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Motormouth From Ipoh

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sun Marpoh Restaurant in Ipoh - Lingering Memories from My Childhood

I was practically trained to recognize my foods, & developing my raw, untrained tastebuds since early childhood days. I lived in Pasir Puteh in Ipoh since I was born, then subsequently moving to my current home (cannot disclose location ... scared got stalkers! LOL.) for about 15 years now.

Yup, I'm an ancient brontosaurus from the Jurassic era. So what? I can still chew on the fats, and bite on the bones. HA!!

Gigantic, crispy & tempting deep-fried pork hand (zhu sau) served with the thick, gooey sauce

Back then, I was already munching on sweet and sour pork, lemon chicken, sambal petai and whatever else that was considered 'hot' back then. Of course, no salted egg chicken/prawns/squids/crabs, nor 'Yin Yang kailan', or 'Nai Yau' (Butter Cream Sauce) this & that.

One of the better place for good old 'dai chow' (rice served with dishes, Chinese style) was, and probably still is, the Sun Marpoh Restaurant in Ipoh Garden. Back then, it was known as Marpoh Restaurant, and has since transformed itself from a goose to a swan (bad metaphor, I know. Sue me); Expanding itself into a two shoplots, and fully air-conditioned.

Stir-fried Brinjals with Minced Pork - Epitome of home-style cooking

Ask any ancient Ipohan about this place, and guaranteed 50% of the time (or more, depending on which era they were born in) they'll nod in agreement, and face lighting up while smacking their lips. Unless they're the evil detractors, of course.

Anyway, we've been dining in this restaurant since the 80's. The quality has been maintained more or less, prove that tight QC is at play here. You rarely see the place empty, or the staff swatting flies come dinner hours. Even on weekdays.

Glistening, crispy fish fillets with lemon sauce

On this particular visit to Sun Marpoh, we sampled some of their rarer creations, or signature dishes, if you will. The crispy skin, deep-fried to perfection pork hand (Is it trotter? front trotter? knuckle? Sorry, I'm not good with animal parts here) is currently one of the more famous dish at Sun Marpoh, a portion for RM28. The crisp skin was still crackly until the end of the meal, while the tender, marinated meat was a delight. If you're not fond of fatty, almost gelatinous pork meat, then I suggest you skip this. Or pop a Statin after meal. ;) The accompanying sauce was a combination of five-spices powder ('5 heong fan'), soy sauce, dark soy sauce, etc. Not really necessary though, given the robust flavour of the meat and the skin.

Surprisingly simple. Pleasantly delectable. "Kwai Fei Tofu" - A perennial staple at Sun Marpoh's.

The brinjal stir-fried with minced pork meat (RM8) may look simply and bland, but in reality the dish served its purpose perfectly. If you can't get your children to eat their greens, get them to dig into the tender, smooth and tasty brinjals (eggplants/aubergines). OK, they may not be considered as your typical greens, but still rich in potassium and folic acid. And nicotine, supposedly. Hahaha ... not too worry. Nicotine from plants is negligible. But good news for smokers? (Source from Wikipedia).

The fried fish fillets with the sticky, caramelized lemon sauce (RM16) was worthy of a mention, though may not be the best bet for a child's palate. Not the typical lemon sauce (which is sweet, tangy and brimming with citrusy scent), but with addition of curry leaves, and spices.

And last but not least, we could not help but order the dish that introduced me to beancurd waaaaayyy back then, the Kwai Fei Tofu (RM8), made from their own velvety smooth, egg-y and delicious beancurds. No bells, no whistles, but plain delightful gravy with mixed vegetables as garnishings. You can't go wrong with this.

There is an enviable array of signature dishes at Sun Marpoh, proudly displayed on the board on the wall inside the restaurant itself. Feel free to ask the special(s) of the day, and have a fun time choosing your picks! Btw, they do whip up a mean Sweet and Sour Pork!

Location : Sun Marpoh Restaurant @ 69, Jalan Lau Pak Khuan, Ipoh Garden, 31400 Ipoh, Perak. Tel No : +605-545 5127. Opens from 11.30am until 3.00pm for lunch, and 5.30pm until 10.00pm for dinner daily.

Here's a GOOGLE MAP for easy reference.


gfad said...

What a pity I found your blog only after I returned from Ipoh.

Ipoh restaurants always does the best Chinese dishes (more traditional), unlike in KL where I find the cooks have modified the old recipes too much. I had some really good food at East Ocean in Chemor. They have a lovely steamed castrated chicken - so flavorful, and the skin was really really nice (coming from someone who does not like chicken skin at all!). And a very tasty fish (I think it was haruan) dish done 2 styles - soup and fried with ginger and spring onion.

gfad said...

BTW, Tuck Kee Rest (is this in Pasir Putih or Pasir Pinji? Can never remember which is which!) is also one of my favourites. I still remember the best yee sang I've ever had at this place, and that was easily 6-8 years ago!!

Big Boys Oven said...

Truly Marpoh brings back lots of memories! a lovely place to be!

foodbin said...

can see that the food are real good.

Anonymous said...

always love the food here....never fails us

Nic Da Nic said...

I tried Sun Mar Poh and Choy Kee also
I like the Tofu that i posted there
my favorite dish is TAUFU

NekoHime said...

Ah... my favorite place in ipoh! :) And you even have my fav murukku seller in the last pic!!

minchow said...

Ooh yeah, we all have our personal version of Sun Mar Poh... I recall the one we frequented back in our childhood days, this not-necessarily-good dai chow place called Sin Boon Kee. I should make a trip back just to relive how good (or bad) it was!

fcoe said...

pass this area almost everyday but i've not tried it..i think..can't recall:)

Stanley said...

Does anyone find Marpoh dishes to be on the salty side?

jencooks said...

Arh! no photos of that Pasir Puteh boy munching his food, that would be interesting. Yah old restaurants will always be a part of our lives how we grew up on them (not exactly restaurants but street food) and then fast food graduating to cafe, fusion restaurant and back one cycle to the ones down memory lane.

D-Tourist said...

sun marpoh used to haf this "kong cheng" - hongkong steamed fish...wif generous dose of dong kuai but no longer... wonder if u all haf it before and still remember.... unfortunately they dun haf it anymore

somemore last time they use to haf a branch at jln leong sin nam, where my family would haf meal there almost every week.

jason said...

Always love their home made taufu! Can't get the taste anywhere else :)

New Kid on the Blog said...

you didn't order their sweet and sour pork?? one of the best!

this is the ONE & ONLY restaurant that opens on CNY!! I still remember grandma was too old to cook for CNY, she'll just give them a call, and they will prepare the dishes for her.

Rebecca Saw said...

i luv tai chows! Pg, KL ipoh..argghh nothing beats those dishes served old style, old taste and old ambiance!
Oh. i sound old! shit... ;)

Hulk said...

I hv to get to Sun marpoh early for lunch each time to fight for tables.

BTW...there this one outlet also known as Sun Marpo located along with 1919, near Tesco Ipoh. Donno any relation with this outlet..but they do also serve bloody CHEAP & good food also.
Imagine single rice set meal cost RM4.00 with seperate dish. the vege dish serve in large proportion that feed 2.
I used to go for dinner & luv thier spicy pork version serve on Friday. My meal with wife with 3 dishes (pick from single set meal) come not more than Rm15.00. Serious. Hv u try the place yet. I too wonder if there is any relation to Marpoh in Iph Gdn?

Selba said...

The food looks really good!

iamthewitch said...

Wow the pork knuckles are tempting!!!

cariso said...

Wahlau pork knuckles again.Cannot odi, I must go and check my cholesterol odi!

Unknown said...

wow.... all the foods look so delicious. I would like to try the pork knuckles. ^-^

worldwindows said...

Really enjoyed this one esp the pork trotter. Must go for it when I am back.

choi yen said...

All those dishes can make ppl eat a lot of rice ler =.=''

Zheng Yang 琤洋 said...

i just ate there for lunch at the same day you post...haha

Elin Chia said...

This is my favourite place to have dinners if eat out..thumbs up for this Sun Marpoh

wenxuan said...

sigh motormouth...this place is really near to my house...and i haven't been there for few months..

try their Ham Yu Fa Lam Bou. i reckon its the best in ipoh.

J2Kfm said...

gfad : castrated chicken or yim kai is an exotic find, costing up to hundreds per chick. least thats what my fren told me.

anyway, nice to meet you the other day! if you're back in Ipoh next year, be sure to ring me up, k?

BBO : you guys are fans as well ah?

foodbin : taste them, then you'll see the quality is top-notch as well.

simplegirl : true, sometimes the wait for a table got to us. and we'd rather eat somewhere else.

Nic da Nic : you sound like a tofu-lover ... obsessed, even?

Nekohime : you're there often? =P i din notice the kacang putih seller though.

550ml jar of faith : where is it? in KL?

fcoe : i think we tried it before lah, for lunch. either it was you or TallGal.

Stanley : salty? erm, packed with flavour, yes. maybe certain dishes?

jencooks : hahaha... cannotlah. people not in favour of ogre chomping on his prey.

D-Tourist : oh, i think i;ve never tried it before. or maybe back then i was too young to appreciate a steamed fish?

J2Kfm said...

jason : true loh. one taste, and all the memories came back ... flooding my mind. :)
a little over eh?

NKOTB : this time around, no. for we had the pork knuckle. cannot have too much pork in one sitting la!

TNG : no you're not ... i like them too. but wait, i AM old.

HUlk : it's called First Mapo. one of my family favourite. tapau from there almost every other day last time. now no more. but the food there is VERY good, and tasty. maybe someday i'll blog about it.
and they're not related. previously the owner was cooking up a storm in the JJ coffee shop behind Salam Corner.

Selba : yup, addictive stuff. home cooked.

thewitch : huge, crispy and sinful. what's more to ask for?

cariso : hahaha, i ate the knuckle, and you check your cholesterol? aiks.

food paradise : certainly. go try it, or find a good one in Penang?

worldwindows : yeah, for sure. how often you're back eh?

mimid3vils : true. but the huge knuckle proved to be too much for us at the end ...

Zheng yang : really? but i had this quite some time ago though. it was stashed in the backlogs, and I thought hey! let's write something closer to home.

Elin : yeah, we'll be sure to go back and try the other signature stuff next time.

wenxuan : really? that's one of my family's fav as well. thanks.