Mak’s Noodle in Hong Kong: Beef Brisket Wonton Noodle Soup

Beef Brisket Wonton Noodle Soup
Mak's Noodle located on Wellington Street on Hong Kong Island

Mak’s Noodle located on Wellington Street on Hong Kong Island

Mak’s noodle is an institution in Hong Kong. This no-frills restaurant is one of the most popular spots in the city for wonton noodles. Did I mention the restaurant even has its own Wikipedia page?

In Hong Kong, wonton noodles is simple. At its most basic, you have a bowl of piping hot and savory broth filled with chewy yet firm egg noodles and delicate shrimp dumplings. Whatever else you choose to add, whether meat or vegetables, is up to you.

While Mak’s Noodle is popular, it’s not without controversy. People either love or hate Mak’s Noodle. Foodies, locals, tourists, business men, pretty much everyone in Hong Kong is divided over the serving size of the wonton noodles at Mak’s Noodle. They say it’s too small. They say it’s overpriced. They say the wontons are tiny.

I’m not here to argue about who is right or wrong. Are the serving sizes small? Possibly. I’m only here to write about how the food tasted.

Whether you love or hate Mak’s Noodle is up to you.

Basic interior of Mak's Noodle

Basic interior of Mak’s Noodle

As mentioned before, Mak’s Noodle is popular. During lunch hours and on weekends, expect to wait for an open seat, which might be next to a stranger. Rest assured, wait times are rarely long as many people in Hong Kong sit down, eat, and pay in the blink of an eye.

Fortunately on my visit between lunch and dinner, I was able to snag a seat immediately.

If the decor of a restaurant is important to you, then you might want to turn around at the front door.

I would describe the decor of Mak’s Noodle as a hole-in-the-wall. The place just reminded me of any American fast food chain in the 1990s.

The small open dining room was packed with simple and small circular tables paired with even smaller stools. Lining the off white walls were lime green painted booths, barely large enough to fit four grown adults.

Though the interior of the restaurant was basic, it was clean, which was more important than a fancy decor in my opinion.

Small kitchen at Mak's Noodle facing out towards the street

Small kitchen facing out towards the street

One of the best parts about Mak’s Noodle was the small open kitchen that was visible from inside and outside the restaurant. Take a quick peak inside to see the chefs preparing bowls of soup and rolling the freshly made noodles into bundles just before boiling.

Mak’s Noodle Menu

Mak’s Noodle menu, Hong Kong

Mak’s Noodle menu, Hong Kong

Mak’s Noodle set menu, Hong Kong

Mak’s Noodle set menu, Hong Kong

Beef Brisket Wonton Noodles

Beef Brisket Wonton Noodle Soup

Beef Brisket Wonton Noodle Soup

When I ordered the Beef Brisket Wonton Noodles ($57 HKD or about $7.34), I was pleasantly surprised to see how much was packed into a small bowl. Sure, the price was a little steep compared to other spots in Hong Kong, but just look at that delicious bowl of soup. I don’t mind spending a little extra for quality.

The noodles did not disappoint. Savory and delicious on their own. Each noodle had great texture, firm with a great bite. The only thing I had trouble with was controlling the slippery noodles with my chopsticks. Using my chopsticks in conjunction with a spoon helped fixed this problem.

I don’t know where to begin with how delicious the prawn based broth was. So complex yet simple with multiple layers of flavors. Each sip of the deep brown broth, both salty and rich, was packed with flavors of the sea along with oily, meaty flavors from the tender and fatty beef brisket.

Floating in the broth were large chunks of beef brisket. The beef tasted oh so meaty and yet slightly sweet in flavor. Each bite was unbelievably tender and just melted in my mouth, especially the fatty pieces.

Hidden underneath the noodles and meat were a few hand wrapped wontons packed with prawns. These wontons were a thing of beauty. The skin was just the right thickness, not too thick or thin. Inside the light skin was a big piece of tender, salty, and sweet shrimp that seemed to soak up all the flavors of the beef brisket and prawn broth. It really doesn’t get any better.

I also especially enjoyed the addition of chives, which seemed to elevate the dish by adding a fresh, crisp bite.

For something that seemed so simple, I was blown away by the layers of flavors and texture of the the beef brisket wonton noodles.

All the salty, savory, and meaty flavors were well balanced. It left me wanting more.

Now it all makes sense. People are upset about the small portion sizes only because they want more of this delicious soup.

Service

The service at Mak’s Noodle was exactly what was expected for any eat-and-go restaurant in Hong Kong.

Servers were friendly but to the point. The only times the servers really came by was to take my order and deliver my food. Bills were settled with the cashier at the front (cash only).

The servers seemed to appreciate if guests ordered promptly, ate quickly, and moved on. This ensured they could accommodate as many guests as possible.

Conclusion

On my recent visit to Hong Kong, Mak’s Noodle was my only wonton noodle experience. Therefore, I can’t really say if this is or isn’t the best wonton noodles in Hong Kong.

Though many complain the portion sizes are small, for the quality, I can’t complain. For the price, I thought the bowl was more than filling for a quick lunch.

The quality of the broth, noodles, and wontons were exceptional and tasted delicious. Just thinking about it makes me hungry.

If there are better wonton noodles spots in Hong Kong, then I will be counting down the days until my next trip to Hong Kong.

Pros

  • Each component of the wonton noodles was delicious from the broth, to the noodles, to the beef brisket
  • Interesting open kitchen
  • English menus

Cons

  • Small portions
  • Cash only
  • No napkins
  • Table sharing during busy hours
  • $30 HKD (about $3.86) minimum order per person

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