"Ten years!" Eng replied, when I asked her how long she'd been serving curry mee from her stall on George Town's Cintra Street. I had to ask again to be sure I'd heard her right. Dave and I have been eating the relatively decent koay teow th'ng at the stall just across the street for a good while now but I couldn't recall ever having noticed Eng or her bubbling cauldron of currry.
Apparently timing is everything. Eng is off Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I can only assume that for the last couple of years our occasional wanderings in what is pretty much the center of George Town have been confined to the first three days of the week.
Penang-native Eng's curry mee is worth working your schedule around, traversing as it does that fine line between unctuously coconut-y and weigh-you-down rich. We asked for extra heat and she delivered, in the form of a large blob of sambal dissolved in the broth and an extra-large portion in our spoon. Eng's is chicken curry mee -- expect a fair bit of gizzard and a chicken wing (more protein on request).
There's attention to detail in the way Eng warms the bowl before dishing up your noodles. She places noodles (ask for a mixture of beehoon and yellow mee) into a wire basket and softens them with several dips into boiling water, lifting them over the bowl and letting the hot liquid run into and then out of it. Care is also evident in the sprigs of fresh mint leaves (a wonderfully sprightly counterpoint to the mellow, sweetish curry) and chopped torch ginger flower that garnish each serving.
The voluble Eng doesn't speak much English but she's generous with her smiles. You'll know her cart by the gaggle of regulars camped out at her four tables.
Eng's Curry Mee stall, Cintra between Campbell and Chulia, George Town Penang. 8am-4pm, Wed-Sat only.