Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Food - Sarikei ABC iced dessert

Sarikei ABC article
Click to enlarge. Click back arrow to come back
Source: Borneo Post (9 Mar 2009)

Sarikei Rejang Hawker Centre, 2oo4

When the Sarikei Rejang hawker centre (opened in 1981) next to the Bank Road bus terminal was featured last time in my blog, some readers commented that the ABC dessert there is nice. This is one assignment I could not resist so I went there after savouring the superb fried noodle from Ah Zheng's stall at Merderka Park food court. Will it be double gastronomic happiness or double trouble for my stomach?

Sarikei beverage and dessert stall No. 6, 2009

I went to the halal section upstairs but I had to figure out which ABC store to try. Gerai Muhibbah (No. 6), looked more prominent with their display and it helped that the nice Malay auntie there recognised me. "Oh, you have grown up!" Oops! Alamak! Which store is the real deal that my blog readers were raving about? I'll try No.6 and let the readers advise me.

Sarikei ABC ingredients, 2009
L-R: Sago balls, chin chow, chendol

In the 1960s-1970s, there was chendol with only red beans at our coffeeshops. It was a big treat for any kid then. I remember the chendol at the 綠記冰室 Lok Kee kopitiam (coffeeshop) at Central Road, next to the Cathay cinema block.

Sarikei ABC ingredients, 2009
Front L-R: Chendol, shaved ice, sweet corn
Back L-R: sago balls, chin chow, evaporated milk

There was no dessert called ABC in the old days. It was simply called chendol. Somehow the ABC acronym permeated in from West Malaysia, I guess. How many of you know that ABC comes from the Malay word air batu campur (iced mixture)?

Sarikei electric ice shaver, 2009

In the 1960-70s, the ice shaver was manual, not electric driven like today. You can still find the manual ones in very old kopitiam around Sarawak. Firstly the jaws of the plunger were clamped onto the ice. You have to manually crank a shaft which then rotated the plunger with the ice over a blade to get shaved ice. Shaved ice was heaven sent in the tropical 1960-70s when not many people could afford a fridge. Before plastic bags were introduced into Sarikei, customers had to bring their containers for chendol take away.

Sarikei ABC dessert, 2009
Find the ship shaped roof of Terminal 1 wharf

What makes an ABC? This MYR$2.50 (I think) version had
  • green chendol (pandan flavoured starch jelly),
  • black chin chow (cincau or glass jelly),
  • ruby sago balls,
  • canned sweet corn,
  • translucent attap chee (nipah palm seed)
  • fresh coconut milk
  • palm sugar
  • canned evaporated milk drips
  • bottled rose syrup drizzle
  • shaved ice avalanche
  • For ABC Special (MYR$3.30), you'll get canned fruit cocktail too (see picture)
I don't know about you but I will be back to No. 6. It's that good.

Sarikei ABC dessert, 2009

Sarikei ABC Special dessert with fruit cocktail, 2009
Source: Ivy Kong


Ivy said...

Hi Daniel, I guess I missed you at Gerai No. 6 by a few days. We got the regular ABC and "Wu Wei Tang" - Five Flavor Soup. Then the owner (maybe the brother) saw me taking pictures of it so he came to my table and said, "Kalau u mau ambik gambar, orderlah ABC Fruit Cocktail baru cantik". Luckily, the next table orederd the Fruit Cocktail so I got a photo of it, if you want, I could email it to you.
No.6 has always been our favorite "jialok" place to go to since 20 years ago. *Nostalgic*

Kanga said...


Thanks for this info! I'll be there at the end of March, and this No.6 Store will be my target.

sarawakiana said...

Thanks for this beautiful reminder of how good Chendol can be.

The evaporated milk and the gula apong form the back bone of this delectable dessert.

Lovely pictures.

But of course the ice should be snowy and cottony soft and fine. I wish I have the old blade and wood ice chipping block.

sarawakiana said...

Sorry I mean Ice Shaving Block.

Daniel Yiek said...

Yes, pls send me the ABC special picture at dyiek@hotmail.com and I will post it here.

FYI, budget airlines AirAsia, Jetstar and Tiger fly from S'pore to Kuching now (not Sibu which still has to transit via KL or JB). I brought back bek ting herbs and dried mee suah.

I missed out the gula. :) By Gula Apong, I think you are referring to palm sugar of the date palm.

sarawakiana said...

Hi Daniel
Gula Apong is the nipah sugar and it has now become quite an in thing as part of the Three Coloured Tea (condensed milk and evaporated milk and then the brown sugar)
Kuching Third Mile has this wonderful tea. Give it a try

Daniel Yiek said...


I thought Palm Sugar is used in chendol, not nipah palm sugar which is what we call "attap thng" (thick brown gluey stuff) in Hokkien. Pls search "nipah" in my blog...there's a picture.

Pls see wikipedia.org on chendol and palm sugar.

I have an old Sarikei pic on gula apong been stored in jars - will post soon.

I love the 3-layered teh si at Kuching 3rd Mile. Been there 3 times.

sarawakiana said...

If I am not wrong gula apong is usually used instead of palm sugar which is better and more pricey.

Gula apong has its own character and so does palm sugar or gula melaka.

Nelson said...

Will go and try Stall No. 6 ABC Fruit Cocktail

- k.arifin - said...

last time i had a dessert of ABC is last july. i really miss the taste. thanx 4 the post.

Daniel Yiek said...

Borneo Post emailed me and wanted to featured the blog post on ABC in their column called "From the blogging world" on a Monday.
They will use only one picture so Ivy, I sent your ABC Special picture as it's the best picture of the lot.

Actually I did the ABC post when I was sleepy...and this is not one of the better posts. ;)

Ivy said...

Congrats, Daniel, on featuring in Borneo Post. Glad I could help in picture. All your posts are good to us. We are grateful.

miaomiao said...

Hi Daniel,
Yep, I was with Ivy K for that ABC Special, and that was simply nostalgic!

BurungHelang said...

The fruit cocktail ABC looks like an ABC with very teruk pimple eruptions.

aidilx said...

Hi Daniel

Saya rasa pemilik gerai No.6 adalah Kak Bibah. Saya selalu juga pekena ABC Kak Bibah. Memang best.

Tapi, saya rasa Daniel boleh mencuba ABC lain di Medan Selera di Kampung Seberang. Not bad.

nelson said...


Anonymous said...

The " Ligo Special" at stall No.6 also very nice.

Anonymous said...

ABC, Ligo, semua nya sedap....
tak percaye..aa..
datang lah...dan cuba rasa...

Anonymous said...

Try la datang ke Gerai No.6... Keistimewaan ABC kat sini adalah classic maksud nya tiada bahan tambahan seperti ais krim (kalau letak aiskrim x sedap bagi saya). Lagipun bahan seperti gula apong n cendol di buat pemilik Gerai tersebut. Cubalah dulu... Pasti anda akan dtg berkali-kali.

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