If you happen to chance upon Lean Gaik Hokkien Mee at Chai Leng Park, all I can say is avoid it. Years ago when I was doing my industrial training at Perai, I went there once or twice before and decided that their Hokkien Mee was above average at best, didn’t really like it at all.
One of the reasons Lean Gaik is popular is because they let you add additional stuff into your usual Hokkien Mee like roast pork, mantis prawn (now no more) and Teochew fish balls. This proved to be an effective crowd puller back then.
Yesterday, I was at Chai Leng Park and decided to give them another try given that one’s taste bud could change over time. Turned out that I still didn’t like it and worse still, I hated it even more simply for two reasons: Hiring of Indonesian maids to prepare the food and excessive use of MSG.
I used to be proud of Penang food because our hawkers actually prepare the food themselves instead of resorting to hiring foreign workers like the KL hawkers do. It’s sad to look at this phenomenon slowly unfold in Penang’s hawker scene. One fine example would be the famous Penang Curry Mee at Taman Sri Rambai.
My order cost RM3.50 a bowl because I requested for additional Teochew fish balls. And luckily I requested for it because apparently the fish balls were the only thing I truly enjoyed.
Actually I don’t plan to post this so soon but after the disappointing experience and stumbling upon some bloggers who are actually promoting this place – I feel it’s only right I share mine.
I do realize there’s limited choices for good Hokkien Mee at Penang’s mainland side. But still, Lean Gaik will never make the cut, moreover being worthy of a recommendation as far as I am concerned.