Monday, 13 May 2013

A Wanton Want for Warm Wantans

So the plan for the day was to go have a dim sum brunch at one of our favourite morning eateries but arrived to find a crowd of people waiting outside for a table. It only took us a couple minutes to decide to move on to a different dim sum restaurant we also like. As our car slowly rolled past the second establishment, we saw an even bigger crowd of Sunday brunchers huddled around the entrance. Without even bothering to stop, we drove on and decided on a nearby recently opened noodle shop called Tek Kee Noodle House.

Located in a row of small shops and eateries in Subang Jaya, the modest decor and semi-fresco dining environment provided a casual atmosphere where you could really just sit back and enjoy a quick bite. The menu was focused, which is always a good sign; if a restaurant is specialising in something, it should run with that and not try to cover every conceivable concoction under the sun. They had noodles and rice with meats and a few simple vegetables and a small range of traditional soups. Nothing quirky or novel about the menu items really. It was the pure quality of what they served that blew my mind.Often, you will find that small coffee shops and noodle stalls will serve a char siew (barbequed pork) that is a vivid crimson red or, in some disturbing cases, an intense dark pink. These tend to be over cooked, under seasoned, dry, stringy or any combination of slightly unpleasant epicurean experiences which they attempt to mask with neon seizure-inducing colours.

The char siew that arrived upon a hefty pile of noodles was a toasted sultry caramel brown and was oozing clear meaty juices beneath the sticky shiny surface. Oh, yeah. You see how good that looks? Yeah, it tasted better. The meat was succulent and tender with just the right balance of fat and lean to create that scrumptious melt-in-your-mouth sensation you would only expect in a pretentious, all-white decor, fine-dining, fusion-Chinoise gastro-club. And that was just the pork. The steamed chicken was incredibly moist and tender without sacrificing flavour or texture. Texture really counts for a large part of how your body experiences flavour. This is what made the noodles - the real speciality of the store - so exceptional in every respect. Tender, but still with a spring in their bite, they were smothered in just the right quantity and viscosity of sauce. The quality of all of the dishes they presented us was truly surprising especially considering they offer their wonderful wares at almost the same price as your standard street side hawker's stall.

No comments:

Post a Comment