New documentary series highlights Penang's famed food culture and food vendors


The curry mee from Sister Curry Mee has stood the test of time for nearly 80 years! — Photos: ROBERT CHUA

A few years ago, fresh graduate Robert Chua Ka Sin, 25, picked up a camera, learnt how to shoot and began a love affair with film-making. Upon returning to his hometown of Penang, Chua met young audio engineering graduate Goh Soo Ghee. The two became firm friends and decided to open their own production house, called Robert Visuals just before the pandemic began early last year.

During the pandemic, Chua came across an article written about James Beard award-winning Malaysian-born filmmaker Andrew Gooi who had set up the US-based Food Talkies, a website for culinary films. That sparked an idea to document the stories of some of Penang’s most venerated, multi-generational street food vendors.

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