‘Flying Kampua Mee’ in Sibu gets them coming back for seconds

Succulent: Tang mixing the cooked ‘kampua mee’ with vital ingredients while a son assists.

Succulent: Tang mixing the cooked ‘kampua mee’ with vital ingredients while a son assists.

SIBU: A kampua mee (Foochow dry noodles) stall located at the junction of Jalan Tekam here has been experiencing a surge in customers since a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Posted were a video clip and a photo of the stall owned by Tang Sing Kiong and his family. Since then, the crowds have continued to swell.

The family now has to work extra hard to accommodate the increasing number of people.

Prior to the post on the popular social networking site, Tang’s stall has already been very popular with noodle lovers.

What attracted the people to the stall is the fact that from the over 400 kampua mee sellers in town, Tang is the only one offering what has been dubbed by many as “Flying Kampua Mee”.

This is due to the act of tossing cooked noodles up in the air with a sieve. Another unique thing is the throwing of raw noodles into a pot of boiling water from a distance of one metre (about three feet).

pix 3, 4 and 5: High up...Sing Kiong throwing up the noodle, a task which his very experience at.
Skilful: Tang tossing the noodles up in the air, a task he is very adept at.

When the noodles are fully cooked in less than a minute, a sieve is used to scoop them up. Each scoop can make up to two plates of noodles.

Then the noodles are tossed twice up to shoulder height first before the final throw of between 1.5m (five feet) to 2m (six feet) above the head.

Tang and his family are so good in what they do that they have never missed collecting the noodles using the sieve.

Tang, 54, and his wife, 47, are equally good when it comes to cooking the noodles as they have been in the business for 24 years now.

Each takes turn as the cook so that the other can take a break.

Their four sons aged between 16 and 31 are also helping out, mostly taking orders and serving the noodles.

When met yesterday, Tang told The Star that the purpose of tossing the noodles up in the air was to drain more water.

“The noodles will be drier and this will make them more delicious after mixing with other ingredients,” he quipped.

pix 7: Right target...Sing Kiong throwing the raw noodles into the hot water.
Right on target: Tang throwing uncooked noodles into the hot water from a distance.

His noodles sell for RM2.60 a plate with meat and RM1.80 without meat. His stall is open daily from 6am to 5pm.

“Tossing the noodle can be energy sapping. If there are too many customers, we sometimes do not do it but if there are requests then we will have to oblige.”

Due to word of mouth, his stall has even attracted people from Singapore, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia, sometimes ordering takeaways.

Tang said ever since the Facebook post, a lot of people had been searching high and low for his stall.

A customer, who goes by the name of Ah Pui Lek, 36, said he would go to the stall almost everyday.

Staying in Taman Permai, which is about 12km away, he said as he had been a regular customer for more than 10 years, he knew Tang very well, including those from the coffee shop.

“Some other regular customers are also my friends now,” he said.

When asked what kept him coming back, he said: “It is not only their actions of tossing the noodles up in the air that is special, I also find that their noodles are also very succulent. It is like I must have it everyday.”

He did not even mind joining the queue and having to wait for up to 15 to 20 minutes before his order arrived when the crowd grew larger, especially in the morning.

His father Johnny Undi, 59, also had good words about Tang’s noodles.

“I like eating his noodles as the taste is simply amazing. My brother, who stays in Miri, comes here if he has the time.”

Undi said his relatives, who are working in Johor Baru, would buy up to 20 packets for their friends there.

Sarawak , Family Community , flying noodle