Having tried the Dried Ban Mian in Restoran Kin Kin in Kuala Lumpur (KL) two years ago, and still remembering how nice it was, I was glad when Kin Kin came to Singapore. However, it took me a while to finally decide to drop by to try it, because when it first opened, the queue could take 2 hours (including waiting time) so I wasn't about to do that for any food at all.
I finally got to try it today anyway, and would be writing about the Dried Ban Mian (handmade noodles) at the KL's Kin Kin and the local Kin Kin.
Well, here comes the verdict:
Kuala Lumpur's Restoran Kin Kin
40 Jalan Sultan Sulaiman, Kampong Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +601 163728069
It came in a big bowl with pale, spaghetti-like noodles, Ikan bilis (anchovies), chilli paste, spring onions and a poached egg - a very simple getup of a meal. It was my first time trying out dried version of Ban Mian (usually it is cooked in soup), so we were told by our KL friend to toss them together and dig in.
The first bite was incredible - it was delicious despite the simple ingredients. The noodles were springy and the noodles mixed in the homemade chilli paste were very spicy and delicious - the taste stayed in my mind for months, and it was hard not to crave it.
Price-wise, it was RM6.00 (around SGD$2.50 as of today), meaning to say that it was a very affordable price as a meal. The only drawback was the setting - an old, non-airconditioned coffee shop but when the food is so good, what's forgoing 30 minutes of comfort?
Singapore's Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee
534 MacPherson Road, Singapore 368220
Tel: 6743 1372
The Singapore's version ... oh well, there is a more extensive menu, for one. It came in a big bowl with a side bowl of vegetable soup on the side - something which I appreciated, and deemed as rather thoughtful. Of course, the price of one bowl of Signature Dry Chilli Ban Mian here cost SGD$5.00 here.
The noodles were served with a little chilli, ikan bilis (anchovies), meat balls, a poached egg and shallot in lieu of spring onion.
I began to toss the noodles with the other ingredients (always get a thrill of poking the egg yolk and watching it flowing luxuriously over my food). Upon taking the first bite, I found it to be rather bland in flavor - there was not much hint of spiciness, nothing like the one I had in KL. I tried a second bite, and came up with the same verdict. Maybe they are trying to tailor the taste to suit locals' tastebud (cannot be too spicy).
Then I spotted the "Pan Mee Chilli" on the tabletop and that made all the difference. I slowly added chilli powder in dollop after dollop - after about 5 full dollops (I love spicy food by the way), the taste was finally adjusted to a close resemblance of the one I had in KL. Now my noodles was spicy and crispy with the anchovies, and I enjoyed it tremendously.
The addition of meatballs was another nice touch. Lastly, the restaurant is air-conditioned so it was comfortable eating here, even during lunch hours.
I enjoy both the noodles in KL and Singapore - but ambience wise I would choose Singapore for sure, as well as for the soup that balances the dryness of the noodles well.