Been out of idea where to have a decent lunch during the Merdeka afternoon. After hearing some advices and recommendation from friends, finally decided to try out this one called "Honey Lemon Cafe & Zakka" located at Jalan Pedada, the building just next to Shell petrol station opposite Delta Mall Sibu.
It is still consider quite a new eating place in Sibu. Before this, it was called FeFe Cafe & Zakka which I heard was operated by a different owner. But somehow for whatever reasons, after some short period operating, the eatery stopped its business and it was taken over by a new owner who changed the name FeFe to Honey Lemon.
Until this point, have you ever wonder what "Zakka" actually means? After I Google about it, only I found out that the word "Zakka" is actually come from a Japanese word zak-ka which brings the meaning of many things. According to Wikipedia, the term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and appearance.
That explain why at a front corner of the shop, there is a shelf where many "little" things been placed on it. I am not sure if the owner rented out the shelf just like the concept of those "Pigeon Holes Shop" which is a trendy business concept in Sibu nowadays or it was used by the restaurant owner to sell those "little things" himself. Perhaps I should find it out if there is a chance for the next visit.
Once you stepped into the restaurant, you will notice it actually divided into two sections. The one on the right is painted ocean blue, which uses antiques and Sibu's old days photos as its main decoration. This section of restaurant should be inherited from the previous owner. It brings back a lot of nostalgia feeling dining here.
Another section on the left side of the restaurant appeared to be more cheering feel where the wall has been painted bright yellow-lemon color which suits the theme of the restaurant! At a corner of this section there is an artistic wooden chair with a huge lemon tree picture as background where customers can take photos as a remembrance while dining at the restaurant. A good idea indeed for customers to remember this restaurant.
Enough about the appearance of the restaurant. Now we talk about the most important part - the foods serving. In fact, I was there to try out their signature chicken burger after I heard some good recommendation from a friend about this "VERY BIG portion burger with 3 layers of meats plus sausages"!
However, when I try to place order, the staff told me they're temporarily halt the serving of all the western cuisine on their menu for an unknown reasons, properly is because out of some ingredient according to her. A major disappointment!!
As such, I have to opted for other "non-western" foods. The Chicken Cheese Baked Rice on the menu somehow caught my eyes as I am a cheese lover. Although it is grouped under western cuisine, but surprisingly this dish is available!
The food is served in a boat-shape ceramic bowl instead of in rattan steamer (a more common way of serving this dish in my food hunting experience) but it doesn't bother me much as this is just a presentation matter. Personally feel the taste is OK, but will be better if the cook can apply thicker cheese and let it melts into the rice. The deep fried chicken topping the rice is a little too dry but the portion is quite generous. With RM10.90, it is consider quite cheap if compare to other restaurants in town who serving the similar dish but improvement needed to make it more value added to the customers.
The nasi lemak is something I will recommend as far as the "non-western" cuisine is concern in the shop. The rice has a strong coconut milk fragrance which is actually a must for a good serving of nasi lemak but it's hardly found nowadays since the coconut milk price keep increasing. The sambal taste mixed well with the nasi lemak, but personally i prefer to have more sambal given probably because I am a huge fan of sambal!
Besides the nasi lemak's standard side ingredients, such as ikan masin (salted fish), peanuts and cucumber slices, the plate also comes with 2 fried chickens, one sausage and some keropok (snacks) which make the RM8.90 spent worth the money. If you have nothing better to choose, perhaps this will be a good choice.
The "zhou cai hung ngang" (rice vermicelli cooked with foochow style marinated vege) comes in big portion, but mom who is the huge fan of this dish commented that it is over-sour due to the use of cooking vinegar in the serving.
I strongly agree with that. Zhou cai hung ngang tastes nice and original with a bit of "natural sourness" from the marinated vege but the taste will spoil when "artificial sourness" been added such as using the vinegar to boost the odor. The fish added to the dish also not that tasty. Despite the 2 imperfectness in this traditional Foochow cuisine, it is still consider as a decent zhou cai hung ngang that worth eating. RM7.90 is the price and you can choose either to add fish or prawns.
I also ordered a side dish, the stir fried bitter gourd with salted eggs. Not bad at all in term of taste and presentation, but personally feel it lacks of salted eggs. RM6.90 per serving and it is enough for 3 people.
As for the beverages, I went for the Six Tastes Iced priced RM4.90. The "Six tastes" ingredients include lemon slice, dried red dates, grass jellies, longan, Nata de coco and some other jellies. It is a very refreshing and cooling drink which I highly recommend. However, personally feel the cup used is a bit too small and I had a hard time trying to mix and melt the shaved ice in the beginning.
The red bean ice doesn't have too much surprise in term of taste, a typical red bean ice but it comes in a big glass and generous portion of red beans. RM4.90 is the price and it is consider reasonable since the amount of volume given is more than a typical serving, at least from the size of the glass used, I have this feeling.
All in all, Honey Lemon Cafe & Zakka is a good place to have a decent meal with friends or families. The ample parking space as well as the relaxing ambiance of its interior have left me with a good impression towards the restaurant. However, the variation of foods need further improvement to give wider choice to the customers and most importantly, ensure their returns.
I'll definitely plan for 2nd visit to try out other foods in their menu, especially the western cuisine.
Honey Lemon Cafe & Zakka
3&5, G/F, Lane 16,
Tel: 084 312 517
8.00am - 10.30pm
Off on Monday