Monday, February 12, 2007

Sarawak Laksa Overdose

Was in Kuching over the weekend for a friend's wedding. Without much inkling as to where exactly to go for the famed Sarawak Laksa, we just walked around the vicinity of our hotel, and stopped at the first coffee shop that offered it. It was 1.30pm, but I think Kuchingers eat very early....everything was nearly sold out, and I think we got what must have been the last two bowls. In retrospect, that one was the best, but I didn't have my camera on me then. Anyway, they all look more or less the same, and actually, all the ones we had were pretty decent.

Another Kuching dish is mee kolok. It refers to an afro kind of noodle, much like wantan mee, except wavy, and is cooked more or less the same way as wantan mee, sans the black sauce. Again, I didn't have my camera on me, except later on when I had the fried mee kolok. It's actually quite tasty.


On our quest to find the single swallow brand of Sarawak Laksa paste, which Boolicious had to track down for me through a series of sms-es, (it's very handy to know the culinary queen and have her phone number), in Chinatown, I even bumped into Mr Ho of Mr Ho's fine foods. He knows me by name, so it was quite amusing to see his surprised look, and mine. We also found this quaint little coffee place, called Bings. I had to have the mars bar cheese cake, after all that hawker fare three consecutive meals, and a nice cup of tea. The mars bar cheesecake was not bad. A bit sweet.


Meanwhile, finding the single swallow brand laksa paste was proving harder than expected. Most places carry the Barretts brand (apparently son of the single swallow fella), Double Swallow, and Eagle. Finally, I managed to find one non descript sundry shop that stocked it, in 600gm packages. To confuse matters, it doesn't say SINGLE SWALLOW.... it actually says layang layang. Further frantic sms-es to boolicious to confirm if the man's name was Tan Yong Him...

Anyway, it turns out it was the correct brand. Apparently the fler's dead oridi, so who's making it? His son sells it under the name Barretts.

Kuching is quite a nice quaint little city. It's quite sprawling, as in the residential areas are quite far apart. We walked from the hotel, down the river esplanade to the Indian Street, and Chinese Street, after the wet market. I'm sure these places exist in KL, but since I'm never on holiday here in KL, I never explore.



I forgot what these fruits are called, above. They loook like some kind of olive. And I've always prided myself on knowing most malaysian produce.



I love these large containers of spice, and beans etc. They remind me of a carefree, long gone era. Somehow scooping it from the plastic containers at Carrefour isn't quite the same. Now, the picture below is a sight to behold. Eugh. Margarine, by the sack load.

So it's true, that urban legend about how you can leave margarine exposed, and no fly worth its salt will come near it, coz of all the fake ingredients. Nor does it melt.

32 comments:

MeiyeN said...

i am wondering if mee kolok = sarawak dry mee?

UnkaLeong said...

Looks like you had fun. Nothing like a bowl of the spicy stuff to clear up the blocked nose!

smallertoe said...

if dats margarine in the foreground, would dat be kaya in the background?

i hear from a colleague dat in Sarawak, their char siew is quite horrid ... "it's so hard u can loh lei tang kow (throw dem at the dogs)" were his exact words. i have to believe him since he had 2 tours of national duties (ex-govt servant) in dat place ... so dnt quote me on the char siew as i do not have 1st hand experience.

fbb, u were there, u tell me.

ps. so r my comments farni 2day?

HL said...

FBB said "And I've always prided myself on knowing most malaysian produce."

What's the name of that nut? seed? fruit? that looks grotesquely gargoyley demonic.

fatboybakes said...

mei yen, yar, mee kolok probably is the sarawak dry noodle.

unkaleong, well, it may have cleared the throat, but my throat's sore now.

smaller toe, well, the charsiew i had was okay what...the only thing is it seems to be colored with that carcinogenic red dye that isnt very common here anymore. as for farnee comment, roll eyes. what, fishing for compliment ah?

hl, that's the thing laaaa, i cant remember what its called. i asked the man. i thought it might be some local form of olive.

HL said...

no, i actually meant another seed/nut, the one that has twin horns and what might pass off as a grotesque face. it's black.

smallertoe said...

fbb, yah dats d type of char siew dey have there. boiled and den coated with dat red dye for colouring. alwiz wondered y dey botherd to colour it ... it's not really "siewed" anyway.

haha, typical fbb response. nt fishing 4 anything. u were d one who mentioned dat my comments were farni at the "other" weekend wedding at the East (not E.M'sia). i was wondering y u said dat ... bt i guess u were just more "spirited" dat nite.

anyway, wat r those in the background?

ps. anyone asked u 2 do last min over-glorified-ladies-just-dig-it-popularised-by-Hallmark-Val-day cake-ah? if got, can make a big killing! Ding3! $$$!

Tummythoz said...

Finally a new post! I just lurve d way u write. Been checking in everyday. So, do I sound like an ardent fan/stalker/psycopath? Considering taking out a restraining order yet? Hehe =P

I'm oso curious abt the other containers around the margarine. What are those? Shd I swear off industrialised kaya?

fatboybakes said...

tummythoz, youuuu flattter me. hardly stalker la.
actually, i didnt pay much attention to the stuff surrounding the margarine, but from subconscious memory, i think there was various forms of processed fat, like ghee, or a derivative of it, and yar, that stuff looks like kaya. as i rarely eat kaya, once again, didn't pay attention....but i think industrialised kaya well, is still kaya, whereas, margarine, industrialised or not, is FAKE!!! bleh.

hl, oh, those ah, that look like buffalo horns. yar, the name just escapes me for now. arrrrrrgh!!! now i am gonna obsess about it till i find out.

smallertoe, yes, well, i was in good spirits at that wedding. and no, no last minute orders for valentine's day...anyway, you know my views about these commercial displays of affection...it would almost be against my principles to bake any such cake. ALMOST, i said. in any case, i only have one heart mold, but only coz darling daughter requested a heart cake years ago. valentine's day....SHUDDER....

boo_licious said...

Aiks, no public displays of affection so we won't see 100 roses and huge diamond rings in the blog tmrw!!! How can, you must in the spirit of lurveeee! Anyway, don't worry I'm just pulling yr leg.

Jackson said...

wow...seems like you really enjoy yr trip! Where's my mee kolok?

Rasa Malaysia said...

Since you can't come to the dinner, can you make it to the hawker delight on Friday night (Feb 23rd). Boo, WMW, maybe Tonixe and I are going to Petaling Street and Jalan Alor for hawker food...can come? Let me know your HP number please. I sent you an email but you didn't reply. :(

cek said...

olive like fruit is called dabai.
and the twin horn fuit is ling kio- taste like chestnut:)

Tummythoz said...

An earning baker who does not capitalise on such a momentum occasion? How can! Then again, u did say 'almost'. :)

fatboybakes said...

tummythoz, that's why lor, cant give up full time job to bake.

rasamalaysia, i did email you my hp no, but via streamyx, and that's about as reliable as the atms in bank bumi... have resent via jaring, and yes, hopefully will be able to join you guys on friday in j alor

cek, thanks. whats the horns called in english, and is dabai a kind of olive?

boo, i think i need to be tagged again to reveal more about myself. roses and diamond rings??? LOUD LOUD CYNICAL LAUGHTER....

jackson, go and soak some mamee instant noodles, tastes the same.

d3vil said...

dabai is also called "kanna" in hokkien, local olives. they would normally steam it till it softens and eat with dark soya sauce or salted when steamed. they will also keep the seeds to crack and eat the "nuts" inside. acquired taste thou.

As for the sarawak laksa infamous paste, its now called barret, they have a kopitiam selling laksa too and you can buy the paste and sambal from them. Too bad i didnt know you are going else would have guide you there, located somewhere near 3rd mile.It taste horrible if you ask me. Theres a new type of laksa paste, it works just like tomyam paste where you now don't have to boil and drain the chillies.

If you were to go kch again, do check out my sister's blog of all "famous" laksa in sarawak and their comparison. http://everydayrojak.wordpress.com/2007/01/08/best-of-sarawak-laksa/

fatboybakes said...

d3vil, ah, so that's where the term sour kanna comes from lah, as in asam boi.
i presume u r from kuching then.

team BSG said...

in Kuching 4 so many days and all u did was laksa & paste?

V know the place is quaint but?
hey wheres da Bidayu and Iban red heads, common ! also land /sea Dayaks ?

smallertoe said...

fbb, speaking of public display of affections, i sort of remember some many moons ago, some bloke baked a CARROT cake w a 3 CARAT D-ring on the side as deco, or was it stuffed somewhere inside d cake ... nahh ... she would have choked.

dat wasn't u, was it? tell me if u remember who dat was, coz dat fella really RAISED the bar (not the spirited ones) sky high for us guys! :D

fatboybakes said...

your memory fails you miserably, my dear smaller toe...
your comments are historically factually inaccurate, much like our new ethnic module in universities.

for starters, there was no home made carrot cake...as that bloke didnt even know where the oven was those days, let alone bake.

secondly, it wasnt a 3 CARAT diamond ring, you donk...it was a 3 CARROT RING, bigggg difference ....hence the confusion with carrot cake. there were 3 carrots stuck onto a makeshift ring....

maybe you're mistaking these public displays of affection with your other toe....who hides rings in plastic turtles on the beach expecting his fiance to find it...

muahahahahaahahahahahahahaha.....

i dunno who you're talking about anyway.

smallertoe said...

aiks! i stand corrected! so there was no cake or Diamonds. but who cares, whether they were mere carrots and a simple band (even if it were a rubber band)?

The POINT is, there was CLEARLY a public display of affection ... after all, that fler who's name i forget, did all dat in PUBLIC! ;p

as 4 the comment on the Other toe, i totally agree dat he is the KING of PDoA. but in this incidence, it was hardly "public" as he was confused between being subtle and public!

Don't tink his fiancee found the ring NOR did anyone see it happening since it was all hidden! hahaha!

oops! looks like the other toe has become collateral damage in the cross-fire! sori, Other toe!

fatboybakes said...

i guess, in defence of that fler, there are some events where its inevitable to do some meryl streep-like acting la. weddings, definitely, i mean, when the priest says you may kiss the bride, its more like an order anyway. and engagement parties, i guess have to show SOME form of ermmmm, affection.


oh, tonixe, in relation to your question, got pics what of the dayaks and what not, on the other limiteditions blog.

team BSG said...

ok dats perfect !

Melissa said...

what a great collection of delicious photos! Thanks for sharing :)
Melissa

cek said...

water caltrop = horned water chestnut = Jesuit nut = ling kio

MeiyeN said...

gong xi fa chai to you and your family! may you have a very happy and prosperous chinese new year! :D

fatboybakes said...

melissa, thank you for your kind words...actually my photographs leave a lot to be desired compared with all those professionals out there...i really need to invest in a better camera for blogging purposes.

cek, my my, quite the culinary encyclopaedia. thanks. water caltrop!!!! now, howwwww many malaysians would know that?!!!! my guesstimate, 0.002% of the population...very impressive. must remember.

meiyen, and all, while we're at it, GONG XI FA CAI to all of you....happy pigging out.

wmw said...

Hi there! Thanks for dropping by my blog. Was telling myself to visit your blog one of these days after knowing who was invited to the meetup. Well, hopefully we all will be able to. Wah! I get to meet the sifus floggers! :oD

wmw said...

Oh, dropping by again to wish you Gong Xi Fa Chai! May there be abundance of blessing, prosperity and longevity for all!

babe_kl said...

Wishing you and your family a happy and prosperous Chinese new year. Oink!

team BSG said...

nice meeting up on Sat night, all of 8 minutes !

as punishment for overshort presence u have to cook 3 dishes on the next meet ! tks for cake.

fatboybakes said...

team bsg, yalor, what to do, filial piety mah. you own any restaurants that we can congregate in?