Thursday, March 05, 2009

3 Day Food Tour - Second Stop: Ipoh

Ipoh is one of the cities in Malaysia that has a high percentage of Chinese residents which is why you would find a lot of good Chinese food such as kway teow noodle soup, dim sum and more. However, true to Malaysia’s rich culture there are Malay and Indian gems to be found as well.

I was lucky enough to stay overnight at Indulgence Restaurant and Living, a top notch restaurant and unique boutique hotel where the owner Julie Song treated me to a wonderful gourmet feast in addition to the food crawl I was there for. Needless to say I left Ipoh stuffed and satisfied.

Breakfast – Funny Mountain Soybean & Sin Yin Loong
If you ask any Ipoh local where you can enjoy a great Tau Foo Fah (Soy Bean Custard) you’re likely to be pointed in the direction of Funny Mountain. This favourite has appeared in newspapers, travel magazines, food guides, TV and has been operating for the past 50 years.

Funny Mountain originated from a little pushcart and is now a store that even offers drive through. You can often see cars lined up, filled with passengers eager for a taste of the soybean delicacies.
The Tau Foo Fah here is made fresh everyday and is scooped into bowls and doused with syrupy sugar right in front of your eyes. It is a silken smooth treat to be had. They’re also known for their soybean milk which is thick and fragrant.
For a great coffee fix, Ipoh’s White Coffee is a pleasure. Sin Yoon Loong, a store that opened in 1937, is a popular destination for this local delight. The coffee is aromatic and is served ‘pulled’ in teh tarik style giving it a lovely foamy head. This old style coffee shop with wooden chairs and marble top tables has a certain Ipoh charm that can’t be matched.

Funny Mountain Soybean
Jalan Dato’ Tahwil Azhar
Hours: Open daily 10.30am - 7.30pm

Sin Yoon Loong
Jalan Bandar Timah
Hours: 7am – 6pm (Closed on Sundays)

Lunch – Tasik Raban Restaurant
Tasik Raban is a popular natural lake in Perak consisting of several connected water bodies surrounded by pristine greenery. The original branch of the Tasik Raban Restaurant is perched on the banks of the lake, but by popular demand a branch was recently opened up in Ipoh.

This restaurant serves good traditional kampung style Malay food such as ikan bakar (grilled fish), gulai tempoyak (fermented durian gravy), siput sedut (a type of mollusk), and a huge variety of sambal (chilli paste).

The ikan bakar counter often draws a huge crowd as it filled with all sorts of fish that are marinated in turmeric and spices and ready for the grill. These are then charred to perfection and are paired with a sambal. The fish goes fast so I would recommend that you get there early to get first dibs.

Everyday Tasik Raban offers more than 80 dishes to choose from buffet style. There are endless possibilities from vegetables to meat to seafood. There is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.

Tasik Raban
Jln Kompleks Sukan
Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm

Dinner – Kalai Curry House
Kalai Curry House is one of the favourite Indian eateries in the city. It is a great place to go for a nice banana leaf meal or to enjoy a hot thosai but I’m told that this is a favourite stop for those looking to have Roti Romali and a fresh Masala tea.

The Roti Romali is a capati-like bread served with an onion chutney. I was unlucky the night I arrived as they had run out of these so I settled for a thosai instead.
A thin savoury crepe that is served on a banana leaf and eaten with different curries and chutneys. I will be sure to make a trip back to try the Roti Romali though!

The fresh steaming hot Masala tea however is wonderful. It is served in a tin cup and is ‘pulled’ teh tarik style right at the table. It is fragrant with spices such as cardamom and rich in flavour.

Kalai Curry House
No. 38, Jalan Sultan Yussuf
Hours: 10am – 10pm


Arwen from Hoglet K said...

Food touring in Malaysia sounds awesome. I've never seen soy custard before. The Indian food sounds great.

Alexandra said...

Arwen- Ohh yes it's great...I haven't even listed the half of it...there's just so much to eat and so many great places to go...I'm Malaysian and I haven't even tried it all :) Soy custard is a really delicious dessert...very silky and light!

Lorraine@NotQuiteNigella said...

Oh daufoofah is my husband's favourite ever dessert! I'm going to show him that picture, his mouth is going to water :P

Alexandra said...

Lorraine - hee hee...I love tau foo fah and this is by far the best I've tried :)