By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen
Tucked away at the back of the sprawling Kampar Club is Kampar Home Cuisine. The restaurant has been there a long time but recently there was a change in management and under the helm of the new team and the chef, Fong Chee Khuan, a whole new menu, is offering superlative cuisine in air-conditioned comfort.
With a total capacity of 15 tables plus two private rooms, you will never have to jostle for a parking space and the whole of the Kampar Club’s huge grounds is there for you.
Although they call themselves a home cuisine restaurant, their menu selection is huge, with everything from sea cucumber and shark’s fin, fresh fish and large prawns at seasonal market price. The only item that I didn’t see on their menu was suckling pig and that was because the restaurant is pork free.
I was there to have home cuisine and the items I am describing below suited my taste buds to a T. What was interesting for me is that the directors of the company have their own pepper farm in Perak which I believe is the only one in the state and although they only wholesale, the pepper is used liberally in some of their menu items. Especially fresh green pepper which I adore.
We began with the Chicken with Green Pepper served in a claypot, the pepper permeating all the chicken pieces and creating a small explosion in the mouth as you bite on a pod, not piercingly spicy but a mild tingle; RM28.
Homemade Shanghai Tofu stuffed with chicken meat and topped with small ikan bilis was a lovely contrast, with the crispy fish providing crunch to the soft tofu and the minced chicken lending its umami flavours; RM15.
Eggplant slices braised with minced chicken and presented as an overflowing crown topped with scallions was umami and delectable; RM12. As was their Garupa fish slices with ginger and scallions, the fish ocean fresh and firm and the ginger taking away any fishiness. Ask them to add green pepper to the dish and it should be heavenly; RM60.
Other dishes which really appealed to my tastebuds were the fried sliced lotus pods coated with salted egg yolk RM15; the Yu Lo Mai Fun or fish sauce vermicelli, topped with fried dried squid imparting that inimitable fragrance to the dish. Yummilicious RM10; the large prawns with a premium sauce that was creamy, smooth and umami; seasonal price. The Asam Mixed Seafood with large squid, prawns and ladies fingers was tangy, sweetish but not overly spicy; RM25.
For me the two best dishes, that I thoroughly enjoyed over two meals which I had there, are the Chicken Soup with white peppercorns and the mutton ribs braised with green peppercorns. The chicken soup was umami, and robust the white pepper permeating the soup and the chicken tender and fall-off-the-bone. Available on Saturdays and Sundays only or by special order; RM35/RM70 S/L. The mutton was utterly delectable, succulent rib morsels, the green peppercorns lending its fresh bite to the meat which had been braised for long hours till tender; RM35/70 S/L.
Finally, I have to commend their Fish Maw Soup, slightly tangy, chock full of sliced fungus, mushrooms, crab meat in a rich thick broth given extra kick with black vinegar (optional); RM13 per individual bowl.Kampar Home Cuisine Restaurant8 Jalan Windsor, Off Jalan Gopeng, 30250 Ipoh. Tel: 05 249 3933Andy: 016 5267898Also ask for YukiBusiness hours: 10.30am-2.30pm; 5.30pm-10.30pm. Tuesdays closed.