My friend Puan Chong brought us here at 新珍记云吞面 in Kulai, her family's favourite wanton noodle shop. 新珍记's claim to fame is their signature "crystal" char siew or roast pork belly.
柔佛古来, 新珍记云吞面的玻璃叉烧, 肥瘦参半. 咬在嘴里, 软软的, 又甜又香. 跟全蛋面一起吃, 好好吃的云吞面.
新珍记 is a simple shop lot restaurant near to the Jusco AEON Mall in Kulai. The shop is modestly furnished and comfortable as it is clean and air conditioned.
Owner Mr Deng switched career from driving school buses to wantan noodle seller three years ago. Mr Deng's signature char siew based on his own recipe was a hit from the word go. Now, his wife and children all join him at 新珍记.
Mr Deng roasts his char siew in small batches throughout the day, so customers will always get fresh char siew.
We started with a plate of wantan noodles with additional char siew (RM10).
The first thing that struck me was how sweet this chunky cut "crystal" char siew was. It's the kind of likeable caramel sweetness like honey (not the sugary kind). The layers of meat and fat were tender and juicy. Every bite squeezes out savoury sweet juices which wet our mouth and tongue while whetting our appetite. The slight crisp on the caramelised outside added interesting textures to the tender char siew.
The generic egg noodles were done soft al dente with a soft bounce to the bite. The strands were coated with a lard, oil and soy sauce blend which was aromatic savoury sweet. For my taste buds, I think the sauce can be pushed a notch towards more lard and deeper robustness. For others, it could be just nice. 新珍记's char siew and egg noodles paired very well.
新珍记's wantons were lovely, though dainty. Smooth soft wantan skin wraps a tiny knob of tender flavoursome minced belly pork. The delicious medium bodied broth has porcine as well as anchovy flavours.
新珍记 makes their green chili pickle everyday, so they taste fresh and crunchy.
Our second plate, this time with more lean "ordinary" char siew added on (RM10). The same caramel sweetness and gentle savouriness, just a notch less juicy and less liquid soft compared to the "glass" char siew. Perfect for those who want to have most of the flavours but without the fats.
->> 新珍记 in Kulai serves one of the best char siew in Johor. And, on the strength of that caramel sweet, savoury juicy char siew - it's good enough to rank among the best wanton noodle in Johor.
Restaurant name: 新珍记云吞面 inside Restoran Basba 88 美食中心
Address: Jalan Kenanga 29/9, Bandar Indrahpura, Kulaijaya, Johor (in commercial centre off Persiaran Indahpura Utama near AEON Jusco)
GPS: 1.642484, 103.616828 / 1°38'32.9"N 103°37'00.6"E
Hours: 6:30am to 3:00pm (Closed on Weds)
Date visited: 12 Dec 2015, 17 May 2016
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