On Ipoh Food

By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen

Moonlight Treasure Restaurant IpohIt’s amazing what my notoriety as a food reviewer can bring. Here I was sitting one day in Crab House, my favourite Chinese restaurant when Fanny, the female half of the proprietorship told me that she had a brother a Master Hoong (Feng Shui) who also owned a restaurant and would I care to taste the food there?

I acquiesced but gave my usual caveat that I don’t and won’t promise a written review if I didn’t find the food up to scratch.

So off we went one fine sunny lunchtime and sat down to dish after dish of what Chef KP Wong proudly presented.

To start with, their pickled papaya which is given gratis at every table is delicious. It is homemade and had all the right tastes (sweet without being cloying, sour without cringing), textures (crunchy) and made me crave to take a whole bottle home.

Our first dish was chef’s pork belly deep fried served on ‘Dao Pau’ a type of Tofu ‘pau’ that is quite rare these days. Topped by a sweetish sauce, the pork belly with some crispiness juxtaposed against the soft tofu was a good balance – RM20 for four.

Moonlight Treasure Restaurant Ipoh

Moonlight Treasure Restaurant Ipoh

One dish which appears to have gone out of style and it was good to be reminded on how good it actually tastes is the Yeen Yeong Kai Lan, kale whose leaves are slivered and crisped contrasting with the sauteed stems which were crunchy and juicy – RM16.

Their homemade tofu appears to be one of their signature specialties and served as a miniature mound, topped with a choice of anything from shrimp to fish to pork to squid, with or without sauce, is a delight. Called Kam San Tofu (Golden Mountain) this is a ‘must order’  dish in this restaurant. Begins at RM26.

Moonlight Treasure Restaurant Ipoh

Moonlight Treasure Restaurant Ipoh

As their menu features a lot of ‘Ka Heong’ dishes, I asked if they do some of my favourite dishes to which Chef Wong obliged by producing a plate of fried large intestines and sauteed fallopian tube. A real treat for me as I can seldom find this as most people are squeamish about offal (on order).

Their next dish was equally exotic, a Dao Si (preserved black beans) Yau Mak, Kembong fish which is pickled and served on romaine lettuce. Yummilicious if you like Dao SiRM13.

Moonlight Treasure Restaurant Ipoh

Their Sambal Lo Shu Fun was unusual although lacking in ‘oomph’ factor and could afford to go stronger on both the belacan and the chillies and could be more generous with the crispy lardons – RM12 small.

Herbal Pork Knuckle (RM28) was tender and umami and their Ham Yu Yoke Pang, which can be steamed or deep fried is just like grandma used to make.

Moonlight Treasure Restaurant Ipoh

Baby Bak Choy with Goji Berries and Dong Guai was an interesting departure from the usual green vegetable norm with the Dong Guai permeating  the  whole dish. For those who enjoy the smell and taste of this pungent herb, wonderful. For those who don’t, please do not order – RM16.

Moonlight Treasure Restaurant Ipoh

Moonlight is indeed a hidden treasure, offering a vast choice from country style cooking to grand displays of one dish meals….all elaborately displayed and perfect for celebrations. You’ll have to go to the restaurant to see the selection and discuss with the very helpful Ah Fong who will help you to decide.  If a special dish is what you’re hankering for, like something your Grandma used to make, ask the chef if he can arrange it. Chef Wong is very helpful and amenable.

MOONLIGHT TREASURE
105-107 Jalan Chung Ah Ming, 31650 Ipoh.
GPS:  4°34’51.5”N 101°04’57.8”E
Tel:  05 242 2666 or 016 526 1517
Business hours:  11am-2.30pm; 5.30pm-10.30pm daily.
Closed Thursdays