If you’re looking for a place with cheap and pretty nice kampua noodles, this is another place that you can check out…
It is a small, unimpressive looking place, just half of a shop with maybe, just two or three tables inside so most likely, you would have to take a seat at one of those outside at the pavement.
It has been around for a long time – I would see it everytime I dropped by the Sarawak Energy payment collection office nearby and in case you do not know where that is, it is in the Dewan Suarah (Civic Centre) area two doors away the one-time very popular Siong Loke Yong restaurant – facing the wide parking area in the midst of the shops. There aren’t many around there so it should not be too difficult to find.
Like I said, it did not look impressive and one look at it, anyone would think that for sure, there would not be anything worth checking out but I heard that the kampua mee had a strong lard fragrance and I thought that alone would make it a head above many of the rest in town so the other day, I dropped by to give it a try…
For one thing, it was only RM2.30 a bowl, 20 sen cheaper than most other places, and yes, it had that very nice lard smell but I thought it could do with a bit of more of the fried shallot fragrance as well. On the whole, I would say it was good enough, nicer than the one here which, if you remember, is 10 sen cheaper, and it certainly is worth having should one happen to be in the vicinity.
The kopi-o-peng (iced coffee) is cheaper than elsewhere too – RM1.30 instead of the usual RM1.50 and very nice too, definitely nicer than many of the rest in town. So, all in all, a complete local breakfast like this…
…would add up to only RM4.60. That’s really cheap, don’t you think?
I saw them selling these…
…along with some other things and I decided to buy some home to try. For the uninitiated, these are called tee piang and is another one of the local Foochow delights, made from soya bean pulp (usually the residue after they have used it to make soya bean milk). They used to be bigger – the size of an adult’s palm but now, they’re about the size of a little baby’s hand…and here, they were selling these kosong (plain) ones at 3 for RM1.00.
After I had finished my noodles and drink, I went up to the counter to look at the things they were selling and a handsome young boy, probably in lower secondary seeing that he was not in school in the morning, came up to me. I asked him in Hokkien how much the tee piang cost…and he replied, “Huh?” with a kind of puzzled or somewhat stunned look on his face. I repeated the question in Mandarin and he shouted to ask his mum who was doing something inside the shop – as a matter of fact, it was the mum who took my orders earlier and she had no problem whatsoever with the Hokkien dialect.
The mum replied him in Mandarin and he did not need to repeat that to me as I could hear her loud and clear…and taking a packet of the 3 small ones and two of the big ones…
…with meat filling…
…which the mum said was RM1.50 each, I asked him for the total.
Turning to the mum, he shouted and told her what I was buying and asked her how much that would be altogether. Good grief! Firstly, he did not know the prices of the things they sell in the shop which probably meant that he very rarely would be around to help his old mum out in running her business…and secondly, I could not believe that he could not calculate that in his mind and had to ask his mum. I told him, “RM4.00, ” but the mum replied that it would be RM5.00 altogether. Of course, I pointed out that there had been an error in her calculation and she quickly corrected herself.
Personally, I do think it is kind of worrying that our younger generation:
(1) can no longer converse in any of the Chinese dialects (and I can jolly well guess that he can’t speak much English either)
(2) cannot calculate in the absence of an electronic calculator
(3) these days, cannot be depended upon to lend a hand in any way.
Sad, isn’t it?
Anyway, going back to the tee piang, they were all right but I still feel that the ones here are the best in town.