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Friday, 6 April 2012

The Original Pontian Wanton Mee @ Heng Heng 兴兴 in Pontian, Johor, Malaysia


Pontian wantian mee is one of those foods that generates lots of debate and stirs emotions. Some people crave it while others loathe it. There seems to be no neutral ground - you either love or hate it.

Then there are those who swear that none of the so called Pontian wanton mee everywhere are anywhere like the real thing back in Pontian. What is undeniable is - whatever people may think of it - Pontian wanton mee has spread to every corner of Singapore as well as in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and even Batam.

To find out how Pontian’s wanton mee really tastes like, I went on a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Pontian wanton mee.


Heng Heng 兴兴, in quiet Taman Anggerik of rustic Pontian, is synonymous with Pontian wanton mee. This is the stall that inspired the Pontian wanton mee franchise and had originally supplied the mushrooming franchise’s egg noodles.


Founded in 1948 by old MR Loh from Guangzhou, China, the shop is now run by the younger MR Loh who had been in the family business for more than 30 years. Heng Heng in Pontian’s Taman Anggerik is a wanton mee institution – I observed that every child or young person who entered the shop would acknowledge the friendly MR Loh affectionately. Another shop known as Ah Chuan run by old MR Loh's daughters still carries his name 亚泉. 


This is the RM4.50 set – a plate of fragrant noodles with a bowl of wanton and fish ball soup. The otak otak is offered as an optional side but I did not take any.


The fresh, self made noodles are heavy with eggs. Each strand of noodle is firm, crunchy, separate and distinct – al dente in spaghetti speak.



Of course, it is its unique blend of sauces that sets the distinctive Pontian wanton mee apart from other wanton noodles. The sauce is mainly a blend of chili sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, shallot oil, and tomato ketchup.


When the noodles are dressed in this sauce, it takes on a golden hue and even seemed to have a personality of its own. Our taste buds are treated to a complex blend of tangy sourish, sweet, slightly spicy hot and subtly salty taste.
 



Their self made char siew may look anaemic to some (a sign that the meat is not overdosed on artificial colouring or sugar) but it tastes awesome. Their char siew has that subtle smoky, charcoal grilled flavour even though it doesn’t have any visible charred bits.


The noodles are accompanied by a bowl of clear steaming hot soup with fish balls and traditional, old styled wantons. The bouncy fish balls have that fresh fish flavour. The smooth and soft wanton skin wraps a small, tender morsel of sesame seasoned minced pork.


Their fresh green chilies pickled in vinegar deserves a mention. Crunchy, spicy, sweet and tangy, it goes especially well with the tangy Pontian style of wanton noodle sauce. 

Taken together with other foodie offerings in Pontian and Kukup, this is well worth the 2 hour journey (one way) from Singapore.


Restaurant name: Heng Heng 兴兴
Address: 766, Taman Anggerik, Jalan Parit Mesjid, Pontian, Johor
GPS: 1.489997,103.391416
Hours: (closed on Fridays)
Non Halal


Date visited: 4 Apr 2012

17 comments:

  1. are you sure this is the origin of Pontian Wanton Noodles ? i went for Pontian Wanton Noodles at Wangsa Maju, KL...is that his branch ?
    do you know the history for Pontian Wanton Noodles ? Thanks...

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    Replies
    1. you said it's KL :)

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    2. Pontian Wanton Noodles has another branch only, in Pontian too. The KL's one is the counterfeiters, maybe. :)

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  2. Hi Wilson, I am reseaching the history of Johor heritage food and this is a work in progress. Much appreciate if you could share your knowledge with me ;D

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  3. after years of talking , i visited this shop a few days ago. tried the ketchap version as well as the black soy sauce version. sorry to say both failed my test quite miserably. the black version was quite tasteless. However, i must say the texture of their noodle was EXCELLENT (bought some raw one home at 0.8 riggit each). the fish ball was fresh and very tasty. the charsiu was below average. for me, the first time is my last time but will definitely buy their noodle if ever in Pontian.

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  4. This IS the original Pontian wonton noodles. My mother and my maternal grandparents have been eating at this shop since they were very young.

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  5. I went there with my student today. It is delicious !!!!

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  6. for sure this is the authentic..have been eating this since young for 15 years..love the wanton that comes with it, the otah and the hand-fried keropok sold there

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  7. The Mr Loh in your photos is actually the grandson of the founder. They used to have a shop near the defunct Lian Wah cinema which is not far away from this current shop. Almost every Pontian old boy (or girl) swears by this shop or Ah Chuan where wantan mee is concerned.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Daniel for the interesting info.

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  8. May i know the address for heng2 wanton mee in batam?

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  9. is there history of how wanton mee is made? im currently doing a project

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  10. nothing beats KL wanton mee or Penang's.. down south every one eats WTM with ketchup ... ugh.. for notherners

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  11. How could I get therr from Pontian bus terminal?

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