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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Flavourful wantan mee with chicken feet Acquired taste needed to en, joy this dish


Flavourful wantan mee with chicken feet Acquired taste needed to en, joy this dish

By SAM CHEONG

THE Tung Koo Kai Keok meen or chicken feet with braised mushroom noodles is a dish for those with an acquired taste.
You either love or hate it and for the health concious weight watcher, this is a bowl full of evil. And not every stall that sells wantan noodles can whip up a gooddish.

Growing up the Klang Valley provided me with an insight on where to locate some of the best Tung Koo Kai Keok meen.

But before I get into the details, let me start by saying this: if you are fearless, have no regards for uric acid and cholesterol and have an appetite the size of Godzilla, this particular noodle dish is definitely for you.

Okay, what makes the Kai Keok great is the way it is prepared. Chicken feet, with its claws removed, is marinated in the Em Heong Fun (five spices powder) and deep flied until crispy.

Then, a process of braising it slowly under low heat begins. This softens the chicken feet until you can suck the skin, fat and tendons in whole and spit out the bones.

There are several variations in preparing the braised chicken feet and if red chillies and soya bean paste are added, it becomes a dim-sum dish that goes by the exotic name of Fung Chaw (Pheonix Claw).

Okay, back to the chicken feet noodles. The braised feet and Tung Koo (Dried Chinese mushrooms) are actually add-on items that go with a plate of wantan mee.

So, if you look around, some noodle stalls do serve their charsiew wantan dishes with the Tung Koo Kai Keok.


Having said that, 1 am going to talkabout my quest for the perfect plate of chicken feet noodle at a stall in Section 17, Petaling Jaya.

This place was recommended to me by my buddy Eddie Chua who is a regular there.

And when I am working on weekends, this is one of the few coffee shops that I frequent because the food here is pretty decent.

Okay, having covered the location, the stall in question is Hong Kee wantan noodles. Now, some makan kakis (I can't call them foodies because they are unrefined guys who eat everything) of mine told me that Lucky coffee shop, where the wantan mee stall is a tenant, has been around for quite a while.

To verify this, I referred to my old buddy Andrew Chong, The Star's deputy chief photographer and Section 17 resident.


Chong told me that the wantan mee stall is a food outlet that he frequents for breakfast. "Eh, you must try it out lah, the wantan mee there is quite good," he said.

With Chong's assurance and a need to get my chicken feet craving satisfied, I made a trip to Jalan 17/42 where the coffee shop is located.

And since this is a densely populated area, finding a parking lot can be a challenge. So, to resolve such an issue, I parked far away.

I ordered a plate of kwon lou Tung Koo Kai Keok meen from one of the guys at the wantan noodle stall. Service was prompt as my meal was delivered in less than 10 minutes.

As expected, the meal was sumptuous in flavour. It didn't take much effort to eat the chicken feet and the mushrooms.

Since I asked fora large helping including charsiew and wantan, the bill came up to RM6.50. For Petaling Jaya's standard, I can't complain because the good taste made up for its price.

Now, if you scour the entire Section 17 area, there are at least four wantan mee stalls. What I found after eating there for a year was Hong Kee stall that really stood out.

This particular stall opens as early as 7am in the morning and closes at about 3pm. To get to section 17, the nearest transit point via LRT is from the Asia Jaya station near Menara Axis.

From here, you can jump onto the T628 or T629 shuttle bus. Just remember to get off at Jalan 17/38. If you drive, park at road 38 where there is ample public car parks.

To you gearheads out there, the GPS coordinates are: 03 07 744 N 101 38 120 E. So, good luck and happy hunting!

This is the writer's personal observation and does not reflect Star Metro's endorsement.



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