Saturday, 1 March 2014

Curry Mee @ Air Itam Market

A bowl of curry mee with generous toppings

A bowl of curry mee commonly contains a mixture of rice vermicelli and egg noodles with bean sprouts soaked in a spiced coconut curry broth and topped with dried bean curd, cockles, cuttlefish, prawns and hardened pig’s blood. A good broth is well spiced with chilli, shallots and a mixture of secret spices and gives off a fragrant coconut milk scent.

Over time, there are mushrooming Curry Mee stalls in Penang but here’s one of the oldest Curry Mee stall in Penang. Located under the shade of trees in the Air Itam market, these pair of sisters had been selling Curry Mee for a couple of decades. What’s really unique is they broth is heated using charcoal fire.

One of the sisters filling up a bowl of noodles with curry broth

Although the noodles are not blanched immediately before serving, the charcoal heated broth warms the noodles up. The toppings were also generous. The use of charcoal fire makes the broth fragrant with a unique scent that only charcoal fire can give off. The curry broth is mildly spicy and had a strong coconut milk fragrant. For a spicier taste, add some of the additional chilli paste. Be ready to sit on small benches under the tree to enjoy this.

The famous Curry Mee in the Air Itam market had drawn much attention especially after a video of them was circulating in Facebook. Both in their 70s, the sisters cook the curry broth and prepare all ingredients on their own and getting assistance only on weekends or public holidays. Despite old age catching up on them, the stall is open daily except for Chinese New Year from early mornings to about 12pm when the market closes. I am most amazed by their spirit to keep going on with life and their friendliness to customers of all ages.

When business is slow, there is nothing much to do but wait for customers
Located in a small alley from the main road  of the market, it is a little difficult to find on the first visit. Ask vendors around the market and everyone is usually willing to help. Like any other morning markets in Penang, parking is scarce. Parking could be found in the many alleys along the market or further up nearer to the base towards Kek Lok Si temple.

Though not the best Curry Mee in Penang, it tastes really good and it is one of the unique curry mee stall worth trying while it is still around.

Food rating: 8/10
Service rating: 9/10

No comments:

Post a Comment