Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Food & Sight seeing in Kapit town

Both hubby and I missed the Christmas Day Mass as both of us woke up around 745am. The mass started at 8am. No one woke us up and PIL brought little gal to church themselves, but hardly one song, little gal started to scream and they have to abandon the church going plan! LOL!

Chicken Feet Soup (with lily bulb, earwood, cabbages and fish balls)

Hubby and I went exploring Kapit town by ourselves since PIL offered to look after their granddaughter. So, off two of us dating and some quality time together! *wink* After a nice breakfast of fried noodle with chicken feet soup (cooked in red wine and tamarind juice), we went for car ride around Kapit. Listening to Teresa Teng’s songs along the countryside bring a different type of feeling in me. It just felt very serene and soothing. I feel like I were in a different time zone, where everything stop or slowing down! It is true in Kapit that everyone were very lay-back in culture. The town itself is separated from other places by the great Rejang River. You can only reach Kapit by water. Used to have an airport, but it closed down long time ago.

Waterfront (in front of Fort Slyvia)

Paddy field

Beautiful Scene from hill

Timber activity

Modern long houses

Traditional looking long houses

To understand Kapit more, we visited the Fort Slyvia, which overlooking the river. It is built by White Rajah in 1880 as fort to protect the town. Now it is a museum showing Tun Jugah Gallery and history of Kapit. Tun Jugah is one of the great Iban warriors, which was well respected by Iban community and even by British during the British colonial rule.

Kapit population is mostly Iban and Chinese. Language spoken would be Iban and Hokkien. The Chinese mostly from Hokkien and Foochow origin. Chinese here are well converse in Iban. So it was a very alien place for me when my 1st visit 3 years ago when everyone speak in Iban. LOL! I still haven’t master the language yet, but am learning some food names from my hubby.

The Chinese is mostly businessmen, concentrated in town area where it is full of activities during the day, but after sunset, you can have a very deserted town! Not much of night life, however they do have karaoke centres and pubs. The Ibans mostly into timber and construction works. Kapit is a very small town, everyone knows everyone. So what ever gossip, who ever coming back etc, it will spread fast like bullet train!

Kapit is a very hilly town, with lots houses built along the hill. It would be considered good “fung shui” to build your house on top of the hill! The air is fresh and free from population. It is such a pity to see the once clear crystal Rejang River now turned into brown-colour river due to activities along the riverbank. It rained almost everyday, with certain area flooded. The news of killer landslide at Kampung Bukit Cina has caused 4 deaths on 26 December. 12 houses were destroyed and 79 people were made homeless.

Cargo boat

Overall, I have a relaxing week in Kapit, woke up around 8am everyday! Usually my little gal would be my alarm clock, waking me up around 6am in the morning. Guess she is pretty tired herself. My MIL keep asking us to eat, I don’t want to know how much I have put on! Sigh! Need to get down to my exercise and diet regime again! LOL!

I have been eating lot of fishes everyday. MIL cooked tengalak (the 2nd best fish after empurau) almost everyday. I like it both in steamed and deep-fried style. The meat is very tender and sweet. Like empurau, tengalak is also full of bones, so you got to be careful when feeding to your kids or eat yourself.

Tengalak fish (before and after cooking)

Empurau, the most expensive fresh water fish cost around RM280 to RM300 plus per kg in the market now. This frozen 4kg empurau measuring around 28 inches long. Empurau can reached as big as 10kg and more. Empurau seldom sold in wet market, as fishermen sold them directly from their boat once reach the jetty to individuals and restaurant owners. To preserve the sweetness of empurau, it is best steam. Just be warned, lots of bones and you need patience to eat it! LOL!


Everytime I am back to Kapit, I will persuade hubby to bring me to hawker market for its deep fried roti canai. Yeah, you heard me correctly. Deep fried roti canai. Very unhealthy, I know, but it is super delicious with curry and sambal as dipping. This roti canai telur costs RM3 per piece. It is very crispy and tasty, I wonder they are using Kentucky deep fried flour for it?

Kampua is also common here as people eat it for breakfast and lunch. Kampua Kiat Café is famous for its kampua. Either you want your kampua to be plain or with black sauce. Served with soup (3 dumplings in it).

Wild Rambutan (not that hairy fruit)

You can find almost anything in the Teresang market. From vegetables to fruits, tobacco to Iban souvenir. It is durian and rambutan season now! Both hubby and myself having flu and sore throat from taking too many durian! Hahahah!

Preserved wild boar (before and after cook)

One food that I would like to share with you would be wild boar meat. It is protected animal, but somehow people has way of hunting down them. Preserved wild boar meat by the Ibans are extremely unique in taste as it is preserved in a jar with salt and wine. My PIL give 2kg of wild boar meat to my family, as my mum especially, love to eat it! Don’t ask me how and what they use to preserve the meat, I don’t really know. I think my mum said they used potato leaves and mixed with tuak (Iban rice wine) or salt to preserve the meat. To eat it, you basically just wash the meat (to clear some of those wine residue) and steam it! Once it is cooked, the meat will shrink and become tender! My mum prepares a dip for it too! Vinegar with lots of garlic and chilli! Taste wise, the meat still have the wine in it, and with the dip, it taste sourish! Very appetizing! But be warned, you may feel a bit intoxicated if the wild boar meat is preserved in rice wine! LOL.

MIL's famous mee brunei, using her own sambal recipe. Canteen is behind Kapit Hospital


Sue Sue said...

Wah you eat the empurau fish ah. I would very much like to try. My colleague from Kuching told me if I visit him the next time, he will bring me to Kapit to try the empurau fish. He told me outside is selling RM400 per kg. Wah lau eh, so expensive one meh?

Anonymous said...

Empurau fish...hmm..taste and smells good especially if it is boiled with ginger.

Another round of trip in Sarawak? How about that?

Here is a little glimpse on the rest part of Sarawak.