I have always enjoyed Penang curry mee, but there are too many versions of it and everyone is claiming theirs is ‘authentic.’

What sometimes puts me off is when some Penang purists say that non-Penangite foodie fans do not know to differentiate between the authentic Penang curry mee and from those that are

“good only for non-Penangite taste buds.”

 

Enough of the arguments, I am sure no two equally well-known hawker stalls in Penang selling the local Penang cuisine, would be able to produce exactly the same taste in order to claim theirs is more authentic than the others.

Therefore, I have decided that this is all but a myth especially when one hawker is trying to put down the other. Taste is very subjective; it is all about the individual’s personal preferences.

Some like it spicy, but I prefer the milder curry that goes with the noodles. Occasionally, I would ask for a mix with bee hoon for a change.

I am sure most Penangites would give me a weird look, when I ask to replace the pig blood curd, cockles and the squid with Tahu Pok, because they say it is not authentic Penang curry mee, but that’s how I like it.

Because they have grown up becoming acquainted with certain hawker stalls and developed their likings based on the way the local cuisine is prepared a certain way, it does not automatically become the benchmark for what is good.

The moral of the story is: wherever I could find a place that serves reasonable good Penang curry mee, I would try it and judge it based on its own merits.  

Recently, I discovered another place in the Klang Valley where they serve good Penang curry mee which is worth checking out.

Initially, I was not impressed. Although they have been in business elsewhere for the past 15 years, Restoran Tong Siang in Desa Aman Puri only started two years ago. With people already flocking there during lunch hours, I could not help but take my friend’s word to check it out.

During the food review session, another foodie fan and I agree that the Penang curry noodle here is something that we would strongly recommend.

Its restaurant operator, Tan Lay Peng may not be from Penang, but her Penang curry mee beats others that I have tried in the past, including the ones that some claim to be ‘authentic’.

To get to the taste that I liked, I had to ask for a little more soup, as I personally prefer it to be less spicy. When it was less spicy, I gave it the thumbs up! Yes, this is how I like it and I enjoyed every bit of the soup, even to the last drop of the soup.

 

To get to the taste that I liked, I had to ask for a little more soup, as I personally prefer it to be less spicy. When it was less spicy, I gave it the thumbs up! Yes, this is how I like it and I enjoyed every bit of the soup, even to the last drop of the soup.

I later learnt from Lay Peng that she buys the raw ingredients directly from their regular suppliers from Penang. Maybe, that’s the reason why her Penang Curry Mee has been her bestseller for so many years albeit not originally from Penang.

Besides the Penang Curry Mee, Tong Siang is also famous for its Penang Assam Laksa. This was based on our observations when we were there during peak hours. On every table, there was at least one customer ordering it. They also serve Mee Jawa here.

Most of the recipes of these cuisines originated from Lay Peng’s 88-year-old mother, Hau Yock Chiyau.

“My mother is Hokkian from Bidor,” Lay Peng says. “She is adept at cooking, where even the simplest of dishes can be cooked to perfection.”

 

Here at Tong Siang, they also serve ice shavings with Red Bean and Yam as a dessert. I particularly find their Yam with ice shavings and glutinous rice. According to Lay Peng, the black glutinous rice is prepared using a slow cooker before it is added to the shaven ice.

What is interesting is that the restaurant has also been reviewed by a Japanese expatriate and its Soy Sauce Chicken rice appears to receive the thumbs up. My invited guest and I agreed with that review wholeheartedly.

The prices here for the noodle dishes are between RM7.90 and RM8.90, while a plate of rice with either the rendang chicken, green curry chicken or curry chicken is about RM8.90 to RM9.50.

So for the Penang foodie purists, if you ask me whether this restaurant serves authentic Penang cuisines, my answer is:

“It depends on one’s own taste buds. Never underestimate this restaurant.”

 

Based on Lay Peng’s explanation, the name Tong Siang was picked for the restaurant because it means `coming from the same hometown.’ So, whether from Bidor or from Air Hitam, we are all talking about the best local cuisines that most Malaysians know best to enjoy.

“The name was chosen as it evokes a sense of familiarity and camaraderie. This allows those who patronize our restaurant to feel a sense of belonging, wherever they may be from. The food has a classic and traditional taste which brings a feeling of having gourmet food back at one’s hometown,” she says.

Restoran Tong Siang is located at no 3-28, Jalan Desa 2/4, Desa Aman Puri, Selangor.

Business hours: 10AM–9PM (7 days a week)

Tel: 03-6273  6915 / HP:012-210 5273

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Restaurant-tong-xiang-%E5%90%8C%E4%B9%A1%E7%BE%8E%E9%A3%9F%E5%9D%8A/199354243437579

Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/2hPEHmhr4212

Waze location:  https://www.waze.com/livemap?zoom=17&lat=3.20917&lon=101.61585

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Stephen Ng

Stephen is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in writing about interesting tourist spots and places to eat.

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