Chong Chon Green Noodle hits the spot

By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
@sendouringgit
danielleringgit@theborneopost.com

Here in Kuching, noodles are a common dish normally consumed for breakfast…lunch, dinner and supper…basically anytime!

And so, a Kuchingite doesn’t need a particular time of the day to eat noodles so long as there is one noodle maker that still operates at any time of the day.

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David Chui manning his stall at Third Mile, Kuching

Noodle maker David Chui has been making and selling his famous green spinach noodles since 2000 at Third Mile, Kuching.

Friendly and cheerful, David only operates half a day everyday selling his famous green noodles. Since it only operates during the first half of the day, I decided to have green noodles for breakfast.

As most people would usually either already working or in school during that time of the day, I thought that I might have some time for a quick chat with David about his famous green noodles.

While I did manage to have a satisfying bowl of green noodles topped with barbecued pork, however, David was swamped with customers, prompting me to come back at close to closing time.

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David’s hand made green noodle with BBQ pork

Swarms of people notwithstanding, the green noodle was beyond exceptional. For breakfast I ordered the BBQ pork green noodle.

Thicker than normal kolo mee and with a spongy consistency, you’ll see small green flecks in the noodle strands if you look close enough, hinting at a slight taste of vegetable (good for those who do not like vegetables).

Soft and pleasant to the tongue, the noodles complement the smoky and chewy barbeque pork slices well.

Savoury and well-marinated, David said his home made green noodles had no MSG or colouring added to it.

Pipping hot thick savoury beef soup, a perfect combo to go with David's hand made green noodle

Piping hot thick savoury beef soup, a perfect combo to go with David’s hand made green noodle

For me, the star of the whole meal was the beef soup, which complemented the noodles perfectly.

The soup is David’s own recipe, made with herbs from his very own garden. With a rich herby, earthy and slightly tangy aftertaste, the soup is really pleasant to enjoy on a cold rainy day.

Having started by opening a coffee shop named Chong Chon where he almost exclusively sold green noodles, he used to have plenty of staff to help him. Now however, he operates a stall at Chicwan (next to Chong Chon which closed) as he said that it was difficult to handle a coffee shop as most of his staff would sometime quit, leaving him short handed.

In a day, David can serve up to 200 bowls of green noodle

In a day, David can serve up to 200 bowls of green noodles.

Even though he does not operate a coffee shop anymore, David is still as busy as ever.

After 2 pm, David starts preparing noodles later in the evening from 6 pm to 9 pm for the next day.

The noodle business is a family heritage for David, which originated with his grandfather, who used to sell kolo mee noodles at open air market during the 1950s.

He claimed that his grandfather was the pioneer of making ‘mee kolo’ and interestingly he also said that ‘mee kolo merah’ was invented by his grandmother when one of their regular customers kept on requesting them to mix red sauce in their noodles.

The idea cam eout when he noticed people do not normally eat their vegetables

The idea cam eout when he noticed people do not normally eat their vegetables

In the 1970s, they stopped and his parents started operating a bakery at Kai Joo Lane instead selling curry puff, yam puff, egg tart and siew pau.

David only started learning how to make noodle from his father in 2000 when he quit his job as a contractor in Peninsular Malaysia, as business was not doing so well during that time.

When he came back, he started learning how to make noodles from his father, opening Chong Chon, named after his mother.

From there he improvised and came up with his own green noodle recipe. According to David, he is the first one to come up with the idea of blending spinach in the noodle dough, which is where the green colour comes from.

“The idea came to me when I noticed that people – especially children – do not eat their vegetables that would come with their noodles. So I thought, why not blend in some vegetable so that it would give them some fibre in their diet?”

As of now, his menu includes beef noodles, lamb stew noodles, ginger duck noodles, black vinegar pork noodle, BBQ chicken or pork and dumplings.

Open everyday, David is usually busiest during the weekend and public holidays. While he can sell up to 200 or more bowls of green noodles on a regular day, that number may increase during the weekend and public holiday.

Sometimes, some of his customer come by his stall just to buy his raw homemade noodle for RM1 each to make at home.

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Stringy and wholesome, David highly recommend his noodles for a pasta dish.

Normally operating everyday from 7.30 am till 2 pm everyday, David’s green noodle is a must try – you will definitely be leaving with a happy healthy stomach.

Bon appetit!

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