Hj Wahid mee rebus is the most famous name in the world of Johor Bahru mee rebus. There are several branches everywhere and Hj Wahid's is always mentioned when we ask for mee rebus recommendations.
This is the Hj Wahid mee rebus stall at the Larkin food centre, on the 3rd (top) storey of the market at Larkin bus terminal. This stall's official name is Man Mee Rebus Baidali.
A plate of Hj Wahid mee rebus (RM4.50) looks like any other found in Malaysia and Singapore. A mound of generic yellow noodles and bean sprouts is boiled in water and splashed with a flood of thick mee rebus sauce which is the soul of this dish. Mee rebus is garnished with green chili, scallion, an egg, fried shallot, and a sprinkle of fried crisps. There is also a dash of savoury soy sauce.
The keropok topping (known as pendaram) is one of the signatures of Hj Wahid mee rebus. The freshly fried crackly crisps are made with onions, shallots, spices like cumin and flour.
The signature thick creamy sauce is made with peanuts, sweet potatoes and a secret blend of spices like cumi etc. Beef was used in the old days, but not anymore. There is no beef served now in Hj Wahid mee rebus.
Che Man, the stall owner fries his own shallots simply because the factory fried ones are "not nice" he said.
Che Man is extremely busy but still insists on cutting the green chili only when there is an order, so that customers get the maximum fresh flavour and juicy crunch. Going the extra mile to give customers the best.
So, Hj Wahid mee rebus tastes gently savoury sweet with notes of spice. The crunchy green chili and squeeze of lime add a touch of spicy sting and citrus taste. Over the soft noodles, the crispy fried shallot and pendaram punctuate the dish with bits that pop and burst flavours and aroma.
Che Man is the eldest son of Haji Wahid. Uncle Che Man, now 60, has been selling mee rebus since he was 22 years old. Che Man is one of twelve siblings (8 boys and 4 girls).
There are now 8 eateries serving Haji Wahid mee rebus - all owned by Che Baidali/ Hj Wahid family members:
- Angsana Plaza, JB
- Larkin, JB
- Pasar Karat, Tampoi, JB
- Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur
- Taman Dahlia, JB
- Taman Rinting, JB
- Zainal Place, Taman Sri Tebrau, JB <- click
Hj Wahid mee rebus is also known as Baidali mee rebus. Che Baidali is Che Man's grandfather, Hj Wahid's father. It was Che Baidali who first started this style of mee rebus in 1918. *We are just two years from the 100th Anniversary of this JB style of mee rebus!
Che Baidali came from Pakistan and was a teh tarik hawker along the street outside the old JB railway station. There was a mee rebus hawker from Java along this same street. But, the Javanese decided to return home to Java (Indonesia). Before he left JB, the mee rebus man offered to teach Che Baidali everything about his mee rebus. Che Baidali picked up the craft and started his own mee rebus stall in 1918. This was the birth of Baidali mee rebus or Hj Wahid mee rebus that we enjoy to this day.
->> Check out this JB food icon that has legions of ardent fans for nearly 100 years!
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Restaurant name: Haji Wahid Mee Rebus @ Larkin
Address: Stall MS 35, Food Centre at Larkin Bus Station, Johor Bahru
Hours: 7:00am to 5:00pm (closed on Monday)
Date visited: 12 Mar 2016
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