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Motormouth From Ipoh

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant @ Ipoh - Finally ....

Phew .... After the initial shock that we got on a Sunday morning, with roads all jammed up, all of the dim sum outlets in the vicinity crowded to the max (even coffee shops also jumped in the fray and business was booming!) and us running away with tails between our legs, FINALLY redemption came on a weekday's morning.

Don't get overwhelmed. Keyword is : DON'T EVER GIVE UP. Practise your steely glance (or puppy-eyed blinks) and stay adamant at one spot. (Or more, if you're in a gang of 'vultures')

Weekends are definite no-no's, unless you come REALLY early, or VERY late. They serve dim sum from about 6.30am onwards, until the day's supplies finish up, or until about 2pm. No dim sum for dinner, sadly. Which is kind of a bummer, really. I wouldn't mind digging into my Char Siew Pau and Siew Mai for dinner, or better yet, supper!

Remember - Don't push your luck, and come prancing and whistling on a Tuesday morning. And sharing a table is a norm at Foh San. Especially if you're in a small group.

Though we arrived rather 'early' (ahem, about 9am+ .... hey, we WERE working after all), the place was already akin to a can of sardines. Yup, you guess it. Everybody's looming over the other customers' heads, projecting their respective aura, in hopes of quickening the pace of the ones chowing on their dim sum. You gotta have patience at Foh San, since no queue system's in check, your eyes must be very,VERY alert and dart back and forth. Trying to determine which table's going to be evacuated first, from the hints given.

How? Erm, here are some tips. If the table's emptying, and you see empty plates, or half-polished off ones dominating, then you're in luck! Better yet, if you see the patrons' eating pace has severely halted, or slowed down to a snail pace, A HA! Sooner or later, they'll give in and submit to your pleading stares.

But if they just couldn't care less, keep on refilling their tea and yakked away like nobody's business (saliva a-dripping back into their porcelain cups and all), then they're the species who won't give a damn even if your butt's perched on their shoulders. Or thighs.

Siew Mai (Pork Dumplings) (p/s : Served in 4 pieces ... someone's too hungry to care), Yue Mai (Steamed Fish Paste), and Nam Yue Pau (Bun with Pork in Fermented Bean Sauce)

I noticed the Siew Mai's size has shrunk slightly. Or maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me. Swear they were much bigger back then. The Yue Mai remained as bouncy/springy as ever (good sign), while the Nam Yue Pau was a tad salty, but the slice of pork was marinated intensely. Very strong aroma of Nam Yue (fermented bean paste), which suits me just fine.

The Fried Items - Fried Prawn Rolls, Chinese Chives (Kuchai) Dumplings, and my favourite; Stuffed Brinjals

Deep-fried Prawn Rolls came in a sparingly stingy portion, served with salad sauce. Forgettable. The Kuchai dumplings were good, albeit slightly cold when served. Best of all, the stuffed brinjals with fish paste, drizzled with the accompanying sweet and savoury sauce. They have stuffed red chillies, and stuffed fried tofu as well.

A new item on the menu - Claypot Chee Cheong Fun with Duck meat (other options include Pork ribs, or Beef)

At RM6.50 per pot, a new item Foh San offers is their Claypot Chee Cheong Fun (steamed rice noodles), served either with duck, pork ribs, or beef. A novelty, nonetheless. Still prefer my CCF steamed and served the HK style, with Char Siew/Prawns (Beef version was practically unheard of in M'sia, unlike in Hong Kong). The rolled up CCF was cooked with our choice of duck meat, in a thick gravy, with heavy hints of ginger and black bean. The duck meat was good, tender and not repulsively gamey, but the CCF got a bit sticky in the end, and we did not finish everything. A pot serves 2-3 person.

Har Gau - Prawn Dumplings

And how does 3 prawns wrapped in a transluscent dumpling skin, with added crunch from the other ingredients, sound to you? Luscious, right? Never failed to deliver, the Har Gau were freshly steamed (it does tend to run out pretty fast, so do check with the trolley staff periodically), and tasted lovely.

Ma Lai Kou - Steamed sponge cake

To cap off the heavier than usual breakfast (normally consist of white coffee and toast only ... I'm working in Old Town, after all), we had a serving of Ma Lai Kou, or 'Malay Cake'. Soft, spongey texture, with lotus seeds as garnishing, and added crunch.

Payment @ the Counter. One on the ground floor, another on the first. DON'T wave helplessly for the staff for billing! Bring your order chit/card over at the end of the meal.

We did not manage to cover other varieties of dim sum, including the newly added Fish or Chicken Porridge in Claypots. Reason being? We went in a very small group of TWO. Yup, FCOE must be still feeling the binge, AND the pinch. LOL. Total for the meal, including 5% government tax came to RM36.75. Rather reasonable, as I expected a price hike after the relocation.

The specially-designed Take Away Counter - So you don't have to wait relentlessly anymore!

Throughout our meal, we shared with TWO different groups of people. Yup, turnover of customers pretty fast and furious here, with people waltzing in and out at an alarming rate. NOT the ideal place for a chat over a cup of tea, as you'll feel 'daggers' from all directions. But nevertheless, where's the fun without the wait? :)

Only at Foh San, folks. Believe the Hype.

OK, I'm done folks!

Location : Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant @ 51, Jalan Leong Sin Nam, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel No : 605-254 0308. Click here for a MAP.

## And with that, Motormouth's embarking on another HOLIDAY !!! ##


email2me said...

Sometimes when the place get famous, they make the food portion smaller to earn more profit. Hope Foh San maintain its portion and quality. If not they will get it from foodies kow kow feedback! :P

allie said...

Which would you recommend? Foh San? Ming Court? or Yoke Fook Moon? I'd be going to Ipoh for dim sum this Sat.

新怡 said...

They even change the serving plate after move to this location.

Thanks for update at least I can prepare my next trip back hometown and hv dim sum at this new place (我,念旧)

Anonymous said...

wow, finally we went there....i hope my turn will come....nice place!

backStreetGluttons said...

Proudly Ipoh !

Bring back the glory ! Lets eat

Wilson Ng said...

I agree with CK... Hopefully the quality is still there as I couldn't make it the other time...

worldwindows said...

Its better to be there for brunch. Been there 3 times since end of 2008 and have to walked away disappointed! I am happy the quality is there and the new environment is a definite plus.

jason said...

Erm... luckliy I'm not as gungho as those people. Maybe not yet...

Sugar Bean said...

Second time I read about your post on Foh San, this place definitely caught my attention! Haha, the siew mai looks funny with only 3, I can assume it's really tasty since 1 is gone so fast! There's even a take away counter, efficient!

Little Inbox said...

Tried Foh San once, the dim sum taste so so only.

Selba said...

Dimsum supposedly for breakfast, rite?

Rebecca Saw said...

hope to get some this Sun!

Big Boys Oven said...

Great to see this happening in IPoh, Ipoh needs this! Great to see happenings in my little hometown, Ipoh! :) Their Dim Sum is very good, just how I like them to be done!

Reanaclaire said...

i have yet to go...perhaps one of these weekdays, not weekends definitely, as u said, dont like the "vultures" hovering over my head.. hahhaah... cannot eat in peace... best if can read newspaper while sipping the chinese tea, oblivious to the surrounding...

Ciki said...

we love this place too:)

choi yen said...

No place at KL like Foh San, pack until like that, so scary~~

thule a.k.a leo said...

wow.. the hype is as good as those famous dim sum places in KL... and I thought that this kind of situation could only happen in Klang Valley.

iiKawaiiSx3 said...

what's the price for one plate of Dim Sum

ahlock said...

I've been brought up not to dagger stare, nor do I like being dagger-stared at, therefore, no matter how great and superb the food, its a big no-no for me.

cariso said...

Wahlau, both the payment counter and the take away counter look so posh!

Stanley said...

These sort of crowd really dampens my mood. Its the hype. There are places elsewhere serving just as good dim sum.

On the days where I got time for dim sum, I'm looking forward to enjoy them peacefully. No rush. I guess Foo San would be the wrong place for me.

New Kid on the Blog said...

haven't got a chance to visit them... :)

kevin_chungx said...

Haha, i went there at 6.30am, and got to try the dim sum. It's so grand, especially with the lights on at dawn.

If we want to enjoy the dim sum, we hv to go there earlier, if not, we can't enjoy the food when the crowd grows...

Hmmm... the dim sum is just so so, but i like the atmosphere(around 6.30am only)

SuwEi said...

went there to yam cha..miss those yam cha time.:P I'd tried on a weekend morning..Mission completed..

iamthewitch said...

Gosh! Even on a MONDAY morning it's jam packed! Crazy folks in Ipoh, I must say. :P I think I won't have a chance to visit it at all since I will only be back during weekends. :(

jencooks said...

Once they had an outlet perhaps some dry foodstuff point of sale and had me hunt Foh San in KL to know that it was closed. Yes, my fave dim sum but the crowd can be a bit nerving. All roads lead to Rome now leads to Foh San eh !

J2Kfm said...

email2me : yeah, how true. the portions still ok, compared to Ming Court's. but tastewise, there were actually some misses the day we went. let's hope they improve.

allie : sorry allie! whoops. i think this reply comes a bit too late. I'll suggest to go for the first two.

新怡 : yup, all customized plates now. try going on a weekday, or very early on a weekend.

SimpleGirl : we're in Ipoh, so shouldnt be a problem, right? :)

BSG : let's do.

Wilson : more or less maintained. no worries. just be cautious about the wait.

worldwindows : brunch is ok, but risk some items sold off, and you're left with the less popular items. there was an occasion (when the new outlet opened during the first few days) that they sold off so fast, they had to close earlier.

jason : gungho as ME ah? hehehe ..sei yeah. when you balik?

Sugar bean: efficient no less. but comme weekends, the take away counter also swarmed like hell.

Little Inbox : maybe lacking in varieties, and I do admit some items taste mediocre, compared to the others.

Selba : yeah, breakfast. but there are outlets serving them round the clock (for 3 meals, not 24 hrs - least none that i know of).

TNG : did you all?

BBO : so when are you guys coming back for a try?

reanaclaire : cannot oblivious lah. dim sum outlets in Ipoh all also crowded on wkends. if wkdays, go Yoke Fook Moon, STILl ok, can sit around a bit. but not Foh San or Ming Court.

Cumi & Ciki : and so do I!

mimid3vils : scary hor? ... almost like FREE food.

thule : not really. it's even worse than in KL. cz probably Ipoh has a handful of dim sum outlets only, and concentrated on the same area.

Missha : about RM3, for the usual items. and up to about RM6 for the claypot varieties, and porridge.

ahlock : aiyo, really? then tapau and eat home ok? :)

cariso : posh right? almost resembling HK style dim sum outlets.

Stanley : true also. sharing a table for breakfast is the norm at Foh San, and many may not like it.

NKOTB : there'll be a chance ... no worries.

kevin : ambience is cool, no doubt. very spacious, airy and the crowd adds to the overall environment.

suwei : yeahloh! talked to fcoe already, we arrange another meetup at Foh San. from 3 different places of work this time!

iamthewitch : it's fine, go very very early in the morning!

jencooks : hahaha ... how true. unnerving is a rather apt word to describe the experience. esp when one's hunger pangs on a roll ...

iiKawaiiSx3 said...

lol I went there like 4 times this month and last month and there;s not really special about their dim sum... and the services there are horrible and people are soo rude ... cause i saw the table first and that person just sat there in that big table with his 3 other friends -.-"
Ohh yeah last time i went to eat dim sum at 6 something and i saw a lot of people standing outside and waited for Foh San to open.... lol so i ate in the dim sum restaurant across from Foh San

Anonymous said...

This is the worst dim sum shop ever been and i dont know why you ppl are so crazy abt them. Guess you ppl have not tasted the real dim sum. its all hyped up. the fo sun is different now

J2Kfm said...

Sad to say, I do agree with Missha and Anonymous. The service is not only bad, it borders on absurdity. We had to cart our own dim sum, and the staff are not too helpful either. Unlike Ming Court.
Do read about the latest reviews over at my new blog :