Tag Archives: Hawker Food

Rojak Pasembor

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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
RM3.50

Rojak Greentown
Medan Selera Greentown (opp Greentown mall)
Opens daily, 9am – 7pm, Friday 1-2pm close
RM3.50
Branch: Restoran Rojak Greentown
No 81, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Greentown
Opens daily, 9am – 7pm, Friday 1-2pm close
RM3.50

Rojak Maxwell
Roadside stall @ junction into Cherry Park (Opp. Mahkamah Syariah)
Opens 11.30am – 6pm, daily
RM3.40

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

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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.

VWSL

Freshly-Baked Wholesome Breads

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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

ipoh echo issue 140, see foon chan-koppen, musings on food, ipoh food

SeeFoon gets hot and steamy in Gunung Rapat

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See Foon Chan-KoppenBy See Foon Chan Koppen

I’m not usually a fan of steamboat unless they’re specially ordered in advance from some of my favourite restaurants where I know the chefs and where they’ll make the stock from scratch. Then I can rest assured that I won’t leave with a bad case of MSG allergy to which I am very prone.

ipoh echo issue 140, see foon chan-koppen, musings on food, ipoh foodMost of the dedicated steamboat restaurants I’m afraid, fall into the ‘make-stock-with-a-heaping-teaspoon-of-MSG’ category and these I avoid like the plague. It was therefore with some trepidation that I accepted an invitation to try out the newly opened Super Taste Steamboat Restaurant in Gunung Rapat.

It is not the easiest to find but if you travel on Jalan Musa Mahadi which is the main road leading to Jalan Gopeng and past MayBank on the left, look out for the mini market Yoon Foong and turn left at that junction. Go 1.2 km on that road until you reach Persiaran Wira Jaya Timur 23. Turn in and go all the way to the end and there on five shop lots is Super Taste Steamboat Restaurant.

ipoh echo issue 140, see foon chan-koppen, musings on food, ipoh foodipoh echo issue 140, see foon chan-koppen, musings on food, ipoh foodipoh echo issue 140, see foon chan-koppen, musings on food, ipoh foodipoh echo issue 140, see foon chan-koppen, musings on food, ipoh foodipoh echo issue 140, see foon chan-koppen, musings on food, ipoh foodThis is a family affair with brothers John and Johnny, Johnny’s wife and a whole clan of other family members and their friends, proudly demonstrating their culinary skills as they pool resources to produce all the soups, sauces and other ready made ingredients that go into the steamboat.

This is what makes this steamboat special. All the stock is homemade with a choice of spicy Tom Yam or clear stock which is served in separate pots. So those who wish to have their food more spicy can cook their ingredients in the spicy soup while those preferring a milder taste can use the clear stock.

All the dips and sauces too are special, with a choice of four different concoctions to choose from. As each person has four dips in front of them, one is certainly spoilt for choice. None of the factory made standard chilli sauce here. Each sauce is unique and stands on its own merit, all concocted by family member Angie Ng. There is the red chilli sauce made with fresh chillies, garlic and fresh herbs; the satay sauce made with fresh red chillies, galangal, lemongrass, toasted peanuts and other fresh herbs; the green chilli sauce, a combination of green chilli padi, garlic, lime and fresh herbs; and the house oyster sauce (her own creation) – green chilli padi, garlic, coriander and other fresh herbs.

The choice of ingredients for the steamboat is huge. There is the usual sampling of fish balls, fish cakes, fish wantons, sotong ball, etc., but worth ordering are their homemade items like the dumpling, the pork tendon dumpling, the pork meat ball and the homemade fried bean curd dumpling which are much tastier than the factory produced varieties to which our palates have grown jaded.

There is a profusion of vegetables to choose from, a sampling include watercress, Chinese cabbage, Choy Sum, Pak Choy, Tong Ho and broccoli or Kailan as well as mushrooms like oyster and Enoki.

Side dishes include tofu, dried seaweed, egg, vermicelli and deep fried noodles. Meat dishes include sliced beef, sliced pork belly, pork liver, pork intestines and chicken.

But it is the seafood selection that captures one’s attention and taste buds. Weekdays will see the usual offering of sliced grouper, prawns, scallops, clams, mussels, squid, jelly fish and fish maw but weekends is when the place becomes packed.

Weekends is when the live fish come in from Pantai Remis and further afield and families would gather here to eat the live flower crabs, whole pomfret, sometimes mantis prawns and whatever other live goodies are available. These are understandably sold at seasonal prices.

A Super Taste Set is available at RM15.00 per person for a minimum of two people as are wok fried a’ la carte dishes. I would recommend going on a weekend although one may have to queue for a table but the steamboat with the fresh caught seafood will definitely be worth the wait.

Super Taste Steamboat
1A-9A, Persiaran Wira Jaya Timur 23A, Taman Panglima, 31350 Ipoh, Malaysia.
Tel.: +60 135148884
GPS Location: N 04.34.242   E 101.08.286
Open Monday to Sunday: 5.30-10.30 p.m.

 


Wonton Mee (Revisited)

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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:

Morning:

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

 

Night:

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.

Nasi Lemak (Revisited)

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Nasi Lemak - Hawker food
Nasi Lemak

It may be safe to say that nasi lemak is the unofficial favourite breakfast of most Malaysians. With that in mind, it was worth taking a second look and this time we have included the more elaborate stalls which offer a variety of other dishes. The ‘lemak’ comes from the rice cooked with coconut cream and pandan or ginger added for fragrance. Nasi lemak can be as simple as topping with ikan bilis sambal or fried ikan bilis, cucumber slices, fried peanuts and a segment of a hard-boiled egg; or it can be more elaborate with the additional of: fried chicken, rendang, curry, sotong sambal, cooked vegetables and topped with a fried egg. Whatever your preference is, one is spoilt for choice.

 

Morning stalls:

Canning Corner (Halal), Jalan Lee Kwee Foh, Canning Garden
Gingery fragrant rice with spicy sambal. Value for money – only 80 sen without an egg.

Pusat Makanan dan Minuman YY, Jalan Che Tak (New Town)
Pre packed at RM1.30 each. Very tasty with ikan bilis sambal, a quarter egg, fried peanuts and cucumber.

Neli’s Deli (Halal), 71 Jalan Raja Ekram (New Town)
Rice topped with spicy sambal, lots of small delicious crispy fried ikan bilis and a fried egg sunny side up – RM2.50 – also has sotong sambal.
Monday-Friday: 8.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m., Saturday: 8.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. Sundays closed.

Kedai Kopi Sin Choi Yuen, 45 Taman Sembilan, Taman Pertama
Nasi lemak comes with sambal, fried ikan bilis and peanuts – RM3. It is a little bit sweet.

Night stalls:

Nasi Pandan @ Aneka Selera Ipoh Garden (Glutton Square)
Not your usual lemak rice but tasty pandan rice with ikan bilis sambal, cucumber and a fried egg; you can add other dishes too – RM3.50.

Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang (Halal), Jln Fair Park a short distance from 7-Eleven
Lovely lady selling cone-shaped bundles of nasi lemak neatly wrapped in banana leaf – RM1.50. Fragrant rice topped with ikan bilis sambal, a bit of salted fish, half an hard-boiled egg and cooked french beans. She is there from 6.30 p.m. and on weekends from 5.00 p.m.

Nasi Lemak Malay (Halal) @ Kafe WK Garden East, 6 Jalan Medan Ipoh 2, Taman Medan Ipoh
Fragrant rice with spicy sambal, fried ikan bilis and peanuts. Different varieties of nasi lemak from RM3-5.

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-Koppen

SeeFoon’s battle with buffets

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See Foon Chan-KoppenMusings on Food

By See F00n Chan-Koppen

I have always had a love/hate relationship with buffets. On the one hand the quality of food and cooking is often suspect and on the other, the variety of food is so diverse, that one inevitably will find a few items to suit one’s palate. Buffets are where I bring my ‘big’ guys like my son and my nephew where they can tuck in to their hearts’ content while I leisurely pick at their plates, tasting a morsel here and a bite there, having the opportunity to sample every thing else till I find the few that I really want to savour, before I make a move for my selection.

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-KoppenThis was precisely the strategy I employed recently when I went to Taro, the newly-opened Fusion Japanese restaurant in Greentown. Located almost directly opposite Maria’s and Chayo in Greentown Business centre in a standalone bungalow house, Taro shares premises with Kon Shong, a Karaoke lounge upstairs.

Strictly Buffet

Strictly Buffet only, the restaurant can seat more than a 150 people and is open for both lunch and dinner seven days a week. At RM59.90 for lunch and RM69.90 for dinner per person, the restaurant offers good value for money with over 100 items of food on offer. The extra RM10 for dinner covers the fresh made-to-order hand rolls with no limit on the number of orders!

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-KoppenService is friendly and helpful, with plates being cleared from one’s table as they’re emptied and fresh cooked items delivered promptly as soon as they’re ready.

As Managing Director Peter Ngui, who has worked in Japan for a number of years and whose brainchild it is, explained, Taro aims to please the large middle market with its pricing policy, variety and quality. Their special discounts for seniors aged over 60 and children under 130cm in height of a generous 50% while those below 90cm eat for free, make it economical enough for whole families to dine out and be given a Japanese food treat which under normal circumstances would cost an arm and a leg.

Staggering Variety

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-KoppenThe choice and variety is staggering. The system consists of clips which are on your table. As you move around from station to station, there may be stations where the food is cooked a’ la minute and you’d drop a clip with your table number into the bowl indicated for that particular item and the food is delivered to your table when ready.

A drinks counter serves a choice of fresh made fruit juices sweetened with fructose but you can tell them to hold the sugar as I do when I order.  And right beside that I spied a Haagen Daz freezer chest with a choice of five flavours, which is part of the buffet!

Cold and Hot Sections

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-KoppenIn the cold section you’ll find 4-5 types of Sashimi, all kinds of sushi, jelly fish, fresh oysters, seaweed, kimchi, tofu, different types of soba with help-yourself-sauces. For dinner, there is the additional choice of fresh made hand rolls with selections of 4-5 alternating between salmon, shrimp, tuna, California, Unagi (eel) and which may change from day to day. The California hand roll which I ordered arrived with the Nori (seaweed) still crisp and crunchy, a defining quality of a good hand roll.

In the hot section, the choice is even more boundless. Cheese topped baked oysters, grilled large prawns, salmon, Saba fish, fried Shisamo (the special fish which is full of roe), soft shell crab, Unagi or eel, Tempura prawns, fish, and vegetables and not to mention the teppanyaki table where the chef behind the counter is constantly busy frying up diners’ choice of beef, chicken, lamb, seafood, and whatever is their hearts’ desire from a generous selection. And I must mention the individual ‘Nabe’ which are claypots of selected seafood, tofu and vegetables served in a choice of broth and cooked at the table.

In the steam section, Chawan Mushi (Japanese savoury steamed egg custard) vie for attention with Herbal Soup, while elsewhere, ready prepared fried noodles, mixed vegetables and even snacks like peanuts, and other children’s favourites await the eager diner.

Finally for dessert, if the Haagen Daz section does not call to you, go to the refrigerator where fruits, jellies, cakes, custard tarts and other sweets await.

Musings on Food - Taro Japanese Fusion Buffet - See Foon Chan-KoppenTaro Japanese Fusion Buffet
131 Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Greentown, 30450 Ipoh.
Tel: 05-241 2551

Operations Manager Chloe Liew: 016-2031711
Open 7 days a week

Lunch: 12.00-3.00 p.m.
Dinner:
6.00-10.30 p.m.

Pork Free

Luk-luk

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Hawker Food

Ipoh hawker food - Luk-Luk - steamboatIf you’re a Malaysian, chances are you’ll love luk-lukLuk-luk comes from the Cantonese word ‘luk’ which is to boil.  So the concept for luk-luk is like steamboat, except that the ingredients are presented on skewers.  The process is simple, just choose what you fancy, then dip your selected skewers into the hot boiling water until cooked.

These luk-luk stalls are usually set up on a vehicle such as a motorcycle or a van with up to 30 varieties of food ranging from meat to vegetables on skewers. The price is usually 70 cents per stick although there are some modern stalls located at pub areas offering not just the steamboat version, but also the barbeque version. These are usually priced above RM1.

The best thing about luk-luk is that you get to dip your cooked food in a variety of sauces. They are usually chilli, sweet sauce or satay sauce.  Some stalls offer tom yam sauce and sesame chilli sauce in addition to the standard sauces in order to attract more patrons.

Places to try in Ipoh:

Night markets

A variety of luk-luk stalls ply the night market scene, each offering anywhere between 25 to 30 varieties of luk-luk priced at 70 cents each.  Opens usually by 7pm till about 11pm.

Monday – Ipoh Jaya

Tuesday – Medan Ipoh (behind Tesco)

Wednesday – Stadium, Ipoh Garden, Rapat Setia

Thursday – Taman SPPK (Pasir Putih)

Friday – First Garden, Ampang

Saturday – Menglembu (near the flats)

Sunday – Taman Cempaka

Menglembu market

Stationed outside the market. Opens daily, beginning at around 3pm till evening. 70 cents per stick.

Buntong

Stationed under a shady tree near the market.  Opens daily, beginning at 3pm till evening. 70 cents per stick.

Ipoh Garden South

Located opposite Kafe Sentosa, down the road from Pizza Hut. Opens daily, beginning at about 3.30pm till early morning. 70 cents per stick.

Pub areas

These vans offer both steamboat version, as well as the option to grill the ingredients. Prices above RM1 per stick. Located around Medan Ipoh, Persiaran Greenhill (outside St Patrick), Station 18 (behind Tesco Extra). Opens after 9pm till early morning.

Restoran Splendid, Ipoh Garden East, Ipoh

SeeFoon checks out street corners in Ipoh Garden East

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By See Foon Chan-Koppen

Ipoh is often touted to have more good eating places per square kilometre than most other cities in Malaysia. It is almost impossible to have a disastrous meal in Ipoh – (I know I can hear some of you protesting) – if one goes by certain rules of thumb when being adventurous and walking in to unknown restaurants to try their fare.

Without patronising the gourmands out there who read this column and who know all this, I am offering here a few tips to keep in mind for the food novices amongst you, when going to a new place.  Firstly, do not walk in if the place is empty. If it is packed to capacity, it’s a good sign. Secondly, as you’re walking to an empty table, glance around at all the other tables and notice what others are eating and what looks appealing. Thirdly, ask for the head person/boss/chef/whatever and ask for his recommendations, his signature dishes and lastly what do most of his customers order. With these tips in mind, it really is impossible to have a bad meal anywhere in Ipoh.

This is certainly the technique applied by my foodie friend Ginla Foo who brought us recently to Restoran Splendid in Ipoh Garden East. A corner restaurant on the slip road of Hala Bandar Baru Tambun, just after Citrus Restaurant, Splendid is only open at night and is packed especially on weekends when all the families are on their weekly outing.

Daily Soup and Weekend Specials

Restoran Splendid, Ipoh Garden East, IpohProprietor and chef, Soo Kok Yew, and his friendly staff will happily recommend his specialties particularly the ones on weekends which will vary from week to week.

We were there on a weekday and Ginla had ordered the menu which began with braised tofu topped with diced pork and black mushrooms. What was unusual about this particular offering was the base on which the tofu sat, which was a thin egg custard, which when scooped up with the sauce made for a creamy addition to the tofu. RM7/12 for S/M.

The soup of the day was the ‘Fan Got’, a type of taro-like thick root vegetable boiled with pork spare ribs and chicken feet. While most of the westerners at our table shunned the chicken feet, the rest of us Orientals tucked in with gusto, leaving only the root vegetable which is usually not eaten, being terribly fibrous and used primarily to impart its special sweetness to soups. RM15 for a portion for 8 people.

The Ham Dan chicken was next, chunks of chicken fried crisp with the addition of salted egg yoke which was delectably palpable on the surface. The addition of curry leaves added a further piquancy – RM8/12 for S/L.

Restoran Splendid, Ipoh Garden East, IpohAnother meat dish followed, the soya sauce/black vinegar fried spare ribs, tangy, not too cloyingly sweet and with just the right touch of vinegar. RM8/12 for S/L

Signature Prawn Curry

The next dish to arrive was one of their signature dishes, a prawn curry fragranced with turmeric in a thick coconut/milk based curry sauce that was very mild yet redolent with Indian flavours. Prawns at RM8 per 100g. Our dish that evening for eight people had 500g of prawns RM40.

Restoran Splendid, Ipoh Garden East, IpohHard on its heels were the Assam Fish Head, pungent, sweet chunks of fish head cooked with okra and long beans. RM6 per 100g; the Ham Yu Fah Lam Po, thin slices of pork belly sautéed with onions, dried red chilli and that overriding aroma of salted fish, RM8/12 and the Eggplant fried with belacan RM7/10, all of which were scrumptious.

As we sat there in semi stupor after all the dishes had been wolfed down with alacrity, the aroma of Wat Dan Hor (smooth egg rice noodles) wafted by and we watched with longing as plates of noodles and different types of rice dishes were served to the late ‘supper’ crowd.

Restoran Splendid, Ipoh Garden East, IpohWe asked for the list of noodle and rice dishes and was handed a very extensive menu with tempting items like Fried venison with dried chilli; bitter gourd chicken rice; dried chilli sour Mantis prawn rice, salted fish rice; special venison rice and sambal petai rice. We all then made a vow to return another evening to sample some of these which ranged in price from a reasonable RM3.50 for the simple noodle and rice dishes to RM8.00 for the fancier venison versions.

Restoran Splendid, Ipoh Garden East, IpohRestoran Splendid
#1 Hala Bandar Baru Tambun 18, Desa Tambun Indah, 31400 Ipoh
Tel: Soo 012-5738822     Open : 5.00-11.00 p.m.
Closed : every other Tuesday

Laksa Lemak

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laksa lemakLaksa Lemak is not as ubiquitous as its cousin, the laksa asam. One would be hard pressed to find a stall around the corner. It is more popular down south in Johor, or even further down south, in Singapore. In Ipoh, it is also known as Siamese Laksa. Although varying in preparation, the soup or gravy is always made with coconut milk (santan), hence the ‘lemak’ connotation. All ingredients for the fish-based soup are ground and this makes a rich and thick gravy with flavours which may include lemongrass and galangal. Bean curd puffs, fish sticks, shrimp or cockles may be added with garnishes of mint or Vietnamese mint (daun kesum), cucumber, beansprouts, or even pineapple. The Laksa is sometimes served with a spoonful of sambal chilli paste or a calamansi lime (limau kasturi).

 

Try:

Restoran Ko Pi Tim
2 Jalan Medan Ipoh 1D, Medan Ipoh
Gravy is lemak and very tasty with bits of fish.
RM3.30; opens from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Closes 2 days a month.

Turf Club Laksa @ Pusat Makanan Ye Sing (Denny 012-5184223)
25 Jalan Dato Megat Khas, Taman Bandaraya
Gravy is thick and flavourful with the right amount of spiciness.
RM4; add-ons are 60 sen each. Open 12.00-4.30 p.m. Thursdays closed.

Beacon Point (05-5469916)
41 Lintasan Perajurit 6, Taman Perak
RM9.30; Teatime set: with coffee/tea – RM11.30 or with fresh juice – RM12.90
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 9.00 a.m.-3.00 p.m. and 6.30-9.30 p.m.

Weekend places:

Family Cafe (Christine 016-5241848)
19, Laluan Ipoh Permai Satu, Taman Ipoh Permai
RM8.80 – only available on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Open: 7.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 6.00-10.30 p.m. Tuesdays closed.

Yum Yum (05-2537686)
5 Persiaran Greenhill – New Town
RM6 per bowl. Friday lunch only.