SIBU: Every morning there are people queueing up at Fatt Bakery here waiting to get the kompia while the husband and wife team prepares them in the open bakery.
Fatt Bakery still prepares its kompia the old school way – slapped around a brick oven. It’s cooked by the ambient heat from the brick/stone oven.
A lot of places are using regular, modern ovens now but it tastes totally different.
Despite the many cakes available in the market these days kompia is still a big favourite among people of various ethnic backgrounds here in Sibu.
According to kompia expert and traditional maker Ling Yik Ting and her husband Wong Hau Yong who run Fatt Bakery in one of the back lanes in the heart of Sibu, kompia, that is also known as Chinese bagel, is a delicacy for the Foochow community.
“It is a local delicacy one must try while in Sibu. It is not only famous among the Chinese community, but is also a big favourite among Bumiputera races and tourists,” she said when met yesterday.
Kompia is prepared by flattening the dough with a rolling pin, then it is sprayed with a little water just before sesame seeds are sprinkled on top of each dough, Ling explained.
When she was busy with the afternoon customers, her husband told New Sarawak Tribune that his wife had taken over her older brother’s business and that she had been in the business since she was 17 years old.
He said that they use almost 100kg of flour to make dough for the buns daily.
Two hours later the buns are baked in the charcoal-heated oven for twenty minutes, adding they bake up to 200 buns at one time.
Wong said although most of their customers are locals they do receive orders and walk-in customers from other towns.
There are two flavours – salty and sweet. A salty kompia is sprinkled with sasame seeds while the sweet one is just plain.
These days, there is also the cheese-flavoured version. They are sold at RM1 for three.
Kompias are available daily from 6.30am until they are sold out, usually before noon, at many shops in town.