Currently, the best and most consistent Curry Mee in Bukit Mertajam for me has got to be the Penang Curry Mee stall at Mutiara Coffee Shop, Taman Mutiara. For Curry Mee enthusiasts, this could very well be the hidden gem you have been looking for, as I feel it is even better than many famous Curry Mee in Penang island. If you trust my recommendations thus far, you will not be disappointed in this one as well.
Hawker food in towns residing on the Seberang Perai area usually taste different from those found on the island because they are often adjusted have a local flavor, or what we call 风味 in Chinese to reflect the town’s uniqueness.
Toppings aside, the typical Penang Curry Mee usually tastes sweet due to the amount of sugar the hawkers put into the soup. The soup looks pale and milky as well until the chili paste is mixed in. But in BM most of our Curry Mee is flavored more towards saltiness and the soup is already cooked together with chili oil for a more reddish look.
Anyway, the main reason I am recommending this Curry Mee is because of the special chili paste. The noodles already taste great on its own but with the addition of the chili paste, the soup is enriched and its flavor is taken to a whole new level packed with fragrance of Indian spices. The self-invented chili paste is made by grinding traditional Indian spice and local chili together, then cooked on a slow fire for two hours. This process requires constant stirring to prevent the chili paste from getting burnt.
The person behind this wonderful Curry Mee is Mr. Koay, who started this business 12 years ago. During the economy crisis in 1998, the factory he was working in had to close down forcing him to find another job. Then he decided to venture into hawker business and apprenticed with an experienced Curry Mee seller at Air Itam to learn the trade.
He improvised his Curry Mee by letting his friends have a taste, analyzed the feedbacks then made the necessary adjustments for the best flavor. Thanks to that, his Curry Mee recipe for the soup has not changed at all since he started selling. Some of the ingredients used to prepare the soup include laksa flower, lemon grass stalks, coconut milk, chili oil, sugar and salt.
A normal bowl costs RM2.50 and comes with quite a lot of toppings like prawns, cockles, cuttlefish, pork blood cubes and long beans. Additional toppings like curry chicken and curry squid can be requested at an extra RM1 and 50 cents respectively.
Dry Curry Mee is also available here, which uses a lot of gravy from the curry squid so it tastes slightly saltier than the soup version. But definitely something worth trying.
Penang Curry Mee
Mutiara Coffee Shop
Taman Mutiara, Bukit Mertajam
GPS Coordinates: N5 21.884 E100 26.695
7am to 5pm
Closed on alternate Mondays