They told me…

They told me sometime ago that the food here was pretty nice…


…but I did not stop by to try until the other day.

For one thing, it certainly was an interesting place with a lot of old photographs on the walls. I remember this bank…


…looking exactly like that when I was a kid loitering along that road (Old Street) where my father’s shop was at No. 8 – the bank was two doors away at No. 12. This was one of the old Sibu banks, the others being Kwong Lee (later Malayan United), Hock Hua ย and Kong Ming (later EON Bank)…but during the bank mergers sometime ago, it was absorbed into Hong Leong, if I’m not mistaken.

I don’t think I know anybody in this photograph…

Old SHS brothers & students

In fact, I do not even recall the time when this particular La Salle Brother was in Sibu – I probably was way too small then…and all those would be the Sacred Heart students at that time.

The tiffin carrier sure looks familiar…

Some old stuff 1

…and the cassette tapes too. Somebody had that hand-driven sewing machine when I was small but I cannot remember who now…and that’s the old-time radio-cassette player in the top left.

I have not seen these char khiak (wooden clogs)…

Char khiak

…for a long while now, much less anyone using them…and I remember using that egg-beater in the top left…

Some old stuff 2

…to beat the eggs when I was small everytime my mother wanted to make cakes…and we also had that coffee grinder (bottom left) in the house when I was small. Hah!!! I bet many of us can remember that baby thingy (top right) – this would hang on our makeshift boi-boi – a sarong hanging from a hook on a spring tied with a rope to the ceiling in the house. We would wind it up and let it run – some music would play as the thing whirled round…and those dangling ends would rise to the occasion.ย Gee!!! This cafe is more like a museum and I certainly enjoyed myself looking at all the things on display.

As for the food, I ordered the Sarawak laksa as I thought it looked good in the photograph on the wall but eventually, I was told that the gravy was not ready and they suggested that I ordered something else instead. They suggested fried mihun with stewed pork – no, thank you!!! I am sure mine is nicer than yours!!! Finally, I ordered Hokkien fried noodles – or at least, that was what they said they had but when it was served, it turned out to be hock chiew char mee – tam (Foochow fried noodles, wet/with gravy) – RM4.00…


This was more expensive than elsewhere (RM3.00) but it had a lot more ingredients including some tiny shrimps and instead of the usual bits of chai hua (sawi), they had some kuchai (chives) strips instead. I don’t like that so I had to go through the chore of picking them out and leaving them by the side. It tasted good though, better than some places that I’ve been to around here.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid I can’t say the same about their cendol (RM3.00)…


tak cukup lemak (not rich enough), tak cukup gula melaka (not enough palm sugar)…and the red beans were not cooked soft/mushy (but still whole) enough – the way I would love it! To me, the ones at this other place are still the best.

Never mind that the food wasn’t all that good as what I’ve been told – I certainly had a great time looking around and ย recalling all those pleasant childhood memories during my brief visit to this place.


Author: suituapui

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

37 thoughts on “They told me…”

  1. all these reminded us of how far we had gone…. hmmm… noodle looks good…

    Our heritage, our past preserved. Good to keep all these things for old times’ sake. The noodles were good, not the cendol.

  2. Those are some interesting trinkets etc. my mom still has the old fashion sewing machine with pedal.

    My mum has hers and I have mine too…but we never use. Mine doesn’t work properly – my missus kept adjusting this and that so it got jammed. I refuse to get it repaired – did that before…and in a minute, she would fiddle with this and that and spoil it again. Tsk! Tsk! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  3. I had seen Wah Tat and Hock Hua Banks in the West but didn’t know they were from Sibu. So many tycoons in Borneo Island including Arthur! That shop looked interesting with old stuffs being displayed to make the food menu more old fashioned. The fried mee looked like Penang’s Hokkien Char Mee. I love that with sambal.

    Ya…they had branches in the peninsula, maybe even in Singapore. Too bad I’m not one of them, the tycoons – life has not been THAT kind to me but it’s ok. Never tried Penang Hokkien char mee but my West Malaysian blogger-friends who came did say that it tasted like something you all have over there, can’t remember what. One thing’s for sure – it’s different from KL Hokkien mee…

  4. Looks can be deceiving then. The cendol looks nice:P

    Love the old stuff from once upon a time that they put up. LOve admiring at these items whenever we chance upon them.

    I certainly enjoyed that. Yup…never judge by appearance…and even worse, based on nice photographs. Who says photographs never lie? Hehehehehehe!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. it should be “old classmate”! LOL

      Ok, I just made the assumption based on the word “dear” as in “my dear” or “my darling”. Wrong, obviously. LOL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Oh,those are interesting antique thingy. There is a shop at Padungan selling pork leg rice, also decorated with quiet a few antique things. Remember the old iron using charcoal, I still have it. All these bring back sweet memories.

    Can buy that iron at some shops…but then, it will not be the same as we keeping it over the years. There are a lot of this kind of stuff at Junk in Kuching too.

  6. Very nostalgic place. Looking at the old stuff they display there brings back childhood memories of my grandparent’s house. It’s like travelling back in time.

    Yes, the good old days…the good old days. How time has changed everything!

  7. oooh, I so love this place.. not because of the food obviously but the decorations.. those old photos and antiques are just awesome!! they sure are hard to find and expensive now..

    Me too! At times like this, I wish I had kept all of mine. Sure bring back a whole lot of pleasant memories.

  8. i notice this trend nowadays, of new cafes and eateries using the old ’60s concept, where they will put all the nostalgic decorations around. It works though, as I guess people are just so tired of seeing all the bells and whistles of a modern day cafe.

    Nice! This one goes back to the 50’s. I love anything cultured – be it nostalgic or ethnic, not really into the modern. Old man, old school, old fashioned, I guess.

  9. Well RM 3 for that hock chiew char mee is certainly cheap. I guess sometimes the sense of nostalgia took over and we tend to remember certain places better than they actually are.

    Yup, a welcome change from the usual kopitiam – nothing much to look at. The mee was RM4 – RM3 elsewhere but we do not get those shrimps and they give less meat.

  10. Like the concept – the red “kak kiak” looks so fancy. Hardly found nowadays.

    Yes, haven’t seen it for a long while. And there’s the paper umbrella too.

  11. If I may add, the KL Hokkien fried noodles definitely has a thicker base to it.

    The items on display will incur a sense of reminiscence on the older diners. I only know a couple of them: the fan, the grandfather clock (not the actual size, I know) and the clogs.

    You dunno the paper umbrella? Hated it when it got stuck after getting wet…and would tear when forced open. That was the kind of umbrella we used in our childhood. Ohhhhhh, what memories! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. My grandma had that hand-driven sewing machine! When I was a boy, I would stood by her side spinning the machine while she focussed on the sewing, starting and stopping at her command. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’m curious to find out how their fried bee hoon in stew pork looks and tastes like… Can you try it and let us know your feedback and show us the pic?… If you are going back there again… ๐Ÿ˜›

    Here! My post on my fried mihun with canned stewed pork:
    One of the recipes from my childhood – grew up eating that – either this or fried with canned clams in soy sauce or corned beef.

  13. This restaurant is so unique! I love the decorations and old photograph, sure bring back a lot of good old memories to the owner!

    Yes, nice change from the usual boring kopitiam…

  14. I certainly remember that egg beater that looked like spring! My mom used to make me beat those eggs when she made steamed cake last time. Boy that’s physical challenge! Haha

    Ya…me too…and I was just a little kid, got bored so quickly but my mum would not hear of it. Had to keep on beating and beating till she was satisfied with the texture of the beaten eggs…and no playing, fooling around with the spring, imagining it was a pogo stick!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ LOL!!!

  15. Those antiques displayed in the shop are really priceless. By looking at the noodles, I like it very much. I love those noodles with lots of gravy like this one in your picture.
    Cendol, I find it using too much green colouring. Hehehehe! Our cendol here not so green one.

    Yup, the noodles were nice. Not really into cendol…and the texture here wasn’t quite like it too – something like agar-agar…but I’m not really a fan of cendol or agar-agar, so not fussy about it – all the same to me. I’m more particular about the ang tao and the lemak-ness and whether the gula melaka is enough or not.

  16. Ohh…very nostalgic interior.
    The ‘char mien lan’ looks nice. I like my cendol with sufficient gula melaka.

    Then you would not like the cendol here. Neither did I. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  17. Hmmm..the way they displayed the antiques are so direct…Just hang up.LOL!!

    Yalor…not artistry one, not like at Payung…but interesting to see the things, nonetheless.

  18. The only thing that i don’t like is the eating untensils which were not properly washed..(oily). As for the food, I rated it 6 out of 10.

    The mee, I would consider 6.5 or 7…but at that price, I’d stick to your 6 too. Can get the same or maybe even better elsewhere for RM3 only. The cendol, I’d give at best 4 only, cannot pass. Can’t remember who it was who told me the food there was good – simply cannot listen to people one. Tsk! Tsk!

    The utensils were ok when I went and they gave boiling water for rinsing before use…but did you notice the baby cockroaches crawling all over? Eyewwwww!!!! Had two or three, at least, at my table. That really put me off!!! They should do something about that. Anyway, I certainly would not go back there again (See, I did not even bother to mention the location) – after all, I’ve seen all that I wanted.

  19. hahahahha…now i read your reply above, i know why i cannot find where you write the location! Scroll up and down want to check the location, but none. But i still want to know where is this place, maybe just go there for drink.

    Ya, like Yee Ling said, they are just “simply” put the things up and not put it in a nice way or artistry way. Here u can see a lot cafe or restaurant also in the trend. If got chance, you should go to Wonder Mama at Bangsar Village, you can see a lot.

    Wooden clogs hard to find?? I thought they have a lot at pasar malam? I like and miss that tiffin carrier, we used to have that, but now is those modern type, white silver colour.

    Ya…and the Thai ones, they say not good for health – something about the metal used. Pasar malam? I hardly go there – so hot, want to die!!! LOL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Well, if you insist on dropping by, it’s to the left of Medan Mall (next to Food Courts) – the block in front of Anson, Hong Fu, all those places – where Courts Mammoth, Sen-Q are.

  20. something similar to Hokkien Char in Penang i guess, it should taste better with some Sambal Belacan slurps~!

    Exactly what someone said earlier. How come nobody asked me to try when I was there? Would like to make a comparison, see same or not. Everything tastes better with sambal belacan. Hehehehehe!!!!

  21. lovely vintage photos and decor! i also like the name of this place, though at first glance, i read it as ‘oh dear’ instead of ‘old dear’ ๐Ÿ˜€

    Me too! And “Oh dear!” does not sound very flattering. LOL!!!

  22. The place is full of vintage stuffs! Places like this always become popular easily hahaha
    The name sounds funny though cos Old Dear sounds like Oh Dear… :p

    And an Old Dear makes me think of an old wife summore… Dunno why they chose a name like that. All the things and the photos are nice but they do not have any sense of decor – simply hang, simply put…quite messy actually.

  23. Woooaahh.. last time those banks names all in chinese one wor..

    Kuching has Kwong Lee Bank Road but I’ve never seen it. Asked my parents they said there was such bank as Kwong Lee Bank. >.<

    I still have that sewing machine in the house .. hahaha..

    There was Wah Tat too, Carpenter Street…somewhere across the road from Law Eya Keng…near a restaurant, Ang Lee or what’s its name now. There should be Hock Hua too but I dunno where it was. Ya…and it was “limited” then, not “berhad”. The manual sewing machine? Hmmm…keep it well – will be worth a fortune. Antique!

  24. Very authentic shop… I love to see the old stuff, really nice cos they remind me of my younger black and white days.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yes, “memories…light the corners of our minds, misty, water-coloured memories…of the way we were!”

  25. that was a really interesting designs antiques are just cool
    and it brings back a lot of great memories
    as for the foods it was as always pleasing

    The noodles were good enough but not the sweet dessert – disappointing. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I enjoyed looking at all the stuff in the shop though… Very nice.

  26. now all those things are precious. Saw many people selling them at ridiculously high price in flea market

    Of course! Vintage. Antiques. Just like people and wine – the older they are, the greater the value… Muahahahahahaha!!!!

  27. Yup!!! Those old things remind me a lot of my childhood thing!!! Argh….getting older already!!! =[

    No worries. Age is just a number. Watch out though – you are as old as you feel/think. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. I spot an old water tumbler on the wall… love all these memorabilias… brings back so much memories… now it is so hard to find these and not to mention expensive…

    That old army what-you-call-it-now thing. Used to see that in the old Malaysia-Indonesia confrontation days, the Gurhka soldiers…

  29. I have that wooden clog in my house. I should keep it and it will become antique! hahha

    Yup, great idea. It’s slippery when wet, not a good idea to use on our tiled floors.

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