One of the most popular mamak (Indian-Muslim) fried noodles (called “mee goreng”) spots in Penang is the Tanjung Bungah Mee Goreng stall, located in front of Chuan Foong, a tiny old Chinese-owned coffeeshop housed in a ramshackle wooden building along the wind-swept, sea-fronting Tanjung Bungah Road.
A queue forms as soon as the stall opens for business at 12pm (Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun - it closes on Fridays & Mondays). If you come around 2pm-4pm, be prepared for a 15-20 minutes’ wait.
Most people do take-outs, where the freshly-fried, steaming hot noodles will be wrapped in banana leaves. The use of fresh banana leaves for wrapping is a very traditional practice in South-east Asia and one can immmediately see why: it imparts a delicious aroma to the hot foods within. There is simply no substitute for it.
Unfortunately, those who opt to dine at the coffeeshop gets their noodles served on plates - maybe we should’ve requested for banana leaves instead of plates there. Either way, the noodles were delicious. Their rendition here is moister than those in other mee goreng spots around town.
Well-fried thru and thru, the rendition here is also replete with lots of Indian fritters (“cucur”). chilied squid, scrambled egg, wedges of boiled potato and tofu squares. The chili-tomato gravy added during the frying process has very pronounced flavours - the gravy was kept simmering in a large pot placed strategically in front of the wok, so the chef could add ladlefuls of the gravy gradually, allowing the noodles to absorb the moisture . The noodles then were topped with a scattering of chopped red chilis and green scallions before serving.
The coffeeshop itself is Chinese-owned, and has a languid old-world charm about it. It serves traditional beverages like Hainanese coffee and tea, and even chilled beer and soft-drinks to go with your mee goreng.
Tanjung Bungah Mee Goreng
Chuan Foong (Yok Foong) coffeeshop
Corner of Jalan Tanjung Bungah and Jalan Chan Siew Teong
11200 Tanjung Bungah, Penang, Malaysia
Opening hours: 12 noon-6pm Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun. Closed Mondays & Fridays.