Pan mee is a dish of Chinese –Malay heritage, a product of the Chinese immigrants from the Hakka clan. In terms of Malaysia, it’s something you’ll (generally) find in Kuala Lumpur & the south, but not in Penang and the north.
As a meal it’s a fairly straightforward comfort food. Thick flour noodles are blanched and served with a tomato & pork mince sauce, served with a poached egg and a handful of ikan billis, or deep fried anchovies.
Whilst these ingredients are all agreeable, the addition that raises it from kind of average to superb is a huge spoonful of deep red, roasted chilli paste. The rich, slightly smokey flavour and oil really amplify the other ingredients.
The noodles are served with a side bowl of potato leaf soup. Traditionally, I’ve read the soup is often served on top of the noodles but it’s become customary and perhaps fashionable in KL for it to be served on the side. I have to agree, it’s an improvement and there’s nothing stopping you pouring it over if you wanted to.
This is a serious palate puncher, the richness of egg yolk, the almost Italian qualities of the porky ragu with salty anchovies and eye wateringly spicy chilli paste that will have you reaching for the napkins to dab your sweaty brow should you not be so accustomed to such spice levels.
After some internet research, we ventured to Restoran Kin Kin, in Kuala Lumpur. It’s a one meal only kind of place and although a little of the tourist map it’s easily accessible and the owners are helpful enough.
It’s excellent value at less than 10Ringgits, Kin-Kin was shortlisted for the ‘Best Cheap Eats’ by Time Out KL in 2013.
Restoran Kin Kin is located near the KL Metroline station Medan Tuanku. Be aware of the ‘other’ restaurant across the road with a very similar name.
Phrases worth knowing!
Satu – One
Dua – Two
Tiga – Three
Hello – Hello
Apa kabar – are you well/ how are you?
salamat pagi – good morning
Salamt tingal – goodbye
sila (see luh) – please
Terima kasih – Thank you
berapa harga – how much?
tidak pedas – no chilli
bungkus – Take away
Tidak – No
Ya – yes
Maaf – sorry
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