There is this very popular so-called dim sum place in Kuching that has been around since probably the 60’s or 70’s. I would not say it is dim sum per se as all they have would be their steamed paos (buns), sio bee/siew mai (meat dumplings) and har kau (prawn dumplings). I know people would bring back boxes and boxes of these when they come home and my ex-student and lawyer friend, Louis, would make a beeline to that place whenever he goes over to Kuching (he calls it “the breakfast of champions”) but personally, I’m not a fan. There! You can have a look yourself…

FH dim sum
*Photo from one of Louis’ albums on Facebook*

The paos are huge but the skin is thick and not soft and I think at times, they are even a bit yellowish in colour. Inside, there is a huge lump of minced meat…and once, you bite into the pao, the whole lump may drop out…so you will have to eat them separately. The same thing goes with the har kau (front, left) – the skin is thick, not fine nor translucent and comes apart so easily so you will end up with bits and pieces of it and the filling all over the place…and the sio bee/siew mai (back) is hard – no, not firm, not springy but hard and tough. But of course, that’s solely my opinion and a lot of people would surely strongly disagree – otherwise, the shop would not be in business for so very long nor would it be enjoying bustling business still, day in and day out.

Anyway, my friend (the one whom I helped babysit the kids) dropped by my house the other day and gave me these…

SB 1

Nope, they were not from that shop, thankfully – these were homemade so sorry, you will not be able to get these anywhere in the city.

It looked like they had all meat inside…


…beaten well till firm and springy, almost like the texture of those typical dim sum siew mai but not quite the same…and they were not the same as those in Sibu either – for one thing, they were much smaller than our local ones…and they were not as hard as those from the aforementioned shop.

Well, what’s most important is the taste, of course, and I would say that they tasted really nice. Just dip in some chili sauce…


…and nom…nom…nom!!!! Yum! Yum!!!

Thank you so much, Lim & Chau Chin, for them…but you really should stop. Shy lah!!! Just did a bit of babysitting for you two for a while and you keep sending things over…

Sio bee 4

Hmmmm…now what shall I give you in return? More of my fried pasta with SPAM perhaps? Hehehehehehe!!!!!

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29 thoughts on “Smaller…

  1. Ooo, sounds like this pao place might have been decent back in the 60s but it’s now deteriorated and has too many flaws, even though it’s still clinging on to many followers.

    I wouldn’t say it has deteriorated, just the same…and it obviously has many die-hard supporters, like Johnnie Walker – still going strong…just that I’m not one of them.

  2. That’s one hell of a big pao!

    What to give your friend in return? Hmm, maybe one of STP’s special dishes? xD

    Yes, that would be nice, I guess. Will have to cook something special one of these days…

  3. i will do the same. i mean, i feel better when i can give something back in return, i mean.. even though the thing might not as ‘big’ what people has given me, but i want to feel good… feel happy :)

    karma maybe?

    Hutang emas boleh dibayar, hutang budi dibawa mati.

  4. Luckily you are in Sibu. If you’re somewhere in Kuching I might send my daughter for you to babysit. Ahaha…. Well, I only tried Siew Mei (halal one) in Kuching before. Ate only 3 pieces, and I’m full. :-)

    The dim sum at the five-star hotels would be chicken…and halal. Don’t think we have any here in Sibu – chicken ones, yes but dunno halal or not. Sure, sure…anytime can help babysit. Old retiree, nothing much better to do anyway. LOL!!!

  5. Oooo home made ones always are good. An aunt of mine whenever her mood sizzles up will be delivering home made dim sums.

    Yup, the best ingredients and not scrimping on them for the sake of profit. ;)

  6. Hey Arthur, i dont mind babysitting for those who keep supplying good food.. Haha

    You can run that home-based service once you’ve retired. Big money, I hear!!!

  7. I know that shop you are referring to. Business is forever good. Once upon a time, the big paos and everything were really good but not now.Have try their har kaw and oh no!!!…the skin is thick and rubbery.

    In the 60’s and 70’s, I thought they were quite ok…but at that time, we did not know better – not much choice.

  8. So you’re also a babysitter eh. Maybe this post will be a signal for your friends to send their babies for you to babysit. You can add a new profession: Suituapui – professional babysitter. And I can say that you are well experienced babaysitter. Your daughter is a proof of that. ;-)

    No lah, just doing my friends a favour. After all, that’s what friends are for – to help when in need.

  9. Still my favourite place for my breakfast of champions hehehehe never fail to go there when I’m in kuching. My late grandfather will make it a point to go there whenever he is in kuching. He told me that the place has been around since the early 60s. I had the chance of going to their original shop which was in front of the Post Office, where Merdeka Plaza now stands. Nowadays my family will go to their current shop at Padungan. Anyway, everyone have their own opinion about the place. Cheers STP!

    Nope, not at the present Merdeka Palace site – that was Aurora. It was directly opposite the post office…maybe two or three shops from the right in the block right next to the Pavilion. I did go there a few times way back then. I wonder if that block of shops is still there – there’s a new mall now at the car park area right behind. Never been to it at its new location in Padungan.

    • The row of shops (opppsite Post Office) where Fook Hai original located had been pulled down to make way for Merderka Plaza. Louis’s description is correct. You got mixed up. Louis mention Merdeka Plaza and NOT Merdeka Palace.

      Alamak!!! I saw wrongly, old man… Was reading the comment on my ancient mobile (very small fonts)and saw Palace, so that got stuck in my mind. Pavilion still there? I hope they did not get rid of that!!! Heritage, must restore and preserve.

      • Pavillion is still there. Yeah should preserve and restore it. Historical building.Sometimes I do misread the wordings using my mobile.

        Wait till you see mine – so old and so small. When people saw, their first comment: Can go online kah? And the next comment: You can see kah? LOL!!!

  10. wow no wonder wahy it’s popular it’s been there for decades! i bet
    there meals were the best tasting one!
    anyway those balls seems pretty tasty too

    I guess some people don’t like change. Like the traditional noodles and stuff here – there are new improved variations, some I find a lot nicer actually, but many do not like and they will go looking for the original taste – what they used to have when they were young or when they lived here long ago.

  11. Happy Labor Day STP!

    I just had dim sum this morning with my hubby and son, hehe…

    That’s nice. Your son, just about 1 year old, can eat dim sum already kah? Go slow on the msg… Dim sum, usually a lot!!!

  12. SPAM that can be eatan one ok…not SPAM in mail box LOL

    That’s spam…SPAM, the expensive, high class, imported canned foodstuff. Hehehehehehe!!!!!

  13. hahha! Now you make me wanna tapau all those Kuching food to Sibu! Like kolok mee, sio pau, sio bee etc. :p I am sure I would miss some of the food here when I move to Sibu next month. Shall keep in touch with you, Arthur when I am there and get you to bring me eat those nice and famous food in Sibu! :p

    No need to tapao lah! Sibu also got many nice things to eat…and Kuching is very near, can go over and eat puas-puas anytime. Not like you’re migrating overseas or what – everything don’t have…and even if they have, it is expensive. Sure, sure, no problem. Will be glad to take you around to eat all the nice things in town – towkay neo belanja, sure ok one. Hehehehehehe!!!!!!

  14. Haha…I’m amused at your description of those dim sums from Kuching…the filling dropped out. I can imagine eating them… fun. The last time when I was home, I found that dim sums have so much pork fat inside. Cut cost? maybe I went to the wrong one.

    You probably did. This time, let me take you… ;)

  15. Hmmm from your description, the dim sum sound really bad wor!
    Maybe you can give them a piece of your mind so that they can improve :D

    No lah. That’s just my opinion. I can tell you that hundreds and thousands of people would disagree with me. That shop is always full in the morning – enjoying brisk business. So, since I do not like what they sell, I will just stay away, that’s all.

  16. Not a fan of tua-pau, har kow or Siew Mai.. I won’t merajuk if tak dapat makan. However, the sio bee that you bought for us the night we arrived, I like.. Very nice indeed :)

    Those would be similar to these that my friends gave me. They’re still my favourite in town but there are others that are pretty nice as well – not like the usual dim sum siew mai, our Sibu Foochow style ones, right? Anytime better – if you go to the right shops, that is! Hehehehehe!!!!

  17. Hi Arthur! Agree with you that the dim-sum at the eating place do not look impressive… those from your friend look much better! I’m sure you will volunteer to babysit more going forward! :D

    Yup! Can’t understand why it’s so popular. Ummm…babysit some more. Will have to think about it. Hehehehehe!!!! ;)

  18. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting again :) It’s so neat to see Bob Marley’s impact around the world – even years after he has past. Also…thanks for the link on your sidebar. I did notice it was linked to my old blog. Here is my new URL, thanks!


    Most welcome, Jennifer. I was at Opal’s and I decided to click the link on one of your comments and hop over to see how you’re doing. Ok, will edit the link right away. Thanks for commenting too.

  19. So next time can babysit for my Nate also, kan? In Bintulu it is very hard to get a good dim sum eating place. Maybe taste bud got upgraded after having dim sum @ tim hou wan last year. Lol! Mostly here I can find are the processed food type – like the ones that you open from the packs and just steam it. Not as nice as the home made ones but I can tell the one that you had is so full of meat. Nice!

    So good meh that place? All the same to me, more or less. Here, we have two good places, at least, that is of a high-enough standard. I don’t go often – been a while since I last went to one. Cutting down on msg…even though the ones here not so bad – not so thirsty after eating unlike at some other places.

  20. sometimes the little things we do for others may mean the world to them… thats why your neighbour is so appreciative! ;)

    My friends. They’re very good people, very nice, very helpful. I’m blessed to have so many friends like that.

  21. home made siew mais are certainly good, but i prefer those with prawns :P (not a fan of pork)

    The dim sum ones have prawn mixed with meat. You’d probably prefer har kau then – all prawns.

  22. wow..babysit for 1/2 day, till today still get food as appreciation, very good and so sweet of your friends.

    That siew mai that your friend make, the skin look very very thin, yummy. I am like you, like to eat it with dipping in chili sauce, and the siew mai must be hot hot. Yum!!

    Nice! Ya…I am so blessed to have such generous and wonderful friends, like you too!!! ;)

  23. You babysat and got siew mai! The home made ones looked different without the chopped carrots on top. Anyway, the good taste and thoughts that counts.

    I can do without the carrots – mere decoration. Long ago, they used salted egg yolk. Not enough to boost the taste, just for colour.

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