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Monday, 1 December 2014

Koon Kee (Wantan Mee) @ Damansara Uptown

My husband introduced me to a shop which had people lining up for their wantan mee (especially during the peak hours of breakfast and lunch) one Sunday morning known as Koon Kee @ Damansara Uptown.  The queue is actually formed by customers who want to pack the noodles.
 
When I realised the shop's name was Koon Kee, I was wondering if it was 'connected' to the one in Petaling Street which is or was synonymous with the title of "best wantan mee in KL".  I, too, remembered it as one of the best wantan mee I had (back then) but I also remembered it as a very old and filthy place.  Eating in Chinatown was the norm back in my younger days but now that it has turned into "Banglatown" (with nightmarish traffic and parking to boot), it's a place I no longer visit.

So, with the name Koon Kee etched in my mind, I proceeded to make an order of their wantan mee (the stall is at the front of the shop).
 
This was my Wantan Mee @ RM5.50 (medium) with "char siew" (BBQ pork) and wantan.  The texture of their noodles (supposedly made in-house), which tasted somewhat similar to the one I remembered from Chinatown's Koon Kee, was the first thing that came to mind.  The noodles were proportionately tossed with the right amount of light and dark soy in a flavourful oil.  It came with very ordinary lean char siew which was not quite the caramelised type that I preferred (although I did see some 'burnt' strips of char siew at the stall..maybe you have to specifically ask for those parts).  The wantan mee here is served with boiled cabbage instead of the usual "choy sum" (Chinese flowering cabbage).

You can also have your wantan mee with braised chicken feet.  I ordered a pair of chicken feet @ RM1.40 to try....it was ordinary and forgettable (no where near as good as those from Char Siew Yoong or Mei Sin)!
 
The wantans (with very smooth and thin skins) had a minced pork filling that were quite good but the surprise was the soup that came with my plate of wantan mee.  You can see from the pic above that the soup base is very clear.  The subtle flavour of the soup was one of the better wantan mee soups I've had in a long time, so much so I finished my whole bowl and wished they had given me more.  [#Note: I'm not sure if it's MSG-laden coz if there's one thing my tongue is 'immune' to....it's MSG (I don't know why but I don't get this extreme thirst, like everyone else, when I have MSG-laden food)..maybe it's because I'm thirsty all the time anyway :D ]  The goodness of the soup makes me want to try their soup version the next time I'm here.

If there's one complaint about the noodles here is that the owner would blanch a few 'knobs' of wantan mee at one time and toss it in a big (metal) bowl filled with sauce.  He would then divide the wantan mee into a few plates by cutting them (with a pair of scissors) and so you end up with many short stands of wantan mee on your plate (which I didn't appreciate).  [#Note: If it's a long life you want, maybe you shouldn't patronise this stall during your birthday...hehehe!]

Also, I didn't like as much their pickled green bird's eye chilli (which is more fiery of course) as I preferred the normal pickled fresh green chillies.

As I liked their soup so much, on a return trip, I wanted to order the wantan mee in soup with "pak cham kai" (poached chicken) but the chicken was not ready yet :(  So, it was the usual wantan mee with char siew @ RM5 (small).  Although wantan mee is usually eaten 'dry' style, I adore wantan mee in soup but have not found many places where the soup is the 'hero' of the dish but I think this may be my best bet.  The soup here is very "ching" (subtle) and flavourful...I likey ;)  In fact, I saw a customer asking for more soup....testimony to how good the soup is!

Apart from this wantan mee stall, there's a chicken rice stall that's rather decent as well.  My husband likes the "siew yoke" (roast pork) but since we were early for breakfast, the siew yoke was not ready yet.  So, my family ordered the Char Siew Rice @ RM5 instead.  I found the char siew quite good (though not the best I've had).  The soft and not overly sweet, caramelised char siew was pleasant to eat but the rice was even better.  It's probably the best tasting rice I've had as it had the flavour and colour (of a good chicken stock) with nice separated grains.

I managed to "ta pau" (pack) one packet of Siew Yoke Rice @ RM5 for lunch later.  The siew yoke was (surprisingly) good with a crackling skin (coz I tested a pc immediately).

Although this siew yoke may not be as top notch as Pudu's Wong Kee, this roast pork was still a very decent version...and at less than half the price.
 
I especially liked the freshness of the chilli dip with hints of garlic, ginger and lime juice.  This definitely has a place among my favourite chilli dips but this one is a bit on the fiery side though.

My Personal Opinion
 
The two stalls worth trying here are the wantan mee and siew yoke/char siew rice.
 
When I googled this place, upon my return, it was referred to (by some blogs) as the same one from Chinatown but as to who is operating it or is it really a branch?...I've no idea!  It has been ages since I last ate at Koon Kee in Petaling Street (and since I won't be eating there anymore), finding this one in Damansara Utama was a pleasant surprise and a good replacement.
 
In a place like Koon Kee, it's the taste and texture of the noodles (cooked right) that comes first or, better still, eat it in soup (which is my favourite).
 
If you see a guy with something like a cowboy hat on, you're in the right place! :D

Restoran Koon Kee
No 105 Jalan SS21/37
Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya
Selangor

12 comments:

  1. I used to frequent Jalan Petaling in the mid-80's (and before that). Loved the beef noodles and everything else at the shops and stall there, the dried longan drink at the stall at the corner...the popiah in front of Popular...everything. Went once more recently (after they put up a roof)...and did not feel it was the same anymore and I never went back since.

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    1. Soong Kee beef noodles...still good. Ah, the famous mata kucing stall...I've never had it coz I don't like this dried longan drink. Yeah, I know what you mean by Chinatown not feeling the same anymore...it's full of foreign workers now!

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  2. Ah, I know this one! Yes, I like their wanton mee, the dry one. Don't really like soupy noodles. I have also tried the chicken rice and it is good.

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    Replies
    1. The chicken stock flavoured rice is good...the chicken not so much!

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  3. Oh no, I can't do the chicken feet! My grandma used to put them in soup when I was little, but I just can't eat them. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Just have thoughts of eating something that's gelatinous...and you'll be fine! :D

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  4. ooo ... a tantalising mystery about the origins of this place ... it'd be the char siew, wantan and siu yk here for me, i think :)

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it has the same name...but don't know if it's the same shop!

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  5. I was told the original wantan mee in HK is soup version though. Although I still prefer the dry version myself. I might give this place a try when I go back, I miss Chinatown's Koon Kee much too!

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    1. Yup, the wantan mee in HK usually comes in soup version. I like konlo too and Chinatown's Koon Kee (as I remember) serves one of the best wantan mee around (but the place ain't very clean).

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  6. I ate at Petaling Street Koon Kee when I was a child and it has been a very long time since I last ate there because I find the place quite dirty (even back when I was a child, it was dirty). I would like to try this koon kee at damansara uptown but parking in damansara uptown is a nightmare too so till now I have never eaten at uptown.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the place is rather dirty (and that's why I don't eat there anymore). Parking at uptown isn't the easiest but the row where this shop is located is one of the easier stretches to find parking.

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