KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Mee udang may be relatively unknown in the Klang Valley but up north, it's a popular choice.
I was first introduced to this dish by a friend from Penang. Once in a while, he'd lead me to a great rendition of this dish usually served in Sungai Dua, right here in the Klang Valley.
This time, it was going down the rabbit hole of Taman Melati.
It's been years since I visited this area for nasi kukus with a crazy good deep fried ayam dara.
It's still there, making me want to make a pit stop for that dish but the task of the day was mee udang!
With Waze pointing the way, I arrive at Warung Pakcik Bawang, hidden inside a row of small stalls, just off the main road.
At one glance, you would think it's a bicycle repair shop except for the large words proclaiming "Mee Udang 17".
Turns out the owner, Rosseli Salleh, is a bicycle geek. He often goes on riding trips out around the country.
He's the northern link for the mee udang recipe as he hails from Kedah.
Together with his wife, Nur Hidayah Hussin who is from Selangor, he also serves up nasi ayam and lempeng since these are mainstays around the Ampang area.
There's even laksam served only on Wednesdays, thanks to a friend who hails from Kelantan.
Back to the star of the show... mee udang.
There's the basic version for RM5 or the special one for RM10.
Go for the Mee Udang Special as it's served with five prawns versus the usual two. This variation also includes an egg.
Here, the broth is orange as it is crafted from tomato sauce and prawn stock made by boiling prawn shells.
It's not too spicy, making it easy to drink up the broth which has a slight sweet taste and distinct prawn flavours.
There's also blanched thin yellow noodles and crunchy bean sprouts. The strange addition was grated carrots though.
You also get a poached egg with a firmer texture and well-cooked yolk.
I would have preferred bouncier prawns though but I guess it depends on what's available in the market. Apparently the size of the prawns are dependent on supply too.
Nevertheless, I happily cleaned my plate.
Since I saw lempeng (RM2) on the menu, I couldn't resist as it's a perpetual favourite of mine. It's actually a pancake but paired with sambal. This one had a choice of plain sambal or with sardine, a combination that I liked.
As the pancake was fresh from the pan, it was fluffy and hot, making it a great pairing with the not too spicy sambal.
As it was Wednesday, they also had laksam (RM4).
This was dreamy — silky handmade rolls of rice flour sheets paired with a light, flavourful fish and coconut milk broth.
Topping the whole dish is just a sprinkle of chopped herbs, vegetables and a dollop of bright red chilli sauce that strangely wasn't spicy.
I reckon Wednesday is the best day to visit since you'll get to taste that silky laksam and the robust mee udang.
Warung Pakcik Bawang, No. 17, Lot 29061, Jalan Madrasah, Taman Melati. Kuala Lumpur. Open: 10am to 10pm. Closed on Friday. Tel:019-3416723/019-3196703. Facebook: @meeudang
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