Tag Archives: Ipoh Echo Issue 152

Long-Bar Upgrade

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Royal Ipoh ClubThe Royal Ipoh Club held a fellowship gathering recently exclusively for its members. It was to mark the completion of the iconic Long Bar which was upgraded at a cost of over RM95,000.

The Long Bar, an integral part of the club’s century-old history, was donated by tin miner Eu Tong Sen in the 1920s. It was “cut from a single tree trunk”.

The upgrading incorporates a new-look bar with hidden lights, low ceiling, console-box air conditioners and a huge television screen. It also has an enclosed side room which can comfortably accommodate a score.

The evening’s get-together was well attended by members and guests who must have missed out on the camaraderie caused by the bar’s enforced closure.

Royal Ipoh ClubJAG

SeeFoon Gets Crabby in Ipoh Garden East

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musings on food - food reviews

Musings on Food
by See Foon Chan-Koppen

I had been hearing murmurings about a new restaurant in Ipoh Garden East with their fabulous crab dishes for a few months now and have been making mental notes to check out the place when the President of the Ipoh Wine and Food Society (IWFS), Leong Keng Yuen decided to call a committee meeting at Crab House, I was thrilled and made sure I was free to attend.

I was glad that I did, for little did I know that this is the location of a former favourite haunt of mine called Tai Sing and since its demise, has been taken over by an enterprising couple with husband W.S. Wang creatively manning the kitchen and his wife Fanny Chan amiably and efficiently supervising the service.

The night of the IWFS committee meeting, I was introduced to a sampling of the menu which left me hankering for more and I promptly, with my foodie friend Ginla Foo, organised a table for ten a few days later to really give full reign to the creativity of Chef Wang.

Memorable Dishes

I shall mention the memorable dishes I sampled before coming to the crabs. For an appetiser while waiting for the main meal to be served, we were given a plate of fried cuttlefish served  thin and crispy contrasting well with the crunchy Thai salad beneath.

For a first dish, a stainless steel pot with hot volcanic lava stones was set on the table, fresh large local prawns placed on the perforated tray inside, hissing and sizzling as beer followed by brandy were poured over the prawns and left for precisely 8 minutes with the lid on. The resulting prawns were baked to perfection, redolent with the fragrance of the liquor. No wonder they are aptly named ‘Sauna Prawns’. RM8 per 100 gms. Available any time.

Chinese “Haggis”

The next was a most unusual presentation of Kampung Chicken I have ever tasted anywhere in my entire culinary journey. The concept is not unlike the Scottish Haggis where a whole sheep’s stomach is stuffed with delectables and cooked. In the Chinese version, a whole chicken is stuffed inside a whole pig’s stomach, with a generous amount of gingko nuts, delicately seasoned, braised and served whole. It required scissors to cut through the stomach, revealing the succulent chicken inside, the meat falling off the bone, tender and juicy with all the flavours of the chicken intact through the whole cooking process, cocooned by the stomach which was tender and a taste treat all on its own. The resulting sauce had a creamy mouth feel, delicately and subtly flavoured, with nuances that only the best homemade chicken stock offer. RM48. Must be ordered in advance.

Other Signature Dishes

The soup that followed was a delight, combining small fresh mushrooms with cabbage, wood ear fungus, bean vermicelli or Tung Fun with taro chunks acting as the slight thickening agent. Having been assured by Fanny that no MSG is used in the kitchen, I could revel in the ‘umami’ sweetness of the soup and all its ingredients. RM12 – small, RM20 – large.

Chef Wang likes his pumpkin, as the next two dishes had pumpkin as its main attraction. He was quick to point out  that he only uses Japanese pumpkin which is not always available and is much more expensive than the local variety. However, judging by the sweetness and texture of the pumpkin which was served, well worth paying the extra money for.

The first pumpkin dish to be served was the homemade tofu smothered in a pumpkin sauce peppered with diced potatoes, carrots, water chestnuts, crunchy French beans, peas and  diced prawns; the tofu, quiveringly smooth; the pumpkin lending its mellow sweetness to the sauce, embellished by the other ingredients. RM12 – small. RM24 – large. Check on availability when booking.

The next was an extravagance of fried rice served in a whole pumpkin with salted egg yolk, mushrooms, meat, Chinese sausage, each grain of rice fluffy without being over-oily and when scooped up with some of the soft sweet pumpkin flesh, a taste treat on its own. RM30 – to be ordered in advance.

Crabs from Indonesia

And then we came to the crabs, from which the restaurant take its name. All the crabs served in the Crab House are from Indonesia, big meaty morsels done a variety of ways. On the first occasion I was there I had the chilli crab which could beat anything offered in Singapore hands down…not too sweet, with the right amount of sauce which they serve with Man Tou (Chinese steamed breads) to sop up the gravy.

But the pièce de résistance has to be the special preparation which Chef Wang created, Roe Crab stuffed with glutinous rice. The crab was full of roe, utterly fresh and the rice stuffing infused with crab roe, the most unusual recipe I have ever come across. Kudos to the chef’s skill. Crabs are sold at RM88 per kilo and the style of preparation is per your choice. Of course Chef Wang is always ready to make some innovative suggestions.

To top it all off, a ‘must-have’ dessert is their coconut jelly served in a whole coconut. Not too sweet and the jelly made with santan (coconut milk) and coconut water; the perfect end to a great meal.

Crab House (air conditioned)
32 Laluan Perajurit 1, Taman Ipoh Timur
Tel: Fanny Chan, 012-565 7723;  W.S. Wang, 014-940 8500
GPS co-ordinates: 4 616 733, 101 125117
Open 7 days a week, 11am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-11pm
Air conditioned private room available upstairs.

 

S.O.S Grand Opening

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Ipoh’s newest club on the block, S.O.S or Sensation of Sound held its grand opening in mid September with a sound thumping blast belted out by popular Taiwanese Hip‑hop and Rap group, Sugar Daddy together with their Malaysian vocalist Leng Yein.

 

Sensation of Sound

S.O.S Club was the former Grand Theatre and its operator Dawson Gan and friends have transformed it into a glitzy club on the inside while also giving its outer facade a new makeover, trapezoids and all.

S.O.S’s hot dancers provided the warm up with Lady Gaga impersonations plus popular Gangnam moves which got the crowd started. By the time Sugar Daddy came on, the temperature had notched up a few degrees. Obviously Leng Yein’s hot dance moves too, helped contribute to the temperature rising.

Incidentally Sugar Daddy’s new album released a week earlier was on that day at the number 4 spot in terms of G-Music’s Chinese music sales charts for the week.

S.O.S is open every day except Monday and will have its own 9-piece Filipino band consisting of four musicians and five vocalists.

JAG

Kudos to MBI Lady Manual Worker Extraordinaire

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Clear view at road junction

Years ago, there was a mini rubbish dump beside the junction of Jalan Bunga Susun Kelapa  and Jalan Bunga Raya in Pasir Pinji, Ipoh. Irresponsible people came to dump rubbish at the small, empty plot of land there. They came from all over, on foot, on bicycles or motorbikes, in cars and pick-up trucks to dump kitchen waste, garden refuse and building renovation debris. MBI could not solve the problem as the litterers came faster than the MBI garbage trucks could take the rubbish away. As soon as a garbage truck left, the place was littered again with stray dogs scavenging the garbage – causing a stench and litter all over the place.

Then an MBI lady-worker took the initiative to plant a few crinum lily plants and some wild taro plants around that mini dump site. She must have taken the plants – plant by plant – on, either, her bicycle or motorbike from her kampong and the jungle fringe. She made sure that the plants would not obstruct the view of drivers stopping at the junction proper of Jalan Bunga Susun Kelapa and Jalan Bunga Raya. She planted a few taller plants away from the junction to prevent small lorries from reversing to dump building renovation debris. She would spend time, after her road-cleaning chores, to nurture the plants and to clear that area of weeds and litter. Soon, that ugly, stinking mini dump was no more. It became a beautiful mini garden! Unfortunately, she was transferred from that part of Pasir Pinji, a few years later.

Now, a motorist has written to the MBI to remove the plants. I guess the complainant just wants to have a clear view, from a few cars back from the junction proper, so that he could just shoot out of the junction without stopping. The complainant has no cause to complain, as he needs to stop at the junction proper where he would be able to have a very clear view of traffic coming from Jalan Bunga Raya. All motorists must stop at the junction proper.

I hope MBI will not entertain that complaint but help to maintain the area by spraying weedkiller to kill the lallang and weeds every once in a while, instead. Keep up the good work of that unique worker. MBI should trace the lady manual worker who had the innovative idea to get rid of that  horrible, stinking, eye-sore of a dump and commend her for her extraordinary work. I guess she must be continuing her excellent work in other areas too, to keep Ipoh clean and green. Well done!

Luke Teoh

Street Procession

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Thousands of people from all walks of life converged at Dataran MBI on the evening of Friday, September 7 to witness a colourful street procession and cultural performances.

Dubbed “Citra Perak Amanjaya”, the inaugural event, held to showcase the colours of Perak in line with the new philosophy to “think tourism, do tourism”, was organised by the state in conjunction with Visit Perak Year 2012. It was launched by Perak Chief Minister Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir. Executive Councillor for Tourism, Dato’ Hamidah Osman, State Secretary Dato’ Abdul Puhat Mat Nayan, Ipoh City Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim and other dignitaries were in attendance.

A line-up of local artistes under the banner of Barisan Artis Nasional (BAN), led by its President and Visit Perak Year ambassador, Dato’ AC Mizal, who was also the co-emcee for the night, was on hand to liven up the evening. Some 36 contingents took part in the street procession that began at Bangunan Maju UMNO along Jalan Sultan Idris Shah and ending up at Dataran MBI.

Besides cultural dances by children and adults, all ten districts in Perak were represented, each introduced tourist attractions and places of interests from their district with the aim of promoting tourism in the state. Dances of the major races were also showcased.

Schools in Ipoh were not left out with groups of students involved in synchronised dancing. Brass bands from SM Anglo Chinese, SMK Menglembu, SMJK Sam Tet, SMJK Ave Maria Convent and SMK St Michael participated in the parade. Invited contingents from two states, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka, added colour to event.

The street fiesta officially closed with a round of explosive fireworks, after rock queen, Ella, rendered two songs, “Rama-Rama” and “Standing in the Eyes of the World” to the delight of fans.

Emily

Houses for Asli Families

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Five Orang Asli families from Kampung Mu, Sungai Siput can heave sighs of relief as proud owners of a 3-bedroom brick house each. The houses, measuring 20 ft x 30 ft, were built by army engineers from the 2nd Infantry Division based in Taiping.

Commander 2nd Infantry Brigade, Brig-Gen Dato’ Md Dzahir Abdul Rashid handed over keys to the houses during a simple ceremony at the site recently. Present at the ceremony was the Adun for Lintang, Dato’ Ahamad Pakeh Adam.

The project took nearly five months to complete and required the resources of the entire engineer regiment of the division. “This is the biggest project undertaken by the regiment,” said the brigade commander.

Recipient Ismail Hussein, 62, was elated by the gift. Ismail and his family of eight have been staying in a dilapidated hut in the kampong. “I’ve a big family. This new house is a welcome sight for us,” he remarked. Jamilah Pandak, 32, was similarly moved by the gesture. She thanked the government for making her father’s dream come true.

The housing project is a joint effort by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development.

RN

Walkabout – A Feather in YBU’s Cap

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Despite a heavy downpour that preceded the Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU) organised walkabout, it did not dampen the spirits of the 800-odd participants. The walkers, consisting of volunteers and staff of the foundation, had gathered at the Ipoh Padang, some as early as 6.30am, to be part of the momentous occasion. And since it was held on Malaysia Day, Sunday, September 16, its significance was assured.

The inclement weather prevented the organisers from starting the event at the scheduled time of 7.30am. They had to wait for over an hour to begin the walk. Hairul Anwar Mohamed Noor, YBU’s Chief Financial Officer flagged off the event at 8.45am. By then the pouring rain had reduced to a drizzle. Present along with Hairul were Jodh Singh, YBU’s International Relationships and Volunteer Unit Manager and Keshwinder Singh (volunteers ambassador).

The walkabout took the participants through the city centre. Their first stop was the Central Market. They distributed pamphlets on YBU and helped clean up the wet market. The traders were surprised by the participants’ magnanimity and eagerly joined in the impromptu “gotong-royong”.

The participants were divided into ten teams and each team was assigned a sector. True to form, they went about their tasks with vigour. “This is a fine example of volunteerism,” said Jodh Singh to Ipoh Echo. “The volunteers are the foundation’s eyes and ears and will provide the necessary feedback the foundation needs,” he added.

Upon completing their rounds, the participants converged at the open square in Little India for the official launch. Khairul Azwan Harun, the foundation’s Deputy Chairman, in his opening remarks declared that activities by volunteers were never funded by the foundation as alleged by some quarters.  “There is no special funding for voluntary works,” he posited. The occasion too marked the appointment of rapper Cat Farish as YBU’s ambassador. Farish was present at the launch.

RM

Forum on Handling of Strays

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Ipoh City Council held a public forum recently to discuss how to handle strays. The forum was held at the council auditorium. This came after Noah’s Ark Ipoh, an animal rights group, held a candlelight vigil outside the Chief Minister’s official residence in protest against the Council’s cruel methods of killing and disposing of strays.

Five professionals, all with community-service backgrounds made up the panel with the Council’s Secretary, Dato’ Abdul Rahim Mat Arif as the moderator. The five were veterinarian Dr Ranjit Kaur, founder and treasurer of Noah’s Ark Ipoh, Dr Hassuzana Khalil, State Veterinary Department Deputy Director, Zulkifli Abbas, Klang Municipal Council acting health director and Joy Elia Saga, Ipoh Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) Secretary.

According to Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, who officiated the forum, City Council is not allowed to shoot strays unless they are aggressive and have diseases such as rabies.

Dr Ranjit urged the public to be responsible in caring for their pets. “Avoid unwanted litters as a large portion of the city’s strays were made up of abandoned and unwanted litters.”

Since the Council does not have a pound, pet owners whose dogs are captured cannot claim their pets. Rahim said that the Council was unsuccessful in curbing the large number of strays. The shooting of strays had not reduced the number. One solution is to enlarge the capacity of ISPCA. He promised the society an annual grant of RM10,000.

Tiffany

Painting and Calligraphy Fest to Mark National Day

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University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)In conjunction with Malaysia’s 55th Independence Day, UTAR Centre for Extension Education in collaboration with 1 Malaysia Artistic Association and Malaysia Institute of Arts Alumni as the main sponsors, organised the National Day Artistic Painting and Calligraphy Competition 2012 at UTAR Perak Campus on September 8.

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and all 51 participants elevated the competition to a fine art by producing incredible drawings which turned out to be a feast for the eyes.

The competition was divided into two categories, Category 1 – Western Arts and Category 2 – Chinese Calligraphy. Category 1 was divided into 4 groups according to age, namely Group A (Age 7 to 9), B (Age 10 to 12), C (Age 13 to 15) and D (Age 16 and above). Category 2 was divided into two groups that are, Group A (Age 7 to 15) and Group B (Age 16 and above). All the groups were given a theme and the participants were required to draw according to the theme.

Armed with their brushes and other colouring aids, the participants demonstrated their talent on white paper. Colourful and creative ideas which portrayed the unity among Malaysians were well depicted in the drawings. Participants of the Chinese Calligraphy category displayed their talent by producing excellent pieces of paintings.

All the winning groups from both categories will be awarded cash prizes and certificates of appreciation in a prize-giving ceremony that will be held in December.

Cantonese Opera

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Sung Hung Bor & Ko Lai

In conjunction with the annual Guan Di temple’s celebration in Batu Gajah, local Cantonese opera enthusiasts were given a rare treat of opera performance for 20 consecutively nights.

The troupe leader of Ching Yin Cantonese Opera Troupe, Choy Poh Peng had invited veteran opera performer from Hong Kong, Ko Lai and up-and-coming star Sung Hung Bor, taking the role of the main lead female “Dan” and male “Shen”, respectively. Ko Lai, a well-known Hong Kong opera performer, has a stream of local fans and followers. Her collaboration with Sung Hung Bor, had indeed proven to be a great hit among local fans.

 Lee Choe Leong

Ching Yin Cantonese Opera Troupe
Sung Kong Slaughtering His Concubine
Ching Yin Cantonese Opera Troupe
Sung Hung Bor & Fong Teck Har
Ching Yin Cantonese Opera Troupe
Choy Poh Peng – Troupe leader & Sung Hung Bor