Shop 4, G/F, Nam Wo Hong Building, 148 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: 3104 0288
Grub: Malaysian/Southeast Asian noodles.
Vibe: This is a difficult place to find. Its trendy post-industrial exterior blends seamlessly with the rather shabby back street behind Western Market where it is.
Inside, industrial-sized light fittings illuminate attractive, olive-green-tiled walls. The patterns on the tiles echo those found in Malaysian batik fabrics.
The restaurant is deep and narrow, with the kitchen area taking up much of the right-hand side. It is separated from the dining area by a long bar with places for solo diners, while opposite there are tables for two. Larger tables are available at the front by the window but the entire restaurant can only accommodate about 26 guests in total.
Who to take: There’s not much room, so go alone, or grab just one friend, then make use of the USB charger available at each table, and live-stream your lunch to the rest of your crew.
What’s hot: The style is mostly Malaysian but they do have Thai-style Yen Ta Fo Hen, or pink fried noodles, as well as classics such as Hokkien Mee and Char Kuey Teow. Top of the list, though, is Nyonya Laksa. This is essentially noodle soup incorporating both Chinese and Malay styles. Here both thick wheat noodles and thin vermicelli noodles are featured in a rich coconut curry soup. Trawl around in the soup a little and you will also find fish balls, tofu, chicken, an egg with spicy sambal on top, a huge prawn, and a calamansi for those that like it extra tangy.
The soup alone is already quite filling, but the baby octopus in Thai herb sauce appetiser looked too delicious to resist. There were at least half-a-dozen whole octopuses served in a stone pot with minced garlic. They were very tender and infused with lemongrass, giving a classic Thai flavour.
Desserts include coconut mille crepe and a highly recommended pandan flan.
Free Coke and Sprite are at lunch time, but it is worth upgrading – the restaurant has a great range of refreshing homemade sodas including lemongrass, ginger, and calamansi. If you prefer a hot drink, there is teh tarik or Ipoh coffee available, too.
What’s not: Lunch time is very short. The restaurant opens at noon and last order is taken at 2pm. It can also get a bit squishy during peak hours, so try to sit with your chopstick arm away from the wall.
Cost: HK$150-HK$200. Lunch time is an excellent time to visit because, although there are a few dishes that are only available in the evenings, the lunchtime prices are a little cheaper.