One of the best-tasting Penang-style curry mee I’d tasted recently is at this stall run by a youngish 26-year-old chef, Lai Khoon Seong, at Maga hawker centre, corner of Van Praagh Road and Perak Road.
Perak Road is one of Penang’s longest roads, and the stretch which passes through Jelutong is perhaps the busiest on the island.
In the evenings, this stretch comes alive with various traditional hawker eats, and nowhere is busier than the concentration of hawker stalls outside Maga Restaurant at the intersection of Perak Road and Van Praagh Road.
In 2012, the-then 22-year-old Lai Khoon Seong won the Best Curry Mee award at the Battle of Penang Hawker Masters. It came as a surprise to many people at the time, but Lai Khoon Seong had actually been helping his mother prepare her curry mee for 10 years already at the time.
Lai Khoon Seong’s rendition of the Penang curry mee: chockful of ingredients like cockles, shrimps, cuttlefish, tofu puffs, pig’s blood cubes, garnished with fresh mint leaves, and served with a dollop of ultra-spicy fried chilli paste. His gravy is thinner than most, with a very tasty salty-savoury flavour.
Local Penangites flock to suburban hawker centres such as Maga’s at the corner of Van Praagh Road and Perak Road for their hawker food fix at dinner-time: