[Hong Kong] People say never leave Hong Kong without trying Mak’s noodles, especially if you are a fan of wonton noodles. Now, the question is which Mak’s.
“Aren’t they all the same Mak’s?”
Well no, not exactly. I probably need to go on with a short story on Hong Kong’s wonton noodles history. (This needed some time to research and piece all the stories together – if you know more, do share.)
Long long ago, a man also known as the “Wonton Noodle Master” Mak Woon-chi brought the Cantonese-style wonton noodles from Guangzhou to Hong Kong. Originally a supper meal for the wealthy, it became more popular among the masses when the food took to the streets.
Mak’s famous wontons are known to contain shrimps when compared to Guangzhou’s version which had only meat, because of Hong Kong’s proximity to the waters.
Like a story from a Hong Kong soap drama, Mak’s original shop at Wellington Street has been taken over by his second son – yah, the most famous Mak’s shop. Mak’s eldest son went on to set up Mak An Kee at Central Wing Kut Street.
Mak’s grand-daughter started Mak Siu Kee at Tin Hau. His protégé Ho Chiu-hung opened the one-star Michelin Ho Hung Kee whose son also started Tasty Congee & Congee. And Mak Man Kee originated as an on-street noodle stall by an uncle of the family Mak Man King and his wife during 1958.
You see. All these popular wanton noodle stalls started with the same man.
The ‘uncle’ – Mak Man Kee 麥文記麵家 has its own fans, with some preferring this than all the other Maks’. The shop is said to still purchase flour and hand make their noodles with duck eggs every day.
The traditional Wonton Noodles in Soup (HK$40) strongest feature is in its shrimp dumplings, fully made of prawns with no trace of pork, and still remains larger than some of the other Mak brands. Their noodles though, are thicker than it should be, and has traces of the ‘yellow noodle’ savour that leaves a slight strange after-taste.
They also offer a variety of other items such as Dry Noodles with Shrimps (HK$42), Rice Noodles in Soup with Beef Brisket (HK$42) and Noodles with Shredded Pork and Hoisin Sauce (HK$42). It is their simple Kai Lan with Oyster Sauce ($16) all greenly crunchy and fresh, and makes it a must-order. Strangely, they also offer a saucer of oyster sauce at HK$1!
Mak Man Kee offers a delicious bowl of shrimp-only wonton noodles, and is definitely worth a try when you are around Jordan. But my heart has already gone to the original Mak’s at Wellington – they are just thinner and springier.
Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop 麥文記麵家
G/F 51 Parkes Street Jordan, Kowloon 佐敦白加士街51號地下 (MTR Jordan Exit C2) Tel: +852 2736-5561
Opening Hours: 12:00pm-12:30am