Get it straight…

They say that authentic kampua noodles would be thicker and straight…

Ang kau kampua
*Archive photo*

…and I did hear from my friend, the guy behind The Kitchen instant kampua noodles that if it is made using a machine, it will be thinner and it will all come out curly…like kolo mee but I have had kolo mee in Kuching that looked quite straight as well…

Green Road Kuching kolo mee
*Archive photo*

…but whether it is straight or curly, normally, Sibu kampua noodles would just have those few pieces of thinly sliced char siew, the real thing or otherwise, or some may give you slices of stewed pork these days…

Kampua with stewed pork
*Archive photo*

…whereas in the case of Kuching kolo mee, you will get the slices of char siew and some minced meat and at times, some green vegetables too…

Oriental Park Kuching kolo mee
*Archive photo*

…and I have had kolo mee that came with a prawn or two, a fish ball perhaps and a slice of liver and bits of intestines.

The aforementioned Sibu-made instant kampua noodles actually tastes really good, quite like the real thing that you can get at the coffee shops around town and may even be nicer than some, in fact but so far, the kolo mee from the renowned instant noodle company, the first ever in the country, if I am not wrong, turned out to be rather disappointing and even the complimentary soup that came with it could not save the day. I can’t remember whether I blogged about it or not – probably I did not.

Then, the other day, I spotted this…

Brumee kollo mee 1

…at a supermarket here – made in Brunei. Brunei? I sure was surprised to see that as I thought in the oil-rich, tax-free haven, it would be hard to find people to work in a factory but there it was – the Brumee brand from Bandar Seri Begawan, looking at the address given (with a telephone number and email address some more).

For one thing, we would usually spell it as kolo mee or kolok mee, usually this would be the spelling in Malay, but never kollo mee with a double l. Nonetheless, I still wanted to try so I bought a pack home, RM8.90 for 5, RM8.20 special member price so that would work out to RM1.64 each – not cheap but definitely cheaper than those brands of instant noodles from Singapore. Inside, you will find these sachets…

Brumee kollo mee 2

…of the seasoning, oil, chili powder and oyster sauce! Now, that’s a first – I don’t think there is oyster sauce, not in kolo mee nor in kampua noodles and wait a minute! The noodles are flat, curly but flat!!!

Never mind! I cooked a packet and topped it with some sliced omelette and pan-grilled prawns and garnished it with some chopped spring onions from my garden and served…

Brumee kollo mee 3

If you are expecting anything that tastes like kolo mee…or even kampua, you are in for a disappointment. The moment I poured out the seasoning from the sachet, I could detect the smell – something like those instant mee goreng…and yes, it actually tasted like that minus the dark sweet soy sauce so if there is any difference, it would be the colour, that’s all.

I guess we will just have to wait till somebody can come out with something that tastes like kolo mee, the way we know and love it. This, I’m afraid, does not come near, not at all.

Author: suituapui

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

13 thoughts on “Get it straight…”

  1. I agree on The Kitchen’s instant Kampua noodles being very nice. I love it the first time I tried it thanks to you for sending them over and have been a fan eversince.

    I’m not too sure about Kolo Mee though. As you said it, there is none that is close to the real thing at the moment so we shall all wait.

    You can go and try kolo mee in KL – I think there are a lot of places selling that now. Auntie Christina at Nam Chun, Lucky Garden, Bangsar – the one famous for her Sarawak laksa, should have it – she’s from Kuching so it should be authentic enough. I would say it is quite similar to Seremban Hakka mee, last time in Kuching, lots of Hakka people…now invaded by Foochows liao. 😀

  2. The shrimp looks wonderful! I prefer rice to noodles, but this is because I find noodles heavy and harder to digest. But I love angel hair pasta because it is very thin. 🙂

    Then you would love our Sibu Foochow kampua or fried noodles – people in the past used to complain about Foochow cuisine, all so soft and soggy. Times have changed, not quite so now but the noodles are definitely still softer, nothing like those firmer ones elsewhere and definitely not like pastas. Thinner does not necessarily mean that it is easier to digest – my dad does not eat the much thinner bihun (rice vermicelli), indigestion.

  3. Over here, unless you mentioned seafood kolo mee, only then you will get prawn, fishball , etc. Normal kolo mee only has char siu & minced meat. I prefer curly mee to straight. The Brunei kollo mee looks like mee pok.

    Last time, 70’s, it would depend on where you went – some would do it this way, some would do it some other way, no specific mention that I wanted seafood or not, just kolo mee. I am not fussy, curly or straight – as long as it tastes good. Flat noodles is mee pok – here, it is flat kampua, quite different from mee pok in Singapore. I miss theirs, very nice.

  4. If you ever come out with something that taste like Kolo Mee, don’t forget to inform me, i will sure support you, hehe…

    You can get kolo mee easily in Singapore. Why go for the instant stuff when you can get it freshly cooked? We do not have good authentic kolo mee here, just kampua mee in disguise and they are not the same.

  5. With so much ingredients on top, it certainly made me salivate a moment ago…

    You have all the pasta there to enjoy, add your own ingredients. I actually like macaroni, char kway teow style. Nice!

  6. i’m gonna go to the hypermarket and see if i can find instant kolo mee! 😀

    So far I’ve tried two and both do not come near the real thing, far from it.

  7. A description of the subtle differences between noodles would be very informative – especially for people like me – hint hint. 😉

    There are a lot of websites touching on these like this one, for instance. I would not say the differences are subtle – they are quite different not just in taste, toppings and ingredients used – even the texture of the noodles is different.

  8. I give this a pass. Prefer the freshly cooked kolo mee. So many choices outside. Haha.

    Dont eat too much instant noodles, not that healthy and good for your body.

    Yes, just wanted to try. Definitely much nicer to go and eat the real thing outside. Yunno what? Many in Kuching do not know how to cook Sarawak laksa – the reason, they do not have to – can go out and eat and enjoy anytime.

  9. Too bad it didn’t taste like the real thing. So the search continues…

    I wonder why the Kuching people do not come out with their own instant kolo mee, as original or authentic as it can possibly be.

    Maybe they are not as enterprising as the Sibu Foochows but then again, we never had instant kampua mee in the past until this guy, a New Zealand grad, mind you, came out with his “The Kitchen” brand and it did so well that everybody jumped on the bandwagon – all kinds of brands came out at the time and there were some who insisted that some others were better.

    I, for one, stuck loyally to “The Kitchen” – that’s what friends are for. Now all the rest have fallen by the wayside – only “The Kitchen” is going on strong.

  10. Maybe the brunei kollo mee is not refering to Sarawak kolo mee but their own version. In Cantonese konlo mee just means noodle tossed dry – literal translation. I am salivating over the prawns you added in.

    There is the konlou mee in Sabah – we’re all very close neighbours – and yes, it is different too – it has its own taste and everything but no, it does not taste like Indomie instant mi goreng. Kampua means tossed dry too – kang is dry and puak is tossed but some say it’s puang, plate in Foochow so it is dry plate.

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

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s