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Wednesday, July 3

#2 Reason to love Sitiawan.


Every time I introduce myself as someone from Sitiawan, most Malaysians either

  1. Don't know where Sitiawan is
  2. Knows where it is but not significant, cos its the place people drive past to go somewhere else.
Okla, I do admit, Sitiawan is really the place you pass by to go somewhere else but there are so many hidden gems in this town that I think everyone who passes by this place must eat the whole time they pass by this place. In my family, food in Sitiawan plays a super large part. My father eats noodles most days for breakfast and probably cannot live without char koey teow. When people from the city visit our family, we try to bring them to all the good food places and usually end up having 5 or 6 meals a day. 

Malaysia is a place with really good food, so what makes Sitiawan stand out so much ? I personally think that foochow food plays the most part. I grew up listening to my parents speak foochow (my dad splurts foochow when he's angry) and the most asked question during Chinese New Year after "do you have a bf?" is "can you speak foochow?", so I honestly was really surprised when people from the city didn't know what foochow was. I was even more surprised when people assumed all chinese to know Cantonese. 

Just in case you are a little confused, Foochow, or fuzhou or hock chiew, whichever you like to call it is what the majority of Sitiawan people are. 

So what food do we eat ?

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Red wine mee sua !!!!
The very first thing I made my mum cook for me when I came home was this ! Usually people eat this during their birthdays accompanied by red eggs, or during Chinese New Year because the long noodles symbolises long life or something like that. My mum used to cook this all the time and it really is my favourite foochow food. 

The red wine used to make this dish isn't the kind of bottled red wine you buy in stores, but red wine made by locals. My mum makes her own red wine and it tastes super amazingggg. 

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Kompiang
If I can choose two snacks I can have everyday, it would be macarons and kompiang. Technically it is a flat biscuit kind of thing with meat fillings, usually with pork lard as well, and topped with sesame seeds. My father calls it the Chinese pizza. He jokingly said we created this brilliant snack and the westerners tried to imitate us but failed lolol. It is really the best. I started out taking pictures of a full kompiang but by the end of my camwhore session, it was already half gone. 

Kampuang 
I do not have a picture of this but its similar to kolomee. I remember back when I was still a kid, my father would bring me to these old noodle shops and the only thing I would have is kampuang. There were a few stores that I frequented with dad, where they made their own noodles but sadly some of them have closed down. The handmade noodles tastes different from the noodles other places uses to make kolomee and really, I would always come back here for a bowl of good kampuang. Not just because it is such a huge part of my childhood, but because it tastes really good.
(I always like to add pickled chopped garlic to my kampuang, don't know what but it tastes so good !)


Loo Mien (didn't know foochows have their own variation of the loh mee that is different from the ones in Penang) Char Yu Mien (another kind of noodle) Go Ru (Fish belly usually in soup), Momo (a kind of pau where there is red bean paste inside. Not the usual kind of pau !)
Not forgetting the famous Kg Koh Chili Sos that can even be found in the asian groceries in Melbourne !!

The list goes on and on and on. I found so many good blogposts on the food in Sitiawan that are really worth reading, for example this blog here  describes the food in Sitiawan in so much detail that I wanna eat the whole screen up.


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Of course apart from foochow food we have everything else as well !

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Kg Sitiawan roti canai

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where you eat by a view like this. Honestly you don't know what you have until you pay attention. My family went to Tasmania and New Zealand for holidays and we had amazing meals by the river but if you think about it, we have it all back home (except being less maintained and protected)

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Coconut jelly on a really hot day.

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and the legendary chicken rice. 
Another food that I grew up with. I've been having chicken rice there all my life but I don't even know the name of the shop. I either call it "next to Ming computer" or "next to Chung Cheng" (referring to its location). Ask anyone from Sitiawan and people will know where it is ! I can eat it for days in a row and not get bored of it, which is why its the legendary chicken rice. The only chicken rice I've had that comes close to this level is Singapore's wendong chicken rice. Must have when I come home too !


I love Sitiawan for its food.
and I think that everyone should at least pass by this small town once in their lifetime just to fill up their tummies up with all the food it can contain, overeat and be obese for a day, indulging in all this really cheap good food that is probably hard to find in the city before they run along to their next destination. 

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