Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Poh Kee 宝记 Teochew Noodle Soup in Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru

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When people ask me what is my favourite food, mee pok doesn't come to mind. But whenever I am at a food centre, after going around a couple of times looking, more often than not, it is the mee pok stall that I settled for. When I am far from home and miss home food, it is mee pok that I think of, not char kway teow, and certainly not chili crab.

So when my friend Jeff shared on Johor Yummy group about his favourite mee pok shop in JB, I wasted no time to check it out. You can trust Jeff's word on mee pok - his brother runs the famous mee pok shop in Permas Jaya, JB.

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When I saw that customers were spilling over the side walks at 11:00am at Poh Kee 宝记, I knew this has to be something special. Somehow, popular old style noodle shops in JB look similar in the way the people gather :) 

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I approached the lady boss hesitantly and mumbled half audibly something to the effect of "老板娘 (lady boss), your food is very nice. May I take some photos of you at work?" The lady boss's spontaneous response immediately put me at ease :)

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Soon the friendly boss, Mr. Tan, joined us at our table to chat. Mr. Tan was in the logging industry in Indonesia before retiring and returning to Johor Bahru. Since returning to JB, Mr. Tan sold wanton mee for a while in Taman Pelangi and when the opportunity arose about a year ago, he moved here to start this Teochew kway teow stall.

Mr. Tan and his wife are food lovers and have been making and enjoying old style Teochew kway teow soup all these years. So, when the time came to make it a business, it was almost second nature for the Tans. Furthermore, the Tans already had a following from their wanton mee stall and friends from their logging business. Within a year, Poh Kee Teochew noodles stall became a famous name in JB.

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My friend Euginn's RM5 bowl of mee pok comes with 3 pork balls, a fish ball, a few slices of fish cake, some small prawns and a small handful of minced lean pork. There was also a small bowl of prawn and pork soup.

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My RM7.00 bowl had the same ingredients except for a larger mound of mee pok noodles.

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The broad mee pok noodles were gently crunchy, pleasingly al dente. The sauce was subtly spicy from the home made chili sauce and had savoury hints from lard and soy sauce.

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This prawn is not big but it is a wild sea prawn. Mr. Tan said that only this species of wild sea prawn can produce that distinctive prawny umami (savoury) flavour in the soup.

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To me, Poh Kee's handmade fish ball set it apart from the rest. Poh Kee's fish balls are 100% fish meat with no starch added. They are bouncy but in a nicer way than those perfectly round "ping pong" starch/fish balls.

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Mr. Tan gets up at 5:00am each business day to make these fish balls using Ikan Parang. Only a small quantity is made each day - just enough for the day's business. So, everything is fresh.

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The thin slice of fish cake. Same flavour as the fish ball but a different mouth feel.

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Each bowl comes with three pork balls. Bought from supplier so they were average, though good enough.

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The pork bone and prawn soup was savoury and the prawny umami flavour was distinct. 

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The pot of lard at Poh Kee 宝记. For some people, just a dollop of this potent liquid makes all the difference it devine :)

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Another customer's RM5 mee kia. I like Poh Kee's style of minced pork - Lau Tee another famous mee pok stall in JB has the same style of minced lean pork. Finely ground pork with little fat, blanched in the savoury prawn broth. At average stalls, the minced pork is coarser and has more fat.

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Poh Kee is another excellent Teochew noodle stall in JB worth trying.

Restaurant name: Poh Kee 宝记 Teochew Noodle Soup
Address: 75, Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad/ Century, Johor Bahru
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/Uz9Qf
GPS: 1.480886,103.756985
Hours: 7:30am to 2:30pm (alternate Thursdays closed)

Address: Junction of Jalan Biru and Jalan Merah, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru (stall inside San Low seafood restaurant) 

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/5Qb11 
GPS: 1.472161,103.774784 
Hours: 7:30am to 3:00pm

Non Halal


Date visited: 12 Aug 2013

Return to Johor Kaki home page.

16 comments:

  1. Isn't it too overpriced for a large mee pok??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, the large size is really big. Too much for even me and I had to give some to my friend to help me finish it. Just stick to the RM5 size is more than enough for most people.

      Delete
  2. I think the mince port is full of fats rather than lean meat.
    Not so healthy, lah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pictures show that the minced meats are over cooked and didn't mix with fats and shrimps, all using lean meat, not so bouncy.

      Delete
  3. This post is making me hungry and my mouth water! I stumbled upon your blog through omyblog and have enjoyed looking at all your pics. Too bad I live in Singapore and can't get my hands on this dish!

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  4. Been there 2days in a row. This is it. No need to look for others. Its not always about the food. The attitude of the owners is important too. This aunty always smiling and accommodating. She remembers that I came yesterday and always thanks customers that are going pass her. Its like going home. One of the better places. Thanks for the intro.

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  5. Went there on Monday. Soup is nice.

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  6. The stall opposite to hers also good for their mee hun kuey. Their pork meatball are handmade and their dough for noodles started from flour too. They also have dessert-of-the-day such as green bean soup, sweet potato soup etc.. should try it out!

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  7. the taste of the dry noodle was different and unique. however, the fish ball was not as flavourful as those of the neighbour ( 锦都). the 水粿 did not meet my taste. the 面粉粿 of the other stall was pretty good ! however, the RM5 only bought us a few pieces of 面粉粿 , considered not value for money.

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  8. Just an update to those who are reading this post for the first time.I am an amateur noodle afficionado of sorts and I was excited to try the mee pok at Poh Kee after reading this post.So yesterday I reached Poh Kee at 12pm and as expected there was a decent amount of crowd.Not too big or sparse.I ordered a large bowl of mee pok as I did not have breakfast.The mee pok came and I could not hide my disappointment.The noodle itself was in abundance but there was barely two lame slices of fish cake,one fish ball,two pork balls and a single lame small sized prawn.The noodle itself was a 2/10 compared to Permas Jaya Mee Pok.They didn't even bother to add the minced prok.This was on a day that wasn't even busy.That means they have slacked off on quality and customer care since their opening.Safe to say I will never go back there again.For a RM7 bowl of noodles,it was a pathetic showing.I will stick to Mee Pok in Permas from now onwards.

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  9. I agree with Unknown above that the portion size of the noodles and accompanying fishballs and meatballs etc is rather meagre...but I think the flavourful soup does make up for it.

    Anyway, the stall has moved to the San Low Seafood restaurant premises in Jalan Biru in Taman Pelangi recently

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  10. I went to the shop couple of months ago, but could not find the Mee Pok stall anymore. There was another stall selling mee pok, but seems like a foreigner was cooking, so I skipped.

    Wonder where is the new address, anybody?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the trouble Soccer King. Poh Kee have moved to a stall near to this stall:

      Jalan Pinang 23, Taman Daya, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
      GPS: 1.551631, 103.760502 / 1°33'05.9"N 103°45'37.8"E

      Read more: http://johorkaki.blogspot.com/2016/02/chefs-choice-no-name-stall-at-restoran.html#ixzz4FbiWJ7vz

      Delete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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