3 uniquely Sibu dishes

I’m back in my hometown, eating delicious food you can really only get here – at least, if you want the authentic stuff! :)

1. Char Kueh Tiaw Omelet

CKT omelet

Yeah, that’s what I’m calling it! It has been around for over 40 years (no kidding) and this particular way of cooking it is a Sibu institution. I first ate it as a kid in Kwok Ching Coffee Shop (now defunct) and this is the son carrying on the legacy, cooking it the exact same way.

How do you get char kueh tiaw into an omelet? The CKT is cooked first and even though it’s a simple dish – spring onion and bean sprouts are the only ingredients – it tastes superb in its simplicity.

kueh tiaw omelet

The CKT is dropped on a cracked egg on a hot wok, flipped and served. This technique has been copied by many other cooks in Sibu but there is only one heir of the original and he does it best! This stall is located at Aloha Cafe and it’s only RM 3.30.

2. Twice Cooked Tapah Fish Noodles

foochow fish noodles

There are RM 35 bowls of this stuff out there. I had that with my better half when we came back last time at Min Kwong. I can’t justify eating that all the time so this is an equally good (if not better) version from Y2K Cafe. It’s RM 12 and is cooked in the traditional Foochow style – the noodles are first *fried* before being *stewed* in a hearty soup.

tapah fish

That means you get both the Maillard reaction and caramelization on the noodles from frying in the fiery hot wok, making it taste wonderful, before it’s softened in the rich seafood broth. Infinitely satisfying, and a local classic. You can drink the wonderfully tasty soup after you’ve finished your noodles too – it’s full of flavor!

3. Kampua Mee with Pork Tripe and Pig Liver Soup

kampua noodles

Yup, this is our famous kampua noodles. I always like to add a bowl of pig liver soup to my order (RM 4) coz it makes the noodles taste even better with that rich, mineral-y taste that liver has. I also like pork tripe soup (RM 5) coz of the chewy texture and the acidic dipping sauce it comes in.

pork liver soup

It’s a perfect side dish(es) for kampua noodles – the offal works very well with the slices of BBQ pork in the noodle dish and I always love drinking the soup after I’m done – alternating between the clear pork tripe soup and the dark iron-y pig liver soup with tendrils of liver. It’s always the *first* thing I eat when I come back and this one was at Yum Yum Cafe.

Raw Pork Noodles a.k.a. Sheng Rou Mee

raw pork noodles

I first heard my uncle singing praises about this new place in Sibu. It was the coffee shop that we wanted to go to after my mom’s 3rd day funeral services but it was closed. My dad and I went hunting for it with my aunts the day before I was supposed to fly back to KL.

sheng rou mee

The place serves sheng rou mee which is roughly translated as “raw pork noodles”. The meat is not raw per se but it’s very rare. The meat is pounded into small, thin slices and then served in a broth and it cooks with ambient heat much like shabu shabu.

oily noodles

There are four (4) types of noodles on offer – the most popular is kampua mee, followed by oily noodles e.g. “you mien”. The latter is different from the ones in KL – the Sibu version is much thinner and absorbs the lard well. The noodles are tossed in lard oil, much like kampua mee.

wan li sheng rou mee

There you have it – Wan Li Sheng Rou Mee is basically kampua mee with a side dish of clear broth with rare pork slices inside…

raw pork soup

…and it’s delicious!

wan li pork noodles

The place was *packed* when we were there and new customers streamed in as soon as the others left. It’s RM 5 per dish, irrespective of the noodle type you choose but I’ll opt for the kampua as it goes with it well.

pork slices

It’s the latest fad to hit the town and I have to say that my uncle was spot on, it’s a nice place. Considering that a plate of kampua with radioactive red char siew goes for RM 2.50 in most stalls, paying a little extra for a nice bowl of clear broth with generous amounts of pork slices inside is apparently, a very solid business model!

Kampua @ Rasa Sayang Cafe and other tales from Sibu

kampua mee

I’m back in Sibu for Chinese New Year! The funny thing is that there’s no one at home then – my dad’s in Kuching, my mom and sister is in Singapore.

kampua tossing

My sister was supposed to come back earlier than me but changed her ticket and my dad got held up so I grabbed my keys from my grandma and had the dish I always have when I’m back in Sibu.

kampua noodle

Kampua mee!

pien nuk

Kampua noodles is a deceptively simple dish, but delicious. We also ordered a bowl of pien nuk – a pork dumpling soup that’s sold together with kampua.

kampua mee sibu

Kampua is tossed in lard and served with char siew and it’s one of the dishes I believe that only Sibu can do well (the noodles are all made daily).

kampua price

I haven’t had kampua at Rasa Sayang since it moved from their old place. The price is now RM 2.50 per bowl, which is pretty steep for Sibu standards. However, a lot of people say this is one of the best places to have kampua in Sibu.

kampua noodles

It’s a matter of personal preference, the one at Rasa Sayang is pretty good but I think Pedada has the best kampua in Sibu. The one at Siong Kee is also quite popular.

rasa sayang cafe

However, one good thing about Rasa Sayang is that they don’t use the radioactive red char siew but one with a more natural color. They also throw in some minced pork, an unusual addition that’s usually associated with kolo mee.

arthur hb

I ordered two bowls but didn’t manage to finish the second one. I figure my stomach has shrunk coz I used to be able to eat two, no problems. :x

ring for shag

Arthur was kind enough to bring me some souvenirs from his recent trip to New Zealand – there’s a bell that goes “Ring for a Shag” and a bottle opener in the shape of a kiwi bird.

cordyceps capsules

He also passed me some cordyceps capsules coz I’m still recovering from the flu.

nz shirt

In addition to *all* that – he also got me a shirt from NZ! I love it, I studied high school in Christchurch and went back to Auckland in 2010 when my mom did her first operation for small cell lung cancer. She’s still on chemo and due back on Tuesday after the course.

chicken pies

I have to say that STP is one of the most thoughtful and generous people I know – he brought me a bunch of chicken pies (still warm from the bakery!) and coconut ones for lunch yesterday. I was at home and about to head out when he buzzed me. Thanks buddy!

copyright

Arthur picked me up from the airport and pointed out one of the photos my blog posts about Kingwood Resort in Mukah is featured at a travel agent’s booth right outside the arrivals hall. How about that? smirk

Kafe Up2U

kafe up2u

Kafe Up2U has such an attention-grabbing name that I had to check it out.

up2u interior

There were not much people around even during lunchtime.

up2u kampua

I went for kampua mee since it’s up to me to decide what to eat.

up2u kampua mee

It’s blasphemy to leave Sibu without eating kampua mee. This one
isn’t quite authentic though, it has meat slices instead of char siew,
but at least they use pork fat, which is the orthodox way of making
kampua mee. Vegetable oil is heresy.

Kafe Up 2 U. Nice ring to it, eh?

Sibu kampua mee

sibu kampua mee

This is my favorite place for no-frills kampua mee in Sibu. Everyone
has their favorite stall and most would swear by that one. Basically,
kam pua mee is a noodle dish that can be made within seconds – dropping
the noodles into a hot, boiling broth and then mixing it with oil (some
use vegetable, but purists will accept nothing but pork), soy sauce
(optional), chilli sauce (optional) and spring onions and fried onions.
It is then served with several slices of char siew or BBQ pork and a
bowl of soup. It’s fast food, Sibu style.

sibu kampua sauce
The sauce is prepared first according to your order – you can choose to
have it plain (just ask for kampua), with soy sauce (“kampua puak tau
yu” in Foochow, tau yu being soya/soy sauce), with chilli sauce
(“kampua puak lak”, lak being a direct translation of “hot”) or both
(“kampua puak lak puak tau yu”, cascading the words).

sibu kampua cooking
The noodles is then dropped into the boiling broth and cooked for a
while. You can opt for the flat noodles if you want, otherwise the
default is the round noodles.

sibu kampua mixing
The cooked noodles is then mixed with the sauce(s).

sibu kampua soy chilli
This is how I like my kampua – with chilli sauce and soya sauce.

sibu kampua closeup
Here’s a closer look at the kampua mee.

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