This is not the best Wantan Mee in Penang but it is good. Nameless and often referred as the ‘Wantan Mee in front of furniture shop at Chulia Street‘, the noodles here tastes slightly different from those in Klang Valley. The noodles are more more springy, tossed with light soy sauce hence the fairer appearance and has a stronger lard presence. Even the wantan dumplings look different too, they are so tightly wrapped.
We have always missed the noodle after we moved out of Penang because it used to be our favorite place for supper. Besides, you will find one of the best Penang Curry Mee here too.
The last time I ate here was five years ago and I am glad the taste did not change too much. The Wantan Mee is still as enjoyable as it used to be for me, except for the red char siew which is the type I frown upon now. The price did go up a bit though, how much exactly I can’t remember but it was definitely less than RM3. Penangites might complain but I am already accustomed to paying RM5 for a smaller portion of noodles prepared by foreigners in KL. So, I can’t really complain. In fact I feel hawker food is still cheap in Penang and sadly that fact depresses me in some ways.
Call me slow but I just realized the famous Penang Road Teochew Chendul has three branches already at Komtar Walk, Prangin Mall and Sunshine Farlim. What to do? I have been absent from Penang for far too long that I already lost touch with the local F&B scene. Although they do have a branch in Klang Valley at a Giant Hypermarket somewhere, honestly I wouldn’t bother because I know the taste can never match the real deal up North.
As for Ais Kacang, I discovered that most KL people tend to love the Southern version more, those with stronger Gula Melaka taste and totally void of Sarsi flavor. Well I have stayed at both places long enough to develop a passion for both versions. But, if I had to choose, it will be the Penang Ais Kacang without skipping a heartbeat. I just love the refreshing taste that Sarsi syrup gives and not to mention the extra colorful ingredients in it too.
Just when I thought Char Koay Teow in Penang wouldn’t get more expensive, I stumbled upon one that sells a ‘keh liao‘ (added ingredients) version that has a price tag of RM12 while the normal version is RM5.50. FYI, the most expensive Char Koay Teow I ever had prior to this was at Ah Leng that cost RM10. And coincidentally, this stall at Bee Hooi Coffee Garden along Kimberley Street is where Ah Leng used to operate before he moved to his current location.
Even though I knew the noodles would have a tough time competing with the caliber of Siam Road‘s, the curiosity got the better of me. I simply had to see for myself how this could top Ah Leng’s. So after I placed my order and sat down, I paid close attention to the cooking.
And just as I had predicted, the extra cost goes into having much bigger prawns and having an extra ingredient – mantis shrimps. There weren’t any cockles, which is weird so my only guess is that it was hard to get any supply during CNY.
Years ago I blogged about a delicious Koay Teow Soup stall at Pitt Street Penang that uses local eels to make the fish balls. At that time, they were only renting a stall space in a coffee shop. But not long after that they were forced to move out due to conflicts with the coffee shop’s owner. What seemed like a sad turn of events turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as their business improved tremendously after they relocated to their very own shoplot.
The fish balls are somewhat different from what you would normally have in Klang Valley, where the latter is usually firm and bouncy. Here, they are made to taste softer so if you are expecting the same you will be disappointed. It is still nice nonetheless, just different style in terms of texture. If you are wondering, all the fish balls they serve here are hand-made by the son. Before their business expanded to the current state they used to make the fish balls from scratch.