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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Malay Chinese Takeaway, Sydney

noodle eater

The crowds are incredible.

It's 1.00pm on a Friday and there are twenty people in the queue. The line doesn't shorten. No sooner does one person leave the counter--a bowl of steaming noodles held aloft with pride--then more people wander in, patiently joining the immobilised conga line of business workers, shoppers and students.

har mee bowls

We've come to Malay Chinese Takeaway for their much celebrated har mee (also known as hokkien mee), a prawn noodle soup that is only available on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

All our fellow diners are enthusiastically embracing their inner noodle (and you can buy your own bib for 30 cents if you think things might get messy). The cacophonous room is packed with people talking and slurping, scraping back chairs or squeezing past your table. In the midst of the chaos stands the snaking queue, the hungry slowly but surely shuffling forward.

chopstick and noodles

crowds

har mee
Har mee prawn noodle soup $8.50

There's no complaining about the staff efficiency here. The service here is faster than any mass market food chain, fresher too of course, as noodles and accompaniments are tossed in bowls and doused with soup.

I manage to score a table and we huddle around our aromatic bowls of har mee with eager anticipation. We smell, we prod and then we dip our spoons in and take them to our lips.

The taste is incredible.

Mango Man, who is Malaysian by birth, breaks into a wide ecstatic smile at his first sip of soup.

"This is goooooood," he says with audible glee. "This is very good," he reaffirms as his eyes start to glaze over.

The soup is hearty with the taste of genuine stock, a spicy rich affair that is traditionally made with dried shrimps and prawn heads. Thin slices of roast pork are moist and tender, and ribboned with juicy fat. There are peeled prawns sliced in half, wads of fish cake, curls of calamari, and a tangle of kangkung (morning glory or water spinach). These lie atop a thick bed of noodles, a mixture of thin toothsome strands of white meehoon rice vermicelli mixed with fat yellow slippery hokkien noodle.

A half boiled egg bobs in one corner, a generous smear of sambal chilli paste packs some much-relished heat. There are bits of crunchy fried pork crackling, and tendrils of fried red shallots.

It's so very good. We drain every drop.

queue

malay chinese takeaway

Malay Chinese Takeaway
Shop 1, 50-58 Hunter Street, Sydney
(near corner of Bligh and Castlereagh Streets)
Tel: +61 (02) 9231 6788

Monday to Friday 11am-7.30pm
Saturday 11am-6pm


Related GrabYourFork posts:
Malay Chinese Takeaway, Sydney, April 26, 2007

Cafe Kasturi, Haymarket
Kopitiam Malaysian Cafe, Ultimo, April 2007
Kopitiam Malaysian Cafe, Ultimo, April 2006
Malay Chinese Takeaway, Sydney, April 3, 2007
The Malaya, Sydney
Tan's Malaysian, Ultimo

17 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 4/03/2007 11:03:00 pm


17 Comments:

  • At 4/03/2007 11:04 pm, Anonymous cin said…

    I LOVE har mee and it's near impossible to find here. Changi Nasi Lemak Restaurant has a picture of it on their wall menu but it's always out of stock.

    I'm heading to this place on my next sydney trip!

     
  • At 4/03/2007 11:48 pm, Anonymous swee said…

    this place has like very very good, if not the best laksa in sydney. I should go back again for har mee :P

     
  • At 4/04/2007 12:11 am, Blogger The Fuel for DIESEL said…

    There's a Changi Nasi lemak Restaurant in Sydney?!??!?

     
  • At 4/04/2007 12:34 am, Blogger papa lazarou said…

    yum i love it... i'm a big fan of the laksa and har mee at mah-wah... simply cannot go wrong... though, i also like the ipoh hor fun at galleries victoria... on weekends, i like the har mee at sambal... just have to remember to wear a bloody dark shirt, as i'm such a clutz...

     
  • At 4/04/2007 6:32 am, Anonymous gobsmack'd said…

    There is a God! I have missed their noodles etc ever since they shut their Castlereagh St operations down. I know they've got another outlet but didn't have the address. Once again, thank you Helen! PS Even my Irish boyf adores their prawn noodles

     
  • At 4/04/2007 8:14 am, Blogger bowb said…

    thanks for the headzup. the har mee i've had, from that malaysian place under the QVB, had all of ONE prawn in it, sliced into two thin halves. i think i shall make a pilgrimage here next week.

     
  • At 4/04/2007 9:37 am, Anonymous Mama BoK said…

    I'll pay 8.50 anytime.. for something like that.. if they have any here... ;) unfortunately.. they can't even handle fried rice..!!

     
  • At 4/04/2007 10:36 am, Blogger CW said…

    This looks divine! I think I need another trip to Sydney...

     
  • At 4/04/2007 12:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi !

    Been a keen reader for a while.

    Their har mee is fab there. Oh yes, Hokkien Mee is a totally different dish altogether.

    Btw, tried Har Mee at 'Makan at Alice's' at thornleigh? If not, You MUST! It surely rivals this place as one of the top har mee joints ! Fantastic soup too. The Malaysian in me is definitely feeling like some now...

     
  • At 4/04/2007 7:33 pm, Blogger Khemany said…

    i love their veggie laksa, I wish i still worked close!!!

     
  • At 4/05/2007 12:59 am, Anonymous swee said…

    anyway... Any possibilities of another foogblogger's gathering anytime soon ??

     
  • At 4/05/2007 6:32 pm, Blogger Little Miss Moi said…

    Dear helen. That's right near my old work, I have many fond memories of lunch time laksas there. And never getting a table. Although I would argue that the best laksa I've ever had is in a small Thai restaurant on Concord Road in North Strathfield. Mmmm mmm.

     
  • At 4/05/2007 11:48 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Cin - Yup, going by the Malaysians at our table, you will be very pleased indeed :)

    Hi Swee - The har mee is gooooood

    Hi Fuel - Nah Cin is in Melbourne. I presume she's talking about that one.

    Hi Papa Lazarou - Our next stop for noodle research will be Jimmy's. The ipoh hor fun is on my "want to try" list.

    Hi gobsmack'd - The queues can be a little crazy at lunchtimes but that's what happens I guess when the loyal come flocking!

    Hi bowb - Enjoy. I think we had about 3 prawns sliced in half, so six halves in total :) The broth was very very good.

    Hi Mama Bok - I can't even begin to imagine your food cravings! There there... just think of all the calories you're saving :)

    Hi CW - You should :)

    Hi Anon - We've been meaning to check out Makan @ Alice's but can never seem to get our act together. Soon soon, I hope!

    Hi Khemany - You might have to come in on a Saturday :)

    Hi Swee - I think someone is planning on organising something for late next month. Keep an eye on your email.

    Hi Little Miss Moi - Everyone has their favourite laksa joint. I love that everyone is so passionate about it!

     
  • At 3/18/2008 9:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    whilst i love this place for har mee, i would recommend the laksa place in UNSW top campus...it has the best laksa!! no kidding.

     
  • At 4/08/2008 9:35 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Anon - Thanks for the recommendation. I'm not often on the grounds of UNSW but I'll have to remember it if ever I am!

     
  • At 6/17/2008 8:23 pm, Blogger Roo said…

    This is my favourite lunch time spot in the city. Prawn Laksa...mmmm. I have been away from Australia for quiet awhile and unable to get good laksa (or any asian based food for that matter)...I am heading home on Saturday and this will be on the list!

     
  • At 6/23/2008 9:05 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Roo - Ahhh there's nothing like coming home and catching up on the foods you've been homesick for! Hope you enjoyed the prawn laksa :)

     

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