Wednesday, December 23, 2015

[Year 2015] My Itinerary for One Day Trip to Ipoh, Perak.

Ipoh, the capital of Perak makes an awesome one-day trip from Penang; the reason is simple... the town is overwhelmed with delicious delicacies with wallet-friendly price tags, the only possible hindrance is the limited tummy space. Approximately 1.5 hrs drive away from Penang, Ipoh is of a complete different vibe than Penang- an old town with a relaxed pace, travelling from one location to another is easy and hassle-free. Better if you have Cantonese-root, the entire town feels more intimate with the Cantonese-flare; traditional Cantonese delicacies can also be easily found in any corner of the town. 

We've made a short visit there earlier ago and below were the places we visited:

1) Yoke Fook Moon (玉福满酒楼) Restaurant
Prices shown are exclusive of GST
Address: 67-69, Jalan Leong Sin Nam, 30300, Ipoh, Perak.
Business Hours: 6 am to 1:30 pm; 6:30 pm to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 605- 241 6589

Cheong Fun Dumplings

Prawn Dumplings/ Har Kao

Egg Tarts 

Deep Fried Prawn Rolls

Prawn Chee Cheong Fun

Signature Pao- Sweet Lotus Paste with Salted Egg Yolk

Deep Fried Fish Balls

Assorted Yong Tau Fu

If you do not want to burden yourself with complicated breakfast or of an obscure location, go for the safest option at Jalan Leong Sin Nam. There are 3 good Dim Sum spots along this street- the famous tourist spot Foh San Dim Sum, Ming Court Dim Sum and Yoke Fook Moon Dim Sum.

We tried the first two ones before and for this round, we decided to try our luck at Yoke Fook Moon. It seems a little quieter as compared to the other two but we like the fact that the restaurant is fully air-conditioned. Business was brisk on our visit but the service was attentive and fast. We were immediately ushered to a vacant table. We had a few of their signature Dim Sum dishes but their Egg Tarts left us with the deepest impression. The crust was paper-thin and the Custard was smooth and eggy with the right sleek-sweetness. Our only complain was... the Egg Tarts were not warm enough. Equally delicious was their Prawn Dumplings- crystal clear skin with generous, plump Prawn filling; at least 50% larger than those found here in Penang. Others dishes were great either they did not come cheap... in case you are wondering, the total damage for the meal was Rm 96.90 (inclusive of GST). Good for a change but not the place for you if you are looking for variety. 

2) Funny Mountain Tau Fu Fah (怡保奇峰豆腐花)
No Serv. Charge and GST
Address: 50, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, 30300, Ipoh, Perak.
Business Hours: 10:30 am until sold out. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 6012- 588 6167

Tau Fu Fah/ Beancurd Jelly (Rm 1.20)

Many visitors would pay their pilgrimage visit to Funny Mountain Tau Fu Fah. On our last visit, we thought it was quite good but not the same for this round. Too much sugar syrup was added and the bowl of Tau Fu Fah was saccharine sweet... too sweet that we could not finish. The texture on the other hand, was still good- silky smooth and slides down the throat without much effort. 

It may be a nuisance but monkeys see monkeys do- stop your car right in front of Funny Mountain and the server will attend to you shortly. Place your orders and he will serve to you, you may enjoy it in the car and return the empty bowl later. This must be the reason why some named this place the "Drive Through Tau Fu Fah".

3) Concubine Lane (二奶巷)
Address: Jalan Panglima 

Before you hit your next meal, go for a leisure stroll at one of the hottest (literally "hottest") tourist spots in Ipoh- Concubine Lane. The name might be off-putting but it is a good reflection on how the wealthy lived and the values of the older society. It is extremely touristy right now, depending on your luck, you may have a hard time to move around the small and narrow alley. You can do the "been there, done that" thing but there is nothing overly exciting here except some murals and handicraft knick-knack gifts. 

4) Than Chun Coffee Shop
Address: 73, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000, Ipoh, Perak.
Business Hours: 8 am to 4 pm. Opens Daily.

Kai See Hor Fun/ Chicken (& Prawn) Ipoh Hor Fun (Rm 5)

Blanched Bean Sprouts (Rm 6)

Chicken (5 sticks), Pork (5 sticks), Intestine (3 sticks) and Liver Satay (2 sticks) for Rm 12

Steamed Egg Custard (Rm 2.50)

Ipoh Curry Chee Cheong Fun with Pork Rind (Rm 4)

Frequent visitors of Ipoh should not be new to this place- Thean Chun Coffee Shop. There are a few note-worthy delicacies: Ipoh Chicken Hor Fun, Ipoh Chee Cheong Fun, Satay and Steamed Egg Custard. We saw people from all walks of life visited the place; do spare yourself sometime if you have decided to make a trip here as the waiting time could possibly kill your trip. We did not want to leave Ipoh without trying the well-known Ipoh Hor Fun and as a result of that... the wait was 40 minutes. 

The cantankerous proprietor is a hard nut to crack... he would not respond to any orders and to make your life easier... talk to the maid instead. She will take down the orders and you will be given a number; all you need to do is to wait patiently for your turn. Fortunately, the piping hot bowl of Ipoh Hor Fun did not disappoint. A thin layer oil in red hue was floating; we immediately took a sip on the soup and boy, it was brimming with flavors! It has a mix of the smoky crustacean sweetness and the essence of the fowl; the soup itself was dangerously addictive. The flat Rice noodles (Hor Fun) was light and smooth but we did not like the fact that all of them were clump together, probably they were too busy that they did not bother to make an effort to separate them. Other dishes (Satay and Chee Cheong Fun) were disappointingly average.

We did not manage to eat the Steamed Egg Custard at Thean Chun, it was too crowded and we did not manage to secure a seat unfortunately. The photo shown in this article was taken at Seng Fatt Coffee Shop, the one next to Thean Chun. We've got nothing to bench mark so we'll just leave it out. 

5) Petit Mary Patisserie
Prices shown are inclusive of Serv. Charge and GST
Address: 83, Jalan Tasek, Taman Teh Teng Seng, 31400, Ipoh, Perak.
Business Hours: 9 am to 9 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 605- 547 1328

Almond Croissant (Rm 4.50)

Mont Blanc (Rm 12) and Flat White (Rm 8.50)

Cafes are sprouting up like mushrooms in cities like Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Penang... it makes no difference in Ipoh as well. The fast-growing cafe scene in Ipoh sees the opening of many small but unique cafes and Petit Mary Patisserie is one of them. Housed in a colorful bungalow within a housing district right next to Kinta City Mall; it can be a daunting task to locate the Patisserie, especially with no clear signage displayed. Step in the cafe and you will be wondering if you have been transported to a wonderland filled with sweet treats. 

All Cakes, Viennoiserie, Biscuits and Breads are freshly baked in house. We were delighted to see a full range of seemingly inviting petite cakes. One of the friendly servers introduced us to their Croissant series with aplomb and so... we tried their Almond Croissant (Rm 4.50). It was most flaky with a hint of buttery aroma, further complemented by an agreeable amount of sweetness. We also get to try an uncommon dessert- Mont Blanc for Rm 12. I was afraid that it will be saccharine sweet but I was again proven wrong. The sweetness was well controlled but I thought the Chestnut flavor was too weak to my liking. The overall texture however, was awesome. A place not to be missed by those with a sweet tooth.

6) Sun Tuck Kee Restaurant
Prices shown are inclusive of Serv. Charge and GST
Address: 65, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, 30300, Ipoh, Perak.
Business Hours: 9:30 am to 11 pm. Closed 3 days in a month (randomly).
Contact Number: 6012- 514 2228

Fish Paste Noodles in Egg Gravy (Rm 7.50)

Blanched Octopus (Rm 9)

Moonlight Hor Fun (Rm 6.50)

Home-made Fish Balls (Rm 1.20 each)

The famous Sun Tuck Kee Restaurant is a good replacement for Chicken Rice; we had both Onn Kee and Lou Wong Chicken Rice on our previous trips and we did not find them spectacular. Further down the road to Onn Kee is Sun Tuck Kee, a local Cantonese restaurant famous for its Moonlight Hor Fun and Fish Paste Noodles. Unlike the conventional Hor Fun in Egg Gravy we have here, Moonlight Hor Fun was completely drenched in Dark Soy Sauce and imbued with a delightful charred aroma, topped with a raw Egg Yolk. Beat the Yolk and the Moonlight Hor Fun will possess a gooey texture. We did not quite get use to it and would prefer the traditional Char Hor Fun. Fish Paste Noodles on the other hand, was amazing. The dish was paired using the timeless Cantonese Egg Gravy and we were glad that they worked well; the noodles were most bouncy and resilient. Other notable highlights are home-made Fish Balls and blanched Octopus. 

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