Saturday, 21 April 2018

JB Flying Wanton Mee in Johor Jaya is Tops in Taste & Mouthfeel

Dropped in on Edwin's 桃园面家 at his new address at 59, Jalan Bakawali 50, Taman Johor Jaya, JB. I last ate Edwin's flying wanton mee four years ago. Oh my... through Edwin's continuous efforts, his wanton mee has gone from good to great 👏👏👏 I like it so much more now.

When I first met Edwin in 2012, he was running a hawker stall in Taman Pelangi. He then moved to a corridor stall at Taman Johor Jaya in 2014. About two years later, he had his own specialised wanton mee shop named Tien Tien Lai Kopitiam in Johor Jaya. Glad to see Edwin's business progressing from strength to strength.

Johor Jaya is a large residential district north of downtown Johor Bahru. There are many eateries, some excellent, serving the residents here. Edwin's Tien Tien Lai Kopitiam is a typical small Malaysian shop lot eatery with basic furnishings and no decor. But, it is comfortable and clean. Most of Edwin's customers are regulars.

Prices prominently displayed. They are quite competitive.

One thing hasn't changed since I first met Edwin in 2012 - he is still tossing his noodles high in the air. I asked him the million dollar question - why do you need to toss your noodles like that? (I know in many people's minds, they feel it is a gimmick.)

Edwin said that it is the quickest way to make his noodles as dry as possible before mixing it with his sauces. Wet noodles do not absorb sauces and flavours well, so it is important to make sure that the noodles are as dry as possible.

The mound of egg noodles was covered with char siew slices, stalks of blanched choy sum greens, and a handful of lard cracklings on the side. Looks quite typical of wanton mee in JB.

The egg noodles come already well mixed with sauce. Oh... it was so good!

The egg noodles were slender but relatively heavy. In the mouth, the noodles have a nice springy bite. When we sink our teeth into the strands, they put up a feeble resistance before surrendering and breaking with a soft pop - in short, QQ mouthfeel. To get the right texture, Edwin uses higher grade wheat flour and hand kneads his house made noodles.

Actually, there are a few WTM stalls with QQ noodles in JB but my gripe is the sauce is often rather meek - raised on Singapore bak chor mee, I like my noodles to have strong robust flavours.

The sauce is where Edwin made a huge leap and has the edge now. It was well balanced robust savoury spicy with underlying lard taste. The spiciness is quite sharp and lingers briefly in the mouth before dissipating. Very nice lah.

The char siew slices made with lean pork was mildly savoury sweet - not like my favourite KL style fatty char siew but this is JB style wanton mee, and most locals like their WTM char siew lean like this... .

Edwin spikes his wanton mee with lard and crunchy lard cracklings.

I had a bowl of wantons and sui gao 水饺 in soup.

The soup is made by boiling soy beans, anchovies and dried sole fish. It has layers of savoury sweetness. Edwin was a bit too generous with the chopped spring onion which interfered a little with the soup's savoury sweet taste and everything inside.

Edwin's wantons have old school flavours - sweet minced fresh fat and lean pork flavoured with soy sauce, sesame seed oil and pepper. But, they were relatively big, like the size of my thumb.

Edwin's sui gao 水饺 is like a bigger wanton.

Edwin also serves hand made fish balls with his wanton mee. The fish balls are made with 100% Yellowtail fish meat. They are served in the same soy bean, anchovy, dried sole fish soup.

The Yellowtail fish balls have a light spring to the bite. The meat had a slight briny taste and underlying subtle fresh fish sweetness.

Popular fried crispy sui gao 水饺.

4-Stars (out of 5). I enjoy watching Edwin toss wanton mee at Tien Tien Lai Kopitiam 桃园面家. But, to me the best thing about 桃园面家 is their springy lively egg noodles and robust well balanced sauce with a nice spicy kick. This is one of my favourite wanton mee in JB, Singapore, KL or anywhere else. This is also the only flying wanton mee left in JB.

Edwin's stall when he was in Pelangi 👈 click

Edwin's stall when he was at a Johor Jaya corridor 👈 click

Restaurant nameTien Tien Lai Kopitiam 桃园面家
Address: 59, Jalan Bakawali 50, Taman Johor Jaya, Johor Bahru (beside Sports TOTO outlet)
GPS1°32'27.4"N 103°47'42.4"E | 1.540938, 103.795104
Tel: +6012 289 2035
Hours: 7:30am - 3:00pm (Thurs off)

Non Halal

Date visited: 21 Apr 2018

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