Sibu’s Chop Hing Huong to close shop on May 22 after 60 delicious years selling iconic ‘dian bian hu’

Kiu busy preparing his iconic 'dian bian hu' dish for customers.

By William Isau

SIBU, April 29: Chop Hing Huong, which serves the iconic ‘dian bian hu’, has been packed to the brim since Saturday (April 27).

Its operator, Kiu Chiong Loi, 83, however, played down talks that the so-called sudden spike in customers was due to his intention to close the business on May 22.


Some customers do not mind waiting patiently outside for empty tables—even the coffee shop opposite it is crowded with customers as the coffee shop has the unwritten rule that customers of Chop Hing Huong could occupy its tables provided they order drinks from them.

“This (full house) is not because I will be closing down the eatery as I have long planned to retire this year,” said Kiu today.

The shop is packed to the brim.

When asked whether May 22 holds any significance for him as he has chosen the date to pull down the curtain for his business that he set up 60 years ago, Kiu replied there was none.

“I chose May 22 because I want to give my Dayak workers leave to celebrate Gawai Dayak. Moreover, we need time to clean the premises before returning it to the owner,” he said.

Kiu, whose son operates a similar eatery at Jalan Ling Kai Cheng, is thankful to customers for their staunch support over the past six decades.

“We are grateful to our customers for their support over the past 60 years, and we want to give praise to our Lord Jesus for His blessings and abundance of providence,” he said.

Kiu asserted that he is calling it a day as due to his advanced age. He has four daughters and two sons.

Chop Hing Huong at Jalan Blacksmith has been serving arguably the most authentic ‘dian bian hu’ in Sibu—so much so that it is even depicted in its own mural on the wall of the alley of the store.

What sets Chop Hing Huong apart is not just its legacy but its unwavering commitment to tradition. Despite the passage of time, the authenticity of its ‘dian bian hu’ remains untarnished.

The secret lies in their dedication to using the traditional method of making rice paste using a stone grinder.

This labour-intensive process, though time-consuming, produces a unique texture and flavour in the dish that modern methods cannot replicate.

‘Dian bian hu’, a Foochow dish, is directly translated to ‘wok-edge-paste’. It means rice paste that is cooked on the edge of a Chinese wok.

The paste is spread on the edge of a wok, which will cook before being scraped down to the boiling broth at the bottom of the wok.

A popular breakfast choice, the dish features a flavourful broth that comes with thin, flat, and chewy strips of rice paste. Each bowl is usually topped with ingredients such as fish balls, cuttlefish pieces, and black fungus.

A hardworking staff member about to serve customers.

If you don’t want to miss getting a taste of this culinary gem before the shop closes, visit it as early as you can because the dish is usually sold out by noon.

Meanwhile, locals here who are sentimental about the dish have expressed sadness that Kiu’s shop will be closed permanently.

“After almost 60 years of hard work, no one is going to take over the most famous ‘dian bian hu’ outlet in the whole of Malaysia,” said a retiree, Roy Ting.

A lecturer, Augustine Ting, concurred with Roy in saying, “Pity (that) no one is taking over.” — DayakDaily