Tag Archives: Ipoh Echo Issue 151

Ramadan – A Season for Giving


Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU)Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan’s (YBU) charity programme, during the fasting month of Ramadan, was a huge success judging from public’s responses. Dubbed, “Imarah Ramadan” the charity programme began on July 28 in the state constituency of Sungai Manik and ended in the parliamentary constituency of Parit on August 10.

The programme was a mix of visits and interactions where officials of YBU feted the locals at mosques and community halls. They broke fast together with the invitees and ended each session with the donations of raya gifts in the form of materials and duit raya. The beneficiaries were mainly the poor and the marginalised, orphans being the biggest group.

In Langkap, 70 received hampers while in Changkat Jering the number was 45. In Teluk Kecil, Pangkor, some 330 received a batik sarong each. The programme was extended to the palm oil mill workers of Felcra Nasaruddin, Bota and an orphanage in Parit. Officials broke fast with the workers while some had sahur with the orphans. Fifty hampers were given away to the workers while the orphans received duit raya packs.

Foundation Chairman, Dato’ Saarani Mohamad felt that the programme had been beneficial, especially to the target groups. “It helped in establishing bond and creating rapport with those concerned,” he remarked. “It will be a permanent fixture on YBU’s calendar”.


Crime Prevention Forum


In view of the almost daily house break-ins and thefts, Gerakan Ipoh Timur Division organised a crime prevention solution forum in Ipoh Garden East and Kg Simee recently. This community service programme was in collaboration with Persatuan Keselamatan Sukarela Kawasan Bercham (PKSKB), a voluntary organisation registered with the Registrar of Societies.

With the motto, “You for all, all for you”, PKSKB, which is run solely by volunteers with generous donations from the pubic, strives to reduce crime and create a more harmonious community through education. At the forum, members of the society shared their experiences in handling not only criminal cases but also accidents, fire and other emergencies.

During the case study session, participants were shown ways to avert crime in various situations. It is said that 80 per cent of crime cases could be prevented. With the knowledge acquired, participants would be more sensitive of their surroundings and stop falling victims to crime.

Ipoh City Councillor, Ceylyn Tay, urged residents to report all crime cases to the Police so that they could compile more accurate crime statistics and would be pressured to act on solving the cases. However, she stressed that residents have to work together and help each other rather than rely solely on the Police. “The safety of the community is the responsibility of everyone,” she said.

The forum wrapped up with a question and answer session with Corporal Zulkefli Idris from the Kg Simee Police Station answering questions posed by participants.


Should social networking sites be used to highlight domestic abuse?


By Mariam Mokhtar

It is not something many people would be prepared to do but Amanda Fong Kim Yen, who is 19-years old and two months pregnant posted three CCTV videos on social website Facebook to highlight the alleged assault by her husband.

People may wonder why she resorted to such drastic action – telling the whole world that she is a victim of domestic abuse. There are possibly many reasons for this.

Older women when contacted said that they would avoid bringing further shame onto themselves and their family, by using Facebook. Some compared it to bringing the whole world into the bedroom.

Most young people disagree. They believe in the power of the social media, to get the message across. Fong, unlike the older generation, knows how social networking sites work and how to use them to her advantage. Her mother’s and grandmother’s generations would not have been exposed to such sites and a resolution to such problems would have been sought differently.

Whilst many wives (and husbands) do not experience domestic abuse, a good number suffer in silence, at the hands of their spouse. A few have died from the abusive treatment.

There are occasions when the perpetrators of abuse have prevented victims from contacting outsiders. They have threatened more violence, reprisals, issued death threats or told victims that their children will be harmed or taken away from them.

Britain’s Princess Diana was interviewed by the BBC’s Martin Bashir for Panorama. She claimed to have been subjected to mental torment and was ignored by the royal family. She would have had the best experts at her disposal but they probably politely declined to highlight her suffering, so as not to upset the royal family. In the end, she was forced to breach the royal family’s strict code of conduct, “Never complain. Never explain”.

It is well known that the police are reluctant to help, neighbours are reluctant to get involved and family members are reluctant to tarnish the family name. Perhaps, social media sites remain one of the last avenues of help.

In the video clips, which Fong posted on August 30 and 31, on her Facebook page, she is seen being shoved around, being hit and making unsuccessful attempts to resist her husband’s blows.

An online newspaper reported that she had said on her post: “As you can see in this video he wouldn’t let me out from the shop even when I went to press the door access….. He has put me under tremendous pressure, hurt, pain and & suffering. I cannot endure it anymore longer. I’m very tired of living this miserable life.”

“I have been accused, suffered from humiliation, physically & mentally anguished.”

Members of the public have expressed outrage. Both Fong and her husband, Calvin Chik Foo Keong, have since lodged police reports. Chik denies abusing Fong but alleged that it was she, who was the abuser, adding that he had been badly wounded.

Fong’s father had apparently also lodged a police report on August 23, so that Chik would be issued with a police warning.

This incident has again brought the issue of domestic abuse into the public domain. In a newspaper report, Perak CID chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Mohd Dzuraidi Ibrahim confirmed that the incident was a family dispute which was being investigated under Section 323 of the Penal Code.

At a press conference, Fong said she disagreed with her husband over a decision to sell branded perfume in their shop. The argument quickly escalated into violence.

She also said: “I gave the CCTV footage to the police on August 29 at 7.40pm. I want the police to investigate as soon as possible and take action against him, because no woman should be treated like this.”

Chik has related his version of events to Malaysian Digest.com. He alleges that his wife has had an affair with a married datuk who gave her a substantial allowance and that she suffers from bouts of depression, had suicidal tendencies, and has attacked him with a knife in the past. He also says that his mother-in-law interferes in the marriage.

Contrary to claims that he was trying to harm the unborn baby, Chik claimed that he was only trying to calm Fong down, in order to protect both baby and mother. Chik has apologised for the alleged assault on his wife, which he agreed was inexcusable but that “things got out of control”. He said he was prepared to face the consequences of his actions.

Some people claim that social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook may fuel further domestic violence. In Taiwan, a husband beat his wife up when a love rival posted flirty messages on his wife’s Facebook page.

When Fong posted the video of her alleged assault on Facebook, was it a desperate cry for help or was she out for revenge, and to humiliate her husband?

Whatever the true reasons for this particular alleged assault in Ipoh, it is important to note that domestic violence can happen to both men and women. People should be educated and made to understand why it happens, what steps should be taken to stop it from happening again and that victims should be protected.

When people post their troubles on social networking sites, the normal channels of communication and resolving issues are forgotten. Do some of us treat other peoples’ violence as a source of entertainment? Or, are social media sites powerful tools for highlighting domestic abuse?

Travel Bazaar


Sabah Labuan Corporate Travel Bazaar (SLCTB)Some 26 organisations from the Sabah and Labuan hotel, travel and trade fraternity, led by the Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board, Dato’ Seri Tengku Dr Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood, were in Ipoh recently to participate in the Sabah Labuan Corporate Travel Bazaar (SLCTB).

The bazaar consisted of two sessions; a video presentation by Sabah Tourism Board, followed by a travel mart, where delegates from Sabah and Labuan had the opportunity to promote their products to more than a hundred corporate and government representatives from Perak, Penang and Selangor.

As a continuation to their successful SLCTB road shows in the past two years, Sabah Tourism Board decided to make a stop in Perak this year for the first time. Sabah, geographically in the centre of ASEAN and known as the Land Below the Wind, offers outstanding living heritage holiday packages. However, the objective of this road show was to push for a bigger domestic tourist market, particularly in business tourism.

This collaborative effort between Tourism Malaysia (Sabah), its Perak counterpart and the Sabah Tourism Board was aimed at promoting Sabah and Labuan as the preferred value destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE).

During their short stay in Ipoh the delegates were taken to various places of interest in Perak. They will recommend them to their clients back home.


Eye Chat – Eating for Diabetes

ipoh echo issue 140, Dr Lee Mun Wai, Lee Eye Centre, Stem Cells in Retinal Disease
Dr Lee Mun Wai

Diabetes is fast becoming an epidemic around the world and in Malaysia, an estimated 15 per cent of our population have diabetes!! This number is projected to continue on an upward trend and before we know it, 1 in 5 Malaysians could become diabetic! That is a scary statistic!

Our population really does not know very much at all about diabetes. This is a chronic disease with a whole plethora of life threatening complications not to mention sight threatening ones as well. What I have found with my patients is also their complete lack of knowledge about how to eat properly when they have been diagnosed with diabetes. It is very common to think that taking less sugar is good enough but in reality, there is a lot more to it.

Striking a Balance

Eating for diabetes isn’t about going on a diet – it’s about making changes to your eating habits to create a healthier balance. Diabetes doesn’t change the kinds of food you can eat. The focus should be on making smart food choices to lead a healthier life; that is, eating less fat, less sugary foods, a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish. Basically, having a balanced diet.

Diabetics should work closely with their physician and dietitian to come up with meal plans. There is no one special diabetic diet – the meal plan has to be personalised to meet the unique requirements of each diabetic individual. The meal plan should aim at keeping the blood glucose levels as near to normal levels as possible – it is those large swings in blood glucose levels which do the most damage to the organs. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard my patients tell me that the reason their sugar levels have been so high is because they just had something to eat! If eating properly, the levels should not fluctuate so wildly. It is therefore, important to monitor your own blood glucose levels as well.

The Food Groups

Protein – A healthy diet should consist of 10-20% of calories from protein and sources of protein include poultry, fish, dairy and vegetable sources.

Fat – A healthy intake of fat should be less than 30% of daily calories. You should take less of saturated fats (meat and dairy products) and more of polyunsaturated fats (fish and other seafood).

Carbohydrates – the remainder of daily calories should come from carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, beans, rice, noodles, etc.).

Steps to Eating Well

  1. Eat regular meals at consistent times. Consider having smaller meals more frequently.
  2. Cut down on the fat you eat (especially saturated fats).
  3. Eat more fruit and vegetables – at least 5 servings a day.
  4. Aim for at least 2 servings of fish a week. Omega 3 fatty acids in oily fish are good for the heart and eyes.
  5. Limit sugar and sugary drinks.
  6. Reduce salt in your diet – limit the amount of processed foods.
  7. Drink alcohol in moderation.
  8. Don’t be tempted by diabetic foods or drinks – they are often expensive with no added benefit and will still affect blood glucose levels.

Staying healthy with diabetes is a challenge but not totally unachievable. Eating right is but one aspect of living with diabetes; it is important to maintain a healthy weight and to exercise regularly as well. It is vital that you set health goals for yourself and work together with your health-care professionals to achieve these goals. Eating a balanced diet, managing your weight, and following a healthy lifestyle, together with taking any prescribed medication and monitoring where appropriate will ensure that you can prevent or delay the side effects of diabetes!

For more information about this topic or other eye health subjects, call Lee Eye Centre: 05-254 0095.

Ipoh City Councillors Contact List


Zone 1 (Kanthan/Chemor/Klebang)
En. Chan Soon Yip
Off: 05-2555723
Hse/Hp: 05-2012229/012-5125226

Zone 2 (Kuala Kuang/Chepor/Meru)
En. Shahul Hamid Mydin Shah, PMP.,AMP., PPN., PPT
Off: 05-5336578/  kesantesas@gmail.com
Hse/Hp: 05-5331342/016-5311496

Zone 3 (Tawas/Tasek/Ipoh Grove)
Y.Bhg Dato’ Francis Lee Yew Hean, DPMP.
Off: 05-2545179 srsv@pd.jaring.my
Hse/Hp: 05-5468166/012-5171550

Zone 4 (Kinding/Tg. Rambutan Putra)
En. Vijay Chandran a/l G. Narayanan Nair, PMP.,KMN.,AMN.,AMP.,PPT., JP.
Off: 05-5336873/ clr_vijay@yahoo.com
Hp: 012-5659292

Zone 5 (Bercham/Tasek Dermawan)
Ir. Lai Kong Phooi
Off: 05-3654733/ clr_lai@mbi.gov.my
Hse/Hp: 05-3654739/013-5181180

Zone 6 (Jelapang/Taman Pertama/Rishah)
En. Liew See Fan, PPT.
Off: 05-2545804
Hse/Hp: 012-4675720

Zone 7 (Gugusan Manjoi)
En. Syamsul Baharin Putra bin Ahmad Shibi, PPT.
Off: 05-2538108/ clr_sbputra@mbi.gov.my

Zone 8 (Tembok/Taman Cherry/Taman Lim)
Y.Bhg Dato’ Daniel Tay Kwan Hui, DPMP,.PMP,. AMP JP
Off: 05-2537444/ akhtay@yahoo.com
Hp: 019-5796000

Zone 9 (Kepayang/Fair Park/Bandar Ipoh Raya)
YBhg. Dato’ Shamsuddin bin Haji Abdul Ghafar, DPMP., KMN., AMP., AMN, PPT., JP
Off: 05-2538107/ nyahsham@yahoo.com
Hse/Hp: 05-3128879/019-5590039

Zone 10 (Kg. Simee/Taman Ipoh/Taman Canning)
Pn. Ceylyn Tay Wei Lung
Off: 05-5481830/ ceylyntay@yahoo.com
Hp: 012-4681818

Zone 11 (Perpaduan/Ulu Kinta/Tambun)
Tn Hj. Nasir bin Hj Ismail, PMP, KMN, AMP, PPT
Off: 05-255 5201
Hp: 019-5704040

Zone 12 (Buntong, Silibin)
En. Sabramani a/l Appadurai, AMP, PPT, PJK
Off: 05-5268603/ asupra_maniam@yahoo.com
Hp: 012-5623412

Zone 13 (Greentown/Pekan Lama/Medan Kidd)
En. Choo Kean Seng
Off: 05-2812167
Hse/Hp: 05-2816516/016-5211516

Zone 14 (Cempaka/Taman Golf/Lumba Kuda)
En. Peter Choong Shean Yang
Off: 05-2411743/ petercsy@hotmail.com
Hp: 012-5017257

Zone 15 (Sg Rokam/Ipoh Jaya/Ampang)
Mejar (B) Tn Hj. Roslan bin Zakaria, DCM, DSK, PPT, JP
Off: 05-3138809
Hp: 019-4415721

Zone 16 (Pekan Baru/Tebing Tinggi/Pasir Pinji)
En. Kevin Chang Tat Guan, AMP
Off: 05-3288010
Hse/Hp: 05-3139025/012-5383111

Zone 17 (Menglembu/Falim)
En. Wong Kooi Fong, AMP
Off: 05-3111330/ wongkooifong@hotmail.com
Hp: 016-3231586

Zone 18 (Pasir Puteh/Seri Kinta/Kuala Pari)
Y.Bhg Dato’ Hj. Mohd Raduan bin Mohd Kasim, DPMP, KMN, AMN, PPT.
Off: 05-5280718/ aespernas@fm.com.my
Hse/Hp: 019-5122437/012-5082437

Zone 19 (Kg. Sg. Rapat/Pengkalan Pegoh/ Pengkalan Gate)
Y.Bhg Datuk Hj. Abd Mukti bin Hj. Abd Rahman, DPSM, KMN, AMN, AMP, JP
Off: 05-3111121
Hp: 019-4642727

Zone 20 (Gunung Rapat/Rapat Setia/Taman Song Choon)
En Kok Pak Foo, PJK
Off: 05-2533202
Hse/Hp: 05-3232522/012-5033202

Zone 21 (Lahat/Bukit Merah)
Y.Bhg. Dato’ Phoon Yoon Choy, DPMP.
Off: 05-2548888/ bettersymbol@gmail.com
Hp: 012-5887811

Zone 21 (Menglembu Barat)
En. Loo Gar yen
Off: 05-2913100/ loogy01@yahoo.com
Hse/ Hp: 05-2816380/ 012-5903135

Zone 22 (Sengat/Rapat Jaya/Changkat Larang)
En. Zulkifli bin Ab. Hamid, PMP, KMN, PPT, PJK, JP
Off: 05-2557076
Hse/Hp: 05-3215166/012-5083352

Eye Health – Nutrition and Your Eyes

Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist, Hospital Fatimah Ipoh
Dr S.S. Gill

Ipoh Echo’s EYE HEALTH series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S.S. GILL talking to us about NUTRITION & VITAMINS for the eyes.

Eating the right foods that contain the right vitamins do help to keep the eyes healthy. Good nutrition is important for both your general and eye health. It helps our body to grow, repair the wear and tear, protect against infections and to function properly. Likewise, good nutrition with vitamins and minerals are important for the eyes to function normally.

The main vitamins that are essential for the eyes include:

  • Vitamins A, C, E, B2
  • Minerals Zinc and Selenium
  • Antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin – known as ‘carotenoids’
  • Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

In this issue we will cover Vitamins A and C.


Vitamin A is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina (nerve) of the eye. Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in low light. Night blindness is therefore an early symptom of deficiency because there is damage to the retina (nerve at the back of the eye).

Vitamin A deficiency is a clear example of how the lack of this vitamin can cause serious eye problems resulting in a condition called xerophthalmia.  It is a common cause of childhood blindness in developing countries especially in Africa and Latin America. It is caused by lack of Vitamin A in the child’s diet. This is simply because the poor child does not get to eat fresh green leafy vegetables and proteins in the form of meat, eggs, cheese, fish, poultry, milk, yoghurt, dairy products, nuts and grains.

Vitamin A helps the surface of the eye form an effective barrier to bacteria and viruses, thereby reducing the risk of eye infections. The lack of vitamin A causes the cornea to become very dry, leading to clouding of the front of the eye, corneal ulcers and finally vision loss.


Vitamin C is good for our whole body and particularly good for your eyes. The aqueous humor is the fluid that fills the space between the cornea and the iris in the eye and  nourishes and protects the cornea and lens.

The aqueous humor has very high levels of Vitamin C, in fact much higher levels of Vitamin C than in our blood. Therefore, maintaining high levels of Vitamin C in the aqueous is essential to nourish the eyes and protect them from oxidative stress and to help maintain clarity of the lens of the eyes. So, make sure you eat diets rich in Vitamin C like citrus fruits, capsicum, broccoli and strawberries to maintain good eye health.

Generally, a good balanced diet that includes sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables should be adequate in providing all the vitamins and minerals that the eyes need in order to be healthy and function well. The problem lies in the fast-food diets that may lack the ingredients of a healthy meal. This is where vitamin supplements could help.

Dr Gill will talk more about other aspects of nutrition for the eyes in the next article.

Should you require further information, please contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah 05-5455582 or email: gilleyecentre@dr.com.

Four Merdeka Babies

KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital
Pn. Ling Li Fung

KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital celebrated the arrival of four Merdeka babies at the Maternity Ward. A baby girl (3.93kg) was born to housewife Pn. Suraya Binti Baharani and a baby boy (3.15kg) to Planning Officer Pn. Nor Azimah Binti Jamaluddin. Housewife Pn. Ling Li Fung gave birth to a baby boy weighing 3.1kg and Pn. Heng, Soo Hui, an Ogawa Promoter, to a 3.12-kg baby girl. Congratulations to all the mothers (and fathers) and a big welcome to the four young Malaysians.

Amicus Brief


Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya and Human Rights lawyer, Zarizana Abdul AziA seminar on amicus brief was held at Heritage Hotel, Ipoh recently. Participants consisted of lawyers and members of non-governmental organisations. The objective was to discuss the purpose of an amicus brief – how those who are not directly involved in a legal case could hold the state accountable and force the courts to deliver justice to victims.

An amicus brief is a legal document filed in a court by a friendly party, either an individual or advocacy group, who has no direct involvement in the case in question.

In her opening address, President of Perak Women For Women Society (PWW), Dr Sharifah Halimah Jaafar, said a victim is greatly disadvantaged if the accused is able to hire the best legal mind to fight his or her case. It is, therefore, not surprising that the conviction rate, for rape cases, for example, is extremely low vis-à-vis the number of cases reported.

Participants were able to understand the purposes of the amicus brief and how the public can help the court to prevent errors in judgments. The session was conducted by Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya and Human Rights lawyer, Zarizana Abdul Aziz, who is an expert on amicus brief.

She also discussed interventions by interest groups, presented a case study session and supervised a drafting exercise.

The second speaker was Dr Noraida Endut, a senior lecturer at the Women’s Development Research Centre (KANITA) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Noraida’s hour-long session was on Women’s and Human Rights.

This first ever seminar on amicus brief in Perak was sponsored by PWW. It was well-attended by members of the Perak Bar Committee, Lembaga Penduduk dan Pembangunan Keluarga Negara (LPPKN), Ipoh City Watch, Women’s Centre For Change, Amnesty International and Media Perak.


Hokkaido Japanese Cuisine - musings on food

Musings on Food – SeeFoon revels in Japanese Food Heaven in Ipoh


musings on food - food reviewsBy See Foon Chan-Koppen

I rarely go to Japanese restaurants in Ipoh as I find them generally lacking in quality and I am always dubious about the freshness of the seafood served in sushi and sashimi which I have often found to be frozen and thawed.

Therefore when I finally asked a Japanese resident here which Japanese restaurant he frequented and can recommend to me, he said without hesitation, “Hokkaido”. I filed that away in the recesses of my food memory bank and when the International Wine and Food Society, Ipoh (IWFS) sent a notice of a dinner being held there, I immediately signed up to attend.

Hokkaido Japanese Cuisine - musings on food
Loke Mun Kit

Hokkaido certainly lived up to its reputation that evening as young co-owner and manager extraordinaire, Loke Mun Kit, excelled himself in putting together a most memorable menu, worthy of some of the best I’ve tasted when I lived in Japan many many moons ago.

Working with his partner and food consultant for the Hokkaido restaurant, Chef Nobukawa Yoshiyuki, currently the head chef of Mikuni Restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel in Singapore, Kit, as he is called, combined typical Hokkaido cuisine with its artisanal touches, combining it with Fusion elements and produced a meal of sheer epicurean indulgence.

Beginning with homemade pumpkin bean curd, we moved forward with a platter of beautifully presented appetizers some traditional like the melt-in-mouth Kobe beef roll and others like the crab roe with cheese on biscuit, and the mini Hokkaido Pannni; pure fusion and all delectable morsels.

The next course of sashimi (raw fish slices) which included my favourite and rarely available Toro or Tuna belly tasting fresh caught, was flown in the night before. Dipped in soya sauce and wasabi (the green Japanese hot radish) freshly grated from root (a rare find today where they usually settle for the powdered or tube variety), I found myself revelling in Japanese food heaven, a sensation I have lost track of since I left Japan those many years ago.

Hokkaido Japanese Cuisine - musings on foodHokkaido Japanese Cuisine - musings on foodAll in all, the 11-course dinner left all of us members sated but promising to come back for more as I found myself doing so two weeks later and again recently. This last time though I had the guidance of Kit himself and not only did I enjoy a superlative meal, but I managed to learn a few tips about Japanese cuisine.

For example, Hokkaido only serves bluefin tuna, being the preferred kind that Japanese order. In the eyes of the Japanese, when a restaurant serves good tuna, the rest of the food is bound to be good. To this I can vouch for. In Hokkaido, all the fish for sushi is freshly flown in and never frozen, which is a sign of good quality.

On the day of my Japanese food ‘education’ I was first presented with a dish of Potato Cheese Gratin. I was truly surprised, expecting to find this more on the tables of Germany or Scandinavia but Kit explained that this was typical traditional Okinawa fare. The taste was hearty and would certainly appeal to those who are averse to raw fish. I being one of those who like my raw fish, was looking forward to other delectables.

This arrived in the form of an impressive Sapporo Sashimi Moriawase, a towering platter of three types of sashimi which included tuna belly, red tuna or Maguro, and Mekajiki Toro or swordfish belly, a white fish that was equally melt-in-mouth as the tuna belly, both with a buttery mouth feel leaving me craving for more; a generous bowl of Ikura, salted salmon roe that pop in the mouth, oozing its sweet gel on the tongue; small clusters of mixed seaweed called Kaisou (which Kit was proud to point out is the only restaurant to serve this where others only serve single types) dot the platter and provide various nuances in textures and tastes; and standing proud in the middle was the Hokkaido crab, and although pre-cooked and shipped frozen, the meat was still sweet and succulent – RM238 for the platter.

Hokkaido Japanese Cuisine - musings on foodMore Fusion dishes came in the form of a Mexican Roll, rice with fresh bluefin tuna and tempura crisps topped by slices of more tuna, the Mexican name coming from the salsa sauce that is served with it – RM18. The German Roll was even more unusual, a sushi roll with sausage, tempura crisps and topped with cheese. Not quite my cup of tea but may appeal to some palates – RM18.

The Foil Yaki or Kajiki Toro was much more to my taste: swordfish belly which Kit claims to be the only restaurant in Ipoh to serve this, cooked in a broth in a foil casing, with Shimeiji mushrooms and leeks; buttery fish, umami broth (no MSG), just heavenly – RM40. The next hot dish was equally delicate: Hotate Katsuki or scallop cooked in its shell, subtly flavoured and served on a miniature hibachi – RM40.

Hokkaido Japanese Cuisine - musings on foodThe creme de la creme for me was the last dish to be presented. Unni or sea urchin roe is now so exorbitant that most sushi restaurants don’t even serve it. Those that do, buy them in boxes and most are frozen and thawed. My experience of Unni in Malaysia has always been disappointing. Not at Hokkaido however! Here one has a choice of the boxed variety either as sashimi or sushi or the absolutely-straight-from-the-sea-variety with its hard spines trimmed, the whole shell perched on a bed of ice laced with a  lettuce garland, the roe sitting on a Shiso leaf and looking more like a piece of art than edible food. Putting a piece of the roe in my mouth, I was transported back to my days in Japan, when sea urchin was affordable and fresh and I could indulge myself. Today the fresh urchin costs RM40 each and as for its quality, this one is well worth paying for.

I have to admit that it is costly to dine delectably on Japanese cuisine, especially if one has a hankering for all the well known delicacies but as an occasional treat, Hokkaido is the place to go to for the freshest goodies. They do however have reasonably priced dishes on their very extensive menu and also affordable set lunches (30 varieties) which are very popular with the local office crowd – RM18-RM60.

Kit taught me a Japanese style of ordering where you say to them that you want the Omakase menu at a preset price per person which you decide. The Chef then figures out what he can afford to give you at the price you set. Of course a Kaiseki (a meal with many small tastings like the western Degustation) menu similar to the one described earlier for the IWFS, is also available but this needs to be ordered well in advance.

Hokkaido Japanese Cuisine - musings on foodAll in all a heavenly treat for the taste buds.

Hokkaido Japanese Cuisine
7 & 9 Medan Ipoh 1D, Medan Ipoh Bistari
Tel: 05 545 9076; Loke Mun Kit: 012 503 5203 or Sabrina Soong: 012 503 5213.