[Penang] Hokkien Mee from Classic Cafe, Perak Road

Veteran Hokkien mee chef, Ooi Hee Phen, has been running this popular Hokkien mee stall from Classic Café since the early-1980s. His wife, Lim Gaik Choo, is the sister of Lim Bok Huat, who runs the equally well-known Super Hokkien Mee at One Corner Café, Bawasah Road (formerly of Rangoon Road fame).

Expect to wait at least 30 minutes here for your bowl of Hokkien mee, and the version here is pretty basic: yellow Hokkien noodles, bee hoon rice noodles & beansprouts in a spicy prawn-pork broth, garnished with sliced pork and small de-shelled shrimps (halved, length-wise, the traditional way for Hokkien mee serving-style), then topped with golden-fried shallots. A spoonful of spicy chilli paste completes the ensemble - be aware that the soup itself is already pretty spicy. The version here does not contain hard-boiled egg nor “kangkung” (water convolvulus).

Hokkien mee is always served with two types of noodles: yellow wheat “Hokkien” noodles, and the white rice “bee hoon” vermicelli. The same combination exists for Singapore’s fried Hokkien noodles, which also use a pork-prawn-based stock for the cooking process. Among the various Chinese ethnic groups, only the Hokkiens combine pork and prawns for their soup or gravy stock.

Address: Classic Café, 126 Jalan Perak, 10450 George Town, Penang (opposite Padang Brown hawker centre).

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold