Monday, June 1, 2009

IPOH AND BEYOND - FOOD HUNT

For the second weekend in a row, the hunting for food gang went searching for food. Leaving the Klang Valley at 4:30am, we arrived in Ipoh just after 6:30am, hungry and eager to eat.


DIM SUM
Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum
32-36, Jalan Leong Sin Nam, 30300 Ipoh.


Dim sum restaurants are probably a dime a dozen here in Ipoh, but perhaps none more famous than the trio of Foh San, Ming Court and Yoke Fook Moon, with all three rivals located only a stone's throw away from each other.

On this occassion, we selected Ming Court for our early morning foray, because of its close vicinity to Excelsior Hotel, the flag-off point for the Bio-Life Walk-a-hunt. When we arrived that morning, I was surprised to find many empty tables here, quite the contrary to my last dim sum experience in Ipoh (at Foh San). Then we had to wait for our table even at that early hour!

No sooner had we sat down when we were swarmed by several waitresses plying their dim sum. What tea do you want? Steamed dim sum ok? How about fried dim sum? The dessert here is good, wanna try? Loh Mai Kai for you? Perhaps, this exceptionally good service is a result of us being early birds. But since I fancy my food hot, I was not impressed by their over-enthusiastic service.

The first thing that caught my attention when the dim sum landed on our table was that they were all so tiny and dainty (their signature I was told). Size aside, Ming Court does offer a substantial variety of dim sum dishes.

While the food here is passable, Foh San is still my preferred choice for dim sum.


CLAYPOT CRAB WITH GLASS NOODLES
Skyway Food Court
(opposite Excelsior Hotel)
Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.


For lunch, ff Ricky recommended a little stall run by a senior couple, nestled within the Skyway Food Court located across the road from the Excelsior Hotel.

They have a limited menu centering around seafood and frog meat - choice of either fried, steamed, with porridge or with noodles.

We ordered 3 dishes that afternoon. Steamed La-La and Fried Sang Cheong (Pig's Fallopian Tubes) were the first two dishes to arrive. Everyone were in unison that the former was excellent. Generous amounts of garlic, chopped red chillies and spring onions with a dash chinese wine gave the La-La dish a nice all-round flavour.

Not being a fan of innards, I stayed away from the other dish and cannot comment.

The star attraction, the Claypot Crab with Glass Noodles, took a while to arrive which was not a problem as we were forewarned. The soup / sauce was served separate from the claypot dish (perhaps to avoid the soup / sauce drying up quickly), which made the dish appear dry and bland. Otherwise, the dish was alright and the crab was market fresh.


SOYA BEAN
Funny Mountain Soya Bean
49, Jalan Theatre, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.


An unusual scene, more commonplace at fast food outlets like Mc Donalds and A&W, greets first-time visitors to Funny Mountain. Rows of cars can be seen patiently queuing up, waiting to place their orders at this drive-thru Soya Bean drink outlet.

We decided to queue on foot as this other queue had looked much shorter. Despite that, it still took awhile before we got our drinks. Likely because the drive-thru customers are accorded priority service.

The soya bean drink here tasted refreshing and genuine. Only grouse, they don't offer brown sugar syrup which I fancy with my soya bean drink.

Other drinks available include Taufoo Fah and Grass Jelly.


ICE KACANG
Kedai Kopi Foong Mun Kee
42, Jalan Idris, 31900 Kampar, Perak.


We were hunting for a popular stall selling an Ipoh secret, the sar kok liew (turnip hash browns), when we lost our way. Deciding not to turn around, we headed instead to Kampar to check-out what what this former tin mining town had to offer.

Made our way to Foong Mun Kee for ice kacang. I ordered their ice kacang special, which was topped with Gula Melaka and had an astounding variety of ingredients including coconut flesh, longan and ice cream. However, it tasted just average, nothing spectacular.

Asking around for popular local food, we were disappointed to hear that good food in this town is only available early in the morning or from 8:00pm in the evening.

4 comments:

= Slasher™ ® = said...

I think Kampar is famous for Curry Chicken in bun and also claypot chicken rice (with dark soy sauce / without). :)

Claire said...

To all fans of innards, I enjoyed the Fried Sang Cheong at Skyway Food Court. The dish had a generous dose of thinly sliced ginger. Practically 'sapu-ed' the whole plate! :)

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Yes, I am aware of the famous Kampar Curry Chicken Bun and Claypot Chicken Rice.

However, as we were quite stuffed then, less-filling but equally exciting food like Fun Zhai or Hum Kok Zhai sounded more appealing.

http://masak-masak.blogspot.com/2008/08/kampar-food-heaven.html

But we were told that these items were only available either early in the morning or from 8:00pm in the evening (Sigh!)

eatingtable said...

I am a Kamparian. The fun zhai and hum kok chai is only available in morning market. If is not during festive season, you still can get those food before 10am. Hum kok zhai is available in 2 or more stall. But the original person who sell this is a man who is riding on motorcycle (photo available in this blog )
http://eatingtable.blogspot.com/2008/10/kampar-food-morning-market-1.html