You’re not the same anymore…

I remember eating these when I was young…

Sarikei's loong ngor

Here in Sibu, they are called loong ngor in Foochow or kay n’ng kor (chicken egg cake) in Hokkien, the Chinese version of the Malay kuih bahulu. I haven’t had any nice ones for a while now…and whenever anybody wanted any, I would get from a bakery in Rejang Park and more recently, from that very old-school confectionery at Market Road – Chop Tiang Chuon. The other day, however, I bought these produced by that bakery in Sarikei, Sin Hing Leong – the one that makes pretty good pek guek p’ia or tong chiew p’ia (Sibu Foochow Mooncake Festival biscuits), selling at RM1.50 for a packet of 5 which means that they are actually 30 sen each.

To my delight, they were really very nice, almost like the loong ngor that I used to know. The only difference was that the surface was dry. I remember the loong ngor in the old days had a shiny glint on the top, probably because of the oil they applied to the mould prior to baking to prevent sticking. Anyway, in my opinion, they are a lot better than the ones that my missus would buy regularly from a stall in town…along with the cupcakes. Some people opened a stall somewhere and business was so good that now, they have branches everywhere. If you ask me, I just cannot stand the extra strong flavour of vanilla essence in them and you definitely would not catch me buying those.

I also bought these from the same Sarikei bakery, also selling at RM1.50 for a packet of 5…

Sarikei's phong/heong peah 1

I thought they looked like phong peah but upon eating one, I did not think it could pass off as one – probably a cross between a phong peah and a heong peah and the sad part was that it wasn’t really good. There was hardly any filling inside…

Sarikei's phong/heong peah 2

…and when eating it, I could taste the flour in the skin – like eating uncooked dough.

And going for the same price are these dou sar peah

Sarikei's dou sar peah 1

…and I did not think they were great either. Those that I had when I was a kid were at least three times bigger and we had the black version of the dou sar (bean paste) filling or the brown version…a shade darker than this – what they call pek dou sar (white bean filling)…

Sarikei's dou sar peah 2

Other than the size, I remember that those that I ate when I was young had very flaky skin that was like layers of very thin paper…but these had nothing of the sort.

It certainly is kind of sad that when the older generation had passed on, the culinary skills have not been inherited by the younger ones and though we may have something similar, they are really a far cry from what we had in the past. I certainly would buy the loong ngor again since I think they’re pretty good but as for the other two, I think I’ll pass…