Even though the interest in Wonton noodles may have faded in this age where foreign food is considered more hip, Wonton noodles will make a comeback some day, I’m sure. Think about the whole Wonton noodles eating experience for a moment: stuffing the skinny and chewy noodles into your mouth and slurping the soup that gets picked up together with the noodles, scooping up more soup to wash down the noodles, then eating, at regular intervals, the Wontons that pack an explosive burst of tastiness. The 3 elements combined gives perfect satiation. I especially love the light and crisp taste of the soup.
The best Wonton noodles has to be that from where it originated, from the Pearl River Delta region. Well, I’ve really only sampled the ones from Hong Kong and I must say, it is hard to beat. To me, the stand out feature of the Wonton noodles from Hong Kong is the soup. It has a very sharp seafood taste to it that you don’t get elsewhere. The noodles are also very distinctive – very fine and chewy. Unfortunately I don’t quite remember the Wonton. The same applies to all Wonton noodles I’ve tried I guess. I’m not particular about the Wonton as long as the filling isn’t too small and it doesn’t contain funny ingredients like water chestnut.
The Wonton noodles from Mak’s Noodle (麦奀云吞面世家)
I couldn’t make out which ingredients impart the seafood taste to the soup. I Googled and found out that dried fish is one of them. I was so curious about it that i went to Victoria Wholesale Centre and bought dried fish the very next day. Well, i probably didn’t get the proportion right, but the soup i made does resemble the HK Wonton noodles soup somewhat. I will definitely try making the soup again – i’m imagining it will go well with HK style luncheon meat and egg noodles (港式餐蛋面), perfect for breakfast.
The Malaysian version of Wonton noodles is quite different, with slightly thicker noodles, and coming in both dry (which is usually the preferred one) and soup variations. They are very popular in the Bentong and Raub regions in Pahang. The main dialect group of the Chinese population there is Cantonese, which explains why. I had the priviledge of sampling the most popular Wonton noodles stalls from Bentong and Raub respectively, and they were fantastic.
I like the presentation by 开记云吞面 at Bentong, which makes it look very appetizing. Once you begin eating the noodles, you just can’t stop!
The soup had resemblance to the HK version, though it was a little too diluted. It was satisfying none the less.
The noodles at 佈记云吞面 were even more chewy (or ‘Q’), and i dare say it was about the best i’ve had in Malaysia. Unfortunately, they ran out of char siew, and chicken strips were the substitution (still pretty good). The sauce was very tasty – it was more of fragrance than saltiness, and so it does not distract one from the quality of the noodles.
The soup version was less impressive. It was basically chicken soup, which was a little boring. I’d suggest skipping this altogether.
佈记云吞面 is no longer located near the market (pasar). They are now located at the new food centre, at GPS coordinates 3.798236, 101.857382.
While you’re there, you should also try the bean curd from one of the neighbouring stalls. It is so silky smooth and soft, and comes with very nice braised sauce.
Now, my stance on Wonton noodles with ketchup? No offence, but no, and no.