You can’t make old friends…

A friend of mine came to town on a short holiday. She has been residing in Australia all these years. We go back a long long way to our requesting time on the radio and a-go-go dancing days in the 60’s and early 70’s. I was away in Kuching when she arrived but when I came back, we did manage to get to meet. She wanted me to take her and her nephew to go and eat the best kampua noodles in town…and of course, I just had to bring them here for the one that I like best.

Both of them had the kampua (white/original) tossed in chili sauce…

RTM Cafe kampua mee

…and they loved it! They also shared a bowl of piansip soup…

RTM Cafe piansip soup

…between the two of them while I had the Foochow-style fried noodles…

Foochow fried noodles

…with dark sauce/gravy.  I had this once a long time ago but the kampua lady (who also made the drinks – a one-woman show) was frying it herself then and I did not think it was all that nice and I regretted not sticking to her kampua noodles at the time.  I noticed that lately, there is a guy there cooking all the fried stuff so I decided to give it a try and yes, it was pretty good, definitely a lot nicer than what I had before.

We sat there and chatted and gossiped, catching up on old times and news about old friends of ours from around 9.00 a.m. till almost noon. It had been so long and there was really so much to talk about.

The next day, she contacted me again and asked me if I could join her for lunch. I asked her what she wanted to eat and she replied, “Kampua!” *faints* That, however, is very typical of people from here who have been away for a long time, either working in the peninsula or in Singapore or living in any country overseas. When they come home, they would want to go all out and feast on the kampua noodles with a vengeance.

This time around, she said that she wanted to drop by here…

Ah Chin Kopitiam

…where there was this guy…

Ah Ching Kopitiam kampua stall

…who used to sell kampua noodles at the coffee shop next to the fire station and later at another one behind HSBC right across the lane from the Singapore Chicken Rice shop there. A new owner moved in from elsewhere and took over the shop bringing along his own kampua seller so this guy had to make way and moved here – in the Sibu bus terminal area, opposite the Public Bank branch there, somewhere between WeCare and Chung Bakeries.

When I was small, I grew up eating the kampua noodles at a stall at one Kiaw Siong Coffee Shop (opposite the one across the road next to the fire station where they moved to later) and the man was called Ah Kow. Then another guy started a beef noodle stall and they called him Ang Kau (monkey) and the little son who helped to serve was nicknamed Kow Kia (puppy). Somewhere along the line, some confusion arose and the younger ones would talk about Ang Kau kampua while we, the older folks, would only be able to recall Ah Kow kampua.

Well, I asked this man for an explanation and that was what he told me, that Ah Kow was Ang Kau and vice versa – all of us were all talking about the one and the same person. If I’m not wrong, this man took over the kampua stall when Ah Kow was forced to retire owing to illness and later passed away…but many would tell you that if you want that same taste of Ah Kow aka Ang Kau kampua, this is the guy to look for! If anyone is interested, the stall opens very early, at around 6.00 a.m. till past noon but it will reopen at around 4.00 pm. till 10.00 p.m.

My friend had the kampua noodles…

Ah Ching kampua mee

…again white/original and tossed with chili sauce. Pssstttt!!!! Don’t tell me I told you but she had TWO plates!!! I could not believe my eyes! Muahahahahaha!!!! But she said that once she had gone back to Australia, she would not have any more kampua noodles to eat until the next time she gets an opportunity to come home. Poor thing! So very deprived!!!

She also shared the piansip soup…

Ah Ching piansip soup

…with her nephew and he had this plate of piansip kampua with dark soy sauce…

Ah Ching piansip kampua

It was no-meat Friday for me that day so I ordered something from this stall at the back…

Ah Ching Kopitiam stall 2

- their fried kway teow with cockles…

Ah Chin char kwayteow

It was all right, same as fried kway teow anywhere else in town, the better ones, nothing more and nothing less…but with cockles added.

It certainly is so very nice to see you again, Jasmine…and if you’re tuned in, this song goes out specially to you…

The message is in the song. Take care and God bless always.

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32 thoughts on “You can’t make old friends…

  1. Come, come Penang and we can dance agogo together LOL!

    You’re way too young to know what the a go go is, much less dance it. Maybe your parents will know. I’m sure Bananas does…a=or Claire as well. Hehehehehe!!!!

  2. Wah ….. the best kampua noodles and piansip on display today ! I guess I go get a wanton noodles fixed ! Sigh. . Btw, I like the dark kampua noodles !

    The younger set likes it dark, like Annie-Q, for instance. Old ones like me will frown on it – we never had kampua with dark soy sauce all the years we were growing up. Not authentic anymore…and all the flavours and fragrance drowned by the kicap taste.

    • Is it ? Somehow I like the black sauce that comes together with the noodles you sent.

      You’re not alone – many do, I’m sure. That is why they always have two options to choose from.

  3. heheh, i must say, you and your family and friends eat more kampua noodles in one week than i have in my entire life! i’m also deprived, heheh :D

    Normally, we don’t eat it all that regularly, just once in a while. But that’s good enough for brunch, can last till dinner for some people.

  4. Must find you when we want to eat kampua. ;)

    Sunny Cafe, Sg Antu – so far, the best halal kampua I’ve had, didn’t like a few I had elsewhere. The Bandong stall ones sold in packets, not nice…despite it being from the Foochow brother-in-law. For one thing, it’s already cold… :(

  5. Kampua, piansip soup, fried noodles with gravy all look nice.. I never get bored looking at them.. Really.. But the fried noodles look like Hailam mee..

    I guess they’re distant cousins…

  6. After so long, it must feel good to be chatting with her, catching up on old times. I guess you can’t believe that she could eat so much at one go. :)

    LOL!!! You will have to see to believe…but she did share a bit with her nephew. :P

  7. 2 plates of kampua noodles at one go???? She must have been craving for it badly. Did you introduce to her the instant kampua noodles? All the pic. of the kampua noodles looks really great. Am drooling now.

    Nope, I didn’t…and she did not ask either. Maybe she knew how to get them herself…or she did not want to cart them all back. Anyway, the instant kampua guy was away in Taiwan that week – dunno if there were any fresh ones available at the time or not.

  8. Haha. My girl just the other day said when go back to Kuching she wants to eat kolok mee every day! Lol.

    Nice post. I havent been to that RTM Cafe. I want to try that kuaw tiaw!!

    Not great, just ok. For the best, try Kopitiam Fantasy (behind Rejang Medical Centre) – the other side of the road from that Kuching kolo mee cafe beside the supermarket – I think you tried that already. The old lady at Happy Hours, Rejang Park is also not bad…and the one at Jin Jin in the cinema complex too.

  9. My earlier comment disappeared :( Your friend really loves kampua noodles so much. Imagine having two plates of the same thing in one sitting!

    It did? Nothing in spam. Ya…imagine not eating it again for the next three years – the last time she came home was three years ago. Oh dear! That bit certainly got everybody’s attention. She’s going to kill me, I’m sure. :D

  10. It’s very nice to meet up with old friends, so do I, I met my primary school best friend who we’ve lost contact for so long in the 30hours famine event!! =]

    Your first attempt went into spam…

  11. Especially when catch up with ‘old’ friends or long time no see friends, times flies very fast when sitting there chatting and catching up…

    So true! We were virtually there the whole morning. So much to catch up with.

  12. Is always good to meet with old friend, so do I, I’ve met my primary school best friend in the 30 famine event last night!! =]

    So did the 2nd one…

  13. It’s always good to meet up with old friend, and so do I, I’ve met my primary school best friend in the 30 famine event yesterday!! =]

    Yes, indeed. As the English proverb goes: Make new friends, keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.

    • Aiyo….yesterday I was kept on refreshing, nothing came out..that’s why I post again and again…sorry!!

      Perfectly ok by me, The more, the merrier. Hehehehehehe!!!! Hop all is ok today.

  14. wow.. kampua, piansip and foochow style fried noodles!! all the favorites of our Sibu Food Mayor!! :)

    …and the favourite of many as well. Come on over and you can have it all and more!

  15. The piansip soup reminds me of something I have had many times, and like! Won Ton soup! :)

    Let’s just say it is a distant cousin. The texture of the skin is different but the overall taste is somewhat similar.

  16. Sorry no more cockles in CKT or curry mee, the cockles *hum* caused tons of harm for Bananaz, kena food poisoning twice.

    Thankfully, those that I had in my plate of kway teow had no such effect on me.

  17. I understand what your friend felt. I had the same feeling when I stayed in Thailand for six months. I missed all the Filipino food, even those that are not appealing to me.

    As they say, east, west, home is best. With all the nice Thai food, you still long for your own home delights. Somehow, they are always better than all the rest.

  18. If I go Sibu, it will also be Kampua all the way from starting till ending of trip.. no doubt about that… :) Don’t ask me when..no plans as yet… :p

    Sigh! Sigh! Looks like I have to wait till the cows come home. :(

  19. hahahhahahahha!!! I can shake hand with your friend, she eat two plates, where by i always order a big plate instead of a normal one. I am so near also want my kampua everyday not said she from so far. Yum yum, now you make me hungry!!

    LOL!!! Yes, I remember your XL bowl of kampua and it was so big you could not finish. :D

  20. Your friend is so lucky to find you to show her the best on knowing that you are the only Kampua King in Sibu. Did you all find time for some A-Go-Go dancing too?

    Unfortunately, no. I was away in Kuching and then I was off to Bintulu. I did not have to show her around, she grew up here – she knows where all the good stuff is.

  21. I dont want kicap oso. I want putih putih cantik cantik original. Just like those you sent me. Yums!

    Finished already? Come, come…come on over and get some more. Cannot come? Hubby and Ethan come lah, you stay at home jaga baby. Hehehehehehe!!!!

  22. drool over the kampua mee & really, really love the song. Its so meaningful & made me shed a tear or two.

    Yes, I love the song so much, anytime nicer than Islands in the Stream, such beautiful meaningful lyrics.

  23. The kampua tossed in chilli sauce certainly look yummy. Your friend had two plates? Wow, must be very hungry or miss kampua very much!

    Definitely the latter. She said once she went back Down Under, she would not have any more kampua to eat. So sad.

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