Is it chance that two of Hong Kong’s best wanton noodle shops are right opposite one another? They should probably do a rivalry love movie on Mak’s Noodle 麥奀雲吞麵世家 vs Tsim Chai Kee 沾仔记. (To be fair, Singapore also has our own version of Hua Kee vs Cho Kee at Old Airport Road.)
Let’s have a look at Mak’s. How many wanton mee shops you know are on Wikipedia? The founder Mak Woon-chi has served this dish to Chiang Kai-shek. Even Anthony Bourdain has tried this legendary noodles. It better be good.
For the hungry hippos, you may need to note that the serving bowls are very small, tinier than a rice bowl. The small bowls are said to keep the noodles from going soggy. Even at a pricey HK30 (SGD$4.75), I am not complaining.
Because after I tried it, I have to tell you THIS is the BEST wanton noodles I ever had in my LIFE. The noodles are springy thin, as though they can go through needles. And the soup base made of powdered dried shrimp, flounder and pork bones makes such a punch. The wanton skin is oh so thin and slips down your throat. The skin wraps around a full fresh chunky prawn. Why can’t local stores do the same?
I left the shop, all satisfied, for round number two right opposite.
Tsim Chai Kee served just noodles with three different toppings – shrimp wonton, beef slices, or fish ball. If you are going to be hungry, greedy, or as half-hearted as I was, then opt for the all-in-one noodle soup. For just HK$25 (SGD$3.95). It’s cheaper than Mak’s, had a classier interior, more crowded, and had a bigger portion.
And I told myself, THIS is the one of the BEST wanton noodles I ever had in my LIFE.
The dilemma. So which is better? If you like variety and something more flavourful, then Tsim Chai Kee’s the choice. But simple and homely Mak’s good enough for me.
Mak’s Noodle, G/F, 77 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong.
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun 11am – 10pm