Date of Visit: July 10 2013
I don’t dine out much in The Boo. I gather I am not missing anything since every single joint I’ve patronised here serve the same thing – kway teow and fried rice – be it a Western, Japanese or whatever-joint they call themselves (a review of a so-called Italian joint in The Boo serving fried-rice here). In any regards, I’d rather eat at home to save myself from intestinal gut inflammation. From a nutritionist’s point of view, it takes 2 years to rid the body of inflammation, however, from the raw foodist’s perspective, it takes 1 year to rid the body of inflammation from simply ingesting 1 piece of Pringles! (Depressing bit of info since I might have inflammed and aged 10 years now!)
On the occasions that I do dine out or have visitors visiting, we usually rotate between Sheraton and New Capital restaurants, the only 2 restaurants worth heading to in my opinion (until I make new discoveries).
Sheraton isn’t a posh restaurant but it does has a reputation for her very mean signature Curry Fish Head. Nearly every visitor to The Boo has been inducted to its Curry Fish Head Hall of Fame. The proprietress hails from Singapore and have lived here for over 30 years. The ersatz decor from the 70’s of tiled floors, white-washed walls and round tables with pink table clothes are dowdy, yet a local favourite for weddings, birthdays and large groups. Service is slow and unhurried, patrons wait like a naughty school-kids at the door to be noticed for a table.
I have never sighted Sheraton’s menu, only a ramble of verbal recommendations from the proprietress who presumes the dishes you desire to eat. If you ask, she will customise a dish according to your instructions.
Dinner conversational topics can be tricky at times if one has only just been acquainted, it is unwise to talk politics, gossips, rumours or religion, however since I am familiar with my guests, small town gossips and popular culture were infused in our conversation. A current topic at the moment is the verdict of Tony Chan aka Peter Chan, the notorious feng-shui master in Nina Wang’s estate in Hong Kong (here). His original name was Tony Chan, but when the trial began, he was ostracised from the feng-shui community for giving feng-shui masters a bad rap (feng-shui masters in Hong Kong used to be exempt from income tax until the Inland Revenue found out how much they earned), therefore he was forced to retire, get baptised and changed his name to Peter.
In his verdict, the judge Andrew Macrae described Mr Chan as a “shameless” charlatan who had shown “unparalleled greed”. Moreover, in Chinese tradition, it is both despicable and shameless for a man to destroy the reputation of a dead woman who had taken him from being a nobody to be financially super rich (receiving gifts amounting HK$3B), his evil deeds are no different to a certain Datuk Pemanca/ Datuk Perompak in Sibu whose antics of spreading false rumours on a late family member and misrepresentation of himself paints a dishonourably low and unconsciencely cowardly act.
Our pleasant conversations were spurred on by nibbling on the sweetly caramelised Peanuts Cooked in Sweet Soy Sauce.
The first dish to arrive is also the star we have been waiting for – the famed Sheraton’s Curry Fish Head. Ceremoniously brought out on an aluminium burner dish, the fish head bathed in a thick spicy gravy with ladies fingers, eggplants, tofu and gluten skins received much compliments from the out-of-towners. It was an addictive combo of fish, gravy and rice, all cautions regarding calories, carbohydrates, etc were dismissed and it was soon polished clean.
Other more home-styled cooking arrived, the standard Stir-fried Kangkung and Tofu on Minced Pork were all delicious.
Side-kick to the Curry Fish Head was the Pig’s Trotters. Steamed, then deep-fried it was a heavy dish, nevertheless, I devoured it with favour since I love the fatty tissue (for its omega) and the gelatinous fibres (collagen). The sweet vinegar sauce with chili padi, shallots and onions lubricated the firm meats.
Good thing that I ordered a Blended Kalamansi Juice to cleanse my palate and for a dose of Vitamin C.
Lastly Yam Pudding– a traditional Foochow dessert and Sheraton’s own recipe – Jazz biscuit sandwiched with lotus paste and deep fried – made their appearance and closed curtains for a fine evening.
This is dining out in style in a small Borneo town of hooligans, something tasty to mark an impression on the out-of-towners and to lure them (and of course the locals) back again and again. I look forward to another round for dinner soon.