Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mak's Chee @ 1 Utama

Hailed as one of Hong Kong's top purveyors of wonton noodles, the Mak's noodle family opens its first Malaysian outpost this month - Mak's Chee at 1 Utama is helmed by HK chef Johnny Yu, a grandson-in-law of noodle patriarch Mak Woon-chi, whose recipe for these noodles has endured three generations. The brand's history dates back to the 1920s; the Guangzhou-born Woon-chi reputedly popularised prawn wontons (instead of pork) & even served his speciality to Chiang Kai-shek at one point.

Start with the signature: Mak's Chee strives to replicate the HK experience with a broth-filled bowl of noodles that conceal four prawn wontons beneath. It's plain-looking when it reaches the table, but it proves memorably enjoyable. The egg noodles are distinctively firm & springy, perfect if you prefer noodles with a bite. The plump wontons, crafted with goldfish-shaped tails & packed with wild-caught sea prawns, are a pleasure too, supplying a convincingly juicy crunch. And the final component - the soup - is slow-cooked with a stock of dried flounder, prawn roe & pork bones; it's clear, with mild, subtle nuances. RM12.90 nett; note that the serving is meant to be small, which Mak's Chee says will ensure the noodles remain at their best in the bowl.

The menu is compact, but there's room for customisation - you can choose the signature thin & smooth noodles, or the thick noodles, or the hor fun, before deciding between a soup or sauce-based recipe. Besides the prawn wontons, there are larger suikow-style prawn dumplings enhanced with shredded mushrooms & bamboo shoots (RM14.90, accompanied by noodles with soy or oyster sauce), prawn roe powder (RM14.90, sprinkled on noodles with sesame oil) & braised five-spice beef brisket & tendons (RM13.90 with soup). You can also opt for a platter of wontons & dumplings, freshly deep-fried & crisp (RM16.90).

Mak's Chee Authentic Wonton
LG311D, 1 Utama, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya. Opposite Cold Storage, New Wing

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20 comments:

  1. I want to try this, but aiyo, why so far?

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    1. CK: heheh, hopefully their next branch will be somewhere closer to you, maybe mid valley or something :)

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  2. Very nice photos, Sean! I am not really a pasta person; however, I do like the really thin noodles like angel hair pasta. :)

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    1. Linda: there are days i crave pastas and other days when i crave asian noodles ... and days when i like them thin and other days when i prefer them thick, heh :)

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  3. I do appreciate the chance to customize a meal a little.

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    1. The Yum List: yeah, customisation can help spark our creativity, heh :)

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  4. Now who posted this on Facebook? Somebody did. I was wondering about the name - thought maybe it's peranakan, didn't click to see. Wow!!! Hong Kong is invading KL by storm, eh? All their celebrated joints coming over.

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    1. Suituapui: i think customers who love the gastronomy of hong kong will be happy to hear about the invasion, heheh :D but yeah, the restaurant's name does sound kinda peranakan :)

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  5. I can't say I'm a big fan of Hong Kong wanton noodles coz the last one I had at Starz Kitchen, I detected a strong taste of "kansui"...hope these ones are not like that but I do love their plump prawn wantons. And when you showed a pic of the dried flounder used to make their soup, I'm sold! Would also like to try the noodles in prawn roe powder...and your 3rd pic (from the end), are those cute-looking pigeon-holes meant for single diners?

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    1. Contact.ewew: i think they've managed to do a good job with the taste and texture of the noodles, though i would preferred the soups to be a bit more robust, heh :) and yes, that is a section for single diners ... i didn't notice it at first, but i think it was pretty ideal for a quick-service noodle place :)

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  6. I had their wanton mee before at HK, it was alright, not particularly impressed though.

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    1. Ken: heheh, i kinda suspect Penangites like yourself have a very strong preference for what the ideal wantan mee should taste like :)

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  7. Definitely would like to try that bowl of beef tendon noodle!

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  8. Had this today, and we enjoyed the beef tendon/brisket one.

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  9. This place is banned on my list, very rude owner/manager. Pointing his finger showing me out and saying 'whatever' when I was merely looking for my friend who said he was opposite cold storage.

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  10. The food maybe ok but the service is not. Horrendous. Supposed to be opened by 11 am but by 11.15 am still not opened. And they are so slow. Also importing Hong Kong arrogant attitude too. They should learn from Tim Ho Wan

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  11. Does the wonton taste extra springy borderline of being rubbery? If yes, congratulations you have great taste buds! Kitchen staff here cooks your kailan putting them into a pot of hot boiling soup having the rubber band still tied to the bunch. Some of these rubber band removed can be seen visibly melted. When confronted, hongkie owner brush it off saying its normal and Ok. Asked us to get out if we do not like it. Rude owner/staff plus rubber band soup. Perfect recipe I must say! Respect.

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Rubbish taste ,doesnt recommend at all , horrible wanton mee cost 14+ . pls go with your own risk , even a 'gai bin stall' also better than this

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  14. Rubbish taste ,doesnt recommend at all , horrible wanton mee cost 14+ . pls go with your own risk , even a 'gai bin stall' also better than this

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