of the previous trips, one of the BAT members lost her expensive dark glasses.  The coffeeshop owner kept them safely for her until she came back to look for them.

During this trip, the same BAT member lost her purse which contains all the important documents – credit card, debit card, driving licence, identity card and few hundred ringgit of cash in the coffeeshop.  The purse was returned untouched.

BAT6 was waiting at the coffeeshop for a friend to pick them up.  When the friend came, all hopped onto the car excitingly.  Upon reaching the restaurant, the BAT member found she had lost her purse.  They rushed back to the coffeeshop instantly.  On the way, the BAT member who lost the purse thought that there was very slim chance of recovering the purse because the table they were seated earlier was on the five-foot way outside the coffeeshop.

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