I’ve been meaning to try this for a while, thinking it would taste like a very gingery Soreen malt loaf. This was not the case.
Instead, what this is is an extremely gooey, sticky cake/pudding, just as the packet suggested. I suppoe this has taught me the difference between “squidgy” Soreen loaves and “sticky” ginger cake-puddings.
It is very hard to slice cleanly into (I suspect the hot knife tactic would have here proved useful). It is more sugar than ginger but I think perhaps heating it up might bring out the gingery flavour a little bit more.
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.
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!
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.
Picture pending – until I can afford the calories
I cannot say a word against these.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 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!).
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.
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!
Don’t bother with the sandwiches. At those prices you’re better off having a bowl of noodles.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.