KL Hokkien Mee by Kong Kee

KL Hokkien Mee by Kong Kee

Address: 19 & 20 China Street, Far East Square

Opening hours: 11.00am to 9.30pm daily

Introduction

B.K.T by Kong Kee, i remembered my first visit when there was a Groupon deal and i visited them because it’s so near my office. During then, there’s no KL Hokkien Mee on their menu yet and their Bak Kut Teh is quite forgettable then and it was like two years back. This time, the Hokkien Mee signage manage to lure me back into the restaurant and I decided to give it a go again, and I’m glad I did.

Kong Kee Menu – Click to enlarge

In Singapore, there are two kinds of Hokkien Noodle. One is the Hokkien Prawn Noodle, which is stir fried in a clear broth, and the second type is the Char Hokkien Mee that’s commonly found at Cze Char stall whereby flat yellow noodle is cooked in a brownish sauce and the end product is normally quite wet.

B.K.T by Kong Kee Menu – Click to enlarge

Kong Kee’s is offering a third version,¬†which they claimed that such noodle is found in Kuala Lumpur, where the noodle is simmers in a thick black sauce and this version is slightly dryer than our typical Singapore version.

KL Black Style Hokkien Mee ($13.00++)

At $13.00++ in a CBD restaurant environment and is good to be shared among two, I would say this is not expensive at all. The soup stock is cooked using big bone (pork), chicken and flat fish, heated over a small flame for over five hours. Upon ordering, a short waiting time is required as the noodle is submerged and simmered in the thick black sauce for fifteen minutes to ensure that the essence permeate into each and every strand of noodle.

Their noodle is specially imported from KL and i love the texture. It’s thicker than those that we typically find in Singapore, and it’s exceptionally bouncy and chewy. And best of all, it has almost zero alkali taste. Each and every strand of noodle is infused with a good coat of their black sauce which every mouthful is accompanied by the pork lardy fragrance.

The flavour is not “gelat” as anticipated, which the sauce taste quite mild for it’s appearance. It’s less sweet than our Char Kway Teow but taste is definitely as addictive.

Klang Bak Kut Teh ($7.30++)

This Klang-style black herbal Bak Kut Teh’s is also quite a darling, which has improved since i had it two years ago. The soup is rich, sweet and packed with flavours with a good amount of herbal taste. The appearance doesn’t look too appealing though and the only complain is, each bowl of black Bak Kut Teh only comes with a fix portion of soup.

But shouldn’t there be refill? Yes there is, but it will be refilled with the white peppery Bak Kut Teh instead which i think their white peppery style Bak Kut Teh is still not there yet. According to the staff, she explained that for the black style Bak Kut Teh, unlike the white one, the ingredients and spices used can only produce one bowl of herbal soup with this portion of meat.

Dry Bak Kut Teh ($13.80++)

Did I mentioned that their dry style Bak Kut Teh is the best dish that i had two years ago. This was the only dish that made my travel worthwhile then. It has a very heavy flavour, which is something like Kung Pao Chicken but even more flavourful, and with shredded cuttlefish scattered onto the dish. The sauce coated the rib well and is surprisingly tender. At $13.80++, it’s not exactly cheap though.

Conclusion

I definitely had a better experience with their food on my second visit to B.K.T by Kong Kee. They managed to introduce a noodle dish into a Bak Kut Teh restaurant, which surpasses all other Bak Kut Teh related dishes in term of taste.

For their menu, one page indicate Kong Kee and the other page indicates B.K.T by Kong Kee. This made their branding a little confusing and not too sure what should I be naming them.

But no matter what it is, the KL Hokkien Mee has my vote and if I have the chance, I probably will try the more pricey Sang Har Min (Prawn Noodle). For those who had very good Hokkien Mee in KL, feel free to feedback on the authenticity of their taste and quality.

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Marutama Ramen (Best Tamago Egg) @ The Central

Marutama Ramen

Address: The Central, 8 Eu Tong Sen Street #03-90

Opening hours: 11.00 am to 10.00 pm daily

Introduction

I still remember the first time I visited this place, I am not exactly a fan of their chicken broth ramen. The noodle taste like Wanton Noodle texture and unlike most ramen, their ramen is moderately light and simple but unique in it’s own way. I only learnt to appreciate Marutama after having many other pork broth soup base ramen.

Click to see enlarged menu

I once went for a Ramen hunt in Singapore some time back that includes ramen like Ippuddo, Mentei, Santouka, Baikohken, Yoshimaru, Tampopo, Noodle Ken. I thought the taste of Marutama Ramen is refreshing and one of it’s own kind in Singapore. Marutama claimed that their soup has zero msg and every pot of soup is cooked over low fire for at last 24 hours to bring out the chicken broth’s natural sweetness.

Hakata Style Ramen

The so-call Wanton Mee texture ramen is actually a kind of ramen style which is known as the Hakata-styled Ramen. The taste of the noodle is very distinct. It’s firm in texture and ultra thin and straight. The noodle are boiled very quickly and served.

Nama Karashi Ramen (Spicy Chicken Soup) – $12.00++

I always order the spicy version as I prefer the soup to has a stronger taste instead of the original flavor. To be frank, the non spicy version is a little bland for my taste. Adding the fried garlic slices and sesame is strongly recommended to bring out the flavor of their soup. The ramen comes with two thin slices of Char Siu, seaweed and fresh spring onion.

I know they have never slice their egg and will serve a whole egg, but for the purpose a nicer photo for my blog post, i requested the person to slice the egg for me and he looked a little shocked. LOL.

Ajitsuke Tamago – $1.50++

At $1.50, the soft-boil egg is a must-order. In my opinion, even till date, their egg is arguably one of the best in Singapore. I don’t know how Marutama did it but apparently the flavor of the stock had infused into the egg white and yolk as well. I never fail to order their egg for every visit.

Char Siu Rice (Char Siu Gohan) – S5.00++

Additional noodle refill (Kadama) can be done by topping up of S$2.00 but do leave some soup for that. Else. if i am feeling a little hungry that day, i will order their Char Siu Rice. I thought this is also one of the better Char Siu Rice around and i love the braised Char Siu. The rice is so-so, but i love the taste and texture of the braised meat.

Conclusion

I have friends who feedback that Marutama’s soup is rather bland. Perhaps like myself initially, I’m too comparing this chicken-base soup with pork-base ramen soup in mind, which this two kind of soup bases are rather different altogether. It’s like saying a Bak Kut Teh (Pork Rib Soup) has more flavor than this Fishball soup so this Fishball soup is bad.

I think Marutama Ramen is likely a “either you love it or hate it” kind of ramen but i do learnt to appreciate this for it’s unique soup broth and a different style of noodle, and definitely loving the egg.