Wantan Mee Penang – Kon Loh Wanton Mee
Noodle Girl went hunting for Kon Loh Wanton Mee, or Wantan Mee Penangites love to eat for Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper.
A plate of dry-style Kon Lo Mee seems simple enough to make – no rocket science here.
- Egg noodles
- black soya sauce
- Pork char-siew
- Wan tan dumplings
In Penang, a good plate of this famous bowl or plate of Wantan Mee is surprisingly challenging to find.
Getting all the elements to come together in perfect unison in one meal is something I’ve been searching for for a long time.
Every hawker has his or her speciality, that unique way of cooking that makes the dish truly special.
After years of eating Kon Loh Wanton Mee, this is the list of the stalls that are good to my tastebuds.
An old favourite was Ah Keong’s WTM on China Street.
Ah, Keong used to fry Char Hor Fun (at night) before changing to WTM and selling this at Peace & Joy Coffee Shop, China Street.
Authentic and the best wonton noodles with springy egg noodles and savoury dark sauce is what we used to daydream of eating from the Convent Light Street tuck shop (canteen) during recess time.
What are Wanton Noodles or Wantan Mee?
Wanton Noodles or Kon Lo Wantan Mee is a famous hawker or street food in Penang, Malaysia.
The Cantonese noodle dish is usually served “Kon Lo,” a dry version or in a piping hot anchovy-based broth, garnished with sticky Chinese BBQ Char Siew, leafy vegetables.
You get a small bowl of Pork and Shrimp Wonton dumplings in hot soup.
The dry version of this noodle dish is flavoured with Pork Lard Oil, Sesame Oil, Light, and Dark Soy Sauce with White Pepper Powder shake.
The traditional condiment is a small plate of Pickled Green Chili Relish in Light Soy Sauce.
However, you may find some stalls replacing this with Bird’s Eye Chile or even Sambal Belacan.
In addition to this dry version of noodle, you can order a soupy version of the noodle with is served with the same ingredients in a bowl.
Malaysian Wantan Mee (Wanton Noodles) tastes different in the Penang, Sungai Petani (SP), Alor Setar (AS), and Kuala Lumpur (KL).
I find the ones in AS a tad too sweet for my taste.
There are other varieties found in cafes and restaurants.
The garnishes vary accordingly.
Some restaurants serve the Egg Noodles with Siew Yoke (Roast Pork), Roast Duck (yes!), and the caramelly Char Siew or Char Siu!
The best for me is the decidedly plump boiled, not deep-fried Wantons and springy noodles. Not al dente.
Just like it is so hard to pick a real Winner from the best restaurants and street hawkers, I have enjoyed my meal over the years.
Penang is all about street-side pushcart stalls. Some have ply delicious staples from their mobile kitchens for over half a century.
Let’s Discuss the Ingredients that make simple Egg Noodles to excellent Wantan Mee.
We start with the essential ingredients.
- Egg Noodles
- Pork Lard Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Light Soy Sauce
- Dark Soy Sauce
- Pork Char Siew
- Wonton Dumplings
- Pickled Green Chilies
Fresh Egg Noodle Wantan Mee
The best noodles are the ones you get the shop to make with extra egg yolks.
I remember we used to go to the noodle shop in Cintra Street with our newspaper bag of eggs to order the noodles.
The noodle shop has since closed.
Most commercial noodles use a higher proportion of Kansui – Lye Water or Chinese alkaline salt solution regulating acidity in noodle making.
Some shops like Hong Kee Bamboo Noodle uses a method of pressing the dough to make it springy.
Wantan Mee Needs Pork Lard Oil. Period.
Authentic Wantan Mee is the stuff we make at home with Pork Lard Oil.
The best comes sauce for the Kon Lo type comes from freshly rendered pork fat.
Pork Lard Oil, not Vegetable Oil, makes the taste wonderfully fragrant and delicious.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Nothing can replace or replicate the amazing flavour of Pork Lard Oil.
We use this when we make Wantan Mee at home.
Most hawkers use a mixture of vegetable oil, which is rendered Shallot Oil and Pork Lard Oil.
Wantan Mee Sauce has a drop of Sesame Oil.
A few Sesame Oil drops to bring out the extra layer of flavour to the sauce made from Pork Lard Oil, Light, and Dark Soy Sauce.
Wantan Mee Pork Char Siew needs a balance of Fat and Lean.
One of the most delicious roasted meat is the Pork Char Siew or Char Siu in Cantonese cuisine.
Finding one that meets all the fat, lean, and juicy meat elements are almost impossible at hawker type Wantan Mee stalls.
The Pork Char Siew at most stalls is dyed red, sliced paper-thin, and dry.
Most stalls pre-prep everything.
I find this lacking in the taste of freshness as the Char Siew dries out if pre-cut.
The Wanton dumpling skin will dry up and crack if left uncovered.
A good stall cook will slice the Pork Char Siew just before he garnishes the noodles.
The stalls that make everything on the spot are the street stall Wanton Mee Beef Noodle at Kg. Malabar.
But the most delicious Pork Char Siew is at TNR by Sean & Angie in SS2, Petaling Jaya.
Sorry Penang peeps, I can’t find a more decadent Pork Char Siew except at Restoran SYW, Ipoh.
Wantan Mee Soup with Wonton Dumplings
My favourite is the Wanton Dumpling Soup at Hong Kee Bamboo Noodle. I go there at least once a month when I’m in town.
Another place that I like for Whole Prawn Wanton is The Chicken Rice Shop franchises that serve a Halal version of Wantan Mee.
Incidentally, not all The Chicken Rice Shop franchises.
There is a marked difference between The Chicken Rice Shop in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.
Pickled Green Chilies Relish for Wantan Mee
Pickled Green Chilies Relish are enjoyed as a condiment for Cantonese noodles.
You will always find a small container of pickled green chilies on the table in many Cantonese restaurants, together with other sauces such as soy sauce, chilli sauce, and pepper.
However, all the stalls I have tried failed the test for the RIGHT Pickled Green Chilies Relish.
Made correctly, the Green Chilies retain their bright green colour, taste sweet, sourish with a very slight tinge of spiciness.
Most stall now serves Bird’s eye chilli or Thai chilli instead of Pickled Green Chilies Relish.
The stalls that serve the real McCoy have all passed on.
Most stalls use commercial grade vinegar instead of rice vinegar.
The Rice Vinegar tartness gives the Pickled Green Chilies Relish a kick – best served with Dry Wanton Noodles and Char Hor Fun.
How to Make Wantan Mee at Home
We make Wantan Mee at home at least once a week – Dry Wanton Noodles – Kon Lo Wanton Mee.
We love to coat the thin and springy egg noodles are in a delectably delicious spoonful of freshly rendered Pork Lard Oil, Light, and Dark Soya Sauce, and served with homemade succulent Prawn and Pork Wantons.
For the Char Siu, we will get about RM10 worth from Cecil Street Market.
There are several Roast Pork stalls here.
Everyone has their favourite stall, so the best way to know is to try it all before deciding on one that suits your taste buds.
All the roasted meats are so good and satisfying.
When it comes to noodles, keep these figures in mind, if you want to maintain your figure – a plate of wantan mee is around 409 calories!
Wantan Mee Penang Worth Checking Out
If you are a Penangite, you will likely love this simple thin, and springy egg noodles dish.
The boiled egg noodle’s simplicity tossed in a delectable savoury sauce, and flavourful Pork Lard Oil is heady to true Wantan Mee connoisseur.
Just a simple Egg Noodle Dish with Pork Lard Oil, and garnished with Pork Char Siu, leafy vegetables, and Wanton dumplings.
The list of Wantan Mee Penang stalls are listed from their business time and not in order of their taste.
All the stalls are local favourites.
It doesn’t mean that one is superior in taste to the other.
All the Wantan Mee Penangites love are made from the same raw ingredients.
There are a few stalls that have variants that are not found in other stalls.
- Wanton fillings (Just Pork or Prawn with Pork)
- Sui Kow (Pork dumplings)
- Hor Fun (Flat Rice Noodles)
- Beef Stew (Beef Slices, Briskets, Tendons)
- Fried Wonton
- Sambal Belacan
Morning Only Stalls – Breakfast Wantan Mee Penang
Uncle Gan Wantan Mee @ 71 Lembah Permai (Morning)
Old Uncle Gan operates his Wantan Mee stall from his home, serving up his noodles and fried Wantons with a separate bowl of soy sauce gravy.
If you’re a regular patron, you will appreciate the efforts Uncle Gan puts into maintaining his pocket-friendly prices of cheap, good, tasty, and value for money food.
The Wantan Mee is priced at RM2.50 for a small plate and RM3 for a large plate with 10sen deep-fried wantons.
This humble place has probably garnished enough fame through The Star newspaper for being one of the oldest, if not cheapest wanton mee in Penang.
Uncle Gan Wantan Mee stall-cum-home
Address: 71, Jalan Lembah Permai, Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Penang.
Business Hours: 7.30 AM – 11 PM (Opens Daily)
Morning to Afternoon Stalls Wantan Mee Penang
Wantan Mee House (Morning to Afternoon)
Residents around Pulau Tikus, who have grown up eating Wantan Mee in Swee Kong Coffee Shop, will know that Wantan Mee House is now the same!
The Wantan Mee here is unique as it is added with gravy with a consistency similar to that of a Char Hor Fun.
Wantan Mee House (Opposite Pulau Tikus Police Station)
Address: 327, Jalan Burma, 10350 George Town, Penang
Business Hours: 7 AM – 3.30 PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
Chew Jetty Wantan Mee (Morning to Afternoon)
The Wantan Mee served at Chew Jetty Café has 2 or 3 flavours!
On a single plate, you could opt to try all three different flavours.
The flavours are
- dark soy sauce
The Wantan Mee topped with deep-fried pork lards, Pork Char Siew slices, and garnished with spring onions along with a small bowl of soup with four pieces of wanton.
The wantons are plump, meaty, and juicy with the addition of jicama cubes.
Is this trendy, modernist, or progressive?
For the creator of this flavoured wantan mee, transforming the flavours and presentations has created a niche for younger customers who want a different taste to their beloved Kon Loh Wantan noodles.
For the seniors, we’re better off sometimes with our memories of Kor Cha Bee meals of long ago that no one can replicate now.
Warning: The spicy version has a homemade sauce that is spicy and tongue-numbing.
Chew Jetty Cafe 海墘茶室
Address: 47, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Penang.
Business Hours: 7.30 AM to 5.00 PM
Morning to Night Stalls Wantan Mee Penang
Hong Kee Wan Thun Mee (Morning to Night)
Hong Kee Wan Thun Mee’s traditional method of making bamboo-pressed noodles is an authentic old-school style of Wantan Mee with plump wantons.
The Cantonese style restaurant has other Tai Chow items on its menu, churning out mouth-watering dishes in minutes.
You can also order classic Chinese bakery buns to eat in or take away.
Hong Kee Wan Thun Mee
Address: 37, Campbell Street, George Town, Penang. (Right beside Campbell House)
Business Hours: 8 AM – 10 PM (Closed on Wednesdays)
Sai Lam Wanton Mee (Morning to Night)
Sai Lam Wanton Mee is authentic Cantonese style noodles with white, not dark sauce. The noodle is tasty and springy.
The wanton dumpling has a round shape – filled with a lot of meat is tasty, with soft, thin, and smooth skin.
Not to be missed is the Beef Noodle Wantan Mee that should never cut; it comes with beef brisket, tendons, and meat; it is very juicy and tender.
Kedai Kopi Sai Lam
Address: 8, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang
Business Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Lunch to Dinner Stalls Wantan Mee Penang
Push Cart Wanton Mee, Kg Malabar (Lunch to Dinner)
The Beef Wanton Mee that I love has the melty, juicy, beefy taste with wonderfully stewed melt in the mouth beef.
This is a favourite stall that I will tapao home when the weather is cold for a nice hot robust beef noodle soup supper.
Kedai Kopi Malabar
Address: 55, Kampong Malabar, 10200 George Town, Penang
Business Hours: 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM
Night and Supper Stalls Wantan Mee Penang
Chulia Street Chulia Street Wantan Mee (Night)
Chulia Street Wantan Mee is packed every night with locals waiting for their WTM fix.
This pushcart stall is located right in front of Regent Furniture Shop or directly across from Mugshot Cafe.
You need to go early and wait a bit.
Chulia Street Night Hawker Stalls
Address: Chulia St, Georgetown, 10450 George Town, Penang
Business Hours: 6.00 PM – 12.00 Midnight
Maria’s Sui Kow Wantan Mee (Night)
Best known for the delicious bowl of Sui Kow (Dumplings), Maria’s Sui Kow Wantan Mee is a traditional recipe that dates back to the 1920s.
Maria’s Wantan Mee has a Hor Fun option for those who don’t like egg noodles.
The stall sells the dry Kon Lo Wantan Mee, Wantan Mee Soup, and Hor Fun with the same sauce.
You can order the Wan Tan Soup and Sui Kow Soup too.
Maria’s Sui Kow Wantan Mee
Address: Golden City Coffee Shop, 104, Jalan Burma, George Town, 10050, Penang (next to New World Park)
Business Hours: 5.30 PM – 12 AM (Closed on Wednesdays)
Terengganu Road Wantan Mee (Night only)
Penangites who love the famous black soya saucy Stew Chicken Legs with Mushrooms – will head to this Wantan Mee stall on Terengganu Road.
Terengganu Road Wantan Mee
Address: 65-B, Jalan Terengganu,10460 George Town, Penang
Opening hour: 6:30PM – 1:00AM
Closed on Sunday
What if you don’t want noodles when you eat Wantan Mee?
Face To Face Noodle House
If you like Wanton and Sui Kow more instead of noodles, you can try Face To Face Noodle House in Bayan Baru.
I find this restaurant has the best side dishes that satisfy if you want to reduce your carb or noodles.
There are three types of delicious Wantons and four kinds of Sui Kow that are freshly made!
Three types of delicious Wantons
- Wanton (Dry)
- Fried Wonton
- Wanton (Soup)
Four kinds of Sui Kow
- Chef’s Specialty Fried Dumplings
- Chef’s Specialty Dumplings Soup
- Fried Garlic Chives Dumplings
- Garlic Chives Dumplings Soup
Face To Face Noodle House 面对面
Address: 1-1-1, Tingkat Mahsuri 5, Bayan Baru, 11950 Bayan Lepas, Penang
Business Hours: 11.00 AM – 9.30 PM
Please share your favourite stall, and we can all go to visit for a great meal of Wantan Mee.