Bowled over by babysitters’ curry mee

Yeoh meeting up with sisters Kooi Heang (left) and Kooi Lye of the renowned Lim Sisters Curry Mee stall off Jalan Air Itam during the Penang Hawker Festival 2016 in Gurney Paragon Mall. — Photos: CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

UNKNOWN to many, TV food celebrity host Jason Yeoh has close ties with the renowned Lim Sisters Curry Mee in Air Itam.

Yeoh, a Penangite popularly known as Axian (pronounced as ah sian), said the sisters Kooi Heang, 84, and Kooi Lye, 82, used to ‘babysit’ him at the stall when he was a young boy.

“I was only five years old then. My mother would leave me in the care of the sisters before going about marketing at the Air Itam market.

“The sisters would then take care of me, and the ‘babysitting’ period lasted for many years until I went to the secondary school.

“Every time I go to their stall, they will already know how I like my noodles. I always ask for more beehoon and cuttlefish.

“They remember all this. It’s like meeting old family members again, just like a reunion,” said Yeoh after meeting the sisters at the Penang Hawker Festival 2016 in Gurney Paragon Mall on recently.

The sisters are perhaps one of the island’s best examples of a living heritage, selling the mouthwatering hawker fare for over 60 years.

Visitors thronging the various food stalls at the festival.
Visitors thronging the various food stalls at the festival.

Their fame spread by word of mouth and more recently, through the social media.

Besides the sisters’ curry mee, other famous street food hawkers at the festival were Ah Leng Char Koay Teow from Datuk Keramat, Quen Assam Laksa from Gottlieb Road and Penang Road Famous Teo Chew Chendul.

Visitors also got to enjoy gastronomic delights such as hokkien mee, laksa, char koay kak, apom, popiah, rojak and lor bak during the two-day event.

Organised by Gurney Paragon Mall for the first time, the festival featuring more than 60 food stalls was meant to celebrate Penang’s diverse range of street food.

It is also held in conjunction with the launch of a new food court at the mall known as Hawker Avenue.

It is an extension of the existing food court, Just food, on Level 5, to cater to the growing demand of tourists in Penang.

Just food person-in-charge Khor Tze Thieng said there were nine new stalls at Hawker Avenue opened on Nov 18.

“Here, locals and foreigners alike can have all the signature hawker food at the comfort of a shopping mall.

“Hawker Avenue is created to cater to our shoppers who love Penang’s famous hawker food,” she said.

Present at the launching were state Tourism Development Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang, Hunza Group managing director Datuk Khor Siang Gin and Hunza Group executive director Khor San Leng.

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