By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Nov 19: The sound of metals clanging from food being cooked, accompanied by the intermittent fiery blast from the stove, is what Kho Han Chong hears daily as he immaculately prepares customers’ orders.
The 69-year-old, a self-taught culinary fried noodle maestro and stall operator, has been serving dishes such as fried noodles, kueh tiaw, and mee hoon for nearly 50 years.
Hailing from Kuching, Kho has been a tenant at the Hui Sing Hawker Centre for 29 years.
“One more year, it will be 30,” he said as he took another customer’s order while his wife and son helped him at his stall.
Among his customers’ favourites are the local Sarawak-style crispy noodles with generous tomato sauce, topped with slices of barbeque meat and braised chicken.
“Sometimes, customers order everything on my menu. It is very common to see on the table my crispy noodles, fried noodles, fried kueh tiaw and Cantonese-style kueh tiaw — all of them cost RM7,” he said when interviewed by DayakDaily.
He added that while his business was severely affected during the Covid-19 pandemic, he is happy to see customers returning.
Kho, who started his business at the Palm Road Hawker Centre (now Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce) in the late 70s, noticed that those who ordered multiple items were customers who had not been to his stall a while.
“They are Kuchingites who now live somewhere else and have returned home to the city, craving my fried dishes,” he said.
Kho was grateful that customers returned to his stall, as it showed that they still remember him.
“Our Kuching style of frying noodles is different, and of course, everybody remembers the simple culinary dishes they are used to,” he added.
Kho’s stall at Hui Sing Hawker Centre is No. 16, called Chong Kee, and operates daily from 3pm to 7.30pm.
For enquiries, call 016- 895 0882. — DayakDaily