With 'Jor Lun Yau Lay' , my search for HK's Best Won Ton Noodles is over....at least for now!! and the verdict is....????
- Charles Yu Mar 9, 2013 12:32 AM
After yesterday's crazy trio won-ton noodle tasting, I determine to complete my search today and move on to something new! My itineary include trying out this new kid on the block and then finish off with a tasting at my reference yard-stick - Mak An Kee. (whilst my memory is still fresh).
'Jor Lun Yau Lay' ( Yup! No English name on business card! ) is the brain child of a couple of Hong Kong TV / movie celebrities. Situated in the old Tasty's location in Hung Hum Whampao Garden, it too follows a very similar business model as its predecessor.
The bowl of noodle was very impressive looking at first glance! Super fine noodles were bathe in a densely coloured broth. Tastewise, the noodles were perfectly cooked al-dente. The bite size Won ton follows the 'Ho Hung Kee' model of prawns with a little bit of fatty pork addition. Although I am a strictly 'prawn only' fan, the crunchy texture plus the nice seasoning made them acceptable even to my discriminating palete. The broth, though intense and flavourful was a bit one-dimensional, lacking in the taste and aroma of toasted Tiled Fish. Their trying to use an abundant quantity of shrimp eggs failed to make up for this short fall.
Overall, I would rank it just a touch under yesterday's Mak Sui Kee version in qualty. However, on Kowloon side, so far, no one does it better.
Afterwards, with memory still fresh, I immediately head over to Mak An Kee and try to make a comparison. I am sad to say the bowl from my 'ex-favorite' was a bit of a failure! Somehow, the broth lacked intensity, though still possesses the taste and aroma of the essential Tiled Fish component. Won ton was a bit overcooked with the wrapper on the verge of falling off. Filling uses only prawns ( 1 or 2 depending on size ) with no pork. Noodles were OK. Visually, somehow, its just not as appealing as the one at JLYL half an hour earlier! BTW, I also ordered a bowl of ' Prawn dumpling - Sui Gow, Braised Beef Brisket and Tendons in soup '. The Braised meat was chop-sticks tender and tasted very good, full of herbs and spices. Unfortunately, the dumpling with an excess of pork in the filling tasted and smelled ' stale'?!! Very unappealing! May be insufficient refrigeration for the dumplings in this hot weather?
Well folks! With these, my search for the Best Wonton Noodles in Hong Kong is finally over....at least for now!!
With efforts spanning over a few years and after tasting offerings from: Ho Hung Kee, Chee Kee, Wing Wah, Mak's, Mak An Kee, Mak Sui Kee, Mak Man Kee, Lau Sum Kee, Tasty's, Bamboo Room, Tsim Jai Kee and Jor Lun Yau Lay....etc.
THE VERDICT IS:
My favorite: "Bamboo Room" with "Tasty's" a close second.
Next follow a group that include, Mak's ( Wellington flag ship only! ), Mak Sui Kee, Mak An Kee and JLYL
The rest??!! I won't bother!!
'Gone Chou Ngau Ho" Next??!!
Yes!! It was a sad thing to see the closure of Bamboo Room due to Causeway Bay's un-realistically high rent!
If you are new to Hong Kong and love Won Ton noodles, here is my final compilation of some of Hong Kong's best:
Use www.openrice.com to get detail of the individual establishments!
Have fun and enjoy!!
re: Charles Yu
Thank you for your quick response, Charles. I have been visiting HK since 1999 but only started living here this year. So I finally have the opportunity to do some real exploring. Many favorites stores and restaurants that I enjoyed between 1999 and 2009 are now gone because of the high rents. Your posts help one to keep track of the changes.
I have lived in Kwai Chung for several weeks and am now living in Mei Foo. I am sure there are great won ton noodle restaurants in these more traditional places, but all the menus are in Chinese and I do not speak enough Cantonese to make up for that. If you can recommend a site with Chinese characters for the various noodle combinations, that will greatly help!