Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hawker fare in Ipoh

From The NST

John Tiong

Ipoh is a food paradise. JOHN TIONG checks out two places that offer a large selection of local delights and a sampling of international dishes

Yong tau foo is Yeoh’s forte

IF you are in Ipoh and hungry, check out Wooley Food Court or the Gourmet Square in Jalan Lengkok Canning as both places offer a large selection of local delights. They are just a few minutes walk from each other.

While the Wooley Food Court features over 20 stalls offering local fare such as yong tau foo, chicken rice, Indian curry rice and laksa, Gourmet Square has a stretch of some 50 covered stalls with a more international flavour, from pizza and spaghetti to Hong Kong dim sum, Sichuan noodles, Taiwan braised noodles, tom yam and other Thai specialties.

Local cuisine includes the famous Ipoh kai see hor fan (shredded chicken noodles), bean sprout chicken and rice, pan mee, lobak and fried oysters. Malay favourites such as nasi pandan and nasi kunyit as well as nonya kuih are also available.

Wooley has a few stalls serving yong tau foo. One stall worth visiting is Yeoh Kee Kim’s.

Good Food, Good Prices

At Yeoh Kee Kim’s stall, you can have soft and flavourful yong tau foo with a large choice of stuffed vegetables such as brinjal, chilies and lady fingers at 50 sen a piece. He also has minced ikan parang or red snapper rolled in kailan.

Yeoh’s most original creation is three-in-one rolls in which he mixes chicken with fish and prawn. These are priced at one ringgit each. Fu chuk (beancurd sheets), fish rolls, fish biscuits and chicken rolls are the other attractions.

The yong tau foo and other items are served fried or with soup. You can also have kuey teow, bihun, loh shi fun or other side orders.

Yeoh says he uses only ikan parang and red snapper for the stuffing. He does not mix the fish with other ingredients as practised by some hawkers.

“In this competitive business, it is important to make sure your food tastes good. That will get the customers coming back,” says Yeoh who has been in the business for 20 years.

Yeoh also makes his own chili sauce which he says is very important. “It is the chili sauce that ultimately brings out the flavour of the yong tau foo.”

Yeoh’s stall opens from 11am to 6pm. Gourmet Square opens only from 6pm till late at night.

Another place in Ipoh that offers a delicious kai see hor fan is the Restoran Hotel Embassy in Jalan C.M. Yusof in the city centre. The soup is tasty and it comes with a generous helping of kai see (shredded chicken) and bean sprouts — at coffeeshop prices of about RM3.

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