This wantan noodles stall is run by an elderly husband-and-wife who’d been doing it for nearly half a century - starting in what local Penangites call “Gu-kan-tang” (牛干冬) or modern-day Chulia Street. They moved to the current spot at Tai Wah Café(a traditional Chinese coffeeshop) on Argyll Road in the 1980s.
It’s Malaysian-style wantan noodles, the “kon lou” or “dry” version with the trademark dark soya sauce-sesame oil-shallot oil-BBQ pork drippings/lard for dressing. Also, a typical plate of wantan noodles will come with both “char siew” (Chinese BBQ pork) and wantan dumplings.
I’ve always been less than impressed with Penang or Ipoh’s wantan noodles, and felt that KL does the best rendition of Malaysian-style wantan noodles. But I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed the version here at Tai Wah - the noodles had a suppleness which I really liked. The dressing was passable - still not KL standards, but very good by Penang’s measure. The version here also included shredded chicken meat (“kai see”) besides the “char siew” and “wantan”, and that, I really like
Pickled green chillis are also served on the side, to add a stab of acidity which undercuts the rich flavour of the dish.
Tai Wah Cafe Wantan Mee
86, Jalan Argyll
10050 George Town
Operating hours: 7am till 11.30am daily, except Tuesdays.