I remember attempting to make pan mee in the UK – skyping with my mum in my room with a bag of flour, egg, water and an empty beer bottle in hand. Yeah, I was too cheap to buy myself a rolling pin haha! They were the worst noodles I’ve eaten in my life and I had to go back to eating frozen pizza, just like all my flatmates that night. That bit of desperation made me realise how much I take pan mee forgranted (drama, I know!) and I’ve ever since, been on a lookout for a good bowl of pan mee.
Jien makes fun of me now as I never quite pegged myself as a super “Chinese” person but my food preference upon returning from abroad shows otherwise. Imagine my surprise when Jien and I went to Xiu Ye Mao (小夜猫) in Jinjang based on a reader’s tip-off for pan mee, and I see an Indian man behind the cooking station dishing out bowls after bowls of noodles.
And next to him are several Chinese helpers rolling out noodles and preparing the ingredients for cooking. That’s not a common sight, and I don’t mean that in a racist way; I’m just impressed. Xiu Ye Mao Pan Mee caters to late night eaters or those looking for a bite after a night out – I’m not exactly sure about this so if you can read and write Chinese, do correct me.
Xiu Ye Mao Pan Mee offers a good variety of handmade noodles (thin, thick or pinched) in a choice of clear soup, dry chili, ma lat, curry and egg gravy (loh mee) broth. We opted for three types of pan mee to share – pinched pan mee in clear soup, thick ma lat pan mee and thick pan mee in a mix of curry and loh mee gravy.
The pinched noodles were quite good though I prefer the pan mee texture at Kah Ping in Klang. Tastewise, the broth was sweet from the anchovies and pork, and I liked how generous they were with the fried anchovies and minced pork topping. You can opt to eat this with chilli sauce but I think the pan mee is flavourful enough as it is.
I rather enjoyed the ma lat pan mee though the humid weather made it almost impossible for me to drink every drop of the broth. The noodles were smooth and chewy enough, and the spicy broth was thick yet not overwhelmingly spicy. You get a nice balance of sweet, savoury and spicy notes in each spoonful. I would prefer my noodles to be chewier (less cooked) though, so there’s more spring in each bite.
I spotted a few people eating a creamy looking pan mee dish and upon inquiring, I was told it was pan mee with a mix of curry and loh mee broth. This combo worked well, much to my surprise. You get that rich and thick texture from the egg broth and a good kick from the curry. For those who want more “oomph”, there’s a bottle of sambal chilli on each table to add the spiciness.
For the sake of research (mostly because I’m greedy), I ordered a pack of curry pan mee to takeaway. While the noodles were soggy by the time I got to it at night, I liked the curry broth. It was well balanced and aromatic, though I wouldn’t recommend going for the thin noodles as that gets soft faster.
Our bill including two drinks and the takeaway pan mee came up to RM28. If I’m not mistaken, a small bowl costs RM6 onwards which is reasonable considering the portion. This place is no-frills (my favourite kind of food hunt) so be prepared to sweat, especially if you’re going for the ma lat version. But trust me, it’s worth it. ;)
Food: 7/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Try the ma lat pan mee and curry loh pan mee.
Xiu Ye Mao Pan Mee (小夜猫)
2042, Jalan Jinjang Aman 2,
52000 Kuala Lumpur.
Business hours: 1pm till 4am