This seventh blog post is part of Food Safari Kuala Lumpur 2014 – a series of ten mouth-watering blog posts of the best eats during my 9-day trip to the city.
It’s thick and heavy
It’s greasy and slippery
It’s full of calories and it’s bloody tasty
It’s freakin’ …
Malaysian style hokkien mee
Connoisseurs have their firm favourites for which restaurant serves the best hokkien mee in Kuala Lumpur.
Many believe hokkien mee cooked with a charcoal flame has more wok hei or smoky aromas. Still some believe this traditional style is less healthy due to airborne soot and dust from the charcoal getting into the noodles.
There is a high level of skill in cooking a good hokkien mee. As I observe this chef, the combined process of gentle stir-frying and braising the noodles in pork stock imparts wok hei and renders the noodles soft, yet firm to the bite.
Flavour comes from good pork stock and crispy deep-fried lard. Most important of all, dehydrated flounder which is toasted to a smoky crisp and pummelled into a fine powder adds the unmistakable pungency these noodles are so famous for.
Tonight, I’m with my Johannian comrades Steven, David and Andrew having a few beers and catching up after our SJI school reunion. Andrew, being the local KL boy among us decide on Mun Wah Hokkien Mee, a restaurant specializing in this Malaysian favourite that has been around for as long as I can remember.
We are talking a lot of crap because it’s a first reunion among the four of us since we left school so many years ago.
But the arrival of this platter of Malaysian style hokkien mee momentarily shuts us all up.
Check out this greasy heart attack on a plate …
The noodles are thick and slippery, bathed in a dark, smoky sauce with slices of pork fillet, squid, pork liver and a few Chinese cabbage leaves as token green. The hero ingredient is crispy bits of pork lard that adds even more decadence to greasy pork fat.
Our momentary silence is followed by all out attack as we feel peckish after a few beers in a seedy hotel Andrew coaxed us into earlier.
Two plates of hokkien noodles do four hungry boys just fine.
Thanks Andrew for showing us the darker side of KL with hokkien noodles. Great catching up with the boys again after so many years!
So dear readers, do you like Malaysian style hokkien mee and if so, which is your favourite restaurant that serves this dish in Kuala Lumpur?
Here’s some of my tips when planning a food safari in KL:
- Do some basic research on eat streets, hawkers and restaurants which are known for particular Malaysian style dishes to get some idea about whether the food actually suits your tastes.
- Local weather can be warm and humid, so do wear loose and comfortable clothing.
- Comfortable footwear is important if you are planning to walk the streets of KL.
- Carry bottled water and lots of face tissues for those deliciously greasy noodles.
- Pace yourself and avoid snacking on all sorts of foods as calories do add up quickly.
- Be very certain about what’s in your food if you have food allergies.
- Carry medication for diarrhoea and food-poisoning, especially if you are consuming street food for the first time or have even built up resistance.
- Be vigilant on the streets as some areas of KL are notorious for petty crimes such as snatch thieves and pickpockets. Avoid carrying loose handbags, large amounts of cash, important travel documents, credit cards and elaborate jewellery.
Kedai Makanan Mun Wah Hokkien Mee
155, Jalan Maharajalela,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +60 3 2144 7404
Opening hours: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 5pm to 1am, Saturday, 5pm to 2am. Closed on Wednesdays.
*Note: This restaurant is non-halal.
Sadly I really struggled in KL. Being coeliac yet also an enquiring foodie meant I was in a perpetual state of feeling like I was missing out Ended up living off the street vendors grilled BBQ corn lol