Remember Charles Yu's legendary thread on HK-style wonton noodles (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/399024)? Well, the ubiquitous Cantonese noodle dish also appear in different incarnations in various Asian countries with sizeable Chinese-Cantonese presence - Singapore-style (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/744161), Kuala Lumpur-style (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/813210), Thai-style (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/832524), Indonesian-style (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/816274), Penang-style (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/871580), etc. The common denominators are: the springy egg-wheat wonton noodles and the poached dumplings filled with shrimps (plus minced pork in quite a few renditions outside HK).
In HK, KL, Singapore & Penang, the wonton noodle sellers are invariably Cantonese, whereas in Thailand & Indonesia, the chefs can be Chiuchow or Hokkien, but they'd invariably learnt the recipe for this noodle dish from the Cantonese.
Anyhoo - we ended up with *two* wonton noodle meals this evening: one KL-style, and the other HK-style.We did not intend it that way - our original plan was to have an early pre-dinner snack at 168 Wan Tan Mee, an old and well-known spot among KL foodies & foodbloggers in Pudu for its KL-style wonton noodles, before adjourning to Guizhou Garden restaurant nearby for a Qian cuisine (黔菜) dinner. However, the monsoon rains poured down when we were in a Bukit Bintang mall, so we decided to opt for dinner at Grand Harbour Restaurant instead. This restaurant specializes in HK-style cuisine, and we ordered its wonton noodles topped with shrimp roe.
How did the two styles compare?
- 168 Wan Tan Mee's rendition is typical KL-style, noodles dressed in a blend of dark soysauce, lard, sesame oil and shallots. It's topped with BBQ pork (char-siu) and accompanied by a bowl of pork-flavoured soup with three fat shrimp-minced pork wonton dumplings, topped with chopped scallions and crisp shallots. 168's version is blander than the ones I tried at other top KL spots (Koon Kee, Ho Weng Kee, etc.)
- Grand Harbour's shrimp roe-flavoured wonton noodles also included pork lard and dainty little lardons. Its side-bowl of soup had a more complex blend of flavours, and its three wonton dumplings were mainly whole shrimps, topped with chopped yellow chives. Its rendition of HK-style wonton noodles was the best we'd had in KL thus far.
Our verdict for the better wonton noodle dinner this evening? Grand Harbour by a mile.
168 Wan Tan Mee (生虾云吞面)
Corner of Jalan Brunei & Jalan Brunei Utara
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Grand Harbour Restaurant (大港茶楼)
LG2-01, Fahrenheit 88
179, Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2141 1660