Friday, July 20, 2007

Sungai Besi Wantan Mee

chopsticksMusic always soothes the soul, even when one has completely forgotten everything that her music teacher had taught her up till she turned 17, after which her attention was diverted to cars and boys. Despite not being able to tell the difference between a B Minor chord and an F Major chord, I have never ceased to appreciate all types of music, from classical to jazz. So when the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) gave its inaugural performance in 1998, we were ecstatic. We looked forward to one major event every year; when tickets for the new season were up for sale, we'd queue up with the rest of the die-hard fans to purchase them. Several years back, we'd join the queue as early as 2.00 in the morning with a thermos pot containing hot, steaming coffee, packed sandwiches and a couple of good books to while the time away until they opened the ticket counter at 8.00am. It was a ritual of sorts. We'd see the same faces every year, almost like they were old friends (and perhaps, after all these years, they had become that), so it wasn't really a chore to line up in the comfort of the airconditioned area that the organisers had cordoned off for us.

We love going for concerts. The excitement of dressing up. The anticipation of watching yet another great performance. The opportunity to unwind after a hard day's work. My tense muscles relax, the frown on my forehead disappears, and my eyes shut close as I lose myself in a symphony of music.

We have one other ritual after an evening at the MPO. We eat wantan mee with wildboar curry.


charsiewwantan sui kowwildboarcurry


The stall is situated along the Sungai Besi highway leading from KL to Seremban, just after Nichii Fashion City, and right under a 3M signboard. We'd go to this stall in all our finery, sometimes sitting and eating there, and at other times, for take-away. My regular order is a plate of dry noodles with a serving of half lean meat, half fat char siew (barbequed pork). The noodles may not be as springy as what you'd find in Hung Kee, but it's still very good.

What makes the meal really satisfying is the extra serving of thick, spicy, wild boar curry, poured liberally over the wantan noodles. The meat is cooked till tender, and the flavours of the spices infuse the meat and mask the strong smell of wild boar that one tends to get a waft of if the meat is not cooked properly.

Other items available here include hakka stewed pork, vinegar pork knuckles and sui kow. I've tried the hakka stewed pork once, but it failed to impress so I didn't bother ordering it again.


the kid The stall is open for dinner till really really late, so it is a good place to stop by after a night of partying. Stumbling about in a drunken stupor is not necessary.

Also check out:
KY Eats
KampungboyCitygal

37 comments:

msiagirl said...

Now that's REAL wantan mee and wantan soup - not tortellini *wink*

Wild boar curry - wow - that takes me back to my uncles going out into the jungle, shooting some big ol wild boar, then dragging it back and aunties have to cook it for dinner. Now that real He-Man stuff eh?

Have a lovely lovely weekend my friend :)

jason said...

Gimme the wantan mee and wild boar curry! Huiyo, such large picture - stomach growl when I stares at it for long long long time...

Paprika said...

Ah another good reason to go shop at Nichii! Have a big bowl of delicious wanton mee after! Yet to try this one. Have only tasted a bite or two a while back when drunk. Doesn't count obviously, I could've been eating mud for all I knew!

tankiasu said...

Wah how much is that huge plate of curry wild boar?!

Lee Ping (Mrs.HBT) said...

Is this little boy, "Bald Eagle junior"?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

msiagirl dear:

The idea of hunting for wild boar is so cool, isn't it? When my parents used to live in Terengganu, we could hear wild boar running outside the house (we had no fences then).

I hope you have a nice weekend in London, dear.

jason:

Hehe...we can go there anytime wan. I can detour there on the way back from the office.

paprika:

I think this place opens after Nichii closes, right? Aiyoh girl, I think you weren't eating mud la. It was probably the dry hakka stewed pork. :-P

tankiasu:

not that expensive, i reckon. sorryla, can't remember how much we paid.

lee ping:

hehe. i don't have kids. That's my brother's kid. I adore him to death. And the kid loves the wantan mee, but without the wild boar curry. He has yet to appreciate a good curry. :-D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

whos that kid?? hahah...so cute!!!
hmm wild boar curry..another reason to eat..heard its leaner and contains more protein..less guilt!

k.t.x said...

ahhhh, classical concerts can really go well with authentic chinese cooking. they r both a piece of art on its own. i hv only been to 2 of those performances in MPO, one of which was a Cuban assemble, but kinda find MPO's list of performances less and less interesting...lol.

one of my immediate gastronomic destination must b this place, yeah, maybe this weekend. they open on weekends dont they?

MeiyeN said...

let me guess... you play piano? i used to love music a lot.. as in, playing da piano but like you said, at da age of 18, when i was introduced to da clubs and etc. i lost my way!... put a stop in grade 7 and till today, never have da time to actually complete grade 8! :| and my dad still expecting me to complete my grade 8, hoping that i will one day tell him, "i am going for piano class".. but, you see, am already in my mid twenties... what a shame to go for exams with little kids :(

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Nipples:

That cute kid is my darling nephew. He loves to eat. I think he's following in my footsteps. :-P

Joe, dear, everything in moderation, eh?

k.t.x:

This place is open on weekends too. Nights only, yah.

I agree. The selection at MPO is getting worse...especially the international selection. This year was the first year we didn't do our ritual because they did away with the jazz series. I felt so empty inside. Traditions are fast disappearing. :-P

meiyen:

Yeah, I learnt how to play the piano but my teacher was a meanie. She kept smacking my fingers all the time. I really wasn't a naughty kid, u know. But dad knew that my heart wasn't in it, so unlike you, he has stopped expecting me to resume lessons. In fact, he gave away my piano to the church without checking with me first! There are loads of adult piano classes, if you want to resume lessons, but I bet blogging, your darling and your wedding take up most of your time right now, eh? ;-)

KY said...

waa the boy looked so happyy

Henry Yeo said...

so do you even fly to see the miri jazz festival or sarawak world music festival?

Kenny Mah said...

Wahh, I want to feel like that kiddie looks... delishyeesh food leh...

My dear, I believe we've solved the problem of me not knowing when you've updated your blog: just tell me lar when we're on the phone and we can go over your sweet, full and round... wantans together...

Just like phone se... er, phone fest/feast? Ahem. ;)

wmw said...

Use to eat here after a late night out. Food is good but the wantan mee is a tad on the oily side.

Argus Lou said...

Wah, we've more things in common, Lyrical. I too stopped piano lessons at 17, and enjoyed the Dewan Filharmonik performances (for the first several years, and then the service and packages became less attractive).

The delish-looking boar curry is on a typical red plastic plate. ;-)
I so want to be a vegetarian but the meat in the supermart keep calling my name...

Hard to imagine you in a ballgown or cocktail dress sitting at the stall though. ^_^

Argus Lou said...

Hey, MsiaGirl, do we have the same uncles and cousins?! Mine used to hunt game with guns near Taiping, Perak. Consequently an aunt or my mum would cook the wild boar/flying fox/whatnot and we'd all tuck in.
(Now I don't approve of hunting, unless we're starving lah.)

Lyrical, if you stay at the Mutiara hotel in Taman Negara, a family of wild boar will trot around your chalet early in the morning and/or at dusk. The dad's tusks can look pretty forbidding though.

WokandSpoon said...

Wild boar curry - that's something from my childhood! I haven't eaten that for a really really long time! Your wan tan mee ritual sounds like a good one!

msiagirl said...

LL: heheh commenting from London as YM has wi-fi and I lugged my computer all the way in the flash floods today - rivers in Victoria Station!

See I told you I'm related to everyone - Argus: your uncles sound frighteningly a lot like mine - if they are not same they sure went hunting together. That town not very big-lah. Mail me lah - we compare wild-boar killing relatives.

team bsg said...

u shud have all da ingredients for a super night out , sweetest melodies, hot wild things then early morning highs but still maybe one short( there is always this annoying one small hitch ) and that young cutest 6 hrs innocdence sure nex yr canornot ?

Big Boys Oven said...

I had been to this noodle shop....they taste good but I still prfer ipoh's wanton mee.

teckiee said...

look at those chopsticks! reminds me of that stick game... what's is called again? The one you got to pick up with moving the rest of the sticks in the stack

kat said...

I too gave up on MPO after the first 3 years. It was getting a tad tiring queuing up for tickets and it got difficult getting my baby a babysitter at night when he refuses to go for anyone except his mommy. We must've met during the earlier years at the lines in the chilly hall!

Dang, I thought it was mutton curry!! I am such a plebian when it comes to wantan mee. As long as it has lard in it, it's good to me! hahaha..

catsndogs said...

OMG... one of my favourite hanging place for wantan mee ... i like to jus eat the 'sui gou' ,ate 10 all by myself...

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

ky:

hehe. the kid is always happy when he gets his favourite food.

henry:

no, I don't.

kenny:

better still, why don't I just read out the post to you over the phone so that you won't even need to visit the blog? Yep, it'd be better than phone se...

wmw:

it's popular with the late night crowd, isn't it? hehe.

argus:

Ballgown?? ROFL. My dear, I don't dress up to that extent for the MPO concerts. In fact, for the jazz concerts, they've even lowered down the standard to "smart casual".

Yeah, we do have a lot in common, don't we? Especially the bit about eating japanese. :-P (can't let ourselves forget that now, can we?)

Wildlife near the house is so cool, isn't it? When I was travelling in South Africa, a group of hippos would visit our chalet. Of course, that was a lot more dangerous lor. :-D

wokandspoon:

Yeah, certain traditions shouldn't be forgotten. :-) Even if it's just eating at a stall selling wildboar curry. Sometimes, these are the best memories. :-)

msiagirl:

Heard about the floods!! I hope you and your family (incl YM) are okay. Keep me updated via email, k, dear.

team bsg:

nothing missing mah! :-P Got meh? Hmmmmmmmmm.

bigboysoven:

Hmmm. So many ppl talking about Ipoh's wantan mee and other such food. Must go there soon. Kampar's "supposed" to be good too.

teckiee:

hehe. I know which game you're talking about. I guess you can use chopsticks for that game too. Next time I use a pair of chopsticks, I'm gonna make sure I clean them properly first. :-P

kat:

Oooh. I'm sure we must have met in the early days. I do still remember a few familiar faces from the MPO queue. I even attended the music education thingy they conducted every year.

catsndogs:

wow. 10 sui kows??!?! I salute you, dude!

Ross B said...

Lyrical Lemongrass,

I identify with your comments about music. My first love is rock, but like you I have eclectic taste (doesn't extend to modern jazz or country and western, though!). Anyway, on the rare occasions I attend a symphony concert, it always takes me out of myself, transporting me away to a lovely place between sleep and meditation where my thoughts ebb and flow against the tapestry of the music. BUT I DO NOT HAVE THE GOOD FORTUNE TO LIVE IN A FOOD MECCA WHERE WONTON MEE WITH WILDBOAR CURRY IS BUT A SHORT WALK AWAY!! I was starting to overcome my withdrawal symptoms from Malaysian food, having been back in Perth for a couple of months, but you've just reignited them with those pics. THANKS! I WANNA BE THERE!!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Ross, you know that you're always welcome back here in Malaysia, don't you? And this time, you will have the added benefit of a local tour guide. :-P Now ain't that the best? :-)

Kenny Mah said...

Is that a promise now...? ;)

Lee Ping (Mrs.HBT) said...

Your brother's son is very cute lar...

Hope you have a good week ahead. :)

Ross B said...

That is indeed the best, LL! Don't mean to be unsavoury, but I'm salivating in anticipation...!

Seriously, I thank you and feel privileged to be invited by an 'insider' into the dazzling world of Malaysian cuisine. Maybe I could make a small gesture of appreciation by bringing a nice Aussie white to the taste-fest, direct from downunder? Or red, as your preference may have it.

Big cheers!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

lee ping:

hehe. he is, isn't he? I love him to bits.

Thanks, Lee Ping. I hope your week's good too. :-)

Ross B:

Oooh, a nice Aussie white sounds good. Will you bring wine too? ;-) hahahaha.

Seriously tho, I'm really glad you had the opportunity to enjoy some of Malaysia's best on your vacation. It helps when you have a local beside you, though. We can lead you to the best rat-infested alleys for the best hawker food ever (with added flavours from the elements!).

Ross B said...

Got me, LL - can't match your wit on that first remark (not publicy, anyway!).

There's no doubt that local knowledge is indispensible. Asking local people for hawker and restaurant recommendations beats the hell out of guide books. So, kind food blogging queen of KL, lead me to the promised land of ultimate Malaysian hawker delights and I will surely follow. Or stay abreast if you prefer...

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Ross, your subtle hint in the second para did not go unnoticed!! So yes, you can easily match my wit, if not surpass it, anytime!

So will u be visiting KL soon for the ride of your life?...and I mean a culinary feast, of course.

Ross B said...

Strewth - as soon as possible now! Just gotta plan on which bank to rob - big rewards require big risks.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Ross, let me know if you need reinforcements. I can help carry the bag filled with the million bucks.

Ross B said...

LL, what can I say - you're all heart.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Ross, you can thank me when I'm sunbathing with my millions in the Bahamas. Oh, did I say "my"? :-P

Ross B said...

Aw, you can have it - but out of the booty can you shout me a trip to KL and some special Malaysian treats ? Deal?