This little bowl of wantan mee (wonton noodles) that we had at a street hawker in George Town, Penang, was a dish that just kept surprising me more and more with every bite. We settled on this plate after wandering the streets of George Town aimlessly on our first night there. I'd left the hotel without a map or a sense of where we'd find dinner, believing, by George Town's reputation as a stellar food city, that we'd practically fall into tastiness as long as we kept our eyes peeled.
Well, it turned out that tastiness might've been just around the corner, but our endurance for finding it just isn't what it used to be. The Gravy Baby tops the scales now at over 20 pounds, and we put him in our baby carrier whenever we know we're going a distance. This wasn't a problem when we schlepping around the chillier climes of Hanoi, but here in Malaysia, but when there's a little meaty heater strapped to you in the form of a baby, it doesn't take long to become a sweaty mess.
Anyway, we'd just about given up on finding that perfect street meal when we saw a line forming around a little cart. When I saw it was wantan mee they were serving up, I didn't leap for joy right away, because we've eat it regularly in KL. Well, that changed as soon as our dish was served up. The wontons and dumplings had water chestnuts inside. It was such a simple, refreshing, crunchy addition, and yet it totally won (pardon the pun) me over. For me, the utter simplicity of such a great addition was like eating a hamburger all these years and someone saying to me one day, "You know, try a slice of melted cheese on top of that burger." It's game-changing, but makes so much sense at the same time.
We loved this little cart and all of its dumpling goodness that we went back for seconds the next night. And the next time I make dumplings, you can count on there being some water chestnuts in them, too.
Wantan mee cart | Open evenings after 7:30 pm | Chulia Street between Carnavon and Lorong Sekchuan | George Town, Penang | Malaysia