Subscribe to my RSS Feeds

Motormouth From Ipoh

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. #


Min said...

I think I'm still not used to Foo Chow's taste la, very sour, especially the Loh Mee. Hehe, actually after that bowl of Loh Mee, I started to have phobia to it already...don't dare to try again.

allie said...

sour not my tastebud ler.. but however the multilayer peanut kuih looks good to me..

Rebecca Saw said...

i want to try them all! kon lou mee, the paus, the gong pia, the chendol!
*noteto oneself - trip to Setiawan...*

ck lam said...

Have been looking out for this place for some time now...everything looks good. Sure would want to pay a visit after reading about it in your post.

Little Inbox said...

Half day can eat so many things??

kampungboycitygal said...

now i feel like taking a rail road trip to every other part of perak too!

Anonymous said...

the loh mee looks good...this is not a popular thing in ipoh...maybe is hokkien dish thats y..

Big Boys Oven said...

hahahah I want to hire you! can argh? lol!

truely amazing the food in sitaiwan so appealing by itself!

Bangsar-bAbE said...

All my favourite places!! I always get my gong pian from that shop... =D

Hulk said...

So fren! manage to dine at Restaurant 777?

For many who wish to try out the Gong Pian, a much much better version is available at Kpg Koh, which is few shops away from Happy Restaurant. But u got to place orders 1st. Its comptetitor is further away & is so much better then the S'wan version is just nearby to the market area where the bro has his loh mee. All locals will agree with me.
the S'wan version is mainly for the outstation tourist & is near the wisma Ganda or Courts.

BTW...loh mee version in Kpg Koh is different from the Sitiawan. the one in Kpg Koh has lots of bamboo shoots & sourish..not my taste.
But then the one in Sitiwan taste better to non hockchiew fans.
But no matter what noodle serve, one MUST add/eat with the famous Kpg Koh Chili or the Chili paste. Me..I'll blen both & the taste is XtraOrdinatry.

Any one here from Sitiawan/Kpg Koh or Lumut?

the food serve in S'wan slightly differ with the version from kpg Koh.
Hockchiew luvs spicy/sweet & sourish.

New Kid on the Blog said...

wow... lots of food leh...

foodbin said...

a great weekend food hunt-gong pian looks so crispy!

minchow said...

The multilayer peanut pau is all HEART!! Swooon.... and the pork bun sounds like a real winner! The gems that lay within the backroads and the narrow alleys of rural Malaysia... thanks for bringing us there! :-D

choi yen said...

The peanut bao doesn't look like bao at all, it's more like bread o.O

J2Kfm said...

Min : the sour taste was a surprise, as i expected different taste.

allie : the kuih was sour as well, but was quite a good snack to go with a hot cup of milk tea.

thenomadGourmand : tempted leh? :)

ck lam : do think about it. it's only an hour from Ipoh, and the road's easy to travel on.

Little Inbox : hahaha ... motormouth(s) ma ...

kampungboycitygal : there are so many undiscovered gems. i'm still in the learning curve.

SimpleGirl : Loh mee's popular in KL as well, but hard to find here, or even in Pg.

BBO : can ah! how much are the bakers paying? =P

BangsarBabe : true, easily accessible, and taste best fresh from the oven.

Hulk : I didnt manage to reach 777 for dinner lah. went back to Ipoh instead. The gong pian you mentioned is Sin Lay, am I right?
the other day I bought 2, one with chopped char siew, another plain. but they were already rather cold in the display rack, and very chewy.
the bamboo shoots are nice addition, offering some crunch, as well as the dried cuttlefish.

NKOTB : yeah, wait til you see more of them.

foodbin : must eat when hot though.

550ml jar of faith : you're welcomed. the only thing that keeps me going, so to speak.

mimid3vils : true also. but taste more like fatt koh.

Selba said...

I enjoy looking the pictures :)

mboy said...

The pau and the gong piah was one of the better ones for that trip. I cannot imagine how hard will the gong piah be whn it's cold!...

cariso said...

I think if given chance, I would like to try the kon lou since I am a 'noodle' person.

Life for Beginners said...

Oooh, char siew and onion fillings in the gong piah while it's hot sounds my kinda heaven right about now, hehe... :)

gill gill said...

tried that Kampung Koh wet market Loh Mee before. Not my cup of tea though.

should look for tuak there...good tuak i mean. hehehe

Big Boys Oven said...

hahahahha J2KFM, what is your rates?

J2Kfm said...

Selba : thanks. i enjoyed snapping them too!

mboy : you shouldve tapau some, then leave overnight. then you'll see ...

cariso : i like my noodles kon lou anyway. even maggi/indomie.

Life For Beginners: oooh .. you cant imagine the fragrance while chompin on them, and the stinky onion aftertaste!

gill gill : tuak? toddy ah?

BBO : haha, not very mahal lah. can bargain one. :)

Pureglutton said...

Such incredible food in those little coastal towns! I love the look of that gong piah with chasiew + onions and that layered peanut pau! Time to hit the coastal roads again...this time better-armed with yr helpful info & tips here!

Ciki said...

I love fatt koh! Whats more ths one has peanut..? And multilayered... Wow;) a very thorough account of sitiawan.. Nice one j2kfm

kevin_chungx said...

Ooo, cendol, my favourite! I like cendol with fragrant and fresh coconut milk, very nice:p
Can't find one in ipoh currently, any recommendations?

foongpc said...

Wow! All those food makes me drool! Except the loh mee - I don't think I like it.

Mr Z said...

Wei motormouth, how many times u go sitiawan ord?

J2Kfm said...

Pureglutton : yeah, more to come in later posts ... :)

Cumi & Ciki : thanks. gotta eat my way around, else work's mundane.

kevin : seriously, NO. i dunno where to search for good cendol in Ipoh. near Kamdar got 2 i think.

Mr Z : last month? 3 times. ONLY ma ...

Hulk said...

There's one good chendol at Bercham sold by an Indian Lady. But she came late lunch time & is just back of 7-11 outlet.

The other one at Iph Gdn East is now run by a young chap originate from KL. Moderate taste.

U can also get a good bowl but slight pricey at Tesco Extra.

I luv Greenies remember.

I never fail to visit this chendol stall in S'wan. The boss know me since young & he used to operate just near the pathway outside AmbBank. You see the load for the day...its heavy man. Back then the price of chendol is only RM0.50.

J2Kfm said...

oh thanks Hulk for the recommendations. i actually quite like the popiah at the Bercham 7-11 there, noon til evening. nice uncle, very accomodating. the James has moved to another spot it seems? now his wife manning the stall.

Hulk said...

No...James run the stall at Sri Manjung, next to Kamdar, while the wife runs the one in S'wan. After 2pm, right opposite S'wan chendol a, malay lady will start frying karipap & malay delacies. Try out the nice warm small potato curry pap. Fulamak...nice & additive since is small size.

For u info, tradegy strike at James, where his son who cross the road while pushing the cart to Kamdar, got knock over by speeding vehicle. Died on spot. His only son & is 2 years back.

J2Kfm said...

thanks Hulk for the clarification. and what a tragic story.

i think i know which karipap stall you mentioning.

kevin_chungx said...

Oh yeah, haha. Difficult to find good cendol in ipoh.

i miss the famous one in penang, its coconut milk is nice and fresh :p

§pinzer said...

damn this place is one place i gotta try if i ever make a trip up north!!!