KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — A while back, I embarked on a quest to seek out the best Hokkien mee in KL. Not to be confused with the Penang rendition of the same name, KL’s Hokkien mee is a dark, oily dish that is flavoured with lard and a myriad of sauces perfumed with wok hei, the wonderfully smoky aroma achieved from cooking under high heat using the wok.
Some vendors still prefer the charcoal style of frying while others use the more modern gas-powered strong fire. However, hardcore enthusiasts swear by the former for better taste and aroma especially with the addition of deep–fried pork skin cubes.
For fans of this traditional favourite, here are five hokkien mee in Klang Valley that are within easy walking distance from LRT and MRT stations.
The popular Bukit Bintang area has Tong Shin Hokkien Mee within easy access from both the Bukit Bintang MRT and Monorail.
Business starts at 7.30pm and only two men operate this roadside stall so be prepared to wait. The Hokkien mee aside, you can’t go wrong with their stir fried kuey teow topped with a fresh egg and braised loh mee .
All dishes are fried using charcoal and produce decent wok hei. The noodles are sufficiently braised and well–infused with flavour so I never saw the need for the accompanying chilli, although you are welcome to add copious amounts to your noodles if that rocks your boat.
Ah Wah requires little introduction. This is reputed to be one of the best in PJ. The noodles are fried using charcoal and the cooking action can be pretty thrilling to watch with all the sparks flying as the cooks frantically fulfil order after order. Tastewise I thought it was fair but I prefer Uncle B Hokkien Mee at Restoran Sin Hup Seng, literally a short skip away.
Uncle B’s rendition, also charcoal fried, possesses better umami flavour, in addition to having more ingredients and stronger aroma. Another plus point is that the Hokkien mee is lined with banana leaf, which makes me appreciate it even more, especially in these times when even banana leaf restaurants use fake leaves to serve their rice.
The Hokkien mee at Ming Heang Hui coffeeshop is better known as the “Hokkien mee near PGRM”. This corner shoplot is constantly packed with hungry patrons craving for its signature Hokkien mee as well as the Hainanese fried noodle. The Hokkien mee boasts of discernible, alluring wok hei in every bite. Served on plates lined with banana leaves, the noodles were thickly coated with sauce and packed with flavour.
The industrial area in Chan Sow Lin is better known for steamed fish but there is a number of good eats here. Among them are three hawker stalls at the corner of Jalan Dua which have been enjoying brisk business daily.
The first and third stalls are particularly crowded most of the time.
The first stall is popular for its fish heard curry and fried chicken. The third stall has been serving generations of customers delicious Hokkien mee for over 40 years. The current cook is the second generation of this family business and a man of few words, preferring to let his tasty dish do the talking.
The noodles, though still possessing mild lingering taste of kansui (one of the key ingredients in noodle–making, which gives noodles their yellow colour and springy feel), were lighter in colour than your typical Hokkien mee. The flavour was milder too, and so the chilli came in useful here. Somehow it tasted healthier as it was neither overly oily nor salty but still possessing moderate wok hei with plenty of fresh, crunchy lard.
The portion is fair for the price.
Now it is your turn — do you have any favourite eats near one/any of the MRT/LRT stations in the Klang Valley to share with me?
1. Tong Shin Hokkien mee
Tengkat Tong Shin, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
LRT/MRT: Bukit Bintang
Distance: 500 metres
Operating hours: 6.30pm–12:30am. Closed on Tuesdays
2. Uncle B Hokkien Mee @ Restoran Sin Hup Seng
Jalan 21/1, Sea Park, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Distance: 100 metres
Operating hours: 6pm–midnight, daily
3. Ah Wah Hokkien Mee @ Restaurant Millenium 86
1, Jalan 20/22, Paramount Garden, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Distance: 450 metres
Operating hours: 7.30 am–1pm, daily
4. Heang Hui Ming @ PGRM
Jalan Cheras, Taman Pertama, Kuala Lumpur. Look for Petronas and the coffeeshop is at the corner beside it.
Distance: 350 metres
Operating hours: 6pm–1am. Closed every the second Monday of the month.
5. Jalan Dua Hokkien Mee
Roadside stall @ Jln Dua Off Jln Chan Sow Lin, Kuala Lumpur.
LRT/MRT: Chan Sow Lin
Distance: 600 metres
Operating hours: 5pm–11pm; closed on Sundays