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Monday, April 17, 2017

Road Trip : Sebuyau - A Food Log

Early morning and it was important for us to eat our breakfast before the start of our journey. We went to Ru Yi Corner at Stutong - this is the coffee shop adjacent to Imperial Bak Kut Teh and Yu Zhi Xiang; this coffee shop had changed proprietors a few times and thus, its name also changed a few times. 

My friend, W's niece ran the laksa stall here, and for the longest time, he'd been telling me to try his niece's laksa; I hadn't had the opportunity to do so, though, till now; 

Small Laksa, RM6.00

The laksa was a huge portion, and generously topped with so many condiments - not sure if it's because Uncle W ordered it on our behalf; Lol. I liked the fact that the laksa broth was boiling hot; a taste revealed that broth was not spicy, and that it was on the sweeter side; the taste of coconut milk stood out, and I was pretty sure that they had used some pre-packaged santan. A passable bowl of laksa, but certainly not the best in town ... 

Assorted kueh, RM4.20
We loved the deep-fried banana fritters - they weren't fried on the spot; but they were still tasty though; the carrot cake wasn't good - too much flour and lacking in flavour, and not salty enough; the chai kueh looked so pretty. I liked the skin - which was thin and chewy; the salted vegetable filling wasn't tasty and lacked texture.

We reached Sebuyau in time for lunch. We ate at the District Hawker Centre - at a stall named Voon Nyuk Seng.

Food court

Thanks to Siti, lunch was pre-arranged; the stall had expected our arrival. There were 17 of us, and we occupied 4 tables; there were 4 dishes served in 4 portions.

Well, food was cheap.  The style of cooking was simple, and somewhat bland. But the portions were really generous. We only paid RM450 per meal, and when divided out, it meant that it only cost us RM28 per person per meal - and that too inclusive of rice and drinks.

Midin, stirfried with garlic and red wine 
The vegetables were a beautiful shade of green, indicating that they were not overcooked; the red wine, however, lacked in aroma - not sure whether they used too little or the quality of the red wine wasn't good

Freshwater prawns with lemongrass dried chillies 
There were a handful of large prawns - those were really yum - fresh and succulent; there were some smaller prawns that weren't very fresh as the flesh were already soft and crumbly.

 Crabs, stir-fried with egg 
The crabs were bought by Siti from Simunjan; they were small but fresh and sweet and tasty

Fish head in Assam Pedas gravy
The fish was fresh and so delicious! Its meat was so sweet and so fine! We kept wondering what fish it was that we were eating. There was contradicting information as the proprietor told us it was Ikan Terusan, and Siti told us it was Ikan Panjang. Siti told us that the fish would often be 2 metres long and was found in abundance in the area. Heh. Siti sounded more convincing. So, Ikan Panjang it was! Check out some writings on Ikan Panjang here.

The proprietor of the food stall was a middle-aged Chinese man. He was a friendly guy, seeing to it that we had everything we needed to enjoy our meal; he took photos with us and stayed around to chat after our meal; we found out that he was Mr. Tay ... and his wife was the cook; he had rented the food stall from the District Office and his lease was renewed every year;

Dinner, would be in fact, at the same stall. Lol. There weren't any other places to eat, it seemed. We asked the proprietor what he was serving us for dinner, and he hinted of Ikan Panjang and Ikan Lumek. We asked for crabs and cockles and bamboo clams. But the proprietor told us that no such seafood were available at Sebuyau. We were quite disappointed. 

My colleague L, was actually looking forward to eating Ikan Terubok - a fish synonymous with Sebuyau ... but unfortunately there was none this trip. Someone said that there had been a crocodile attack as recent as last week, and the fishermen were not willing to risk their lives to catch the Terubok just as yet. 

It was a hot, hot afternoon and we were feeling restless at the Rest House (duh!); the room we were resting in was hot despite the air-condition. I was feeling sticky and uncomfortable ... so I rounded up some of my friends and we went to cool off at a drinks stall just outside of the Rest House gate ....


And here, we had ...

ABC
The shaved ice was pretty rough .... but at least the dessert wasn't too sweet; it was quite tasty actually; we felt much cooler after having this .... 

Fried chicken
The fried chicken wings were pretty much tasteless; the chilli sauce too was tasteless

We hanged out here for a long time, chatting till the crowd started coming in and we vacated our tables to make way for the locals. For 5 bowls of ABC and a plate of chicken wings, we paid RM20.00. 

Half an hour later, we walked back to the food stall for dinner. Heh. We had our dinner early so that some of us could drive back before the sun set .... 

Deep-fried Mackerel Steaks
The fish steaks were fresh, quite thick. Unfortunately, this wasn't my favourite way of eating mackerel ...

Mixed vegetables
Again, the vegetables were nicely cooked and were still crunchy ... 

Steamed ikan panjang fillets
This was my favourite dish that night; I think I nearly ate a whole fillet .... the fish was soft and the meat did not smell; super yum! 

Ikan Lumek in soup
Ikan Lumek was lizard fish; cThis dish reminded me of Mom; this would be how we cook Ikan Lumek at home .... so much so that I asked if the proprietor was Teochew ... heh ... indeed Mr. Tay was Teochew. Kaki Nang :)) 

Stir-fried Pork

Washed down with a cold, cold can of Heineken

So while the seafood was fresh (except for some of the prawns), the cooking style was unsophisticated. We were grateful, however, for the hospitality shown by the proprietor, Mr. Tay and also to Siti - our fellow teacher who was working hard to educate young children at such a remote place.

2 comments:

  1. this place is so remote and definitely boring (to the tourist)...other than eating and shopping for local produce, I can't think of anything else to do...Do they have jungle trekking, hitch hiking sort of place nearby?

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  2. Yeah ... Sebuyau felt isolated. There wasn't even much to eat and shop - the crabs we ate were sourced from Simunjan. My friends did manage to buy some freshwater prawns and local rice on the second day and I think that was about all there was to buy. Jungle trekking? Hmn ... not sure .... perhaps fishing or crocodile sighting could be included?

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