Famous Hakka Mee @ Pudu (Chun Kee Da Pu Noodles)August 3, 2011 | 16,133 views
Chun Kee Hakka Mee (Da Pu Noodles) – For more than 80 years in business, and still situated at the same ‘shack’ off Jalan Pudu. You can almost breathe in an air of nostalgia when you’re eating here.
Then scream. Last in the series, and gawd knows how long I have been anticipating for this Hakka mee experience.
Da Pu (also known as Dabu) is a village in Guangdong; a centre of Hakka culture in China. Thus, essentially this bowl of noodles can still be named as Hakka Mee, or Da Bu Mien (as emblazoned across the yellow-coloured signboard adorning the wall above the stall).
But instead of serving their noodles with the usual fish balls, pork balls or stuffed beancurd, Chun Kee chooses to serve theirs with pork dumplings (wanton) instead. Read on to find out why some have generously heaped praises towards this humble outlet in Pudu, and how tenacious of them to withstand more than eight decades of hardships …..
Is he from the second or third generation? I do not know. But clearly, he’s the boss running the place, and Chun Kee is being run by the fourth generation now.
If you’re one with an adamant stand on NOT eating at non-air conditioned outlets that might make you sweat buckets, your elbow knocking into one a stranger’s seated next to you, or breathing in fumes from passing vehicles a few metres from you …. then this should be the end of story. Thank you.
Can you say old school? The prawn and the cock motives represent the most traditional of cutlery designs in Chinese eateries.
But if you don’t mind sacrificing the comfort and pampering indulgences of dining in style and elegance, then please make your way here. At least once.
Deliciously moist and savoury minced pork gravy on top of a heap of noodles coated in a lardy sauce, and slices of lean ‘char siew’ (barbecued pork) to provide a toothsome bite.
To me, my first experience with Hakka mee was way back in the 90’s. When I first tasted the one served in Ipoh Garden East; and they still do. If you’re a resident around Taman Perak, then you would have known which shop I am referring to.
What constitutes a good bowl of Hakka mee? For me the following requirements should suffice:
a) Noodles with a springy (QQ) texture, preferably devoid of alkaline taste from excessive use of lye water, and freshly made.
b) Good side dishes; or accompaniments. Eg: yong tau foo (Stuffed beancurd), fish balls, meat balls, beancurd sheets, or even dumplings/wanton in soup.
c) Condiments play a mighty important role too, usually garlic chili sauce would be served … but sometimes pickled green chillies can be an option.
d) Most important of all, the minced meat gravy smothering the swirls of noodles beneath. The more the better, and in a most sinfully lardy manner.
Steel pots of minced meat gravy, but ignore the layer of oil if you would. Just don’t ignore their significance in transforming a passable bowl of Hakka mee into a magnificent one. The pickled green chillies would be strange for the usual Hakka mee, but at Chun Kee, the noodles resemble more like the one used for wanton mee instead.
Wanton (pork dumplings) in a flavourful clear broth, redolent with the aroma of dried flounder powder and pork bones. Some patrons seated on the same table (yeah, no strangers when you’re dining in such close proximity!) ordered an additional serving of wanton.
You can witness how they make their noodles if you’re in luck. The manufacturing ‘facility’ is directly adjacent to the stall; and on good days you can see how the noodle-maker rides on the bamboo pole to flatten the dough. Life’s a circus, really.
At Chun Kee, you don’t get the usual flat noodles in a shade of pale beige hues. Instead, the noodles reminded me of the egg noodles commonly used for wanton mee, and rightly so because they intended for the noodles to be as such. The production process brought back memories of Nippy Noodles in Kuchai Lama, where the maker rides on a bamboo pole meant to flatten and provide the noodles with a bouncy bite.
The noodles come in three portion sizes: Small for RM4.20/USD1.40, Medium for RM4.60/USD1.50 and Large for RM5.00/USD1.70.
The draw of this eight decades plus brand? The lard oil-coated fresh egg noodles and the minced meat gravy atop the noodles. If you’re in favour of rice noodles, then take the ‘lou shu fun’ (rat’s tail noodles, or silver needle noodles) option. The rice noodles are made in-house as well.
Life in the Fast Lane; You come, you wait, you sit, you eat and you leave. Don’t spend leisure time talking or people watching. Because you might just get cursed by hungry patrons waiting for a seat.
So far, this has to be my favourite Hakka mee stall in all of Klang Valley. Mainly because it IS good, and secondly, I have not tried many other options yet. If you know of other equally as good, or better Hakka mee in KL, then please drop me your recommendation(s) here.
CHUN KEE DA PU MIEN (Hakka Mee) (non-Halal)
446, Jalan Sayur,
Off Jalan Pudu,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Google Map to Chun Kee Hakka Mee
GPS Coordinates : 3.13501,101.712987
Opens from 6am onwards, until 2.30pm. But read from some reviews that they close at a much later hour now … 9pm? Closed on Mondays and 1st and 15th of the month in Lunar calendar.
* Go along Jalan Pudu from the side of Berjaya Times Square and the former Pudu prison. You will pass by a traffic lights that will lead you to Jalan Brunei on the LEFT. Go straight and you will pass by Sek Yuen Restaurant on your RIGHT. Slow down and once you see some shabby stalls on your left, that’s Jalan Sayur. Park anywhere behind the row of shops and walk over.