Breakfast at the popular 𝗪𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗻 𝗠𝗲𝗲 𝗛𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲 in Pulau Tikus on Sunday morning. Exactly 60-years-old this year, 𝗪𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗻 𝗠𝗲𝗲 𝗛𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲 had progressed from operating as a street cart to being located inside Bee Hooi kopitiam down the road, and then neighbouring Swee Kong kopitiam on Moulmein Rise, before settling into their own shop here on 321 Burmah Road 9 years ago.
Its unique offering is 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘯 𝘮𝘦𝘦 slathered with an eggy, unctuous “lor” (Hokkien for “sticky-braised sauce”) gravy made from chicken-mushroom stock, oyster sauce, sesame oil and other condiments, before being thickened with tapioca starch, and with egg ribbons stirred in. No other wantan noodle stall in Penang served its noodles this way, as the usual dressing is a mixture of light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, shallot oil and other condiments.
Its 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘯 𝘮𝘦𝘦 is garnished with golden-fried 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘯 dumplings, 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳 𝘴𝘪𝘦𝘸 (Cantonese BBQ pork), slivers of chicken white meat, slices of Chinese 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 mushroom, par-boiled 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘺 𝘴𝘶𝘮 greens, and golden-fried pork lardons. Pickled green chilis provided the acidic stab that cuts through the rich sauce.
The noodles have an al dente texture akin to HK-style wantan noodles, although Hongkongers will have their noodles submerged in a delicate soup, and never dressed in a dark-hued sauce like in Malaysia and Singapore.
Golden crisp-fried wantan dumplings is a “Penang thing”, virtually nonexistent or else extremely rare to find elsewhere in Malaysia or Singapore. Over here at 𝗪𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗻 𝗠𝗲𝗲 𝗛𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲, these crisp, delicious morsels tend to run out before lunch, leaving only the usual par-boiled wantans as garnishes.
This little eatery does get busy on most mornings - come early, say 8am, or else be prepared to wait for a table.
Wantan Mee House
321, Jalan Burmah (Burmah Road), Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6017-479 8075
Opening hours: 6am to 4pm Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun. Closed on Thursdays.