Another one…

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 Β 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…

TP with meat 1

…with meat filling…

TP with meat 2

…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.

Author: suituapui

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

33 thoughts on “Another one…”

  1. Sigh…it’s sad to see the younger generation not knowing their dialects..and when it comes to calculations without the calculator or using the mobile phone, I think its hitting even some of my generation of the 60’s and 70’s babies too. I can’t depend on the hubster to even make a simple calculation…the poor man will shoot me a “I am in pain” look πŸ˜›

    In the past, people of each dialect took pride in their own unique culture (like the Peranakans – the nyonyas & the babas) but now that the dialects are dying out, it looks like the culture is sharing the same fate. It’s all mixed up now and nobody seems to know what they’re doing and why and it is usually just because all the people they know are doing the same or have done it…or they saw it on tv. They do it not because of the feeling of pride in their own identity, the eagerness to uphold their traditions – to them, it seems that having fun is the order of the day.

  2. Normally kids will speak the dialect spoken by their mums. 25 years ago, 90% of kids speak in foochow dialect in sibu. When I went back to teach, hardly 30% of them did. These days, kids communicate in mandarin. Most probably because foochow guys don’t marry foochow girls as many as it used to be. In 20 years time, the dialect can be used as secret tool to pass messages in world war 3!

    It all boils down to attitude and mentality – the willingness to learn…and also how encouraging the surrounding environment may be. Same with a kid in an English-speaking home growing up in an English-speaking setting – he or she will grow up speaking nothing else, never mind what second languages they may be taught in school. It does not seem that obvious in the other towns and cities here but ours does seem to be evolving into a mono-lingual community.

  3. i don’t speak dialect too (i’m Hakka). but at least i’m quite good in Chinese, something i used to dislike when i was in school last time. i wanted to be a banana good grief! but now i’m pretty proud to say i got an A2 for bc in spm! so yala have to thank my parents for sending us to chinese medium school despite them being bananas.

    They don’t speaks dialects too. Peranakans, are they? I hear in Malacca, a lot of babas and nyonyas do not speak Mandarin or any of the Chinese dialects – instead, they speak their own Paranakan Malay. Exactly what I said in reply to an earlier comment about what one grows up speaking in the family and what one is exposed to in the surrounding environment.

  4. The tee piangs really look good!! Wonder how they taste like… yumss!!

    I keep telling you to come over but to no avail. Still lots of things that you haven’t tried yet…and it’s been well over a year.

  5. and
    (4) feel worry if they do not have their smartphone and internet connection
    (5) habitually take photos of food and then share them on social media
    … what else?? hehehehehe~~ :p

    …spend their evenings out with friends or family at places with free wifi and fiddling with their smartphones and browsing online on their ipads all night long – instead of interacting with each other.

  6. 1. Oh well. Nothing much to say about the young generation. They are not sociable, not intelligent and too rely on technologies etc. A very worrying situation actually.

    2. I am glad that mostly people here speak Hokkien other than Mandarin and Foochow! hahaha! So I do not feel much of an alien in this side of the state. Lol!

    They do? In Sibu? Not the younger ones. That’s why I speak a lot of Mandarin myself now, no more Hokkien like in the past. 😦 In Kuching, the trend is not so obvious – people virtually everywhere in the city do speak Hokkien…and English too.

    1. In Kuching, I find more speak Teochew and Hakka than Hokkien. Only in past few years, you start to hear some Foochow in Kuching.

  7. Hahaha!!…I remember when I was in primary school, very morning my arithmetic teacher would ask us to memorize the timetable. Tee piang looks good and goes well with Thai chilli sauce, sure eat non stop. Yummy!!!…

    We had Mental Arithmetic as a subject when we were in school. Can’t remember any special lessons but I do recall having to stand at the back of the class while the teacher asked the simple Arithmetic questions one by one and awarded marks if we got the answers correct – no calculator, no fingers, nothing…

    That reminds me of this little boy who would use his fingers to count and the teacher would forbid him to do so. One day, the teacher asked him to add 5 + 5 and he put his hands in his pockets and mumbled…mumbled…and finally, gave the answer happily – 11!!!! πŸ˜€

  8. I remember the first time I went to Sibu, you got us some tee piang for us to try..the shop where lots of pigeons..ehhehehehe

    Yup! Good memory! Rejang Park one – sold out very quickly but not the best around. Theirs getting smaller and smaller too… 😦

  9. Good Morning Kampua King. The Kopi Peng is so cheap there. I drink kopi peng almost 6 days a week. I had never tried this Tee Piang and I guess it is not available here. Can you make them?

    Nope. I used to use the soya bean pulp after making soya bean milk to make kueh but mine’s like vadai, not like these tee piang. The coffee there not nice lah – VERY black, can stain the glass one…and no fragrance…unless you go for the branded ones but those, you will have to pay through your nose. Sooooo expensive.

  10. Aaa… most of the new generations did not pick up Chinese dialects which is such a waste. Sad hor….

    Indeed. Personally, I do feel that the more languages and dialects we can pick up, even not so well, the better.

  11. I used to dislike tee piang growing up. I dislike the coarse texture of the soya bean pulp. However, after spending so many years outsides, I started to crave for it …weird ..

    I remembered 20,30 years back, most of the kids in Sibu speak Foochow, even if they, themselves are not Foochow descendant. But somehow my class was the other way around. I picked up Hokkien during my primary school time. We spoke Hokkien to each other even those most of us are Foochow and we know how to speak in Foochow .. hahah

    You were in St Mary’s, by any chance? That was where I went and Hokkien was the dialect most widely spoken as the pupils were mostly children of the officers staying at the government quarters – not local Foochows. Those non-Foochows who went to other primary schools like St Rita, Sacred Heart or Methodist would pick up the Foochow dialect. Those days, very common to see non-Chinese speaking Foochow or Hokkien…and of course, Foochow was the lingua franca in the town – not any more, these days, it is Mandarin.

    Incidentally, nice tee piang is quite smooth inside, not coarse. I’ve had my share of those coarse ones too and I wouldn’t say I enjoyed them either.

    1. I’m from St Rita. Other classes speak Foochow but ours speak Hokkien ..

      Those days, we don’t bought tee piang from the store. It was home made. In the old days, my grandma used to make soya bean drink or tau hua, from time to time. Sometimes the pulp will be made into tee piang, and sometimes it will be the food for chicken and ducks. No wasting. I guess the grinding mill stone will not produce as fine pulp as the blender, that’s why the coarse pulp. But then it’s all made out of love .. πŸ™‚

      You must be quite young then. By my daughter’s time, they have mostly ethnic students…so my daughter did get to pick up a sprinkling of their language from her friends.

      I don’t really know but maybe the smooth ones would be a lot more flour than soya bean? But then again, there would be a difference in the taste – not so nice. Of course, using the blender will ensure a smoother texture. Can’t beat my pounded ones – that is why when I used the pulp to make kueh, it was something like the Indian vadai – very coarse. πŸ˜€

      1. During my time, the ethnicity ratio is close to 50:50, chinese:non-chinese. I also picked up some of their language, but as I never heard or spoke it outside of S’wak, I basically forgot about it. And though I still can speak a pretty decent Foochow, but it is deteriorating, being less chance of using it unless I’m back in Sibu. 😦

        I think maybe I found my likeness of tee piang thru vadai… hahaha. Coz, I like vadai very much. But can’t have much often… too heaty for me …

        Oily too. Everything best taken in moderation.

        Ya, my colleague’s daughter should have been in the same class as my girl…but she got her moved to another primary school – said too many of “those kind of people” there, later the daughter would become like them. Such a racist!

  12. Rm2.30 ?! That’s freaking cheap alright…. we can’t even find a decent wanton mee here with Rm2.50 or less

    Georgetown, a city mah… The bigger it is, the more expensive the things will be. Be consoled that kampua noodles are AUD$7.20 in Perth and over AUD$8 in Melbourne – no need to convert, dollar to ringgit, that is a whole lot more expensive than noodles in Penang, right?

  13. I don’t think I’ve tried tee piang before…
    In KL…I see most of d parents communicate with their children in English. I’m not saying its not a good thing. But I doubt if they are able to speak their mother’s tongue or at least Cantonese or Mandarin.

    KIV. Must get some of the best ones in town for you when you come.

    I guess all parents have their own reasons whatever the eventual outcome. Never mind what language, generally, in language learning, kids learn best in their pre-teens so that would be before they enter secondary school. By then, it would not be so easy for them to switch to a new language or one that they do not know so well.

    I myself brought up my girl speaking only English…but she picked up Hokkien from my MIL…and Malay when she entered school – along with a sprinkling of Mandarin and Iban. Thus, she is proficient in at least three – English, Malay and Hokkien and we can always switch codes anytime we speak. On the other hand, parents who confine their kids to just one…will just have to carry one with one, that’s their choice.

  14. Can’t speak dialects – I thought this only happens in Singapore. However, I have an inkling that it will be cool to speak dialects by the young in the near future. Anyway, I enjoy your blog very much and have been a silent reader all along. Delicious, light hearted and at time, humorous. Thanks!

    Thank you for your kind words and thanks for dropping by and commenting as well, a warm welcome to you. I guess from your comment you’re from Singapore then?

    Yes, I heard that dialects died as a result of the very aggressive Speak Mandarin campaign in the 80’s – I was at an international English seminar at RELC and they were all lamenting that the standard of English had dropped as well. I did hear that they’ve switched back to English since…and dialects were making a comeback (especially when the opposition were winning seats in areas where they were campaigning in Hokkien)? Then of course, I also hear a lot of grouses these days from people there about those immigrants, those who probably would not be able to converse in the local Chinese dialects.

    1. Talk about opposition using Hokkien. Have you heard the vulgar words they used in Hokkien? They combine the 1st syllable of Mahathir, the 2nd syllable of Najib and the 1st word of “White Hair” and said it in Hokkien. Shocking

      Trust them to come up with such things – reflects what kind of people they are. Can’t figure out what it says/means though…

      1. You are pulling my legs. Try the 2 syllables (in English) and the word “White” in Mandarin, in that order, and it will sound like Hokkien words referring to some mother’s anatomy. It’s enough to make you faint. I kid you not. And that’s why some people complained in newspaper about the vulgarity.

        It got into the news? Good grief!

    2. Yes, I am from Singapore and in my mid-fifties. My generation gone through all those campaigns in the 80’s during our growing up years. That is probably the reason why we are a confused lot. When somethings are being suppressed, over time it becomes cool to do just the opposite. I observed the young today although they can’t speak dialects but often I heard vulgar words in dialect. Probably to them it is cool starting with the vulgar words and then moving on to dialect speaking. Mandarin no longer cool, Hokkien is cool, man.

      Ahhhh!!! You’re just a bit younger than me then – would be in your early teens when I was in Singapore in 1973 – the days of dialects – Hokkien mostly, in Singapore…and excellent English, all very proficient, never mind young or old. We’re way behind here – have not reached that phase yet. Worse is when they refuse to put in any effort to learn and speak using the other languages including English all because of this “obsession” in one language.

      I remember in the 80’s, I wanted to buy a suitcase at Metro and I asked the salesgirl in English and she pretended she did not hear. I asked again and she just walked away. In the end, I had to ask another one in Mandarin and then only was I attended to. Dead serious, Singaporeans – no joke when it came to supporting all those campaigns. Here, they’d just give me a blank look – they can’t understand a word! 😦

  15. E Da Cafe, look and sound familiar. You should try the one at the market at Civic Centre, the kampua is good.

    Tee piang, i like it plain, so i can dip it with chili sauce. Very nice.

    Yes, I heard the mee sua is great too but I’m very malas…have to climb up the stairs. Muahahahahaha!!!!

  16. I wonder how tee piang taste like. Your observation of the younger generation is spot on. They are very inarticulate and cannot express themselves very well, very self centred and only care about their own things (not willing to lend a hand to parents) and their brain power is not as good as us old guards. It is the education system and too much Facebook! Sorry for ranting πŸ˜€

    You miss out online game addiction which jolly well explains why my internet connection is hopeless during school holidays and on weekends plus in the afternoon and at night. Very good in the morning when those brats are all in school and are not online. 😦

    Well, if by the education system you mean what the teachers are forced to do in schools – to produce excellent results, I would agree. With the principal, the ministry breathing down their necks…and worse, the parents, they have no choice but to drill and drill and drill the students to produce robots that will excel in exams and when they can’t get through the interviews for scholarships and the like, the parents will be horrified and start blaming the authorities, the government…everybody but themselves and their dumb kids.

    I’ve been through all that and in fact, when I tried teaching as in actually teaching, the students were not interested – they only expected exercises, lots of those, geared towards the exams, with the exact format…and tips on how they would be able to score high marks, that was all. Sad, really sad the way things have become these days…and that was the reason why I retired at 55, not 56…or 60. I did not see any point in teaching in that kind of environment that makes a mockery of the noble profession.

    1. On children being self-centered. I believe it’s the fault of the parents. Nowadays, the in-things on bringing up children are, totally no negative remarks/reprimanding, sort of let them grow unhindered, no telling them to call “uncle” or “aunty” whenever they meet elders etc etc. So children ended having the notion they can do anything and center of everything. To me, it sort of relaxation to the extreme.

      It definitely is the parents’ fault…and they put the blame on the teachers and the schools – everybody else but themselves.

  17. Here in the States they’re finally getting around to having another language taught in schools. In many cases it’s Spanish, I learned French and would like to learn German. I’m currently researching to find a great program to help me with that.

    I agree it is sad that he couldn’t figure that out in his head. It’s something I’ve made sure my daughter knows how to do. One way of doing that is through various games we play, such as Monopoly. She’s always the banker. I did that purposely to give her additional practice on figuring sums in your head. She’s at a great school and her teachers are amazing, but I feel it’s still important to teach her at home. πŸ™‚

    Yes, it all starts in the home but sadly, many parents here have the misconception that if they send their kids to extra tuition classes, get them ipads and provide them with internet connection and all that, those will make geniuses out of their children – little do they know that they are actually digging their graves. I’ve had outstanding students sent to study abroad but they failed to make the grade owing to addiction to online games and had their scholarships withdrawn. Yet the parents did not seem to see what had gone wrong and blamed the authorities for being so unjust…and the kids had been wrongly treated.

    Here, we have at least two languages in school – Malay and English and other than these two, there are also Mandarin, Iban (our own ethnic language), Tamil and Arabic. How well the students can cope in a non-conducive learning environment is another story altogether.

  18. Hahahahaha I understand Foochow, Teochew, Hokkien and Canto but can’t speak any of them well, blame it on my family who always mix the dialects! But at least I can understand and answer in Mandarin. Since my foochow grandma can only speak foochow and my teochew grandma speaks teochew with my mum (but mandarin to me).

    Sounds like the mum’s maths is also not that good ah? The kid is probably one of those kids who plays online game and never talk to anyone, like my brother. He doesn’t even speak English (not sure about Malay), let alone any of the dialects.

    Hmmm…looks like your brother’s one of those in the present generation – they’re all like that, it seems.

    Ya, I’m Foochow but my parents spoke Hokkien at home so that was my 1st language…and I picked up Sarawak Malay from the kampung boys in the neighbourhood. I only learnt English when I went to school…and my paternal grandma used to speak Foochow to me and I would reply in Hokkien while my maternal grandma would speak Melanau to me (she was Melanau) and I would reply in Sarawak Malay. Cute. eh? Hehehehehe!!!!

  19. The outsides of those remind me of the Zucchini Squares that my mom used to make YEARS and YEARS ago. They didn’t have a ‘filling’ in them but they had that muffin type texture thing going on!

    May be similar. They use soya bean pulp to make these and the authentic ones would not have any filling inside – some people prefer them that way – plain…and eaten with chili sauce.

  20. i think what you said in the last paragraph is true. The new generation are more carefree and they don’t have that “touch” like the older generations that run the stalls. But now in KL, the Myanmmar nationals or nepalese run the stalls. I don’t know if I should speak English, Malay or chinese?!!

    I dunno about those there – here, we have all those young Indon girls and they really put our young kids to shame. Speak Foochow, our local dialect, or Mandarin – not a problem at all for them. They can speak both so fluently, right down to the correct pronunciation and intonation…quite unlike some of our local Malays or those Mat Sallehs who do speak Chinese.

  21. The word “tee” in “tee piang” means Oyster in Foochow but of course you will never find any oyster in this part of the world. So I wondered why they called it that but that was until I went to Foochow city in China last year. There, you find plenty of oysters everywhere and because they are plentiful and cheap, they put oysters in many dishes, like β€œDIANG BIANG HU” and of course, β€œtee piang”.

    I see – like how we put those canned oysters in our Foochow tofu soup except that they use fresh ones?

    1. Yes. Because they have plenty of oysters, their Foochow tofu soup and Diang Biang Hu are tastier than ours.

      With oysters, of course lah…

  22. tee piang… I think I saw some with oysters before in Foo Chow cuisine… still yours above look well fried… certianly dont mind trying….

    on another note, I agree, kids nowadays need gadgets… without them they cannot think or calculate…. also no need for such disrepect for the mom to shout… 😦

    Oh, the shouting bit is perfectly ok here – the norm. Very…Foochow! Ooops!!!! πŸ˜€

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