Wandering around the sprawling 1Utama Shopping Centre for food, we spotted Mak's Chee which is a spin off from the famous Mak's Noodle of Hong Kong. 1Utama, reputedly the sixth largest shopping centre in the world, has a bewildering range of food options. When faced with too much choices, we instinctively fell back on the familiar 😜
Digression - 1Utama is one of our favourite shopping centres in Kuala Lumpur. We saw it grew from just one wing to it's present massive scale. It's all organic growth supported by the surrounding population and wasn't built for the purpose of breaking vain records. Despite being the sixth largest in the world, 1Utama still have that familial, local bazaar and homely feel. (Our other KL favourite is Mid Valley Megamall near Bangsar - another gigantic shopping centre with soul.)
Back to Mak's Chee, the interior is compact and simply furnished like the various Mak's in Singapore. (I have not been to the Mak's in Hong Kong before. Haven't been back to HK for 2 decades 😜 )
Besides the main dining hall, there are these single diner booths.
The noodles are cooked at the steamy kitchen at the front of the shop.
Of course, we started with a bowl of Mak's classic wanton soup noodle (known as "Sai Yong 细蓉" in HK) - price RM12.90+. (This is the least expensive place in the world to enjoy a dainty i.e. small bowl of Sai Yong. It's less than in HK where it costs at least RM16 and certainly Singapore at above RM21.)
The dish is served with wantons tucked at the bottom, egg noodles piled on top and tea coloured broth ladled in. A sprinkle of chopped yellow chives complete the elegant classic.
I start with the tea coloured soup which I think is the soul of the bowl of Mak's noodles. The watery broth has layers of delicately balanced savoury sweetness extracted from hours of slow boiling pork bones, dried sole fish, dried prawn roe, probably dried scallops and so on. Mak's wanton soup is marvellous - it has an understated sophistication.
The slender golden angel hair egg noodles have a nice light spring to the bite - a signature of Mak's noodles. Here, the egg noodles are made in Malaysia, so there is little or none of the characteristic alkaline taste of the Hong Kong version.
The noodles were made with flour and duck eggs, but I couldn't detect any difference in flavour in the strands (compared to chicken egg noodles). The flavour of the noodles came mostly from the delicately balanced savoury sweetness of the broth clinging to and wetting the slender strands.
There were three or four thumb size wantons (I think - didn't count 😛 ). I like the filling which is a blend of minced pork and crunchy fresh local sea prawn. The flavour is savoury sweet with some brininess.
Mak Woon Chee, Mak's founder reputedly pioneered using prawns in wantons in 1920s Kwangtung (Guangdong, China). Wantons are traditionally filled only with minced pork of 70% meat and 30% fat.
We also had a Beef Tendon & Brisket Dry Noodle - price RM13.90+. We asked for more beef sauce which comes with a RM0.50+ surcharge.
There was one large piece of beef tendon and a few pieces of lean beef. All were tender and juicy, and the tendon was floppy spongy like soft jelly. The flavour is mildly 5-spice savoury sweet with a bit of beefiness.
We enjoyed the texture and taste of these noodles. The egg noodles supplied the soft crunchy spring while the beef sauce provided the beefy savoury sweetness. Nice.
We had a Dumpling Soup for sides - price RM15.90+.
The dumplings were huge and stuffed with prawn, minced pork, and crunchy julienned bamboo shoot and black fungus.
I like Mak's salty spicy sourish chili sauce. It wakes our taste buds with a gentle tingle and makes everything tastes better.
👉 KL has it's own style of wanton noodle and good WTM stalls are everywhere here. The HK style of Mak's Chee is a good variation for an occasional change. If you are in 1Utama, you may like to check out Mak's Chee Authentic Wonton.
Our total bill came to RM50.95.
By the way, pay with HSBC credit card and get 10% off the total bill with minimum RM50 spending. I realised this only after settling the bill with cash 😠
Restaurant name: Mak's Chee Authentic Wonton 麥氏西池港式雲吞面
Address: LG311, Lower Ground Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia (beside the Cold Storage supermarket)
GPS: 3°08'58.8"N 101°36'58.4"E | 3.149652, 101.616233
Tel: +603 7722 2788
Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Date visited: 31 Dec 2016
Return to Johor Kaki homepage.