A history of Mak’s noodles
MAK’S wonton noodles was started in the 1920s by Mak Woon Chee in a street alley in Guangzhou, China. Mak was credited with inventing fresh shrimp wonton and flavouring the broth with powdered dried flounder fish, dried shrimp roe and pork bones. He was crowned “King of Cantonese Wonton” and his invention became regarded as the “authentic” Cantonese wonton.
In 1938, the Mak family fled to Hong Kong after the fall of Guangzhou and war became imminent. After the second world war, Mak’s son, Mak En, revived their noodle and wonton making tradition and attracted the patronage of the rich and famous.
Mak En passed his skills to his two sons and three sons- in- law, including Johnny Yu.
They all opened their own wonton noodle shops in Hong Kong under a few different brands like Chung Kee, Mak Ming Kee and Mak Siu Kee; most of the wonton noodle shops in Hong Kong with a “Mak” in its name are run by descendants of the founder.
Founder Mak also shared his skills with a cousin ( who opened Mak Man Kee) and a pupil, who opened Ho Hung Kee, which went on to win a Michelin star ( 2012 and 2013); Ho’s son went on to establish Tasty Congee & Noodle Shop.
When Mak En retired in 1984, he renounced his hawker stall license to the Hong Kong government. Johnny, the eldest son- in- law, decided to reincarnate a similar business in his father- in- law’s name on Wellington Street, which later received a Bib Gourmand rating from the Michelin Guide.
From then on, the Mak’s brand grew in popularity in Hong Kong and the noodle dish was enjoyed by a long list of famous personalities such as food critic Chua Lam as well as Anthony Bourdain.
Yu has been working for the Mak family since he was 17 years old. Now 58, he has more than 40 years of experience making wonton noodles. Yu has since relocated to Malaysia with his wife, a granddaughter of the founder, and co- founded his own outpost, Mak’s Chee in Petaling Jaya, spreading the family’s wings further.
In recent years, Mak’s Noodle has established outlets at Olympian City, China; Hong Kong City in Causeway Bay and Jordan, and one restaurant in Macau. Their first Singapore outlet opened on Orchard Road in the Centrepoint shopping mall, with a second outlet at Westgate Shopping Mall in Jurong East.
dried prawn roe, a delicacy ingredient used in Mak’s chee’s famous wonton noodles.