Subscribe to my RSS Feeds

Motormouth From Ipoh

Friday, May 30, 2008

Claypot Crab Tanghoon (Glass Noodles) @ Bercham, Ipoh

Egged on by a fellow blogger to try this place and blog about it, I successfully dragged KCA, MBoy and Slimmie (haha, sorry if you're reading this, but can't think of a better nick =P) over to this restaurant situated in Bercham (Pusat Bandar Baru).

Whipping up a storm ...

Though we were in fact, an hour or two away from FREE food over at a friend's house (Congrats to the newlyweds!! Don't worry, identities protected). We decided to place our orders cautiously, for fear of over-indulging.

Ultra Big Fishballs (RM10 for 10)

KCA claimed their fishballs are tasty, though pricey, at RM1 each, possible contender vs dim sum outlets' version. Large, springy texture, with some fillings, these balls are rather filling on their own. Good thing they did not relent and allowed the glutton (who else? hehe) to order all he wanted.

Steamed La-La (RM9)

The steamed clams (la-la) was good, albeit slightly on the smaller scale, and drowned in a tad too generous dashings of oil. However, the sweet, succulent morsels made up for the minor flaws, that was easily overlooked.

Claypot Crab with Tang Hoon (Rm48)

The main event : 2 BIG juicy crabs, cooked in claypot with yummy juices flowing, completely soaking the abundance of glass noodles (tang hoon) with vegetables and pork bacons. Sounds sooooo tempting, right? Ahem, but I beg to differ. Though the place was packed, and almost every table ordered this famous dish of theirs, the 3 of them agreed in unison that the gravy was too saltish, while I detested the overpowering peppery-infused sauce. The first few spoonfuls of tang hoon with the gravy were marvellous, sweet juices from the crabs, and ever-reliable QQ tang hoon complimenting each other perfectly, but the last few chugs of the soggy noodles were a bit too 'jelak' to finish off.

Bill for 4 totalled RM67. No rice, and drinks excluded. One word of advice; Inform the chef if you'd like your dish with less salt/soy sauce, else you risk wasting away the last few spoonfuls.

Location : Kedai Makanan Rasa Lain @ 69, Persiaran Medan Bercham 2, Pusat Bandar Baru Bercham.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sweet Temptations by JJ Cakes, Ipoh

A day after the Gerik-Pengkalan Hulu excursion, I was 'privileged' to be chosen yet AGAIN to embark on another 'adventure' somewhere up north for 2 days, 1 night. But as I've not touched on the previous journey's photos yet, I won't blog about this one either.

Therefore, I'll post something from the old stash. (which has been increasingly stacking up, right up till the point where I can't sort which one to blog 1st, not to mention the taste/price of some which had slipped my mind, completely)

Fresh Durian (RM12)

One fine day, Mum bought some Swiss rolls, that were purpotedly hyped and recommended by her colleague, claiming that they are one of a kind, and certainly qualifies as one of the BEST in Ipoh. Wow, quite a boastful title to live up to, no? I'll stop yapping now, and let the pics do their talking. Sounds fine? =P

Closer look at the creamy durian filling

Coffee Walnut (RM12)

Fresh Mango (RM12)

Fresh Strawberry (RM12)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese with Pumpkin Seeds (RM15)

Green Tea Cream Cheese with Sunflower Seeds (RM15)

The rolls should be refrigerated, and eaten within 3 days, as they claim NO preservatives were added. To those on strict diet, the low sugar content provides much-needed relief, meaning you can chomp on these without guilt.

All the flavours I've tried managed to impress me, Fresh Mango being my favourite, aside from the Cream Cheese range, which are excellent. They bake their cakes and Swiss rolls freshly, therefore you need to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Prices maybe slightly steep, but the Swiss rolls' portions are quite big, and all the ingredients used are fresh. Prices for cakes range from RM30 for basic butter cream sponge cake, to RM80 for Tiramisu Classic.

UPDATED 4/1/2009 !!!

New Location : JJ Cakes @ Ground Floor of Hotel Fairmont, Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun (formerly Jalan Kampar), 30250 Ipoh. Unsure of the place? It's within the restaurant named De Mouth restaurant. Hotel Fairmont's next to Methodist Girls' School, and the roundabout near Tow Boo Keong temple. Still no idea? Here goes a MAP!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Of Brilliant Yam Puffs, & Golden Retriever ...

Sigh .......... seldom do I start my post with a heave of relief, and from sheer fatigue. But I've all the reasons in the world to be, for this past 2 days, I've drove all the way to Gerik, and then Pengkalan Hulu (Pengkalan WHAT? hehe =P), then back again few hours ago. But more on that in later posts, k?

Yummylicious Wu Kok (Yam Puffs) @ RM1.10 each

For now, I'll just share a simple snack that I've had the privilege to relish, courtesy of my aunt who visits the Bercham morning market often. My aunts are food connoiseurs in their own rights, as you might have noticed in my older post on Choy Kee's egg tarts where another aunt of mine buys them and drops them at my doorsteps on Saturday morning, ala Santa Claus style. LOL.

Anyway, these babies (the yam puffs/wu kok, not my aunts) are delicious especially when served hot, the outer layers of yam crispy and full of yam-my flavours, while the solid fillings of green peas, char siew etc delightfully moist, and scrumptious. Better than most of the dim sum outlets, EVEN Foh San's. Really.

Location : Bercham morning market. One of the stalls I guess. Sorry, never bother to ask for directions, but will be glad to do so if anyone is interested to get their hands on them.

On a side note, let's side track and see what my Golden Retriever is currently up to ..... =P

Eeeeee ..................

CHAK !!!!!

Oh, hide-and-seek? But not from a hiding position. She's grown too big and lazy to be running around, like she used to. Muahaha ..... (whoops, I guess she's taken a resemblance to her owner, probably? =O )

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ipoh Mali (Talak Sombong) back to Ipoh @ A'Shore

Jason came back for the weekend FINALLY, (",) probably to celebrate a 'slightly' belated Mother's Day with his Mum. Went out for lunch, initially planned for another place but that was closed. (Why do some shops choose to close on Saturdays anyway?!) Crawled over to Sin Hup Kee, but no parking space. End up re-visiting A'Shore, which was pretty calm (read:empty) that afternoon.

A'Shore Spicy Noodle (RM6.50)

Though it takes two to tango, two aren't a crowd however, and ordering 'dai chow' type of dishes would be irrational. Thus, we chose to order something lighter from their noodles menu. They serve a multitude of noodles, and rice suited for individual diner. Price ranging from RM5.90 to RM10.

One usual tactic I practise when it comes to ordering food from a menu with vast selections is to either choose what the other customers are chomping (in this case, doesn't work as we were the ONLY ones there), OR browse the menu for the dish with the brightest/vibrant/biggest picture, indicating signature dishes. That was how I chose their A'Shore Spicy Noodle (Ma Lat Meen).

Strictly one for spicy food lovers, the noodle came in a BIG bowl, garnished with so much minced meat and vegetables that the noodles were totally buried underneath, hidden from daylight. The type of noodles they use reminded me of ramen/pan mee variety, springy (QQ?) and delivers a satisfying bite. The freshly shredded vegetables provided a refreshing crunch and adequeate fibre (hehe). The minced meat topping, with 2 big medium-sized prawns kind of resembles 'Cha Cheong Meen', a type of Szechuan noodle dish. Dried chilli flakes, bird's eye chilli, and red chilli provided much of the kick, and poor Jason was probably burnt from the fire I breathed. =O

Kong Kam Noodles (RM6.90)

Jason had the Kong Kam Noodle (or Kam Kong? correct me, yeah? =P) which came with shrimps, squids, pork slices, and various vegetables (LOL, I just describe from the pic as Jason was quiet when indulging in his bowl. His bowl of noodles, that is. Tastewise? He claimed it was OK, not sure leaning more towards the tasty end or vice versa. But from the looks of it, fried egg noodle (yee mee?) in 'wat tan hor'-like gravy can't go wrong. Plus the serving was rather huge.

Papa, where's the egg? =P

Jason had carrot juice, or something like that. I opted for their Icy Desserts section, choosing Soursop (durian belanda) flavour (RM5.50), which arrived in a bowl with lots of shaved ice ala ABC, plentiful of soursop flesh to sink my teeth into, and some strange, wriggly, colourful (albeit slightly obscene to the corrupted minds) creatures that provided plenty of bite. (heh heh)

The food and drinks are reasonably priced. Customers started to trickle in soon after we parked out butts. The place may be hidden from public view, at a backlane, but through word of mouth, is starting to gain momentum. Let's hope they do not surrender to inflation/temptation/success and mutates into another run-of-the-mill expensive restaurant with no substance.

Location : Kindly refer old post, HERE.

For Jason's recollection of the meal, PLUS better quality photos (=P), click HERE.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ah Wong Thai Food

Ah Wong. Doesn't the name ring a bell? Something from TV(B) land, perhaps? (Roger Kwok, anyone?) Or could be the moniker given to my cousin's neighbour's long lost, loyal man's best friend. But the Ah Wong in this story, is an affectionate recognition, a nick for a lucky chap, who married a Thai lady whose culinary skills is on par with some of the best chef in renowned Thai restaurants .......
Well, OK. Probably slightly exaggerated. But for the price you pay, plus the quality/authenticity of the food, you WILL walk out, fully satiated and possibly vowing to return for more of the value-for-money dishes cooked with such fiery passion .....

Notice Hoy Tin Lau at the background? Another noteworthy outlet ...

This particular stall serving Thai delights had been around for years, previously dishing them out at the late Restoran KK on Laluan Perajurit 1, Ipoh Garden East, VERY near to my house and transformed into a frequent haunt for my family and relatives. Then a few months ago, Ah Wong and wife moved somewhere, and suffice to say, we were devastated, losing a gem of an outlet renowned for its Nakhon Pathom Special Thai Food.

So what if I've a blemish? Bite me?!

Then Mum heard whispers in the wind, indicating probable new location of Ah Wong's stall. A skip and a hop away, they moved to Restoran Soon Hoong, on the way to Bercham. Still VERY near to my place. How convenient. All's not lost in the end.

Their omelette with prawns and onions is a simple home cooked dish, but she (Ah Wong doesn't cook, he takes care of everything else) fries them just the way we love our eggs. Crispy at the sides, while the centre is filled with lots of prawns, onions, and melting egg. Yummy.

Stir-Fried Kailan with salted Fish

Bro's not a fan of vege, probably a reincarnation of sabre tooth tiger (or something) in past life. But he insisted on ordering the kailan with salted fish, and told us that he used to 'ta-pau' this dish often last time. The greens certainly did not disappoint, crunchy and fresh, without any bitter undertones. But may be a tad salty for those not accustomed to salted fish.

Red hot fiery goodness

We would rotate most of the dishes whenever we dined, but one dish remained our perennial favourite, the Tom Yum Seafood. Mum however, would personally request for reduction in spiciness, for she sobs (uncontrollably,) when it comes to ultra spicy food. Nevertheless, throw caution to the wind, and relish every spoonful of hot, spicy and sour goodness. Plentiful of squids, prawns, abalone mushrooms, and tomatoes, the soup's taste resembles authentic tom yum (at least those I've tasted). Must-have. Just look at the size of the prawn below ....

Green Curry Chicken

Their fried chicken is one of the best, served with their own concoction of sweet chilli sauce. But as luck would have it, they ran out of fried chicken tonight. Hmmm ...... Back up plan? Green curry chicken. Can't go wrong with mild green curry, with strips of deboned chicken meat, long beans, and brinjals. Creamy, and delightful when paired with white fluffy rice.

The green curry strangely reminded me of 'lui cha' , complete with the mint-y fragrance, and almost alike gravy texture and color. Haha .....

Total for 4? RM40, including rice, excluding drinks. Cheap or what? But brace yourself for a long wait on a weekend evening, as the chef does all the chopping/slicing/frying/cooking herself, without any assistance, bar some 'help' from Ah Wong, who himself has to 'warp' everywhere to take orders/settle bills/serve customers. On this particular evening, we waited for ONE whole hour. Bring a magazine, manicure set, PSP, pillow (?) or something, just in case .....

Location : A bit tough, as I didn't manage to locate the road sign. Think it's Lebuh Bercham Selatan, will clarify if the need arises. Coming from Ipoh Garden East towards Bercham, there is a shortcut that utilizes Laluan Perajurit 1, passing by some flats on the right. Go further and you'll reach a T-junction. Restoran Soon Hoong is directly opposite, right across the erm, field?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sitiawan, Revisited

This week started on a high note, 19th being a Wesak Day celebration = public holiday in Perak, = extended weekend (",). Timely, as I was in dire need for a long rest. The previous week was filled with activities to the brim, working overtime during the Tanjung Piandang excursion, travelling to Lawan Kuda/Gopeng for nothing, attending a court session on Friday, then proceeded to a 2-days intensive course on updates on HIV, eating into my precious Saturday.

Gong Pian with Onions (60 cents/each)

However, yesterday's journey to Tg Tualang/Kampung Gajah was another taxing crawl, burdened with workload + ultra hot weather (+ no NONHALAL food, get it?) = 8.5 hours of torture !!! (Help, FCOE!!! Where are you?)

Don't worry, the guy's not using the stick for homicidal intentions ...

Anyway, fast fwd to today. Aaahhh .... finally a decent mini food tour, and WORK done, of course, accordingly to our schedule, without pressure from the upper management. Me, KYT and Tall Gal ventured to Sitiawan and Seri Manjung. I skipped breakfast, so they were kind enough (after much persuasion, anyway) to drop me at Sitiawan Cheong Cia Gong Pian. Tried our luck to get the much sought after onion-filled biscuits, NOT the plain ones we had the previous visit (refer older post HERE). We were in luck, as the biscuits were freshly baked, and being 'scooped' out from the ovens resembling wells.

Hot, fresh, crispy Gong Pian with lots of chopped onions guarantees bad breath. LOL, but we couldn't care less. Miles better than the ones we had last time. In fact, the aroma permeated the Tall Gal's Vios, and we could not resist digging into one (OK, me and KYT the culprits). Fragrant, crispy, and extremely addictive. But I love anything with onions anyway. At 60 cents per piece, you can afford to stuff 10 without much guilt. OK, probably slight guilt. =)
One of the more famous Foo Chow restaurant in Sitiawan is Bei King, situated on the main road itself (Jalan Raja Omar, I believe?), and easily tracked. Right opposite a signboard on the other side that says "Taman Setia."

Bloody Red Wine Chicken

Being the gluttons threesome, we ordered 4 dishes to be shared among 3, expecting smaller portions, but the dishes can easily fed 4-5 pax. (Where are you AGAIN, FCOE??!!) We omit the rice noodles (mee suah) as we were evils, planning to deplete the current rice stocks even more. But keen on trying their famed red wine soup, we agreed to the Tau Ke Nia's recommendation of Red Wine Chicken. The chicken was stewed/cooked til tender, and the soup had a mild hint of wine, not unlike the Chicken in Wine commonly cooked for post delivery women. (=P) Goes well with white rice. Just don't let the blood red colour deceive or deter you.

Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs with Char Choy (preserved vege)

The ribs were soft, mostly boneless, and cooked with yams, potatoes (I presumed) and char choy, a type of preserved vegetable. Sweet and sour, the ribs were full of flavour, but I find them too soft/mashed for my liking.

4 Heavenly Kings (literally)

The Four Heavenly Kings served here is slightly different, incorporating brinjals, ladies' fingers, asparagus and stink beans (petai). The gravy was addictive, unlike the common sambal belacan used to cook this dish. But I couldn't help but detected a slight tinge of sweetish/sourish taste in this dish, yet again, proving that the Foo Chows really love their sweet and sour dishes.

Signature Beancurd with Broccoli and Abalone Mushrooms

Not sure if those were abalone mushrooms, for I'm not expert on the fungal family. But the tofu was homemade, and really soft and velvety, and bursting with egg-y flavour. Very nice.

One funny moment though. When we ordered the drinks, Tall Gal accidentally ordered Chrysanthemum tea (Kuk Pou) for all 3 of us, when her intention was having sweet chrysanthemum herbal tea (Kuk Fah) herself. But Kuk Pou sounds OK to us, nevertheless. However, they MIXED the tea (Luk Pou) and SWEET chrysanthemum tea in this one, resulting in a hybrid of flavours, fragrant from the tea leaves, and sweet from the sugar added. Imagine a sweet kuk pou *_* .... But still, quite soothing and refreshing.

Total damage = RM54 including 4 bowls of rice and drinks. Though not dirt cheap, (it is an air-conditioned restaurant with years of history anyway), it was reasonable enough for us, to probably warrant a next visit. But we'll be sure to drag FCOE along, so that she can mop up all unwanted leftovers ....muahahha ....

Location : Coming from Ipoh towards Lumut using the Lumut Highway, turn into Sitiawan town. When you reach a crossroad with traffic lights, you will notice KFC is on your right. Turn left into Jalan Raja Omar, and you will notice this restaurant after a minute or 2 on your left.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Momo Cafe & Steamboat @ Old Town, Ipoh

Yeah .... D-day is crawling nearer. I knew it, deep down embedded in my soul, imbued with hope & anticipation ... for a dining experience highly divided by positive reviews, and vice versa.
Nope, nothing too dramatic. It's just that we have to use up the RM120 vouchers for ANYTHING from Momo's (furnitures and waitresses not included) by the end of 2008. Since CNY in Feb, Mum had been teasing me, suggestively waving the vouchers under my nose, while maintaining her vice grip on them, reassuring me that we WILL go, someday .....

There is in fact, never an occasion too suitable for a steamboat meal, unless on a cold, rainy evening, and the icing on the cake? My parents' 29th wedding anniversary. ;)

Various dipping sauces

The buffet concept is simple, but slightly different. Being the lazybums we Malaysians have 'evolved' into, they do not even have a buffet spread. Just write on pieces of paper provided on every table, indicating which plates of goodies you wish to stuff your face with, and pass them to the nearest waiting staff. It's All-You-Can-Eat, but bear in mind do not waste, as RM10 will be charged for every 100g of food left untouched, or hidden under the bowl, between the table, squashed under the plates, ta-pau in handbags, etc. You get the picture.

The choices are a lot. The 4 of us only managed to try almost half of the menu. The food in the menu, I mean. (We do not chew on glossy laminated papers)

The drinks are served by none other than ... yourselves. Or your maid, if you bring one. These trolleys are aplenty. 8 choices were available tonight; lime, fruit punch, orange, chinese tea, iced lemon tea, plain water, wintermelon & ???.

Plates of seafood galore, and random yongtaufoo stuff

Golden Mushroom and Abalone Mushroom

5 different variety of mushrooms are available, being Golden (Kam Cham Ku), Abalone, Drumstick (whatever that is), Black Mushroom and Button.

Special fried rice, with Fried Chicken Wing - Forgettable ......

Herbal Chicken Soup & Tom Yum Soup

8 types of soup base are available, whereby you can choose 2 at any one time. Choices being :

Though tempted to choose the Spices Soup (Ma Lat) for fiery kick to appease the chilli lustful beast in me, Mum had better ideas of her own. I am nursing a long standing cough anyway. So, back to boring Tom Yum and their recommended Herbal Chicken. The Tom Yum sucked, big time. Tasted completely like the type you get from boiling tom yum stock in cubes form. Herbal chicken fared better, but not by a far margin.

Lamb Cutlets, Fish Fillet, Fried Wantan, Fried Chicken Wings

Only the lamb and the fish were praiseworthy. The lamb was surprisingly good, succulent, not too dry, though lacked seasoning and marinade. The fish fillet is generic, but remained as a passable snack.

Momo Roast Chicken

Their signature chicken dish, which was also served on their opening day (yup, I was there. No, not to 'Chi Yum Chi Sik' but was invited as one of the partners is related to my brother). The chicken was OK, roasted well, and still remained moist under such harsh conditions (first roasted, then left to chill in the air-conditioned area)

Minced Chicken Meat + Egg - Strange dish, but the chicken meat was marinated with pepper and 5 spice herbs (I assume), and tasted pretty good after cooked in the broth.

Fried Spring Rolls - Don't bother.

Cheese Toast - Generic toast, done in sandwich toast-maker. Cheese-less.

Chicken Spaghetti - Surprisingly good, albeit slightly salty. Mum's not fond of pasta, but threw positive comments.

Mango Pudding, Mixed Fruits - Hmmm, judge yourself.

Where's the Lurve?

More misses than hits, is there anymore excuses needed to explain the above phenomenon? Sigh ... Though heard that on weekends, the place is rather packed. Poor Ipoh souls, left with minimal choices for good steamboat in Ipoh. As we were leaving, I turned around and snapped a pic of their front door :

Don't look back in anger ....

Rough translation : Steamboat King. Yeah, right ..... At least RM60 vouchers were spent, with the remaining balance paid in cash. Total for 4, RM82. Btw, the fish maws were not fresh, and had a revolting overnight oil taste. *_*

Location : 17, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, 30000 Ipoh. Right opposite St.Michael's school, facing Padan Ipoh. Same row with Old Town Kopitiam, and Mixed Cuisine.

They serve Western set lunches at affordable price. Same management with Filling Station in Greentown Business Centre. Halal outlet, if I'm not mistaken. Word of advice : Opt for the set lunch instead.