Pan Mee Frenzy @ Peking Pan Mee Noodles Shop, IpohSeptember 12, 2010 | 4,716 views
I anticipated with glee, on the potentially mind-blowing Pan Mee varieties from this supposedly “Pan Mee Specialist” named Peking Pan Mee Noodles Shop in Medan Ipoh Bistari; a relatively new eatery (about 3 months’ old) on the same row as Akamomiji Japanese Restaurant, and directly opposite of Kafe Tim coffee shop.
The Pumpkin-flavoured Pan Mee noodles done the ‘dry’ style with crunchy anchovies, wood ear fungus (mook yee), sweet leaves (Sayur manis) and strips of shiitake mushrooms.
But the breakfast experience fell short off the mark; leaving us in doubt whether the crowd were there solely for the varieties of pan mee on their menu, for the convenience of the distance away from tourists-packed areas, or maybe from sheer word-of-mouth, publicity in the Chinese dailies, etc?
Read on to discover the MANY varieties of Pan Mee available at Peking Pan Mee, and why the concept holds promise yet executed somewhat poorly ……
The place resembles more of a mid range cafe than a coffee shop, with delicious shots of their pan mee all printed on the banners, and posters on the wall.
I half-expected the place to be crowded, but not packed to the brim! We were there about 9am+ on a Saturday morning, and thankfully there was one vacant table left. Though the six of us had to squeeze and elbow our way around the table, we persevered until we saw a table of six finally leaving the premise.
But the shop suffered from a serious lack of manpower. Only two persons taking the orders; one being a designated lady running the cashier counter, while the other was an elderly man whom did not even bother to clean up our table. Two other staff were running all over the place, serving drinks and food, clearing tables, and such.
The adverse effect was imminent, when we had to wave frantically before anyone cared to clear our table and take our orders. Not to mention I had to walk over and grab a menu myself.
The hectic environment somewhat marred the experience, but the wait for our food was bearable. About 10-15 minutes of wait only. But the transition from a smaller table to another that managed to accommodate us was far from silky smooth …… Anyway, on to the FOOD now.
Dry Pumpkin Pan Mee (RM5.00/USD1.60)
They offer three types of noodles; the Pumpkin, Wolfberry and Spinach (though it’s listed as Cabbage in the menu) flavoured flat flour noodles. You can have them served in soup, or dry (tossed with soy sauce etc), or in curry, or even dry curry ala Ipoh’s famous dry curry mee.
But there are wackier creations like Ginger Duck Pan Mee (‘Chi Keong Ngap‘), Spicy Fermented Soya Bean Fish Head Pan Mee and even a special RM10/USD3.20 per pot, only available on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays – Ginger Wine Chicken Pan Mee.
A sinfully rich Curry Pan Mee; excessively pumped up with ‘santan’ (coconut milk).
We ordered different types of pan mee to sample, so that I can take more shots and share them with the readers. Aren’t my family members cool or what?
Mum and dad ordered the Dry Pan Mee; one being the Pumpkin version while dad had the Spinach flavoured noodles. But to her disappointment, mum’s Pumpkin pan mee was sourish, having this unpleasant taste almost like vinegar, but it was not. Even dad’s spinach noodles had this similar taste. Aside from that, the anchovies were not crunchy, while the sauce was a tad oily. Clearly, she has had better ones elsewhere in Ipoh.
* By the way, Mum was raving about this pan mee stall in Wah Pan Coffee Shop in town. Anyone?
And here’s the contender to Kin Kin Chili Pan Mee here in Ipoh. The Dry Chili Pan Mee (with the poached egg missing, noticeably) @ Peking Pan Mee.
I was torn between the Ginger Wine Chicken Pan Mee (a special that’s available only on Wed, Sat & Sun), and this Dry Chili Pan Mee. The latter because I was keen on FINALLY trying a Chili Pan Mee here in Ipoh, instead of trying the many versions in Kuala Lumpur.
Anyway, the ensemble looked mighty promising on the plate; Generous portion of the flat noodles, with chunks of chicken, anchovies, sweet leaves, chopped scallions, strips of wood ear fungus and of course, a handful of their homemade chili flakes/paste. Of course, the poached egg is sorely missed in this one, but no complaints for the portion was almost double of the one at Kin Kin.
The Dry Chili Pan Mee; after some thorough mixing.
With a glass of iced coffee at hand, I was half expecting to breathe fire. Or at least torched my tongue. Nope. Far from it, in fact. For the level of spiciness was almost zilch; even a child can slurp the noodles with a victorious snigger.
Okay, slightly exaggerated. But definitely not the fiery chili pan mee that I was craving for. (Pardon me for I forgot to check around for additional dried chili flakes placed on the table like the ones in KL). Furthermore, after some good tossing, the noodles tasted a little salty. Though the side serving of the pan mee soup (soup only) somewhat helped to tamper down the saltiness.
Pickled Vegetables Fish Head Pan Mee (RM7.00/USD2.20) – You can also choose to have this with rice vermicelli noodles aka mee hoon.
Thankfully, both of the grandmas’ claypot fish head pan mee with pickled vegetables passed the test. Not with flying colours, for they commented on the not-too-bouncy noodles (soggy would be the word). But the soup was sweet, flavourful with a tangy finish thanks to the pickled vegetables and tomatoes. The fish head was deep-fried prior to being served.
Yong Tau Foo (Stuffed beancurd with fish paste) – RM3.00/USD0.90
Until the very end of our meal, we remembered about the Yong Tau Foo that has yet to arrive. Since this was the lady’s recommendation, we decided to give this a try. Two rather hefty chunks of soft beancurd stuffed with a patty of pork+fish, then served in a hot bean sauce. The beancurd was alright, since RM3.00 get you two blocks, considered value for money?
* On a side note, Kwong Hong in Gunung Rapat makes the BEST stuffed beancurd I have tasted in Ipoh. Seriously good stuff, but gotta wait for them to fry them freshly from the kitchen.
Peking Pan Mee Noodles Shop – Did something go wrong somewhere?
All in all, the breakfast experience was far from satisfactory. Yes, I understand that the crowd spells success, and there are already several good reviews on the net. Criz was the one that egged me on to try this, aside from a review from Simple Girl. Even on the Facebook page, I have read several recommendations to give Peking Pan Mee a try. Not to mention the latest coercing move by a colleague of mine.
“Maybe I should have gone for the other varieties? Or maybe it was one of the cook’s ‘off’ days? If you have been there before, do share your experiences here with the other readers. Thank you. And Happy Monday to the ones who will be working tomorrow, and a slightly belated Selamat Hari Raya to the Muslim readers.”
PEKING PAN MEE NOODLES SHOP
30, Jalan Medan Ipoh 1E,
Medan Ipoh Bistari,
31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 6012-514 0782, 6012-728 8727
Business hours : 7.30am – 4.30pm
GPS Coordinates : E101 7′ 1.7″ N4 37′ 11.1″
Google Map to Peking Pan Mee Noodles Shop