Monday, June 15, 2009

Food - Sarikei Roti Kahwin - Aik Seng at No. 21 Wharf Road

Sarikei Roti Kahwin featured in Borneo Post
Click to enlarge. Click back arrow to come back.
29 Jun 2009



Sarikei Aik Seng Roti Kahwin, 2009
Source: Albert Chua
Click for Map


Hidden in the oldest shophouse block of Sarikei (next to the police station) is one of the open secrets of Sarikei's food trail. From the main thoroughfare of Repok Road, enter the historic Wharf Road till you reach the last block. Look for a nondescript traditional coffee shop called Aik Seng 益星茶室 at No. 21 Wharf Road.


Sarikei Aik Seng towkay, 2009
Source: Albert Chua


This shop is known for its traditional sandwich called roti kahwin. A direct literal translation would mean "married bread" in Malay. The current operator of Aik Seng is apparently the nephew of the original owner. What's so special about this roti kahwin that has its customers giving rave reviews?


Sarikei Aik Seng Roti Kahwin, 2009
Source: Albert Chua


You will have to get off your butt and head to the kitchen to unlock the mystery. The truth is out there. Your heat sensors will zoom into a sixty-year-old charcoal grill. A charcoal grill is used to deliver a charred aroma to the carbohydrates. A roti pau kosong (bun with no fillings) is used instead of sliced bread. This type of bun is reminiscent of those hot buns made by the Hainanese, Ah Ngor, at 45 Repok Road behind Shanghai Bookstore (next to Rex cinema) in the 1970s.


Sarikei Aik Seng Roti Kahwin, 2009
Source: Albert Chua


The secret filling is made up of three to four potent ingredients to make it irresistible to your feelings. The number one secret sauce is a thick dollop of homemade kaya (coconut and egg based jam). The green colour comes from the pandan leaves which give the jam its characteristic fragrance.


Sarikei Aik Seng Roti Kahwin, 2009
Source: Albert Chua


Then there is a coating of peanut butter and an optional blob of red jam. Finally let a slice of Golden Churn butter melt in the marital bliss of the warm roti kahwin. In the days of yore before refrigeration was available in Sarikei, Golden Churn butter was available only in cans.


Sarikei Aik Seng Roti Kahwin, 2009
Source: Albert Chua


Sarikei toasted roti kahwin using sliced bread, 2007


The final masterpiece is a gastronomic indulgence - a crispy bun on the outside and a fluffy interior that oozes sweetness and drips streams of butter. It wins hands down versus sliced bread toasted using an electric toaster.


Sarikei Aik Seng Roti Kahwin, 2009
Source: Albert Chua


Now please stop buttering up to me. You are not having that other bun with the extra lump of red jam.

3 comments:

sarawakiana said...

In Miri you pay more for Charcoal panngang roti kahwin!!

Many feel that the special smoke from wood charcoal gives the toasted bread as special feel good taste!!

Real charcoal should never be marginalised as a product!!

- k.arifin - said...

aha, i know this kedai. my mom always buy this roti kahwin here. and also at the front there, my favorite laksa sarawak stall.

Sharul Bee said...

It's been a while since i have this Roti Kawin...
It does still taste exactly delicious as ever..

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