The established Hakka Mee institution of Chun Kee in Pudu set the pace for the major mind methamorphosis for Father's Day. Dapu is part of Meizhou City, located in Guangdong Province and where the standard Hakka dialect congregates. It also happens to be where Dad was born and raised through rough and tough means. Made perfect sense that the mention of Dapu resonated loud and proud with him.
Jalan Sayur where the stall was located was packed to the brim and we engaged in some friendly jostling and waiting to secure a table and the attention of the stall owners.
We finally landed a VIP table after a bout of waiting and Dad bowled me over with his giddy excitement of tasting the flavours of his childhood. His fever rubbed off on all of us, including my very beautiful, sceptical mother and some random boy they decided to adopt along the way.
We were in for a long wait so I sauntered over to neighbouring Yong Tau Foo stall, which looked like they knew what they were doing.
And they did. The bowl of stuffed goodies arrived a few minutes later to hearty reception. Flavour-packed and gratifying!
After about 25 minutes of waiting time, the first bowl of Da Pu Mian arrived to cheer and commotion. The dish was simple enough - egg noodles, topped with minced pork and char siew, wrapped lovingly in juices of staple Hakka - lard, lard and lard.
Father was disappointed. He suspected the noodles were finished with a machine and that just wasn't the Dapu way. I was disappointed that it didn't live up to his expectations, much the same what I didn't live up to but we live and learn.
And I learnt that whatever your roots and who you are, nothing, not the disappointments nor the failures life serve up, dictate how you move on. The lessons from my Father are precious, as is the realisation of how blessed I am.