Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hokkien Prawn Mee/ Wanton Mee @ Air Itam Market, Air Itam, Penang.

Walk until the end of the Air Itam Morning Market (across the bridge), you will come to this obscure and unpretentious coffee shop- Kapin, right next to a traditional Chinese Medicine Shop, facing the junction of Jalan Rambutan and Jalan Air Itam. It should be quite apparent as your attention will likely be caught by the long queue right in front of a stall selling Hokkien Prawn Noodle and it tends to be sold out by 9:30 am. Be sure to wake up early if you wish to have a taste of this Hokkien Prawn Mee. The Wanton Mee, on the other hand, is hand-made by using Bamboo Stick; or you might be more familiar with the name Jook-Sing Noodles/ Bamboo Noodles/ 竹升面 (read more information about the noodles here). It is not too commonly seen in Penang. This is definitely the place to have a quick breakfast especially if you are in the vicinity. 


Jook-Sing Noodle/ Wanton Mee (Rm 3.50- Regular) does not come in a big portion, those with a bigger appetite are encouraged to go for the larger ones. Unlike the normal Wanton Mee, the Jook-Sing Noodles were tossed in a light-soya sauce instead of being drenched in dark soya sauce. The noodles were thin and definitely springy and al-dente. However, we thought the flavor of the soya sauce was a little thin. Also, the Char Siew/ Chinese Barbecue Pork slices were too dry to our liking. Nevertheless, it was a pleasingly comforting dish that I can eat on a regular basis. 


We were not quite impressed with the Shrimp Dumplings/ Wanton (Rm 4.50) though, we thought that the meat to shrimp ratio was somewhat inappropriate, which there was only a small piece of shrimp in every dumpling. Meanwhile, the soup was lovely; it was flavorful, with a hint of seafood-sweetness. I will definitely return for more the Jook-Sing Noodle, the soup version perhaps. 


Ratings:
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7.5/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)


Their Hokkien Prawn Noodle (Rm 3.30 for small/ Rm 3.80 for medium/ Rm 4.30 for large) did not give me a very strong impression. The flavors were not as strong as I would have hoped. The broth was more towards the pork broth instead of the thick and rich bisque. It does carry an agreeable sweetness but not good enough to wow me. Decent but not mind-blowing. 


I did not expect their Loh Mee (Rm 3.30 for small/ Rm 3.80 for medium/ Rm 4.30 for large) turn out to be better than their Hokkien Prawn Mee. The thickness of the gravy (or the Loh) was just perfect to my liking. The gravy possessed a very strong "Five-spice powder" and was delicately salted. It was good on its own but even better with the addition of Garlic-Vinegar, the concoction gives the Loh Mee a boost, granting it a nice acidic tilt to the starch. 


Ratings:
Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7.5/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Non-Halal

Additional Information:
Address: Kapin Coffee Shop, 610 Q, Jalan Air Itam, 11500, Air Itam, Penang. *Opposite Salam Nasi Kandar/ AmBank at Air Itam Market, right beside a traditional Chinese Medicine shop. 
Business Hours: 6am to 10pm; closed on every Thursday (for Hokkien Mee). 8am to 11am; opens on Saturdays and Sundays only (for Wanton Mee).
Contact Number: 012- 477 0249 (for Wanton Mee)

610 Jalan Air Hitam, Pekan Ayer Itam, 11500 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang