Help the Small Businesses: EatUp Dining

Eatup Dining

Pictures by Gisele Soo

SeeFoon discovers Halal Chinese hawker fare in Meru Raya

A few of my Muslim friends have often asked me where to go for Halal Chinese hawker food. 

Yes we are seeing a proliferation of Halal Dim Sum all over, thanks to our dynamic Ipohite duo, Ceylyn Teh and her husband YC Nang who have a huge manufacturing facility in Ipoh and opened up Halal Dim Sum places all over Malaysia.

But to find authentic Halal Chinese hawker food under one roof? “Well, not all dishes but a good representation of the usual favourites would be welcome,” said a good friend who was born and raised in a Chinese family but converted when she married her Muslim husband. 

As luck would have it, I found one in Meru Raya

Christine Liew is the savvy and amiable proprietor of EatUp Dining, a bright, cheerful and sparklingly clean eatery sitting in an easy parking location on Jalan Meru Bestari A9, just behind Mydin and next to McDonalds.

Already open for two years, the restaurant has BeSS stickers readily visible at the entrance and counter which stands for Bersih, Selamat dan Sihat” or “Clean, Safe and Healthy”, a recognition awarded by the Health Department and is the only one given in the entire Jelapang area. Muslim team members run the kitchen as well as service, and not only is the restaurant Halal certified, but they also cater to vegetarians. 

Speaking to Christine, I can sense her passion, which is palpable, for introducing her childhood food to the Muslim community and making them accessible whether as dine-ins or takeaways. 

Christine’s specialty is her homemade Lamen, more commonly known as Ramen but she has chosen to use the Chinese phonetic-isation rather than the Japanese. These are made fresh daily and are a “must-have” from here. Springy and al dente, these noodles have the requisite mouthfeel that would win approval from even the most critical Chinese gourmet, and when combined with the variety of sauces, soups and toppings—all of which are homemade—have garnered for the restaurant quite a local following.

During the lunch hour I was there, I could see a continuous stream of GrabFood and Foodpanda  delivery people doing pickups, as well as private ones. A brisk business indeed and I hope it will continue during this CMCO period. SOPs are well adhered to here as all service staff were masked and the tables were marked for social distancing.

The staff appeared cheerful and happy, giving credence to the company name of  Ria Serata – meaning “happy under the same roof”. This is all thanks to Christine’s efforts, as a boss who cares for her staff’s welfare, personally conducting service training and teaching staff in the kitchen as well. 

As for the food, plating and service was impeccable and the taste notable.

We first had the EatUp Signature Crunchy Spiced Squid which was a good starter to nibble on while waiting for the rest of the food. The spicing was more than the usual salt and pepper squid and had a piquancy that was intriguing. RM13.90.

EatUp Signature Crunchy Spiced Squid

This was followed by their Signature Pie Tee, crispy flour cups with their own unusual filling of chicken slivers cooked with sengkuang or sweet turnip. Plated with tufts of lettuce peeping from each cup and dressed in a special sauce, these cups were a delightful crunchy appetizer for the goodies to come. RM9.90 for 6 pieces.

Signature Pie Tee

The EatUp Signature Chicken Rice Combo served with two cups of Pie Tee and saucy chicken (as in soya sauce) was a well rounded meal in itself, complete with salad garnitures and crispy fried shallots and crispy fried garlic. The rice was very tasty on its own (as chicken rice should be) and the homemade chilli sauce, together with the cup of chicken soup, completed the combo. RM17.90. 

Never had Chinese Chee Cheong Fun (CCF) for fear it may contain lard? Now you can eat the Halal version with impunity and understand why this has been a favourite breakfast dish for centuries in China. The key is in the smoothness and velvety mouthfeel of the rolled rice sheet. Just rice flour steamed and rolled up, topped with sauces. Here, the CCF is embellished with Christine’s special secret recipe Dried Shrimp Sauce, tangy, quite spicy and redolent with dried shrimps. Drizzled with sweet black soya sauce and sprinkled with crispy fried shallots and sesame seeds, this is a must have at RM5.90.

Chee Cheong Fun with Supreme Dried Shrimp Sauce

Next to arrive was the Wok Fried Radish Cake with Superior Spicy Sauce. This was a  homemade radish cake, soft and tender and pan-fried with beansprouts, spring onion, chilli sauce and topped with crisp fried shallots. Yummilicious at RM8.00.

Wok Fried Radish Cake with Superior Spicy Sauce

The Teochew Porridge with Condiments was a surprise on the menu. Plain rice congee boiled to the right consistency, velvety and smooth; served with ikan bilis, salted egg and salted fish. A clean, wholesome farmer’s meal. They also serve a chicken version. RM7.90.

Eatup Signature Teochew Porridge with Condiments

Then we came to the Lamen, the EatUp’s homemade specialty. Used for all dishes calling for noodles, these noodles with its al dente springiness is paired in different ways. 

Nyonya Chicken Curry Lamen Soup had whole chunks of chicken, potato, onions, cucumber slivers, lettuce, egg and taufu pok in a spicy, well nuanced curry sauce that was totally satisfying. RM14.90.

Nyonya Chicken Curry Lamen Soup

The Chicken Chilli Lamen was a dry variety, with a soft boiled egg, ikan bilis, chicken cubes, and given oomph with the home-made chilli sauce. RM10.90.

Chicken Chilli Lamen

The Dry Wonton Noodle with Crispy Shrimp Wonton at RM12.90 was the icing on the cake – the noodles springy and the shrimp wonton crackling in the mouth.

There are drinks galore on the menu here with notable ones unanimously voted tops by my cronies at the table being the Lychee Lime Mojito (RM9.90) and the Mojito Tiga Rasa, an interesting concoction of an ice cream popsicle melting into soda producing three flavours.

Mojito Tiga Rasa

My favourite was the Pearl Teh, a homemade blend of tea mixed with condensed and evaporated milk that was not overly sweet combined with yummilicious chewy pearls. RM6.90.

EatUp Dining will be opening another branch at PTTC (Perak Techno Trade Center). From my taste of the lovely menu, the new venture will doubtless be successful.

Christine has succeeded in interpreting Chinese hawker food to the Halal audience with a blend of fidelity and freedom that is rare. Her homemade chilli sauce is worth taking home in bottles for adding to one’s own dishes. I wish her much success in the upcoming new restaurant.  


60-G & 60-1, Jalan Meru Bestari A9, Medan Meru Bestari, 30020 Ipoh, Perak

Business hours:
9am-10pm; closed on Tuesdays
Takeaways available
Deliveries available via Foodpanda and GrabFood

For inquiries:
05-210 7287

Help the Small Businesses: Lubiantan

Pictures by Gisele Soo

SeeFoon discovers a ‘roadside stall’ 

Called Lubiantan (meaning ‘roadside stall’), this is a relatively new eatery situated upstairs of a shop specialising in Musang King and other durians where they sell the fresh variety as well as durian desserts. Owned by the same people, the two work synergistically where you can eat your mains and savouries upstairs and go downstairs for desserts. Perfect for our durian-lovers and sweet tooth readers.

Lubiantan is a tiny eatery serving only about 20 people at a time. Very strict about their SOPS, places are marked off with big X’s where you’re not allowed to sit. It’s a place where you go and eat your plate or bowl of your choice and quickly go downstairs to enjoy their desserts or fresh durian as you wish, just like you would do at a roadside stall. It’s not a place to linger and chit chat as they have to serve the next customer.

The menu is a simple one, with their signatures featuring their special handmade Teochew Style Bamboo Noodles, “KAO” noodles and the Pahang Bentong Homemade Tofu Pok

The Teochew Style Bamboo Noodles are distinguished by the irregular shape of the handmade noodles and a hint of saltiness. They are made without any preservatives and produced the traditional way by sun-drying the noodles and steaming them on a tray lined with coconut leaves. 

“KAO” Noodles are handmade noodles also known as Teochew “Mee Sua”. Served with the springy, irregular shaped noodles are mushroom strips, minced pork, house-made dried shrimp sambal and poached egg. First, dig into the poached egg, then mix the noodles well. When you eat it, every bite of the minced pork, the smoothness of the egg and a hint of spiciness will make you fall in love with this dish. 

Pahang Bentong Homemade Tofu Pok is famous among Malaysians and it is also a must-buy when visiting Pahang. The texture of this tofu pok is fluffy and soft and can be stuffed with a meat farcie. These can be ordered as a side dish or added to the various noodle dishes. Lubiantan’s mission is to bring the best to their customers, so it is a MUST in their Curry Noodles.

The day we were there, the special of the day was the Mah Lat braised chicken in Szechuan style. Mildly spicy, with a faint hint of the Mah Lat or Szechuan peppers which numb the tongue. Served with rice, vegetables and “Tsoi Po” fried egg. RM8.80.

Malat braised chicken in Szechuan style

Their signature dishes are their dry and wet Curry Noodles. We tried both, with the dry Curry Noodles arriving first. Using handmade noodles from Pangkor, these were quite al dente and I could tell they were handmade owing to their uneven thickness. The thick curry sauce was piquant and can be spiced up with the very tasty sambal served with it. Topped with the Pahang Bentong Homemade Tofu Pok which tasted soft and absorbed the gravy nicely, smallish prawns, long beans, bean sprouts, fried scallions and roast pork slices, this curry noodle is a tasty mouthful. RM9.80.

Dry curry noodles

The wet Curry Noodle with Hor Fun rice noodles and yellow mee had a slurp-worthy thick curry soup, tangy and again can be spiced up with sambal. It is served with large sea-fresh prawns, tofu pok, squares of tender fried pigs skin and topped with mint leaves. RM9.80.

Wet curry noodle

The Special Pigs Trotters in Soy Sauce served with white rice or noodles was well braised, the trotters tender and the sauce well blended in its light and dark soya sauces. RM12.80.

Special Pigs Trotters in Soy Sauce

We followed this up with a clear Lettuce and fish paste (Yu Wat) soup (ours came without the noodles as we were quite full). Umami with a clean taste, the fish paste was soft and fresh tasting with dried squid added in to further lift the flavour. RM7.80.

Lettuce and fish paste soup

And for a pre-dessert treat, we finished our meal upstairs with the Classic toasted bread with premium butter and kaya. Sliced thin, the bread was crispy and the homemade kaya not too sweet, which suited my tastebuds. RM3.80. 

Classic toasted bread with premium butter and kaya

Service was fast at Lubiantan to facilitate a quick turnover. Soon we were headed downstairs to the Musang King dessert shop where we just had to finish our meal with a slice of durian burnt cheesecake (RM28) which was quite dense and very filling so we shared one between four of us. We did not get to try the layered durian cake (RM18.80) but promised to return.

Durian burnt cheesecake
Layered durian cake

For those who eat upstairs at Lubiantan, there is a 10% discount at the dessert shop when you show your receipt within the same day of issue. Don’t worry if you don’t think you can stomach the desserts after a hearty meal; you can still get a 5% discount up to a month after the date when your receipt is issued. The outlet downstairs is open from 10am-10pm.


56a, Jalan Theatre, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak

Business hours:
Mon-Thurs, 8.30am-4.30pm; Fri-Sun, 8.30am-10pm
Takeaways available
Delivery available within town area for orders with more than 3 items

For inquiries:
012-591 8175

Cutesy at Canning Meiko Home

SeeFoon discovers a Canning ‘Cutesy’.
Meiko Home which looks like a gift shop from the road. The facade is “cutesy Japanese”, the inside, whimsical kitsch.
But wait….surprise, surprise, there is a menu and they serve food.

SeeFoon discovers a Canning ‘Cutesy’

When my friend Liew Thin Sang called to invite me for some Laksa in Canning, I jumped at the invitation as I adore Laksa. So on the set date, my troops and I descended on Meiko Home which looks like a gift shop from the road. The facade is “cutesy Japanese”, the inside, whimsical kitsch complete with simulated bottle top Coca-Cola and Heineken tables and chairs. The walls are bedecked with gift shop whimsy: hanging doll hand towels, Panda bears, gnomes, wall hangings, model cars, children’s clothes hanging in racks, dot the space in veritable Disney fashion.

Exterior of the cafe
Interior of the cafe

This is a gift shop I thought. But wait….surprise, surprise, there is a menu and they serve food.

Wennie Che, the effusive proprietor greeted our group like old friends and proceeded to give us menus. Coming from a family background of running gift shops with four in Cameron Highlands, she has spread her wings and eyes Ipoh as a lucrative market, opening Meiko Home on Jalan Canning Estate two years ago and a new acquisition in Lorong Panglima.

Meiko Home is their first venture into serving food and as such, she is keeping her menu small.

Laksa Galore

Laksa is their Signature dish. Assam Laksa served here, with variations on size and garnitures depending on budget and appetite. There is a mini Laksa (RM4.90) which is a small tasting portion and will allow you to order other regular portions of their other signature dishes one of which is their Big Prawn Mee (Har Meen). This comes with a humongous Tiger Prawn, sliced fish paste, fried shallots and boiled egg. The soup was umami and the Tiger Prawn very fresh, RM16.90. And of course, if Laksa makes your mouth water, then go for the big portion with all the seafood including the Tiger Prawn, big mussels, sotong or squid, lots of pineapple slices which is a meal in itself, RM16.90.

Signature Prawn Mee

If spice is not on your culinary list, they also have non-spicy noodle dishes like their Mee Hoon Fish Soup, slices of garoupa fish served in an umami broth with tomatoes, cabbage and sliced ginger, RM12.90 (fish only) and RM16.90 with mixed seafood.

Naturally, to please those with a western palate (and that includes a lot of our locals) they also offer chops from chicken, pork, lamb, duck and even Iberico pork which can be served on top of spaghetti or with rice and vegetables; but Foodie that I am, I generally avoid these dishes. From RM16.90 onwards.

Having mentioned the main items which I enjoyed, we now come to the pièce de résistance of Meiko and even now a month later, I can still savour the taste in my gustatory memory bank!

Special cooking method

Hoi Dai Kai or Underwater Chicken

When Wennie brought a round bottom pot and portable burner to the table I was taken aback. What? Cooking at the table? And it doesn’t look like Hot Pot.

Hoi Dai Kai

Inside the pot were cut up Beard Chicken (Wu Sou Kai) pieces which she told me had been marinated overnight. There were stalks of bruised lemongrass, chopped ginger, galangal, coriander leaves and a chilli-based secret mixture. This was placed on the burner and set alight. Immediately, someone else put a stainless steel bowl over the mouth of the pot and proceeded to fill the bowl with ice. With the pot sealed, the ice on top (which was replenished as it melted) providing a cool lid with faster evaporation, leaving the chicken to cook in its own juices as the lid prevented any evaporation of moisture. Twenty minutes passed and voila, the “lid” removed, the aroma wafting from the chicken was ambrosial. The taste was even better! Tender, moist and succulent, the chicken pieces were well imbued with the marinade and cooking juices and each bite was a trip to the stars and back, RM88-RM98 (depending on the size of chicken). Must be ordered a minimum 24 hours in advance.

With that as our last delectable treat, we finished the meal with a simple dessert of “TongSui”, a white fungus with peach gum and ginkgo nuts. Not too sweet and a refreshing end to a good meal.

Peach Gum

57 Jalan Canning Estate, Taman Canning, 31400 Ipoh.

Wennie Che: 011 3597 2686

Business hours:
11am-6pm  Wednesdays closed


Little Tiger Char Koey Teow

SeeFoon wallows in all her childhood hawker foods. Newly-opened restaurant Little Tiger is a call to the Foodies of Ipoh and beyond, that there is a restaurant that can hold its own in our highly diverse food paradise and where local palates are mercurial and extremely critical.

SeeFoon wallows in all her childhood hawker foods

Pictures by Yugin

The tiger is one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals. People born in the year of the tiger are thought to be competitive, self-confident and brave.

For Sally Wong to call her newly-opened restaurant Little Tiger is a call to the Foodies of Ipoh and beyond, that there is a restaurant that can hold its own in our highly diverse food paradise and where local palates are mercurial and extremely critical.

But Little Tiger can definitely hold its head up high and soon count itself among the luminaries in the Ipoh hawker food scene.

For me, the fact that it is air-conditioned is already a plus point. The decor is cheerful with tropical beach scenes along one wall complete with coconut palms and when you take a photo beside the wall, people will think you’re at some idyllic beach location. The tables are clothed in batik, topped with glass and the serving bowls are all porcelain. Not that that matters of course when it comes to eating out. It’s the quality of food that counts and here it doesn’t disappoint.

Also, their pricing is reasonable . . . and yes you can get the same dishes outside for less but consider the heat, the jostling for tables and the waiting, not to mention the hygiene; and Little Tiger wins hands down.

With a partner/Chef Raymond Khoo who hails from Penang, their Char Kway Teow (one of my fave hawker dishes) comes with cockles, Chinese sausage and fresh medium-sized prawns. Fried just the way I like it . . . dry, not sweet, with oodles of chilli sauce fried with the noodles and not on the side, lots of bean sprouts and the pièce de résistance, a generous topping of chu yau char or fried lardons, RM9.90. The last time I ordered this I emphasised to the chef to make it extra hot but still it wasn’t spicy enough. I guess people don’t realise what an insane chilli palate I have!

Social media and also some of my friends were not impressed by the food when they went in the early days of opening (only around two months) but they have certainly picked up speed and most of the items I tasted a week ago were “must come back to eat again” quality.

Like the Vinegar Trotters, not too sour, not too sweet, the trotter chunks braised to the right degree of tenderness, the skin clean and without hair, RM15.90.

Vinegar Trotters

Their Chicken Curry was excellent, with their own distinctive blend of curry paste and served with potatoes in the gravy, RM8.90. This curry can be eaten with plain rice or their toasted bread which was crunchily crispy and is also part of a set with half-boiled eggs or it can be eaten with their Nasi Lemak served with either blue (from blue pea flower) or turmeric rice.

Nasi Lemak with the chicken curry

The sambal in the Nasi Lemak set was delicious, in the old sambal belacan style, the rice had adequate santan but the only disappointment was their ikan bilis and peanuts, (why did they add sugar?) and the ikan bilis was not crispy, RM13.90.

Their homemade Lobak (meat paste wrapped in bean skin and deep-fried) was tasty, redolent with 5-spice powder and actually for my taste, quite lean. Fat averse eaters will be pleased to know this, RM9.90.


Two of my favourite noodle dishes followed. The first, a Fried Prawn Mee was yummilicious. Soaking in prawn broth yet, fried to a point to allow the broth to be absorbed into the mix of meehoon and yellow mee, the prawns were medium-sized, with bits of pork, greens, egg, and served with a superlative dry sambal which imbued the noodles with an extra layer of yum. And need I mention chu yau char . . . a generous topping of them, RM9.90.

Fried Prawn Mee
Prawn Mee


Equally laudable was their soup Prawn Mee, the stock simmered with prawn shells and pork bones, again embellished by the addition of their delicious dried prawn sambal, served with bean sprouts and kangkong and good-sized prawns which were very fresh. With the NO MSG sign printed on their menu, I found I could dare slurp the soup with equanimity, RM9.90.

They also have Tai Luk Meen, a thick wheat noodle pan-fried with a dark soya sauce with the usual garnitures, RM9.90.

Tai Luk Meen

Then came the desserts, a tempting plate of Kuih Muih to choose from. The selection will vary from day to day and as these are all homemade, the taste and texture were all superlative. It was a hard decision but as we were a fair-sized group we managed to select a sampling and tucked in. I particularly enjoyed the Kueh Talam and the Ubi Kayu (tapioca) topped with coconut, RM1.50-RM2 each.

Kuih Muih

98 Jalan Raja Ekram, Kampung Jawa, 30450 Ipoh.
Tel: 012 516 9833

Business hours:
Daily (8am-4pm, 6pm-10pm)
2 days off every 2 weeks.


Rat Noodles for the Year of the Rat

Lou Shu Fun, commonly known as ‘silver needle noodle’, is also called rat (Shu) noodle by most Malaysians. The noodle is called Shu due to its shape like a needle or a rat’s tail and is one of the many traditional Chinese noodles available in many stalls.

Since it’s the year of the Rat, Ipoh Echo goes on a quest for the best Lou Shu Fun around Perak.

Dried Lou Shu Fun topped with homemade minced meat ready to be served

Ah Yuk Lou Shu Fun is one of the last few surviving shops that serves handmade Lou Shu Fun. Usually sold out by 10am, expect a long queue at 7am, its peak time. When asked about the ingredients of the noodles, Law  Lai Yoon, 52, the second generation to run the Lou Shu Fun business said the noodles are mainly made of rice (glutinous and non-glutinous) and water with a combination of corn starch.

“The kneading and cooking process of the noodle takes approximately an hour,” said Yoon.
Everything is made from scratch including the noodles, minced meat and chilli sauce. The noodle can be served in numerous forms, such as in soup, stir-fried or dry (drenched in a mixture of sauces based on customers’ preference). The taste and texture are second to none.
“Handmade noodles are definitely healthier than manufactured ones,” Yoon proudly explained. There is no added MSG or additives in the making of the noodles.

If you happen to visit Tg Tualang, do drop by Ah Yuk Lou Shu Fun and grab yourself a bowl of Lou Shu Fun.

These are the five top selected Lo Shu Fun places to welcome the year of the Metal Rat.

Signature dried Lou Shu Fun with minced meat and char siew @ Ah Yuk Lou Shu Fun

1. Tanjung Tualang Ah Yuk Lou Shu Fun (Homemade)
Famous for homemade Low She Fun
Address: Gerai Majlis Daerah, Jalan Kampar, 31800 Tanjong Tualang, Perak.
Open daily, 5am-10.30am


2. Restaurant Makanan Laut Wong Kok
Famous for JJ Lou Shu Fun
Address: 11 Persiaran Tokong, Pasir Pinji, Ipoh.
Open daily, 11am-2.30pm, 5pm-11.30pm

3. Restaurant Chee Wah
Famous for Claypot Lou Shu Fun
Address: 12 Jalan Che Tak, Ipoh.
Wednesday & Thursday Off

Dried Lou Shu Fun with minced meat @ Restaurant Lou She Fun

4. Restaurant Lou She Fun
Famous for Gon Lou Lou Shu Fun
Address: 615 Jalan New Pasir Puteh, Pasir Puteh, Ipoh.
7:30am-11:30pm, 6pm-10pm
Tuesday Off

Sambal Lou Shu Fun @ Dome Meru

5. Dome Meru
Famous for Sambal Lou Shu Fun (not on the menu but on request)
Dome Restaurant, Meru Golf Resort,
Meru Valley, 30020 Jelapang, Perak.
Open Daily, 6am – 10pm

Original article published at : 

Best Kai Si Hor Fun in Ipoh @ Yinzo Kopi

Yinzo Kopi also have some new dishes on the menu like the traditional Hakka “Lei Cha” and traditional Hakka Tofu made by their own chef and one of the best Kai Si Hor Fun (Chicken Soup Noodle) in town!

Arguably the Best KSHF in Ipoh

In the 16 Jul 2019 issue, IE308, I wrote about Yinzo Kopi that newly-refurbished cafe right in the heart of old town. At the time, I thought some of their offerings were brilliant and some hit and miss. However, William Oh, manager and partner, takes feedback very well and I am happy to report that all my comments on previous occasions on some of the items have all been taken to heart and the dishes modified.

They also have some new dishes on the menu like the traditional Hakka “Lei Cha” and traditional Hakka Tofu made by their own chef!

Available every Tuesdays, Fridays and on every 1st and 15th day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, each serving is priced at “Lei Cha” RM13.80; Hakka Tofu RM3.80 (2 pcs); set of both RM16.80. Great for sharing or if a big eater, hog it all for yourself. The portions are BIG, the herbal tea soup umami and fragrant and the mix of ingredients freshly prepared.

And they have expanded their dim sum menu with new additions like Dried Prawn Pastry (3 pcs RM4.80) and a yummilicious Polo Pau, fragrant, pillow-soft and enveloping a big slab of butter. This had me asking for more and my dear readers know that I don’t have a sweet tooth! RM3.80.

Also Osmanthus Jelly, RM4.80, is available on Saturdays and Longan Soya Bean Curd, RM4.80, available on Sundays.

Best Kai Si Hor Fun in Ipoh

But I’m saving the biggest surprise for last. From now on, I will only go there for their Kai Si Hor Fun (KSHF), Ipoh’s iconic dish of rice noodles in soup. Depending on individual taste buds of course, for my palate, their KSHF is now edging out the front runners Moon de Moon and Pulau Sembilan. Here you sit in air-conditioned comfort and leisurely sip their home blend of local white coffee, pick at a dim sum or two and wait for the KSHF to arrive (which is pretty quickly), as you eat the noodles and slurp the broth. This latter is the magic to their KSHF. Simmered for a minimum of six hours, the broth is out of this world umami with no MSG, RM8.80.

And no waiting for tables or queuing up (although parking is rather difficult around there, take a Grab).

If still hankering for more, check out the Mizo Pork Rice. Well marinated pork slices, tender and well-coated with Mizo, served with white rice and mustard, RM13.80.

So William Oh, keep up the quality and don’t let Ipohites down! People will start complaining to me if you do.

No. 1 & 3 Persiaran Bijih Timah, 30000 Ipoh.

Tel: 019 556 1393 or 05 241 0571 (ask for William Oh)

Business hours:
Dim Sum from 8.30am-11am and 3.30pm-5pm

SeeFoon gets lucky with Laksa

When a former industrialist decides to set up a food stall, it is certainly not with the intention to put food on the table for his family like the way most Mama and Papa stalls begin their journey but rather in the case of Dato’ David Tan, a realisation of his passion for cooking and for superlative food.

David’s culinary skills were only developed when he was studying in the UK and yearning for the dishes from his childhood, he began experimenting. Over the years, he became passionate about cooking and today David is a fine chef, excelling in producing dishes, some from his Hokkien origins, whose recipes are mostly forgotten.

Growing up in Singapore he developed a fondness for Katong Laksa, a hawker specialty that every Singaporean raves over and every Laksa stall there claims to be the ‘original’ one. David’s Katong Laksa can certainly be vouched for as being even better than the original as I too, grew up in Singapore and this used to be one of my favourite treats.

I used to have  to wait for invitations to David’s home in Ipoh to have my favourite childhood dish or placate my cravings by eating Ipoh’s famous Curry Mee but today, I no longer have to salivate at the thought of not fulfilling my culinary yearnings for Katong Laksa, I can have it every day, any day, thanks to David’s perfectionist pursuit of his passions.

His stall Little Katong @ Little Genting is garnering fans to Restoran Impressive, a corner coffee shop on Jalan Ali Pitchay opposite Ibis Hotel. Beginning from 8am till it runs out by around 2pm or till the chickens have all gone, the stall serves only three menu items: Katong Laksa, Asam Laksa and Kai See Hor Fun.


All three are superlative, thanks to David’s attention to detail and his meticulous research into what makes a particular dish special and why people flock to one stall and not to others. For example, his Kai See Hor fun has a secret ingredient which gives it that special ‘je nais se quoi’, French for ‘don’t know what’ not to be found at other stalls. Apparently without letting out his secrets, David told me it was the oil which is put into every bowl just before serving that permeates the soup. The flat white noodles were smooth, sliding down my throat in a wave of velvety goodness, juxtaposed against the occasional crunch of a bean sprout and chive here and there. The prawns were ocean fresh and chicken chunks tender and flavourful while the broth delectably umami.

When asked for the secret of the broth, David shared his secret which was the fact that he has a central preparation kitchen where all his broths (for both the Laksas and the chicken noodles) are prepared, taking many hours every day, before they are delivered to the stall. The preparation kitchen is set up with meticulous hygiene standards, akin to top hotels, a move which David hopes will see the beginning to a wider network of stalls serving these three specials and maybe more.

Certainly as far as this Foodie (me) goes, David’s Kai See Hor Fun is second to none. The same compliment goes for his Katong Laksa, the spiced coconut broth quite mild but heat can be added with the dark sambal paste (which I did with gusto) a thick, hearty paste with hints of dried prawns. The portion comes with generous helpings of sliced fish cake, prawns, cockles, chicken and topped with chopped Daun Kesum imparting their inimitable aroma which distinguishes this Laksa from others.

Finally we come to the Asam Laksa, with David’s version giving the ubiquitous Penang version a run for their money. Now I need no longer wait for the occasional visit to Penang with this right on my doorstep, thanks to David. Here at Little Katong the broth is seasoned just right, a perfect balance of sour, umami and sweet, with pineapple in the broth lending a  pleasing lift to plain old tamarind. Adequate chunks of Kembong fish add substance to the ‘lai fun’ (thick white rice noodles) while mint leaves add to to the plethora of fresh cut vegetables which is a signature feature of this dish.

All items RM5 per portion.

Keep opening stalls David. Let’s have more old favourites elevated by your passion.

Little Katong @ Little Genting (Siew Wan Dang)
Restoran Impressive, (opposite Hotel Ibis)
2 Jalan Ali Pitchay, Ipoh.
Opening times: 8am-2.30pm
Closed 2 days in a month.

Pusat Makanan Sun Hor Lok and Sweet and Tasty Food Court

SeeFoon is taking a culinary break from Ipoh and is exploring new taste temptations in Phuket and Bangkok. Our review on Ipoh Food this Musings is focused on two hawker centres both old and new.

Pusat Makanan Sun Hor Lok

12 Persiaran Greenhill (New Town), 30450 Ipoh.  Operating hours: 7am-6pm

First the old…Sun Hor Lok has been around probably since Persiaran Greenhill changed to a commercial area. The 10-odd stalls have quite an array of tasty food.

They are:

  • Asam Laksa @ RM3 and their self-made Yeong Liu at 70-80 sen each are recommended. They also sell Chicken Soup Koay Teow.
  • Wonton Mee with slightly thinner noodles cooked al dente is flavourful and their wonton is tasty too – RM3.50.
  • Rojak comes with a sweet sauce with cut chili padi – RM3
  • Spaghetti with fried chicken served with chili padi is quite an unusual dish and surprisingly good – RM4.50. Even better is their crispy Fried Chicken Skin (not for the health conscious). Sold at RM3, RM4 and RM5.
  • Pork Mee with liver, intestines, the works – recommended with glass noodles (tong fun) – RM6

Other stalls are: Economy Rice, Brown Rice Ramen, Simon Dim Sum, Fried Noodles and Western food.


Sweet and Tasty Food Court

Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Ipoh.  Operating hours: 8am-10pm

Down the street and just around the corner from Sun Hor Lok, the Sweet and Tasty Food Court opened where the old Catholic Centre was, next to the Main Convent. It has its own carpark which makes it all the more convenient for people to have a meal while waiting to pick up their kids from school or after visiting the ‘RM2’ shop next door.

Here’s what’s available:

  • Chicken Hor Fun RM5 and Curry Noodles
  • Special Prawn Mee at RM4.80
  • Coffee (iced) – good at RM1.60
  • Singapore Nasi Lemak with chicken at RM6.50 (regular at RM3.50) has a Peranakan (or slight rempah) flavour and is not exceedingly spicy
  • Chicken Rice at RM3.70 and RM4.50 with char siew from Meng Kee Roasted Chicken Rice
  • Pan Mee at RM5 – 3 varieties of regular, beetroot and spinach
  • Chee Cheong Fun at RM3.30 (S) and RM4.50 (L)
  • Pasir Puteh Low She Fun – RM1.50 for the noodles and 80 sen for the lieu
  • Rojak sells for RM5 (S)
  • Thai Food – seafood tomyam at RM8
  • Ice Kacang – RM4.30 with coconut milk and a scoop of ice cream

 There is also, Lim Kee Fried Noodles, Yeun Kee Western Food, Soon Geng Seafood, Vietnam Food, Hepo Lei Cha & Klang Bak Kut Teh, Rojak Greentown and Eddie’s burritos & tacos. There’s enough variety here to tickle everyone’s fancy.

SeeFoon Gathers Her Foodie Troop for Ramadan Patrol

Musings on Food

It’s that time of the year again when puasa month has Muslims fasting and focusing on religious matters and non-Muslims are packing on the pounds as they eagerly look forward to scouring the many Pasar Ramadan or Bazaars for delicious treats that are often not commonly available during the rest of the year.

So I sent out the troops at the Ipoh Echo office and urged them to suss out their favourite stalls and best eats from the various Ramadan Bazaars and this column today is a compilation of their picks and their comments.


Rosli Mansor at Medan Gopeng

Kuih Akok Panas is a traditional kuih originating from the Malays of Pantai Timur. The stall that sells this kuih is always crowded with people especially from 5pm until 7pm in the evening. Kuih Akok is made of flour and looks like a pancake. It is grilled in a specially-made brass mold for about 3 minutes. Kuih Akok has a sweet and rich taste and only 1000 pieces are sold out each day so come early – RM0.50 per piece.

Nasi Ambeng Miraqil is another of my favourites. The cuisine was originally a Javanese traditional dish that was later brought in to Malaysia during the 1800s through trading. What’s unique about this dish is that it is also eaten together with fried noodles, coconut sambalayam masak kicap or with fried chicken. It can be found at stall number 13 and costs RM6 per box.

S.H. Ong at Angsana Mall and Stadium

Every year my wife and I look forward to the puasa month, because of the mouth-watering spread of food and kuih muih available which we do not get on a daily basis. This is also the time of year when my wife goes on ‘strike’, meaning she will not cook for the entire period. Our two favourite locations are the Perak Stadium which has about 160 stalls and the one next to the Angsana Mall in Greentown, with 130 stalls. My personal favourites are: BBQ skewered chicken in satay sauce @ RM4/stick; ikan bakar cincaru @ RM6-8/pc (depending on size); kebab ayam/daging @ RM3/pc and various kuih muih @ RM2 for 5 pieces.

Yng Chin Yean at Angsana Mall

Stall 31:  Nasi Ayam Panggang – whole chicken RM17; half chicken RM9; Nasi Ayam RM4.50. 40 to 50 chickens are sold per day. Yummy & juicy.

Susan Ho at the Stadium

Puasa season is a time I look forward to. The moment the bazaars start everywhere, I would ask my mother to accompany me to search for some good food which I only eat once a year.

There’s the Ayam Percik, which costs RM5 each and tastes yummy. The Lamb Kebab is a must as the combination of flavours make it perfect, RM5. What surprised me most was this year’s new addition, the Durian Crepe. Encased within a mock durian skin, is an oozy cream with pieces of durian. It is creamy, light to eat for a dessert and not too sweet – RM10 for 6 pcs.

Deanna Lim and Yvette at ibis Styles Ipoh Ramadan Buffet: RM45++

Chicken Rendang and Milk Pudding (Deana);

Tomato Rice and Lala Masak Lemak (Yvette)


Georgie Hendricks at Medan Tasek

Murtabak Damanhuri – in business at the Ramadan stalls for 24 years. Price of murtabak in 1990 was RM1.50 – now selling at RM5 with brisk business daily  Packet nasi lemak at RM1.30 – very good but little omelette piece and sambal ikan bilis. Good sambal.

Puan Norreha rice stall (variety) – In business at the Ramadan stalls for 15 years. Tomato  rainbow rice is very nice at RM1.50 for plain rice or with chicken at RM3.50. Also sells laksa – good at RM3 and nasi lemak at RM2.50. She has chicken pieces that is covered in what I would call fluff and it is good.

Nasi Bryani Tayub – Bryani comes with acar and he also sells beef rendang and mutton with thick gravy. Price per container with 1 piece of chicken at RM6. Sells out by 6.30pm.

SeeFoon and Veronica at Silibin

Murtabak Daging/Ayam – RM3.50; Roti Jala with curry, the roti jala beautifully lacy and meltingly soft but the curry lacked oomph – RM2; Rempah Udang – buy from the stall with the longer and fatter portions; Rendang Tok 100gms with 5 pcs of ketupat @ RM5 and Serunding both meat and chicken @ RM7 with 5 pcs ketupat.

Luqman at Bercham Jaya

Hot ‘Otak-Otak’. ‘Otak-otak’ is an oblong-like fish snack wrapped in nipah leaves that has its origins from Johor. It is made of minced fish meat mixed with spices, chili and pepper. The otak-otak sold at the Ramadan bazaar in Bercham is considered the best in town. It costs RM0.70 a piece. The stall makes about 500 pieces a day so come early to avoid disappointment.

Kak Yuniza’s Snow Cheese Cake is an appetizing dessert that is rich in cheese and is pleasantly sweet. As the name suggests, the cake is made from cheese with a liberal dose of sugar. Kak Yuniza’s Snow Cheese Cake is sold at the Bercham Ramadan bazaar at Stall No.6. The cheese cake is priced at RM5 a piece.

Yvette at Ipoh Jaya:

For a foodie like me, Ramadan is a month I look forward to indulging in my favourite passion – eating! Ipoh Jaya’s Pasar Ramadan may not be as large or as famous as the one in Medan Gopeng or Bercham, but it certainly provides a handful of delicacies to die for!

One of my must haves is the Lekor, a finger food of fish cakes shaped into long odd sizes and then deep fried – RM1 per pack of 5 pieces. Another favourite is the Roti John, a type of sandwich made with two long pieces of bread covered in an egg mixture and then fried on a pan to perfection. There are 2 choices to choose from, either stuffed with chicken or beef. It costs about RM3 for one and is very filling.

The IE group at Symphony Suites Ramadan Buffet: RM50 nett

Rosli – Mee Bandung;  SeeFoon and Veronica – Ulam with budu (fish sauce fermentation), sambal belacan and cincalok; Deanna – Daging Rendang Tok; Yvette  – Ikan Keli Bakar; and Luqman – Ayam Percik.