The riddle…

I think I’ve explained it before in some previous posts of mine and I am positive I once shared something about making your own kampua at home. But I still notice that everytime somebody posts something on the noodles, there will be someone asking, “What is kampua?” No, it is not like the konlou noodles in Sabah…

KK's konlou noodles with roast duck

I had this konlou noodles in Kota Kinabalu with roast duck and it was definitely nothing like kampua. Neither the texture of the noodles nor the ingredients are the same. Likewise, it is also very different from wantan noodles…

Wanton noodles @ 1 Utama

These were the wantan noodles peteformation had at 1 Utama which seemed different from the usual I had had before that were swimming in some kind of black sauce, garnished with some slices of char siew and  blanched green veg plus a bowl of soup with some wantan inside. The special wanton noodles are yellowish, smaller and thinner and are in no way, the same as the kampua noodles and of course, the ingredients and taste are also different.

Then there were people who had been to Kuching and they would ask if kampua was like kolo mee

Kim Joo kolo mee

This is the kolo mee special from Kim Joo, Carpenter Street that Gerri of had. Normally, you would get the slices of red-coloured meat plus the minced meat only. The mode of preparation is different as, if I’m not mistaken, they cook the noodles in boiling water and then they soak them in cold water and the process is repeated a few times. I believe this is to prevent the noodles from sticking together and getting too soft and soggy. Anyway, the type of noodles is different from those in kampua…and the ingredients differ as well.

So what is kampua? Well, kang means dry and puak means toss or mix thoroughly…so if somebody orders kampua and instructs puak tau eyew, it simply means that he wants it with black soy sauce. Somehow or other, instead of being called kangpuak, it is known as kangpuang in the Foochow dialect (The Foochows tend to add -ng to words e.g. Come in = Khang ing!) while the Hokkiens would call it kampua. I think konlou means the same thing but in a different dialect – kon meaning dry and lou to mix…and somewhere along the way, konlou became kolo(k) in Kuching.

During my younger days, the kampua seller would prepare the oil in the afternoon by melting pig fat in a giant wok. Once it had liquidified, the brown crusts from the melted fat were removed and thinly sliced shallots were put in to fry. The fried shallots were removed and once cooled, they were kept in an air-tight container to ensure they would be crispy/crusty when used. The lard would now be slightly brownish and very fragrant. When somebody ordered a plate of kampua mee, the seller would put a spoonful of the lard and a spoonful of chio cheng (local-made light soy sauce sold then in stone jars), a teaspoon of msg and a sprinkling of fried shallots and spring onions in a plate. After cooking the noodles in boiling water, he would put them in the plate and mix thoroughly with the ingredients. Then he would place some thinly-sliced meat (coloured red…until it was discovered that the dye used was hazardous to health, so they stopped that…but now it seems that they are doing it again, probably with a different kind of dye that is safe) on top. It was served with a bowl of clear soup made from the same ingredients used for the noodles to which the seller would add the stock made from boiling (pork) bones.

You can still get the authentic Sibu kampua at this place in the Selemo area but I do not like it very much as I find it a bit bland and the size of the serving is not substantial enough for me. I have posted on a lot of kampua varieties from different places in Sibu, and recently I had this at the Delta Seafood & Cafe in the Delta Housing Estate area in Sibu…

Delta kampua

They use pork braised in soy sauce…but I did not like it because of the very strong ginger taste. I did not like the soup either for this same reason. The noodles taste ok…and that costs RM2.40. Then there is another place in the Delta Commercial Centre (Different area! This one’s right behind Delta Mall!) named e-Cafe. Nope! Sorry, you can’t order the kampua online! LOL!!! For RM3.00, you can have this bowl of kampua special…

e-Cafe kampua special

It isn’t too bad and definitely better than the so-called kolo mee special at the Toto Cafe next door (It was nothing like kolo mee and did not even taste nice, I tell you…and no, you won’t get lucky by eating there! LOL!!!). But all in all, I still prefer the kampua-kolo mee fusion at Rasa Sayang. In my opinion, that one is still the best!!!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

27 thoughts on “The riddle…”

  1. I like the Rasa Sayang’s too, so do Rachel and Chris. But, they have changed name (can’t register the name as yet) and the kampua stall also changed hand! The owner of the coffee shop told me so, and assured me that it’s still the best in town. Well, let’s go one day?

    No, no!!! Don’t go to that one at the original location! It isn’t nice! I posted on it sometime back. The original Rasa Sayang has moved a new place in the new shophouses (across the road from the old place);the old lady and the fat one (taking orders) are there, plus the younger guy making the coffee. Click on Rasa Sayang to see my post on this new place!

  2. Indeed ! Indeed! A great academic exercise in explaining the differences among the noodles. It is all as matter of taste.
    Kuching people will always say their noodles are better. PCK has made his statement. My best kang puang is at Ban Hing Coffee Shop (ex-Sibu) in Miri!

    There is always a secret behind a good recipe.

    Lovely pictures. Lovely gourmet writing.Makes me feel that all the extra inches in the waist are all worth the good food. Cheers.

    Thanks for the compliments! I can tell from the name of the coffee shop that it’s Foochow! Hahahahahaha!!!! As they say, one man’s meat is another man’s poison, so it’s all a matter of taste. But many have sung praises of this Rasa Sayang place…and I love Kuching kolo mee! Sabah’s konlou is just so-so and I don’t like wantan mee (My daughter loves it though!) over in the peninsular.

  3. i don’t really likey kampua/kolo mee.
    they are too oily for my liking 😦
    i had only taken kolo mee once for da entire 3 years here

    Never seen any as oily as wantan mee…swimming in the oil and that black sauce! Personally I like Kuching kolo mee more than Sibu kampua…and since Rasa Sayang’s is more of a fusion of the two, I like it…a lot!!!

  4. oooh would love to come to Sibu one day and try the kampua noodles. You take me there?!!

    Take you?…Your wish is my command! The pleasure will be mine, all mine!!! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!

  5. Will give you a list of the names of kopitiam in KK selling the geniune stuff for your kk readers soon. pollie is soooo cute…hahaha..

    Must be all the Foochows that have migrated there! I heard a few of them around…but not as many as in Kuching! Gosh! They’ve infested the whole place! LOL!!!

  6. I think you explain well with ‘Kampua’ than I do. Nice post!

    Thanks!…Haiz!!! Dunno why people wanna know…just eat! LOL!!! You’re in Kuching, I reckon…and Foochow??? Btw, welcome…will link you in my blogroll! A silent reader all this while but I’ve noticed you in my blog stats. 😉

  7. I like kampua better than kolo. Kolo is a bit too ‘keras’ for me.
    Been eating kampua goreng here in Bintangor. It’s nice.hehehe

    Generally, people from Central Sarawak feel that way…and they prefer the Foochow fried mee (with gravy) to the deep-fried noodles with tomato gravy in Kuching. I love that! Haven’t had it for a long time now!!! LOL!!!

  8. Thanks for sharing about the different types of noodles. I have never tried kampua. Is it not available in KL?

    Haven’t seen any…but there are a few pseudo-authentic “Sarawak kolo mee” stalls at some hawker centres e.g. the one next to Hotel Summit USJ/Giant Hypermart. I did not try that one…but I had one at another hawker centre somewhere quite far from the city, past 1 Utama…and it was far from what kolo mee should be!!!

  9. Yep! That is the kampua that Gerrie took us to. Real Yummy! Had 2 cups of the delightful coffee as well. BTW STP, cooked your Wee’s satay sauce with gravy beef for my tonite’s get-together. Very delicious,my eldest daughter just got back from gym n let her sampled it, she says yummy! So thks for the sauce,only 1 more tin left so very very precious. LOL! Have to be a really special occassion before I cook it. LOL!

    No problem!! Can courier to you…but please pay in AUS$, RM1 to AUS$1!!! U pay the courier charges too, of course! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

  10. Stella, the one we had at Kim Joo was “kolo mee”, not kampua, strictly speaking. While in Kuching, it’s always kolo mee for me, although a few places have rather authentic kampua now. Have never really liked the konlou variety in KK, the noodles tasta a bit weird, in my opinion. Kpenyu is rather insistent there’s original kampua in KK, so will wait for his contribution to this discussion. I notice however whenever they advertise “kuching kolo mee” or “kuching laksa” in KK, it’s always “sabah-nised” with odd bits of other things added to it, eg, kuching laksa with “tofu-pok” in it, and the laksa broth is just bland. I never eat kuching laksa when in KK.Best to eat KK delights when in KK.

    That’s what I do…wherever I go, I’ll eat what they have there! The shop I went to at Asia City has Sarawak laksa…and it seemed quite popular, but I did not have that. Even Sibu laksa had always been yucky…but there has been improvement e.g. my favourite one at Thomson Corner here. The one at Garden Hotel here is nice too!

  11. Oops! Sorry Gerrie, my mistake! U really very ‘anak kuching’! I know kolo is kuching n kampua is sibu but when I saw STP’s photo of the noodles, got so excited forgotten whether kolo or kampua, just knew that I had eaten them n it is delicious. LOL!However I must say I have no preference if kampua or kolo for both r my favourite!N STP, courier?No thanks, will be like eating gold!

    People been away so long, already Ozzie…of course lah, get confused with some of the things! Hahahahahahaha!!!! Aiyor! U so kaya mah!!! Where got problem one? LOL!!!!

  12. To be candid, i hate kampua. No sir ! Give me beef noodle anytime, just not kampua. I find them very oily. Haven’t touch kampua for a very long time already, 2 or 3 years…hehe

    P.S. I am expecting you to say ‘ and you call yourself a Sibu-an’ Haha

    You are a beef junkie…and now that it is hard to get fresh beef in Sibu, do you know what beef they use? Not Australian or New Zealand, I’m sure! Argentinian? Indian?

  13. Hey ! what do you mean by ‘They’ve infested the whole place! LOL!!!’ You make them ( us actually ) sound like vermins..

    No…just flies, houseflies! Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

  14. The kampua at Bella is not too bad. I ask for lean meat although most people prefer the streaky pork. Other recommendations are the otak toast, kedondong juice, bun with sliced pork inside (not sure what they call it). Maybe we can go there for lunch if stp comes out to Kuching.

    Somebody mentioned Bella before. Gerrie, I think…or was it Gundot? I wonder when I can get to go to Kuching again…..

  15. I had kampua at this stall-I saw this man took out a packet of fried shallot bought from the supermarket-he start to punch on it to break up into small pcs-then he pour into a container..n used to mix to the kampua mee-I asked why he did not prepare his own fried shallots-he just said more conv. this way..or cheaper-but it wont taste that nice.. make a survey on the fried shallots next time u order kampua..see u agree with me or being fussy.

    Then the oil used will not have the fragrance of fried shallots! Not as nice then!!!…Just like there are places using ordinary cooking oil instead of lard! A lot of people will not like it!

  16. the kampua really looks good.but the name.. funny!!! 😀

    Why funny?…You should hear the name for “mee sua”! I would not venture to try and explain how it’s pronounced in Foochow…or what it means. Maybe somebody can volunteer to do that? LOL!!!

  17. i never really knew the difference until today. but i still prefer kampua sibu. i feel hungry unless I have it most mornings. 🙂

    Watch out for the energy surge. Its carbs, easy to burn…so lots of energy but running on empty by late morning and u may end up feeling jittery and so on….

  18. I’ve never been to Bella. Took my girl to Kim Joo but she still prefers her Ta Wang Kung.

    Where’s that? She the mini-gundot defecting from Grace’s dianpianngu to KK’s ngui chap liao, right?

  19. I rather like Bella, as it has a nice ambience to it, you pay a bit for the ambience but at least you can sit there and have an actual conversation, without the endless bustling of the usual coffee shops.
    STP, use Airasia to fly to Kuching!

    No more tuition classes for the next three months = no more income! Sob! Sob!!! LOL!!

  20. No, the kl one. It’s directly opposite Dewan Masyarakat. We have to wait for almost 1 hour. They said if you go alone it will be very fast cos you alone occupy the table and they want to chase you off.

    Dewan Masyarakat?…Ummm…that’s Jubilee Hall, right? Hahahahahahaha!!!

  21. What is Kampua? Oh yeah, I get that a LOT! Next time easy liao, just link over and *tada* all the explanation is here! LOL!

    LOL at ‘kang-ing’! Bwahahahahahaha!!! I know who said that!

    You do? ALL…or almost all the Foochow students say that and it is so hard to get them to change!

  22. Reply to your reply to cbenc12’s comment: mee sua = so-mieng in Foochow right? So = string/thread (Foochow), sua = thread (Hokkien), don’t know how it came about anyway, I usually MAKAN only! LOL!

    Oh, kampua at Bella? I will try it out and tell you the verdict. Now anyone mind telling me where is Bella?

    Haven’t the slightest idea! LOL!!!…I hear them saying something like sock-mian and it sounds…..ummm…never mind! Hahahahaaha!!!!

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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