Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Mee Bandung Muar at Abu Bakar Hanipah Mi Bandung Muar Special, Muar, Johor
Mee Bandung Muar (MBM) is one of the uniquely Johor dishes that make up the Johor brand of foods. Enche Abu Bakar Hanipah's Mee Bandung Muar Special is one of the best versions of this Johor speciality.
I was first introduced to Abu Bakar Hanipah's Mee Bandung Muar Special during Tourism Malaysia Johor's 2013 food trail featuring the riverine city of Muar.
As we approached Enche Abu Bakar Hanipah's stall, the aromas, cooking fumes and buzz at the old kopitiam in busy downtown Muar instantly excited my foodie instincts.
Inside the typically grimey old town Wah San kopitiam, every inch of the the walls were plastered with photos of the who's who of Malaysia and Singapore visiting Abu Bakar Hanipah's MBM stall.
My salivary glands immediately kicked into overdrive. My taste buds were primed to nearly unrealistic levels.
I am pleased to say that Abu Bakar Hanipah's MBM Special more than met my expectations.
The secret of Abu Bakar Hanipah's MBM Special is in this sambal made mainly with dried shrimps, chili and spices.
I love Abu Bakar Hanipah's MBM a lot because of the savoury and mildly spicy gravy. I like it that the gravy is chock full of ingredients and feels substantial and full bodied. This gravy is made with diced cubes of beef, shrimps, cuttlefish, and the signature grainy sambal made mainly with ground shrimps, chili and spices. Some might find it on the slightly overpowering side but it tasted just perfect to me :P
Enche Abu Bakar Hanipah is a very warm and friendly man who is infectiously proud and passionate about his MBM Special. He also has a natural marketing flare. When asked if I could take photos of him in action, he instantly straightened up and snapped into this well rehearsed pose. After the obligatory picture, I had to gently persuade him to let me have some candid shots of him at work :P
Enche Abu Bakar Hanipah is the baby on his father's lap. Abu Bakar Hanipah has been helping out at his father's MBM stall since he was a primary school boy.
Abu Bakar Hanipah's grandfather came from Madras, India and invented this special version of MBM. The stall opened in Muar in 1930. Today, Abu Baker Hanipah has two stalls in Muar, one in Pagoh and he is going to further open a branch each in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru.
Helping Abu Bakar Hanipah at the stall today are his wife, daughter and his youngest son.
Mee Bandung Muar fans will be glad to know that Abu Bakar Hanipah's MBM Special is in good hands with Sabarina poised to continue the tradition when Abu Bakar Hanipah retires.
When you are in Muar, pay Enche Abu Bakar Hanipah a visit and try his Mee Bandung Muar Special. It's quite a treat at RM4.00 a plate.
Restaurant name: Mi Bandung Muar (Special) - stall in Wah San kopitiam
Address: 69-A, Jalan Abdullah, Muar, Johor
Hours: 6:30am to 5:00pm
Date visited: 25 Jun 2013