Ever since we found out that Mak’s Chee is opening its first outlet in Malaysia, we’ve been wanting to go there! And it’s purely because we’ve heard so many good things about the authentic wonton noodle recipe from friends who have tried it in Hong Kong.
What is Mak’s Chee?
Mak’s Chee (麥奀雲吞麵世家) is a traditional Cantonese restaurant in Central, Hong Kong, specialising in wonton noodles. The near 100 years old wonton recipe originated from a street-side eatery in Guangzhou by a man named Mak Woon-Chee.
The early days of wonton was made from pork but Mak Woon-Chee went against the grain and created his specialty fresh prawn wonton with thin springy noodle. The dish instantly became the most-loved street-side snack of the rich and famous.
In 1938, the war brought the Mak family and their culinary tradition to Hong Kong. Woon-Chee’s son, Mak En, carried on the recipe and tradition by starting his own food stall in 1968. In the late 1980s, Mak En officially passed on the family recipe and noodle-making skills to his eldest grandson-in-law, Chef Johnny Yu.
Johnny Yu reincarnated a similar business under his father-in-law’s name on Wellington Street, Hong Kong, which later received Michelin’s Bib-Gourmand title under his guidance. Today, the springy Mak-style wonton noodle has become a unique must-try Hong Kong dish.
And well, as mentioned, Mak’s Chee has found its way to our shores!
We were invited to a media preview of the restaurant, followed by a food tasting session. Our Mak’s Chee visit kicked off with an introduction from Mak’s Chee Director Mr. Gary Crestejo, who gave us a little history lesson of the eatery’s rich history.
Mr. Gary then talked about the newly opened Malaysian outlet, revealing, “Our decision to open a restaurant in Malaysia was due primarily to the overwhelming requests and good feedback we’ve received from our Malaysian tourists when they visited Hong Kong.”
“It took us about a year to conduct R&D (research and development) to replicate the noodles because everything in Malaysia is different – soy sauce, egg, salt, water, and so on. We wanted to get it right before we opened this outlet,” he added.
Chef Johnny Yu, who is quite a shy person, quipped, “I am very excited about the opening and I hope all will come to see me demonstrate the techniques to wrap an authentic wonton!”
After which, we were told to feast!
From the menu, we decided to go with the dry noodle with signature sea prawn wonton from Mak’s Chee’s “Noodle in Sauce” menu, which came with a side serving of soup. In all honesty, having tried the noodle ourselves, we can see where the hype and the high praises come from.
The egg noodle looked unassuming and plain but it’s actually pretty springy, firm, and flavourful, which adds to the bite. As for the famed goldfish-shaped wontons, there were about 5 pieces generously “hidden” underneath the noodle and each one looked like it was lovingly made – juicy sea prawns wrapped with very thin wonton skins. Finally, the bowl of clear, slow-cooked soup that came with the dry noodle was definitely worth a mention too because it was a perfect pairing to wash the dry noodle down with.
Psst. Guests can also choose from the sauce options (oyster sauce, beef brisket sauce, or special soy sauce) and noodle types (thin, thick, or hofun) at no extra charge.
The dry noodle with signature sea prawn wonton is priced at RM14.90 per serving. Pretty affordable, if you asked us, because the same serving in Hong Kong would set you back about RM20.
Do keep in mind that the serving is meant to be small to ensure that it’s at its optimum taste but if it’s not enough to fill your tummy, order something from Mak’s Chee’s “Snacks” menu to go with it. We added on a plate of season vegetables (RM10.90) but you can always opt for more sea prawn wontons, prawn dumplings, deep fried wontons, deep fried prawn dumplings, or braised beef tendon/brisket if you’d like :)
And if you’re worried about being judged eating alone at Mak’s Chee, fret not! They’ve even got a cozy little solo dining corner (reminiscent of Japanese ramen joints) where you can have a little peace and quiet to savour your wonton noodle :)
Mak’s Chee is open daily from 11am – 10pm and located at Lot LG311D (Opposite Cold Storage), 1 Utama Shopping Centre (New Wing), 1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama City Centre, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.