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Zui Le Xuan – Endless Variety. Old Style Dim Sum. See…Pick…Eat

I have always believed that eye-appeal is as important as taste and if looking at pictures of food makes the mouth water, then seeing the real thing is even more tantalising. It is rare these days to find the old style Dim Sum restaurant where the items are pushed around in a trolley and you pick the dishes which appeal, usually when they are fresh out from the kitchen. Zui Le Xuan is one of these.

It is also rare to find one where they make their own Dim Sum rather than steam or fry up prepared ones from the factory. Zui Le Xuan is one of these. And Dim Sum is hard to make, what with the variety of items, the need for freshness and the delicacy of the various fillings, pastries and wraps. But this is all a snap for the owner Chan Kam of Zui Le Xuan as he comes from years of experience in Dim Sum making having worked as #1 chef at Foh San for many years.

Zui Le Xuan Ipoh

Now with his wife Lam May Foong (Ah Foong) and a partner Cheong Chee Loon, to whom he’s imparted the techniques, they have been running Zui Le Xuan very successfully for more than five years.

Zui Le Xuan Ipoh
Zui Le Xuan Ipoh

The variety here is endless with items changing every day. All the classics of Har GaoSiew MaiChar Siew Pau and Wu Kok are here and are top notch but its the specials which I found exciting. Like the large Phoenix Balls, redolent with 5-spice powder, and generously lardy for a smooth mouthfeel, RM5ginger chicken pao which was excellent at RM2.50 eachTsang Fah Gao or meatball rolled in rice krispies and deep fried, RM4Gai Woh (Chicken Nest) Pao with glutinous rice, black mushrooms, carrots and chicken RM5; excellent fish balls at RM4.50 for two; Steamed Minced Pork topped with century egg RM5; charcoal custard swans with a yam crust, RM2; Bamboo Charcoal Pao filled with oozy salted egg yolk and milk, RM2.50 each. And the list goes on and on. Each one as good as the one preceding. Changing daily.

Zui Le Xuan Ipoh

And finally for many the pièce de résistance, and I admit to not being a fan but I was converted: the “Malai Gao” a 4-layered steamed sponge cake that was wobbly, light and fluffy and one of the best I have eaten. The Tseen Tsang Gao (1000 layer cake) with salted egg yolk and dessicated coconut is one level down in taste and texture but nevertheless excellent, RM4 each.

Zui Le Xuan Dim Sum
28 Jalan Ng Seong Teik,
Taman Pertama, 30100 Ipoh.
(First Garden next to GP Food Court)
N 4° 36.262, E 101° 3.368
7am-2pm, Tuesday closed

Zui Le Xuan Ipoh

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See Foon

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen has been writing a food column called Musings on Food in the Ipoh Echo since 2009. It is widely read both in print as well as online which receives more than 1 million hits a month. Her forte is in communications, having honed her skills after graduating from the University of Singapore where she worked for the Straits Times Group and was a food critic for the New Nation. Her knowledge of food and cooking come from more than 30 years in the hotel industry based in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and subsequently Kuala Lumpur. During this time, she has travelled all over the world and eaten at the best and worst restaurants. She is totally intimate with the subtleties and nuances of most cuisines of the world having been involved in opening over 50 hotels throughout the Asia/Pacific region and China where she helped to conceptualize Food and Beverage themes and critiqued on food quality. SeeFoon calls herself a global citizen and now chooses the serenity and friendliness of Ipoh to the bright lights of the many cities she has lived in. She also loves the food in Ipoh and is passionate about telling the world about it.

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