Couldn’t get it right…

There are only a few places here in Sibu where the kolo mee is very nice. I would not say they are anything like those in Kuching, the best in the city, but I would say that they can edge out many of the rest, those that are not anything to get excited about. It’s the same with the kampua mee here in Sibu – you will find it in every coffee shop, mostly, but I would not say that all of them are anything worth the calories. You need to know where to go for the really good authentic ones.

As for our kolo mee here in Sibu, there are those that look like kolo mee but the taste is, more or less, like our kampua mee. In my opinion, the good ones, worth dropping by for, would be those here…or here…or here. There may be others but I wouldn’t know because usually, I would not bother to give them a try as there had been way too many disappointments along the way.

Anyway, sometime ago, an ex-student of mine shared a photograph of this kolo mee (RM5.50)…

…that he had at a coffee shop here. There can be no denying that it did look really good, just like the real thing and of course, I was dying to drop by there to give it a try. However, I was cutting down on my carbs and I was not too sure if pork was red or white meat so I had been dilly-dallying all this while. Finally, that morning, I decided to simply go ahead and give it a try.

I placed my order and managed to find a seat in one corner of the overcrowded coffee shop. When they brought the chili dip, I was delighted that they sure got it right! If you go for kolo mee in Kuching, they will give you this pickled sliced chili, more often than not, a combination of both the red and the green chili…

They give you some bottled chili sauce, now very often upon request only, with your plate of kampua mee. You may detect a hint of the vinegar in your kolo mee – that is one of the differences between it and kampua mee, that very light hint of the fragrance and the sourish taste of the vinegar.

I loved the beautiful perfectly charred char siew

…something you will not find in a plate of kampua mee. Usually, they will just give you a few paper-thin slices of boiled pork, dyed red to make it look like char siew but of course, it tastes nothing like it!

I am no fan of the fish balls nor the meat balls, the latter especially – not these frozen supermarket ones…

In the end, I just dumped them and the green vegetables in the complimentary soup…

…which in itself, actually tasted pretty good and adding the greens did help to enhance the taste a bit.

As for the noodles, I’m afraid there was no love at first bite, not at all…

I found them way too sweet, probably because of too much char siew sauce. It did not taste too bad after I had added the vinegar from the dip but no, it did not sweep me off my feet and no, you will not find me rushing back there for more of the same.

As I was leaving, I caught a glimpse of somebody’s kampua mee pok at another table and it was served with that same char siew. The noodle, of course, looked very plain and simple – very typical of kampua mee…and I made a mental note right away that I shall be back here soon to give that a try. Who knows I may like it a whole lot more?

TOTO CAFE (2.311913, 111.846213)…

…is among the shops right behind Delta Mall, Jalan Pedada – the block on your left if you are coming out of the mall via the back entrance, the second coffee shop after e-Cafe in that block.