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Georgetown’s famous mamak mee goreng stalls lure Ewe Paik Leong to sample them

Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng @ Jalan Burma

El dente yellow noodles are pelted with a spice paste and scrambled in a hot wok with bean sprouts, squid pieces, brown tofu and prawns until the former are imbibed with a smoky flavour. The assault from dried chilis creeps from deep within the spices to deliver a fiery blast tempered with hints of sweetness and garlicky hits. Squids provide the chew while fresh lettuce gives crunch, lifting the dish away from cloyness. Closed on Monday. Rating: 5/5

Hameed Pata Mee Goreng @ Padang Kota Lama

My mee goreng comes nearly drenched with spice paste and sprinkled with diced scallions. Every spoonful of the noodles arrives in my mouth puffing fiery-savoury breaths until I break up in a sweat. The flavours of the spices gush out in layers, each flavour fresh and distinct, and they play their respective roles well. Squids are to die-for and tight-skinned tofu almost bounces off my teeth -- a great play on texture. The pucker of lime juice soothes the mild oiliness of the dish. Closed on Sunday. Rating: 4.5/5

Jones Road Mee Goreng @ Sin Hup Aun Cafe

A master of the blistering wok, the hawker exerts a heavy hand in spicing as the dish brims with complex flavours which run riot instead of each spice’s flavour being clear and distinct. Garlic and onions whimper under the assault of dry spices and in the end, the slap of chili heat remains unforgotten. But, add to the equation tender squids, succulent prawns and chewy tofu in balanced quantities, the overall texture of the dish delivers a pleasant mouth-feel. Closed on Tuesday. Rating: 4/5

City Rio Café @ Bishop Street

My fare comes arrives from MRN Mamak stall which is perpetually stationed outside the café. From the noodles explode sweetish-savoury flavours from what tastes like oyster sauce, followed by a chilli blitz, and then a long, lingering end full of tangy-umami. This is a well-constructed dish where chili heat and tartness from tamarind balance each other. However, insufficient greens fail at brightening the dish and the portion of noodles is small. Closed on weekends. Rating: 3.5/5

Mee Goreng CRC @ Kedai Makanan Seong Huat, Jalan Larut

From Mohd Razali’s wok arrives a glass plate heaped with noodles that are not enrobed with a rusty-coloured sheen of spices. The first burst is the mild nutty flavour of garlic, then a blast of tang from the tomatoes, followed by a crunch of deep-fried shallots which almost echoes in my ears. However, the waft of spices from the noodles lacks depth. Beef slices funkify the dish with its dense texture and beefy goodness. Closed on Friday. Rating: 3/5

Pictures by Ewe Paik Leong

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