Most of my early afternoons in Hong Kong were spent wandering around mindlessly shopping with my cousin, so we were often left to find our own lunch. Her dad recommended we try a Michelin starred wanton noodle shop along Wellington Street, but without a shop name and an abundance of wanton noodle shops we decided to venture into the one with the longest queue.
The shopfront was plastered with Michelin signs so we assumed we had found the right place, if not better. A waitress came outside along the street to take people’s orders as they waited in line. Although the line was intimidating, we had to wait a mere 5 or so minutes until being ushered into the very minimalistic but atmospheric noodle shop. It was obvious that efficiency was their priority, that this was an order, eat, pay, leave kind of establishment with no tolerance for dilly-dally. The room was packed full of tightly squeezed chairs and tables with waitresses shouting orders into the half-open kitchen.
The no frills approach also applied to their food, with the wanton noodle consisting of wantons, noodles, soup and garnished with spring onion. But the dish needed no extras and flair as the simplicity was compensated with intense flavors and quality. I had ordered the standard king prawn wanton noodle for $25HKD ($4SGD) and I personally believe that’s a steal. I have never eaten such large wantons packed with such deliciousness. The prawns were crunchy and sweet, paired perfectly with the surrounding wrapper. The broth was extremely flavorful although slightly salty, and tasted even better with the addition of chili oil. The serving of noodles was remarkably generous, with a springy texture and retention of the broth’s flavors.
This meal made a perfect quick break from mindless shopping, whilst being affordable and swift with no compromise on quality. The shop is located near the entrance of the escalator chain to the Mid Levels of Hong Kong, where you can spend a good half hour riding escalators for no apparent reason (or sight seeing, whatever) just like my cousin and I did.
Tsim Chai Kee Noodle
98 Wellington St
Central, Hong Kong
+852 2850 6471