Not in that way…

People say that my favourite kampua mee in town is not really authentic, more a cross between Sibu kampua and Kuching kolo mee and I wouldn’t say that I disagree. In my humble opinion, I do feel that there are slight variations between the popular ones in town. They may not be exactly the same but one thing that they have in common is that they are nice or to some people, at least, so each would have its own following.

However, there are some that have strayed off the beaten path and are actually quite different from the real thing. This pandan-flavoured kampua mee

Pandan kampua
*Archive photo*

…that I had once wasn’t too bad – it was still quite close but this tom yam one…

Tom yam kampua
*Archive photo*

…was a little too way out, I feel, as whatever hint of the real kampua mee flavour was completely drowned out by the strong tom yam taste and I would say it is the same in the case of this ang chao kampua mee

Ang chao kampua mee
*Archive photo*

…that my missus had sometime ago.

I had the kampua mee here once and despite the absence of lard, this being a pork-free place, I thought it was very nice though I did not quite care for the rather tasteless trips of shredded chicken. As a matter of fact, when I was there the other morning, I noticed quite a number of people ordering the kampua mee without the meat so my guess is that many, like me, like it enough to want to have it again…without the chicken.

I did not order that though – instead, I decided to give their beef curry kampua mee (RM5.00)…

Colourful beef curry kampua

…a try. I did not expect it to be served this way as in the photograph on the wall, it was in a plate with the curry by the side.

I quickly dug out the noodles…

The mee

…to see if it was anything like kampua mee as we know it but no, it tasted quite different even without mixing it altogether with the curry gravy. It was very tasty, very fragrant – I may be wrong but I did detect a hint of serai (lemon grass) in  it. All in all, it was very nice but it was different – something nice that one may consider having for a change sometimes but if it is the authentic kampua mee taste that you are looking for, I do not think you will find it in this bowl of noodles unlike the black pepper beef kampua

Noodle House black pepper beef kampua
*Archive photo*

here. I always thought that the noodles did have the original taste of kampua mee and together with the black pepper beef, it sure was a winning combination.

Moving away from the topic of kampua noodles, how are your preparations for Chinese New  Year so far? I’ve been very busy spring cleaning, throwing away some unwanted stuff, dusting and wiping, rearranging this and that and everything. Of course I am no spring chicken anymore so I go about it very slowly, doing a little bit each day…and I would say I am making very good progress.

I don’t know if my missus is going to do any baking and cooking or not – I keep telling her not to as we are getting on in years and it would be best to just go out and buy and relax, take things easy and enjoy the festive season but I am pretty sure all my well-intended words would just fall on deaf ears. Women can be quite stubborn sometimes…and they are more prone to following their hearts, not their minds and stick to doing what they feel like doing, never mind what others say.

Anyway, she came home the other day with a jar/tub of pineapple tarts (RM12.70)…

Pineapple tarts

…from the supermarket at the mall near our house. To the Chinese, the pineapple is something very auspicious. Some would have fresh pineapples in the house or those potted plants with the miniature pineapples…and then, of course, there are those pineapple decorations that they hang in the house come Chinese New Year and also the huge, not-very-nice-looking paper ones that they hang outside the house in place of lanterns. The reason behind this is that ong in Hokkien means luck and lai means come so pineapple or ong lai means that luck is coming!

No, I do not have all those things in my house but yes, I wouldn’t mind having some pineapple tarts to serve to well-wishers who care to come calling…and I do enjoy eating them myself, if they are any good. Now, these made-in-Muar  tarts that my missus bought were really very very nice – the jam is soft and moist and the pastry is crumbly, not hard…and they’re very big too! I would say they are nicer than the nice ones that I got from Kuching (RM18.00) and are cheaper as well. I don’t know if there are any more at the supermarket – perhaps they have some more stock that they have not taken out yet but if they haven’t, don’t bother going there to buy as the very next day, I went back there and grabbed all that they had. You will have to drop by my house come Chinese New Year if you want to sample some. Hehehehehe!!!!

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Author: suituapui

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

21 thoughts on “Not in that way…”

  1. I think some of those kampua mee does not taste like kampua mee because the seller did not toss them in fragrant oil since they are going to be using stronger flavour sauce like tom yam and etc so save on the fragrant oil.

    I have not started preparing for CNY yet unlike you who are so diligent and have started spring cleaning your house and your wife who is now stocking up on CNY goodies.

    Old retirees, nothing else better to do so we start early, go about it real nice and slow.

    I dunno what the sellers do – there should be lard but not in the serve-no-pork one so I guess that calls for shallot oil and other ingredients to make it taste good. Dunno about the red one but the pandan ones came pretty close to the real thing with a hint of pandan flavour whereas for the tom yam one, my guess is it was the same recipe with a spoonful of the bottled tom yam sauce added. Kampua mee is light, mild, typical of Foochow cuisine…so it stands no chance against anything this overpowering.

  2. oh boy… u woke me up 311am just to comment here…. to me kampua has to be as original as it should be, mai puak lak…mai eng nik… extra spring onion pls… size up!

    Ahhhhhh!!!! A word from one who knows! Like one of the judges of the tourism award said, it is good to be creative but one should not stray so much from the real thing that it cannot be recognised anymore as what it originally is. So kampua mee that does not taste anything like the real thing is a no-no.

    Ummmm…what are you doing, up at 311?

  3. Pandan-flavoured kampua mee sounds intriguing. In my limited experience I’ve mostly seen pandan in desserts or drinks.

    I do add those leaves in, say, my satay beef or chicken and also my rice. After all, I have lots growing in my garden.

  4. I want to give the one you like a try – the hybrid, coz I love kampua mee. And RM5 for the beef kampua is cheap la!

    It is? Oh dear. But I guess that is to be expected as our beef here is imported from Australia or New Zealand and our currency is really the pits these days. 😦

  5. i haven’t done any spring cleaning whatsoever! but reading your post inspires me to at least start throwing out some old magazines 🙂

    LOL!!! Always good to start somewhere. 😀

  6. Pandan? Interesting but again, there are many types available- spinach, pumpkin, chili etc…

    That would be the varieties in the type of noodles, not authentic kampua mee – my girl made pumpkin once, and there are the green spinach ones at a few places in town. Have yet to try those.

  7. I wonder if you can tell me what the word “kampua” means. From what I have tried here, it is indeed a very good noodle. As far a CNY goes, we tend not to do very much here – just a small family dinner. Don’t even bother with spring cleaning!

    kampua in Hokkien or kangpuang in Foochow means dry plate, so the noodles are tossed with the ingredients, dry – no sauce unlike wanton mee. Ya, it’s more a family thing overseas, no open houses unlike here. We used to do it in a big way but we’ve toned down now, old already. Not that much energy to go all out.

  8. when I first come to Sibu all my friend can tell me is try the kampua. try the kampua. I did.. I like it. but I like Mee Kolok more tho. Maybe because its so hard to find really nice halal kampua mee.. ohh and i love the kompia bread

    Sunny Cafe in Sg Antu has very good kampua, halal but I usually go there for the mee jawa. This one with the beef curry is a serve-no-pork place, some of their workers are Malays – I think they handle the drinks mostly.

    I like kolo mee more too – firmer and more flavourful. That is why my favourite kampua here is more like a cross between the two – the best of both worlds but many do not like it as much, say it’s not the same.

  9. Alamak! I have to make a special trip to Sibu to taste your pineapple tarts! I love pineapple tarts!!!

    Gosh. CNY is about less 4 weeks away. Already bought some canned drinks. That is all. Haha.

    I wonder if these are available in Kuching – they are really nice and that was why I quickly went out to grab more before they were all sold out.

    Nah!!! You’ve put up the lantern-like lights so that’s another thing you’ve done. Hehehehehe!!!

  10. I think different places have their different styles of cooking the kampua mee but most importantly the texture and taste of the noodles must’ve preserved ! Btw , is the noodle originates from Sibu or it’s another foochow delicacy ?

    The one here that I have been eating since I was a kid in the 50’s is most probably our own variation because I’ve seen people blog about the one in Sitiawan – it is not kam/kang or dry, there is sauce like wanton mee. I hear the ones in China are also like that. Yes, the texture of the noodles make the difference – so it is not like Kuching kolo mee or wanton mee, not as firm.

  11. Actually I like noodles come with curry than the plain one or with normal sauce, hehe! that’s what I always request for.

    You do? Then you can have this one – it is nice, just that it is something quite different. Great for a change sometimes.

  12. We are stubborn are we? hee..hee..hee… Your missus I think feels that her own cooking/baking is more befitting for the celebration as it has her personal touch, never mind that it can be tiring. I feel the same way and insisted (stubborn?) that I will cook dinner for the CNY eve instead of eating out.

    Old already mah, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. No point working your fingers to the bone, just keep it simple and nice, good enough.

    Here, eating out is out of the question unless you go to places like KFC or McD as all the restaurants close by lunchtime. Many will order dishes from them instead of cooking one’s own but they have to collect at around noon. That is why the firecrackers start early here, around 1 or 2 p.m. – they all have had their reunion dinner already, not nice if they wait till evening and reheat before eating.

  13. Like kampua or kolo mee, I still prefer the original taste. I never like my kolo mee with red too. Am curious to know how the pandan flavoured kampua taste like. The pineapple tart looks good with generous amount of pinepple jam. Better than the one from Kai Joo lane??

    Yes, much nicer…and cheaper too! The Kai Joo Lane ones are more expensive and in a way, a rip-off. You see a jarful, looking like a lot…but the tarts are all stuck to the side – nothing in the middle. kosong.

    I don’t mind the red kolo mee, I think they add char siew sauce. Nice too.

  14. Wow, Kampua noodles have evolved to greater heights!

    I guess variety is the spice of life but the die-hards would steadfastly insist on the authentic stuff, no less…and no more.

  15. Seeing those CNY cookies out there, but have to control myself, if buy now, i sure will cannot resist the temptation, open and eat…

    We finished one tub of the pineapple jam tarts but no worries, still have a lot more. LOL!!!

  16. Authentic or not, they look great! I miss my younger days’ food… most of them were so tasty and so “homely”… quality then… now more commercialized so everything has changed…
    The pineapple tarts look nice too… cheap for that price.. over here, everything is almost RM20 over!

    Oh dear! So expensive! But it is ok if they are really very nice, value for money. Some that are sold at the shops and supermarkets may be cheaper but I am not sure whether they are nice or not. Yes, things seem to taste a lot nicer in the past – somehow, those days are gone now. 😦

  17. Wow there are so many variations on kampua these days.

    Pineapple tarts are getting extremely expensive. A friend is selling for RM1 per piece. To think that I can pop at least 8 at one sitting @_@

    Huge ones? Like a little saucer? I bought once in Malacca, not nice. 😦

  18. That pandan-flavoured kampua mee sounds interesting, I never tried using pandan on noodles only in rice and it gives such a good aroma

    Yes, I always throw in a few leaves when cooking rice. Nice added fragrance.

  19. Hi, a long-time reader but first comment. What is the brand name, company name and address of the Muar-made pineapple tarts? Would like to try and buy it in West Malaysia, Johor.

    I am a crazy lover of pineapple tarts who will travel long distances to hunt down good tasting (and good value-for-money) ones. Your help in this matter would be most appreciated. Thank you.

    There is no brand name but the sticker at the bottom says:
    Marketing by:
    Sinar Bakery & Biscuit Supply Sdn Bhd
    PTD 9307, Jalan Jeram Tepi, Bakri
    84000 Muar Johor
    Tel. 06-986 4455 Fax: 06-986 3355 H/P: 012611 3356
    Hope you find this useful.

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