Kolok Mee resembles wantan mee, but with an oomph to it

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  • Thursday, 22 Jan 2009

EVER heard of Kolok Mee? I had first encountered this noodle dish 10 years ago when I was on assignment in Sarawak. This particular meal resembles our wantan mee in Peninsular Malaysia but differs in the type of noodles used and the garnishing.

And, if you observe carefully, the helping of noodles does not come with wantan. Instead, there is minced pork together with slices of char siew.

Since Sarawak has a sizeable Chinese population descended from settlers from Foochow, kolok mee is part of the food culture there.

You can find it literally everywhere around the large state, and what intrigued me was the price. Contrary to popular belief that food is more expensive in Sabah and Sarawak, the kolok mee proved very reasonably priced.

I savoured it for a mere RM3.50 and during a recent follow-up visit to the Land of the Hornbill, I found the prices still very much the same.

Meanwhile, in the Klang Valley, there are places which serve kolok mee. One such outlet is located in Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya.

It was recommended to me by Justin Beliok, a friend from Kapit, Sarawak. “Eh Sam, I found this elderly couple who sell ‘mee Sarawak’, and Sarawak laksa lah. It’s also very tasty and affordable,” he said.

Following his recommendation, I decided to head to Taman Megah. Beliok, an employee of an oil company in Kuala Lumpur, had logged the location on his mobile phone GPS.

“Ah, if you want to get there, take down the Latitude, Longitude coordinates. It’s also very easy to find because the coffee shop is a corner lot and nearby, there is an upscale bicycle shop.”

With the additional information, I knew that the makan place is located near the Pro Bike shop owned by Tan Boon Foo, a well-known personality in the cycling community.

So, I logged in the coordinates on my Garmin NUVI 660 in-vehicle GPS receiver and let the navigator do the rest.

After a 15-minute drive from Subang Jaya, I found the coffee shop. It is called Restoran Gembira. And, true to Beliok’s word, I saw an old couple busy manning their stall.

The crowd was already swelling by the time I got there. I ordered a plate of kolok mee which was priced at RM3.80 a pop, and patiently waited for the meal to be served.

And when I sank my teeth into the kolok mee, I found it as good as what I had savoured in Kuching, Sibu and Miri. As a matter of fact, this stall had been mentioned in many food blogs and websites.

The trip to Gembira coffee shop was not a wasted effort, and since Taman Megah is quite a happening area where food is concerned, I am looking forward to some follow-up visits, especially to the Ming Tien food court.

Apart from the kolok mee in Taman Megah, there is another stall near the old LimKokWing University in Jalan SS26/4 in Taman Mayang Jaya.

The place in question is Tea Time cafe, and there is a stall at its entrance that serves kolok mee.

The dish is priced 30 sen cheaper than at Gembira coffee shop, but the garnishing is a bit disappointing.

It has been adapted to local taste, and I bit into a piece of stale fried wantan.

Although the minced meat and noodles were okay, the dish lacked oomph compared with Gembira coffee shop’s kolok mee.

Both outlets are non-halal and the best way to get there is by using your own transport. The grid reference for Gembira coffee shop is Lat 03 06 841, Long 101 36 742 while that for Tea Time coffee shop is Lat 03 06 979, Long 101 36 259.

NOTE: Please be reminded that the GPS coordinates work only with handheld and in-vehicle units. They are not applicable to Google Earth mapping software.

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