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Mak’s Noodles in Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong

This is Part 2 of a couple of posts on “bloggers’ rules”. Part 1 is here and whilst eating at the “world’s cheapest Michelin starred restaurant” I tried to be all cool and nearly didn’t mention that. Part 2 grows up and realises that sometimes bloggers’ rules exist for a reason.
Mak’s Noodles is one of three places people will say you have to go to when you visit Hong Kong. The others being Tim Ho Wan for dim sum and Yung Kee for roast goose. Though I would swap Tsui Wah for Yung Kee any day (more about that in later posts). So off I wandered like a good little blogger and sat down in Mak’s ready for something. And the really surprising thing is I got more than “something”; a noodle revolution. Roughly two months later and I eat at Mak’s weekly as it is delicious, local and cheap.
The real story about Mak’s is obviously in the noodles though. I thought I knew what noodles were… I mean I have had them in Chinese restaurants around the world right? What I didn’t realise is those are soggy pieces of trash and Mak’s (and a few other places in Hong Kong) are completely different things. The bounce, the grip, the firmness of them was so different that I didn’t even have the vocabulary to describe them. Thank god for twitter as @Hollowlegs gave me the answer, “springy“. Because that is what they are. Since eating for my first time at Mak’s I’ve gorged on other bloggers’ reviews. I’ve gobbled and slurped at the thoughts and praise and am now fully aware that it is a bloggers’ rule that you must use the word “springy“. But this is ok, because they are and nothing else really captures it.
  • Price – 25hkd or about £2.20 for a basic bowl of noodles that is one of the great dishes in the world.  Interestingly do you know that the Chinese name means “Mak’s stingy noodles“?
  • 77 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong

PS having visited a few Mak’s now I would have to say my best bowls of wonton noodles have not been at their original shop in Wellington Street but, instead, up on the Peak. Strange.

PPS I obviously realise that now it is time to get obsessive and find the best wonton noodles in Hong Kong

8 Comments

  1. Mr Noodles

    You can just tell from the photos that these are noodles are the business. This type of noodle – san mein – is my fave and I look forward to your quest for HK's best. BTW, are those the prawn roe powder noodles in the last photo?

  2. Lizzie

    Those noodles dusted with prawn roe were a highlight from my last trip. Interestingly, my dad didn't enjoy them much and said they were too springy…

  3. Su-Lin

    There's a term I've read on the Interwebs to describe the texture of the noodles is QQ (I wonder if this comes directly from the Chinese word for it – but it means exactly that – springy, with a good bite, not too soft). I want to tuck into that plateful!

  4. Charmaine

    Mak's is known for their wonton noodles yes, but funnily few HKers would say it's at all cheap (because the serving is just so woefully tiny!). Tasty at IFC's wonton noodles are rather good, but again a tiny portion for an extortionate (for HK anyway) price – probably due to the horrible Michelin bib gourmand effect. I'll have to show you places that still make those kinds of noodles using the traditional bamboo poles to get the required springiness – in Cantonese we say the perfect springy noodle has a lot of 'bounce on the teeth' ;)

  5. Tom

    Noodles/ Lizzy – yup prawn roe noodles. I have to say I only managed about 2/3 of them (after a bowl of wonton and some greens) as the fish taste was too overpowering. I would guess it is meant for two people and not just one greedy gweilo though!

    Su-lin – now that is awesome. It is fairly rare when you see a new word and one which is so useful. Tx!

    Charmaine – having been to Tsim Chai Kee last night there is definitely a difference in price and size at other noodle shops. In the end if they are good I don't care about the price.

    I tried tasty IFC and think I got unlucky as the noodles were all stuck together.

    And YES PLEASE on the bamboo poles… That is what I need next.

  6. Wild Boar

    Easily the best wonton noodles I ever had, so much so that it's made me all depressed thinking about the state of Cantonese food in England sometimes. I think my family paid about HKD40 per person for our meal there but we did order some kai lan and sui gows to go with our meal.

    My wife can confirm Su Lin's comment. It's a description she uses often when appropriate. lol try using it the next time you go eating springy noodles and see if you get approving glances.

  7. Mochachocolata Rita

    Gorgeous pictures…and boy, you're quick! You'll go through every HKG's must go eatery in no time ;)

  8. Tom

    Wild Boar – I still slap myself everytime I go there. It is one of the better dishes I have ever had and it is there, so cheap (by international standards) it is nearly free. Joyous and wonderful stuff.

    Rita – I am having to up the exercise with all the eating… people are starting to think I am pregnant!

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