Meng Kee is a well-known 30+-year-old 'institution' when it comes to "char siew" (barbequed pork). I first sampled their char siew when they were in Jalan Alor but have never visited them since they moved to Shah Alam coz, after all, we have something similar in Uncle Meng (run by one of the brothers) located at Taman Shamelin that's so much nearer to where we stay.
But, one Sunday morning, on our way to PJ, we detoured and ended up in Shah Alam. We wanted to patronise Meng Kee Char Siew but found it closed on a Sunday! I guess they're so popular that they make enough money and don't have to open on a Sunday. That's when I saw that there's more than one Meng Kee here....there's a Meng Kee Wantan Mee (opposite Meng Kee Char Siew) and a Meng Kee Peking Duck (two doors away from Meng Kee Wantan Mee).
We went into Meng Kee Wantan Mee @ Glenmarie, Shah Alam (Meng Kee Peking Duck was not opened yet). Their menu is pretty straight forward with offerings of wantan mee (dry & soup versions), minced pork wantan mee (dry & soup), miso wantan mee and "kai see" hor fun (shredded chicken kway teow). Their snacks include wantan (fried or soup), "siew cheong" (minced pork sausage) and veggie dish of Hong Kong "choy sum". There are also options for stand-alone char siew (RM22 for small, RM40 for big), poached and roasted chicken (RM24 for half, RM47 for whole) which are apparently from Meng Kee Char Siew across the road (but since they were closed, they weren't available on the day we were there).
That got me wondering at first why they weren't available and whether they're truly 'affiliated' to Meng Kee Char Siew since they seem to get their 'stocks' from them. Then again, there's also no reason that they aren't affiliated as Meng Kee will not let them leverage on their name so blatantly.
So, upon my return, I googled and found an article by The Star which reported that the daughter has taken over her father's famous Meng Kee Char Siew shop and that these two restaurants, Meng Kee Peking Duck and Meng Kee Wantan Mee (formerly Meng Kee Ramen), are under the Meng Kee umbrella.
But the proof of the pudding is still in the eating and we obviously have to try the char siew. So, all of us ordered Char Siew Wantan Mee (Dry) @ RM5 (small) which, looking at the portion size, is certainly cheaper (and more value) compared to the prices in KL. If you want an even bigger portion, you could go with big for RM6 or XL for RM7 (still relatively cheaper than a lot of shops in KL).
When my plate of wantan mee arrived, I could see that it was swimming in sauce so I was hesitant and judgmental at first. But one taste of the sauce (after it was well mixed in with the noodles) allayed my fears, it was delicious. And that could only mean one thing....lard oil played a part in it. Some might say that it's a bit on the oily side but I'm fine with it as oil means fat and fat means flavour! ;)
As far as the char siew was concerned, it had the Meng Kee stamp alright with that slightly sweet, sticky caramelised outer layer and the right balance of lean and fat yielding tender, luscious meat in one bite. We usually don't make any special request for the cut of char siew we want when it comes to wantan mee, so (depending on your luck), you'd get some parts that are more lean or some that are more on the fatty side. But, rest assured, even if you get a slightly leaner cut, it'll still be very much tender.
Two types of chilli condiments were offered. Not sure what the fresh sambal belacan dip is for though...for the minced pork mee, perhaps? Anyway, I dipped my very ordinary soup wantans in them.....hehe! ;D
The flip side of the menu lists dishes you'd get from "tai chow" places like individual rice dishes (fried rice, sweet & sour pork, lemon chicken or ginger onion pork rice to name a few) and stir-fry dishes (deep fried Hakka pork belly, deep fried squid, fried chicken wing, etc). It seems they allow you to cross order from Meng Kee Peking Duck two doors away (but we couldn't do that as we were too early and they only open from 11am).
So, we weren't left with many choices for sides and went with the Fried Wantans @ RM5 (for 10 pcs) served with a Thai-style chilli dipping sauce. They were just crispy morsels of delight as they should be, nothing more.
My Personal Opinion
Well, this had all the hallmarks of a sticky, sweet, tender char siew that Meng Kee is famous for, so I guess it passes the test! ^_~
Would I drive all the way from KL just to savour Meng Kee's char siew? Certainly not! Probably can detour here if I so happen to be somewhere in PJ. But, then again, I don't have to. I've got a similar one in Uncle Meng near me that's just as good as Meng Kee's.
Restoran Meng Mee Wantan Mee
23 Jalan Juruaudit U1/37
Hicom-Glenmarie Industrial Park
40150 Shah Alam