Meal On Monday: Ipoh Boy KSHF (A Second Opinion)

By KT Leong

I’ve mentioned before that I was on the trail for some Kai Si Hor Fun but got waylaid by a hankering for Wan Ton Mee instead. Well, when my colleague Anne invited me to try out Ipoh Boy KSHF with her, it was a perfect chance for me to sate this craving I’ve been having.

Located at 21, Persiaran Bandar Baru Tambun 16, Taman Ipoh Impian; there is a nice view of some houses with a hilly backdrop. By Ipoh standards, there’s plenty of traffic around the area, but on that particular stretch, the road isn’t particularly congested, leading for a more serene eating experience. Parking was surprisingly full, although there was plenty of sidewalk parking.

Kai Si Hor Fun – RM7
I’m no connoisseur of Kai Si Hor Fun (KSHF), but to me, there’s generally two types. The first is one that leans more to that distinct oil enhanced KSHF flavour, distinguishable by the orange tinge of the broth. The second is one that is less dependent on the oil and is heavier on the various herbs and spices, discernible by a more brown coloured soup. Ipoh Boy KSHF uses the latter style. Which to me, didn’t fill me with confidence as this style has a tendency to be watery.

But boy, was I wrong! The KSHF soup at Ipoh Boy KSHF is thick and very flavourful. The water doesn’t feel separate from the ingredients, but rather, it is very much infused. And despite not being very oily, the water and oil are unified as opposed to tasting like oily water.

This soup is so well infused that the Hor Fun (noodles) have a slight golden sheen to them when you lift them out of the soup, as opposed to the usual pure white.

There’s the usual shredded chicken breast and a shrimp included. The shrimp is nice because it isn’t split in half like at most other KSHF places, so you get to bite into it. But generally I didn’t notice those ingredients that much because they’re quite soft and tender, and I was too busy gulping them down along with the soup.

The price is quite alright given the current economy and inflation. I can’t complain, especially since the dish itself is so nice.

My one complaint was that there wasn’t enough soup (a hallmark of all the good KSHF places), but I was assured that I was only given less so that I could take better pictures. I certainly hope so, just a bit more soup and I would have no complaints at all.

Whole Chicken Thigh (Kampung Chicken) – RM15
I’m not normally a fan of Kampung Chicken. Some people swear by them but for me, I prefer the tenderness of regular chicken. That said, the Kampung Chicken at Ipoh Boy KSHF is very tender… for Kampung Chicken. It’s probably the most tender Kampung Chicken I’ve had in awhile.  The sauce is mild and not salty.

Beansprout – RM3 (small) / RM8 (big)
The bean sprout here are big and crunchy, but not especially juicy. Which is fine by me. It is still certainly worth it. The sauce seems to be the same as with the Kampung Chicken.

Chicken Feet – RM5
Fantastic value for only RM5. The chicken feet are big with nice plump soles. I like Chicken Feet but seldom order it because they can be a hassle to eat and there’s not much there to eat. But the feet here are firm yet easily stripped from the bones, and there’s enough to the sole to bite into. The flavour of the sauce is mild, so you’ll need a more sensitive palate than mine to better taste that distinct flavour of Chicken Feet.

Octopus – RM10 (small) / RM18 (big)
While squid and octopi were favourites of my father, I’ve never been a fan of them as there’s a tendency for them to be tough and chewy. But like all the other items on the Ipoh Boy KSHF menu, the Octopus is very tender yet bouncy. There were, regrettably, a couple pieces that were tough and chewy, but nothing too bad when compared to Octopi at other places. This dish comes with a chilli dip that is entirely non-spicy and has a nice sour kick to it.

Iced Coffee
The standard Kopi Suet. It’s nice and thick, but not bitter or overly earthy. A little bit sweet but overall quite tasty.

One Kai Si Hor Fun to Bind Them All
If you come to Ipoh Boy KSHF, nay, WHEN you come; you definitely have to order the Kai Si Hor Fun itself.

But what you may have noticed in my review of the other items on the menu is that they’re all fairly mild tasting. They’re all tender, with decent texture but while quite nice on their own, are still fairly mild.

However, if you take them alongside the KSHF itself, then it all balances out and becomes unified. The main KSHF dish is so thick and flavourful, that it enhances the side dishes as opposed to the other way around as in other shops.

I don’t normally order a lot of side dishes, but as I was accompanying my colleague Anne, we got to sample a wider variety from the menu. I was expecting the dishes, especially Chicken Feet and Braised Eggs, to clash with the holy trinity of KSHF/Hainanese Chicken/Bean Sprout, but instead, everything was brought together by the KSHF itself.

In Conclusion
I really enjoyed my meal here, which is why I asked Anne to let me do this follow-up to her review. It’s not a place where I was blown away by everything on the menu. Everything tasted nice enough but was elevated by the main dish. All the usually “annoying to eat” foods are easily masticated here because while they are firm, they’re also all very tender. Texture is not really an issue here as the food is too easily wolfed down!

The prices are also good for the area and the current economy. It’s quite competitive actually.

So yes, do come and enjoy the Ipoh Boy KSHF and do feel free to order a side dish or two.

They’re open from 7 am to 2 pm, serving Chicken Rice for lunch. Refer to Anne’s article for more info as well as items on the menu that I haven’t covered.

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