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At Kedai Kopi dan Makanan Ming Hoe Hokkien Mee in Jalan Ipoh, go for the sublime ‘kau yuk mee hoon’ instead

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — When I was away at university, one thing I missed dearly was the wide variety of fried noodle dishes so easily accessible here.

Chow mein from the local Midwestern Chinese takeaway was not going to do it for me.

And after one failed night out too many, licking my wounds with a soggy cheeseburger just didn’t quite hit the spot — oh, how I longed for a plate of KL-style Hokkien mee, or to slurp down some wat tan hor — so naturally I’ve been taking full advantage while being home.

This yearning extended far beyond a late-night binge, and in fact, the dish I missed most is something I would regularly have for lunch.

A view from the outside patio looking in.
A view from the outside patio looking in.

A view from the outside patio looking in.

Kau yuk mee hoon, or fried rice vermicelli with canned stewed pork, is a deceivingly simple dish that doesn’t always feature when the canon of fried noodles is discussed, but that shouldn't stop it from being your favourite too.

My go-to spot for years has been Kedai Kopi dan Makanan Ming Hoe Hokkien Mee, just off Jalan Ipoh.

As their name suggests, they’re more renowned for their Hokkien mee, but I’ve always been partial to their kau yuk mee hoon.

Their repertoire of fried noodle dishes includes yin yong, fried mee suah and yuet gwong hor in addition to what I always go back for: kau yuk mee hoon (RM40).

What a perfect bowl for lunch.
What a perfect bowl for lunch.

What a perfect bowl for lunch.

The dish can be broken down into its two simplest elements: the rice vermicelli noodles, and the canned stewed pork.

The former is nothing too crazy, nice and slick from all the rendered lard and still retaining some resistance.

On the other hand, to say the latter is central to the dish is an understatement — it is the literal foundation upon which the flavour profile of this dish is built.

Thick, but not particularly fatty pieces of pork that come out of a can may not sound like much, but the "red-braised” technique used to cook these pieces of pork belly yields an unctuous, full-bodied sauce that coats every last strand of noodle.

Fried Fish Cake is a snack I almost always get here.
Fried Fish Cake is a snack I almost always get here.

Fried Fish Cake is a snack I almost always get here.

Large croutons of crispy lard and crunchy slivers of Chinese cabbage are sprinkled throughout for some much-needed textural contrast.

Eating it with copious amounts of sambal allows one to layer different sources of savouriness with just the smallest hint of spice, and every bowl I finish feels like a steady affirmation that I made the right choice.

Is that all there is to eat here?

Far from it, though truth be told, I rarely deviate from my kau yuk mee hoon, which is made for at least two people — because one whole can of stewed pork is used — and I usually only come here with one other person.

Fried Fish Cake (RM16) is a moreish snack; springy, deliciously fried and perfect with some sweet chilli dipping sauce, though if I were planning to eat a whole portion of kau yuk mee hoon on my own — which I’ve tried to — I might skip the fish cakes.

Look for the white signboard just off Jalan Ipoh.
Look for the white signboard just off Jalan Ipoh.

Look for the white signboard just off Jalan Ipoh.

Kedai Kopi dan Makanan Ming Hoe Hokkien Mee (民和茶餐室)

39, Jalan Suppiah Pillay, 3rd Mile Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur

Open daily, 9am-3pm, 5-10pm. Closed on Monday.

Tel: 016-240 0956

*This is an independent review where the writer paid for the meal.

*Follow us on Instagram @eatdrinkmm for more food gems.