[Kuala Lumpur] Wantan noodles from Koon Kee, Chinatown

This famous wantan noodle shop, started in 1947 by the late Mdm Lee Kim Kee, has seen its hey-days. But I couldn’t resist dropping by this 69-year-old spot this evening for its old-fashioned KL-style Cantonese springy noodles and its famous “sui kau” (水饺) dumplings.

The founder of Koon Kee, Mdm Lee Kim Kee, has had an eventful life. After World War II, she & her husband decided that life in their village in Guangdong was no longer viable due to the devastation wrought by the Japanese invasion. They made a long trek to the coastal city of Canton (Guangzhou) and took the slow boat to Port Klang in then-British Malaya. From Klang, they trekked 46 kms to Kuala Lumpur’s Petaling Street, where they set up their wantan mee stall.
The rest, as they say, is history.

The rather decrepit-looking place is now run by one of Mdm Lee’s nine children. Sadly, the food didn’t quite taste like I remembered from the 1970s & 80s when the grand old dame was around herself - she passed away a few years back (would’ve have been 92 if she’d still been alive today).

I tried the “tong ku kai keok mein” (noodles with stewed shitake mushrooms and chicken feet). It was pretty average - too bad, for such an illustrious noodle spot, I’d expected much better stuff.

“Sui kau” dumplings, filled with minced pork, shrimps and spring onions were a much better option, but still not anything memorable.

Koon Kee Wan Tan Mee
95, Jalan Hang Lekir,
50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: :+603-2078 6554

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold