Friday, 24 June 2016
Pudu KL Food - Restoran 168 Curry Mee and Wanton Mee JK1535
Stumbled upon this scene and loud signboard while combing the gritty streets of Pudu KL for good food. When in KL, I like to come to Pudu because it is like the old Chinatown of Singapore.
The 5-foot ways around Restoran 168 were decked out with flimsy folding tables and plastic chairs. The kitchen and even the proverbial kitchen sink were also on the walk way 😱
Inside, it's like a scene from a Hong Kong triad movie.
Multi coloured chopsticks. I guess they were bought at different times over the years. Sort of marks the seasons of Restoran 168's 5 decades in Pudu like the way rings in a tree trunk marks a tree's years.
What really stopped me in my tracks were these thick ropes of char siew. They looked irresistible - like I can't leave KL this time without tasting them.
Then, there was this drum of soup bubbling and simmering with real whole chicken and radish (that quintessentially Cantonese root vegetable). This is the first time I see wanton mee soup made with so much 料.... (ingredients)..... win already lor.... 赢了咯 as they say in Singapore.
So, I sat down for this set of much touted wanton mee which comes with a bowl of dumplings.
The generic egg noodles were well coated with a dark soy sauce and lard blend.
The egg noodles were done soft al dente. The sauce was mildly savoury but slightly flat (it lacks layers or dimension). Not really memorable nor left a deep impression.
The tender char siew have half fat, half lean cuts 半肥瘦. I like the sweet savoury flavour but it lacked smokiness and was cut like dainty candy. I was hoping it was cut in large manly chunks 😆
The soupy broth was clean tasting 清清, I think because it relied mainly on real food ingredients for flavour with little or no MSG use.
The shrimp dumplings 生蝦云吞 were impressive. The shrimps were fresh and big, and crunchy sweet. The wanton skin though breaks easily and lacks flavour.
The peaceful, blissful goings on around me as I slurped my egg noodles and savoured my shrimp dumpling. I saw a couple bring their elderly mother for breakfast here. It's a nice feeling.
With a little spare space in the stomach till my dinner appointment, I ventured to try the other menu item written in big bold Chinese characters on the wall - 咖哩面 curry mee.
That bowl of curry was so well presented that I can be forgiven for thinking that I am in some slightly pricey cafe (you know... Madam Kwan's et al) - the only thing that gave it away was that chip on the bowl's rim. But, that makes this cockerel bowl 公雞碗 of curry mee even more charming to me lah.
The curry broth made with the same chicken stock as the wanton mee soup is creamy, sweet and just mildly spicy with the flavours and aromas of many different spices. There were lots of noodles, blood cockles, some tau pok and fried pig skin. Pretty basic as we are expected to 加釀料 (add yong tau foo pieces at additional cost). I didn't add anything today as my stomach was already full.
168's curry broth's spicy kick may feel feeble to some of us. There is this sambal chili to give it a slight boost.
Restoran 168 also serves lots of different local drinks like cincau etc... you know... like a street side version of Madam Kwan's.
I gave the lady boss a twenty, she returned me RM6 😝 In these times, that's quite reasonable in my opinion.
👍 Restoran 168 wanton mee and curry mee in Pudu is an iconic street food culture institution in Kuala Lumpur though taste wise it's wanton mee is not quite at the top tier in this city blessed with good food. Still, it is a must try for adventurous foodies who love the charm of grimy back street find dining. I will be back for more curry mee and 加釀料 this time.
Restoran name: 168 Restoran Wan Tan Mee, Curry Mee, Bubur & Nasi
Address: 1, Jalan Brunei Utara, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
GPS: 3.138513, 101.712859 / 3°08'18.6"N 101°42'46.3"E
Hours: 6:00am to 5:00pm
Date visited: 8 Jun 2016
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Labels: Kuala Lumpur