Went food spotting around Kepong (near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), which was one of my old food haunts when I was working in KL two decades ago.
We weaved our way through the fascinating wet market sandwiched between Jalan Burung Tiong on both sides. The fresh morning air was filled with aroma from the food stalls and banter from the market stalls. Asking around, the friendly folks in the neighbourhood suggested we try Ming Kee wanton mee on Jalan Burung Tiong.
We found Ming Kee easily at the row of old shop houses fronting the wet market. At the shop, I saw an elder gentleman, Uncle Lai 黎, cooking wanton noodles expertly.
Thick ropes of char siew (roast pork) hung in the window, though not the black charred type which I prefer. I asked Uncle Lai if Ming Kee grill their own char siew. Yes 😋 Do you serve the fatty cut 半肥瘦? Yes 😋
The slender egg noodles were lovingly stored in a well worn wooden tray like gold jewellery in an old drawer. It was covered with a towel to prevent the golden threads from drying from exposure. Do you make these egg noodles yourselves? Yes 😋
Then, I spotted the chicken bones bobbing in the broth simmering in slow fire. Yes, we shall stop here for brunch 😋
Ming Kee is a typical Malaysian shop lot eatery. Ming Kee wanton mee has been here for 30+ years. The mosaic flooring and wall tiles are of 1960s vintage.
I remember those black round light switches from my childhood. They have a layer of dusty grime collected over the decades.
The char siew sliced thin was caramel sweet, layered with natural porky sweetness with a bit of savouriness. It's tender and juicy. It's delicious but just short of perfect as it doesn't have that smokiness of charcoal grilled char siew.
The slender egg noodles were done half a notch softer than al dente, which is just right for me.
The savoury sweet porky sauce is nice - a blend of dark soy sauce, char siew drippings and lard.
We also had the mushroom noodles with stewed chicken feet. The large chicken feet were deep fried then stewed till they were soft. The wrinkly skin, fat, meat and tendons clanged feebly to the bones. It undrapes from the bone like a loose glove with just gentle bites.
The Chinese black mushrooms were spongy with characteristic mushroom taste. The stewed mushrooms add it's sweet savouriness to the sauce, making it more interesting and delicious.
The clear broth was gently savoury sweet with a slight pepperiness. The wantons were filled with little knobs of soft minced pork wrapped in soft smooth eggy wanton skin.
We like our wanton mee with char siew and mushroom noodle with chicken feet.
Seeing that Ming Kee also has curry wanton mee, I ordered one to try. It's the same egg noodles and blended sauce, but served with a bowl of curry chicken. We like the aromatic and flavoursome curry. The soft curried potato is nice too. The chicken was slightly too stiff for our liking.
👉 Ming Kee is a homely, low profile shop that is a wanton noodle institution in Kepong, well loved by the neighbourhood folks. Their old school wanton noodles and mushroom mee are worth a visit.
Restaurant name: Ming Kee Wanton Mee 明记云吞面
Address: 33, Jalan Burung Tiong, Taman Bukit Maluri, Kepong, 52100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3°12'02.8"N 101°37'55.1"E | 3.200771, 101.631961
Hours: 7:30am to 4:00pm | 5:30pm to 11:00pm (Thurs off)
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