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Tag / curry-mee

Those of you who have followed this blog or my Instagram/FB channels for a while know that I’m quite a big fan of Penang Curry Mee, whenever I see any place that claims to offer them, I’ll give it a try.

Curry Mee at Tong Fong restaurant, PJ Seapark
Curry Mee at Tong Fong restaurant, PJ Seapark

So when Haze pointed out to me that there’s this stall offering Penang Curry Mee at Tong Fong kopitiam at Seapark while we were buying battery for the car, it became the de facto lunch choice for that day.

Tong Fong kopitiam is situated right behind KFC at Seapark, other than the rather popular beef noodle, there weren’t many hawker stalls worth mentioning, until this one.

coagulated pork blood and raw cockles, the most important ingredients
coagulated pork blood and raw cockles, the most important ingredients

To be perfectly honest, this stall does not offer 100% pure Penang Curry Mee. While having coagulated pork blood, cockles (two of the most important ingredients), cuttlefish, tofupok, and mint leaves, it lacks prawns, and comes with a few pieces of shredded chicken as well as some green beans. So in terms of ingredients, it was about 80% Penang, 20% KL, a bit of a mixed marriage.

there's no prawns in this curry mee, but I'm not complaining
there’s no prawns in this curry mee, but I’m not complaining

The good thing though is that it works, the broth was rather fragrant, and the sambal, while a tad on the oilier side, provided a pretty good kick. I can excuse the lack of prawn in this case.

If you can wake up before 9 am, Restaurant Okay’s version may still be a bit better, but this place serves till lunch, and I sure hope the stall stays.

map to restaurant Tong Fong, Seapark

Address:
Tong Fong restaurant
Jalan 21/17,
Seapark,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS3.110142, 101.621673
Hoursbreakfast and lunch

Asam laksa and curry mee are just two of Penang’s signature hawker dishes. You can find them almost anywhere on the island, and most of the time they would be of pretty decent qualities.

Here is another place you could try if you find yourself on the Pearl of Orient – at Mount Erskine hawker center.

my niece is an asam laksa addict, just like Haze
my niece is an asam laksa addict, just like Haze

The hawker center is situated at the end of Mt. Erskine road, the road most famous for having plenty of graves (hence super congested during cheng beng weekends). Here you will find a dozen or so hawker stalls offering everything from char kuih teow, kuih teow soup, mee goreng, curry mee, asam laksa, oyster porridge, mixed rice, and so on.

penang asam laksa from Mt. Erskine hawker center
Penang asam laksa from Mt. Erskine hawker center

The laksa here is manned by two white haired aunties who certainly knows to keep things the traditional way. The laksa is laden with plenty of vegetable, chili, fish broth, prawn paste, and of course, topped with ginger flower (bungan kantan). It tastes as good as any, and passed my niece’s taste test.

A bowl costs RM 3.50 (but that was over Chinese new year, normal price was RM 3.00 I think)

Penang curry mee, this one with yummy fish ball too
Penang curry mee, this one with yummy fish ball too

When I’m there, I almost always order the curry mee (previous blog post from 2006). Other than the usual ingredients of cockles, prawns, coagulated blood, and tofu, they also throw in a couple home made fish balls into it.

While fish balls is a nice touch that gives the curry mee an extra dimension, the real deal here is their soup and chili paste. Fresh coconut milk based soup (the reason it appears white) with that aroma and kick from the slightly charred chili. Super yum! RM 4 or so. Try it!

map of Mount Eskin, Penang
here’s how you get to mount eskin in Penang

Address:
Jalan Mt. Erskine,
Tg. Tokong, Penang
GPS: 5.450560, 100.302064
Operating Hours: 11am to 4pm 

Nyonya laksa

We actually spent a total of 10 days in Penang over CNY, my longest stint back home since getting a job in KL some 10 years, and that explains the recent flood of Penang food posts. There will be just a few more before the more KL centric posts resumes.

The extended eating binge was of course, glorious!

Tua Pui curry mee at Weld Quay
Tua Pui curry mee at Weld Quay

On the last few days in Penang, I finally got a chance to try the famed Tua Pui Curry Mee at Weld Quay (situated right across Chew Jetty, now a UNESCO world heritage).

I’m a sucker for Penang style curry mee, and could eat them almost daily until my lactose intolerant body starts to complain. Doesn’t matter, had curry mee!

mine is with extra fish balls, RM 3.80
mine is with extra fish balls, RM 3.80

Tua Pui curry mee is a little bit different from the usual run-off-the-mill Penang curry mee. They have all the usual ingredients you’d find – tofu pok, coagulated blood, blood cockles, cuttle fish; but they also have quite a lot of optional items you can add in. There’s chicken gizzards, big prawns (the bare version has no prawns, bummer), chicken wings, fish balls, and more.

The soup too is enhanced with several types of curry, giving it a little more complexity, I like it.

My bowl was one with extra fish balls for RM 3.80. The two giant fish balls, though looking somewhat peculiar in a bowl of curry mee,  did not disappoint, they were quite tasty in itself. Of course, the curry mee overall was as good as any. Well worth a try if you’re in Penang.

we shared a mua chee, and Haze had her 6th laksa or the trip or something
we shared a mua chee, and Haze had her 6th laksa or the trip or something

As for Haze, she had her laksa, again. That must be the 6th or 7th laksa of the trip and that girl can never get tired of it. According to her, this particular laksa was a good one too. I didn’t try it, but just by looking at it, you know it’s a winner. RM 3 for the laksa if I remember correctly.

Then there’s muah chee, we paid RM 2 for this excellent combination of flour, crushed nuts, sesame, and sugar that you can find pretty much anywhere in Penang, but for some reasons, not in KL.

I’m missing Penang already.

map to tua pui curry mee, weld quay

Address:
Village Coffee Shop
107-A, Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay),
10300 Penang, Malaysia

GPS: 5.412652,100.338789

Curry Mee has always been one of my favorite hawker foods.

The Penang style curry mee is quite distinct from any other version, it’s ingredients encompasses elements that are quite uniquely Malaysian – santan, sambal, seafood, tofu pok, noodle, meehun, and coagulated pork blood. I bet you can’t find this blend of ingredients readily available outside this region.

Penang Curry Mee at Restaurant Okay, SS2
Truly Penang style Curry Mee stall at Restaurant Okay, SS2

Ever since I read about this place on masak-masak, I’ve always wanted to give it a try. A couple failures later (they usually finished early on weekends, like 9am!), I struck charm on the 3rd trials, and had this for breakfast last Monday Tuesday.

Curry Mee with coagulated pork blood
coagulated blood, cuttle fish, prawns, cockles, tofu pok – yums!

A bowl of curry mee here costs RM 4.20 and really does come with all the ingredients one would expect from the original recipe, heck, even the owner speaks proper Penang Hokkien.

There’s prawns, lightly boiled fresh cockles, tofu pok, cuttle fish, and yes, coagulated pork blood, my favorite! There’s also of course, your choice of noodle/meehun swimming in santan based soup and the signature curry mee sambal that’s not overly spicy but slightly burnt.

KY and Haze having curry mee at restaurant okay, PJ SS 2
KY & Haze at Restaurant Okay

While not exactly the best curry mee I’ve tried (this one at Mt. Eskerin in Penang’s one of my fav), this must be one of the better ones especially in Klang Valley. I’d choose this version over the likes of Ahloy at OUG and especially over the now pork-free Lorong Seratus Tahun at SS2.

Give it a try if you’re longing for Penang Curry Mee, but be there early, and  they’re closed on Mondays too.

map to Restaurant Okay, PJ SS 2

Address:
Restaurant Okay
2, Jalan SS2/10,
Petaling Jaya,
(at the other end of the same row of shop houses comprising KAYU)

GPS: 3.115084, 101.616390

Lorong Seratus Tahun at SS2 used to be one of my favorite places to go whenever I think of Penang food. They had real Penang hawker food prepared with authentic ingredients and was one of the very few places where you could fine Curry Mee served with coagulated pork blood, which is to me, one of the most crucial item in the that dish.

I was so happy when I first discovered it and wrote a glowing food review.

lorong seratus tahun, pork free
Lorong Seratus Tahun at SS2, now PORK FREE (yawn)

We ended up there again this afternoon to find that the places is now renovated in the to a familiar Old Town/Kluang Kopitiam style. The menu expanded to include quite a few dishes that you can’t find in Penang hawker stalls, and prices too were increased by some 15-20%. The lady boss told me I can’t snap a picture of the menu, hmm..

Which to me, was still fine if they are still serving good old fashion good. I just wanted my curry mee with coagulated pork blood.

And then I was shown by Suan that the menu said PORK FREE! THE HORROR!

pork free curry mee and char kueh teow, disappointment
Curry Mee, and Char Kueh Teow without lap cheong (Chinese sausage)

Well since we were already there, we ordered anyway. The place was noticeably busy, so our food took a while to come. However, it was a bit of a bad job for them to serve Horng’s char kueh teow a full 15 minutes before Suan’s.

The Char Kueh Teow now does not come with Lap Cheong (Chinese Sausage), nor do they still use any pork oil in cooking it. A rather good good plate of ckt is now a very ordinary one, RM 7.50.

The Curry Mee, without coagulated pork blood, is not too different from any curry mee you can find anywhere else. Nothing special, RM 6.50. (3 years ago it was RM 4.50).

Horng also ordered a plate of Loh Bak at RM 9.50, and as expected, instead of pork we found chicken breast inside the loh bak. Quite a turn off.

In total, we spent RM 63.95 (5% service charge). Being slightly priceir than other places is fine, but removing all pork ingredients and still calling it “authentic Penang food” is just wrong. Granted the food isn’t terrible, but it’s not at all close to what it used to be.

I’m disappointed, that would be the last time I step foot in the restaurant if it stays this way.

p/s: Happy Merdeka.