Kids in the past were a really deprived lot. We would have to wait all week for Sunday when we would be dragged to church…and during the service, we would have to behave or else, after that, we would go straight home where the rotan/cane would be waiting. On the other hand, if we were able to withstand the long dreary hour without the devil getting into us and making us do some childish pranks, when it was all over, we would head to Kiaw Siong, a coffee shop that used to be located opposite the present-day fire station, for oooo….KAMPUA !!!
For the uninitiated, kampua is simply noodles tossed in oil (In the past, they used lard!) and a dash of light soy sauce and a pinch of msg, garnished with fried shallots and spring onions. At the time, a plate cost only 30 cents and for 50 cents, we would get a few pieces of boiled pork that was coloured red to make it look like char siew.
Simple, you say? Yet, people crave for it, believe it or not. Students studying in West Malaysia who are not able to come back for the holidays will ask their friends to ta-pau (takeaway) and they will wait for them at the airport…and the moment the friends arrive, they would grab the kampua and eat it there and then. Once I heard of this lady who had migrated to Australia and when she was expecting a baby, she wanted to eat kampua and the family had to courier some over to satiate her craving.
Kids today are much luckier than us for they can enjoy a delicious plate of kampua any day of the week at any time of day! Here, you can see a variation of the real thing. This is the seafood kampua available at Thomson Corner, opposite Sacred Heart School in Sibu (They have an outlet at Medan Mall too!). Needless to say, with the prawns and what not, it is more expensive – RM3.50! However, there isn’t much quality control so some days, it will be just right and on other days, the noodles may be overcooked – soft and soggy.
I would very much prefer the kampua at Rasa Sayang in the vicinity of the Sibu Bus Terminal. Gundot loved it too…but she said it was not authentic. True enough, for it seems like a cross between kampua and Kuching kolok mee…but the end result is absolutely fabulous. Personally, I think it’s nicer than the original kampua and kolok mee for only RM2.00!
But die-hards may insist on what they’re accustomed to over the years in which case they should try Soon Hock, a coffee shop in Pedada Commercial Centre, next to Lilian Pharmacy…along the same row as Chopsticks ( where the chicken rice is something not to be missed).
They say there’s a stall at the Taman Selera in the Pedada area run by the guy in the Malaysian Book of Records for being bestman the most number of times…but I’ve yet to go and try it. It only opens at night.
Well, to those of you who will be coming home for the holidays or for good pretty soon, in the meantime, just drool…and drool…and drool…! ROTFLMAO!!!