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Motormouth From Ipoh

Monday, August 25, 2008

We are Rice Pots, after all ...

Rainy day here in Ipoh ... After a whole day OUT of office, I'm somewhat glad the journey to Sitiawan/Lumut was worthwhile. A short post tonight, as I'm in no mood for babbling. Or maybe some rants here & there.
Today's post on Malaysians' staple food, RICE. Overpriced commodity, causing an uproar recently with prices increasing in folds,whereby our meagre salary had been stagnant, and struggling to cope with the villain-ous inflation, badly hitting the low-middle income bracket of the community. Sigh ....
UPDATED : Here's a link to The Star's Sunday Metro's take on my post. (31/8/08)

Stall No 19 - Sri Asoka Corner

Banana leaf curry rice is no doubt, a most popular Malaysian favourite, more so in Klang Valley than any other states. But Ipoh has a few gems here and there, one fine example being Sri Asoka Corner at Stadium Ipoh's food centre.

Famed for their banana leaf rice, which is essentially white rice with mixed vegetables served on banana leaf, with your choice of curries. The leaves are supposed to be aesthetically pleasing, and believed to impart a fragrant aroma to the rice. Not scientifically-proven though. But who cares? =)

The variety of curries available, the mixed vegetables served with the rice, and the fish cake with potatoes

Choose your curry/meat at the counter, choices ranging from chicken, mutton to fish and squids, the variety's tempting, and had me salivating before I was seated. But once again, I tend to be slightly biased towards anything spicy, so there.

Then a banana leaf (or two, as my first one was torn, risking a mess of curries and rice) will be laid in front of you on the table, and white rice will be scooped onto your leaf. Make sureyou stop them, as they tend to go overboard with the rice. (Gee, somehow the sting of inflation evaded them?) This will be followed by generous servings of vegetables such as shredded cabbage, white radish, and potatoes to complement the rice. Unlimited ladles of curry is available to douse your rice with, promising a thoroughly wet experience.

Devil Chicken Curry

Mutton Curry

Of course, though the vegetables with curries make a complete meal, do not forget the meat. Oh yeah ... We are carnivores after all. I mean, OMNIvores. The mutton curry was delicious, but the fatty parts may be intimidating. Cholesterol-rich food = A few years of life sacrificed?

The dry devil chicken curry was not spicy at all, with bits and parts of chicken cooked with dried chillies and various condiments. Not too dry, though the appearance was misleading.

A meal for two, cost RM14, excluding drinks. The rice and vegetables are supposedly unlimited, but trust me, one serving's all necessary to fill that hollow vacuum in your stomach. =P

Location : Sri Asoka Corner @ Stall No 19, Medan Selera Stadium Ipoh (if that's what the place is called). It's the rows of stalls next to the main stadium in Ipoh, situated at the Ipoh Garden-Fair Park roundabout. Opens for lunch everyday, until about 4pm.


Remember that the shop's name is invisible at night, therefore recognize this stall's number, K10

Still longing for MORE rice? Good, here's more. Bercham's famous for a lot of hawker fare, such as Claypot Crab Glass Noodles. And of course, the perennial favourite among the Chinese community, Claypot Chicken Rice.

BIG serving of claypot chicken rice @ RM10

Previous dismal outing at K10 Claypot Chicken Rice restaurant in Medan Ipoh Baru, behind Jusco somehow made me lost faith in ever finding another noteworthy effort in Ipoh. I'm not a fan of claypot chicken rice myself, not as fanatic as my brother for sure.

So I inched my way gingerly towards this restaurant in Bercham, purpotedly serving quite yummy version of the aforementioned dish for some years now.

Arriving for an early dinner on a rainy night, the place was surprisingly empty, with only a few tables occupied. But throwing caution to the wind, I sat myself down, and ordered a portion for two, and a plate of simple "Choy Sum Fa" or mustard greens(?).

Topped with marinated chicken bits, waxed sausages, and salted fish, and garnished with spring onions

The rice arrived piping hot, but the claypot was surprisingly 'clean', as in free of charred bottoms and all. Any fan of claypot chicken rice would have appreciated slightly burnt inner walls of the pot, swearing on its smoky flavour imparted on the rice, and the authentic flavour of the rice cracks stuck to the bottom of the pot.

But we were glad the rice was pretty scrumptious, with generous servings of chicken wings and thighs, each grain separated well and not lumpy, drizzled with their concoction of soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and chinese cooking wine. Addition of salted fish and waxed sausages further enhance the texture and flavour to the dish, promising endless scavenging for ingredients. Though slightly disappointed as I miss the 'kerak nasi' all the way ... =(

Simple greens in soy sauce and onion oil

Surprisingly cheap, as the BIG pot cost RM10, and the vegetables was a mere RM3 per plate.

Location : Situated on the main road of Bercham, going from Tesco Extra towards Bercham police station. On the left side of the road, branching to Lorong Bercham 4, you'll find this restaurant operating at night, and packed on most evenings. Yup, when we were tucking in, we realised the place was already fully-packed. Wow ... with the rain and all, who would've thought the citizens of Ipoh would STILL eat out?

But maybe, we are indeed, RICE POTS ("Fan Pou" - in Chinese, referring to a person who can't live without his/her servings of rice daily) after all ....


Anonymous said...

Rice Pots --> Fan Pou?? haha.. more suitable to call u all 'FAN TONG' la... hehe... luckily i can survive without rice... hahahaha... hmmm, the mutton curry looked nice la... :)

Anonymous said...

Kerak Nasi ~ just make and eat your own burnt rice at home. Claypot rice so aptly described...drool at kiam her (salted fish) with the right ingredients therein makes a wonderful pot. Yummy..

Big Boys Oven said...

walio I am getting ready to wallop all the ipoh food this weekend, wanna join me ?

Anonymous said...

You've got the biggest Rice Pot in the world right here: ME! :D

backStreetGluttons said...

I love to try new BLR shops here and there and pay extra sensitive attention to cleanliness as the opulent meats and curries can draw plenty of flies ++. also the sight of curvy fingers and brown nails dabbed in sticky dropping rice all over with orange colors on neighboring tables actually turn me off !
usually for a satisfying outing I will time myself to eat at the shop before 12 noon when the food is freshly cooked . for once I am very fussy , only in BLR shops


PureGlutton said...

I have heard of this banana leaf rice stall but when I'm back in ipoh, that's the last thing i'll eat, hehe! There're too many other Ipoh goodies to rush to. Is that the best claypot chicken rice in ipoh?

minchow said...

Yeah I'm often adamant about having no use for rice but once you stick that banana leaf in front of me, I'm shovelling those fluffy little suckers in like they're going out of fashion! And fried rice, who can say no to fried rice?!

Ciki said...

we love food at the ole' stadium.. and now we need to try out sri asoka corner as well!

Hulk said...

hey!! were u there having banana leaves rice lunch on Monday. I was there with my fellow lady colleague at 12pm. Spot the "lengChai"there. Anyway, its totally my regular favourite place. Take note there are 3 other banana leaves eateries there & all along nearby stall.

To inform also that K10 Clayport rice branch outlet at Iph Gdn East ,near Tesco price a little expensive then its main outlet in Bercham. Guess is RM1 higher. The town centre also open for breakfast but serve generally noodles with balls...its fairly good with quite a crowd on weekends.

HairyBerry said...

i think fan pou is better than fan tong (rice buckets)...

but rice is really something so versatile, it'll go well with almost everything! even durians. ok, so i've heard cos i dun eat durians one..hehehe...

J2Kfm said...

KCA : aiya, sorry woh, I can survive for days without rice one. :)

JENCOOKS : how to burn the rice and eat at home? it's different one la ...

BBO : this weekend ah? MERDEKA food haunt? =P

Life for Beginners : Oh ... so now we know why the price increases nonstop, you rice-hoarder you!

BSG : oh true also. now that you mention, I feel yucky when ppl use their fingers to dig in. hmm ...

PureGlutton : BEST ah? I dun dare say la, but quite popular loh.

550mL : I love fried rice as well, simple, reliable food.

cumi & ciki : do give them a try. but go early as BSG said, as the curries do tend to get cold fast.

Hulk : hahaha, NOT Monday, I'm sorry. But me=far from lengchai. yeah I realised this outlet in Bercham a bit cheaper,and tastier.

Nic : Fan Tong somehow sounds ... degaratory, huh?
and WHY dun u eat durians?!!!

Tummythoz said...

Huh? Thot fingers give the most sought after distinct flavour?

Also, can recap the meal hours later by smelling them. =P

Anonymous said...

Lol... I was supposed to go to K-10 to eat claypot rice on saturday when food poisoning struck.

In reference to your 'fan pou' comment, i am one of the rare breed chinese who hates rice. Lol. Balik msia eat rice 2 days in a row oso complain a lot ady. =.=

J2Kfm said...

tummythoz : ewww ... if durians nvm. but curry under the nails is a BIG NO_NO.

genuiness : haha...probably you're used to eating overseas, when rice is scarce, compared to being a staple food here. just ask any Malaysian to survive on potatoes and bread, and you'll see why.

Anonymous said...

Luckily the original K10 in Bercham tastes better compared to K10 nearby Jusco. I think the STAR Food Guide should re-rate the shop from 3 star to no star at all because their quality has dropped tragically from very good to disaster ever since they changed to a non-stick pot. Sigh. How i wish i can go back to the golden days of K10 and keep "kerak'ing" the nasi....

J2Kfm said...

well said, MBoy. the crusty, dried rice layers at the bottom makes all the difference, huh?

Anonymous said...

Stumble upon ur blog. Very informative. Wonder if anyone tried the Ipoh Canning Garden Chee Cheong Fun at PJ SS2 coffeeshop (now taken over by EON bank) before? Ever since the coffeshop close down, I couldn't locate the stall anymore. Even the original stall in Ipoh is not tehre anymore. The Chee Cheong Fun got very nice pork and big slices of mushrooms gravy.

J2Kfm said...

hi anonymous. SS2 has Canning Garden CCF? gee, thats new! the original stall is still there in Canning Garden la, I think. just that the shop is closed on Sundays (if I rmbr correctly).