HK 2013 – Mak’s Noodle @ Central – Worthy of the Hype?December 5, 2013 | 3,972 views
A golden shade of yellow; the noodles are no doubt made in house; perfected through years of experience and feedback. Some outlets do theirs with a heavy-handed approach; lacing the springy noodles with an overpowering taste of alkaline water. Thankfully, Mak’s Noodle’s version was none of those.
Paying HKD33/RM13.80/USD4.30 for a small bowl of soup noodles with a couple of prawn dumplings might sound a tad unbelievable. That is, if you’re paying this price in an eatery in Malaysia 5 years ago. Nowadays, even a plate of very basic fried Nissin noodles or Korean-inspired spicy noodles at Kim Gary or Wong Kok Char Chaan Teng will come close to that price. In Hong Kong, paying around HKD30 per portion of noodles is not an uncommon sight, even in the most dodgy of corners and sidewalks.
The perpetual Mak’s Noodles vs Tsim Chai Kee (read previous review HERE) saga will probably never ends, since both are equally as famous (Tsim Chai Kee was packed though on that afternoon while we could easily parked our butts in Mak’s Noodles) and garnering rave reviews in guide books and blogs.
However, Mak’s Noodle has the advantage of being featured in Anthony Bourdain’s TV show; whereby the celebrity chef was heaping praises on the al dente noodles and succulent prawn dumplings/wanton. Here’s what I think.
No joke when they take pride in their freshly-wrapped and prepared wantons. Look at him go. Poetry in motion, almost.
We were on our way towards Sheung Wan for tea time at Teakha Cafe actually. But passing by Mak’s Noodle along Wellington Street, we could not resist from dropping in for a small bowl of their famed wanton noodles. After all, since this comes highly recommended, and part of the wanton noodles mecca in Hong Kong, can’t say that I have been there, done that without at least slurping on a bowl of their creation.
Now, upon walking in, don’t be underwhelmed by the interior. Slightly more spacious than say, Four Season Claypot Rice (in terms of space between tables) and definitely more comfortable than Joy Hing Roasted Meats in Wan Chai, Mak’s Noodle has never been the place to impress your date anyway.
The modus operandi here is simple. Walk in, take a seat or share a table, order from the one piece laminated menu (with English, thankfully) and wait. Most patrons don’t even bother order a drink; or you can sip on the Chinese tea that comes complimentary with every meal. But don’t be stunned by the fact that some locals soak their cutleries in their cups of tea.
Wanton Dumplings in Soup Noodles (HKD33 each bowl) came with 3-4 pieces of dumplings filled with crunchy, succulent prawns and noodles in a savoury, clear broth flavoured by flounder fish powder and a dash of pepper.
The Dumpling Noodles in Soup had a few pieces of Sui Kow instead; larger dumplings filled with prawn, pork and crunchy wood ear fungus. HKD36/RM15/USD5 per bowl
Please don’t go expecting to be satiated by a bowl of this. Small eaters? Maybe. But if you have made it all the way to Hong Kong, don’t stop the indulging please. Do yourself a favour and leave space for subsequent/consecutive meals and in-between snacks. If we are aligned on this, then good. Mak’s Noodle serves almost minuscule portions that will leave you hanging after a few slurp-fuls of their noodles.
Verdict? The noodles certainly tasted better than Tsim Chai Kee; for the sheer fact that the absence of unpleasant alkaline taste made this a winner. The wanton dumplings on the other hand, were more memorable over at Tsim Chai Kee, as far as I could remember. Still, both are on equal grounds, at least in my books. And I won’t hesitate walking into either when the craving comes.
The menu stated everything clearly, including the price per portion.
This is directly opposite of Tsim Chai Kee actually, along Wellington Street in Central Hong Kong. So you can compare and contrast to your liking, and pick your preferred bowl.
MAK’S NOODLE (also on OpenRice)
G/F, 77, Wellington Street,
Central, Hong Kong
Business Hours : 11am – 9pm daily
Refer to the updated Google Map for the locations of all places reviewed
Take the MTR to Central station and exit at D2 exit, and walk towards Wellington Street. You will see Mak’s Noodle along this road.
*For an overview of the entire trip, jump to Hong Kong & Macau 2013