Little Penang Cafe, The Curve: Finding Footprints in the Sand

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Be it a top notch meal at a high flying Michelin star-studded restaurant or a humble street side affair, every self-respecting gastronome I know could name their most memorable meal in a heart beat.

Mine came at the tender age of three and was a humble home-cooked experience. It came in a white bowl with hand painted roosters on each side, which was probably even bigger than my face back then, holding together a pool of thick gravy on the inside. Made with a whole lot of mackerel and spices, the gravy was as golden as the sun, and as grainy as the sand on a beach. Rising from the middle of the bowl was a mix of julienne cucumber, egg omelette slices and a few sprigs of mint leaves. I remember how my nanny, Auntie Tan, would also mix in a spoonful of hae ko (prawn paste) right at the end before letting me dig into my very first bowl of Siamese Laksa. It was tangy, it was spicy. I burnt both my lips and tongue. But, it was addictive! She watched and smiled as I lapped it all up in a matter of minutes and to her surprised, I pulled an Oliver Twist.

Please auntie, could I have some more?

Don’t ask me how I can remember such details. I just can.

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It’s been over 23 years since Auntie Tan was called home to the arms of the good Lord. And it’s been just as long of a search for a bowl of Siamese Laksa as magical as hers. I’ve yet to find one that comes even close to her version. I’ve been spoiled.

Having said that, I’m thankful that there is a place where I can go to whenever I crave for some. No doubt that this Little Penang Cafe‘s weekend special is nothing like my childhood food, but it still holds a few punches of its own. It’s thick, fishy, and spicy enough. Perhaps, the only thing missing is some of Auntie Tan’s tender loving care. But every time I’m here, I still find myself holding up the bowl with both my hands and slurping every last drop of the gravy.

Yes, this is my biased opinion. I know they have had their share of bad reviews over the years, but I’ve got a soft spot for Little Penang Cafe. I’ve been eating there since their Starhill days. Be it their Chicken Lobak, Penang Hokkien Noodles, Fried Kway Teow, Ju Hu Char, Red Rubbies or Cendol, I know I can always count on them to serve a good simple hawker-styled meal.

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Little Penang Cafe
They can be found at these malls within the Klang Valley: The Curve, Mid Valley Megamall and Suria KLCC

10 Responses to Little Penang Cafe, The Curve: Finding Footprints in the Sand
  1. CUMI & CIKI
    February 10, 2010 | 1:10 am

    i find the food here so-so. but i find your story and shots.. AMAZING!

    muak muak.. munkey keeses **

    (See u 2nite)

  2. J
    February 10, 2010 | 1:36 am

    Awww… So sweet lah u, munkey boy! :)

  3. Life for Beginners
    February 10, 2010 | 1:41 am

    Cute shot of that lil boy in the last collage – reminds one of a wee lil monkey in days of yore, surely? :)

    P.S. Devil likes their branch in KLCC, so you got your gang there. :)

  4. Jack
    February 10, 2010 | 2:33 am

    Hi Johnathan,
    enjoyed your blogs and the writings and photo shoots have improved tremendously.. Kep up the good work.

    Jack

  5. Sean
    February 10, 2010 | 6:03 am

    i remember loving little penang cafe's char kuey teow, but that was many years ago. i'm almost afraid to go back, since ppl always say their quality has been deteriorating…
    i don't think i have ONE really memorable meal, but my childhood favorite was putting two packets of maggi mee (chicken flavour) into a bowl, pouring boiling water into it, covering the bowl with a plate, then opening it up a minute later, cracking two or three eggs into the bowl, closing it up again, then gobbling everything after it's nicely cooked :D

  6. babe_kl
    February 10, 2010 | 6:49 am

    food here is not amazing but can do la if one hv run out of options :p

  7. Lyrical Lemongrass
    February 10, 2010 | 9:06 am

    We all have our Auntie Tans….those who have enriched our lives just by being there for us. It's good that you still remember her (and that bowl of siamese laksa :-) ).

  8. UnkaLeong
    February 10, 2010 | 10:18 am

    The next time my mom whips up her take on Siamese Laksa, will be sure to save some for you ;)

  9. minchow
    February 10, 2010 | 10:30 am

    The Laksa's a-OK, I have to admit, although I've stayed away from everything else. You started early with Laksa! I must have been at least 12 before I had my first bowl! Think of the many bowls I missed… blasphemy!

  10. qwazymonkey
    February 11, 2010 | 3:26 pm

    C&C: Ur not wrong, quality of food here has deteriorated over time. Tq for compliments.

    J: But I'm still no chocolate. Or you'll be addicted to moi.

    LFB: Only an emo soul like yours can tell the intention of that boy pic next to mine. So crever!

    Jack: Thanks. Its words like yours that makes me strive to make each post a better one

    Sean: Ahhh I've got many quickie moments with Maggi too.

    Babe: Yeah lo, what to do. Nowadays nobody cook Siamese Laksa for me. So gotta make do lo

    LL: Her bowl of Laksa is like the BEST! Ever.

    Unka: So sweet of ya. Do call me please. I'll be forever grateful

    Minchow: Gasp! You've missed so much! Time to make up for it NOW!