By Echo Foodies:Yvette Yeow, Rosli Mansor, Luqman Hakim & Susan Ho
So you’ve had an early dinner, and you’ve been partying. Now you’re feeling peckish and need a bite before bed. Ipoh which is arguably one of Malaysia’s best food cities, but most restaurants are closed, so where do you go? To provide readers with a better insight of what more foodie delights Ipoh has to offer, Ipoh Echo took the opportunity and went on a food journey, checking out some of the latest late night favourites of the city or where the party goers go when the party’s over.
Ipoh’s food scene is always vibrant and full of life
Every year tourists and locals from other states would flock to Ipoh just to try its famous Bean Sprouts Chicken, Pomelos, Ipoh Laksa and its most famous export, Ipoh White Coffee. The city offers a wide variety of delicacies, be it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper; Ipoh’s food scene is always vibrant and full of life. Largely influenced by its majority population of Cantonese and Hakka descendants during the old mining days, Ipoh not only offers excellent Chinese cuisine, but also mouthwatering Malay and Indian dishes. It has since earned its reputation of being a food paradise that should not be missed in any foodie’s guide.
El Negra Deli+ Studio
El Negra Deli +Studio, one of the city’s latest halal cafes, opened since November 2013, is situated at the heart of Ipoh’s new town. El Negra is a cosy cafe with an old school concept. It sits on the first floor of one of Ipoh’s old heritage buildings located on Jalan Sultan Idris Shah. El Negra provides a variation of different western-style dishes, including the cafe’s best seller, the Chunky Beef Pasta. The rich beef pasta is the cafe’s most popular dish, offering chunks of beef cubes seasoned in a rich tomato based sauce. It is priced at RM15 per dish. Another customer favourite is the Roast Chicken served with a savoury brown sauce and roasted vegetables and a creamy mash potato as sides. The dish is priced at RM20.
El Negra also has a wide variety of beverages such as the cafe’s special Pineapple and Coconut juice and the Mango and Tangerine juice (RM8 each). And also fresh homemade ice cream such as Coffee Crunch flavoured ice cream, PB & Fudge flavoured ice cream, Apple Crumble and much more, all priced at RM10.
EightMiles8 Café, located at Hulu Kinta, has been operating since January 2014. People all over Perak often flock to the cafe for its famous “Burger Banjir” (burger flooded in a pool of black pepper sauce). There are a total of 6 patties to choose from, including beef, chicken, deer, rabbit, fish or egg. The burger is served with a handful of fries as sides and price ranging from RM3.30 to RM6. There are also other dishes, such as their signature Full-Tanked Chicken Chop (RM13) with baked beans, coleslaw, fries, fried egg and a piece of meat pattie as sides. The cafe offers Ipohites a chance to have an equally delicious western styled meal, at an affordable price.
Restoran Tuck Kee
Known also as Ipoh Tuck Kee or ‘The Famous Noodle House’ since 1963, is conveniently located on the same street where people flock nightly for their Nga Choi Gai or Ipoh’s famous Bean Sprouts Chicken. Their famous fried noodles include Wat Tan Hor Fun, Yu Kong Hor, Hokkien Fried Hor Fun, Hokkien Fried Mee, Hokkien Fried Mee Hoon, Fried Udon, Braised Yee Mee, Fried Low Shu Fun, Hokkien Fried Dai Loke Mian, Hokkien Fried Mix Noodles from RM6 to RM16 for small, medium and large. Side dishes include Bean Sprouts, Braised Chicken Feet, Meetball Soup, Baby Octopus in Soy Sauce and Braised Egg & Beancurd in Soy Sauce – prices range from RM3 to RM10 for small, medium and large.
If you are looking for a new spot instead of the usual midnight favourites, the Rainbow City food court may very well be your choice. The Rainbow City food court is one of Ipoh’s newly operating food courts located opposite Ipoh’s famous Tong Sui or Dessert Street. The food court first started operating in April 2014 and has attracted various crowds especially during weekends and festive seasons. The food court offers a huge choice of Chinese style street food; be it local favourites such as Popiah (RM2), Rojak (RM5) or Baked fish (RM13), to foreign delicacies such as the Shanghai style dumplings or dim sum, Rainbow City has much to offer.
Having one of Ipoh’s most popular shopping spots, Ipoh Parade and the new SOHO buildings around the corner, Rainbow City is a strategic place for tourists as well as locals. The food court also offers good desserts such as the ‘Momo Cha Cha’(RM1.80), Red Bean Soup (RM2.50) and also cold desserts such as the Mango Snow Ice (RM4.50) and Mix Fruit Ice (RM4.50). Ipohites out searching for a good midnight snack are spoilt for choice at Rainbow City.
Kafe Yoon Wah
If dining ‘al fresco’ or under the stars appeals, then head for Kafe Yoon Wah in Old Town located on Jalan Bijeh Timah, almost on the corner of Jalan Panglima or Concubine Lane. Ice beer is their specialty here where the beer and the mugs are kept in the freezer, taken out and immediately opened. RM12 for a large bottle.
This is a favourite haunt for barflies, after-movie, after-banquet, after-dancing crowd and earlier for general diners and families. Tables cover almost half the street stretching from the corner of Jalan Panglima for about two blocks. Try their signature dishes such as the pig’s fallopian tubes fried with dried prawns, dried chillies and chilli padi with a sprinkling of rendered lard (ju yao jah). RM13 per portion. Another dish worthy of note is the steamed frog with chicken essence. Portion for six – RM37.50.
Other must have dishes included the dry boar curry (a must have) RM13; fresh eel braised in dark soya with dried chillies RM17.50; shelled Mantis prawns fried with Nestum RM15 and deep fried ‘Sa Tsui’ fish, a small local fish that is very popular with Ipohites – RM18.
Aneka Selera @ Stadium Perak (6pm to 11.30pm)
The Stadium has a large variety of food. The western stall of number 16 is reasonably cheap. You can eat a decent lamb chop at only RM10. There is a Wonton Noodle stall a few doors down which produces really good wontons. You can never fail to see a crowd at stall number 4, queuing up to make their order of noodles. Stall number 7 has delicious pork noodles at the price of only RM4.30 and other dishes such as cuttlefish.
At stall number 3, you can expect different varieties of Chinese desserts (Tong Sui) such as Black Pulut, Gingko Barley, Red Bean, Green Bean, Gandum and purple coloured Bubur Cha Cha. The special shapes of the nonya kuih there catches the attention of many. Everything is homemade and is a healthier option as they are not too sweet. They even have roast pork, vegetarian noodles and also porridge.
EightMiles8 Café (Halal)25, PPH,31150 Hulu Kinta, Perak.Open every day except Tuesday. Operating Hours: 6pm-1amTel: 012-454 4950 El Negra Deli +Studio (Halal)121, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah(New Town).Open every day.Operating Hours: 6pm-1amTel: 05-241 2544/016-521 7960 Rainbow City Food CourtBangunan OceanLot 34986, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah(New Town)Opening Hours: 3pm-12amPublic Holidays: 3pm-1amTel: 016-559 8983 Restoran Tuck Kee (Ipoh Tuck Kee, since 1963)61 Jalan Yau Tet Shin (New Town)Opens till 2am. Tel: 05 253 7513 Kafe Yoon Wah29 Lorong Panglima (Old Town)Tel: 012 512 9980, 016 276 6666Business hours: 3.30pm-2.00 or 3.00am (no fixed closing days)