Advertisement

Seek out Kepong's Pin Wei Fish Head Noodle for a punchy broth, springy homemade fish balls and an addictive fried pork spring roll

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — It's that dreaded time of the year when all the Chinese New Year festivities are over and your regular stalls or restaurants are taking a break.

This is especially true for those that stayed open throughout the Chinese New Year.

Regular opening times are jumbled.

If they don't have any social media, be prepared to be disappointed. Hence, it took me three tries before I found a place to eat this week.

Travelling from Petaling Jaya to Jinjang, I randomly found this place via Google in Kepong. Lo and behold, it was truly a case of being third time lucky as it turned out to be a gem.

Located along the busy Jalan Kepong, you wouldn't know there's fish head noodle here since the signboard shouts out bak kut teh.

There's a banner though with a mish mash of English and Chinese. It's confusing; while I was there, an Indian family walked in and asked if they served bak kut teh.

It's a clean, small place with just a few tables.

It reminds me a little of Japan where a minimal staff tends to your needs. Inside the kitchen, you have the owner cooking away. He does have one worker, running up and down the kitchen, multi-tasking the orders and bringing the dishes out to customers.

Patience is required here so I just relax and chill to match their vibe rather than fret about how long things will take.

The small place is clean and comfortable to dine in
The small place is clean and comfortable to dine in

The small place is clean and comfortable to dine in

The highlight is their Grouper Fish Head Mee Hoon.

Since that takes time to cook, order some small bites to nibble on. You won't regret it.

I settled for their Fried Pork Spring Roll and Q Bomb Handmade Fish Ball .

You know you're in for a treat when you lay your eyes on the fish balls with their distinct finger indentations.

Crafted from sai tou yee, these had a nice springy bite. It's something you can quickly pop in your mouth until you reach the last one. But don't do that, try some with the homemade chilli sauce.

Q Bomb Handmade Fish Balls live up to its name with that springy texture; it's handmade as you can tell from the finger indentations
Q Bomb Handmade Fish Balls live up to its name with that springy texture; it's handmade as you can tell from the finger indentations

Q Bomb Handmade Fish Balls live up to its name with that springy texture; it's handmade as you can tell from the finger indentations

The hue of the sauce leans more towards orange rather than red. A taste of it with the fish ball reveals its tangy, spicy notes. It's seriously dangerous stuff: you want to eat more but you need to resist as it's spicy.

A bowl of eight fish balls sets you back RM7.

The Fried Pork Spring Roll (RM9 for small, RM17 for large) was supremely tasty. Apparently it's a Hokkien spring roll or lorbak but this version is like it's on steroids since it's huge compared to the puny lorbak. Here the minced pork is marinated and mixed with some diced vegetables.

What made it exceptionally good was the bean curd skin enclosing the filling was deep fried until it was shattering crispy. Even the taste of the filling is addictive, leaving you wanting another piece until the whole roll is finished. I am not ashamed to say I ate the whole roll by myself.

Fried Pork Spring Roll may be a side dish but it's definitely worthy of main star billing with its tasty marinated meat filling and golden crispy skin left). You get a variety of sauces like a tomato sauce for the spring roll, soy sauce with sliced chillies and their killer chilli sauce that packs spicy and tangy notes (right)
Fried Pork Spring Roll may be a side dish but it's definitely worthy of main star billing with its tasty marinated meat filling and golden crispy skin left). You get a variety of sauces like a tomato sauce for the spring roll, soy sauce with sliced chillies and their killer chilli sauce that packs spicy and tangy notes (right)

Fried Pork Spring Roll may be a side dish but it's definitely worthy of main star billing with its tasty marinated meat filling and golden crispy skin left). You get a variety of sauces like a tomato sauce for the spring roll, soy sauce with sliced chillies and their killer chilli sauce that packs spicy and tangy notes (right)

There's also Fried Fish Cake, if you wish to order more snacks.

Back to the fish head noodles, which arrived once I had happily polished off every bite of the snacks.

They use grouper fish head pieces battered and these sit on top of the mee hoon. While I liked the fish, I felt the batter was a little thick. Maybe it's their style to let you have a contrast of textures: crunchy bites like nuggets.

All was forgiven once I tasted that broth. I had asked for milk to temper down the sour notes. It was just the right sourness with a richness from the milk that gave it a silkier texture.

It's essentially built from tomatoes, pickled vegetables and sour plum. You find cubes of silky beancurd inside it too. I was trying my best to drink down every drop of that wonderful broth that seemed to perk up my meal.

A small portion of the noodles is RM17 and if you size up, it will cost you RM35.

No, it's not a 'bak kut teh' shop but one selling fish head noodles, curry mee, 'pan mee' and various fried noodles along the busy Jalan Kepong
No, it's not a 'bak kut teh' shop but one selling fish head noodles, curry mee, 'pan mee' and various fried noodles along the busy Jalan Kepong

No, it's not a 'bak kut teh' shop but one selling fish head noodles, curry mee, 'pan mee' and various fried noodles along the busy Jalan Kepong

The other specialty here is the curry mee, which is available on weekends. They also do an interesting combination of loh mee mixed with curry, which they coin as Lo Curry Mee. There's also pan mee.

You also get a variety of fried noodles. These range from Hokkien mee, Cantonese fried noodles, fried pan mee and fried kuey teow too. There's also fried rice and stewed rice.

Parking can be found along the main road. If not, park behind the shop lot. The eatery is found on the side of the road if you're driving from the Kepong police station towards AEON Mall.

Pin Wei Fish Head Noodle, 16, Jalan Kepong, Kuala Lumpur. Open: 11.30am to 7pm. Closed alternate Wednesday of the month, they will be closed on March 6. Tel:019-3152952.

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

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