Next stop, China Street…


…which I remember was once, South China Street though I did not know where North was.

I had a friend there, his family ran a charcoal business in one of the shops along this street and his friends called him hoi thua kia (charcoal kid), so bad! With friends like those, who needs enemies, eh? But he did not mind though and took it very well. I walked round the place but no, I could not find any charcoal shop there anymore.

There were these very nice artworks…


…on the walls…


…probably a tribute to the old school tin-smiths…


…who still have their shops…


…along this street to this very day.

I walked to Lao Ya Keng

Lao Ya Keng

…but it looked kind of sad with so few customers and only a few stalls operating at the time and a kueh chap stall based at the shop beside it. This place used to enjoy brisk business with so many stalls to pick and choose – I remember I used to enjoy the kolo mee at a stall further in but I hear that now, different stalls open at different times in a day – a favourite is the pork satay in the afternoon at around 1.00 p.m. onwards. That certainly sounds like a very strange arrangement – people in the old days would start at the break of dawn and toil all day till night.

I did not see anything there that tickled my fancy so I crossed over to this restaurant…

Ann Lee Restaurant

…on the other side of the road. It sure brings back a whole lot of fond memories and the many times I went there for dinner, upstairs.

I remember once, I was there with some friends and they asked me to order a drink but I did not want any…and they asked again, suggesting that I could order a 7Up…and later, they asked once more, the third time. As we were leaving, I slipped on the first step of the wooden staircase and tumbled down one-third of the way. I stood up and slipped again…and by the time I stood up and slipped again the third time, I was already on the ground floor. I could not sit for a week after that! LOL!!! This is what the Sarawak Malays and Melanaus and the other ethnic races here call poonek. I did blog about this incident before here.

Sadly, the wooden staircase is no longer there – it is now covered with Italian tiles…

Ann Lee staircase

…a far cry from what it used to be and to me, it was such a disappointment to see that and they no longer run the restaurant upstairs either. At least in Sibu, our old school restaurant has enough following to keep it going!

I also remember that in the 70’s, I used to drop by here for the chicken rice with steamed chicken, char siew and siew yoke drowned in curry gravy and much to my delight, they still have it on their menu, the Hainan curry rice…

Ann Lee menu

…they call it. I asked the lady and she said that her parents took over in the early 80’s and when I told her, I used to eat this here in the 70’s, she said that would be the time of her grandparents. Gee!!! Imagine going back three generations!

I was so very full from the breakfast I had but I simply had to order a plate…

Ann Lee Hainan curry rice

…to enjoy for old times’ sake. I don’t know if it was because I was already feeling so full but I did not think it was all that nice – I did not derive any of the delight I used to feel when I ate it before.

I left the place feeling kind of sad – I suppose I would just have to accept that, like it or not, nothing stays the same.

ANN LEE RESTAURANT 安利酒樓 (1.558135, 110.346121) is located at No. 28, Carpenter Street in Kuching.

Author: suituapui

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

7 thoughts on “Nostalgic…”

  1. Those stall at Lao Ya Keng usually starts in the late afternoon if I am not wrong. You should try the Hakka noodles at Nyan Shin cafe (corner lot) just a few shoplots away from Ann Lee Restaurant. I love their Hakka noodles.

    Ok, noted. Will try next trip, December. Hakka noodles not the same as Kuching kolo mee? Seremban Hakka mee is similar.

    1. No, it’s not the same as kolo mee and the texture of the noodles is totally different. Their Taiwanese beef noodles is also good.

      Ok, I’ll KIV that. Will be staying around there when I go over in December.

  2. That was a nice walk down memory lane. The curry rice looks good but too bad it did not taste as good as it used to.

    Three generations down, not surprised that it is no longer quite the same.

  3. Walked down the memory lane for you. I like the wall paint. They really painted the owners on the wall.

    Sonehow the food doesnt taste like the old time right??

    Yes, the grandfather’s generation sure did it a lot better.

  4. I like hainan curry rice. Who doesn’t have nickname when we were kids, lol. Hoi thua kia did not mind as he took it lightly.

    The wall paints are so nicely done, i like!

    Yes, very beautiful.

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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