The Ipoh Food Journey Chapter 3
I woke up in the morning amidst the chirping of birds and nice fresh air. I slept like a log. The fact that I ate so late at night, and still managed to sleep was something rather strange with me because I am the sort of person who has to eat at 6 pm or not sleep will ever happen. Now another baffling point was my sinuses did not give me any trouble at all. So anyhow I showered and got ready in anticipation of todays activities.
Soon everyone was packed into the car including Mrs Teoh who was really dressed up rather elegantly, a lady full of yesteryears charms and elegance. A Queen Mother of sorts who speaks with gentility and regalness and most importantly no airs just like her daughter Seok Hean. Anyhow Ah Yoke Cher decided we had to try out the Ipoh Curry mee. Now I have not had curry mee in a restaurant or coffee shop for that matter for years. In fact I seldom eat a whole plate or bowlful of food for some odd reason although my proportions may beg to differ.
In fact the last time I had a noodle or pasta dish in front of me was when I was in Melbourne and I had Blue Cheese Gnocchi. I did not write about it because yours truly forgot the name of the restaurant and Dan was no help at that. Thing is I have been there twice and still forgot. So its been a while and having to eat local noodles in a coffee shop was something else as well.
So we drove off and after numerous left turns and right turns. Poor Eddie, he was cool though, and extremely alert during those last minute instructions being screamed from the back. And finally we reach Mustapha AlBakri Road, and there was our breakfast destination Kedai Kopi Woh Heng (Woh Heng Coffee Shop). It has been ages since I actually sat in a non air conditioned coffee shop. It’s not snobbery or anything like that, its just that well being from the cooking field myself, I prefer to get out of hot stuffy kitchens into a nice air conditioned setting. So anyhow there we were.
It was not a very big restaurant, but it was rather full of people waiting for Yong Tau Foo, for the Curry Noodles and Won Ton Noodles.
There was even BBQ pork slices being sold although after the meal I completely forgot to check it out.
Anyhow, we tried ordering but somehow the lady selling the Curried Noodles was just all over the place, she was there by herself and clearly she should have had an assistant, although we did notice someone helping her, but somehow she was just in a mess. In fact in the end I saw some of her customers helping her pack their own food. We left it to Ah Yoke Cher.
The food arrived rather quickly.
First to arrive was the bowl of dumplings (sui kow). Unlike the ones I have had in KL, this one had black mushrooms in it. It was all crinkly because of the unevenness of the filling and the first bite into it revealed copious amounts of minced pork and prawns and mushrooms seasoned perfectly. I have never tasted dumplings like these before. In KL, the ones we have are usually a large lump of prawn meat that is floured and a fatty pieces of pork mince. This one was flavorsome and had a nice bite. Being polite I just had one. Now as most people would know, I like morsely food, that is small size foods that I can fit on a spoon and these dumplings were just up my alley. But I had to hold back.
The Curried Noodles arrived, Seok had yellow noodles and I of course had to have Ipoh Koay Teow (I mean I was in Ipoh). Now unlike the Curried Noodles I am used to and even the one that I teach and make for orders, Ipoh Curried Noodles is a trite different. First the gravy is brown, and not sickeningly rich and heavy, and the accompaniments are just as refreshingly not of the heavy kind. It was just mint leaves and shredded chicken breast with some peeled prawns and of course Ipoh Bean Sprouts. The gravy was richly flavored without being overly powering, and it was not heavy. A squeeze of the lime just gave it an added kick.
I did not taste the Won Ton Noodles Ah Yoke Cher ordered but I did notice the char siew was a bright vermillion not unlike the dark red and sometimes blackish red we find here in KL. I did notice that in a few shops we passed by as well. The won tons unlike KL and PJ which is usually chucked on the display and picked up upon ordering, the lady here had hers neatly laden in an ice box. I guess with the amount of fresh filling she had to keep it fresh for as long as possible. I believe this practice should be carried out here in KL, but I doubt it will happen because the trend in KL and PJ is to cram as many food stalls in a shop as you can.
The next was the Yong Tau Foo. I love Yong Tau Foo. It was quite late so there was not much selection, and I swear it was divine as!
The fish meat was white and just like their fish balls. It was different and very flavorsome. They even had stuffed broccoli which I noticed for the first time ever. And it tasted excellent. I did not taste the other stuff but I can tell you looks won’t be deceiving here that’s for sure. I must try this again in the near future.
Breakfast ended real quick, it was nice, not too filling and yes I did finish my bowl of noodles and enjoyed it thoroughly. I did find it spicy but that’s me of course, I don’t think anyone else would find the Curried Noodles spicy at all. Next stop Lunch, and it was just about 11 am I think.