By TAN BEE HONG
I AM told that sang nyuk mian (fresh pork noodles) is an iconic Sabahan dish that has its origins in Tawau.
It was said to have been made popular by Kedai Kopi Kim Hing Lee in Kota Kinabalu.
Sang nyuk mian comes in two styles: soup or kon lou (noodles tossed in a dark sauce), with bits of pork lard croutons added on top to give it the oomph factor.
When I went on the hunt for Ah Loy Sabah Pork Noodles in Petaling Jaya, I couldn’t find it.
Then one fine day, my best friend and I were at Taman People’s Park at lunch time and saw a signboard for SK Sabah Pork Noodles.
It turns out this is the new name for Ah Loy Sabah Pork Noodles.
The front of the shop is where all the action is: it’s like an open kitchen where you can see what’s cooking.
I am pleased to see that the workers handling the food are wearing plastic gloves.
The owner, S.K. Choo, is from Sabah, so I am trusting this is authentic sang nyuk mian, done the right way.
The menu is simple, a one-page affair with accompanying pictures.
Offered in two sizes –small (RM8.50) and big (RM9.50) – the noodles come with Chinese mustard leaves, sliced fresh tenderloin, intestine, liver and pork balls. Customers can add on items such as kidney and tendons.
Unlike the KL version of the pork noodles, this Sabah version does not use minced pork.
There’s a choice of noodles too, from vermicelli and kway teow to mee and fresh Hakka mian, which is the restaurant signature dish.
I ask for kon lou Hakka mian which comes with a side bowl of soup with vegetables and other condiments, including chilli sauce.
The noodles are delicious, with the right amount of sauce and perfectly cooked to retain that al dente texture. But I don’t like the watery chilli sauce and ask for chopped chilli padi instead.
The broth has a rich porky taste, the result of slowly simmering pork bones for hours.
The sliced tenderloin is silky smooth and tender. The intestines are soft and tender while the slivers of liver are cooked just right.
The soup noodles are just as good but I am still of the opinion that the dry version deserves an extra thumbs up.
For side dishes, we order century egg dumplings. I would have preferred more century egg in the meat filling but I guess at RM2.50 per piece, that’s probably just right.
The shop also offers deep-fried beancurd sheets and fried fish cake (both at RM8 per plate) as well as fishball soup (RM5/small).
Tan Bee Hong is a food critic/blogger at fatphoenix.my. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.