Of course when someone comes to our little town, I would do my best to take him or her to enjoy the best there is around here. That was why I took my sister-in-law from Kuching here that day for the old lady’s kampua mee

Diandianlai Cafe
*Archive photo*

I was kind of surprised when we got there and I noticed that there was hardly anybody eating at the coffee shop. I was thinking that perhaps it was way past the 10 o’ clock tea break and a bit early for lunch. When we went in, we saw that the old lady was not there – the younger one, her daughter, said that the mum was resting at home as she had a problem with her legs. I guess that would be the result of standing too long day after day dishing out plates after plates of the noodles.

We went ahead and placed our orders thinking that it would be the same, more or less – all in the family, so to speak. My sister-in-law had the one tossed in dark soy sauce and my missus, in chili sauce (RM3.00 a plate)…

Kampua, dark soy sauce & chili sauce

…while I had mine plain (RM3.00)…

Kampua mee, plain

I am not keen on drowning the taste of anything I eat with soy sauce or chili sauce and will only resort to those when something that I am having is not really nice. That way, I would be able to detect and savour to the fullest the original taste of whatever I am eating without it being adulterated by all those sauces.

Unfortunately, we all thought that the kampua mee that day was a letdown – the fragrance of the lard and fried shallots was not as distinct when we had the old lady doing the cooking and the noodles were rather overdone, a bit too soft, almost soggy…

Kampua mee

My missus remarked that what we had at another place a few days earlier was very much nicer.

Even the meatball soup (RM3.00, small – individual serving)…

Meatball soup

…was disappointing.

The meatballs…


…were fine but the soup was rather watered down, somewhat diluted so we could not get to enjoy the thick and rich bone stock soup like before. I don’t know if it was the time of day – sometimes, it may be nicer in the early morning and throughout the day, they will keep adding water so if you go later, you will find that the soup is not as nice.

I guess if that is the way it is going to be when the old lady is not around to do it herself, next time I would much sooner go some place else.

DIANDIANLAI CAFE (2.310079, 111.831103) is located in the block of shops facing the Sibu Civic Centre (car park) along Jalan Dewan Suarah that links Jalan Melur and Jalan Suarah.