Of curry mee and curry chicken

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.

—  Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, French lawyer and politician

My dear friends, how many bowls of curry mee can you eat in 45 minutes?

Sin Chew Daily, a Chinese daily, recently reported that a 67-year-old woman in Singapore ate 10 bowls of curry mee in 45 minutes before the republic banned dining-in at restaurants for a month beginning July 22.

That, I thought, was too much curry mee for a 67-year-old woman to consume in one go and in such a short time.

Apparently, the Law Of Diminishing Marginal Utility in economics does not really apply to this woman.

The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility states that as consumption increases, the marginal utility derived from each additional unit declines.

Most of us will be full after consuming two bowls of the rich curry mee but the woman only stopped eating after 10 bowls of the delicacy at her favourite food court in the republic.

When I googled for the curry mee recipe on the internet, I was given two.

One equates curry mee with curry laksa. It goes on to describe it as a popular hawker’s dish that’s full of flavours and has slightly creamy soup infused with coconut milk. That reminds me of the Sarawak laksa.

Another recipe reminds me of the usual chicken curry with potatoes to which noodles and a dollop of sambal have been added.

Now, which version of the curry mee did the 67-year-old woman eat, I wonder.

If I visit Singapore in the future when the borders reopen and the Covid-19 pandemic is gone, I must try the curry mee there and find out what ‘s so addictive about it. This is despite the fact that I am not a fan of curry mee and have never eaten a bowl of the dish either in Sarawak, Singapore or anywhere in Malaysia.

I still love the curry gravy and the potatoes but I go slow on the meat now. The most I will eat at one go are two pieces of chicken. When I was younger, I could eat even half a chicken. That was why I was so round and cute then.

Because of my smaller appetite now, my niece, Ah Hong, does not want to bring me out to buffet restaurants which normally offer all-you-can-eat food for a set price.

“Auntie, if I bring you, I don’t get value for my money,” she has told me not only once but many times.

I am not angry with Ah Hong because she speaks the truth and I like people who are honest.

Indeed, as I grow older, I find my tastes are changing. Not only in food but also in many other things. Some people, including my youngest sister, love to buy canned chicken curry from famous Malaysian brands to eat with rice or bread.

Right now, I have discovered that the best chicken curry is at the food court in my neighbourhood. The delicious dish is creamy, savoury and hot but not too hot. So whenever I yearn for the dish, I just drive over to the food court.

However, I must go there early. By early afternoon, the chicken curry is all sold out.

Apparently, I am not the only one who likes the dish there. Many other Kuchingites have also fallen in love with it too.

Since I live alone, I find that it is very inconvenient for me to cook chicken curry. For instance, how much chicken and potatoes should I buy just to cook for one person? To cook the dish, I also need to buy garlic, shallots, onions as well as coconut powder or canned coconut milk. These are a lot of things to buy just for a dish.

Hence, I find that modern food courts are very useful to busy people like me. I consider myself very lucky to live near one.

The food court in my neighbourhood offers a wide array of food choices. The food is not only reasonably priced and affordable but also delicious. If I am tired of chicken curry, I can opt for other dishes, too. Like kacang ma or motherwort chicken or chicken rice.