Saturday, December 29, 2012

pangsit mie a fuk, dine in or takeaway?

I can honestly say that this was my first time eating in an underground carpark of a Buddhist temple.

The venue consists of a stainless steel food cart on wheels where the food is prepared and a Coca-Cola sponsored fridge full of various soft drinks and cold teas. The seating consists of long wooden benches accompanied by long wooden tables lined with cream-coloured plastic tabletops. Three people runs the place: two cooks and a server. The background is that of cars and small motorcycles - the primary mode of transport in many asian countries. With only a few fluorescent lights and the outside natural light for illumination, the ambiance is dark, though not sinister. The smell of the food that you ordered coalesces with a whiff of motor oil, carbon monoxide, and drafty underground air.

So what exactly motivated me to eat here? Quite simple, it's noodles. Al-dente, flat strands of noodles that is homemade and looks a bit like a much slender, thinner cousin of the linguine. Noodles that is delicate and pale cream in colour. Noodles that is topped with tasty minced chicken, spring onions and crunchy fried shallots, with a side of cucumber and green chilli pickles. The noodles that is my second favourite in Malang, East Java (for my number one favourite, read here). So, you might ask, why haven't I eaten there, if it is, as I said, my second favourite noodle in Malang? It also does takeaways. We always ordered in and never actually set foot on this carpark / makeshift eatery.

But I thought to myself, since I am blogging about it, I have to, at least, do it some justice and visit the place, right? So that now I can honestly say why we always had takeaways and why you probably should too. Eating in the comfort of your home (or hotel room) is, well, more comfortable. But I would suggest that this noodle be eaten fast, they don't keep well over time, they'd get gluggy and stick to each other.

There is quite a bit of history with this noodle shop. It used to be called Cwie Mie Che Ming when I was young. It used to be owned by someone called Che Ming, hence the name, and cwie mie is just the sino-indo word for noodles. But, the place has since been taken over by Che Ming's son, A Fuk, and thus baptised with the new moniker Pangsit Mie A Fuk. I suppose this odd location was originally chosen so that buddhist temple-goers would have something decent to eat after their visit. If you're there, feel free to have a look around the temple, which is also one of the oldest buildings in Malang.

Cwie mie ayam - Rp 12,000
If you're really curious about the noodle but would prefer not to eat like a hermit, then an alternative is a branch of the same eatery, located above ground at Jalan Letnan Jenderal (Letjen) Sutoyo 41A, called Kedai Mie Sutoyo, open 7 days, 9am-9pm. My first visit there confirmed my view that the new branch is the better place to go to have this noodle. The branch offers many variation of the noodle that might tickle your fancy, they also have various other types of rice dishes that are quite decent. Although my preference will always be the classic cwie mie ayam, which is the only type of noodles offered in the buddhist temple carpark.

Pangsit Mie A Fuk
Klenteng Eng An Kiong
Jalan Laksamana Martadinata 1

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