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Great oodles of noodles!

 | July 6, 2011

Tucked in a corner of One Utama is an outlet that serves an impressive selection of noodles.


Some shopping complexes have a chain of eateries that are tucked away in some forgotten corner. The rental in these quiet spots is probably lower than other choice areas.

At One Utama, there is an outlet which doesn’t really draw attention to itself. It calls itself Lameeya. I really don’t know what it means. I suppose it would be a fairly good guess if somebody says “lam mee”.

Lameeya isn’t crowded during those times I have walked by its premises. In fact, compared to other eateries it can be considered to be low profiled. I believe the location has something to do with it.

For the most part of my life, I have always been confused by “lam mee” and “loh mee”. But after being a customer at Lameeya restaurant, I found to my surprise the truth behind the “lam” and the “loh”.

The story goes that about 60 years ago, the Chinese staying in the northern states of Malaya were crazy about the loh mee. It would be a good guess on your part if you think its name has a Hokkien flavour.

Then years later, the fame of loh mee gradually spread down to the central and southern regions of the country. While the Hokkiens were more predominant up north, the Cantonese held sway in the central and perhaps a little of the southern area.

To suit the palate of those Chinese in the aforementioned places, some creative chefs began to rethink the recipe for loh mee. While loh mee has much thicker gravy, the new improved “lam mee” has a lighter feel.

Thus, the lam mee was born and its “twin” loh mee continues to thrive in the upper regions of the Peninsula. Today, depending on where you dine, it is either loh mee or lam mee.

Wholesome body

Personally, I prefer loh mee because the dish has a more wholesome body. I know that some people, especially the Cantonese, would place their bets on lam mee.

At the end of the day, it is the same. The ingredients make all the difference though. At Lameeya where I dined, my choice was mushroom lam mee.

On that day, the restaurant had a promotion and the mushroom lam mee was a ringgit cheaper than its usual price. My lunch partner opted for dry chicken koay teow.

The size of the bowl of lam mee took me by surprise. It was bigger than normal. Obviously, the Lameeya management believes in big portions.

That was fine with me because I have a big appetite. There were three types of mushrooms in the lam mee. Mushrooms are one of my favourites.

If they are cooked well, mushrooms sometimes taste better than chicken. I was quite satisfied with the lam mee although the taste is slightly different from the ones I have had at the hawker stalls.

As for the dry koay teow, somebody had forgotten to add a bit more sauce because it was too dry.

Multiple choices

There was a big heap of koay teow and the small amount of beansprouts and chicken pieces could be improved upon. In this case, emphasis on quality would have brought a smile to the diner’s face.

So the dry koay teow dish received a C minus grade whereas the mushroom lam mee got a B plus.

At Lameeya, it is all about noodles and the selection is impressive. Besides the ordinary lam mee, the restaurant also has mee rebus, dry curry chicken mee, lam yee mee, curry chicken koay teow and chicken koay teow soup.

Besides the noodles, there are also multiple choices of chee cheong fun which came in three flavours and dumplings that have different fillings.

It would not be fair to pass judgment on Lameeya’s noodle selections because one visit does not constitute a proper assessment.

For the moment, Lameeya’s status remains in abeyance. In other words, we need to knock on its doors again at a more opportune time.

Although the restaurant levied a service tax of 10%, the government tax was not in the bill. I was satisfied that I have got my money’s worth at Lameeya but it would take more than one meal to arrive at a reasonable conclusion about its status as a noodle house.


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