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Motormouth From Ipoh

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Firefly Flies the Ipoh-Singapore Route! Come to Ipoh for some Hong Kee egg tarts?

Probably good news for Ipohans (or Ipohites, whichever sounds like music to your ears) working in Singapore, or Singaporeans intending to have a short vacation here in Ipoh (Or long, depends on each individual's endurance run in Ipoh, or even the outskirts around Perak).
Firefly will be operating flights connecting Ipoh-Singapore commencing on July 12th 2009, flying out on alternate days (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), with an initial plan for once a day flight. Finally Ipoh's Sultan Azlan Shah airport (yup, we DO have one!) is being put to good use, rather than being an eyesore, with not even domestic flights operating since days of yore. But periodically, there had been flights operating the Ipoh-Medan route, if I'm not mistaken.

Flight schedule taken from Firefly's website

Tickets are priced at RM89.95+ for a one way trip, and an all-inclusive two-way tickets will set you aback at RM344.90. No comparison head to head with other airlines, as neither Air Asia nor MAS operates on the Ipoh route.

But given the mere 1 hour plus ride, and safety profile, you'd probably be saying your prayers now, after countless joyrides/nightmare-ish experiences on midnight bus rides, about 5-6 hours give or take (read : depending on the hellacious/angelic driver on board!). There are a few bus companies serving the Ipoh-Singapore route, from Sri Maju to Grasslands and such, and tickets are priced at RM50+. (It's been some time since I've been to Singapore, so please pardon the outdated information)


The egg tarts and 'kai sou' (meat pies/tarts) from Hong Kee, a signature brand from the olden days .....
I'm an advocate for egg tarts. Be it the crumbly Hong Kong dim sum type, the cookie pastry John King's type, or even the Portuguese version. The velvety smooth egg custard, best eaten when piping hot from the oven, paired with the fragrant, flaky pastry, is a God-sent creation I tell you. Especially paired with a cup of thick, milky tea or even Ipoh's famous white coffee.

Marbling, shiny goodness.
Hong Kee was, and still is a household name when it comes to egg tarts in Ipoh. Out-of-towners may not be familiar with Hong Kee's version, given the lack of publicity, overshadowed by the countless other famous street fare Ipoh has to offer.
My favourite egg tart in Ipoh has always been the Simee Market's Choy Kee's. But you've gotta grit your teeth, slap yourself out of bed at early hours of the day, and jostle with the crowd for your chance of a bite of Choy Kee's legendary egg tart.

Current road name's Jalan Dato Onn Jaafar. In case you're wondering where's the cock(man)? =P
Hong Kee egg tarts sell at an alarming rate as well, so be sure to call and book before going, or visit the shop as early as possible. But 8-9am should be fine. Don't push your luck and go after 10.30am.Tastewise? I still prefer Choy Kee's, for the freshly baked egg tarts are just heavenly. Masak-masak, and wmw seemed to think so.
For some Hong Kee egg tarts lurve, visit Jason's , or See Teck's.
With that, Motormouth's signing off for the day ..... Heaving a sigh of relief today's post was surprisingly SHORT (& SWEET!)? LOL .... It's The Weekend after all.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sitiawan Food For Dummies - Half A Day's Worth of Food Hunt

Third time's the charm. Or so they say. For this month alone, I've visited Sitiawan/Seri Manjung not once, not twice, but THREE times. If you're thinking, "What's the deal with such a forsaken & 'off-the-track' town on the western coast of Perak?"

Kon Lou Mee - Dry soy sauce-tossed Foo Chow kampua noodle (RM2.40)
The FOOD, of course. And mind you, Seri Manjung/Sitiawan (the towns are almost borderless, both under the same district of Manjung) are NOT your idea of those idyllic, serene, backwater locations for the elderly to usher in the golden ages.
In fact, development has been rather rapid, with several shopping centres/hypermarket sprouting, a cineplex started operations sometime last year, new restaurants venturing into the scene, and a generally renowned interest in the district as a whole. (Lumut/Pulau Pangkor/Teluk Batik are also under the administration of Daerah Manjung, for your information)

The famous stall at Kampung Koh wet market doing brisk business from morning til noon, selling the famous Foo Chow (Hock Chew) specialty, Loh Mee
All this while I've been to Sitiawan, I've never made it a point to try the famous Loh Mee at Kampung Koh wet market. Reasons being I'm not a fan of yellow noodles, and moreso those drenched in dark, sticky, unrecognizable gravy. Loh Mee fits the description perfectly.

Loh Mee @ RM2.40
But given the task of leading a food hunt (with the other 4 members possessing a range of basic to zero knowledge of the town's roads, & attractions), I had to please all quarters, and put my interest last. Hehehe ... that sounded noble, ain't it?
To start off with, we had lunch at that Kampung Koh wet market stall, serving huge portions of those famous homemade (erm, factory-made now?) kampua noodles. Choices ranging from dry version to soupy ones, and of course the perennial favourite of many; the Loh Mee.
The thick, starchy gravy may need some getting used to, though I was not too keen on the sourish taste, probably lent by the added vinegar. Lots of dried cuttlefish, and some radish-like roots provided different textures to the springy noodles, which ironically reminded me of the one used in Hakka Mee.
I found the dry version tossed with soy sauce more palatable however, with added sambal (it's provided in a glass jar on every table), and Kampung Koh's famous garlic chilli sauce. The accompanying Char Siew (barbecued pork slices) was nothing fancy though, being leaner than ideal.

Location : Stall @ Pasar Awam Kampung Koh. Here's a rough MAP.
To get to this place, you've to turn left at the traffic lights at Kampung Koh, with Maybank on your right. From Ipoh's direction, using the Lumut highway, you'll reach Sitiawan town with KFC on your right. Turn left at the crossroad traffic lights into Jalan Raja Omar, and go until the end, passing by Bei King Restaurant on your left, then ACS Sitiawan on your left as well. You'll come to a T-junction with Maybank on your right soon enough. Turn left into the main road of Kampung Koh, and you'll notice the market (Pasar Awam Kg Koh) to your right.

Of Horsie, Happy Children, and Funky Balloons @ Teluk Batik.

The Loh Mee stall is opened from breakfast until lunch, hence don't go at night. You'll be better off visiting Happy Restaurant for their homecooked Hock Chew dishes, or seafood & toddy at Kampung Cina's AMU or Villa.

Say, if you're thinking; 'How to spend some time, before the next meal?' You can either :

a) Take a nap in your car, or

b) Go shopping at Giant, Billion, or The Store, or

c) Catch a movie at Lotus, or even

d) Burn some calories off at the beach of Teluk Batik.

A Chinese-Muslim uncle gleefully attending to the queries from the crowd, all the while prying open those mussel-like shells (kepah, is it?)

Not ANOTHER Teluk Batik post!!! I hear you lamenting. No fret, as this time I spare you the beach shots (hehe).

Sitiawan Cheong Cia Gong Pian
For some hot, fresh from the oven (erm, not exactly ovens, but clay-like structures like those used to cook naan), crispy Sitiawan snacks, you can't go wrong with Gong Pian.

With Char Siew, and onions fillings @ only RM1.00
Though some have commented that one can get these delectable savoury snacks elsewhere with better quality, I'm still impressed with Cheong Cia's version, especially the ones with Char Siew fillings. When consumed hot, the biscuit is like no other. Crispy on the outside, slightly chewy on the inside, with tasty bits of Char Siew and chopped onions. Other varieties include plain ones, or those with only onions.
Location : Sitiawan Cheong Cia Gong Pian @ HERE. A rough estimation as I'm not sure of the road's name. But after turning left at the KFC traffic lights in Sitiawan town, you'll notice a huge yellow building (Courts?) on your left. Turn left into the road and you'll find this Gong Pian shop.

Yee Si @ Kampung Koh, next to Maybank
Still craving for more after the Gong Pian? Hehe, come to Yee Si at 3pm for the famous multilayer peanut 'pau' (bun). Yes, only from 3pm onwards will they be selling this signature pau of theirs. Of course, Yee Si still serves other snacks and pau to complement your cup of tea.

The multi-layered Crushed Peanut + Sugar Pau @ RM0.90 per piece

Just ask for the peanut pau with layers, or the sliced ones. The dough resembles 'fatt koh', those (normally) pink-coloured steamed rice cakes commonly used as offerings placed at the altars for praying. Slightly sour (again, we suspected Foo Chow folks really like their food sour/sweet), the pau is not your average peanut ones, or any other you've grown accustomed to, for that matter.

Sang Yuk Pau @ RM1.10

The Sang Yuk Pau (pork bun with a quarter of a boiled egg) fared much better in my opinion, even eaten after a day! Flavouful, with good dough (those that does not stick to the teeth & not an inch thick!), and ample fillings, the buns were in fact, not our orders. The guy sent the whole plate to our table, drawing blank stares, & question marks atop our heads. But could it be a blessing in disguise?

Location : Yee Si Restaurant @ Kampung Koh, next to Maybank. Refer to previous map and directions on the Loh Mee @ Kampung Koh wet market.

That famous Sitiawan's James Cendol in front of the Indian temple, next to The Store @ Sitiawan

And to cap off a hastily-planned food hunt, we had something sweet, refreshing and cooling. Please pardon my laziness, and refer to my older post on James cendol HERE, for directions, price, and taste. Here's a MAP, in case you're feeling even lazier than me. =P Just go straight at the KFC traffic lights in Sitiawan, from Ipoh/Ayer Tawar's directions, towards Seri Manjung. You'll see The Store on your right, and the Indian temple within a short distance.

With that, I rest my case. Now, WHO WANTS TO HIRE ME NEXT? =P

# Food hunt in collaboration with The 3G's, with an additional new member, as well as an ex-member in tow. #

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Indulgence Restaurant & Living, Ipoh - Teatime on a Lazy Saturday Afternoon

It's been some time since I've dined at Indulgence (click HERE for previous instalment), hands down THE most exclusive, opulent, one of a kind restaurant in Ipoh. Wait, the term 'restaurant' alone just won't do. Truth is, Indulgence is a Restaurant, & Living (A complete experience, referring to their boutique hotel), and has been performing outstandingly in the F& B scene, garnering various accolades from time to time.

Indulgence Restaurant & Living in Ipoh

For your information, the suites at Indulgence are elegantly designed with motives and influences from all over the world (think Moroccan, Thai and Shanghai). Different themes to suit different palates, so to speak. From RM420 ++ per night, it's probably a once in a lifetime experience, given the posh location and painstakingly imagined, crafted and designed rooms.

From the exterior, resembles a bungalow more than a restaurant, is it not?
But of course, Julie Song (the proprietress since day one) excels in cooking up a storm, from the previous location of an unassuming half shoplot cafe in Canning Garden since 1996, until Indulgence moved to this grand structure in 2005. What drives her to achieve greater heights? In her own words, it's PASSION. For food, for living, and for success.

The selection of desserts from the counter
A luncheon, dinner, or even a leisurely break for tea at Indulgence never ceases to please. Specializing in Modern European cuisine, the food at Indulgence can be described as fusion, at best. Browsing through the menu may take forever, hence you'll feel much relieved to just listen to their recommendations. Specials of the Day are written in chalk on the blackboard, and your waiter may (or may not, it depends on the waitering staff) carry the blackboard to your table and point out the current specials. A unique touch nonetheless.

Pot for Two - Floral/Fruity Tea @ RM8 per pot
It was teatime on a Saturday, thus we chose to mingle around for tea and cakes at Indulgence, after a rather heavy Japanese meal. As many have thrown positive comments on Indulgence's desserts, especially the tiramisu, I was harbouring high hopes to be amazed by the sweet delights.

Rhubarb Cheese Cake @ RM9
If there's one word to describe Indulgence's offerings, it has to be UNIQUE. If you've grown weary from the usual cheesecakes, tiramisu and chocolate brownies from some other outlets, rest assured you'll be spoilt for choice at Indulgence.
The Rhubarb Cheese Cake was delectably creamy, not overly cloying, with a light tarty flavour from the rhubarb stalks and finished off with a dusting of cocoa powder (or was it coffee? darn, this has been so long).

Fudgy Brownie @ RM7

Even the brownies come in various forms, from the usual chocolate to other uncommon ones with nuts, dates etc. The fudgy brownie was as sinful as a brownie should be, dense and rich, with chocolate sauce to heighten the experience. An ode to the sweet tooth ....

Creme Brulee @ RM9
Sadly, the creme brulee was below par. Rather than being flamed on the spot before serving, the egg custard with caramelized sugar was prepared beforehand, and left standing in the display cabinet. Definitely way past its prime, the custard was not velvety smooth, with minor coagulated parts, and the layer of burnt sugar on top was almost non-existent.

The much-hyped about Tiramisu @ RM14

Indulgence's intepretation of the tiramisu was a non-alcoholic one, spongy, moist (almost soggy), but a lighter version of the famous Italian dessert. There's no trouble walloping a piece by yourself, even though you're a light eater. The texture of the cake was almost airy-like, without a substantial bite. Honestly, I still prefer my tiramisu richer, and creamier, preferably with a subtle nuance of alcohol.

Miss Fig @ RM30 - Salad with smoked duck, tangy/citrus dressing and dried fruits.

To avoid over-bingeing on the sweets, we attempted to counter with some fibres. Or so we thought. But keep in mind that whatever you order at Indulgence, you can be assured 90% of the time you've never seen the exact same dish served elsewhere. Yup, even the salad.
Miss Fig's their signature salad, with slices of smoked duck meat, sweet dried figs, various greens (including rocket leaves, if my memory serves me right), enveloped in a crispy pastry layer, and served with a fruity, tangy dressing. The combination of ingredients was a little awkward, with an indescribable sweet/salty/sour amalgam of flavours. The serving was barely enough for one, yet alone to be shared.

Promising ambience, lacklustre service?

Another major gripe I've been noticing since my first visit to Indulgence, is the service. This time around things got from bad to worse, with young waiters running around committing silly mistakes such as sending the wrong bill to the wrong patrons. I was presented with the bill for the next table, and wondered were they 'ushering' us away after a lengthy chatting session. When the waiter realised his mistake, not even ONE word of apology escaped his mouth. To face such level of service at an outlet like this is plain atrocious. And let's not mention about the attentiveness (or rather, lack thereof) of the waitering staff, requiring us to raise our hands in order to get our glassed filled. They really should dwell deeper into the public relations department, and not risk losing customers over such paltry matter.

Location : Indulgence Restaurant & Living @ 14, Jalan Raja Di Hilir, 30350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. Tel No : 605-255 7051. Hotel Tel/Fax : 605-242 7055. Here's a MAP.
Opening hours : Wednesday to Sunday, from 9.00am until 11.30pm.

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.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Motormouth From Ipoh - Unveiled. Revealed. Exposed.

Sort of. Hahaha .... Got ya attention there, didn't I? Nah, still no photo of this lowly ogre hibernating in a land called Ipoh (yet). But was miraculously enticed (in my own words, not theirs, hehe) by this Motormouth, hence the fruition of this e-mail interview.

Initially surprised, pleased, shocked etc to receive that e-mail from Stephen of I was dumbstruck, dumbfounded, & plain dumb (that's yours truly's best trait). So it took some weeks before replying the questions imposed, which in nature, were NO mere pushovers.

Imagine 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' meets 'Are you Smarter than A 5th Grader?' ... and you'll get my drift. Good thing was that, I was not required to send a portrait of myself.
Else there goes the appetite of the millions and millions of readers. Not from my blog, of course. Feedmelah's.
Anyway, seeing that it's a FRIDAY after all, I won't bore you any longer with my rant, but instead would like to leave you with the link to the interview. Do hop over, have a pleasant read, browse through, print out & frame it, feign interest, spit on your monitor if you would (but you wouldn't, right? *puppy-eyed*) and do leave a comment at the end of the post. So Stephen can keep his job, and as the Cantonese saying goes, wont' "Drop His Glasses".

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant in Ipoh - Old Is Gold?

If you're an avid follower of this blog (OK, don't puke), you would've noticed the lack of dim sum reviews in Ipoh. This, although Ipoh has been established as, and probably still is one of the BEST destination for a sumptuous, hearty yet reasonably-priced dim sum breakfast.

The perennial favourite of many, even if not for the dim sum alone, it has to be the charming, nostalgic & authentic breakfast experience
The dim sum scene in Ipoh revolves mainly around the BIG 3, namely Foh San, Ming Court, and Yoke Fook Moon. Of course, there are other newer ones, and some old-timers which sadly never really took off. For those in the dark, dim sum is one of Chinese's (or Cantonese, actually) most famous cuisine, typically eaten for breakfast and served with Chinese tea. Literal translation means "Touch heart", the delightful morsels are either steamed or fried, and served in small portions, thus one can avoid over-eating (yeah, right) yet sample many different varieties.

On a weekend - Notice the vultures? =P
This post arrives in a rather timely manner. Why, you ask? Because Foh San is moving away to a new location next month. For a good many decades, this dim sum restaurant at the junction of Jalan Dato Tahwil Azhar and Jalan Mustapha al-Bakri has been serving hundreds to thousands of customers on a daily basis. The rich history of Foh San can never be rivalled, just ask any of your parents or grandparents, and they'll probably be nodding in agreement.

On a weekday - SLIGHTLY better, hence leave the crutches at home.
I'll reveal the new location at the end of this post. For now, let's concentrate on the food. But wait, before you go thinking that you can simply waltz in, grab a table and order away, think again. The two photos above differ ever so slightly. The first was taken on a Saturday morning, and the second on a Tuesday's. Truth is, the crowd swells to its fullest capacity on weekends and public holidays. So either come early (VERY early), very late (but risk being served with fewer choices of dim sum, as the good ones tend to finish rather fast), or avoid Sundays/public holidays altogether.

What separates a routine dim sum meal, from a memorable, complete experience?
Firstly, I must show my utmost/heartfelt/deepest gratitude (suddenly so formal, eh?) to CK Lam & Hubby for the wonderful meal, and inviting this small potato (OK, large potato ..... happy yet?) for breakfast on a Saturday morning. They were on their southern escapade, all the way down south, yet allocated a little of their precious time for breakfast with yours truly. Aww ... so sweet right? Thanks again CK, and really glad to meet you in person, and your personal photographer too. =P

Har Gau - Prawn dumplings
The second visit was 3 days after, with KYT and FCOE. Though we've been working together for nearly 3 years now, we have NEVER gone for a dim sum breakfast. Given the convenient white coffee fix very near to our office, we never ventured further/drive out for breakfast. A shame, really, with so many territories unexplored, and tables unturned. Wait .... wrong metaphor there. Hehe ..... OK, let's see why Foh San manages to deliver time and again, and remains a favourite among locals, and tourists alike.

Yeung Ngai Kua - Stuffed Brinjals with Fish Paste

Their Har Gau (Prawn Dumplings) has no flaws, so to speak. Thin, translucent & pleated skin, enveloping around a dense filling with moist, succulent and almost crunchy prawnS, the combination of flavours is almost intoxicating (for a prawn lover, at least). Of course there's the scallions, water chestnut (if I remember correctly, sorry I gulped the morsel whole!) and seasonings that rendered every bite a delight.

The other favourite of mine is the stuffed brinjals with fish paste, a type of Yong Tau Foo commonly served with noodles. Of course these are not true blue dim sum, but Foh San does their stuffed brinjals really well. The accompanying sauce (a mixture of soy sauce, and Lea & Perrins, I think) omits the need for chilli sauce.

Clockwise from top left : Siew Mai (Pork dumplings), Fei Chui Mai (forgot the real name, sorry - Prawn + Pork fillings with mushroom), Yue Mai (Fish paste) and erm ... Solid Yellow Pork Dumplings with Black Pepper seasoning.
The steamed items overshadow the fried ones, with many choices on the trolley being pushed by the workers. But just like what vkeong has reviewed lately, the choices may not be comparable to other dim sum outlets. True somewhat, but not wholly. Foh San periodically comes up with NEW dim sum, and without proper menu nor promotion, you have to ask the staff for what's available. And some being grumpier than the others, they may not attend to your queries.
But hope's not lost. You can actually walk over to the trolley you're aiming for, and seek for the types you prefer, then hand-carry to your table. I even opened the covers of the dim sum baskets and shot queries, ala Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Or Slumdog's. Or maybe not.

Char Siew Pau - BBQ Pork Bun, and Sang Yuk Pau - Pork Bun
What's commendable about Foh San's dim sum is that most of the items come piping hot at your table; steamed freshly, and served on the spot. But of course there are exceptions, such as the case with the Char Siew Pau on the second visit, when it came lukewarm, almost cold to touch. But a rarity, really. And the Sang Yuk Pau was equally good. The other varieties they offer were the sweet ones, and Nam Yu Pau (pork with fermented bean sauce). Not sure about Tai Pau (Big Bun, literally) though.

Wu Kok aka Yam Puff
I've never been a fan of Foh San's Wu Kok, or Yam Puff, as I find them rather soggy the previous visit, and the quality rather inconsistent. The Saturday's Wu Kok was OK, but fortunately, Tuesday's version was far better, as they were freshly fried from the wok. Hence the crispy exterior, with oozing filling of chopped Char Siew (BBQ pork meat).

Left to Right : Ham Sui Kok. Fried Prawn Roll, Gyoza-like pan-fried dumplings, and Egg Tarts
Truth be told, if you order one of each of everything, you'll end up feeling really bloated and will probably skip your meals for the rest of the day. Other favourites include the Hor Yip Fan (glutinous rice in lotus leaf), Ma Lai Koh (steamed sponge cake), Hong Kong style Chee Cheong Fun, Loh Mai Kai (steamed glutinous rice) etc.

One of their special creation : Steamed rice roll (Chee Cheong Fun) stuffed with pork, prawns, and mushrooms.

This was very good, served with no sauce, but sprinkled generously with sesame seeds, and garnished with fried shallots and chopped scallions. Very tasty, fresh, and rightful combination of fillings.

Fried Loh Bak Koh aka Radish Cake
And last but not least, Foh San serves their Loh Bak Koh in a different manner. Whereas in most dim sum outlets, they simply pan-fried theirs and served plain in blocks, Foh San takes it a step further, and stir-fries them with bean sprouts, eggs, crunchy 'choy pou' aka salty,preserved radish and garnished with chopped scallions. A must try, although Penangites may notice the resemblance to Char Koay Kak.
On the whole, if you're sick of downing white coffee and toasts for breakfast in Ipoh, go for a dim sum experience. Trust me, you'll start your day with a bang .... though side effects include drowsy from all the food. But hey, that's when the Chinese tea comes to play! Wash them all down with a hot cup of tea, ponder over the dailies (though as of late, you'd better not spoil your mood or appetite with the power struggle, and H1N1 scare!), and unwind yourself before a hard day at work.
Location : Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant @ 2, Jalan Dato Tahwil Azhar, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.Tel: (605) 254-0308 Fax: (605) 253-5432. Here's a MAP.
NEW outlet : 51, Jalan Leong Sin Nam, 30300 Ipoh, Perak. Here's a MAP.
# Photos combined from 2 visits, on 2 different days #
# Relocation date unconfirmed, but sometime in June #

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fullpann Steak House @ Seri Manjung, Perak

Question : Where would YOU go for a romantic/decent/fine-dining/pricey meal in Seri Manjung? Let's say, for Valentine's, birthday celebration, Parents' Day, or even company lunch/dinner where you know bingeing on Sitiawan cendol or Hock Chew cuisine or Nasi Ayam just wouldn't cut it? (Even more so for the last reason, when the bill's on your BOSS or company!! Hahaha ... but let's not digress here. Ahem).

Soft, yellow-hued lighting rendered the dinner experience with a touch of class. Bad for photography though.
Answer : Fullpann Steak House is a potentially suitable choice; the divine light comes a-shinin', when ideas are running low, and you know you wanna splurge on a memorable dinner, with steaks, chops, wine and all. (Sans the candles, but the soft neon glow may do just as well)

Only a handful of shots of the surroundings, as we were rushing like mad.
This dinner was a somewhat last minute decision. And with only about an hour and half to spare, we had to travel all the way from Teluk Batik to Manjung for a meal, and then rushed back and refreshed ourselves. The additional (yet ironic) barrier came in the form of TRAFFIC JAM (yup, this devil's everywhere!) along the road leading to the naval base (TLDM). And then to pour salt into our dejected, maggoty wounds (grumbling stomach aside, we were fatigued from the day's ordeal), a whole entourage of media was dominating at the very last traffic lights, blocking traffic flow to a screeching halt. Their purpose? That infamous Jom Heboh campaign at Teluk Batik. Uh-huh.
Japanese Chicken Chop @ RM14.50
But we're no mere pushovers, no sirree! We persevered, drumming tummies aboard a bullet train-speed Vios, and reached in the nick of time. About less than an hour for a meal at Fullpann. Impressive driving skills aside (hehe, not mine), the restaurant was thankfully inviting from the outlook, warm from the service rendered, and food arrived in a matter of minutes. OK, about 15 of them, but I ain't complaining!
KYT's Japanese Chicken Chop arrived first on our table, two deboned fillet of chicken cooked with a slightly sweet, more to savoury type of gravy, resembling Teriyaki sauce. It's a giveaway for sure, from the 'Japanese' moniker given to the dish. Served atop some broiled vegetables, a baked potato, and a buttered bun, the dish may not be mind-blowing, but yet delicious enough for the hungry soul. I nicked a piece, and the chicken was marinated well, and the seasonings seeped through the skin, thus the meat was not of the usual bland, frozen horror.

Roasted Spring Chicken @ RM20.90
Spring chicken's usually a miniature-sized chick, may NOT even be enough to feed a light eater with waistline of 25" and below. But at Fullpann, their spring chicken could almost passed off as a REAL, true blue one, even Fire Optics was havin trouble finishing his portion. And as expected, I stole a bite, but found the gravy to be a little too peppery, probably from heavy lashings of black pepper.

Braised Lamb Shank @ RM25.90
Memories of Secret Recipe's PREVIOUSLY impressive lamb shank still plays vividly in my mind now and then. Back then, a serving was priced at less than RM20. Now? The price jumped to about RM30, and the quality's sorely dropping.
Fullpann seems to take pride in their steaks, and lamb. The recommended lamb shank was surprisingly not served in a bowl (stew-like), but served on a plate, with some sides such as corn on cob, bun and greens. The gamey flavour's evident, but that's exactly how I like my lamb, with strong, pungent taste and meat falling off the bone. The thick, flavoursome gravy went really well with the shank, and I polished off the portion (trust me, the REAL serving was way bigger than it looks in the pic above) myself without hassle.

Spiralling, convulating, twisted lives we have. Share them over a dinner with some friends?

Though the setting may appear to be intimidating, fret not you'll need to pay an arm and a leg for a decent meal here. In fact, most items are priced below RM20, and they even offer set lunches at RM12 daily. (Refer to their site @ Will I return for another meal? You bet, especially with such blistering heatwave being rampant, I'll be willing to fork out a bit more for air-conditioning, and a relaxing meal. =P

Fullpann Steak House @ 34-35-36 G/Floor, Persiaran PM2/3, Pusat Bandar Seksyen 2, 32040 Seri Manjung, Perak. Tel No : 605-688 1700. Opens 7 days a week, from 12pm til 12am. Here's their MAP.