Wanton mee in Hong Kong

wonton mee hong kong

I guess if you’re pressed to name a dish that is representative of Hong Kong street food, the answer would be wanton mee (wonton noodles). I’ve had it several times during my recent trip to Hong Kong – it’s a very light meal with subtle notes – there are no overpowering flavors here.

wonton mee

The best wanton mee I had came piping hot with al dente noodles and a couple of wontons in a savory broth garnished with a healthy sprinkling of scallions (spring onions). Simple, but delicious.

wonton

It is interesting to note that the wontons in Hong Kong are made with prawns, with just a little bit of pork. It usually is made of pure pork over here and I much prefer the prawn wontons in HK.

wonton noodles

You’ll be very surprised at just how such a simple dish can taste fabulous. I was told that it’ll be difficult to find a place that serves bad wonton mee in Hong Kong and they were right! Just walk into any establishment in HK and you’ll find great wonton mee. :)

No, I don’t know why there’s a shirtless man behind me either.

Ulu Yam Loh Mee

ulu yam gps

It was an unfortunate GPS navigational error that ultimately brought us to this place in Selayang – some 20 km away from our original intended destination of Ulu Yam. Christy was talking about the fabulous Ulu Yam loh mee and I chose the first result that came up.

restoran soon yuen

Thus, we totally missed Ulu Yam Lama and headed into Selayang instead. Oh well, at least the names kinda rhyme. This coffee shop is adorned with a banner that proclaims its dedication to Ulu Yam loh mee (with that dastardly entry in the GPS echoing its wares).

ulu yam loh mee

Anyway, since we were there, we decided to order the loh mee (RM 5). It comes in a HUGE bowl – the portion is pretty generous but there’s only two shrimps and other miscellaneous bits of meat inside. The soup is nice and starchy though and a dash (or a pour in my case) of vinegar does wonders to the taste.

ulu yam us

The bottle of vinegar does not have a volume reducer (or whatever you call that doohickey) so I think I emptied near 50 ml of the stuff into my bowl but it’s all good – the loh mee portion is huge enough to diffuse all that vinegar. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that it tastes just right – much like how Baby Bear’s bowl of porridge must have tasted to the home invading Goldilocks.

ulu yam herbal tea

However, the best thing about Restoran Soon Yuan is their herbal tea. It’s RM 1.80 and is brewed with chrysanthemum, luo han guo and dried longans. It’s surprisingly refreshing!

ulu yam lor mee

Unfortunately, the loh mee is only serviceable (although I ate the entire bowl) and it’s missing a key ingredient – deep fried pork lard. The definitive Ulu Yam loh mee is here, according to Kim. I’ll have to head down to Ulu Yam Lama someday to taste authentic Ulu Yam loh mee.

This place lists the rather promisingly named African Fried Rice on its menu though.

Guilin Mi Fen with Horse Meat

There’s no horsing around in this outlet. smirk

guilin mi fen horse meat

Okay, the first thing on the agenda when I arrived in Guilin is to eat the famous Gui Lin Mee Fen (rice vermicelli) with horse meat. However, that proved harder to find that I initially thought. Rats too for that matter, but that’s another post.

guilin mee fen

Anyway, after walking 1,000 miles and nearly getting run down by several cars and buses (it’s left hand drive here in China) I decided to consult a person from the industry that knows everything about anything obscure or illegal – hard to find cuisine, the oldest profession in the world, substances, basically The Travelers Guide to a New City (TM). Your friendly neighborhood taxi driver.

gui lin mi fen eat

Within minutes (and a RMB 10 fare, which is RM 5, pretty damn cheap cabs over here) I was on my way to the oldest Guilin Mi Fen with Horse Meat establishment in town. It has reputedly been around for about 40 years (as told by two different sources) and caters to the locals instead of tourists (just the way I like it).

gui lin mee fen

Alas! How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! In the past, horses were used for transport, war machines by knights, riot control by mounted police, and prized stallions on the racetrack. It has now been relegated (at least in China) to food. Heh!

gui lin mi fen horse meat

The Gui Lin Mi Fen is not rice vermicelli as we know it, it looks more like rice noodles to me. You are free to add as many condiments, pickles and spices as you want. I highly recommend their chilli flakes – Guilin is known for its spicy food so go wild with this one.

gui lin mi fen

Gui Lin Mi Fen with Horse Meat is a soup dish, which is not what I usually eat, but since it’s the local specialty, I tasted it and pronounce it GOOD. The spring onions adds a lot to the taste of the soup while the peanuts contribute that additional texture to this dish. Best of all, it only costs RMB 6 (RM 3) for a large bowl.

guilin mi fen

I love it, mostly coz of the horse meat. Horse meat can best be described as something of a cross between beef and lamb. It’s sweet and has a nice gamey aftertaste and it’s surprisingly lean.

guilin mee fen good

Mmm…equine meat!

Posted: 7:19 am China Time (Guilin is in the same timezone as Malaysia)

Sg. Besi Wan Tan Mee

besi wantan mee

Jessica was in the vicinity of my condo one night and asked if I wanted to eat some overwhelmingly delicious (those were her exact words) wantan mee in Sungai Besi.
HB: How overwhelming?
J: Power overwhelming.
I was sold. She’s such a Starcraft geek sometimes. Heh! I was up for it since I just got back from work so I drove down to Sg. Besi with her as the GPS. There are no signboards at the place – it looks like a car workshop which moonlights as a restaurant at night.

besi cooking

We arrived there at around 10 pm and the place was still bustling with customers. The friendly lady proprietor came over and took our order. She didn’t seem to mind the BYO (had a bottle of Absolut Vodka that I just plonked down on the table) and gave us the lowdown on the Good Stuff (TM) they have.

besi place

Sg. Besi Wan Tan Mee is famous for two things (one thing actually) – their wan tan mee with char siew. Their char siew is apparently their signature dish (according to the proprietor and Jess) so all their wan tan mee is served with awesome char siew.

besi wantan mee duck

It costs RM 5.50 per plate and it’s worth every sen! The drive down was long but the food more than made up for it. It’s gotta be the best wan tan mee I’ve had in KL. The noodles are springy and flavorful and the char siew is to die for. It has a crispy edge, but is tender on the inside. The char siew is also slightly sweet, but not overpoweringly so and has an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture. Superlatives fail me.

besi wantan mee mushrooms

You can choose add-ons for just RM 1.50 to your wantan mee with char siew.
I had a duck drumstick (RM 8) with my wan tan mee. I choose the entire drum instead of an add-on.
Jess had the shitake mushroom add-on for RM 1.50. It’s juicy and flavorful; the mushrooms taste like it just came out of a pot of pork stew (perhaps the same one I ordered below). The mushrooms were practically engorged with delicious juices. Mmm…

besi pork

We also ordered a side dish of stewed pork leg (RM 10.00). Just coz I was craving for pork.

It’s so good I did my speed eating thing while Jessica filmed me. Watch me stuff my mouth like a pig on this (power) overwhelming(ly) delicious wan tan mee with char siew.

besi onions

You can also add fried onions to the wantan mee with char siew for that extra oomph! I have no idea how to direct you here since Jessica guided me but the address listed on the menu is:
No. 190H, Jalan 2 ½ Mile, Off Sg. Besi, 55200 Kuala Lumpur.

besi me

Sungai Besi Wan Tan Mee – Best in Sg. Besi, KL, and some say, PJ.

Penang BBQ Pork Noodles @ Sing Long

sl bbq stall

I have been told that there’s a really good BBQ pork noodle stall at a coffee shop called Sing Long (Tian Long in Chinese) and the three of us headed down for breakfast to check it out. The stall has an impressive repertoire of BBQ pork products displayed at the see-through stall casement.

sl chef

The chef hails from Penang and serves authentic Penang BBQ pork noodles. The noodles are hand made and not the regular ones we get over here, but the ones from Penang/KL. The texture and diameter of the noodle is much thicker – it’s akin to Hokkien noodles.

sl breakfast

The stall doesn’t just serve BBQ pork noodles but also BBQ rice. However, their forte is definitely the pork noodles. It’s their signature dish and it would be heresy to order BBQ rice instead of noodles, which one of my coworkers did. A lot of people throng the coffee shop before office hours to eat breakfast so you have to go quite early to avoid the crowds.

sl bbq pork noodles

This is their famous Penang BBQ pork noodles (RM 4.50). I have seldom sung praises about coffee shop stalls, but I am yodeling now. It just has to be experienced – the sinful crunch of the crispy pork, the tender juiciness of the meat and the sprinkling of spring onions on top creates a dish that is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Best place for BBQ pork noodles in Sibu. Hands down.

sl bbq pork noodle

Got pork?

Glory Cafe’s Big Prawn Asam Tom Yam Noodles, Sarikei

glory cafe

I drove down to Sarikei to sample the famous RM 14 Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodles at Glory Cafe on Sunday morning. I went with Faye and the journey from Sibu to Sarikei took about 45 minutes. It can take up to an hour (or more/less) depending on how fast you drive – the distance is approximately 105 km. Glory Cafe is located at the only Magnum 4D outlet in Sarikei – do note that there are other gaming operators there (Sports Toto) – it’s the Magnum 4D outlet you should be looking for. The QAG 4114 arrived at Glory Cafe at just a little before 12 pm and parked right in front of a fire hydrant no-parking zone. ;)

asam tom yam noodles

It took about 20 minutes for our order to arrive. The Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodles came in a large glass serving bowl and is filled to the brim with huge big prawns, noodles and the asam tom yam soup. Asam Tom Yam is a cross between asam laksa and tom yum soup. It is made of tamarind, lemon grass, lime leaves, fish sauce and chili peppers. It is a delicious contrast of sweet and sour flavors with a hint of spiciness thrown into the mix. You can opt to substitute the default noodles with other carbohydrate chains e.g. rice vermicelli, kueh tiaw, tang hoon etc.

big prawn macro

The big head prawns in the RM 14 Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodles are huge and the chef was generous enough to include several of them in the dish. Each prawn is sliced vertically for easier consumption. Nevertheless, this is not a dish for dignified foodies – you almost certainly have to manually separate the shell from the crustacean with your fingers to get at the flesh.

asam tom yam mee

I went for the Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodles (RM 14). The egg noodles is thick and has an almost tangible sweet undertone that goes very well with the asam tom yam. The noodles go well with the sour (from the tamarind) and sweet flavors from the soup. I noticed that the noodles also tend to absorb the flavors better. The noodles taste better than rice vermicelli due to the latter being unable to absorb the flavors of the asam tom yam soup. The portion is huge and it will definitely satiate all but the most voracious appetite.

asam tom yam mee hoon

Faye went for the Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn Rice Vermicelli (RM 14). Rice vermicelli is known locally as bee hoon. It’s the same dish except with rice vermicelli in place of the noodles. She thought it tasted alright until she sampled my noodles…after which she promptly took possession of my bowl. I am considering an appeal to the International Court of Justice for the disputed two-cubit Asam Tom Yam Noodle Island, I mean, bowl.

glory cafe us

It should be noted that the asam tom yam concoction is a notorious fabric stainer. You should probably reconsider wearing white or light colored articles of clothing during the consumption of this particular dish. The splash damage can be considerable despite elaborate measures to avoid such occurrences.

Street food in Bangkok

street food stall

I woke up this morning and walked around during peak office hours to
get some food. I wanted to check out the street food by the roadside
(it’s kinda like a moving hawker stall) so I ended up going to this
noodle place that a lot of Thai people were at so I assume it must be
good.

street food noodle girl

The friendly girl manning the noodle stall didn’t speak much English
but I managed to point at a dish that most of the people there are
eating. It’s a noodle dish soup with a choice of original, round or
green noodles and I chose the original one.

street food water

The tables are arranged around the hawker stall and plastic stools
are available for patrons to sit on. I was a bit puzzled when a little
boy handed me a tin cup filled with ice until he motioned to the water
containers on the table (complimentary). Iced water! Sweet.

street food noodle

This is what the noodle dish (40 baht – around RM 4) looks like – it
had more ingredients than noodles. There are pork slices, pork balls,
pork dumplings (they sure love their pork over here) and another kind
of smaller pork dumplings at the bottom covered by wiggly noodles and
vegetables in soup. It tastes surprisingly good, it’s different from
the noodle offerings back home.

street food juice

I went to get some drinks after that and noticed a street hawker
doing brisk business selling fresh, chilled local mandarin orange juice
(20 baht – around RM 2). I saw a lot of people patronizing the stall so
I deduced it must be good if local Thai office people were ordering it.
The man at the stall is real friendly too and showed me how it’s done.

The local mandarin juice is really good – cold and refreshing after
the hot soup meal. Check out the street food when you’re in Bangkok,
it’s interesting.

Kedai Kopi Wan Wan

kedai kopi wan wan

Kedai Kopi Wan Wan is an auspiciously named eating
establishment in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The eatery specializes in fish
noodles (as in noodles made of fish puree) and fish pieces (also made
from the same puree). It came highly recommended from a KK resident who
claimed that seafood and the fish noodles here are the only noteworthy
specialties in Sabah.

wan wan al fresco

It seems that a lot of KK residents agree, as the place was packed
during lunch and even well after lunch hour. Kedai Kopi Wan Wan spans
two large shop houses and is neatly compartmentalized into indoor and
outdoor (the term al fresco should never be used to describe the
Malaysian dining experience) spaces. The tables were filled with people
eating the much lauded fish noodles and a side dish of fish slices in
soup.

wan wan fish community

The three of us and the couple residing in KK that we met up with
recommended eating the dish like the locals do – having a personal dry
noodles dish and a shared fish noodles and fish slices in broth
community bowl. The fish slices/noodles (or a combination) is cooked
with the soup of your choice and the interesting bit about this
establishment is that the soup is refillable at no cost, much like a
steamboat.

assam tom yam fish

This is fish slices in Assam Tom Yam soup. It tastes like tom yam soup with a dash of the sour assam
tang. The fish slices in this dish are made from real fish cuts. Fresh
fish is cheap and plentiful in KK due to its proximity to the sea.

assam tom yam fish personal

Here’s a closer look at the fish slices in the orange looking Assam
Tom Yam soup. The soup is hot and spicy and the fish tastes good when
paired with the dry noodle dish.

cin tan fish noodles

This dish is based on plain broth (cin tan in Mandarin) and
is a combination of fish slices and the famous fish noodles. It tastes
better in this implementation as the soup is bland and does not
overpower the taste of the fish.

cin tan fish noodles personal

The fish slices are made from fish flesh which has been grinded up
and shaped into rough, uneven slices. It’s a little like a flat
fishball. The fish noodles are thick, flat noodles made of the same
processed fish.

dry tossed noodles

The main fish soup dishes are meant to be eaten with this dry noodle dish, in lieu of rice. This dry noodle dish is also called kon lo mee
(dry tossed noodles) like its Kuching counterpart, except that it’s
eaten with fish instead of meat, presumably due to the relative
abundance of the former in KK.

kon lo fish noodles

Our hosts were kind enough to order another popular variant of this – kon lo
fish noodles. It’s like the dry noodle dish, except that it’s made with
fish noodles instead of flour noodles. It’s tossed and served dry, and
it’s interesting to eat a noodle dish made entirely of fish flesh.

It’s surprisingly good…

Little Hanoi

little hanoi

Little Hanoi is a coffee shop that mushroomed up in place of another
coffee shop which has ceased operating some time ago. I just saw this
eatery when I came back to Sibu this time. I went there today with my
girlfriend for lunch. Little Hanoi serves Vietnamese food, with slight
alterations to suit local tastes.

little hanoi pho

This is their pho, which is made with hor fun. The dish is made with good broth (which IMHO dictates the taste of the pho) – clear and satisfying.

little hanoi lime

It is served with half a lime, the likes of which I’ve never seen
before…the patterns in the middle of the lime seems unfamiliar, or
maybe they just sliced the lime diagonally.

little_hanoi_pho_close.jpg

Here’s a closer look at the pho. The hor fun is soft, and the thinly sliced beef in the soup tastes tender too.

little hanoi beef noodles

This is Little Hanoi’s implementation of beef noodles – it comes with thickly sliced carrots and chunks of beef in a thick soup.

little hanoi sea salt

This one is served with half a lime and some sea salt, which goes nicely with the chunks of beef.

little hanoi beef noodles close

Here’s a closer look at the beef noodles…there’s some bean sprouts in there too, to counter balance the taste.

little hanoi spring roll

Finally, we ordered a side dish of deep fried spring rolls. The
coating on this is very unique, and this makes the texture interesting.

Little Hanoi may not be an authentic Vietnamese eating experience,
but it’s a welcome addition to Sibu’s relatively slow growing food
industry.

Kafe Zhi Wei review

kafe zhi wei

Cafe Zhi Wei is latest eatery to open up in
Kuching. It has only been in operation for less than 2 weeks. The words
“Zhi Wei” literally means “(The) Taste” but the Chinese characters
means “Taste Expert Cafe”. I went there last night to try out this new
eating establishment.

zhi wei interior

Kafe Zhi Wei is nicely spaced out, with seating arrangements to
accommodate couples, groups and larger packs of diners. There is also
an al fresco (this word should never be used in Malaysian food reviews)
dining option for smokers. The seats outside are nicer than the ones in
the interior, for some reason.

zhi wei owner

I love the personalized service that Cafe Zhi Wei provides. The
proprietor was kind enough to come out and recommend dishes to us. Her
name is Ng See Sian and she hails from KL. Cafe Zhi Wei is meant for an
authentic Hakka cuisine experience. She’s very friendly, and easy to
talk to, and can recommend the best dishes for the day.

zhi wei lime assam

She told us the Lime Asam Juice (RM 2.50) is
different from most implementations and suggested that we try out this
drink. It’s good. I can’t remember what I ordered, coz we just ate and
shared dishes and drinks. It’s pretty much of a communal dining
experience with us coz we like to sample new things.

zhi wei lemon sugarcane

This is the Lemon Sugar Cane (RM 2.00) that the
proprietor also recommended. It looks a little like the Lime Assam
Juice, but without the froth on top. She told us that the lemon offsets
the overt sweetness of the sugar cane juice. I found it very nice and
thirst quenching.

zhi wei longan

Here’s the Longan with winter melon (RM 1.50)
that’s served in a unique receptacle. It’s recommended for its
“cooling” properties and apparently is popular in with Hakka people.

zhi wei rice

The proprietor told us that their strength is in the Hakka Fried Pork dishes. This is the Hakka Fried Pork Rice
(RM 4.50). It comes with Oil Rice, which is a very fragrant type of
rice. I tasted it and I swear it’s better than Bario rice in taste (but
not texture).

zhi wei noodles

This is the Dry Hakka Fried Pork Noodle (RM 5.00).
The proprietor informed us that the pork that they serve is not the
usual “three layer pork” but a specially prepared Hakka style cured
meat that requires a long seasoning time. I love the Hakka Fried Pork,
it’s really different from the others I’ve had.

zhi wei noodles close

Here’s a closer look at the contents of the Dry Hakka Fried Pork
Noodle. It has generous portions of pork, fresh green vegetables, and
edible fungi, all topped with chopped spring onions. It’s great – the
Hakka Fried Pork is really something to experience and the noodles are
nice and springy.

zhi wei fried dumpling

This is the Deep Fried Dumpling (RM 5.00) that we
ordered as a side dish. One bit of information that the proprietor told
is that the Deep Fried Dumplings are only available at night. The lunch
crowd is usually in a rush to get back to the office so they serve
Dumpling Soup during lunch instead.

zhi wei fried dumpling inside

Here’s a closer look at the Deep Fried Dumpling. It has a lot of
ingredients which I couldn’t identify, but the pastry wrap is crunchy
and the inside hot and delicious. As I mentioned, this dish is only
available at night, so go for dinner if you’ll like to try this dish.

zhi wei cripsy vege

Finally, we had the highly recommended Crispy Vegetable With Chicken
(RM 4.50). The proprietor informed us that this is their flagship dish
– there’s no other eating establishments in Sarawak that has this
particular dish. It’s really delicious, I polished off the whole plate
in no time.

Kafe Zhi Wei gets two thumbs up from me. Don’t miss out on this
place if you’re in Kuching – it has great Hakka based cuisine and a
list of must-try dishes that the proprietor can recommend. Great
service and food, that’s a 10/10 in my books.

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