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Motormouth From Ipoh

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Keng Nam Coffee Shop @ Ipoh - Curry Mee & Pulut Kaya

No frills post today. Working again on a Sunday. Grumpy Motormouth ...... don't come close. I'll put my adamantium claws to work. If I ever have them, oh you can betcha bottom dollar I would !!!

Dry Curry Vermicelli & Yellow Noodles @ RM4.00

One of the longest running on my list of to-try's, Keng Nam coffee shop is a tricky one. Yes it was. You either come early for the curry mee, OR you arrive to witness them cleaning the deserted compound.

Don't look down on this unpretentious corner lot of a coffee shop. Nowadays, even the simplest coffee shop is named 'Restaurant'. For whatever reason, I don't know. Glamour? Status quo?

Many have raved and ranted about Keng Nam's curry mee. Verdict? Nope, doesn't even come close. The curry paste may be thick, fragrant, with an extra little bit of 'fire' in them, but even the dry version of the curry was not satisfying enough, the gravy being too diluted (somewhat oily as well), and ingredients leaning more towards the sparse end (as evident from pic above). They could've been more generous with the curry, (ala Yee Fatt) to ensure an immensely pleasurable (whoops ... scandalous choice of words) dining experience.

Chee Cheong Fun with Mushroom Gravy
Though some might argue that the wet curry may fare better, do realise that I'm comparing the dry version with other dry curry noodles as well. So, no bias.
Anyway, the CCF (chee cheong fun) fared better, slightly. Smooth rice noodles, steamed till silky perfection, garnished with sesame seeds and fried shallots. The gravy somewhat lacking in mushrooms/pork, it's the noodles that matter to me. And the CCF can be served with curry chicken, or curry pig's skin. The latter was a delight, as far as I could remember. Sorry, the photo's somewhere in my stash of backlogs, taken a year ago!

Sweet glutinous rice with egg jam - Pulut Kaya
But this remained the highlight of my breakfast, and one that's worth coming here for. Yup, a confession to make here; I lurve pulut kaya, be it white or blue in colour. The latter's called pulut tai-tai, by the way. A famous nyonya kuih, commonly sold in small, square-ish blocks with kaya.
Keng Nam's Pulut Kaya has stood the test of time. I had my FIRST pulut kaya from this very shop, back when Motormouth's motor has yet to be ignited. Read : When I was half my current size, and food did not matter as much, compared to now. =P

Thick, strong cup of white coffee - Shot taken at time of leaving.
Location : Keng Nam Coffee Shop @ Jalan Raja Ekram, Ipoh. Here's a MAP, in case you're lost. It's on the same road as Koh Samui Thai Restaurant, very near to Ipoh's new hotel, The Tower Regency, and within walking distance from Hotel Excelsior.

Go early. Or else.

Now for something completely UNrelated ...... :

The Grand Daddy of them All - FOH SAN DIM SUM RESTAURANT

(Next Change : June 2009 - Still unconfirmed)

Dim Sum restaurants within the vicinity .... Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

Location : Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant @ 51, Jln Leong Sin Nam, 30300 Ipoh, Perak. A MAP, for those in need.

37 comments:

Zheng Yang 琤洋 said...

I used to eat there every saturday when i still in my secondary school. How the taste for the dry curry ? last time the old uncle do very nice, but after his son do the taste a bit out...& the chee cheong fun & the kaya pulut is very nice... ^^

ck lam said...

Finally get to see the kaya pulut that I missed out on my previous trip. Thanks for sharing it plus the Foh San new outlet :)

550ml jar of faith said...

Mushroom CCF... nice one! But hark! I'm not sure I like the look of the new Foh San!!

cariso said...

Wah...the fon sun becomes sooooo CLASS ah! *shocked* Will the price also following the trend?

allie said...

wah.. the foh sun dim sum become so grand lo.. keng !
I miss pulut kaya :)

SuwEi said...

Wondering the price will increase or not, seems like those HK dim sum restaurant..

Selba said...

The dry curry absolutely stunning!

thenomadGourmand said...

aiyoo..ambiance so wrong la foh san! & tht pulut kaya..yup an old fav ;)

New Kid on the Blog said...

Keng Nam looks familiar... they also have clear soup noodle right? Think I visited this place before...

soo sean said...

This is my must visit place when I go back Ipoh. My order would always be the curry soup version. I prefer the Kampar Road dry curry. Glutinous rice with kaya is a must. Super delicious.

CUMI & CIKI said...

lol.. poor thing why dei mk u work wkd ar? love tt first shot - super sharp pic! can almost taste that signature dry curry sauce sucked up by the MAI FUN! nice...

CUMI & CIKI said...

ok la.. so not up to par but one can always fantasize no? :P

Timothy Low said...

Like the way you write .. haha. Btw, you Wolverine fan also eh?

jencooks said...

The pulut kaya and kopi gao enuf for me leh tho' yes, wud prefer the pulut tai tai as u described. Hardly get such stuff here. Lucky fella to enjoy such meal, neber mind the work on Sunday, double pay got?

YilingL said...

wah foh san change of image and location??!

anyway i am drooling for the CCF in mushroom sauce....

ahlock said...

Didn't know that Foo San has a new branch. Gotta check this place out ASAP! I love Foo San even though I've been there but once only. Because I hate the crowd...

This new place look big enough not to be crowdy. Hope I'm right :)

Sugar Bean said...

Haha, the difference between Keng Nam and Foh San is so big! Aiks, shame on me, I haven't heard or tried pulut kaya before. Guess I really should learn more bout Msian food.

CRIZ LAI said...

Seriously, if I ever step in Ipoh again, you should take me tryout all the curry mee around... haha. This dry version looked yummilicious!!

http://crizfood.com/

email2me said...

The new Foh San building look so big! easily can put a 2 banquet sessions in one go.

PureGlutton said...

Mmm... the pulut kaya looks damn nice - must try this in my next balik kampung trip!
OMG - i can't imagine how traffic would be around the area when the new giant Foh San opens! It's bad enuf as it is now!

Stanley said...

Keng Nam Dry Curry Noodles:

I think I know what you mean despite all the hype, the dry curry noodle is kinda forgettable.

Which also explains why I have only been there once. About 6 months ago. And there's no urge to revisit this place for its famed dry curry.

Who knows, maybe the soup curry version is better. I'll definitely avoid dry the next time I drop by.

jason said...

Perak Food Guide was talking about the nasi pulut, not the curry noodle. :)

And where the heck does Jln Leong Sin Nam has such big place for the new outlet!?

backStreetGluttons said...

Good curry mee is hard to come by ! and so many sub versions too ! Some like raw cockles some avoid the santan , some like prawns some like blood! And in Penang you MUST add hot chilis to the hot curry
haha

iamthewitch said...

OMG such a GIGANTIC Foh San! Size really does matter huh? Ming Court faster catch up! :P

J2Kfm said...

Zheng Yang : the dry curry not so good, in fact I've had better ones elsewhere.

ck lam : so you can come again, then we can go for a crawl? :)

550ml jar of faith : it all depends on the quality of the dim sum, if good, even though they're selling them underwater (hehe), the experience will still be priceless.

cariso : i'm not surprised if they increase the prices of the dimsum, given the bombastic new outlet.

allie : almost like a Hong Kong style dim sum restaurant. kinda dwarf the others.

Suwei : sure thing. but let's go and try the new outlet out someday, ok?

Selba : looks .. are deceiving, my dear.

thenomadGourmand : pulut kaya's good. a bit sweet, but still addictive stuff.

NKOTB : they've a stall selling prawn mee (i think) and another selling fishball noodles.

soo sean : i can almost imagine snacking on plates after plates of those glutinous rice. but the after effect (dozing off) is kinda deterring ...

Cumi & Ciki : dunnolah. just got back only, and whoosh ... there goes the weekend.

J2Kfm said...

Timothy Low : yes, I am. in fact, I'm an XMen fan, since the movies and the games.

jencooks : no double pay lah, Jen. but can be replaced by a day's off in the future.

YiLingL : as of now, NOT yet. but gonna move soon.

ahlock : not branch! they'll move sometime next month.

Sugar Bean : yes ah? i wonder pulut kaya belongs to which clan, Hainanese? Hokkien lang's?

Criz lai : no prob! i only go for the dry curry though. hehe ... my fav.

email2me : thats true. i'm wondering whether they'll include dishes, noodles and rice into their menu.

Pureglutton : this is the REAL problem. oh but i forgot the mention, they have a private carpark lot right oppo the new place. for customers only.

Stanley : how true. but the pulut kaya's kinda good. and since not many shops are selling them, Keng Nam's version may be the best in Ipoh, after all.

jason : yeahloh, but many raved bout the curry noodleslah, really one! you come back, we go eat, and you judge ok?

BSG : Penang's coagulated blood's a delight. previously i didnt dare biting into them, fearing the juices (blood) might squirt out, leaving a mess. but thankfully it's gelatinous, almost solid-like.

iamthewitch : Ming Court has to buck up, really. given the fact that Foh San's much LARGER, with own parking space, a serious threat to the others.

sakaigirl said...

i thought the pulut kaya is nasi lemak! interesting, never heard of pulut kaya before!

Little Inbox said...

The curry noodle soup doesn't look thick. Am I right?

mimid3vils said...

U eat a lot of curry eh...? Many curry posts :P

J2Kfm said...

sakaigirl : really? it's a staple at most kopitiam outlet. but good ones can only be found in certain shops.

Little Inbox : it's not soup, its the dry version. even then it was diluted.

mimid3vils : yeahloh, one of my fav, can't help.

Big Boys Oven said...

My Goodness! HUge giant Foh San, "the fury erupting volcano" . . . it's gonna be heaven, dim sum with pleasure, sure no need to que!

mengchai84 said...

Foh San is open officially nex month on the 2nd =)

J2Kfm said...

BBO : bout the queue thing, not so sure, given the location, it may just attract the Ming Court and Yoke Fook Moon's crowd.

mengchai84 : yeah, July 2nd! will you be there? :)

Anonymous said...

I still like to go to Kheng Nam for breakie.

Yeah, the kaya pulut (kaya lo mai fan) is good, but the curry mee is not that super delicious. Boleh tahanlah.

Ipoh Food Lover

Anonymous said...

I still like to go to Kheng Nam for breakie.

Yeah, the kaya pulut (kaya lo mai fan) is good, but the curry mee is not that super delicious. Boleh tahanlah.

Ipoh Food Lover

J2Kfm said...

exactly my opinions! the curry mee was nothing special, though rather famous on its own.

the kaya pulut deserves some merits though.

php tutorials said...

mmm....pulut kaya!