I’m picky about pan mee.
I’m not particularly fond of those thin strands tossed with chilli flakes which is quite the craze with the crowds these days. Neither am I impressed by those green (with spinach added) or red hued (carrots influenced) noodles churned out from the machine.
I like my pan mee done the good old fashioned way, which is hand-made and hand pulled. Those flat pieces of “chinese pasta” must then be cooked in a broth, simmered with anchovies and pork bones for hours to yield that particular level of sweetness. My requirement for the condiments are simple: just crunchy freshly fried anchovies (ikan bills), some minced meat, slivers of mushrooms and a bunch of sayur manis.
Uncle Chan’s Special Smooth Pan Mee checks out on all my requirements. In fact, it goes one notch higher – his pan mee is fabulously smooth and silky and still has this delightful slight chewiness in those flat strands. The secret, as he discloses surreptitiously to me, lies in the skilful “pulling” of the dough before it’s cooked. You don’t see any kind of machinery at Uncle Chan’s stall. There’s just a big metal container with water that’s turned quite cloudy from the soaking of the dough before it’s pulled into long thin strands.
The pulled strands of pan mee are then cooked in the tasty broth and served with minced pork cooked with thick slices of Chinese mushrooms and choi poh (pickled radish), crispy fried anchovies, crunchy beancurd skin with a side of kickass sambal belacan dip.
You can choose to have the soupy version (my all-time favourite) or the “dry kon lo” version where the pan mee is tossed with a tasty black sauce.
Oh, you can even choose to have either lettuce leaves or sayur manis in your bowl of pan mee, just let Uncle Chan know at point of ordering. Each bowl is RM5.50, fabulous value, if you ask me.
Uncle Chan’s Special Smooth Pan Mee is very similar to the pan mee I had at Kungfu Pan Mee in Taman Sri Sentosa and guess what? In my conversation with Uncle Chan, he revealed that he and the owner of Kungfu Pan Mee are all from the same group of friends who dabbled in this special version of pan mee, kinda like a “brotherhood of pan mee” and each has gone his own way to open his own outlet.
Special Smooth Pan Mee
Kedai Makanan Fa Kee
80 Jalan TK1/1
47180 Kuala Lumpur
*Available from 7.30am till 2.00pm