Ipoh - food in the city

Ipoh Old Town

House of Mirrors (Thean Chun) - Caramel Custard & Ipoh Kuey Teow

The creme caramel here is to die for and if you get there any later than the normal lunch hours, most often they would have sold out. The Ipoh Kuey Teow here is pretty good too and is one of the better places to savour this if you're there for lunch. If you so choose to have Ipoh Kuey Teow for dinner, then there are a couple more places that are equally good if not better to choose from. However, these other shops only open for dinner and are located in Ipoh New Town, which we will touch upon further on.

If you have difficulty locating this kopi tiam (coffee shop), it's the one that has its walls lined with large old mirrors.

Location: Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh Old Town. Open mornings and afternoons only

Kong Heng - Pork Satay

This old Kopi Tiam ( one of the oldest food places in Ipoh) is ever so popular with the locals and tourists alike. Every time we visit this eatery, it's a tussle for tables. The main dishes that customers go for here is the pork satay. The old man who runs this stall has a habit of thrusting plates of satay at customers. Just eat as many sticks of satay as you can o want to and the remaining sticks of satay won't be accounted for. Only pay for those that you have eaten.

The laksa is also pretty good here but not as good as some in KL or Penang. Check it out though.

Location: Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh Old Town. Next to House of Mirrors (Thean Chun). Open mornings and afternoons only.

Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong - White Coffee

This is one of many coffee shops that sell white coffee in Ipoh. The difference is that this place is popular for just that - white coffee. The next two coffee shops Xin Yuan Foong and Xin Yuan Hoong is also popular for a bit of breakfast and a cup of delicious white coffee. Ipoh is reknown for its white coffee which can now be found in many coffee shops in Malaysia and they are even prepacked for sale in supermarkets and other sundry outlets.

Location: Ipoh Old Town, just walking distance from Kong Fatt Textiles. Open for breakfast and lunch.

Sin Seng Fatt - Curry Noodle

This place is a little bit more difficult to find but is worth the while. Apparently, the curry paste is so good that it's packed and sent to franchisees in Hong Kong!

Location: Jalan Market, Ipoh Old Town. Open mornings and afternoons only.

Sin Yean Lee - Fried Kway Teow

The petite sized char kway teow here is pretty good and great value for money. However, you may have to order quite a few plates to satisfy the pangs.

Location: Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh Old Town. Just a little way from Thean Chun. Close to the road junction - a corner coffee shop.

Ipoh New Town

Restoran Lou Wong - Ipoh Kway Teow

Now, this is the place to go for tauge ipoh kway teow. This corner shop is most famous for the steamed chicken and beansprout dishes that go with a bowl of piping hot kway teow soup. Although there are a few stalls selling the same menu along the street, locals tend to make a beeline for this place. Lou Wong gets pretty busy from late evening onwards.

Location: No. 49 Jalan Yau Tat Shin . Open from late evening until after the clubbers go home. So if you're looking for a place to eat at 2.00am, you know where to go...

Restaurant Foh San - Dim Sum

The ever famous Foh San is really for the early risers. This is a favourite haunt for the older folks - after their morning exercises and in for a cup of tea and an array of no frills, scrumptious dim sum to start the day. It's no surprise therefore, that getting a seat is difficult. After getting yourself a table, you may have to fight to get noticed as the waitresses are often too busy to entertain.

Apparently, the Foh San also makes very good mooncakes for the Mooncake festival. If you're in Ipoh sometime August/September, perhaps a box or two for the folks back home will make a great gift.

Foh San has its namesake plastered all over the frozen food sections in supermarkets across the nation. Well, those selling frozen dim sum that is...

Location: No. 2, Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar (used to be known as the Ozbourne Street). Open for breakfast.

Lee How Fook - Kong Kong style Chinese Cuisine

Out of the many outlets of Lee How Fook restaurants in Malaysia, this is perhaps the best in terms of quality and taste. A bit pricy for Ipoh standard but worth a try.

Location: Opposite the Jubilee Building

Pusing Public Seafood Restaurant - Seafood

A great affordable seafood place. Although a little on the pricey side for Ipoh standard, many local Chinese weddings and functions are held here, especially during weekends. Locals love this restaurant for its signature prawn dish.

Location: 57-65 Jalan Verasamy (Verasamy Street).

Canning Garden

Indulgence Restaurant and Jazz Room

Would food here be considered fusion? I mean Ginger Marinated Rib-Eye in miso soup or Braised Smoked Duck in Coconut sounds pretty much a mix of western and oriental. What about Macadamia Turkey Pasta, Lemon Fish Brochette served with oven-dried tomatoes, Soft-Shell Crab Salad, Salmon and Cheese Omelette? Sounds experimental doesn't it. But that's all to do with the owner's passion for conjuring palatable, scrumptious dishes with that little personal touch of a sprinkle here and a dash there to make the experience - just right. Julie Song, the proprietor of Indugence believes in titillating all senses from the ambience where customers can so choose to dine in a Moroccan room, at the courtyard cafe or just lounge at the bistro. For a little privacy, a dining room is set for 8 to 10 people right next to a little garden. Aroma from freshly baked breads like the country breads, tomato rolls and basil buns wafts through and encapsulates diners, possibly turning each and everyone into salivating puppies waiting to be fed anything and everything! The food, well, that speaks for itself really. However, a fine dinner cannot be complete without those devilish desserts such as Mango Ooh Lala, Granny Apple Cheesecake, and a chocolate banana cake. Oh and a good cup of coffee to make it a meal to remember. Ok, if that's not enough, there's a live jazzband performing on friday and saturday nights. Oh, why can't we have something like that in KL?!

Location: 15 Lorong Cecil Rae, Taman Canning Ipoh, Tel: 05-5496941. Open 9.00am - 11.30pm Thursday - Sunday.

Gourmet Square - Seafood

Everybody loves seafood and where better to go then where the locals frequent. Try the Marmite Crab or the sweet & sour crab - that'll make your ears tingle. Other seafood dishes such as prawns, fish, other shellfish are available. If you're familiar with balitong, well, the fried balitong here is good.

Location: Anika Selera or Gourmet Square.

Wooley's Food and Amusement Centre - hawker food court

The curry laksa here is good plus the ABC(Air Batu Campur or Shaved Ice Mix) is nice after a spicy meal. The Ipoh Chee Cheong Fun is a favourite buy here. Unlike the Chee Cheong Fun we have in KL, Ipoh has it with minced pork sauce and mushroom, topped with preserved green chilli, a sprinkle of deep fried shallots and sesame.

Location: Wooley's Food and Amusement Centre

Kao Lee Steamboat Restaurant - Steamboat

Good steamboat variety for a cool night.

Location: No. 48 & 50 Lengkok Canning , Ipoh Garden.

Ipoh Garden South

Pusat Makanan Chha Yong - local desserts

If you're looking for a taste of local desserts, then this is the place to be. It also serves 'Tong Sui' that will be able to soothe parched throats.

Location: No. 2 Tingkat Ipoh II. A corner coffee shop.

Mee Sun Coffee Shop - Chinese Dumplings or Jung and Seafood Noodle Soup

If you're in the area, try not to miss out on the delights this coffeeshop offers. The Jung or Chinese Dumplings, what used to be only available during Chinese Festival is now on the daily menu. The Seafood Noodle Soup from another stall at Mee Sun is also ever popular with residents of Ipoh.

Location: Just a little way down the road from Chha Yong. A corner coffee shop.

Other Places

Lucky Restaurant - Seafood

Have you ever gone away long enough to induce a craving for food back home? For us KL people, we don't much get that problem. You see, everyone is wanting to make it in the city and hence a few entrepeneurial ones end up bringing along their hometown specialities and setting up shop in KL. So we dont go anywhere but KL to enjoy what we think is the best in Malaysia. However, there are these people who dont think much of moving to the big city. (wise people!). Their art & cuisine remains steadfastedly planted in their childhood grounds.

That's why, Lucky restaurant is always so packed with customers returning home for a bit of nostalgia and culinary gratification that only Ipoh can satisfy. Most people go for the steamed fish here. But before you even consider going, make sure you call them to reserve a table. It's that popular!

Location: 266, Jalan Pasir Puteh, Ipoh. Tel: 605 - 255 7330 Mobile: 6013 - 703 8602. (Steven Teo)

Yum Yum Restaurant - Nyonya Cuisine

Good but a little pricey for Ipoh standard, this place is another one of those eateries tucked away in a corner of Ipoh where only the locals would know about. A cosy little place with aviaries in nooks and antiques in corners, this is the sort of place to relax and enjoy that aroma, the presentation and the delicate details that is simply - Nyonya.

Location: 5, Persiaran Greenhill, 30450 Ipoh. Tel: +605 - 253 7686 Fax: 2453 5737

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