If you have been to Hong Kong and in search of the original Mak noodles, be prepared with a big and expandable stomach. There are so many versions and links to the original Mak Woon-Chi’s creation. I tried linking up and finding out which is the main descendant but in the end, not much results as the stories are very similar. I found the two most popular noodles after Mak Woon-Chi’s. Just a little history, Mak Woon-Chi the pioneer and the one who created wonton noodles brought this delicacy from Guangzhou to Hong Kong.
The recipe hasn’t changed throughout even till the earl 1960s as this dish was served to the then President of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-Shek by Mak Chi-Ming, a third-generation descendant of Mak Woon-Chi. Now with Mak’s Noodles and Mak Mun Kee’s version, they do have their own share of supporters, each insisting that they are the true originals. Even one of them has started franchise in Singapore, Mak Man Kee and they are opening another branch soon.
Mak Mun Kee Noodle Shop 麥文記麵家
I started off searching for them upon checking into my hotel in Hong Kong, luckily it was within walking distance and to be honest, I was hungry then and couldn’t wait to try out why, why so many people recommended Mak’s. The setup of the eatery is typical of Hong Kong food places. Tiny space with round tables where people would just come in and find a seat which is empty, most of the time, sharing a table with others and it’s also quite a culture especially during lunch hours where people would focus on their food and leave the place.
At 3:15pm, this place still packs with people and I understand now why it is considered the best wonton noodles. I ordered a bowl of wonton noodle soup and the other, dried noodles with shrimp dumplings. The soup has a very strong shrimp flavour which I have yet to taste before. The consistency in the handmade noodles is springy and needs a little effort to bite it off. Generous amount of prawns (one and a half slice of it) are found in each wonton and the texture of the prawn indicates that the meat is fresh and I savour every single bit of the meal. I enjoyed this and love it very much.
Mak’s Noodles 麥奀雲吞麵世家
The other “twin’ of the Mak legacy, is here to show that they meant business too. With an equal busy crowd, this outlet located at Wellington Street is popular as well. The space in the shop is bigger and articles and pictures of their success decorate the front window of the shop. We ordered the usual soup version of the wonton noodles and a plate of 捞(dried version) sprinkled with dried prawn roe and a bowl of wonton soup by itself.
The taste of the soup is comparable with I really couldn’t find too much of a difference, the noodles seems like it has been made off from the same factory of person who kneads it. To me, the捞 version seems to hit on me more and the dried roe acts as a magical powder which enhances the noodles and taste of it. The wonton however, seems like being discounted as it is only wrapped in a full prawn compared to Mak Mun Kee’s.
You can try out their branch in Singapore and see if you like it and if you have a chance to go to Hong Kong, do try out both and see for yourself, which side would you taste buds fall to. Typing this article makes me crave for the noodles once again. I think I wanna take a train down and try out the one in Singapore…