Monday, March 1, 2021

[Year 2021] Food Hunting- of Cafes/ Must-Eats @ Taiping, Perak.

A short 1-hour drive away from Penang, the rain town- Taiping is often one of the popular choices for Penangites as a short getaway destination. Our last trip to Taiping was 4 years ago and we were there recently for a short trip. We took advantage on the low-priced hotel stay at Novotel (less than Rm150 for a night). The hotel is very strategically located with all places of interest either within walking distance of short distance. 

1) Railway Station Laksa
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: Stesen Kereta Api Lama Taiping, Jalan Stesen, 34000, Taiping, Perak. 
Business Hours: 11 am to 6 pm. Closed on Thursdays.
Contact Number: 6012- 476 8139

Assam Laksa (Rm 4.30)

Make your way to the Taiping Railway Station if you do like a bowl of delicious Assam Laksa. This place has been there for quite some time and has been a popular spot for both locals and travelers to find a bowl of spicy-sour Assam Laksa. This is only stall manned by a Chinese operator at the same place. The broth was thick and rich, with a generous amount of fish meat. It has a nice medley of flavors- sweet, sour, savory and spiciness from the chilies; perfect to go with the chewy round, fat Laksa noodles. Cendol and Ice Kacang are also available at this place. 

2) Yinn's Patisserie
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 57, Jalan Perak, 34000, Taiping, Perak.
Business Hours: 12 pm to 8 pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Contact Number: 605- 801 0906

Purpleto Cheese Cake (Rm 12.90)

Mushroom Sourdough Toast (Rm 11.90)

Right smack in Ipoh town, Yinn's Patisserie is probably one of your best bets in finding some seriously delicious cakes in Taiping. The cake house is housed in one of the heritage houses along Barrack Road... with old Malaysian style design, almost like a Nyonya house. But once you stepped in the place, you will be welcomed by the huge display fridge, presenting an array of cakes of the day. On food offering, the place offers a Western menu as well. We did not get to try their mains but sampled a Toast dish as well as a piece of cake. Both the Mushroom Sourdough Toast and Purple Potato Cheese Cake were good. The Mushroom Toast had a delightful earthy flavor and beautifully seasoned; the latter one was creamy with bits of Purple Potato there, so the texture was multi-dimensional and the flavor was bold. Both items exceeded our expectation and we really could not expect more for that price. 

3) Khim Heong Foodstuffs 勤香
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: No. 13, Lorong Perusahaan Pengkalan 3, Taman Perusahaan Perkhidmatan Pengkalan, 34000, Taiping, Perak.
Business Hours: 8 am to 6 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 6017- 555 5495

If you do like some seriously good Horseshoe Biscuits (Beh Teh Soh), you should really make a trip to Khim Heong 勤香. The confectionery is located slightly off the Taiping town but the drive should take less than 15 minutes. It can be found in one of the small-medium factories in a commercial area and it may take a little time to locate the place. Step inside the place and you will find plenty of traditional Chinese biscuits on display. The friendly proprietor is ever-ready to assist and if you are in luck, you might get a private tour next door to look at the production line. Their best-seller... the Horseshoe Biscuits are baked traditionally (fuel is Coconut Husk) so the texture might be a little different but the gooey-soft, addictive Maltose syrup is a winner. Other freshly baked goods are also worth a look. 

4) Lighthouse Seafood Restaurant 海燈砂煲海鲜粥 
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: No. 10, Jalan Cina, 34750, Matang, Taiping, Perak.
Business Hours: 11 am to 11 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Contact Number: 605- 847 5408

Seafood Porridge (Rm 20/ pax)

Steamed Flower Clams (Rm 15)

Stir Fried Squid with Spring Onions and Ginger (Rm 20)

Fried Mantis Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk (Rm 15)

A short 15 minute drive from Taiping town will land you at Matang, a village famous for Seafood Porridge; many regular patrons are willing to drive for hours to there just to savor their Seafood Porridge. There are a few Chinese seafood restaurants at Matang and for this round, we tried our luck at the Lighthouse Seafood Restaurant. The place has a simple restaurant setting- with basic tables and chairs; no menu is available though. The servers will approach the diners and take the orders on the spot. The popular orders here are the signature Seafood Porridge, Steamed Flower Clams, Deep Fried Fish, Steamed Fish etc. The signature Seafood Porridge was delicious; unlike the Cantonese-style Porridge which has a creamy texture, Lighthouse's retained the Rice-like texture with clear, sweet Seafood broth... cooked with a generous amount of Fish, Prawns and Fish Balls. All seafood were fresh and plump, the seasoning was not heavy and relied heavily on the seafood sweetness. Reasonable prices but is it worth to go all the way there for the Seafood Porridge? It's alright if you happen to be in Taiping but I would not travel all the way there from Penang. 

5) Cheeky Summer
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 92, Jalan Barrack, 34000, Taiping, Perak.
Business Hours: 9 am to 6 pm. Closed on Mondays
Contact Number: 605- 847 5408

Green Powder Smoothie Bowl (Rm 15.90)

Open Sesame Avocado (Rm 13/ large)

To find a spot in Taiping town to stretch your tourist leg without compromising on your healthy diet- Cheeky Summer is the perfect spot for a quick rest and have a sip on the refreshing fruit juices. There are plenty of healthy options such as Smoothie Bowl, Cold-Pressed Juices, Toasts etc; all at discounted prices as compared to Penang's rate. For a large size Avocado drink, it costs Rm 13 only; something that we would not be able to find in Penang (such item would easily cost above Rm 15 in Penang). Strategic location and comfortable atmosphere, suitable for those who seek for a light meal or casual hang out over healthy drinks. Cheeky Summer can be found right next to the famous Bismillah Cendol. 

6) Antong Coffee Mill
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: No. 8A, Assam Kumbang, 34000, Taiping, Perak.
Business Hours: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Opens Daily. 
Contact Number: 605- 807 5189

Antong Coffee Mill needs no further introduction, the place has been a popular tourist destination in Taiping where visitors get to tour around the factory and have a sample on the coffee. There's a dedicated area to showcase on how the coffee is being made and an area for visitors to sample the coffee and their products are available up for grabs. A place suitable for brief stop and have a taste of the local coffee brand.

7) Restaurant Mr BBQ 鏞記
Service Charge: Yes 6%
Government Tax: No
Address: 16 and 17, Jalan Maharajalela, 34000, Taiping, Perak.
Business Hours: 11 am to 3 pm, 5 pm to 10:30 pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Contact Number: 6017- 304 2998

Pipa Duck (Rm 32/ half bird)

BBQ Stingray (Rm 23/ small)

Pumpkin Beancurd (Rm 13 small)

Stir Fried Udon with Black Pepper (Rm 8.50/ small)

Glutinous Rice Balls in Soya Milk (Rm 7) and Red Bean Soup (Rm 7)

Mr BBQ 鏞記 is probably one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in Taiping town, a stone's throw distance away from Taiping Mall. It has the standard Chinese restaurant setting with pretty much the familiar, classic Chinese dishes. The only thing unusual is the addition of barbecue items- the Malaysian style grilled fish. Prices are pretty much average but the quality is consistent. We had their signature BBQ Stingray, while the sauce was delicious with a delightful smoky hint, the fish was slightly overcooked with a hard texture. The Pumpkin Beancurd was our favorite of the day- beautifully cooked Beancurd served in a luscious, creamy Pumpkin gravy. The Stir Fried Udon was unique as well- with a bold Black Pepper flavor. None of the dishes disappoint though, worth-checking out if you are seeking for a solid Chinese restaurant in Taiping.

8) The Warehouse 1957
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 183, Jalan Merdeka, 34000, Taiping, Perak.
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Contact Number: 6010- 762 1957

Seafood Toast (Rm 13.80)

Threadfish Salad (Rm 15.80)

The Warehouse 1957 is one of the latest cafe spot in Taiping, it is found right next to the Container Hotel, a short drive from Taiping lake. It is housed in a container with simple, industrial style interior decor. The menu is quite big- with an array of Western dishes from appetizers, to mains and desserts. We were too full to try their mains and decided to try some of their light snacks. The Seafood Toast was quite good- with a creamy, savory sauce accompanying... the whole flavor combo worked but a pity that the edges of the Toast were slightly too dry to our liking. Threadfish Salad was something with Thai element (Kerabu-like Salad)... it was just okay-average. A modern, chic place to hangout nevertheless.

9) 90 Specialty Cafe
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 71, Jalan Barrack, 34000, Taiping, Perak.
Business Hours: 10 am to 9 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Contact Number: 6010-399 9993

Cranberry Walnut Sourdough (Rm 10) and Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough (Rm 10)

Iced Matcha with Soy Milk (Rm 15)

Iced Houjicha with Soy Milk (Rm 16)

Americano (Rm 8)

A newly opened cafe in town (opened in year 2022), 90 Specialty Cafe specializes in offering artisanal Coffee with some casual bites. No mains on the menu but some simple Toasts and sweet treats. In shades of grey, the curious space with minimalist decor is unusually comfortable... We had their home-made Sourdough Toast and thought they were alright. They were lightly toasted and served with Butter. We also had their Brownie which was surprisingly bitter, the cacao flavor was bold and would appeal to chocolate lovers. We washed down with a serving of their Houjicha and Matcha... which we thought they were lovely. A nice place to stretch out your legs while visiting the town.

10) Larut Matang Hawker Centre
Address: Jalan Panggung Wayang, 34000, Taiping, Perak.
Business Hours: 8 am to 8 pm. Opens Daily. *Business Hours vary for each stall*

Seafood Bamboo Noodles (Rm 8)

Fish Ball Fried Koay Teow (Rm 5.50)

Wan Ton Mee (Rm 5)

Clam Pancake (Rm 8)

Larut Matang Hawker Centre is like the food Mecca of Taiping, the place has been around for many years and it is the de-facto place for locals to enjoy quick-fix meals. The place gets busy whole day starting from the morning, there are quite many stalls and each of them have different opening hours. There are 2 sections to this place- one end houses Chinese eats while the other end houses Muslim-friendly stalls. You would probably hear some saying that their Fish Ball Char Koay Teow is a must-eat. True enough, you hardly find this delicacy out of Taiping. On top of that, we also recommend their Wan Ton Mee, not something unique to Taiping but this particular stall right next to the Fried Oyster serves delicious Wan Ton Mee. 

Have Fun Exploring Taiping!

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