You learn…

I saw people blogging about this place and sharing photographs on Facebook but my attempts to locate the place were all in vain. Then I stumbled upon a blog that gave a rough sketch map to the place…and looking at it, I could more or less guess how I could get there so one morning, Philip, that friend of mine home from the US, and I went out again in search of this seemingly-elusive destination.

If you are driving into Old Oya Road from the St E/Sibu bus terminal side, you would come to a building where there are a few shops – there is a sign in front of it and I think it’s supposed to say the Swan City Ville, probably referring to the housing estate in the vicinity but the “s” has dropped off and you will see ‘Wan City Ville” instead.

Turn right into RTM Road (Long long ago, when they did not have a station in Sibu, they had their transmitting station or something here…and hence, the name). Don’t drive straight ahead along Old Oya Road like what I did once and you would come to the JPJ office before coming out at the roundabout along the road to the airport just before you turn left to go to the Sibu Hospital…and there was no sign of the place I was looking for.

Now, along this RTM Road, you will see the lanes on both sides of the road and for once, the numbering  is an orderly manner and in the correct sequence – even numbers on the right and odd numbers on the left. Go straight ahead until you come to the end of that road and there is nowhere else to turn but left – now, that is Lane 13. Go straight ahead…and never mind if it seems to you that you are in the middle of nowhere and there are no houses all around – just keep going till you come to an area where there are some (new) houses and a block of shops – not many, just four, if I remember correctly…and the second one from the right is this one…

RTM Cafe 1

It is a nice and clean coffee shop…

RTM Cafe 2

…and parking is free and not a problem and probably because of the absence of buildings and traffic, the place is quite windy – I actually found it very comfortable with the cool breeze blowing that morning.

Of course, we had to try the kampua noodles (RM2.50)…

RTM Cafe kampua

…since everyone seemed to praise them to the skies and to my delight, we found them to be really very good. I would think it was nicer than my favourite ones here. In comparison, the noodles and also the stewed pork slices and minced meat all tasted nicer, a cut above what I would find at that other place.

We also ordered the piansip, dry (RM2.50)…

RTM Cafe, piansip - dry

…and it was pretty good too.

Business seemed kind of slow though. There were two other guys who were there and they also had the kampua noodles – one like what we had and the other had his with dark soy sauce. Then there were two ladies who came and they had some of the fried stuff which we did not try…and other than the old man in the photograph, that was about all the other people at the shop the whole time we were there.

There was a lady running the shop single-handedly, doing all the cooking and making the drinks (Incidentally, the coffee was good too!) and I kept thinking that she looked very familiar. I was quite positive that I knew her from somewhere so eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I went to ask her. It all came back to me when she told me who she was – she was the one waiting at tables at the other place going back all the way to many years ago when it was still at its original location…and later, at its present one and I was such a regular that I did not even need to place my orders whenever she saw me – she would know exactly what I wanted! Gee! It seems that she has learnt the tricks of the trade and has now ventured out on her own, good for her! No wonder in ancient China, the old kung fu master would never teach his disciple all the tricks he had up his sleeves – they might learn to be as good…or even better!

Incidentally, while I was there, I also noticed how she reuses old cans…


…as ashtrays in her shop – that’s somewhat environment-friendly, I would think.

Well, since I liked the kampua noodles so much and now that I know exactly where the shop is, you can be sure that I would be dropping by again…and again…and again.