Posted in Uncategorized

Aroma Bakery

Aroma Bakery is a little place near the Civic Centre. It’s not the best location, yet the business is good and the bakery seems to be thriving. And why is that? I can answer this in two words: chicken pie.

I normally start my bakery posts with the white bread and red bean buns, but in this case, the pie deserves top spot.

Chicken pie

Aroma’s chicken pie is the first and only chicken pie that I will ever need to taste. If I ever (God forbid) compromise my pescatarian values, I would want to do it eating this pie. The sheer willpower that it takes to stare down a box full of these pies in the pantry at home, and not take a massive chunk out of them, is immense.

They come highly recommended. My mum sometimes buys them by the boxful (up to 20 pies) to gift them to relatives.

Constant price hikes seem to have done little to quell their support base. Even at RM3.80 (they started at RM2.20) they continue to attract addicted customers. When I last had a pie, it costed RM3.20. The pies seem to have shrunk since then, but I highly doubt that this bothers many people!

White bread

The bread does not disappoint either. Standard loaves are RM3.10;  double-loaves cost RM5. (Jan 2017). I have yet to find fault with this bread. The crust a nice texture and the taste and thickness of the slices are just right.

Red bean buns

The red bean buns are magnificent. They are simply stuffed with red bean filling. Just by holding it you can feel its almost assertive pressure in your palm – it wastes no time on being light and fluffy.

I reckon that if I were to eat more than a third at a time I would need to forgo eating for the rest if the day. The filling is homemade (none of the commercial nonsense you get from many other bakeries), and the taste and the texture of it is absolutely beautiful. The filling is sweet without being to sweet, and smooth without being too smooth: perfection.

For a small price of RM1.60 (Jan 2017), you get a heavy, dense pastry weighing 150g on average. To put this into perspective, the average red bean bun of equal size normally weighs 75g or less.

Coconut tarts

Picture pending – until I can afford the calories

I cannot say a word against these. 

Low-Gi bread

These are only baked on certain days of the week. 

Chia seed bread

Made with no sugar. I like it for its chewy texture, but if you don’t like that sort of thing then you can toast it, and it will taste just like regular bread. It is now RM5.70 a loaf (Jan 2017).

Tousa milk butter roll

They were already squashed when I got to them.

These buns come in RM3.10 packs of four. The filling is highly textured, only slightly mixed with the clumps of “butter” but still edible. I don’t think that they are worth the 115 calories but my little monster begs to differ.

Korean mochi bun

To be perfectly honest, their Korean buns are not fantastic. They are palatable, but the ones from 4 Seasons are more enjoyable. Aroma’s are slightly bigger and cost less at 80 cents a piece.

I found these slightly dry and the filling a.litle flat (in terms of taste). I sampled both in quick succession to compare, but perhaps if you were to eat Aroma’s version on its own, the difference would be quite undetectable.

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Posted in Packaged

McVities Victoria Box

McVities are notoriously difficullt to come by in Sibu, so when I saw this at Takiong (basically the only place where you can get imported stuff) I decided to get a box.

Inside is 300 grams worth of assorted biscuits. I’m getting a tooth yanked out tomorrow, so I decided to try a bite of each today. The red tablecloth in the background is actually a skirt. Had to improvise.

3x chocolate chip cookies

I’m not too impressed with these. I’d probably pick Chips More over these.

2x Choc Crumble

These were okay; better than the plain chocolate chip.

2x Half coated milk chocolate chip cookie

2 unevenly sized biscuits

They look like digestive biscuits but tasted nothing like the McVitie’s classic. The chocolate is very sweet.

3x Plain chocolate finger cookie

Tasted pretty much like the half coated milk choc chip but a tad sweeter.

3x Milk chocolate wheel

The texture a bit different but it is essentially still just a chocolate covered cookie.

4x Milk chocolate biscuit finger

These are alright. They taste a bit like Cadbury fingers – not sure I can tell the difference.

4x Fully coated milk chocolate square

Basically the milk chocolate wheel in square form.

2x White chocolate cream wafer

Weak. The white chocolate is sweet but fails to mask the failures of the wafer.

3x Plain chocolate coated digestive cloverleaf

Same biscuit, prettier shape.

2x Milk chocolate shortcake

After all the “naked” biscuits they’ve suddenly decided to put one in a jacket.
The wrapper was totally unnecessary.

The fancy wrapping does not help.
The box says that this is an “indulgent biscuit selection for every occasion” but I fail to see this “selection”. Apart from the wafer, they are basically all the same biscuit.

They’re not terrible, but they are not what I would expect from a brand like McVitie’s. The chocolate is excessicely saccharine and the biscuits are merely edible. It might make me think twice before trying some of their other products.

I quite regret getting this because now I’ve got the rest of the box to contend with (Unfortunately, dogs can’t eat chocolate!). No amount of cute advertising is going to make me want to buy these again.

Posted in Bakeries

Big Thumb – pictures pending!

Big Thumb bakery is undoubtedly one of the most successful family-owned baked good enterprises in Sibu. The main outlet is located in town, but there is also one near Wonderful Supermarket.

I am fairly certain that the green-and-yellow cream centred cakes that they used to feed us for breaktime at Sunshine kindergarten came from here. They do not seem to make them any more.

White bread

I would probably not eat this unless I had no other alternative. While the crust (my favourite part) is an attractive colour and the taste is pretty good, the bread is just a little bit too oily amd a bit too sweet for my liking.

 

Mini pandan cakes


These are the little green hemispheric cakes which seem to be shrinking with time. I am quite sure that they used to be twice as puffy. A pack of 5 costs RM2.00 (Jan 2017).

Mini cakes (picture pending)

The prices of these mini cakes are spiking at an unforgiving rate. The pandan flavoured ones cost more, and rightly so, because I find that the chocolate ones have got a strange aftertaste to them. The variety of pandan with bits in it are an abomination.

They are a good size, and the plain pandan version is sweet but good.

The pandan ones are now RM4.00 (Jan 2017).

Mung bean pastry (picture pending)

A decadent heaven of sweet flavour carefully wrapped in a fragile, flaky pastry crust : this is the only way that I can think to describe this. The only thing that stands between me and this is the massive amount of calories per piece. That, and the fact that it costs RM9 for a pack of 5.

Steamed buns

Steamed buns are a Chinese staple. The prices vary according to filling but the mini buns are 50 cents a piece.

I cannot say much for the char siew and other meat buns, but if memory serves me well the char siew is best eaten warm because it becomes quite stiff when cold.

The vegetable buns are filled with an oily mix of cabbage… So they are not as healthy as one might imagine.

I am altogether unimpressed  by the steamed chocolate bun. I think that steaming chocolate, if not for a cake or for pudding, is just wrong. I don’t have a picture of this one but I am not buying another because I am not going to touch that stuff with a ten foot pole.

Mochi (picture pending)

Mochi are a sweet glutinous pastry with assorted fillings. Theirs include pandan lotus (my favourite), red bean and peanut. I quite like them but I can’t imaging that eating all that raw flour (the mochi are flour-dusted to mitigate the stickiness) doing the body any good.

They appear to produce these in bulk, and in fancy plastic packaging to boot. I imaging that these would make good New Years’ gifts. My only advice would be to keep them refrigerated (and to pick the pandan lotus!).

Scones

They’re usually even smaller.

The scones are (for the moment) 90 cents a piece, which is quite expensive considering the size. If you’re expecting anything like the Devon scones from Marks & Spencers’ you would be sorely disappointed. They are dry and lack any sort of flavour.

Kampua

They also make their own instant kampua, which for many Sibu folk out of town is a godsend. Their version is made from onion oil instead of pork lard, but is still pretty good. It makes me wonder why the kampua places in town don’t switch out lard for onion oil as well – that way I still get to eat it!

Advice

Don’t bother with the sandwiches. At those prices you’re better off having a bowl of noodles.

Posted in Restaurants

Tom’s Too 

Walking into Tom’s Too in Delta Mall is a but like walking into a giant chocolate mousse cake. I forgot to take a picture, but this was my first impression. I don’t come here often, but when I do it tends to be quite empty.

I seem to recall seeing a Tom’s when I was in Kuching and cannot help but think that this might be an offshoot off sorts (I  probably mistaken though). I regard Tom’s Too as a slightly more uoscale Secret Recipe.

The food was average. I thought that their ice lemon tea was a bit sweet but I can forgive this somewhat because they come served with a pretty star-shaped stirrer.

I’m the sort of childish subadult who is taken by pretty stirrers.

I only had a Caesars’ salad (no dressing as per my typical salad order) which was decent – as I’ve always said: it’s very hard to mess up a plate of raw veg.

My meagre salad

The salad was a plate of mostly lettuce with croutons, slices of hard boiled egg and tomatoes. I was given two lemon wedges (presumably in place of dressing). I quite appreciated the measly portion as I wasn’t very hungry.

There isn’t much of a pescatarian (let alone vegetarian) range here; I refuse to be saddled with fish and chips. 

The ambience is lovely, but as you can see not brilliant for the purposes of photography. 

I think they are generally quite expensive. The chicken pie, at RM12.90 costs a bomb. I hear the steak is good.

They have a good variety of pastries. Some of them look like fancy French-stlye mille crepe. I don’t think I’d risk spending that much in their cakes unless I know for a fact that they are good.

Posted in Hotels, Kuching

Aurora Court, Merdeka Palace, Kuching

Had buffet breakfast at the hotel’s Aurora Court during my last stay.

It lacks a decent selection of vege- and pesca- tarian foods. There were a lot of pastries but not one vegetable dish.

Bread and butter pudding

This is one of the few bread and butter puddings that I have actually enjoyed. They did a good job with this.

Actually tasted decent for hotel cupcakes, with the exception of the vanilla one. The chocolate was nice without being too sweet.
Not sure why they serve 2 types of croissant but only 1 type of cheese
Didn’t try any of this – presumably just flaky pastry with a sweet cenrre.
Didn’t get to try the spiral shaped bun but the one with the pineapple was decent.

I was actually quite amused at their cheese platter, which consisted only of rolled up sliced cheese.

Posted in Asian, Kuching

Yong tau foo (and cendol) @ Plaza Merdeka

I decided to stop by the food court at Plaza Merdeka on my first night in Kuching. I had the yong tau foo here on one of my last trips here as well. It was quite disappointing this time, as they have become rather stingy with their portions. This bowl (pictured above) was RM6.

Basically, the ingredients are a ringgit a piece. Each fishball, each strip of tofu, each mushroom and each floret of brocolli cost RM1. Horrific, really.

They had leafy veg, broccoli, button mushrooms, mushrooms, chicken eggs birds’ eggs, crabsticks, crabclaws, tofu blocks, seaweed, deep fried tofu, tofu skins…

The stuffed tofu blocks weren’t very fresh. The soup was okay, better than what you get at Kuching airport.

Not all the things served are pesca-friendly. It is easy to mistake the meatballs for fish.

Decided to have cendol after, as the yong tau foo was a bit of a diasppointment. The cendol here is made with shaved ice, evaporated milk, red (azuki) beans and the cendol bits.  It was good; would be better on a hot day, though.

Posted in Bakeries, Sibu

Breadsense

You can find Breadsense outlets opposite Wisma Sanyan, near Delta Mall and at a few other locations. Breadsense is altogether not very impressive. The food is mediocre at best, but one has to give them points for generally being quite well-stocked. The fact that the ingredients are listed under the prices is also a (small) plus point.

Soy milk

Kitty cup
Panda cup

This is really the only thing that I would go for here. I would not say that their soy milk is particularly any good, but if I only need to fork out a ringgit to be able to have a quiet corner to sit and relax for the duration of the library’s lunch hour, then I am willing to do so. It tastes a bit powdery and it is usually cold by lunchtime but the cups are just too adorable!

Steamed buns

I have only had the veggie bun and the red bean bun, but I was not impressed by either. They are average; edible but not a must-have. For those prices and quality, I’d much rather stop by the bakery opposite SMK Sacred Heart where the buns cost only 50 cents.

Mini buns, assorted flavours

They have got red bean, kaya, butter, butterscotch and garlic.They are nothing special but they do only cost 70 cents each so I suppose they are alright for a quick cheap meal. There is a little girl who often comes in with her grandfather after school; she seems to have a penchant for the butter buns.

Sweet fried dough twists

Mini fried dough twists

Their “fried dough twists” come in two sizes. The larger ones come in bags of RM5.50 (Jan 2017). The miniature version pictured above come in cute little jars of 15. They were RM2.50 when I first bought some in December 2016 but they are now RM3.00 (Jan 2017).

These are actually quite promising. They are not oily and have a nice crunch to them.

Posted in Hotels, Sibu

Peppers Cafe (Blog as I Eat)

We are now at Tanahmas’ Peppers Cafe, celebrating my little monster’s 22nd birthday. I am being antisocial and writing this as we eat. Service isn’t up to usual standards today.

Singapore style fried bee hoon

My godmum is having this. I don’t think it is vegetarian (I only had the noodly bits and a prawn). It is quite spicy and has a slight curry aftertaste. The  noodles have an al dente pasta-like texture. Yum.

Fried mee mamak (non-veg)

The maid is having this. It is a bit spicy, but with a tomato-ish aftertaste. Not as good as the bee hoon but liveable.

Fried tanghun (non-veg)

My mum’s dish is a bit of a disappointment. It is terribly spicy, but for all the wrong reasons. I usually love a peppery dish, even ones with all pepper and no chilli, but this was poorly executed.

Garden salad

I like my salad neat.

This is my order: garden salad, no dressing. It is very difficult to botch a salad, but I don’t understand why my dish was third to arrive when all you need to do is wash and cut up veggies into crude strips and pieces.

Dill herb salmon (pescatarian)

Much more rice than pictured in menu.

I was going to be good and just have the salad, but then I decided to have this as well. I actually despise the fact that they put the sauce all over my salmon. I am quite obsessive about these things.

I don’t understand why they’ve given me a dish of butter with a lemon wedge. What am I supposed to do with this?

The rice is a bigger serve than pictured in the menu. It is comparable to Sugarbun’s raisin rice.

I forgot to tell them to hold the dressing on the salad. The veggies are soaked in oil. It is as though they are compensating for the oil they didn’t get to drench my garden salad with.

The salmon slab

The salmon came in two big slabs. The tomato sauce is tangy but has a slight, barely detectable kick to it. It is quite well cooked, but I could barely taste any dill herb. The tomato sauce ruins the salmon a bit, and that is putting it mildly.

Sprite longan

I don’t understand the cherry, but the nice thing is that there is tons of longan in it; enough to constitute a meal on its own.

Ice lemon tea

This is actually quite disappointing. All tea and no lemon. Despite the two slices of lemon here, and an additional two from my mum, the taste of tea overpowers the lemon, and not in a good way.

Lemon cheesecake

I haven’t had their lemon cheesecake in years, but I still love it. They’ve added a little unidentifiable, albeit visually appealing, chocolate-drizzled yellow confection square on the topm As usual I’d prefer it without the cream and the square but I suppose aesthetics has become quite a bit more important in the culinary sphere.

We are sharing this between the five of us, as  we still have a whole pandan jelly cake from Four Seasons’ to cut into when we get home.

My little monster likes it very much, as do I. It has found less favour with Mother, who prefers a creamier cake, and the maid, who is a great advocate of all things sweet and believes that cheesecakes are too sour.

Posted in Bakeries, Sibu

Cake Times

Cake Times is relatively new. It is a bakery/café located within the town area, within reasonable walking distance of town square.

Sponge cake. The plastic container also makes the perfect salad bowl.
Sponge cake

The sponge cake is to die for. It is light, fluffy and moist. My only issue with it is that I suspect the moistness comes from oil. But RM5.50 is a decent price for a cake of this size and quality.

Walnut bread

Walnut bread

According to the lady who owns the place, her walnut bread is extremely popular. It is with a twinge of guilt that I issue these three words: not that great.

It is pleasant enough. The slices are over an inch thick, but there is a marked lack of walnut. Soaking it in cold milk makes it slightly more palatable.

Cheesecake

Baked cheesecake with oreo base and toppings

There is also quite a selection of cheesecake. This is a slice of the oreo cheesecake. It was just alright, but not quite compelling enough to tempt me  into another slice.

Posted in Bakeries, Sibu

Bakelicious Bakery

White bread

The first thing I noticed about their white bread was the crinkly crust. It makes a nice change – rather aesthetically pleasing. As of December 2016 a loaf costs RM3. The slices are small and thin, and very square.
In terms of taste it is nothing out of the ordinary: pleasant enough, but nothing more and nothing less than what you would expect from a loaf of bread.

Red bean bun

These cost RM 2.80 for a pack of six (Dec 2016). In terms of size they fit in the palm quite nicely.

The buns are soft and light, ideal for a quick snack but a little bland. (Or perhaps it is my preconception of red bean buns as a sweet, high-sugar guilty-pleasure food that leads me to this conclusion.)

The red bean filling is not very sweet (which I suppose makes a nice change once in a while) and its texture is a little grainy. There are whole adzuki beans in the mix. It is the sort of filling that I would choose to eat without the bun, in lieu of rice/potatoes at lunch or dinner.