Here she is…


The kampua lady is back

…was here originally until the grandson came back and took over the business (he has since left town though to venture into the Sangkaya coconut ice cream business in KL) but not long after that, she started another stall of her own here and then, word went round that she was going to retire (again) and what I heard then was that the people who used to help her at the latter stall took over and I did drop by to try once. Unfortunately, we did not think they could do it quite as well as the old lady.

Then, not long after that, word went round on Facebook that she had decided to come out of retirement (again) and this time, she would be at this coffee shop…

Diandianlai Cafe

…facing the Dewan Suarah (Civic Centre), Sibu…

Sibu Civic Centre

We dropped by one morning last week and boy, there was quite a crowd there. Somebody commented that every kampua mee stall at that coffee shop did not last very long but it sure seemed that this one would be here to stay.

The coffee…

Diandianlai Cafe kopi-o-peng

…wasn’t really great though, just all right but it was heaps better than the ones here or here. The kampua noodles, on the other hand, were really something else.

My missus had hers tossed in chili sauce (RM2.80)…

Diandianlai Cafe kampua mee with chili sauce

…while I had it without (RM2.80)…

Diandianlai Cafe kampua mee 1

I did not notice at the time that my missus got the meat with all that fat but she sure did not complain and ate it all up.

I got all the bits that looked like the edges of whatever that was left…

Diandianlai Cafe kampua mee 2

…and so very much of it and it was all lean meat.

Normally, when one goes for kampua mee in Sibu, one common remark would be on how thin the meat has been sliced, so thin that if you switch on the fan at full speed, the meat with go flying off your plate…and other than that, you would probably get around four miserable slices only. That, of course, is not applicable here, not at all.

While other places use boiled pork dyed red to look like char siew, which it isn’t, the old lady uses stewed pork which, of course, has an edge over the aforementioned. I don’t know if there is a bit of the sauce in the noodles or what but there have been people who are not all that fond of it insisting that it is not quite the same, not what they are looking for…and critics have complained that she uses a lot of msg. I don’t know how true that is but I did not leave the coffee shop with that unpleasant lingering taste in the mouth unlike the ones I have had elsewhere…and I did not even have to go and tell her to add less like what I would do at some places in town. Haters will hate, I guess.

Personally, I would rank hers among the top together with the other favourites of mine here but what I love most would be her meatball soup (RM5.00)…

Diandianlai Cafe meatball soup

Such a big bowl and so many meatballs…

Diandianlai Cafe meatballs

– rolled fresh minced meat, not those horrible smelly frozen ones and not those with the springy fishball-like texture…but what I like the most about it is the soup – very very thick bone stock soup, so very very nice indeed! At other places, it is always so diluted and msg-enhanced, not the one here. The rich flavour of this one is so very strong that I actually thought I would not mind it if it had been diluted a little bit.

We were there at around 10 something in the morning and probably, they were  running out of everything and would be closing for the day because when I ordered the soup, the lady helping out had to go and check to see if there was enough for one last bowl…and that is why I said the meat in my plate of kampua mee looked like the edges left from all the meat that had been sliced all morning.

Never mind that there seems to be people who are not fans of this old lady’s kampua noodles, with all the people at the coffee shop every morning, I am pretty confident that she is here to stay…until she decides she is going to retire…again!

Author: suituapui

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

22 thoughts on “Here she is…”

  1. I particularly like the look of the meat ball soup. I note the rich and slightly milky soup base, not quite a Tongkotsu but nevertheless, a decent bowl of meat ball soup, in quantity and quality.

    You sure can’t get tongkotsu for RM5.00 at the Japanese restaurants here, nor elsewhere, I’m sure. This one’s a big bowl, a double – for two. I guess a regular bowl would be RM2.50 only.

  2. It’s not that easy running a business, especially in food & beverage field. Hopefully she will stays. The price is quite cheap compared to here. 👍

    At least she doesn’t worry about business and competition – she gets a whole lot of customers every day. Yes, it is cheap but these kampua sellers do make a bundle, especially such popular ones – a lot more than the yang berkhidmat untuk negara, the honest ones, that is but I do think it can get tiring and every boring – day in and day out standing there, the same routine – cooking the noodles and tossing and serving…and she does it all herself. The lady helping only did the soup and helps with the serving.

  3. That bowl of meatball soup makes me drooling. I can finish all by myself. Yummsss!!!. For kampua, lean meat for me.

    That’s an XL bowl – to be shared by two. Of course my missus would have more than enough from her plate of kampua so she would just eat a little, more just to try than anything else – I had to finish the whole lot all by myself. Next time I would just order a regular, small one. She can have her kampua with her drink. 😀

  4. Rm2.80 for a plateful sure is a bargain tummy filler. Every time I convert to AUD $ my jaw drops.

    It’s AUD7.50 in Perth, AUD8.50 in Melbourne, not sure how much in Brisbane but even more – maybe AUD9.50…and in Christchurch, it is NZ$10.00. I hear the descendants of the folks who used to own a petrol station and car workshop here migrated over there long ago, did car repair works for sometime and eventually went into selling kampua noodles – making tonnes of money, bought several houses and what not.

  5. She must be bored that she decided to come out of retirement.

    Love the fresh meatballs soup. I also never fancy those frozen meatballs. Too starchy.

    And some brands are so smelly. I don’t know how people can eat those! Post on that coming up tomorrow.

  6. So i presume you like to test the thickness of the meat by blowing them using fan? 😀

    Unfortunately…or fortunately, the younger generation don’t know how to slice meat like those before – colonial days, paper thin but you will get the same four pieces, just thicker. Perhaps you would like to come and blow, see if they will fly off or not? 😀 😀 😀

  7. If the auntie retire, sure her supporters will be disappointed…

    …then hopefully, she will come back again, done it twice already.

  8. Although I consider myself pretty good at pronunciations, I will not attempt to pronounce the name of this place. I love lean meat! 🙂

    LOL!!! Diandian is pronounced thian-thian, meaning every day and lai means come so the name actually means come every day!

  9. A nice big bowl of meatballs there. Kampua noodles are so much nicer than other types, I find.

    Now you’re speaking like a true blue Sibu Foochow – none can be better! LOL!!!

  10. It’s good then that she is back, you can get your fill up very good kampua noodles. Ooo…meatball soup, I love that!

    I would say there is none better in town, in my opinion, that is. The kampua noodles, there are other good ones…but not the soup, meatballs, that is.

  11. Well, there will always be fans and haters. 🙂
    It looks good though.

    Yes, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. To each his own.

  12. I’ve never heard of her but it looks good. I usually eat at the junction before the turn into the road leading to the airport from the roundabout from our place. I’m not sure what they’re called but it’s just a coffee shop operated by Heng Huas. The kampua woman used to be famous too, a lot of people come just to eat kampua. It’s huge (the portion) and while some other places have generous noodles but doesn’t taste good, hers tastes strong and good too. One of the better ones I’ve had.

    Well, you’ve heard of her now.

    Are you sure you are not confused? No roundabout at that place you mentioned, traffic lights. You’re probably talking about this one:
    …but no woman, Heng Hua or whatever dialect, at the kampua stall and I am positive they are Foochow. There is a lady at the shop, at the other stall, her fried stuffed kompia are very popular – selling like hot cakes.

    I thought your favourite is Soon Hock, near our house? I stopped going as I did not like the second batch of Indonesian helpers – hopeless…and then the wife and the husband and the daughter took over the cooking so it was good again. My missus says there is an Iban lady there cooking now and she’s good. Maybe I will drop by one of these days and blog about it. Have not featured that place for a while now. My missus’ favourite pian sip in town.

  13. Sounds like you’re pleased that she’s un-retired again! Hopefully she’s also enjoying being back in action, dishing out good food for her fans 😉

    A lot of people are glad, I know. So many people at the shop even on a weekday morning.</strong>

  14. I prefer lean meat. I wont eat those fatty parts. And drool, look at those meatballs! I’m sure I’ll like my noodles with chili sauce too. Aiyo, I’m liking everything I see in this post today. Slurp!

    You’ve tried kampua, the instant ones. This, of course, is very much nicer. Wanna come and try? 😉

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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