For a taste of the nostalgic and traditional Penang Curry Mee you may head to Air Itam‘s market for it. A pair of sisters have been selling curry mee for decades there and another interesting thing is that you won’t be eating at a proper stall with table and chairs. You could choose to eat via the old style, which is to sit on the stools provided right in front of the sisters, or at some coffee shops nearby.
Due to their old age they get extra help from the younger generation to do the dishes especially during public holidays. But the cooking and preparation of the noodles and all are still done by them, such is their dedication and passion.
A very old school kandar (used by Nasi Kandar sellers in the past, peddling it by carrying it on their shoulders) made of rattan used to keep the chopsticks, chili paste, noodles and other ingredients in place.
The curry mee’s soup is still cooked using charcoal stove, giving it a very classical and distinctive taste. This practice is almost extinct in Penang.
Self service is expected here where the noodles are passed from hand to hand.
Taste wise, it is very different from the other curry mee you would find in Penang. The curry soup tastes much lighter and the self-made chili paste is really spicy instead of being sweet flavored. Mixing only one spoonful of chili paste into the noodles would easily make it three times spicier than the rest in the island, no kidding. As for the ingredients, they are are simple but sufficient: dried curry squids, pork blood cubes and tofu pok. I don’t remember seeing any cockles inside though, which is quite rare for Penang style curry mee.
If you are planning to try, I highly suggest you to park your car near the police station and WALK. Failure to do so will result in regret, tension and frustration of having to face the bad traffic jam here. It is an unwritten rule of Malaysia that you should never drive into a wet market, moreoever a Penang one. Right?
Sister’s Curry Mee
Alley off Jalan Paya Terubong,
Air Itam, Penang
GPS Coordinates: N5 24.020 E100 16.695
Open 8am to 1pm