Category Archives: Hawker Food

Hawker Food in Ipoh

Cantonese Roast Duck Rice


by Wern Sze Gill

Ipoh hawker foodThe roast duck with its shining reddish-brown skin, seen hanging in the windows of Chinese restaurants or hawker food stalls, is synonymous with any good Cantonese food joint. The roast duck, which requires delicate preparation, is first blanched, then salted, marinated, stuffed with herbs and spices, and then air dried for hours prior to being roasted. The meat has to turn out tender, flavourful and moist; a feat which only the best Cantonese chefs can achieve.

A good roast duck should have a tinge of its herbal or spice essence, providing a pleasant fragrance complimenting the sweet and slightly tangy dipping sauce which comes with the dish. The skin of the roast duck should also be slightly crispy, due to the combination of honey and vinegar marinade.

In the places recommended below, you can either order a whole or half a duck or your preferred cuts, or simply opt for a single serving of roast duck (prices reflected below), which comes with rice, some cucumbers and gravy or dipping sauce.

Cheong Kee @Kafe Wah Nam
30, Jalan Raja Ekram, Ipoh
Nice herbal flavour and tender.  Served with yellow, ‘oily’ rice.
RM3.50, opens daily 11am – 3pm.

Itik Panggang @ Anika Selera
Ipoh Garden (opposite Wooley Food Centre)
Tender pieces of duck served with white rice. Nice ginger chilli sauce.
RM4.50, closed on Thursdays.

Itik Panggang Tai Sai Hee
No.585 Jalan Jelapang, Ipoh
Tender, juicy and meaty pieces. Glistening and slightly crispy skin. Also offers a few other flavoured roast duck variations and ‘economy rice’ dishes. RM4, 11am – 7pm.

Hong Kong Oil Chicken and Roast Duck
No. 638, Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Taman Tasek Damai, Ipoh
Generous portion of meaty, tender duck served with cucumber and rice
RM5, opens daily 11am – 8pm

Restoran Sweet Home Town
No.646, Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Taman Tasek Damai, Ipoh
A few shops down from ‘Hong Kong’. Nice tasting tender duck, and offers a variety of other ‘economy rice’ dishes as well. RM5, opens daily 11am – 8pm.

Restoran Sun Yeong Wai
Main: No. 17, Jalan Sri Ampang, Taman Ipoh Jaya
Branch: No.13, Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh
This outlet is renowned for their roast duck. Nice tender and very juicy pieces on a bed of fragrant rice.
RM5, open for lunch and dinner, closed on Wednesdays.

W. Hup Kee Roaster
Restoran First Garden
53 Lorong Taman Sebelas, Taman Pertama (First Garden)
The duck is flavourful and tender and they have both white and oily rice. Roast chicken and pork are also available. RM3.50, opens for lunch from 11.30am. Tel.: 016-5339532 or 012-573 0798.

Fish Head Noodles


Ipoh hawker foodThis soupy dish of rice vermicelli (meehoon) with deep-fried fish head is becoming more popular as people begin to appreciate fish head, which is usually made into a curry. It’s a one-dish meal which is a little sour (just like laksa) but has excellent tasty bits of fried fish head, eaten with meehoon (vermicelli). Because of the bony nature of the fish head, it is customary to suck on the bones making sure every bit of flesh is consumed. Some bones, if fried crisped, can easily be chewed. The flavourful soup has pickled mustard greens (harm choy), tomatoes and pickled plums. Sometimes evaporated milk (or creamer) is added but it’s just as good without.

A few to try:

Restoran Fai Kee (Lee Wah Wah 012-4546111)
28 Jalan Seenivasagam (New Town)
Fish head is fried crisp which makes part of the bone edible, local harm choy – RM6 regular, RM6.50 with evaporated milk.
Opens 6am – 4pm daily, 3 rest days a month.

Restoran First Kong Chow
Lorong Taman 11, First Garden
Spicy fresh chilli, fresh harm choy – RM6
Opens every Monday 7.30-11am

Kopitiam Tai Ji
At the corner of Jalan Hoover and Jalan Prince, Pasir Putih
Chilli oil, pre-packed harm choy – RM5.80
Opens for breakfast and lunch from 7am.

Kedai Kopi Xiang Er Nong
20 Jalan Peh Pee Koh (between Jalan Kampar & Jalan Tokong)
Has packaged harm choy and comes with sambal – RM6
Opens for breakfast and lunch.

Hoong Wan Restaurant
No.2, Jalan Silang 3, Chemor
Choice of either fried or non-fried fish head.  Vege is sang choi (lettuce) and not harm choy – RM5.
Opens 6am to 3pm daily.  Closes two Tuesdays in a month.

F & B Station
24 Psrn Greentown 10, Greentown Business Centre
Fish meat tender, soup not sour, comes with sambal and also has tofu – RM5.50.
Opens for breakfast and lunch.


Claypot Yee Mee or Poh Chai Noodles


By Wern Sze Gill

ipoh hawker foodClaypot noodles, also known as Yee Mee or Poh Chai Noodles, are a type of crispy noodles made from wheat flour and palm oil. It somewhat resembles spaghetti in shape and texture, and has a unique tasty flavour. The Yee Mee noodles are commonly used in claypot cooking and warms you up on a chilly or rainy day.

Like most noodles, they can be cooked in soup or stir-fried. Their inherent flavour also creates a fragrant broth from boiling the noodles alone. As Yee Mee tends to soak up quite a bit of the gravy when cooked, it should be eaten immediately after it is cooked and is definitely not a dish you would want to takeaway. The noodles should also not be overcooked. The texture of the noodles should be soft but chewy.

Keay Teow Mee Stall @ Tong Sui Kai
Row of night stalls next to Sam Tet School
Minced pork balls, fish balls, sliced fish cakes, cabbage, egg
RM4.50 with egg; RM4.00 without egg
Opens 5pm – 3.30am. Close on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Poh Chai Mee Stall
Restoran Jen Jen
22 Jalan Chew Sin Oon, Off Jalan Tokong
Egg, prawns, minced pork balls, enoki mushroom, choy sum, sprinkling of
fried garlic – RM4 with egg; RM3.50 without egg
Opens for breakfast till about 11am.

Restoran F&B Station
24 Persiaran Greentown 10, Greentown Business Centre
Egg, prawns, fish balls, pork balls, vegetables.
RM3.80. Opens for breakfast and lunch.

Restoran Loi Fatt
15, Laluan Kledang Utara 11
Taman Wang, 31450 Ipoh
The yee mee served is fried and slightly crunchy, providing extra flavour to the broth
RM4.00.  Opens for breakfast and lunch.

Thengai Paal Appam



Indian crepe-like pancakeThengai Paal Appam, or popularly known as just ‘Appam’, is a lovely crepe-like pancake made from fermented rice and coconut milk , and eaten dipped in delicious coconut milk. Its white puffed up centre is soft and tender whilst the lacy sides are brown and crisp. This breakfast favourite is best eaten warm when it’s just made. (Taking it away will lose its best attributes.) Penang has always been associated with having the best Appam (amongst other things), but Ipoh can also hold its own.

Try these:

Canning Garden Market
Lovely soft centre with crisp sides; santan has just the right amount of sweetness
Opens at 8am except Mondays – 70 sen.

Restoran Bukit Merah
119 Jalan Lau Pak Khuan, Ipoh Garden.
Recommended by a Penangite. The big centre is tender, while the sides are crispy; the coconut milk may be a tad too sweet for some. Available from 7am – best go by 9am to avoid disappointment – RM1.

Simpang Pulai Restaurant & Catering
808/810 Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah (Jalan Gopeng), Taman Chandan Desa, Simpang Pulai
‘Homemade’ taste and texture. Open every day but closes one Sunday a month – RM1.

Restoran NS Curry House
Maxwell Road
Crispy sides with soft centre. Available from 6.30am. Closes Sundays – RM1.
Stall @ Buntong beside police station (opposite Sri Maha Kaliamman temple)
Opens every day. Must order minimum 2 for takeaway. RM1 each.

Restoran Silibin Jumbo
Jalan Silibin, Silibin
Opens every day and operates till noon – RM1.

Fried Sambal Lou Shee Fun


By Wern Sze Gill

ipoh hawker food - chinese noodles
Fried Sambal Lou Shee Fun

Lou Shee Fun, literally translated from Chinese to mean rat noodle, is a short, tapered and transluscent noodle that resembles a rat’s tail, hence its name. Fried lou shee fun is particularly fun for kids with little or no chopsticks skills, as it is easily scooped up with a broad spoon.

Any hawker stall offering fried noodles in Malaysia would serve this variant of noodle, and it is usually fried with pork or chicken meat, prawn, and choy sum (Chinese vegetable) with the regular combination of soya, oyster and dark sauce. Some places fry it the ‘char kway teow’ way, using a mix of meat, fish cakes, egg, chives and beansprouts. The sambal variant involves adding a spoonful of homemade sambal belacan to the dish and tossing the noodles to coat them evenly before serving. You can also opt to have the sambal on the side to control the spiciness.

Places to try in Ipoh:

Kafe Sentosa Ria
Lebuh Taman Ipoh, Ipoh Garden South
Sufficient ‘wok hei’ and very flavourful.
Generous serving of sambal belacan on the side as well.
RM3.70; opens daily 7am – 2.30pm.

Fatt Kee Restaurant
Tingkat Taman Ipoh 6, Ipoh Garden South (behind Scotch Pub)
Tasty and generous serving of meat and ingredients with sufficient ‘wok hei’.
RM4.30; opens daily 9am – 8pm.

Restoran Yee Lock
40 Jln Raja Musa Aziz (New Town)
Generous serving and tasty with enough ‘wok hei’.
RM6.00; opens daily 4pm till late.

Restoran Impressive
Jalan Ali Pichay (New Town)
Very tasty. Fried with meat, egg, bean sprouts and chives.
RM4.30; opens daily 7am – 3.30pm

Restoran Sin Hoong Fatt
1 Lrg Cecil Rae, Canning Garden
Pork-free. Fried with chicken meat, egg, bean sprouts and chives.
RM4.60; 4-10pm daily, Monday closed.




vadai, ipoh indian food, Vadai is sold in most Indian restaurants and kacang putih stalls. It is usually eaten for breakfast, at teatime or as a snack; sometimes with coconut chutney, sambar or a fresh green chilli. Two kinds of vadai are generally found in Ipoh – ulunthu (or methu) vadai…the one with the hole, and the other is paruppu (or masala) vadai…no hole. (For those not proficient in the language, just say the ‘holey’ one and the ‘un-holey’ one.) Masala vadai is crispier with visible bits of chana dal but the ulunthu vadai is equally as good; made from urad dal, it is slightly crisp on the outside whilst soft inside. It is nice to taste the green chilli, curry leaves and onions, sometimes even dried chillies. Some may even add chilli padi…it adds a sting to each bite. Best eaten freshly fried.

Try these:

Canning Corner, Jalan Lee Kwee Foh, Canning Garden
Monday to Saturday, noon to 4.30pm. Crispy, spicy with dried and green chillies – 2 for RM1.

Stall @ Tamil Settlement, Jalan Sg. Pari
Everyday from 2pm. 3 for RM1.

Stall @ Jalan Tun Perak (Connolly Road)
3.30-7.00pm. Go for the ulunthu vadai – 40 sen each.

Kacang Putih Wong Fei Hong
Jalan Lau Pak Khuan, Ipoh Garden, at Public Bank and #63. A third stall is in front of Magnum in Simee.
Monday to Saturday from noon onwards. Worth a mention because the vadai is spicier because it has dried chilli in it – 3 for RM1 – both kinds are good.

Kacang putih stall at Jalan Bandaraya (Old Town near HSBC)
From 9.30am Monday to Friday; 50 sen a piece.

Rojak Pasembor


By Wern Sze Gill

ipoh hawker food reviewThe Rojak Pasembor, or also widely known as the ‘Indian Rojak’, is a popular lunch-time side dish or tea-time treat among Malaysians. It is a local salad dish made up of a mixture of fried dough and prawn fritters, bean curd, boiled potatoes and half a hard boiled egg served with long thin strips of cucumber, sengkuang (yam bean), and in some, bean sprouts.  Some stalls offer cuttlefish as an addition to the dish as well.

The best thing about the Pasembor though, is the thick and tasty reddish-brown, sweet dressing which literally drenches the salad, making it a uniquely South Asian dish. Made from sweet potatoes, crushed peanuts and chillies, the combination is cooked together to perfection, and is what makes the dish stand out from other competitors. If taking out, the sauce is usually packed separately so that the ingredients do not become soggy when you eat it.

Places to try in Ipoh:

Rojak Ipoh Padang @ Kedai Kopi Fatt Kee
No 7, Jln Tun Sambanthan
Opens Mon to Sat, 11am – 6pm

Rojak Greentown
Medan Selera Greentown (opp Greentown mall)
Opens daily, 9am – 7pm, Friday 1-2pm close
Branch: Restoran Rojak Greentown
No 81, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Greentown
Opens daily, 9am – 7pm, Friday 1-2pm close

Rojak Maxwell
Roadside stall @ junction into Cherry Park (Opp. Mahkamah Syariah)
Opens 11.30am – 6pm, daily

Cathay Mee Stall @ Restoran Dan Rumah Tumpangan Beauty Baru
(Opp. Hotel Ritz Garden)
97 Jalan Yang Kalsom
Opens Mon to Sat, Noon – 7.30pm
RM3.80, one whole egg

Nasi Kerabu

Ipoh hawker food
Nasi Kerabu

Nasi Kerabu is lovely blue rice mixed with raw vegetables and herbs, and kerisik, which is grated coconut pan-fried and mixed with other ingredients sometimes fish, tamarind and seasoning. The blue colour of the rice comes from the butterfly pea flower. A gamut of raw greens are finely julienned and mixed together: string beans, cucumber, cabbage, bunga kantan (torch ginger), lemongrass, daun kesum (Vietnamese coriander), bean sprouts, daun sup (celery leaves) and some others. Eaten with salted egg, turmeric-coated fried fish, fish crackers, nasi kerabu is basically a healthy meal. Some stalls will give a spicy sambal or watery chilli sauce and budu [ikan bilis (anchovies) sauce)] and keropok ikan (fish crackers) too.

Places to try:

Stall at Jalan Teoh Kim Swee, Taman Hillview, Rapat Setia.With fried chicken – RM3.50

Stall at Jalan Putera, Taman Putera Permai, Bandar Baru Putra, Bercham. With fried chicken and a small slice of salted egg – RM2.50

Stall at No. 92 Jalan Permai 5, Bandar Baru Putra, Bercham.
Value for money – good amount of rice with plenty of keropok. If you like spicy food, try the chicken curry – not much raw vegetable, mainly cabbage – RM3.50.

Terengganu Corner (05-5272055; Mohammad Zarilan 017-5751889).      Jalan Jelapang (opp. the Klinik Kesihatan). RM2.50 with salted egg; RM3.50 with fried fish. Opens 6.30am-4.30pm except Tuesdays.

Allongs Restaurant, 24 Pesara Ipoh 1, Ipoh Garden. Comes pre-wrapped with brown paper (just like nasi lemak) with either chicken or fish – RM3.50. This is made by someone else, the restaurant. Go early, it finishes fast.

Pasar Tani (Farmers’ Market) at Stadium Perak (3 stalls). Fried fish & salted egg RM3.00; fried beef RM3.50; add other dishes for RM2 onwards.


Freshly-Baked Wholesome Breads


By Wern Sze Gill

ipoh echo issue 143, wholesome breads
Freshly-Baked Wholesome Breads

Many would agree that nothing beats the tantalizing smell of bread freshly baked from the oven. Fresh bread is prized for its taste, aroma, quality, appearance and texture. It is usually made from wheat-flour dough that is cultured with yeast, allowed to rise, and then baked in the oven.  Wheat is commonly used because of its high levels of gluten giving the dough sponginess and elasticity, but bread can also made from other wheat species such as rye, corn and oats, which are sometimes combined with wheat flour.

Unless you own a bread maker or regularly bake your own bread in a traditional oven, you are most likely to buy commercial pre-wrapped brands off supermarket shelves.  Commercial breads, however, usually have added preservatives in order to maintain a longer shelf life.

If you have always wondered where you can pick up a loaf of wholesome homemade bread in Ipoh, look no further!  Below is a list of places offering an array of choices, ranging from those which are sugar-free or low GI (glycaemic index), to those high in taste, textures and flavours:

Allegra (05-5262842)
Clubhouse, Meru Valley Resort, Jelapang
A boutique deli cum gift shop offering a selection of gourmet foods, wines, fresh ingredients, gifts, coffee and cakes.  Some breads they offer: Wholemeal (RM8.90), muesli with raisin (RM11.50), multiseed (RM12.50), rustic sourdough (RM11.50). Call for what’s available for the day. No preservatives of chemicals added.
Opens 8.00am – 6.00pm. Closed on Tuesdays.

DJS’ Cakecraft (Tel.: 05-5265129, Alice 012-5198056, Sebastian 012-5197297)
House located at: 8 Hala Jati Meru 11, Kg Jelapang Jaya, Jelapang.
Quality butter used & no preservatives added.
Wholemeal (RM5.00), low-GI rye bread (RM5.00), purple corn bread (RM8.00), wheatgerm (RM8.50) other multi-grain breads available.
Available through phone order, delivery service available.

Mama’s Home-Baked Bread (Kim 017-4633916)
Anika Selera, Ipoh Garden (near the last staircase)
No preservatives, chemicals, additives.
Wholemeal (RM3.00), multi-grain (RM4.90), raisin-sunflower-flaxseed (RM3.60), walnut-raisin (RM4.10), walnut (RM3.70).
Opens 6.00-10.00pm, Saturdays off.

Kampar Garden Cake House (Sam 012-5381266)
27, Jalan Leech, Old Town, Ipoh
No preservatives or chemicals added.
Walnut raisin wholemeal / assorted nuts wholemeal / cheese butter wholemeal (RM4.80) butter raisin wholemeal (RM4.00), walnut cheese wholemeal (RM6.00), raisin mixed nuts loaf / banana walnut loaf / mixed nuts red bean loaf (RM3.00)
Sugar-free, diabetic friendly variations: Wholemeal / wholemeal mixed nuts (RM4.80).
Opens daily 7.30am – 6.00pm.

Ray of Hope CafeHalal (05-5488796, Datin Mary Yeoh 019-5713229)
24 & 26, Persiaran Bercham Selatan 31, Bercham
The Ray of Hope Centre for children with learning disabilities runs the cafe that also bakes their own bread and buns. They have wholemeal raspberry loaf (RM5), butter cheese loaf (RM4.50) and butter raisin loaf (RM4.50). They also have wholemeal buns and buns with various fillings of cheese, chicken curry, chicken meatloaf, tuna, and also cheese tarts and siew pau – from RM1.60.

Sheng Cake & Café (Addison 016-5586215, Angie 016-5583304)
60, Jalan Ng Weng Hup, First Garden, Ipoh
No preservatives or chemicals added. Offers wholemeal, wholewheat, sugar-free and organic variations. Some of their offerings: organic sugar-free wholegrain loaf (RM3.80),  wholegrain loaf with walnut, black sesame seeds, raisins & golden flaxseeds (RM4.80), wholewheat with pumpkin (RM3.30), wholewheat with golden flaxseed (RM3.20), wholemeal with brown rice and spirulina (RM3.30).
Opens daily from 8.30am – 9.30pm, Sundays close at 8.00pm.

Sum Mun Coffee House (05-5470687)
34, Pesara Ipoh 1, Ipoh Garden (behind Anika Selera)
Wholemeal / pumpkin / oat bran bread (RM3.90) multi cereal / eight grain bread (RM5.50).  Preservative and chemical free.
Opens Tuesdays – Fridays, 8.00am to 4.00pm

Wonton Mee (Revisited)


Here we go again…another hawker food well-worth a revisit! No half decent coffee shop or food court would operate without a wonton mee stall. A good wonton mee is al dente (has a bite to it) but, more often than not nowadays, the mee is the texture of instant noodles. Some of the stalls are well-known and have been operating many years. Funny how people in Ipoh don’t mind waiting for a bowl of good wonton mee. Here are a few to try:


Choy On Yoon Wonton Mee, 26 Jalan Pike, Menglembu
Noodles are thin, al dente, wonton flavourful, firm, has enough filling. They also have char siew, pork and prawn wonton – from RM2.50. Open: 7.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m.

Kedai Kopi Kheng Hai, 47 Jalan Yau Tet Sin (New Town)
Noodles al dente. They have pork and prawn wonton, chicken feet mushroom, boar feet (Wed & Sun), sui kow, char siew – from RM2.60.

Teck Hing, Stall #45, Stadium Perak
From RM3 – closed every Mon & Thurs

Kafe Sentosa Ria, Lebuh Taman Ipoh, Ipoh Garden South
Noodles have a nice flavour with tasty pork and whole prawn wonton – from RM3



Stall at 736 Jalan Kg. Simee (across from the Home for the Aged Simee), 5.30-10.00 p.m. Noodles very al dente with 6 tasty pork wonton – only RM2.80.

Cheong Kee, 542 Jalan Sekolah, Buntong
Noodles are al dente – has slivers of pork in the sauce with 4 pork wonton from RM3. Be prepared to wait at least half an hour (if you’re lucky).

Stall #22 @ Stadium Perak
Noodles are al dente and flavourful, also has prawn wonton and char siew – prawn wonton are full and springy – from RM3.