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Motormouth From Ipoh

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

From An Ugly Duckling, to A Beautiful Swan? (Soon Fatt Restaurant @ Ipoh)

Lest one thinks that Motormouth's migrated to KL, given the number of food posts from the southern part lately, let me re-clarify this; I'm still staying, working & eating my way in and around Ipoh. Therefore, for today, here's something from my hometown .....


Soon Fatt advanced from a simple 'Dai Chow' restaurant to a full-fledged Chinese dining restaurant over in Greentown

When I was working near Greentown aeons ago, we used to have lunch over at Soon Fatt, back then a simple 'Dai Chow' restaurant on the same road as Oversea Restaurant near Hotel Excelsior. The price was cheap, the food was good, though the place was noisy, usually congested, and definitely NOT for long conversations.

I was impressed at the transformation ....
Then sometime last year, Soon Fatt relocated to another premise on the same road, nearer to Overseas Restaurant, which occupies a good 2 shoplots. Very spacious, with modern ambience, almost Zen-like, and a certainly more comfortable seating area. Of course, the pricing 'improves' as well. But that's an understatement.
Stir-fried Asparagus with Prawns in Sambal Belacan
The wait can be a little ... relentless comes weekends or peak hours. Do not expect to be served ASAP, and don't go when starving. The asparagus stir-fried with medium-sized prawns, in sambal belacan sauce was delicious. Crunchy, fresh asparagus rates rather high in my book of All-Things-Greens. And the slighly spicy sauce, with a subtle sweetness (owing to the onions and succulent prawns) made this dish a stellar one, a step above from the average/mundane/compulsory greens.


Pork Knuckle with 'Kai Choy' in spicy & sour gravy
The right combination of ingredients in the next dish was spot-on. Piquant, tangy, yet not overpowering, the 'Kai Choy' (mustard greens?) is a popular dish commonly served by chicken rice stalls, as the usual concoction involves left-over bones, meats, and such. Not entirely appetizing on paper, but the spicy and sour gravy will definitely tingle your tastebuds!
Here at Soon Fatt, they upped the ante, pairing a whole pork knuckle (can feed 4, really!) with the 'Kai Choy' in gravy, an awkward combination, yet worked wonders. One minor gripe would be the meat was a bit over-cooked, requiring more chewing than the desired melt-in-mouth texture. But still, try this for its authenticity.
Steamed Tilapia in Taucu Sauce
The fish was fresh, flesh was firm and sweet, completely lacking in unpleasant muddy taste usually feared when it comes to fresh water fish. The thick, spicy and savoury sauce complemented the fish to a tee. But wanna know what's THE secret ingredient? :)

Yeah Baby! A handful of these, and come running to a pharmacy .... Want some Statins? :)

Lots and lots of crunchy, sinfully addictive pork lards!!! Seldom do restaurants nowadays incorporate these babies in their dishes. Unhealthy? Yes. But once in a blue moon, who cares?! The meal costed the four of us RM74.50, including rice and drinks. No service charge/gov tax.

Location : SOON FATT RESTAURANT @ 42,. Jalan Seenivasagam, 30450 Ipoh, Perak. Tel No : 605-243 6864. Got MAP !!!

P/S : They're having CNY dinner sets as well. Do call for enquiries. And no, I'm NOT paid for this, LOL.

22 comments:

ck lam said...

Nice intro of this interesting dish of Pork Knuckle with 'Kai Choy'. Would like to try this dish :)

The time having kai choy is usually after festive season when there are plenty of leftovers and sometimes from the chicken rice stalls (chai boey).

Duckie said...

dishes looks and sounds good. and all the better with no service charge & gov tax!!

Duckie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

the pork knuckle is a first...too bad this CNY we r not goin to celebrate in ipoh..looks like its got to wait..

yes chiu chow steam fish 1st prerequisite is zhu yao char..dont have ar..not shiok 1..

laukl said...

Your write-up on the pork knuckle with kai choy sounds like a professional food critique. Fantastic choice of words! I wonder, are you a writer/journalist for a living? btw, i love those asparagus with prawns in sambal belacan..yummy..

Elinluv said...

:) you are getting better each day, pro food critique. Thanks so much for the info and keep up the good work. The Pork knuckle looks yummy! The place looks better now compared to the old place ^ *

jasmine said...

like the sound of this place... location seems ok for ppl like us who are not familiar with ipoh too. thanks for sharing!

Jason said...

I didn't know they actually relocated. But yes, it's one of my fav place to dine since my college days (just a few metres away!).

Upper and nearer to Excelsior? Hmm...

Tummythoz said...

Too lz to google so err what does statin do?

thenomadGourmand said...

wahhh..good old chinese pork dishes.. yumm...muz make a trip to ipoh soon.. its been a while..

cariso said...

That 'Kai Choy' is too tempting! I used to put that also whenever cooking chai boay.

J2Kfm said...

ck lam : yeah, though sounds gross, but the extra sour and slightly spicy taste of the Kai Choy is irresistible. pair them with the knuckle? lovely.

Duckie : yeah, but a little pricey, for Ipoh;s standards.

Joe : eh, you normally come to Ipoh to celeb meh?

laukl : hi there! professional?!! hahaha ..that's new. i'm neither a writer nor a journalist. i'm a mere glutton. :)

Elinluv : yeah, the old place looked homely though. now it looks .. rather intimidating.

jasmine : welcome! it's within walking distance frmo Excelsior Hotel, Ipoh Parade and Syuen Hotel.

jason : college days?!! hahaa.. like many many yrs liao, hor? =P it's at the building that's used to be the computer college. forgot the name.

Tummythoz : Statins = Cholesterol-lowering drugs.

thenomadGourmand : pls do so! LOL. if only Ipoh develops as rapidly as Melaka/Penang.

cariso : chai boay? sounds familiar. Pg dish?

worldwindows said...

Good for reunion for Chinese New Year Eve?

kampungboycitygal said...

yes my favourite dai chow shop during my student time..the food is really cheap!! a single portion cost only rm 3.5 to rm 4 way back then..is the new soon fatt a gd place for family dinner?

PureGlutton said...

Ahh...another place to visit the next time i balik kampung!
I use roast pork knuckle in my sour kai-choy dish. The roasted meat gives a very yummy smoky flavour to the dish.

J2Kfm said...

worldwindows : not sure yet, but this year we'll be going there for ours.

kampungboycitygal : given the popularity of the place, I'd say yes. but bear the longer than average wait.

Pureglutton : yeah, the way you describe those roasted knuckles had me salivating. can export to ipoh ah? =P

fatboybakes said...

oooh, i ate here in my last trip to ipoh. aiyo, by KL standards, its darn cheap la... and good too...you lucky ipohrians..ipohlites...ipohnite? ipohmali...

J2Kfm said...

Ipohan lah ... tot you also from Ipoh, so that makes u another lucky b*****d just like us. :)

PureGlutton said...

J2Kfm: Cannn... next time i balik kg to ipoh, i'll see if i can cook this and then we can have a KaiChoy Party, wokay! Err... how to contact u ah?!

J2Kfm said...

got kai choy party some more? hahhah ... so everyone brings their most creative kai choy intepretation? :)

Wen Xuan said...

oh dear...my mom says this place is NOT GOOD...so I can't try it on my own...

J2Kfm said...

Wen Xuan : really? and yet we've booked our Reunion dinner there this year, as other places have been fully booked.