Besides beef noodles and cendol, Seremban has quietly kept this next gem of a dish to themselves. Said to have originated here with the local Hakka community, hakka mee is a simple bowl of glossy noodles tossed in oil and topped with minced pork, bringing a burst of umami flavours that are freshened up by spring onions and pickled green chilli. Some variations include crispy pork lard and finely diced mushrooms too.
Initially, I made plans to hop over to the famous Tow Kee Hakka Mee located at the same wet market but much to my chagrin, they had run out. Refusing to give up, I decided to try my luck at known for 26A, Ground floor, Jalan Seng Meng Lee, Seremban. bowl of hakka mee came swiftly: the noodles were springy but not dry, a little lacking in ‘oomph’ but the houseblend chilli paste took care o of that. This version came with minced pork and char siew (barbecued pork) that was a little sweet, giving some life to the bowl.
I could feel the onset of a food coma but I jolted to life as soon as I saw the waiter bringing a bowl of shi fun to my table. Known as Yi Poh noodles here, this recipe for fun dates back to 1948 when the shop started out as a push cart. The speciality lies in the noodles, known as lai fun, which are more elastic and chewier than the ones you find in KL, where the noodles are sharp on the edges and short, like rats’ tails. However, the bareness of this bowl surprised me. There was no hint of crushed greens, just a dollop of minced pork on top of the noodles and a few measly pieces of char siew. I tossed everything with the lard and soy sauce sitting underneath the noodles which emanated an inviting aroma but unfortunately, it took a spoonful of the house-blend chilli paste to give it more body and taste. Perhaps I caught them on a bad day, as I’ve eaten this dish before and it had a more nuanced flavour with added spring onions and less of an overwhelming lard taste.