Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee: The real deal?

Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee just opened up a new branch at Macpherson road abour 2 weeks ago. This famous restaurant boasts 3 outlets in Malaysia, under the name – Restoran Kin Kin.

As their name suggests, they are famous for their handmade noodles, or more specifically, their dry ban mian.

Now, Ban Mian is a dish Singaporeans are all familiar with. We all have our favorite noodle, be it, ban mian, mee kia or mee hoon kway. But here, at Kin Kin, their specialty is the Dry Pan Mee, which is served with noodles that are slightly thicker than mee kia. While they do offer the other options, most customers come here for their specialty, of course!

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This afternoon, (yes I’m doing a review right after eating, talk about efficiency!), the queue wasn’t that bad, so I decided to check it out! After queuing for about 15 minutes, we managed to get a seat, on the premise that we would have to wait an hour for our food. Well, if it’s supposed to be good,  I’ll wait for it.

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When we arrived, we were informed that they only had two items on their menu left, the Dry Chilli Pan Mee/Ban Mian and their Fishball Soup. We didn’t mind since those were the two dishes that they were well known for anyway.

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The small store was packed with customers, some chompin away at their piping hot bowls of ban mian, others sipping away at drinks, eyes hungrily drawn to the bowls of noodles being served to others.

After placing our order, we were served our drinks (Water chestnut for all), and we then returned to our seats to await our bowls of steaming hot goodness.

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The Water Chestnut was delicious! It was sweet and the perfect thirst quencher on this scorching Friday.

Our food arrived in about 30-45 minutes, with the Fishball Soup ($3.50) leading the way.

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I’m not a fan of fishballs, and I shy away from commercially made fishballs. I only eat handmade fishballs since the texture is completely different from those synthetic fishballs. Yes, I’m fussy in that way. The fishballs here are handmade, and are light and springy. They taste better dipped in the chilli soy sauce served alongside, since the spice adds some kick. The broth was light, with a slight hint of sweetness to it.

Dry Chilli Pan Mee ($5)

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Each bowl is served with a soft cooked egg, 3 meatballs and is generously topped with minced meat, ikan bilis and shallots. The bowls are huge, but the portions are normal. I even saw some diners ordering two bowls!

Sad to say, this was overrated. I don’t see why anyone would queue for 2-3 hours for this bowl of lackluster noodles. Maybe the waiting time makes you extra hungry, so anything you eat tastes extremely good.

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They serve the noodles with a small bowl of soup alongside, but this doesn’t help the dish in anyway. Perhaps only to help wash down the noodles. But if that’s the case, I would recommend their Water Chestnut Drink instead. 😛

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Topped with the dry chilli flakes, the dish was decent but not mind blowing. The noodles were too hard, and didn’t have the same quality as freshly made noodles, despite their claim that their noodles are handmade. The noodles when mixed well with the minced meat, shallots, ikan bilis and chilli does have an interesting taste — a combination of bak chor mee and dry lamian?

But that was about it. Just a regular bowl of noodles.

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Perhaps we shouldn’t be too quick to join long snaking queues nowadays. It seems as if the queues aren’t really telling of good food… it just shows that they have good publicity.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t be back. The standard of the noodles are on par with those you get at a food court or hawker centre. Nothing special, and definitely not worth the waiting time. If you want good handmade fishballs, just head down to the wet market to get some good ol’ fresh fishballs from the friendly aunty. It’ll save you a trip! Trust me, even the ambience isn’t worth coming down for — long queues, and an uncomfortably squeezy dining area? Count me out.

Rating: 5/10

Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee at 534 Macpherson Road, opens from 11am to 9pm daily

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