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Our Ultimate Ipoh Food Guide

The capital of Perak - Ipoh has rose to popularity after it was voted as one of the 10 destinations to visit by Lonely Planet in 2016. Its strategic location in between the capital Kuala Lumpur and my hometown Penang made it an ideal stop for food pilgrims like us. Undeniably, the flair of traditional eateries in Ipoh still irresistible, despite the blossoming of boutique cafes in this serene city. During our first and second short trip years ago, we have hunted a few renowned food here and years later we continued our journey again.

1. Moonlight River @ Tuk Kee 月光盒 @ 怡宝德记

Located on the same row with Lou Wong Bean Sprout Chicken at Jalan Yau Tet Shin, the noodles specialists, Tuck Kee (德记) is a popular spot for dinners and suppers in Ipoh. An exodus crowd flocking the eatery when dusk started, to the extent that securing a table becoming a challenging task.

To our disarray, there are 2 Tuck Kee restaurant located on the same row. One is Restaurant Tuck Kee, while another one is named Restaurant Sun Tuck Kee. We are unsure which is the authentic one, anybody mind to enlighten us? Nevertheless, our friends recommended us to dine in Restaraunt Tuck Kee.

The verdict? We were pampered with good stir fried noodles. One thing that you shall not miss is the Moonlight Box (月光盒), where a raw egg is cracked on top of the fried flat noodles. The heat convected from the hot noodles will cook the egg, rendering the noodles a much smoother texture. Coupled with the sinful lards, dark soy sauce and cooking techniques to imparted a decent wok-hei, it became a bliss to the taste buds for ultimate enjoyment.

 Other than Moonlight Box, a variety of noodles such as Hokkien Mee (KL Style), Stew Yee Mee (焖伊面) , Wat Tan Hor (滑蛋河) and etc are available. If you are a snack person, the boiled octopus drizzled with the amazing garlic oil is a must try.

We were there for 2 different occasions. On the second occasions with our friends, the dining experience was dulled by the poor service rendered. No responses upon calling and the gruesome face was a huge letdown by one of the server. First occasion was okay though.

Restaurant Tuck Kee 
61, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Taman Jubilee, 30300, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num : +605 - 253 7513 
Operation Hour : 6:00pm - 12:00pm (Closed on Wednesday)

2. Chicken Tauge Buntong 驰名文冬芽菜鸡

A trip to Ipoh would be incomplete if no visitation made to enjoy the scrumptious Ipoh Hor Fun, poached chicken and the succulent bean sprouts, or better known as Tauge Chicken.

Lou Wong and Oon Kee probably led the list when one hunting for Tauge Chicken but we felt it was over commercialized. The inconsistent opening days of Cowan Tauge Chicken made non-Ipoh folks had a hard time to enjoy it, and some said Cowan had passed its prime era as well. Nevertheless, there is Buntong Tauge Chicken to appease the appetite for those real craving for it. 

The shop is tucked within a residential area thus it took us some efforts to locate it. When we were there at 9:00pm, they informed us the poached chicken had sold out. What??!! Luckily hor fun, bean sprouts and pork balls were available still. Of course, the meal was never disappointing. The bean sprout drenched with the soy sauce was full of addiction, but too bad we only managed to taste slices of poached chicken in the Hor Fun.

Lesson to learn, be here early or you shall regret!

Buntong Ayam Tauge
849, Jalan Guntong, Buntong, 30100, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num : +605 - 255 7469 / 017 - 578 7251
Operation Hour : 6:00pm till finishes (Closed on Tuesday)

3. Thean Chun Egg Custard 天津炖蛋

When you walked into Restaurant Thean Chun, you will see almost every table had an egg custard on it. To order this egg pudding, wait for the servers come to you and just tell them how many egg puddings you would like to have.

Minutes later, the bouncy egg custard will be served to your table. Coated with a crusted caramelized sugar, it emits an aromatic egg scent and fill your oral cavity with the pleasant egg taste. Though bouncy in nature, the egg custard would not break even with vigorous shake, signifying the quality of egg custard.

Order a plate of Hor Fun, or curry chee cheong fun if your had a stomach waiting to be fulfilled. Walk across the road to Ipoh Concubine Street (怡保二奶巷) for a short walk and purchase some souvenirs.

Thean Chun Coffee Shop
73 Jalan Bandar Timah, 31650, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num : +605 - 255 3076
Operation Hour : 9:30am - 4:00pm (Closed on Thursday)

4. Herbal Gui Ling Dong 龟苓堂

After some intensive food hunting at Ipoh, it is essential to cool down your body otherwise you risk to jeopardize the entire trip. 

Located within the same row as Tuck Kee, the corner lot Kedai Herbal Gui Ling Tong is a good choice for a stopover. The cozy environment provided a relaxed place for a rest while enjoying a good cup of Gui Ling Gao. Price might be slightly on a high side as gui ling gao never come cheap. 

Kedai Herba Gui Ling Tong
72, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num : +6016 - 443 2090
Operation Hour : 12:00pm till 12:00am (Closed on Wednesday)

5. Tong Shui Kai (糖水街)

Tong Shui Kai is very happening at night, with a row of hawker stalls selling assortment of food. Most people come here for a sweet ending after meal, and this is how the name of this place derived.

Be wary of two things when you are walking at Tong Shui Kai. First being the vehicles passing through the street, and second is the hawkers will be touting you to dine in their stalls. Of course, you have the rights to reject and they would not persist.

Our friend recommended us to try the Mixed Fruit ABC here, and she strongly recommended stall 41 out of many stalls here. Tables are limited here, so be prepared to wait for some time before you secure a table. 

The Mixed Fruit ABC is worth the effort waiting definitely. The sweetness level is just nice and fruits topped the ABC was luxurious. They also serve prawn crackers topped with shrimp paste and peanuts. 

If you are looking for warm dessert for your after meal, you may try Sweet herbal tea with egg from stall 21. Big steamed egg soaked with sweet herby soup.

Do take note that if you order from stall A, you might not be allowed to sit in the tables provided by other stalls. Do check with the stall owners for clarification. We did get shooed away for sitting at a wrong place. Our fault definitely, but the treatment we received were harsh.

Tong Shui Kai (糖水街)
Jalan Sultan Ekram, 30300, Ipoh Perak
Operation Hour : Evening till night (varies among stalls)

6. Ayam Garam Aun Kheng Lim 宴琼林盐焗鸡

Cookies are usually the most popular take-away from Ipoh, but a salted chicken definitely is a good take-away to add on dishes for the night. 

The salted chicken (盐焗鸡) here is pre-pack nicely in a box, so all you have to do is drop by here, order and bring it back to your car. Re-heat it when you are going to enjoy it with your dinner.

Though the chicken is relatively smaller is size but is well marinated with herbs and salt, and exhibiting a tender meat. 

Ayam Garam Aun Kheng Lim
24, Jalan Theatre, Taman Jubilee, 30300, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num: +605 - 254 2998 
Operation Hour : 9am - 6pm

7. Foo San Dim Sum 富山点心

Foo San Dim Sum is a renowned Dim Sum restaurant in Ipoh, featuring an assortment of Dim Sum to cater your crave. The double-storey restaurant gets very crowded over the weekend, as folks regardless of age sitting here to enjoy a fulfilling breakfast.

Although the restaurant operates till 2:30pm, it is always better to be there early to before some of the favourite dim sum runs out.

Foo San Dim Sum
51, Jalan Leong Sin Nam 30300, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num: +605 - 254 0308
Operation Hour : 6:30am - 12:30pm

8. Hong Tho Restaurant 鸿图酒楼

Hong Tho Restaurant is an "old brand" in Ipoh, having the history dated back to decades ago. It is a place for Ipoh folks to reminiscent the good golden time. If we were to compare, it would similar to Tho Yuen at Penang Island. 

Various cookies and confectioneries are sold here, apart of the signature noodles. Fried wanton is a must have, as almost every table had at least a plate of fried wanton during our visit there.  As we have limited stomach, we sampled their Roasted Pork Noodles and Wan Tan Hor. Both were heavily seasoned and gave a rather bold and appeasing taste.

Oh ya, you should know about this. Placing order here posed a big challenge as it does not have a menu! We asked the boss what noodles do they have and have to make an instant decision. Regular patrons would not have a problem but for some newbies to the shop like us was tough.

Hong Tho Restaurant 
20, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num: +605 - 254 9673
Operation Hour : 10:30am - 3:00pm; 6:00pm - 9:00pm (Closed on Tuesday)

9. Nam Heong Coffee 南香茶餐室

Go over Kedai Kopi Nam Heong for a cup of robust white coffee and enjoy some really fresh egg tarts from the oven. Although Nam Heong has opened its branch at Ipoh SoHo, the intuitive feeling dining at the original shop still unbeatable. 

Savour the crispy skin egg tarts with a cup of traditional coffee before the culture is being wiped out by technology revolution! 

Kedai Kopi Nam Heong
2, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num: +6012 - 588 8766
Operation Hour : 6:30am - 4:00pm (Closed on Monday & Tuesday in the middle week of the month)

10. Nasi Ganja

Nasi Ganja? A rice spiced up with marijuana? Definitely not, it is actually Nasi Kandar bearing a rather unique and foul playing name, but the meal here is indeed seductive till I wish to go back for second times.

Located in a Chinese kopitiam - Restaurant Yong Suan, and they are selling malay rice operated by Indian Muslim. What a harmony scene and true reflection of racial harmony. Come here early, otherwise you will be stucked in a long queue, risk having limited choices of dishes and probably having difficulty time to find a table for seat.

The curries pack a strong punch of spices, and was hot burning after some time. A plate of rice with a fried chicken and half of boiled egg cost us RM 5.60, which is pretty normal in any nasi kandar outlet. 

Nasi Ganja @ Kedai Kopi Yong Suan
2, Jalan Yang Kalsom, Taman Jubilee, 30300, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num: +605 - 254 4314
Operation Hour : 9:30am - 5:00pm 
Location map direction

11. Laksa Under Tree 忠记兵如港大树头炸料粉

Previously operated under a tree (that is how the name derived) at Pasir Pinji, they have had a new operation place at a kopitiam settings. The rules here are simple, like any other Yong Tau Foo stalls, pick up any tasty fried stuffs and have your choice of hor fun, laksa or noodles. Trust us, the fried stuffs here are the one of the best you could find.

Restaurant Choong Kee Pokok Besar 
652, Jalan King, Taman Hoover, 31650, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num: +6012 - 507 1482
Operation Hour : 8:30am - 5:30pm 
Location map direction

12. Zui Le Xuan Dim Sum 聚乐轩点心

If you are an ardent fan of Dim Sum and probably looking for alternatives other than the renowned Foh San or Ming Court Dim Sum, head over to Zui Le Xuan Dim Sum at Taman Pertama. It is merely a 15 minutes driving from the Ipoh town, and not hard to locate the eatery actually.

The challenging part of having dim sum was the unavailability to sample all dishes at one go, unless there was a big group. We sampled some of them and it turned out to be mouth-watering, and most importantly wallet friendly. Everything in the picture cost us about RM 35, and we ended the morning with a over bloated stomach.

It was a great stomach pampering session at Zui Le Xuan, and definitely we will come back during next trip! 

Restaurant Zui Le Xuan
28, off Jalan Ng Seong Teik, Taman Pertama, 30100, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num: +6012 - 486 0883
Operation Hour : 6:30am - 1:30pm 
Location map direction

13. Kedai Kopi Nam Chau

My friend in Ipoh introduced me to this place, as she mentioned that it serves Kedai Kopi Nam Chau serves a wonderful cup of coffee and scrumptious curry noodles as well. 

Curries noodles are available in 2 versions - dry and soup. Both exhibited a strong and aromatic curry taste, and well spiced by the mint leaves. Add on the lime for some tangy sensation

Kedai Kopi Nam Chau
54, Jalan Bandar Timah 30000, Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num: +6012 - 517 9998
Operation Hour : 7:30am - 3:30pm (Closed on Wednesday) 

14. Hong Kee Confectionary 鸿记饼家

Hong Kee Confectionary is renowned in Ipoh with their best selling egg tarts. Whenever people go to Ipoh, without fail they will go to their shop at Kedai Kopi Weng Seng and take-away dozens of it. 

On a personal level, I have a special affection towards their Sachima (萨其马). The egg based confectionary is different from others that its fluffiness is definitely unmatched, and it does not stick to the teeth while emitting an aromatic egg scent. 

Do come early at the kopitiam to place your order to prevent disappointment as the confectionary runs out fast. However for Ipoh folks, they have another ways in securing fresh confectionary. We shall remain it as secret to prevent flows of traffic there. Most human are selfish right? We kept the best to ourselves only!

Kedai Kopi Weng Seng
14, Jalan Dato' Oon Jaafar, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Contact Num: +6015 - 592 8303
Operation Hour : 7:00am - 2:00pm (Closed on Friday) 
Location map direction

15. Guan Heong Biscuit Shop

Guan Heong Biscuit Ipoh Perak
Signature Mix (RM 24.60)

Ipoh restaurants are renowned of maintaining its tradition to churn out the original flavour of the food. One of the big name that you ought to try out in Ipoh is Guan Heong Biscuit Shop, one of the six outlet that managed to establish themselves on the list of World Street Food Top 50 concluded in Manila, and bearing a history of 100 years old establishment (in 2018). 

They are well known for its Salted Tau Sar Pheah, and as time goes by, their signature list also expanded to include Meat Floss with Lotus Paste Biscuit, Meat Floss with Salted Egg Biscuit, Dried Meat Biscuit and Hawaiian Biscuit. Interestingly, you may buy their biscuits online and it will be delivered to your doorsteps as well. How convenient!

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