Tag Archives: Ipoh

My Last Brekkie – Restoran Low She Fun – Ipoh – Chapter 6

This morning would be my last morning and since I was on the 2 pm train back to KL, breakfast was to be fast and simple so once again we got into the car and turned through a lot of back lanes, and voila.. a clean little corner shop it was Restoran Low She Fun.  I’m sorry but in all my haste I forgot to look around at the address, and I cannot seem to find it online, so therefore, I think this is a little hidden gem that no one has fossicked yet.

Low She Fun is known as little rat tails because it resembles the tail of a shrew. So there we were in this coffee shop that solely served this specialty and fish balls.

I am not a fan of Low She Fun simply because it always tends to be oily.  The one we get at the market or the ones I have had here, mind you it would be probably be about 20 years or so since I ate Low She Fun in KL or PJ, and the sight of the oil just never made me want to try it again.  Also I believe there was one time either in the late 80s or early 90s when some kids died eating Low She Fun, so that was another reason why.

Anyhow we got there, it was a rather windy morning, and the nice breezy cold day was warmed by the wonderful brewing hot fish ball soup.  I don’t know what it is but the fish balls and meat balls sold in Ipoh are by far the most superior I have eaten.  Ordinarily I would not even bother to touch the stuff.

Ah Yoke Cher did her usual of ordering, and since we were going out to lunch we only ordered 2 bowls or Low She Fun, one plain with soy sauce and luscious Ipoh Bean Sprouts, and the other topped with Minced pork. We also had a few fried won tons.

The first glance one would think it was such a simple breakfast but the first mouthful would deem otherwise.  The simpliness in looks, but the taste of a lot of good ingredients being put together often leaves one wanting more.  This was the case at breakfast today.  I took a small amount to taste, and it was sheer delight.  The Bean Sprouts were so lightly blanched and eaten with the noodles in the simple soy sauce was like eating a nice noodle salad.

simplicity yet so tasty

The minced pork one was a little richer because it was more meat then fat in the mince.  The mince did not leave a fatty taste in your mouth nor did it have that horrible gluggy feeling when you have eaten a lot of fatty foods.  It was just a soup spoon or so and yet it gave a lot of tastiness.

The wontons were nice and had a nice amount of filling.  One look at it you’d think it was a lot of skin, but the ratio of filling and skin was almost perfect.

I was told by Seok Hean that this was an old business and the owners son’s even quit their jobs to take over the business.

Now I have to say I am not a fan of hawker food.  I live near various hawker stalls and you can count the amount of times I go to these places, and yet I think if I lived in Ipoh it would be really different.  I am not running down hawkers in PJ and KL because I am sure there are a few gems out there, but in most cases, I think a little pride would be good. Often I have even tasted food raved upon by food critics in the newspapers only to be so fooled by them.

Sadly when Ipoh food comes to KL, it never tastes the same.  My last breakfast was truly memorable, just like my first breakfast of Ipoh Curried Noodles.

Kong Heng Pork Satay – Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh Old Town. Ipoh Perak

Satay in the morning anyone? Chapter 4 – Satay Lunch

Well I was told by my mum to try the pork satay. I have never been fond of pork satay having tasted it a few times in PJ and KL and once long ago in Malacca. I didn’t see anything so special about the meat although everyone tended to rave about it a lot. I kind of mentioned it to Seok Hean so after our scrumptious breakfast, we left dropped Ah Yoke Cher at the supermarket to buy Arrowhead Potatoes (Ngaku) and then we dropped Mrs Teoh back and kind of rested a little bit before running off to pick up Ah Yoke Cher with huge supermarket bags full of large Arrowheads. I don’t think my mum ever bought these big ones and they looked so fresh and nice compared to what we get here. And better still it is like RM2 cheaper then KL…. Shocking I think!

So anyhow we went through the town and I noticed so many old places that would only be something of yesteryears in KL. Old Tradesmen, Tin Smiths, Old style Sundry Shops and many old shops which sold kitchen equipment. So we trundled on and I must say it was quite a hot day. We have been getting this cold weather in KL that Ipoh proved to be a little bit too hot at times. We passed this little stall selling cookies and Chinese goodies, and I had planned to stop by after lunch to get some stuff. The restaurant was full, hustle and bustle and everything that a normal coffee shop would be on a public holiday. There were nicely dressed people, there were very sexy people, there were some who needed to be dressed by someone kind of people, it was as if you could be anyone in Ipoh, big small, and everything but when you wanted pork satay… you came here! I wondered to myself if Michelle Yeoh ever sat on the chair I was sitting?

The Satay came. Now these were rather big sticks of pork satay. I have always been used to the Dawning of the Extinction of Pig kind in PJ where they serve miniscule size pork satay. The size is so small that if you left it on the plate long enough it would dry! These were succulent pieces made to perfection. The meat was tender and well spiced and while I did think it could have been a tiny bit more burnt but on the whole it was perfect. Even the bit of complimentary fat on the stick was well seasoned. It was sweet fat! I never had sweet fat before unless you count bak gua. This was sweet with a satay flavor.

close up of sheer succulence

The liver satay was also well marinated in that, you did not get the gory liver flavor. It was cooked so well that it did not have a bitter aftertaste, which can happen in most the preparation of liver from most four legged animals. The intestines were clean and well marinated that if you ate it in the dark you would not know what you were eating. It was really nice.

And the gravy, I was expecting lousy gravy because most cases nice satay always came with sad looking and tasting gravy and lousy satay always came with nice gravy, this is the KL and PJ satay situation.  Not at Kong Heng. The Satay Gravy was just nice and it complemented the meat very well.  I wanted ketupat though!!!!!

Kudos to the cook whom I am told is an old man who has been cooking there for many years, many many years in fact when Seok was a little girl her dad would take here there. And he was old back then too. So now we believe his son has taken over. Now this plate of satay is like bottomless because every time your plate is half empty it is filled with fresh satay and when the owner feels you need to be made more special, he will empty your plate and give you fresh hot satay. I thought this was quite quaint. Health wise and cleanliness wise I cannot say because I don’t know where my satay went, so I shan’t comment.

While everyone had bowls of noodles and even crème caramel, yes they serve crème caramel too, I was too busy with my satay that I forgot to take photos. I thought the crème caramel was divine!

Next time I will take photos for sure. So what’s for dinner????

Kedai Kopi Woh Heng – Mustapha Al Bakri Road, Ipoh Perak

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.

Now I am still wondering why Seok Hean had a whole lime and mine was squeezed into my soup spoon?

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.