It came as a surprise to not only Sarawakians, but also the owners of Mi Kolok Haji Salleh when Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin mentioned them during his Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package announcement for SMEs on April 6.
‘Just enough’ of everything
Housed in Sepinang Sari Cafe and Restaurant at Jalan Satok, Mi Kolok Haji Salleh is one of the most famous go-to places for halal kolo mee lovers. With its distinguished bronze ornament hung above the entrance of the shop, the ambience provides diners with a rustic, old but homely feels.
Greeting diners at the entrance is the prep stall where you can see one of the stallowners, Siti Aishah Salleh springing the noodles in and out of the boiling pot. The station is also where she prepares and garnishes the goodies for customers.
According to her 46-year-old sister Freda Salleh, her father started the business selling kolo mee at various five-foot ways back in 1984. As he was tired of renting small spaces, Salleh Reduan decided to start his own cafe in 1993.
Currently, Freda and her siblings are taking care of the business, with her 72-year-old father still in charge. Every day, she would prepare the ingredients while Siti does the cooking.
A bowl of regular kolo mee at Haji Salleh is priced at RM5.80. Any extras would be charged accordingly.
Freda shared that ever since the movement control order (MCO) started, there has been a decline in business. “However after the prime minister mentioned us as an example in his speech, our business increased by 20 percent!” The humble and friendly Freda also offered her gratitude to Tan Sri Muhyiddin for the acknowledgement. She hopes that one day, the premier would visit the shop for a bowl.
As a kolo mee lover, I recently had the opportunity to try the bowl of goodness (takeaway, of course), and immediately understood the hype about the famous noodles.
For a bowl of the delicious kolo mee, Siti would first blanch the noodles. Then she would toss and twirl it into a bowl of soy sauces, garlic oil and other seasonings. Once properly mixed, the noodles will be served with shredded pieces of beef, garnished with bean sprouts and paired with a bowl of warm beef broth. The kolo mee would also be accompanied by their special homemade pounded chillies — it’s super spicy too!
At first try, the noodles was soft and springy. The beef that came with it was well-done, but not dry at all. Mixed with Haji Salleh’s homemade chillies, it is enough to keep your mouth heated up from the spiciness, yet still craving for more. In between the mix, a sip of the warm beef broth compliments the flavours, making it a perfect combo.
With ‘just enough’ of everything, I highly recommend Mi Kolok Haji Salleh as a go-to place for halal kolo mee. The taste will certainly take you on a gastronomical adventure, a taste unique to the hometown of kolo mee — Sarawak.