The road to honour

Hung Hing Abell Road Kolo Mee with Meat Ball Soup

Abell Road Cheng

Why do we have such odd and long road names in Kuching? We have normal sounding road names of course, but some of the road names are ultimately too long. For example, we have Jalan Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui, Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce, Jalan Tan Sri Datuk Amar Sim Kheng Hong,  Jalan Tan Sri Datuk William Tan and Jalan Datuk Amar Kalong Ningkan. I understand that these roads were named after people who have contributed to the state and as such they deserve such an honour. And there is no doubt about it. It is an honour.

For example, Jalan Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Muhammad Salahuddin is named after Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Muhammad Salahuddin, our 3rd and 6th (current) TYT. Obviously he deserves such as honour but does that road name need to be so long? I understand that in our culture, full names and titles are a sign of respect. But still, isn’t having a road named after you a big enough show of respect? Does the descendants of Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui feel less pride if the road omitted the title Tan Sri? I guess they wouldn’t be. After all they still get to claim the road as their grandfather’s road.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not in favour of the more efficient road names. I don’t really like 2nd Street or Jalan SS/17. I know they are easier to name, remember and navigate through. But ultimately they are boring.

All I am saying is make the road names shorter. Lose the titles if at all possible. After all, it isn’t like the full title is used all the time. Jalan Datuk Amar Kalong Ningkan is named after Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan, our first Chief Minister, but as you can tell, the road name is missing a Tan Sri. Maybe a Jalan William Tan is good enough? After all in Melbourne, there is a street named after Queen Elizabeth the First but it is simply called Elizabeth Street. Can you imagine if they were to name a new road after the Queen Elizabeth II using her full title?

It would be  Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith Street. Or do you prefer that in Latin, Elizabeth II, Dei Gratia Britanniarum Regnorumque Suorum Ceterorum Regina, Consortionis Populorum Princeps, Fidei Defensor Platea.

So please town planners, keep it short. Remember Abell Road, named after the Third British Governer of Sarawak, Sir Anthony Foster Abell , is still a great honour even if it lacks the formal titles. Abell Road is also the location of today’s dish review in the cafe named Hung Hing cafe.

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Hung Hing cafe is home to a very good Kolo Mee. The proprietor of the stall just so happens to be the daughter of the Sin Liang Sing kolo mee owner.  So the quality of her noodles are not in doubt. But this is not what makes her noodles special. Her specialty is the various soups that go with the noodles.

I am very fond of her meat ball soups in particular mostly because I am not a big fan of innards. But she still puts in fish maw in the meat ball soup which I love. And the most enjoyable part of the soup, is the addition of Chinese rice wine in it. It is not something you would expect in a soup like this. A Foochow influence perhaps, but a very good influence indeed. The taste of the soup without the wine is good enough but the addition of this ingredient just makes it way better.

So the next time you are in one of the shortest road names in Kuching, keep a look out for Hung Hing Cafe, find a park and have a bowl. It might not be as great an honour as having a road named after you but your stomach will definitely feel appreciated.


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