“In the mood for wan tan mee for breakfast?” Alice, my colleague, nodded sleepily. I recently came across a hawker stall located in Top Lucky Cafe, Air Itam which supposedly serves Wan Tan Mee for breakfast at the extremely reasonable price of RM3. Come on RM3? I simply had to check this place out.
I admit we were a little lost when we arrived at the Farlim residential flats. Fortunately for us, there was a resident who very sweetly led us to where Block 4E was located. Lo and behold, there it was— Top Lucky Cafe, a sleepy- looking coffee shop with the Wan Tan Mee stall parked right in the front for all to see!
Working solo in helming the Wan Tan Mee hawker stall is Mary who has been selling her extremely affordable wan tan mee for the past 32 years. I also found out that she sells her wan tan mee for only RM3 as most of her customers come from the nearby housing area. How noble of her!
What I tried at Top Lucky Cafe
The menu here (just like the stall name) is simple and straightforward. You can opt for your wan tan mee to be served in a clear broth with dumplings, or drenched in sweet-savoury dark soya sauce with the addition of barbecued pork and dumplings. And of course, you can opt between the small (RM3) or large (RM5). Having grown up having the sweet-savoury dark soya sauce version, I opted for that, and according to my appetite that day, small.
As soon as I ordered, Mary swiftly tossed a handful of yellow noodles into the boiling water section of her pot. She then proceeds to prepare the plates with the sauces accordingly. The noodles cooked in just a few minutes and she rushed them over to the plates.
This is followed by the noodles being tossed into the black sauce using extra large, long chopsticks. She then tops it off with handfuls of barbecued pork before tossing in the dumplings into the dish along with leafy greens. It is also served with a spoonful of sambal belacan for those who enjoy a little kick in their noodles.
When she slid the two plates of wan tan mee onto our table, I could not believe the sizable portion of the noodles. Honestly, this small version could have been a large portion in Kuala Lumpur and I could have easily paid RM6 to RM8. Even Alice admitted that she was expecting just a couple of bites for RM3. How was this portion so affordably priced? How is this lady possibly earning a profit? A string of questions kept popping into my head.
Pushing the questions aside, I focused on my grumbling stomach. I poured the sambal belacan into my wan tan mee, swirled it about and took a bite. The noodles were still springy and soaked up the sauce perfectly. The sambal belacan also lent a nice umami-ness (thank you shrimp paste)!
The barbecued pork was decent-tasting but of course, the star of the dish, as it should be, wasis definitely the wan tons! The dumplings were plump and had the perfect ratio of skin to filling. I usually prefer my dumplings to be fried (only for the case of wan tan mee because it gives a delightful crunch), but this was equally as delicious.
As I slurped the last few strands of noodles, I couldn’t help but observe that the coffee shop had this really calm aura about it. You couldn’t really feel the hustle and bustle as you’d normally do at other hawker spots. Everyone was just slurping their noodles or sipping on their Kopi O. And I realised that yes, all of them were residents, either retired or enjoying their daily breakfast before heading to work.
Even as I snapped photographs, I could hear the group of retirees joking and teasing Mary, and they encouraged me to take more pictures. I smiled. With such an environment and price tag, I don’t think it’s possible to find such food spots so easily.
I couldn’t be more grateful I got the opportunity to bask in it, even if just for an hour. If you’re ever in Air Itam and are looking for a place to tuck into for breakfast, head over to Top Lucky Cafe and trust me, your wallet and stomach will thank you for it.
Expected damage: RM3 – RM5 per pax
Other articles you might like:
The post Top Lucky Cafe: Queue-worthy RM3 wan tan mee by Penang auntie below Georgetown residential flats appeared first on SETHLUI.com.