In the shadows…

Over in West Malaysia, people sing in praise of the Penang char kway teow or fried flat rice noodles and maybe the kway teow therng (flat rice noodles in clear soup) as well.

Here in Sarawak, however, it seems that the kway teow is always lurking in the shadows. When one talks about Kuching, immediately the kolo mee or the Kuching/Sarawak laksaΒ comes to mind and in Sibu, it has to be the kampua noodles or the dianpianngu. Sadly, most of the time, little is said or heard about the kway teow dishes here which are, more often than not, sidelined in favour of the better-known delicacies.

Personally, I would go for the wet Foochow fried noodles (with sauce/gravy) anytime I feel like having something fried. However, at most of the stalls in the coffee shops as well as in the restaurants in Sibu, one can order the fried kway teow – Foochow style…

Fried kway teow - Foochow style

I may opt for this occasionally especially when I feel like having something different for a change like the other day, when I sent my car to the car wash and I hopped over to this Ah Ping Cafe in the vicinity of the Sibu Civic Centre (Dewan Suarah) for a bite to eat while waiting.

Together with one glass of kopi-o-peng (iced black coffee), it came up to RM2.90 which makes it cheaper than what I had at the Y2K Restaurant in the town. This cost RM3.00 for the fried kway teow alone…

Y2K fried kway teow - Foochow style

…and if you asked me, I would say that it was not as good despite it being a bit more expensive. The only saving grace was the fact that the restaurant was air-conditioned.

We do have fried kway teow – the dry version as well but without all the prawns and the clams that one usually finds in Penang fried kway teow and needless to say, it is not as nice…

Fried kway teow - Foochow style (dry)

…but one should not expect too much considering that it is only RM2.oo something per plate. However, there are some who love the Ah Tor char kway teow which was once available at the Kok Cheng coffee shop opposite the Cathay Cinema (now the Star Cineplex). In my younger days, there was this man named Ah Tor who would fry the kway teow and serve it sort of wrapped in egg like this…

Fried kway teow - Ah Tor style

…and up till today, there are people who like it this way. I am not sure whether the stall has moved back to the original coffee shop as I heard that at one time, they all moved to the one next to the Sibu Public Library. Some claim that the lady at one of the coffee shops in Sungai Merah is related to this Ah Tor and there are others who prefer the kway teow fried this way at the coffee shop behind the Sibu Kidney Foundation premises.

We also have tomato kway teow in Sibu…

Sibu tomato kway teow

…but I think the ones in Kuching are much nicer.

Whatever it is, we actually have a lot more to offer here in Sibu than just kampua mee, dianmianngu and kompia, believe you me…

Author: suituapui

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

38 thoughts on “In the shadows…”

  1. On certain Fridays, my family would opt for taugeh kuey tiau instead of anything seafood. And I think the fewer ingredients are thrown in, the skillful the cook ought to be to bring out the flavour of the dish. What say you, O Connoisseur of Sibu?

    Wow! Very devout Christians, I see. “And I think the fewer ingredients are thrown in, the skillful the cook ought to be…” Still half asleep, Higgins? And “skillful” too? That’s American, I think!

    1. Then you should try the taugeh kuey teow from that ‘sa ka lin chia’ parked somewhere in front of Goh Say Lak at Green Road, Higgins. The apek starts selling only after 6:00 or 6:30 p.m., and as soon as he arrives, there’s a long queue already. He’s been frying kuey teow for donkey’s years. And I remember there was once when his sa ka lin chia was invisible for months. I thought he’d decided to call it a day. How I sad I was for I thought I’d never get to taste his kuey teow again. Then I learnt that he had gone for an eye operation, and business would resume once he had recovered. Phew!

      The one that used to be at the Cloud Estate/Green Road junction? That one was there in the 70s…but then you would not know as you were not born yet! Used to buy from him…

      1. Will do Winkles. But if I happen to forget, you can deliver some to my home this June. πŸ™‚

        Oh? You’ll be home in June? So you may be spotted at St Peter’s then? Anybody who’s interested can text me and I’ll give a vivid description of him and you can all go to that church to see what this Higgins looks like! LOL!!!

      2. Haha. If chance presents itself, why not, Higgins? πŸ™‚

        Chance presents itself…or we make our own chances or opportunities?

      3. Winkles, no point appealing to chance. If the heart is willing, no mountains can deter you.

        “If the mountain does not go to Mohamad, Mohamad must go to the mountain!”

    2. Oh, I forgot to mention. This apek’s kuey teow has only eggs and taugeh, but he’s able to fry his kuey teow to such perfection that you’ll crave for more.

      There was another tricycle stall in Padungan, only at night – behind Longhouse Hotel where I used to hang out in the 70s. Very nice also – nothing but kway teow, taugeh and egg, plus soy sauce and msg.

      1. if she drives!!!
        there used to be a better one farther down the road next to 3 wheels cafe on the curbside, also an apek. i don’t know if he’s still there at night.
        i tried the one at sg. merah as it says kok cheng, but not good at all. i think it’s the tau-chek-liaw of sibu’s koay teow that makes it not nice for frying – more meant for soup or blanched.
        i once requested for fried koay teow wet ones with soy sauce gravy (foochow style i presume) instead of the usual tomato, in kuching, they said no-can-do; the chef didn’t know how; i said you just use soy sauce instead of tomato ketchup. still no-can-do! so what to do, fry at home, lah!

        I wouldn’t know… Kuching kway teow nicer? I don’t fancy the yellow noodles though – they’re REALLY yellow! I guess when in Kuching, you’ll just have to eat it the Kuching way… As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do!” LOL!!!

  2. Oh yes, I believe you! Hahahahahha!!! πŸ˜€ I don’t really like the kueh tiaw here because they are thick and coarse, unlike the kueh tiaw in the west which are thin and smooth. So I don’t normally have kueh tiaw here.

    I’d go for laksa anytime! πŸ˜€

    Neither do I. Just sometimes when I feel like having something different for a change!

  3. Totally agree with you on that one—Kuching’s tomato kuey tiao is much nicer. I had mine a year ago in Miri and the kuey tiao was fried first before boiling tomato sauce was poured onto it. The first few mouthfuls were okay but after that, it was far too oily to be enjoyed.

    Haven’t had any nice ones in Sibu except the one my missus had at Garden Hotel…but that was RM10.00 a plate! With all the ingredients, it HAD to be nice!

    1. Yes, Kuching’s tomato kuey teow is still the best. It’s not just reddish because of the tomato sauce, but it’s a nice aroma that’s very tantalising. I heard from one tomato kuey teow seller that garlic and shallots need to be chopped very finely before the tomato sauce is poured in, and care has to be taken so that not too much starch is added, or else gone will be the nice texture of the tomato kuey teow gravy.

      The gravy in Kuching has less tomato sauce, thus it is not that strong as the ones I’ve tried here in Sibu (like eating kway teow drowned in tomato sauce) and they have more ingredients like prawns, cuttlefish…so of course, it is nicer!

      1. I bet the seller even imparts to you all his secrets. Don’t forget STP is coming this June. Make sure you brace yourself for his coming. Apart from tomato kuey tiau, you still have 2 pots of laksa to prepare. πŸ™‚

        His coming? Sounds like the 2nd coming…or my “I am coming!!!” joke! Btw, nothing’s definite! It does not look like I’ll be able to go over in June owing to family commitments! But if the two of you would like to send me some boxes of goodies, I can always let you know should there be anybody coming in to Sibu…

      2. Haha. She didn’t. I was just complimenting her on how nice her tomato kuey teow gravy was. All gooey (but not too gooey) was one thing, but the aroma was simply fantastic. She told me that most sellers would just pour boiling tomato sauce minus the garlic and shallots over their kuey teow.

        Haha. STP, when you are in Kuching, where do you normally go for tomato kuey teow? Higgins, in the ‘Top 10 places in Kuching to eat laksa’ list, Periwinkles’s Laksa isn’t listed oh. πŸ˜›

        Sounds like she’s blowing her own horn and trying to put others in a bad light. I used to go to the Palm Road stalls – no longer there and I hear that even the name of the road has been changed. One of the stalls at the Batu Lintang open air were also pretty good at one time, don’t know now! I loved the mee too!

      3. FYI, the Palm Road stalls have moved to Hui Sing. There’s this place called Hui Sing Hawker Food Centre. It’s there, and the stall is called Palm Road Tomato Kuey Teow (something like that).

        That’s what they told me…but I’ve never been there.

  4. Hello!! Has STP’s blog morphed into a chatzone?

    Ah well…I’ve deleted those comments that have gone off tangent! They have their own blogs actually. I don’t know why they don’t go and chat in theirs. Maybe they’re not fun and enjoyable like mine. Everybody’s in Facebook these days. I wonder why they’re not…

  5. STP – where are you?? busy in the kitchen char kway teow when there is a chat going on.haha.
    btw.. my Pie tee hat turned out good n crispy after few mins. in the oven. TQ. for the tip.

    Hah! 2nd one to complain!…Oh? So my tip on how to salvage your top hats worked! Gee! I’m so clever! Hahahahahaha!!!

  6. Haiya,clicked in wrong time! M fasting till noon,need to go for routine medical check up. I liked the Ah Tor’s Char kuih teow,also trying to cook it that way but of course not really the same,more like ‘alamak’ char kuih teow!LOL!Pollie,is Amy(sil) away?try sms her no reply,ring her phone also no pik up. may try again later.

    Sending private messages, I see? As they say, if you can’t beat them, join them! Hahahahaha!!!

  7. This is what we call damn “chun”

    I did fried kway teow with see ham and lap cheong (oooh..doesn’t that sounds kinky hahaha) last night for dinner… made huge mistake… eggs should be fried before putting in the kway teow… but still tasted great anyway…

    Still love Ah Tor’s kway teow.. always have it whenever i go back to sibu..

    anyway.. totally unrelated but damn amusing.. here’s something for your enjoyment..

    Ok…seen it and I’ve removed it! Real hilarious…but let’s not get carried away and just stick to kway teow, shall we? And talking about kway teow, I always fry the egg after the kway teow. Push the noodles to one side, break the eggs into the wok and fry…and then mix it all together.

  8. reply to Stella– SORI STP.. lol
    Amy will reply yr SMS when she go back to the house..still busy in town running errands.
    A. want to send me her bak chang thru bus last week – told her no need lah -pai-seh.haha.

    Why paiseh? Isn’t she, after all, your SIL? What’s a few changs between outlaws…oops, I mean in-laws? Hahahahaha!!!!

  9. What the….?? Is this the new IM with English lessons thrown in? STP, text me when comments are just comments please…thank you!

    Ah well…at least they get me past 20 comments whereas the comments of “some commentors” are few and far between! Hint! Hint! Hahahahahaha!!!! I’ve deleted the irrelevant ones already…so all that’s left are those about kway teow! LOL!!!

    1. Agree with gerrie. Same here! πŸ˜€

      4th one to complain!…If they do it again, feel free to slam them. You always have your way with words…and I’m sure bukitassek will second that! Hahahahahaha!!!!

      1. Waiyo! That coming from you, I take that as compliment lor! Hahahahahah!!! πŸ˜› We’ll see, we’ll see…

        Ya…let’s see how things go tomorrow. Going to post something x-rated… LOL!!!

  10. u can have Ah Tor Char kway teow at Aloha Corner…the son is the one running the stall, it also open at night.. taste still the same. the one at sungei merah is ah tor’s daughter in law and grandaughter…rasanya pun sedap juga…

    Wah! All in the family! Have you tried the one behind the Sibu Kidney Foundation? They say it’s nicer than the one at Rejang Park… Dunno where it stands compared to that from the Ah Tor family.

  11. tomato kuit teoh…wowo!! wonder if would had came out a carbonara kuit!

    You can always try. Noodles are more or less like pasta, and it’s the sauce and ingredients that make the difference.

  12. Tried the “Ahtor” koay teow in Sg Merah. Wasn’t as good as the original one. Tasted bland and the koay teow was not fried long enough. My favourite plain CKT with just eggs and tauge is the one in Hui Sing(formerly palm road). Best tomato mee (not sure if they have koay teow) is in Lau Yar Keng in Carpenter street at night. But be prepared to pay premium prices.
    Just had lunch in Bombay Masala with TOC, but hey…am sure you’ve read about it on his FB status. hahaha

    Haven’t been to Facebook as so busy replying to (and deleting) comments. Hahahahaha!!!! Well, if they are still as generous with those huge prawns and cuttlefish as in the 70s, I would expect it to be a lot more expensive than in those days. I think I had had the Lau Yar Keng ones way back then…and the kolo mee from the stall inside too! Yum! Yum!

  13. yeah… we have it all… muahaha… except food that actually will make u loose weight

    Why would we want food like that? I don’t have a problem with the way I am. Do you?

  14. Heard the one at Aloha is Artor’s son. I just had one 2 days ago, but it was quite tasteless.

    Guess “Like father, like son” does not always apply… I hardly ever go to Aloha because that place is so very congested. I’ve tried the one in Sg Merah which was pretty ok. Was never that crazy over Ah Tor kway teow in the first place.

  15. This Kuching blogger sooo popular meh??? Today newspaper reported…”Popular Kuching Blogger To Run In KK marathon”

    No comment. You can ask Clare! LOL!!!

  16. ooh i love koay teow! I’m actually salivating at the koay teow wrapped in egg right now!

    Gosh! Better plan to come to Sibu… August 31st Monday, long weekend! Oops! Forgot…you work weekends too, eight days a week! Sigh!!!

  17. The koay teow in Sarawak are fatter and thicker than the koay teow in Peninsular. During my secondary school days, i love eating beef koay teow soup at my hometown Sarikei πŸ™‚

    Ya, and I prefer that in the peninsula. I ate beef kway teow here too sometimes at this coffee shop named Kiaw Siong…but I would much rather have the mee.

  18. The one in Sungai Merah is his daughter if I am not mistaken. but I still missed the old Ah Tor fried kueh teow. Now seems to have lost the taste or maybe my taste buds are different now. I love tomato kueh teow but not many shop in Sibu fried a good one.

    I have not found a place here where I would say the tomato kway teow is nice (except Garden Hotel). I never really cared for Ah Tor kway teow since small – just something different for a change once in a while.

  19. kuihtiaw in sibu not nice one, fat fat one. I love kuihtiaw in Miri.. best ah! wan some? i tapao for u when i go there la! hahahha

    No, thank you. By the time it gets to me, I can imagine its state already – one lump like some kind of kuih. You’re not coming to Sibu for the Gawai holidays, see your darling here? Or is your darling going over to Miri to be with you?

  20. WTF…seem like ahtor everywhwre… wide awake now lo….won’t wanna miss the match of the year in half hours time..go Ronaldo go..go M United go he he. must find some pleasures in life la…but then Messi is fantastic too.Should be match of the year …haha.

    You’re into football too? Didn’t know that. Thought you’re only into that game for very confused men who try to get their little balls into the holes… Hahahahahaha!!!

    1. Ronaldo and Man Utd pancit….hahahah.
      As they say, men have 2 balls women have 0 balls. kekeke.

      Tot they’ve two huge ones? Or are they classified as balloons, not balls? LOL!!!

  21. This post brought back sweet childhood memories as I went to Chung Hua Primary School. I was once caught by a prefect when I tried to climb over the gate to buy Kok Cheng’s Kway Teow. The embarrassing fact: I was a prefect myself.

    Gee! Didn’t expect you to be such a naughty girl! LOL!!! I suppose the temptation was too great tp resist! Hahahahaha!!!

  22. Hahaha… ‘kueh chap’ is also one of Sibu’s specialty i think.. Have you try out the Penang Fried Kuey Tiaw at Red Carrot yet ? I went there yesterday again with Nicholas, the debater from Kuching. He’s all praise for the Sarawak Laksa there too !

    I’ve seen the photo in victorkiu’s album on Facebook. It looks pretty yummy. How come you never asked me to join the two of you? Humph!!!

  23. I would try the fried kuay teow wrapped in egg. It reminds me of nasi pattaya πŸ˜€

    Now why nasi pattaya? Was it really from Pattaya in Thailand? *Curious* πŸ˜•

    It isn’t really wrapped like nasi pattaya. It is fried in the egg…but they do not stir it so the egg comes out in one piece making it look as if the kway teow is wrapped in it.

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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