Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ipoh Mali Makan Trip

Happy Deepavali to all my Indian friends and readers!

Since it's a public holiday today and I managed to complete some of my reports, I thought it's time for me to update my abandoned blog! As I was browsing thorough my pile of photos, I can't decide on which to blog first and decided to pick the topic that I think most of you would be interested in.

Yeshhhh! It's yet another makan trip entry with friends :D

Since we have long holidays during the Raya and Merdeka week, my friends organised a day trip to Ipoh and invited me to join them since I haven't been to Ipoh for the longest time. When Malaysians talk about good variety of food, we always think of Penang and Malacca - forgetting that this little town in Perak has a lot to offer too.

Sadly to say, this is an incomplete makan entry for Ipoh because everywhere was crowded and we don't get to try out a few of the popular eateries :( Albeit not being able to post my feedback on those popular eateries, I'll still post up the photos and details for you guys to try out yourself! Just tell me that you love me now!!

So, are you ready to jot down the details of the popular places to eat in Ipoh? You have pen and paper with you? Ready to grow fat with me? Ok, let's proceed!

We started our journey early to up north hoping to have dim sum as breakfast but our hope was diminished the moment we saw the crowd queuing in front of our first destination - Foh San.

Foh San, Ipoh.

Foh San is apparently one of the landmark in Ipoh for dim sum and it's a "must try" when you are in town. I was being told that Foh San has recently moved to this new building as the place's pretty old and small back then. Sincerely, I've never seen any dim sum restaurant that huge in my life! "Best" part of all? It's crowded and people are queuing outside for a table!!

Restoran Foh San Sdn Bhd
51, Jalan Leong Sin Nam
30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 605-254 0308
(6.30am-2pm; Closed every Tuesday)

Since we have a long "makan list" to accomplish, we decided not to wait for Foh San and hopped across the road for another alternative - Ming Court.

Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum, Ipoh.

But look at the crowd T____T

I think we were destined of not getting any dim sum on that day because we were told to wait for quite some time for a table and we decided to just forgo our dim sum breakfast instead.

Many people told me that Ming Court serves better dim sum and provides better service than Foh San despite their small and humble shop. I'm not sure how true it is as I don't get to try them out personally. Maybe when I do in future, I'll post my feedback here again :)

Ming Court Tim Sum Sdn Bhd
32, 34, 36 Jalan Leong Sin Nam
30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 605-255 7134
(Closed on every Thursday)
Located opposite Foh San

There's another popular dim sum place just a stone throw away from Ming Court and Foh San by the name of Yoke Fook Moon and the place has a very classy and expensive exterior and after a little research over the net, their dim sum is indeed, a little upscale compared to Foh San and Ming Court. But their dim sum is fresh nonetheless and they are opened till 11pm!! :D

Restoran Yoke Fook Moon Sdn Bhd
67-69 Jalan Leong Sin Nam
30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 605-241 6589
(6am-10am, 6.30pm-11pm)
Same row as Foh San

Besides being famous for dim sum in Ipoh, how could people not heard of Ipoh hor fun right? We adjourned to Thean Chun coffee shop for their popular "kai si hor fun" a.k.a shredded chicken kuey teow, caramel custard and pork satay.

Thean Chun coffeeshop, Ipoh.

Full house, again!

Clockwise from top left: Sotong kangkung, meehoon soup, pork satay and popiah.
Our breakfast.

We were unable to secure a table at Thean Chun and ended up at the coffee shop next door. However, we were allowed to order anything from Thean Chun over to this coffee shop EXCEPT for... hor fun. T______________T

Reason given was, this particular coffee shop has their own hor fun stall too so in order to avoid conflict, customers are not allowed to order hor fun from Thean Chun fts.

So, we ended up with a plate of sotong kangkung, meehoon soup, popiah and pork satay. Sotong kangkung was okay to me because I'm not a big fan of this dish but my friends loved it. Meehoon soup was just... meehoon soup. Nothing to shout about. I love the popiah as it's stuffed with lots of crunchy pieces of I-don't-know-what inside.

Pork satay's good too with no fats but I find their peanut gravy a little too watery. The way the satay served is pretty interesting too. Each time, the uncle will place about 10-15 sticks of satay and walks away. When you need more, he'll top up for you and when you are done, he'll come over to charge according to how many sticks you had. That so to say, everything is based on trust and if you decided to cheat by throwing the sticks away and whatnot (please don't do cheapskate thing like that! Have some integrity!), the uncle wouldn't know. It's only RM0.60/stick by the way.

Oh, we tried to order their famous caramel custard but it was all sold out :((((

Thean Chun coffee shop
73, Jalan Bandar Timah
Old Town Ipoh
30000 Ipoh, Perak
Tel: 605-255 3076
(8am-4.30pm; Closed on Thursday)

Taking a "short" break from heavy meal, we drove to another location for the famous soya bean and bean curd in Ipoh!

Funny Mountain - Ipoh's famous soya bean and bean curd.
(Sorry but somehow, their soya beans look like eggs in the pic to me =.=)

With the relatively huge signage, it's easy to spot from afar but our jaw dropped as we walked closer to Funny Mountain.

Look at the queue!

Geez! Thank goodness there's shades!

Funny Mountain doesn't have any space for you to dine in unless you are willing to eat along the corridor (left pic) with no aircon nor fan. Sibeh hot okay! Right pic illustrates how small the shop is and their bean curd (tau foo fah) is served in a wooden bucket just like the olden days!

Just realized that up till now, I haven't shown any of our faces yet and there you go!

Clockwise from top: The friends, the sisters, the couple.

Everyone was fascinated by the speed of the workers.

Here's my 2 cent for you when you are buying from Funny Mountain - be certain of how packets or bottles you want and don't take you own sweet time to think about it. I've seen the lady getting annoyed by the customers and subsequently raising her voice at them a couple of times. Maybe it's due to the long queue OR the hot weather I don't know, but Ipoh folks seem to be pretty fierce and loud *scared*

In this case, come on, they only sell soya bean and bean curd! Why do you have to take 10 years to decide on the quantity that you want to purchase? Zzzzz.....

A large bottle of soya bean and 2 packets of bean curd to share.

Funny Mountain's famous bean curd.

From the look of it, the bean curd seems very soft and the smell of it was soooo heavenly! I was advised by my friends to try it immediately and express how I felt after eating it.

I took the first spoon and DAMMIT, it's so good, I felt like I was in heaven!!

Allow me illustrate how all of us felt after eating it......

Hmmm.... Like this!

The bean curd is soooo smooth and soft that it melts in your mouth. Unlike those bean curd that we get in KL or PJ, this is one of the best I've had by far! Soya bean was fresh and very fragrant.

Funny Mountain
No 49, Jalan Dato Tahir Azar
30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 012-588 6167

I'm definitely going back for more! ;)

Next, it was time for lunch and Mei Gee brought us to a coffee shop nearby (we went by foot) that's pretty famous too but I forgot the name :(

Here, they are famous for the chee cheong fun and hor fun!

They offer 3 types of chee cheong fun for you to choose from and we picked all 3 to share! If my memory doesn't fail me those 3 flavors are chee cheong fun in shrimp paste, curry and I-forgot-the-last-flavor. #memoryfailed

Nice nice nice!!! The chee cheong fun there were pretty good!!

Clockwise from left: Fruit rojak, Ipoh hor fun and caramel custard.

Fruits for the rojak was ordinary as I was expecting more variety of fruits but the thick shrimp sauce makes up to it! The sauce was thick with generous amount of chopped peanuts and cili padi. Yes, it's freaking cili padi my friend. I love the spicy "kick" in this fruit rojak since I'm a big fan of spicy food! :D

Ipoh "kai si hor fun" (kai si here means shredded chicken, not chicken shit wtf) here was pretty good and lived up to my expectation. The hor fun was smooth and the soup was flavorful too! I really liked it but my friends said that although this bowl of hor fun is good, the one at Thean Chun was much, much better!

I vowed to try the famous one at Thean Chun next time!!! *determined*

After a hearty breakfast and lunch, we have quite some time to spare before dinner so we dropped by at Ipoh Parade for a walk and we girls shopped there! With all the latest fashion and variety that we can get in KL and PJ, we actually shopped in Ipoh. I can't believe myself too wtf.

At about 5pm, we make a move to our next destination - Tanjung Tualang for dinner. The journey took us more than hour due to the jam since it's a public holiday anyway. So, why all the way to Tanjung Tualang, you may ask. Well, in case you didn't know, this little town in Perak is famous for its udang galah (the huge freshwater prawns)! It's okay if you don't know because I don't too before the trip hahahaha.

Upon arrival and to finally secured a parking spot, we got down and saw the huge crowd in front of a stall and out of curiosity (sorry, city people are pretty kepo) we walked over to have a look and found out that everyone was buying this thing called "sak ke mah". I have no idea what this snack is called in English but I believe you'd have heard of it if you're a Chinese.

The stall's located at the intersection - facing the market.

The freshly baked "sak ke mah" was quickly sold out before we could purchase but the young men selling it told us that we could book first as their siblings will be sending more of it over in 10-15 minutes. All of us ordered a packet each (sorry, city people are kiasu too) and to my surprise, it was really good and crunchy! This is something that you wouldn't want to miss out when you are there at Tanjung Tualang for seafood ;)

What I noticed about Tanjung Tualang was, there were way too many restaurants around and all famous for the freshwater prawn and fish! According to my friends, there are many mix reviews over the net arguing which restaurants serve the best udang galah but there's 1 thing for sure:

All the restaurants serve tasty and fresh seafood.

Just settle for any of the restaurants and you won't go wrong. And do ask for the price before placing your order!

Being an awesome blogger like I've always been, here are some of the restaurants that other bloggers highly recommend for their fresh+juicy udang galah and I'm compiling the details for your easy reference.

#4 Restoran Thong Lok, Ipoh.

Restoran Makanan Laut Thong Lok
No 9, Market Street,
31800 Tanjong Tualang,
Perak, Malaysia.
Tel No : +605-360 7921

#3 Restoran Luen Fong, Ipoh.

Luen Fong Restaurant
No 19, Jalan Pasar,
31800 Tanjong Tualang,
Perak, Malaysia.
Tel No : +605-360 9276, +6012-533 6166, +6016-590 0038

#2 Restoran Makanan Laut Lung Seng, Ipoh.

Lung Seng Seafood Restaurant
10 Jalan Besar,
Tanjung Tualang,
Tel: 05-360 0735
Business hours: 11.30am–9.00pm

#1 Restoran Makanan Laut Yew Kei, Ipoh.

Yew Kei Seafood Restaurant
No 1, Jalan Pasar,
31800, Tanjung Tualang,
Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 605-360 6686.
Business hours : 11.30am – 9.00pm.
There you have it - the good and awesome restaurants in Tanjung Tualang!

I even did research over the net on the reviews and Yew Kei Seafood Restaurant is apparently the local's favorite restaurant and if you dine at where the locals do, you won't go wrong. If Yew Kei is packed, go for Lung Seng.

Sadly enough, we tried our luck at all 4 restaurants above but they were either out of seafood or they don't have a table for us. It was only 6+ in the evening!! Traveling to small town during a public holiday is a bitch T_T

(By the way, I saw a poor review on Sun Swee Kiong Seafood Restaurant that their food's below par compared to the rest so you might want to skip this particular restaurant when you are there)

Soon, we decided to give up and head back to PJ for dinner instead but along the way, we saw Restoran Thoh Kee and decided to give this last place a try. Thoh Kee is located quite a distance away from the rest of the restaurants above.

Restoran Thoh Kee, Ipoh.

Wahhhh M.C.A. ok don't play play!

The place was decent and fully occupied but we were lucky enough to get the last table available and decided to settle there for a quick and simple dinner instead. Seeing those huge udang galah in the aquarium, we excitedly asked the lady boss on the price for a kilo but was told that those prawns have been booked people!

Guess we were just fated for not being able to eat them on that day *sob*

All pretend to be camera shy...

We ordered a few of the dishes (recommended by the lady boss) to try and we were really impressed! Though they may seem rather ordinary and simple, probably the same dishes you can find in KL or PJ but trust me, the freshness and taste is different!

The fish was really fresh+tender and other dishes were really tasty! I'm quite picky with food and if I give it a thumb up, you know you can trust me.

To answer your curiosity, the dishes clockwise from top left are steamed fish, beer pork ribs, stir fry intestines, yau mak, wa tan hor, hokkien yee mee, hokkien meehoon and paku pakis.

Sorry if you are not a Chinese because I'm extremely lazy to translate all the dishes name to English.

Sorry to disappoint again because I'm unable to find the details to this humble little restaurant over the net :( Perhaps you can ask the locals for this MCA place and they might be able to direct you!

All in all, I had a great makan trip in Ipoh although I failed to try out all the famous eateries but I'm not disappointed because I know that I'll be paying this little town in Perak a visit again real soon for the sake of good food! That's probably one of the best thing living in Malaysia :)

I hope you like my recommendations above and have a fun makan trip to Ipoh! Please give proper credit for any info abstracted from my blog :]


Fleapy said...

Interesting gems in Ipoh!
And oh my the bean curd sure looks delicious!

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

It sure doessssss ;)

Anonymous said...

Very details! Thank you...:)

Jaclyn [Yian] said...

U r most welcome :)