Since I started johorkaki blog, I have eaten a lot of wanton noodles. I heard about Poh Kee 葆记云吞面 a long time ago but didn't have the urge to track it down.
Today, I happened to be in Taman Desa Tebrau and decided to swing to the back row of shop houses to check out the famous Poh Kee 葆记 wanton noodles.
I wasn't sure what is special about Poh Kee. The noodles and wantons were good, but good wanton noodles and wantons are not hard to find in Johor Bahru.
Why then am I so eager to blog about Poh Kee? It's the story - I am fascinated by Poh Kee's story. I learnt from Poh Kee's Director Khai Ling, that Poh Kee started as a small stall in Kampung Pandan and grew to the modern, well appointed shop today. Well, it is always heartwarming to hear such success stories but I've heard quite a few of such inspiring stories in Johor.
Then, Khai Ling told me that the original 40-year old stall is still in operation in Kampung Pandan, still run by the family matriarch. Now, that got my attention and got me to sit up. This is living history.
I must visit this heritage stall and see this grand lady at her stall. And, there I was at the famous Pandan wanton noodles 葆记云吞面 the very next morning.
The grand lady was very friendly and I enjoyed a nice conversation with her.
A standard bowl of Poh Kee wanton noodles at the Desa Tebrau branch.
A bowl of Poh Kee wanton noodles at the original stall in Kampung Pandan.
All the noodles, sauces, and ingredients are taken every morning from this old stall to the shop in Desa Tebrau. So this humble stall is really the headquarters and the swanky shop is just a branch, an outpost.
So how was the food?
The fresh eggy noodles were firm and springy, tending towards being slightly stringy. The sauce was mainly made with dark soy sauce with oyster sauce and sesame oil. There was just sufficient sauce to coat the noodles with a thin film. Lots of people love this flavour and texture, as the crowd and the success of Poh Kee testifies. Poh Kee's noodles and sauce were excellent and flavourful though I am biased towards slurpy, slippery noodles in a more drippy sauce. It's just a personal preference.
Oh, I later realised that we can ask for the spicy hot version and the lady will add in a dollop of this fiery looking sambal chili. I shall make sure I remember this for my next visit :D
The wantons were soft and smooth.
The best fried wantons that I have ever tasted.
I love Poh Kee's super crispy, freshly fried wantons. They were dry, had no oil on them, and were like tasty, flavoured biscuits.
These fresh green chilies in vinegar were crunchy, hot, tangy and sweet. They were so good, you can eat it on its own as a pickle if you can take the spiciness.
At the original stall in Kampung Pandan, I also had the freshly made and fried yong tau foo pieces. They were delicious and complemented the noodles and wantons well.
I didn't notice these fried tofu skin until it was time to leave after our meal. Apparently, the tofu skin is Poh Kee's signature side dish. I'll make sure, I have the tofu skin at my next visit.
->> Local style wanton mee with kampung ambiance.
Restaurant name (original stall): Poh Kee 葆记云吞面
Address: Jalan Loo Hong Joon. Once you enter the side street from Tebrau Highway, the stall is about 500 metres inside. As you enter, you will see old shop houses/ coffee shops on both sides. Pass the MCA branch on the right and the small row of food stalls is on your left.
Hours: 6:00am to 1:00pm (closed on Tuesday)
Date visited: 26 Jul 2012
Restaurant name (branch): Poh Kee 葆记云吞面
Address: 52, Jalan Harmonium 23/13, Taman Desa Tebrau, Johor Bahru
Hours: 6:00am to 6:00pm (closed on Tuesday)
Date visited: 25 Jul 2012
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