Hakka Chili Pan Mee

Special thanks to Hakka Chili Pan Mee for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Hakka Chili Pan Mee (客家辣椒板面) is one of the first shops to open in Prominence, a new mixed development project in Bandar Baru Perda. The restaurant specializes in pan mee (板面), a popular noodle dish of Hakka (客家) origin. Pan mee is very similar to mee hoon kueh (面粉粿) in Hokkien (福建) cuisine.
At Hakka Chili Pan Mee, there are 3 versions of pan mee: thin, thick and hand-torn (手捏). All 3 types come from the same wheat dough, but differ in the way the dough is cut. Pan mee literally translates as "board noodle", reflecting the fact that the dough is steamrolled into thin sheets before it is cut.
As the restaurant's name implies, Chili Pan Mee (辣椒板面, RM6.90) is the signature dish here. This dish is a relatively modern invention that was first popularized in the Klang Valley. The noodle is served with minced pork (肉碎), wood ear fungus (黑木耳), sweet leaves (马尼菜), anchovies (江鱼仔) and egg. A vital ingredient is hot sauce (麻辣酱), which packs a strong punch of intense spiciness.
Dry Pan Mee (干香板面, RM5.50) is somewhat similar to the previous dish, but features meatballs (肉丸) instead. Thin noodle is the preferred choice as it maximizes contact with the seasoning.
Fried Pork Drypan Mee (爆层板面, RM6.90) is one of my favorite dishes today. It features a pork cutlet that is cut into slices and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Served with sweet chili sauce, the cutlet is quite delectable. I cannot recommend this dish highly enough.
Tomyam Dry Pan Mee (冬炎板面, RM8.90) is worth trying if you are fond of spicy Thai food. The key ingredient is minced chicken that is flavored with homemade spice mix. Thick noodle pairs well with this appetizing Thai seasoning. This dish also comes with crispy fish fillets.
Taiwanese Style Drypan Mee (炸酱板面, RM6.90) is similar to the popular Taiwanese dish, Minced Pork Rice (卤肉饭). The thick noodle is topped with stir-fried minced pork and a hard-boiled egg.
Loh Pan Mee (卤卤板面, RM6.90) is a peculiar recipe indeed. Its vinegar-infused gravy is reminiscent of hot and sour soup (酸辣汤). Also included in the bowl are minced pork, meatballs, anchovies, wood ear fungus and sweet leaves. This dish suits my palate but I suspect that it may not go well with certain people.
Soup Pan Mee (回味板面, RM5.50) is the classic Hakka recipe. The soup is formulated from anchovies and more than 10 spices. The anchovies are first fried, and then boiled in the soup to extract its rich taste. In my opinion, Soup Pan Mee goes best with hand-torn noodle.
Condiments are vital in the enjoyment of pan mee. The restaurant makes its own condiments from scratch: hot sauce (麻辣酱), spicy sauce (香辣酱) and sambal (参巴酱). While most pan mee servings have been seasoned adequately, customers are encouraged to add condiments according to their liking.
In lieu of pan mee, customers can also opt for rice dishes. Loh Bak Rice Bento (卤肉饭便当, RM9.90) is one such choice. The bowl of white rice is topped with minced pork, Chinese mustard, pickled cucumber, hard-boiled egg and sesame seeds.
From the à la carte menu, Crispy Pork Chop (爆油烧肉, RM9.90) is the bestselling snack. Under its crispy surface is juicy flesh that tantalizes the taste buds.
As for Crispy Fried Fish (香脆炸鱼, RM9.90), this side order is made into strips to serve as finger food. This dish is succulent indeed.
Lohbak (卤香肉卷, RM5.90) is made from minced pork with five-spice powder (五香粉) seasoning. The pork is wrapped in tofu skin (豆腐皮) and then fried until it becomes crispy. Unlike those served in most restaurants, these rolls are noticeably juicier.
A serving of Fried Chicken Wing (炸香鸡翅, RM8.90) contains three pairs of drumettes and wings. The fried chicken's taste and aroma are at the zenith when it is still piping hot from the fryer.
For something less oily, go for a bowl of Dumpling Soup (饺饺清汤, RM4.90). Each dumpling is filled with scrumptious minced pork. Meanwhile, the deep-fried version of dumplings is also available.
The Curry Chicken (烘香咖喱, RM6.90) here has less liquid than usual. This is to a point that it resembles chicken rendang. I think it would be nice if the breast section were cut into thinner slices.
The restaurant's menu also includes several meat-free dishes to cater for vegetarians. For example, Vegetarian Roasted Pork (脆香炸肉, RM9.90) is presented in a way which resembles actual roasted pork.
As for drinks, our choices today are Sugar Cane With Chestnut Juice (马蹄竹蔗汁, RM2.50), Bandung Special (黑糖百香汁, RM3.90) and Carrot Milk (胡萝卜牛奶, RM4.50).
Hakka Chili Pan Mee targets the mainstream customers as its pricing is quite affordable. In most cases, the food taste is reasonably good. Despite its modest menu, the restaurant covers a diverse range of flavors to suit different palates.

Name: Hakka Chili Pan Mee (客家辣椒板面)
Address: 8, Lorong Perda Utama 3, Bandar Baru Perda, 14000 Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 011-3710-1184
Business hours: 10:30am-9:00pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/HakkaChilPanMee
Coordinates: 5.36607 N, 100.42764 E
Directions: From the large Seberang Perai roundabout, take the west exit towards Bandar Perda. After 200 meters, turn left to Lorong Perda Utama 3. Hakka Chili Pan Mee is located at the left row of shop. There are parking spaces on both sides of the road.

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