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Motormouth From Ipoh

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hoy Tin Lau VS Mon Amour ?

Ipoh has a lot of 'dai chow' restaurants, serving Chinese style dishes served with white rice or noodles. Some capitalize on their fresh seafood, while others dish out home-cooked style dishes, attracting even the most fussy eaters (KYT comes to mind =P).

Sar Kiong Kai - Galangal/Ginger (?) Chicken (RM22)

Hoy Tin Lau has been serving thousands-millions of customers for some time now, located in the middle of Ipoh Garden East-Bercham way. However, the price has been steadily increasing, some dishes cost as much as those from bigger restaurants. But still, the steady stream of patrons prove the immense popularity of this particular restaurant.

Sar Kiong (galangal/ginger? help, anyone?) Chicken is one of their signature dishes, served with crunchy 'hoy jit' (taste like jellyfish tentacles) and a plate of some mashed up sar kiong. Smooth chicken meat, marinated with salt and lightly roasted, this dish is an evergreen delight.

Red Wine Spare Ribs (RM16)

The ribs came in boneless chunks of meat, supposedly pan-fried with red wine, but not a tinge of wine was detected. But still , credit must be given where it's due, and this dish did not disappoint. I'm a pork lover myself, so there. =P

Fried Prawn Omelette (RM10)

Filled with generous fillings of prawns, the omelette was fried until golden yellow, with the outer layer slightly crispy. No complaints.

Kam Heong La-La (RM15)

The Kam Heong sauce was addictive, good with rice, but the clams (la-la) were a bit on the smaller scale. Would appreciate it if the meat was chunkier, providing adequate bite.

We ordered another vegetable dish but I forgot what it was, for RM10. Total damage RM80.80 for 6 of us. A bit steep for Ipoh's standard, but the quality befits the price paid, IMO.

Location : Opposite the Thai Food restaurant I blogged about previously.

Mon Amour .... sounds French?

Another 'dai chow' outlet I'd like to share is a newly opened shop in Canning Garden, that has started business since 3-4 months ago. Restoran Mon Amour was an accident, NOT in a bad way, but just that we were aiming for another shop on the same row for some Hainanese goodness, but mistakenly stepped into the wrong shop. Oh well ... anything goes I guess?

The classical ambience of the interior ...

Seems they serve ONLY Chinese dishes, though the shop's name may be misleading. The decor mysteriously resembles the shop we initially planned to visit. Anyway, there were a few tables occupied, so the food can't be bad, right?

Signature Beancurd with Spicy Taucu (Soybean Paste) Sauce (RM8)

Their tofu, though not as smooth and yummy as New Hiong Yuen's, but still managed to pass the test with flying colours. The gravy of minced meat in taucu sauce tasted like Szechuan Ma Po taufu's sauce.

Garoupa fillet with ginger and onions (RM12)

The fish fillet has a slightly muddy smell, thus reducing the marks for this otherwise excellent dish. The sauce was a commendable effort though, with lots of onions, ginger and spring onions included.

Stir-fried long beans with sambal (RM8)

The vegetable fared much better, 'kwai tau miu' or slim long beans (?) is deemed quite an expensive vegetable (at least, according to Mum and grandma), and seldom served in restaurants. Crunchy, and fragrant from the sambal condiments, yummy!

Claypot Yellow Wine Chicken (Wong Chau Kai) RM16

Their signature chicken dish called 'Wong Chau Kai' (loosely translated as Yellow Wine Chicken) closely resembles the wine chicken commonly served to women in confinement. Hehe ... But the abundance of kampung chicken, mushrooms, wood ear fungus (muk yee) and various herbs made this dish a star on its own. The soup was not enough, as all of us enjoyed the aromatic dish as much.

Total for 4? RM53 including drinks. Reasonable, I'd say.

Location : Mon Amour Restaurant @ 19, Lorong Cecil Rae, Canning Garden, 31400 Ipoh. This row of shop faces the Canning market, and previously housed the famed Indulgence.


backStreetGluttons said...

omg lucky we were just passing thru Ipoh and all these behtahan things escaped us otherwise I will have to jog forever 8 km a day !


ai wei said...

nice 1. not expansive especially the 2nd place. can't really find such price in KL anymore. SobZ

HairyBerry said...

i think sar kiong is a different type of ginger...quite hot and we use it as a dipping, together with soya sauce when we have our steamed chicken...

yoh, RM80.80 for 6! if only we get this price in kl...nice looking dishes there!

Anonymous said...

I used to like the Soon Fatt at Jln Seenivasagam cos my college was nearby last time. So long never go back there ady, wonder if it's still good.

Little Inbox said...

Last time, my boss used to bring me to Ipoh to visit our customers, and everytime we brought customers for lunch at 'dai chow'. Hmm...missing the 'dai chow' food now.

Anonymous said...

wei, the one i mentioned tat day about tong hoi signature chicken is called 'kui fei kai', not sar kiong kai..hehe.. i think more or less the same.. tong hoi one no 'hoy jit' but still tasty.. :)

Anonymous said...

haha...finally you blogged abt hoy tin lau!

I miss the sar kiong kai lah...and why didn't you order fish? The fishes are quite fresh you know!

Did you know that the head chef of hoy tin lau is actually a 'graduate' of Overseas Restaurant? No wonder his food so nice...

Yup i agree the price is steep, but hey, where can you get restaurant food at a dai chow price?

Shell (貝殼) said...

'hoy jit' + chicken ~~very creative dishes, never try at kl b4

J2Kfm said...

team bsg : no need to jog forever, but if there's a need, the field is right opposite this shop. =P

ai wei : the 1st place is pricier, as more established and has a following. KL still has cheap dai chow also, there are a few I havent blog. Soon, ok?

nic : yeah, Mum said it's galangal, but not sure. considered cheap? hmmm, probably to out-of-towners.

jason : we used to have our lunch there, as we worked in hospital previously. Still cheap, and good, but limited seats during lunch.

little inbox : there are a lot of dai chow shops nowadays, and each has its own identity.

kca : I think we tried Tung Hoi's signature chicken at Ipoh Garden South there. more or less the same I think.

weixuan : haha, yeah, I think you suggested this restaurant for review right? they have a whole variety of freshwater fish, but we did not order any this visit.

shell : strange combo, but works wonders. the chicken really smooth, while the hoy jit very crunchy.

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This is what I like of Asian food because they're so original and they always prepare different meals, most of time we don't know what those meals are so they're delicious.m10m