Sunday, March 14, 2010

Food - Sarikei Soursop and Dragon Fruit Smoothie

When I visited Sarikei for the last few years, I had a list of items to do for this blog. My friends joked that I was on assignment. Yes, it had always been a fun assignment to rediscover Sarikei.

Sarikei shopblock opposite Methodist School, 2010
Formerly this was a hill and 2 ponds.

Wen Wen cafe is at the left corner.

Viewed from Methodist School.

After a brisk walk of photo taking from Hua Tai Road to Methodist School, I was tanned and drenched with sweat. I already had my reward planned in the master schedule. It was to try the innovative smoothie at Wen Wen cafe at Repok Road, opposite Methodist School.

Sarikei Wen Wen cafe, 2010,
Methodist Church is in the background.

Formerly this shop was The Phoenix kopitiam. The current towkay neo, Angela Tan, rented the place and named it Wen Wen 雯雯 Cafe (meaning multi coloured clouds). Her 2 sons, Alwyn and Aaron, help out in the shop. Angela Tan resembles her sister, Mrs Chung, the Domestic Science teacher of St Anthony's School. Mr Chung was a teacher at Methodist School.

Soursop and dragon fruit smoothie combo
Sarikei Wen Wen cafe, 2010

Sarikei is well known for its agricultural products including fruits like soursop and in the mid 2000s, dragon fruits. You can order a smoothie of standalone flavour (MYR$2.50) or you can be a bit kiasu and order the special (MYR$3.50), a combo of dragon fruit floating on a cloud of soursop.

Don't mix it up first. Sink your straw to the bottom of the ice blended juice to savour the soursop and then to the top to challenge your palate against the dragon (fruit). Then stir it up for a different exotic flavour.

The verdict: Real ice blended juice. Highly recommended. It sent me to cloud nine.

Sarawak laksa.
Soursop and dragon fruit smoothie combo.

Sarikei Wen Wen cafe, 2010

At the front of the shop was a Sarawak laksa (MYR$3) stall which made me surrender my calories for a good reason. Here's how a typical bowl of Sarawak laksa is prepared as blogged previously:

The soup was prepared separately in advance and the fine strands of rice vermicelli noodles were only cooked when there's an order (to avoid soggy noodles). The chicken broth was prepared with coconut milk, a bit of curry, lemongrass and other spices. The vermicelli was then mixed with the spicy soup and topped with blanched bean sprouts (tau geh), shredded chicken and peeled prawns. The spicy side sauce (shrimp paste) mixed well with calamansi (local lime).

Sarawak laksa.
Sarikei Wen Wen cafe, 2010

There are other things to try in this shop. eg: porridge (MYR $2.80) and kom pia (MYR$1.50) but that will be have to be another post. There are too many choices but there's too little time. Well, that's a good problem to have.


sarikeikia said...

This article isn't complete without mentioning the hubby of the towkay neo whom like her brother-in-law was also a teacher in Methodist School. Angela Tan was married to Fat Lau and the two loves Vespa Scooter. Angela Tan's family was synonymous in educating Sarikien, Sarikeikia included.

Daniel Yiek said...

Angela Tan was bored with retirement and decided to be a towkay neo. She is active in the St Anthony's School alumni. I wasn't aware that she is running this kopitiam.

I saw 2 of my childhood padang friends in the kopitiam (whom I have not seen for decades).

Angela told me to take pics of the house of Tiong Hung Ming behind the shop and it brought inspiration for the previous post which was originally not on my plan. It was a productive morning for blog content. :)

Mr & Mrs Chung used to live in a wooden house on stilts next to the house of Kueh in Jalan Getah in the 1970s. They brought in aquarium fishes for sale in their house in the mid 70s. The house had been demolished and the land will be used for commercial blocks.

sarikeikia said...

The house you mentioned in Jalan Getah was the house of Mr Tan Kim Sing 陳敬信 and Mdm Ong Poh Ai 王寶愛. Two early important educator in Sarikei, the parents of Angela Tan.

In the early days you would see Mr Tan placing little Angela in the basket of his big bicycle and cycle round the town.

Mr Chung the brother-in-law of Angela was from Kuching. He loves turtle shaped cars, Volkswagen and at one time was driving a three wheeler turtle shaped car that makes head turn in this small town.

Angela Tan was most active in the Girl's Brigade, she took the lead for most of the early years and I believes is hard to match her contribution in regards to the Girl's Brigade in Sarikei. He husband and brother-in-law was officer in the Boy's Brigade too.

Andrew said...

Is the Mr. Chung is the same Mr. Daniel Chung. One of the teacher in MACS back in the 70s. I remember well the 3 wheel turtle he used to drive. He was also the basketball coach for Methodist School team those days. Now he is a sub deacon at St. Faith Church in Kuching.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

It is nice to learn about Angela Tan and her favourite smoothie is sour sop which is hard to get in Miri...Very refreshing. When I was young I would just mash the sour sop in a long glass and drink the juice. No blender at that time...Make a three fruit smoothie = papaya and sour sop with apple or pineapple ...very nice.thanks. Must come to Sarikei soon.

Daniel Yiek said...

A reader emailed:

Tan Kim Sing 陳敬信 and Mdm Ong Poh Ai 王寶愛 have 4 daughters namely, 陈国英,国芬,国爱 and 国华 and I think Angela is the last one.

Ant Lau said...

looks yummy!

eting said...

Never tried this kind of smoothie before. Will definitely try it on the next trip home.

Back in the 70s, we as kids never failed to turn up at Mr Chung's house at Jalan Getah for their yummy chinese new year goodies. Mr Chung was our teacher at MACS.

Anonymous said...

Sad that Phoenix Cafe is long gone. The previous owner made the best Bian Nik ever. I haven't been to Sarikei since 2003. I must make a trip to Sarikei this year. -DD

Anonymous said...

Mdm Ong or chang poh Ai was our Chiense teacher at Methodist Anglo Chiense School in the 60S, Mr. Lau Pang Hung was our headmaster.

I was having tuition at Mdm Ong's house. The tuition covered every thing being taught at school. Honestly, I was pretty lousy in studies.

Somehow, Mdm Ong passed away in the 70s.. if not mistaken.
May her soul rest in peace

I always remember her, being fierce, strict but kind internally.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan Kim Sing and Mdm Ong Poh Ai (my dearest great grandparents) have 5 childrens.
Eldest: Tan Kok Eng (aka Mrs Chung)
2nd: Tan Kok Hong (my lovely Grandma)
3rd: Tan Kok Hua (currently living in California)
4th: Tan Kok Hung (aka towkey neo of Wen Wen Cafe)
Youngest : Tan Kok Chui (only son among all the sisters )

frm: thee 4th generation of the Tan's family :)

Jijahh @ f.k said...

I love the smoothies ..look soo refreshing n yummy

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