Another rumble came from the depths below. Now it was getting serious. After the tiols of a frustratingly "itchy" baby (she couldn't stop scratching her head, face and legs), hunger had well and truly set in. The emptiness in my gut took courage when the recently-opened "Noodle Station" appeared on the horizon on the Ground Floor of East Coast Mall.
My daughter aged 18 months waddled in, all legs and arms, enthusiastic not so much for the food, but for the array of tables and chairs to climb on. We found a vacant spot and sitting down I motioned to pull my chair closer to the table, only to realise it was rooted to the ground. Looked like we would be dining 'on the edge' this lunchtime.
One of the waitresses was being egged on by her workmates but seemed childishly reluctant to come and serve us. So she just stood there and we sat there, waiting. Perhaps she didn't speak English. I beckoned to a waiter on the other side of the room and he immediately brought over the menus, and a baby chair which my daughter had spotted near the wall.
Having eaten at the Sarawak Kolo Mee restaurant in Singapore earlier this month, I'm afraid I was heavily biased throughout the duration of our stay at the Noodle Station here in Kuantan. In contrast to the astonishingly quick time it took for my food to reach my table in Singapore (less than a minute, no kidding), I had read through several articles in the newspaper by the time our dishes arrived here. And I'm sure my face must have been a picture as I peered down into the bowl set before me. Either they had left the remainder of my noodles stuck to the sides of the wok, or the bowl was hideously over-sized. And I'm sure I ordered soy sauce noodles, but I couldn't see the brown stuff anywhere.
Nevertheless, my wife and I tucked in to our dishes. In Singapore I had experienced somewhat of a mild sensory explosion of taste. As I twirled noodles around my fork here, and shovelled it into my mouth, the only noticeable taste was oil - and lots of it.
By this time my daughter had taken my wife's spoon and was busily helping herself to the soup, with the occasional bite from a plate of French Fries we had ordered for her.
As I finished the final mouthfuls of my meal, I soon discovered the missing soy sauce. The bottom of the bowl was drenched in a reservoir of black, oily soy sauce, accompanied by a laugh or two between my wife and I.
I was however, looking forward to the strawberry milkshake, which I had saved until now. It was rather flat and watery with strange bits in the bottom, and the liquid flow up the straw to my mouth seemed to be disrupted.
I was full, but being full with Kolo Mee in Singapore tasted a lot better!