Behind closed doors…

ROTFLMAO!!! Now, now…don’t you start imagining that this is going to be an X-rated post because it is NOT going to be anything of the sort! It is just that I’m on a self-imposed home quarantine, so I am staying behind closed doors.

I came down with serious fever and violent coughing on Friday night and by the following day, the coughing had subsided a bit, it seemed…but I felt flushed with fever all day long. I had my missus to do some back-scapping on Saturday night and by Sunday, the fever was gone. However, the coughing came back and was pretty bad…and thankfully, I was feeling much better by Monday – yesterday except that I was nauseous and did not have any appetite to eat.

Then I had a call from Jo’s husband. Jo’s a Kuching teacher whom I met when she came to Sibu with Sophia the other day. She had sent me some things, so I had to put my quarantine on hold for a while to go out and collect the stuff from the husband. Well, she sent me this box…

Kai Joo Lane sio pao 1

…of the Kai Joo Lane char sio pao (barbecued meat bun) that I love so much…

Kai Joo Lane char sio pao 2

Thanks a lot, Jo! You shouldn’t have gone through all the trouble.

Well, Kai Joo Lane is in Kuching, one of the side lanes branching from India Street – the one leading to somewhere around the Central Police Station. It is also known as “kua char hang” or “coffin lane” because in the past, the whole lane was lined with coffinmakers’ shops – producing the traditional Chinese ones with the top ends tilted upwards. I think there may be a couple that’s still around these days but I’m not really sure as it has been years since I last set foot round those parts since they closed India Street to traffic and the place is often jammed and parking can be a pain, plus driving down that narrow now-deadend lane right up to the shop is usually out of the question.

I can’t recall when this little shop started making the char sio pao but I can positively remember that way back in the 70s, I was already eating and enjoying them – at 50 sen each, if I’m not mistaken. It is definitely nothing like the very much overrated Seremban sio pao which burst into the scene sometime in the 80s. I remember there was a stall at Bukit Bintang and the smell drifted far and wide in the vicinity. Expecting something like the Kai Joo Lane char sio pao, I joined the mile-long queue to get some to sample. It was such a disappointment! The pastry was not too bad but just not as good…and the filling was nothing like it.

This Seremban sio pao (baked bun) was such a hit then that they opened up stalls everywhere. Here in Sibu, it was at the coffee shop next to the General Post Office and each day, you could see the crowd there…but gradually, it dwindled and eventually, the stall closed down. I haven’t seen or heard of the Seremban sio pao since, not that it mattered to me at all!

The filling inside the Kai Joo Lane char sio pao is something like what we normally have in our chicken pies…except that they have slices of char sio instead of the chicken…

Kai Joo Lane char sio pao 3

The moment I got home, I heated up two in the oven and finished both of them in one sitting! What? Who?…Me nauseous, no appetite? Did I say that? Whatever gave you the idea…Hahahahahaha!!!!

Author: suituapui

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

17 thoughts on “Behind closed doors…”

  1. Reminded me of the days when I used to eat them whenever my dad came back from Kuching. Now it is a distance memory. Anyway in a month time, will get to enjoy them all over again.

    A month?…I guess you’re going over for the Raya hols. I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere then as my daughter will be coming home then… The pastry isn’t as rich and buttery as before anymore, but it’s still nice! To me, still No. 1!

  2. I am so early and yet I can’t be the FC! Arrgghhh… Ha πŸ˜€

    Tuapui! You are sick! OMG! Then are you feeling any better? You are a responsible citizen. You quarantined yourself. πŸ™‚

    Ouh…you had body-scapping? Hopefully you’ll get better.

    War…got mood wanna eat some more. LOL:D

    I saw you dilly-dallying at Facebook, that’s why! I’m ok now, still a bit weak and lethargic…but should be fine in a day or two. Help slim down a bit before I fly over to Penang… LOL!!!

  3. Lucky you! I enjoy eating roasted buns too but very heaty for me,hve to drink lots of fluids after. Here yumchas n vietnamese bakeries made some really good ones too! Ps. Enjoy your holiday!!!

    Thanks…I’m sure I will. Looking forward to have a really good rest – idling, doing nothing but eat and eat and eat… This is the life! Hahahahaha!!!

  4. sTP, so heaty leh! some more with fever and cough.. walllauuuu… i tot u r flying on the 20th? make sure yr fever NIL otherwise, they quarantine u again at the airport… hahaha.. these few days, u better take bread or porridge, something oil-less or oil-free… then when u go to Penang, u can wallop all u want! lol….

    No more fever since Sunday. I’m fine now, just a bit tired and not so energetic as usual yet, still recuperating. Appetite still not “normal” yet, though improving. Can’t wait to get to Penang and rejuvenate!!!

  5. Oh! The coffeeshop next to Post Office! That’s the one I have eaten a long long time ago. I remember while queuing up for the so-called oh-so-nice Seremban pao, I saw our Sibu reporter, Raymond Tan. I was amazed by his size back then because he rode a kapcai πŸ˜›

    I don’t remember liking the Seremban sio pao back then but that was the one and only time I had it. And then some aunties went to Kuching for makan angin and came back with Kuching sio pao and the rest, they say, is history. πŸ˜€

    Speaking of which, I might be bringing some Kai Joo Lane sio pao back when I go back for All Souls’ soon.

    I never bought the Seremban paos in Sibu…not after the disappointment I had from the ones I bought in KL. Was telling everyone not to buy but nobody listened. Some people liked, of course…but then they never tasted the Kai Joo Lane ones before. All Souls still a long way – two months! Raya not coming back?

  6. Other people sakit take two panadol to recover, u pulak tak two sio pau and all is well. hhahaha.

    Hahahahahahaha!!! Amazing but true! Can go into Ridley’s Believe it or not! LOL!!!

  7. LOL! hahah!! i’m glad i read until the end.. hihii… but 2 enough meh? if my husband turn his head away, I can eat more than that!

    Wow! And yet you’re so small!~ Gee! Some people are truly blessed! Hahahahaha!

  8. hahahaha… behind closed doors eating sio pau? well.. I know that basically you were self quarantined.. but as I scroll further.. it does seems that you basically stayed at home and stuffed yourself to the sio pau.. refusing to share with anyone and using the self-imposed quarantine as an excuse.. smart.. HAHAHA

    Hehehehehe!!! Takes one to know one! Not easy to get them these days as it’s in that congested part of town that people generally are not that keen to go – except me, of course…as I would need to drop by ParkLand once in a while! LOL!!!

  9. i ❀ siu pao!!! but cant seemm to find nice one here la 😦

    Not in Sibu either. We have some bakeries trying…but they’re all not worth the calories. Even the pastry is miserable, not to mention the taste!

  10. oh… going kch this thursday…i think i should go have those pao. long time i never had them. STP, wah sakit pun ada selera makan…i have no appetite when i was sick last week. now also still not much appetite….mau slim down lah hahahahahaha

    Appetite still not good yet, not like usual…but I love those paos! I must say they were better in the past, rich butter fragrance – now less, but still good. Still worth going! Go for the century egg ones! Or the ones with added sweet yam paste inside! Nice!

  11. Wah not feeling well but can still eat so much…….eh, bro, nothing left for me meh! Hope you get well soon!

    I’m fine liao. Don’t worry…by the time I get to KL, I’ll be able to eat like a horse, so get ready! Hahahahahahaha!!!

  12. Hope you are feeling better today. My sister always bring back this Sio Pao when she come back from Kuching. I like it so much. Can never get one in Sibu.

    I’m fine, thanks. Ya, at one time, when you boarded a plane, you would see everyone carrying those canned beer carton boxes – Anchor, Tiger…and once inside, the whole aircraft would be filled with the fragrance of the char siew pao!!! So very nice! Too bad nobody here can make any as good…

  13. Jo wanted your contact number as her hubby was going to make a trip to Sibu. She so ‘pai seh’ you taking us around in Sibu. Let me know when you are going on transit back to Sibu from Penang. I can tapau something from Kuching (like Peterson’s prawn fritters?).

    She the typical “hock-chiew-lang” type! LOL!!! I’m not stopping in Kuching on the way back, direct KLIA-Sibu. Don’t worry… There’ll be lots of other times. I may hop over to Miri for Too-kor’s dad’s birthday… Self-invited! Gee! I’m so shameless hor? Hahahahaha!!! Heard all of you will be going.

  14. Oh my god……. are you okay now ? Don’t really love the barbecue meat buns, but i love the kinds with tao sa inside. That’s awesome.. speaking of buns, have you tried out Big Thumb’s ? For one and a half ringgit, you can get one biiiiiiiiig one..

    Baked ones? No, thank you. The steamed char siew buns are quite good…but I seldom go to town, so I haven’t bought from there for a long long time…

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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