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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Noodle Descendants, Kuching

Min Joo Cafe used to be located at Bishop Gate, a small lane off Carpenter Street in Kuching. It used to occupy a corner shoplot there, dishing out bowls and bowls of mouth-watering kolo mee and offal soup. The interiors of the shop was cramped with tables and chairs, and was always packed with customers, no matter what time of the day it was!

I had eaten the kolo mee here since I was a child ... and till today, it remains one of my favourite noodle establishments in Kuching.

My last visit to this noodle shop was 2 years ago. Though I love the noodles a lot, this is not a place I can afford to visit regularly. Not because the noodles are expensive, but because eating here is really time consuming. People have got to be prepared to wait for a long, long time for their food! Judging from this, Min Joo's signature kolo mee is still very popular among Kuchingites.

Since my last visit, Min Joo Cafe has its shop renamed to Noodle Descendants (面家汤) and moved to a shoplot at Jalan Padungan. Despite this change of name and location, the people running the business remain the same. We still refer to it as "Carpenter Street Kolo Mee" even though it is now at Padungan.

The auntie behind the cooking counter ... she'd been cooking noodles for as long as I remembered! See the queue on the right; hungry diners waiting for a table. 

Just like at the old shop, there was a counter at the entrance, where the condiments were placed. 

It's a Saturday when I went there. Weekends meant the crowd was even bigger. I was mentally prepared to wait for a LONG time. So this was my activity log ...

11.02 a.m.
I arrived at the shop, and joined in the queue for a table.

11.23 a.m.
I secured  a table after a batch of diners left. However, I had to share it with another person. Sharing tables is a common phenomenon here.

11.24 a.m.
My table was cleared of used cups and glasses.

11.25 a.m. 
The bowls and eating utensils were cleared, and the table was wiped.

11.26 a.m. 
My order for my drinks was taken.

11.31 a.m.
My drink was delivered to the table.

Kopi 

11.33 a.m. 
Condiments were sent to the table, and my order was taken. I ordered a regular noodles with a small bowl of offal soup.

The signature condiment here .... birds' eye chillies soaked in a concoction of soy sauce and malt vinegar. A long time ago, they served their noodles with pickled red cut chillies. Then after that, they switched to this version of chillies.

12.17 p.m.
My noodles and soup arrived.

The offal soup, RM5.50 (Small)
Hmn ... the soup was really clear, but it was packed with flavour. Delicious and very satisfying. There were seaweed, strips of salted cabbage, fish cake, fish balls, pork belly slices, livers, kidneys, intestines, stomach, and some other unidentifiable parts of the pig. :)) Loved it! 

The legendary noodles, RM4.00
The noodes were very moist, being served in a sauce made up predominantly of shallot oil, lard and malt vinegar. Toss the noodles well in the sauces and dig in. The garnishing included minced pork, fish cake, fish ball, char siew, pork slices and even a slice of liver. Very generous was the garnishing, I would say! 



12.35 p.m.
I finished eating everything. :P

So .... from the time I sat down to order till the time my food came, there was a 45-minute wait time. Not too bad considering the fact that others have waited for over an hour. Lol.

There were only 3 items on the menu :
1) Soup - small and large;
2) Noodles - regular or "kosong"; "Kosong" meant the noodles would be served plain without toppings.
3) White rice

So why so slow, given the limited items?
1) Business was too good! There were people eating in the shop, and more people taking away packets and packets of noodles. Once someone vacates a table, another set of customers would quickly snap up the table.

2) The cooks were meticulous in their preparation. They took pains to ensure that each bowl contained all the ingredients. And to do that, they arranged the ingredients by hand, neatly and painstakingly in every bowl. Many a times, people wanted their noodles and soup customised. "No kidneys," someone requested. "Only char siew and fish cake," another would say. Hence, it was tricky to get all the orders correct.

That Saturday, I waited till my kopi got cold .... chatted with my parents till there was nothing else left to talk about .... played Candy Crush till my phone battery ran out .... then only my food arrived. Despite that ... I thoroughly enjoyed my noodles and the soup. For me, it was worth the wait. Like always. :))

Till next time!! In 2 years? Lol, I surely hoped not. :))

This shop is open every day, closed on the second day of every month.

4 comments:

  1. oh u r in Kuching now! haha.. i just realized that this shop is my friend's family business

    ReplyDelete
  2. really? it's a household name in kuching! i love the noodles there :))

    ReplyDelete
  3. I heard they used to 'scold' u if u go and order by yourself, rather than waiting patiently, do they still do tht? And given their reputation of letting you wait, for those less familiar with the place, what if they are came here for lunch from office, and ended up running late for work. hmm some predicaments there..haha..

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I got scolded the last time i was there. "Everything here is automatic," the auntie said. I think she meant "systematic". I don't know whether they still scold customers or not. Hans, I think those not familiar will be scared away by the queue. Lol.

    ReplyDelete

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