The famous Tai Bu mee stall in Pudu obtained its name from Dabu, a centre of Hakka culture in the Guangdong province in China. Having lived in Pudu all their lives, the Yong family members have been operating this noodle stall since 1936.
Yong Jiun Liang, 52 years old, is the third generation manning this family business on Pudu’s Wai Sek Kai. His nephew runs the afternoon session.
Their signature Tai Bu mee has a comforting heft of homemade noodles because they’re freshly made every morning in the empty shop next door. The tradition of making their own egg noodles as well as pork dumplings marches on with the fourth generation of the family.
Their regular customers are made up of friends and neighbours living in the vicinity. Some of them have been patronising the stall at certain times of the day – like clockwork – without fail for decades. Over the years, the stall has become an unofficial community centre where Pudu residents convene and share stories.
A dish of adaptation, nostalgia and comfort, the springy noodles appeal especially to people who know the history behind the stall. Jiun Liang recalls, ‘When I was younger, my father’s friends used to eat at our stall every week. Now, even their grandchildren are coming to eat our noodles.’ Except for the addition of a few plastic tables and a bit more publicity, this longstanding Tai Bu mee stall hasn’t changed much.