One of the ways I discover good food finds is simply to ask my favourite hawkers who are their own favourite hawkers.
When I asked my favourite Penang prawn mee seller who is his favourite hawker, he nominated 許记 (no English name) wanton mee.
So today, I made a trip to Xuan Hua kopitiam in Taman Sri Terbrau to try out 許记 wanton mee - my favourite prawn mee seller's favourite. (許记 has moved around the corner to Koon Chong kopitiam.)
Well, you can pretty much trust a good hawker to recognise another good hawker.
許记 makes their own signature wanton noodles which they take special pride in. 許记's whole egg wanton noodles 全蛋面 has that distinct QQ crunchiness or al dente in spaghetti speak. QQ wanton noodles are not hard to find in JB, but 許记's whole egg wanton noodles are surprisingly striking.
When I mentioned to 許记's boss, MR Koh that his super crunchy noodles reminded me of Chin Chin's 晶晶 wanton noodles in Skudai, he explained that they learnt their art from the same sifu (master). This sifu has only two disciples, 許记 and 晶晶.
MR Koh hails from Pontian, the home of Pontian wanton mee fame. MR Koh said that he grew up on Heng Heng wanton mee, the originator of the famous Pontian wanton mee. MR Koh was fascinated by how to make a good wanton mee and followed his passion for the last 20 years.
I can see and taste MR Koh's passion in the bowl of 許记 wanton mee.
許记's signature crunchy wanton noodles is mixed with a slightly tangy, spicy sauce with a delicate lard flavour.
At 許记, the well co-ordinated husband and wife team paid attention to the little details that set their wanton mee above the others.
MR Koh boils the noodles, wantons, and vegetables in six different compartments so that the tastes and flavours are kept separate and not contaminate each other.
MRS Koh slices the char siew only when an order is made.
This called for extra work and longer time to deliver a bowl of wanton mee but ensures that the char siew slices do not dry out by exposure to air (dry and stringy char siew is a common problem in other stalls).
Even this green chili pickle is extra crunchy, as only the required quantity is made every day to ensure its freshness. You will never find limp and soggy green chili in 許记.
The best wantons I have eaten so far have smooth and slippery wanton skins and soft minced pork fillings with nice sesame marinate fragrance. 許记's wontans outdid that - 許记's wontan's are smooth, slippery, soft, fragrant and on top of that, the wanton's thin skin has that same al dente bite as the noodles. Wow! that's something.
As I was slurping up my 許记 noodles, my favourite prawn mee man popped over and asked me how I found his recommendation. I gave him a big grin and two thumbs up, without a moment's hesitation :)
Restaurant name: 許记云吞面 stall in
Address: Junction of Jalan Keris and Jalan Kelewang in Taman Sri Tebrau (opposite Wisma Tionghua)
Hours: 7:00am to 2:00pm (closed on Weds)
Date visited: 6 Sep 2012
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