Everytime I visit Kuala Lumpur (KL), the one dish that I will always look forward to eating is the KL style Hokkien Mee. Most of the time, I end up eating at the old coffeeshop at Petaling Street which was where I had my first Holy Grail experience with KL Hokkien Mee. Unfortunately, on my last visit, the old stall was closed and so I had my Hokkien Mee fix at their new restaurant just a stone’s throw away. Somehow it just wasn’t as good.
This time round, my friend Desmond brought us to another famous KL Hokkien Mee in Petaling Jaya. He told me that this stall is the most well known in PJ. The wonderful thing about eating in Malaysia is that you always get a sense of anticipation when you first arrive at the coffeeshop. Somehow, the sight of organized messiness, sparks flying off charcoal stoves and the aroma of smoking woks spiked with exhaust fumes just makes me hungry in anticipation of a shiokamazing meal..
Do you remember Hokkien Mee ever being wrapped in newspaper? I don’t. Newspaper was used to wrap Kachang Putih and Nasi Lemak but never for fried stuff like Char Kway Teow and Hokkien mee. Perhaps it was before my time. We probably don’t do it anymore because of hygiene reasons, but since we are so hot on recycling nowadays, perhaps we should look extending the life of the newspaper by reusing it as packaging? It also makes for interesting reading just like your cereal box!
Needless to say, the KL Hokkien mee was black, oily and very satisfying. The noodles they use are very different from the type used in Singapore and it is this thick, pale yellow noodles with that toothy, starchy texture that really defines KL Hokkien Mee. The flat yellow noodles that most stalls in Singapore uses just doesn’t make the cut. The contrast between the crunchy pork lard and the uniquely textured noodles which has soaked up the black caramel soy sauce that makes KL Hokkien Mee so delectable. 4.5/5
The coffeeshop that houses the KL Hokkien mee also has a couple of other stalls that are worth trying. The Penang Loh Bak (Ngor Hiang) is very good and I like the brown dipping sauce that they serve it with. The fried bean curd has that beany sweetness which is quite a satisfying crunch while waiting for the Hokkien Mee to arrive. 4.25/5
The BBQ stingray is also excellent and worth ordering. Not mindblowing enough to go all the way there, but one of the better stingrays I have had in recent memory. 4.25/5
I wonder if Malaysians crave for the Singapore style Hokkien Mee as we do for KL Hokkien Mee. What really makes the dish special is the thick, starchy noodles which is hard to find here in Singapore.