Kam pua mee
Kampua Mee is Sibu’s signature dish, thin noodles tossed in pork lard and served with slices of roasted pork or minced pork balls, served either with or without a thin broth and accompanied with chilli sauce and soya sauce. Mee sua (longevity noodles), another Foochow favourite, is a rich herbal soup containing fine vermicelli noodles and large chunks of boiled chicken. Both can be found in coffee shops all over town.
Kompia is Sibu’s answer to the bagel. Roasted tandoori style, these fresh bread rolls are served in a variety of ways. One of the most popular konpia outlets, Mr & Mrs Yeo’s Stall, Lorong Tiong Hua 26 (15 mins walk from town centre or take a taxi) served them in a rich pork broth with slices of stewed pork – be prepared to wait for a table, mornings only.
Prawn noodles (mee udang) is the town’s most popular seafood dish. Huge river prawns, sliced down the middle, are served in a steaming bowl of spicy seafood stock with thick Foochow noodles. The most famous is served by Min Kong Cafe (see below), although Sin Chun Hua Café (next to Visitor’s Information Centre) is also very good. A delicious variation on this theme, tom yam prawn noodles, can be found at Kheng Hock Café.
Dian Bian Hu
Dian Bian Hu is neither noodle nor porridge which is made of rice starch. Pre-prepared meat bone soup is poured into a heated wok. Then cooking oil is applied to the side of the wok followed by scoopes of rice starch solution which must be layered very thinly on the side of the wok. Repeat the applying cooking oil step before removing the almost cooked rice starch from the side of the wok. Continue boiling the whole thing and throw in some black fungus, salt, fishballs, vei chin, just to name a few, to give superb taste to the special dish. In Sibu, the secret of the best Dian Bian Hu lies in the homemade fishball. The one and only shop that sells the best tien bian hu in Sibu is situated at the corner at the old bus station. Tien Bian Hu has been local favourite all the time. Take it as breakfast, you’ll crave for the second serving. Sprinkle some Sarawak pepper and add some vinegar, you’ll have the taste of your life!
Fresh dabai, delicious savoury fruits resembling olives in appearance, and to some extent in taste, are usually sold by Iban ladies at the Central Market. These need to be briefly dunked in hot water to soften them before serving – a hotel room kettle will do nicely. A wide variety of other tropical fruits are also available at the market, including exquisite pineapples from Sarikei and unique green oranges from Bintangor.