‘Ding bian hu’ maker’s decision to close shop upsets customers

‘Ding bian hu’ maker’s decision to close shop upsets customers

SIBU (May 1): The announcement of the closure of a local eatery, Chop Hing Huong – famous for its Foochow dish ‘ding bian hu’ – has shocked many of its loyal customers. One of them, who wanted to be known only as Lau, 38, said she was very sad when she heard the news.

“I have been coming here with my family since I was 10 years old. The dish is a part of my childhood memories,” she said. Another loyal customer, Albert Ting, 27, viewed the closure as ‘a big loss for traditional food lovers in Sibu’.

“I have been a loyal customer for more than 10 years. I don’t know where else I can find this special dish that match what they provide here,” he said.

The dish’s name derives from the words ‘ding’ (wok), ‘bian’ (the side), and ‘hu’ (flat rice noodle pieces). The base is a simple broth, filled with ‘hu’, fish balls, black fungus and chopped spring onions.

At Chop Hing Huong, the price is RM7 per bowl.

News of the shop’s closure was uploaded on the official Facebook page of The Borneo Post’s sister newspaper ‘Utusan Borneo’ last Friday. The post has since received more than 2,800 ‘likes’ and 787 ‘shares’.

In its ‘Comments’ section, many Facebookers wrote about their memories of Chop Hing Huong.

“From the time I was in First Grade until I am now 42 years old, I always eat near his shop. It’s a pity – if it really closes, there would be no replacement,” said Pangau Libau.

Joseph Eva said the shop was one of his favourite places to enjoy breakfast while visiting Sibu back in the 1980s and 1990s. Prominent businessman Dr Gregory Hii also left a comment, expressing his sadness on the shop’s closure.

“I have visited this place hundreds of times, starting from my days as a student of Bahasa Malaysia classes at night with my teacher, who also took the opportunity to improve his Bahasa Malaysia.

“I had visited the shop often in the last few years when I needed to go to the nearby Pathlab for urine and blood tests. “This is the end when no one takes over, but sweet memories remain,” he wrote.

Chop Hing Huong operator Kiu Chiong Loi, 83, had told Utusan Borneo that he wanted to retire after having been in the business for more than 60 years.

Set up in 1960, the shop is located at Jalan Blacksmith here and would stay open until the end of May.

-Agency

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