Word and photos by Christine Lai
Mention Ipoh and the first thing that pops in mind would be FOOD!! It is also convenient getting your local delights because all’s within a few minutes of walking, so put on your walking shoes for a fantastic food find at Ipoh Old Town.
Restoran Nasi Ayam Pak Kong
Many outstation visitors do not know of this place, but the locals will point you to Pak Kong for the best chicken rice. Pak Kong operating for over 60 years has stay close to its roots.
You can order roasted chicken, poached chicken, char siu (caramelised BBQ pork) and siu yuk(roasted pork) to pair with yellow jasmine rice. Try the side dishes such as choy geok (remnants of vegetables), sambal petai (stink beans), Japanese tofu with shallots and soy sauce. A bowl of salted vegetable soup is complimentary.
Funny Mountain Tau Fu Fah
After a scrumptious meal, dessert comes next on the list. Funny Mountain is just a block away from Pak Kong. They serve silky smooth Tau Fu Fah, soya bean and grass jelly. It is traditionally prepared to maintain all of its original goodness. You can also order Black & White, which is a combination of soya bean and grass jelly.
Drivers line up their cars to dine in or take away served by ready workers. Funny Mountain is deemed ‘Best in the World by 8TV’.
Sin Eng Heong Biscuit Shop
The ‘Kaya Puffs’ here is my childhood favourite. The shop is a few doors away from Funny Mountain. Customers queue and buy them fresh off the oven. It has the right brownish texture for a perfect kaya puff.
The puffs are rich in flavours with its kaya filling and best eaten fresh when it is crispy. I vouch the puffs won’t disappoint.
Ayam Garam Aun Kheng Lim
The salted chicken is a must-have and the shop is across the street from Pak Kong chicken rice. Only ‘kampong’ chicken wrapped in oil paper is baked in rock salt to give it the delicious taste and to retain all its flavours. The herbs used are Dong Guai (Angelica) and Gei Zi (Wolfberries) to give it an extra oomph in aroma.
It is best to consume hot. Steam the salted chicken for a mere 5 minutes and voila, you get yourself a piping hot chicken that is juicy, succulent and aromatic.