Sunday, September 06, 2009

Scenes - Sarikei No. 13 Wharf Road, 1940s-1970s

A new reader found this blog and we exchanged emails. He probably found this blog through the viral social media of facebook (Sarikeian group). His emails were the inspiration for this post.

Sarikei Wharf Road, 2006
L-R: Block 4 (No.18), Block 3 (No: 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12), Block 2.
Source: Jimmy Ong

Seng Huat 生發 kopitiam (No. 13 Wharf Road) was owned by a old Hainanese couple who had two daughters. The younger one was named 曾月妹. It was the coffee shop for the best chendol, best kaya, best roti, best kopi, best teh (tea) and best cakes in the 1940s. In its heydays, a roti pau (bun) with delectable coconut fillings cost only 20 cents. The Hainanese are known for their coffee shop expertise. They migrated (to where?) and their nephew, Lim Ming Aik took over the shop's operations and sold beverages. His daughter, Grace Lim, is (was?) a teacher at St Anthony's School. Another daughter works at SESCO Sarikei. His eldest daughter, a nurse, has migrated to Perth. Another son, a chemist, has apparently migrated to Perth too.

There was a billiard table at the backw where you could play "four ball American game" in the 1950s.

The back portion of the shop was rented out to a bread maker, Yii Suk King, one of Sarikei's earliest bread makers. Yii Suk Ing passed away in 1970 (?). He is survived by his wife and son, Ah Kuok, who still carried on with the family business of selling cookies, kompia and egg muffins at the Nyelong market.

生發 Seng Huat kopitiam, No. 13 Wharf Road, 1972
Lim "Ah Woo" and wife. National Day - find the flags.
Photo taken by Mayna Studio
Submitted by: MK Lim

The kam pua noodle stall was initially operated by a Foochow named "Ah Mei". Lim "Ah Woo" was his assistant and later rented the stall and operated it with his wife. Ah Woo (deceased in 1997) later became a famous kam pua noodle chef.

His stall was often patronised by the Cantonese from Sare who made the river journey from Sare to Sarikei by wooden motor boats. The Cantonese brought products such as dried black and white peppercorns in exchange for sundry goods with the neighbouring shops such as 六勝 Luk Seng (No. 7 Wharf Road) and 富春 Fu Chen (No. 10 Wharf Road).

Those were the days. Yummy oodles of noodles, anyone?


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes a Hainanese coffee shop would have the best buns and best my search for Hainanese coffee shops in Miri here...I have also found the recently I found a Hainanese woman chicken rice owner...she has the best Hainanese chicken rice in many people's reckoning - including all my ang moh friends!!. Will post about it soon...Long live Hainanese Coffee! I hope I can find a Hainanese Kopitiam in Perth.

By the way...have a Singapore Sling!

Daniel Yiek said...

Hainanese kopitiam are very successful in S'pore.

If you have old family photos that can tell a story, pls email me the pics and story. I'm currently working on a very intersting story that would have otherwise been lost.

Sarikeikia said...

I have not try Ah Woo's Kam pua, I remember the sight of his fierce looking daughters frighten me off...haha!

I recall the Hainanese coffee shop operator was a stocky looking chap enjoying beer throughout the day, he married a Cantonese wife.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha ! I am that fierce lady's eldest brother, you know people during those era were particularly serious, perhap seldom spare a smile.

Let's all support this Sarikei blog.
We all miss sarikei.

08th sep., 2009

Sarikeikia said...

Haha I am sorry but I do eat a lot of your maternal uncle's dry noodle. Your uncle Mr Lau use to be the town's maker of dry noodle & dry Wanton skin. I still crave from them till this days and anyone who return home and offer to bring me something and this would be the perfect gift.

Anonymous said...

You know, my uncle at 3.5 mile learnt the art of making noodle from my dad. He still make his dried noodle. I think sun dried noodle taste better than the oven dried.

By the way, which part of skei are you from?

You can email me at

Anonymous said...

Hahaha~ I'm 1 of the fierce daughter's daughter.. =D.. Mr Ah Woo is my grandfather (wai gong). really heard a lot of ppl saying his kampua was very2 nice..

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