I've been away nearly three weeks now and have eaten getting on 40 meals and I've only seen fit to write about a few. It's not that most haven't been good (they have) but whilst I think fish head curry or roti canai are worthy of shouting from the roof tops about the majority of stuff I eat is £1 noodles from local places, tasty but not worthy of the internet for the most part. That changed recently though when I ordered pan mee. It's not a dish I'd had before but it seemed to be the speciality of the local Chinese (along with curry mee - which I'm still to try, they had exclusive mention on the lit sign) and so I cracked on, having no idea what to expect. Options were fried or in soup and as I'm continually dehydrated here I went for the latter.
What turned up was nothing short of a revelation, gone were the generic egg or rice noodles with my bowl containing what can only be described as freshly made tagliatelle - big, wide chewy streamers of dough unlike anything I'd had in Asia. A look around the restaurant confirmed my suspicions as sat on the side were a pair of pasta rolling machines. Since then I've found out that pan mee is all about the noodle and everywhere makes the noodles fresh with a pasta machine or similar device. The noodles sat in a standard broth with fried then boiled beancurd skin and a bitter green leaf whose name I'm trying to track down. Sat on top was a big pile of stir fried minced pork and crunchy, deep fried dried anchovies. Mouthfuls could be meaty, fishy, chewy, crunchy, bitter or any combination. All this for 4.50 RM, or about 85p.
Whilst the first time I missed the noodles being made I've had it since and witnessed the making. Dough is removed from a lump and is on your table within a couple of minutes, having gone through a rolling, cutting, boiling and final dish construction in that time. Fantastic. I've read about a place in Chow Kit known for its fried version of this dish, served with a raw egg yolk for you to stir through with your chili, letting the heat of the noodles cook the dish - an Oriental carbonara of sorts. I endeavour to sample it at some point, time allowing - I'll let you know if I manage it.