Wild horses…

Well, wild horses couldn’t drag me here…

Sibu dianpianngu

…but sometimes, I wouldn’t have much of a choice.

We used to drop by during my teenage years – it was already very popular then. I wouldn’t say I liked it a lot, not even way back then…but it was something that we could have for a change, those days before the fast food franchises and all when we really did not have much to choose from.

That small shop, right next to the confectionery, has been there for as far as I can remember and it has not changed one bit. Oh yes! It has a name…just that the sign is placed inside the shop…

Shop sign

…and you can imagine how hot and stuffy it is in that small enclosed space. ..and the fact that I would have to sit precariously on those little stools sure does not help one bit.

I was here once, if I remember correctly, when a cousin from Kuching came to town on a working trip and if I’m not mistaken as to which one it was, she’s now in Australia, married with two kids – she was still single at the time. Then, when I started blogging, seeing that this Foochow delight is immensely popular among all and sundry, I decided that I should feature it in my blog. So I went to the other place in town – they say they’re related, the sister or something…and I could not even finish half the bowl that I ordered and when I HAD to go again because there were visitors who insisted on going for a bowl, I had something else at that other shop.

Now, what is it here that is so special that people keep coming back for more? Well, it’s the dianpianngu

The original diapianngu 1

Gosh!!! It is so famous that it even made it into the local daily!

If I’m not wrong, dian means wok and pian is turned while ngu means gruel or something like that…so dianpianngu would be this unique dish with those white flat noodle-like sheets…

The original dianpianngu 2

…made using a wok and everything else served in its special broth. I think the local Malay name for it is bubur ikan or is it bubur sotong…but it isn’t exactly bubur or porridge actually.

Well, there is sotong in it – the dried cuttlefish or what the Foochows call meng ngee. Some people say that the dianpianngu at the other place is not as nice and from what I saw that time long ago when I had it there, they used fresh cuttlefish which would not have the sweetness and the fragrance of the dried ones. They use the latter here, it seems…but I don’t think they use those expensive ones imported from China selling at over RM10.00 for one small piece. I guess that is why even though they have that here in thin tiny strips, that much coveted quality is lacking in the broth or soup…and probably that is also why I hear a lot of people saying that it is no longer as nice as before and yet, they would insist on going back there for more, more and more.

Well, my friend’s son, Michael, also insisted on going that day so even though we had had a rather heavy lunch, I took him to the place and I did order a bowl…

The original dianpianngu 3

…for myself just to give it another chance.

Well, I did think it wasn’t too bad even though it certainly did not bowl me over or get me jumping with delight. I was put off by the fish balls, unfortunately – they were soft, not firm and springy and they had a horrendous fish smell that was so bad that I spat it out immediately. Initially, I actually thought that they had gone bad but when I tried a bit more of the other fish ball, I could tell that it was not the case…and I just left the rest of it by the side. For somebody home from abroad, Michael must have been horrified and disgusted to see me spitting it all out like that… Blush! Blush!

I must say that it is really so amazing that like so many of the rest, Michael who, in fact, was born and raised overseas and not here, was actually craving for it and insisted on eating it before he left town the very next day. Perhaps if you drop by this little ol’ town, you would like to drop by here and give it a try too?

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Author: suituapui

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

31 thoughts on “Wild horses…”

  1. That’s interesting. I have not seen this in Singapore.

    If they have it there, it will not be the same either – ain’t nothing like the real thing but then again, despite how popular it is, it isn’t my favourite.

  2. ooo, on my part, i’m probably not the most enthusiastic fan of soupy recipes, so maybe one of the other shops on this street might suit me better 🙂

    I love clear soups like in kway teow th’ng, for instance…but this isn’t my favourite. Will go and try the Teochew porridge at the coffee shop opposite one of these days – they say they have it there.

  3. Well….good morning Arthur….this is one of my favourite of all time and it sure brings back memories of the good old days…I will never miss out this place and tian meng gu every time I go back…well done, my friend

    Ummmm…this one, you can go on your own, thank you. Hehehehehe!!!!

  4. Good morning. It sure brings back memory when go to such old shop. Yeap, funny they put the signboard in the shop instead of hanging at the front.

    Sorry, still not acquired myself to dianpianngu.

    Don’t bother. Not all that great, or at least, that’s what I think about it.

  5. Xiu Long is very famous right? I think i’ve seen it from some Taiwanese travel program

    Isn’t that just the name of the shop? Little dragon? As in xiu long pao?

  6. So sorry, Arthur, Didn’t expect him to drag you to that alleyway. I agree they’re not the same anymore. The soup’s too diluted, mostly MSG and the cheap sotong they use taste like MSG flavored imitation sotong. Pity.

    No problem at all, lunch hour – lots of parking spaces at the pasar malam area at the back, no need to walk far. Yes, disappointing, to say the least – gotta try and cook my own, see if it is any better. Ya, I was quite put off by the msg overlaod… 😉

  7. Have heard of this foochow dish, dian pian hu but never try. Recently my friend told me a kopitiam at my area serve very nice dian pian hu and am going to give it a try. From the look of your pix, it looks delish.

    Michael’s father, Philip, said he had one once – very nice one in Kuching but I cannot remember where even though he did tell me then. 😦

  8. Hmm looks quite plain… not my bowl of food LOL!

    Never judge by appearance. Kway teow th’ng ain’t much to look at either but I love it…and I can name a few that actually do not look good at all!

  9. Yes, best dianpiangu is in Kuching. Somewhere near Jalan Song behind One Jaya I think. There’s a lady doing it in Padungan but hers is not that great.

    Ok, Irene. If Philip says it’s good, it has to be good – a true blue Foochow. Me, fail!!! LOL!!! 😀

  10. Oh dear, if someone from the media saw you spitting out, then this dish will definitely not be famous anymore… hahahaa…. Maybe their fishballs are not so fresh… but anyway, they are famous for their flat noodles, right? You can opt for other ingredients except for the fish balls next time.. ie. if you ever go again.. 🙂

    But the fish balls had a horrible smell/taste. Ya, probably the fish was not fresh or they used low quality fish. 😦 Nope…that is the standard bowl of dianpianngu – take it or leave it…and in my case, it’s the latter.

    1. Tg sepat fishballs nicer …:p

      These are yucky!!! There’s one “yong tofu” place here – the fish balls are simply the best. Must take you there…IF and when you come again. 😦

  11. Dianminngu is awesome! 😀 My mom always pronounced it dianminngu. I’m not Foochow enough to understand.lol

    Yes, I used to call it something like that too in my younger days, taymayngu – only lately I found out that I had got it wrong all those years.

  12. At first, before scrolling down and reading, from the 1st picture, i thought you gonna write about the confectionery shop…

    Not crazy about the lung ngor and the cup cakes there, dunno the rest of the stuff. Looking at the two, I don’t think I would bother to give the rest a try.

  13. It doesn’t look very fancy and this is the first time I hear of this dish. Too bad about the fish balls 😦

    See my reply to Charmaine. I would probably have liked it…a little, at least, if the fish balls had been good.

  14. Never tried dish like that. Looks like clear soup to me.

    It’s clear soup of fish balls, dried sotong and all – supposed to be fragrant and sweet but these days, to make up for the lack of ingredients or not very good quality stuff, it’s mostly msg. 😦

  15. Haha! I love this place though, they’re not quite as dirty as before (when there are HUGE RATS scurrying about below your feet at night) since they retiled everything.

    I noticed that it got Grade B which isn’t too good. Most places get an A and I wouldn’t say all of them are all that clean, but better than here, I guess. It was the ruling the town council imposed at one time that all coffee shops must be tiled and made to look presentable – not like many that I’ve seen in our country – those that the people there claim that the worse a place looks, the nicer the food. I don’t see how there can possibly be a connection.

  16. I grown up eating this!! I can said i eat a lot, not that i enjoy, but my father or my grandmother always bring me there. Yes, i have to agree, the taste had change compare to last time. I am surprise that, when i post this pix on my FB, my friend saw it, he told me he love this to bits, every time when he come to Sibu, he will sure go for a bowl or two and won’t miss this place too.

    Yes, dunno why they love it so much. I just can’t seem to like it – to me, it’s just ok, nothing great. I’d rather go and eat kampua.

  17. Born and braised overseas! I like that term “braised”!

    Oops! Must be a typo. Didn’t notice. Will go back and edit that, thanks.

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