One-day Trip: Ipoh
It was a beautiful morning, although nothing much can yet be seen as it was only 6am. How bizarre it was to be awake at that time of day and be driving in the darkness. It was the first time I drove that early in M’sia; didn’t know what to expect, except perhaps, good traffic flow, and hoped for a good day ahead. It also was the day that the 5 of us go on a one-day road trip. “Let’s do something crazy” was the initial idea, until it became let’s just go to Ipoh and eat some food. Works fine by me.
By 6.40am, the traffic was getting congested. My oh my…but, well, it was Monday after all. We got stuck for a bit, before finally easing our way into the highway, and off we go; it almost felt as though we’re free as a bird. An hour and a half later, we ended up in Bidor; a place where one would probably say to you, “Go for the duck noodles”. A friend recommended “Pun Chun” restaurant, which was along the main road in Bidor. It wasn’t hard to locate. We all had the Herbal Duck Noodle with soup.
Verdict: 7.5/10. The serving size was pretty good for a fair price of RM6.80. Very herbal in flavour (it’s definitely the Chinese type of herbs), and the duck was tender, yet succulent. Most of us emptied the bowl, not even leaving a single drop of soup behind. We had some of the Wu Kok (deep-fried taro with some fillings).
Verdict: 4/10. All I can say is that I’ve had better wu kok. The ones we had lacked the fluffiness that reminds me of a yummy delicious wu kok. I didn’t like the filling either. I still like the ones I’ve had in Sydney (Oh, how I miss the yum cha in Syd!). Back to the one-day road trip adventure…
After the noodles, we continued with our journey towards Ipoh, making a stop at one of the caves along the way. After visiting the cave, we decided that it’s time for some Tau Foo Fa before having some lunch, as it was one of the highlights of the trip. A friend found out from websites that the one from Funny Mountain is the best. Okie dokie…we got into town and parked. According to the gps, we’re very near the outlet. We parked, got off the car, and walked towards a sign which indicates that they have what we’re looking for. Hm.. looks different from what we’ve heard; it wasn’t really small and neither was it at a corner. Anyway, we sat down and ordered for 5 Tau Foo Fa from Kacang Soya Lai Kee.
Verdict: 7.5/10. mMmm~…it’s really warm, nice and silky. It had a really really silky smooth texture, which reminded me of the Tau Foo Fa I had in Hong Kong, made using fresh mountain water at Lantau Island. This one’s pretty good. But, it wasn’t Funny Mountain, which, according to hearsay, is the best. So, we finally asked a local shop-owner who told us that there’s another shop just on the other block. So we went and checked it out. Fair enough, it was Funny Mountain. We ordered for 5 bowls.
Verdict: 7.5/10. Hm.. I would say that Funny Mountain’s has more flavour and was more intense, but texture-wise, I prefer the Tau Foo Fa from Kacang Soya Lai Kee. They’re both priced the same at RM0.80 per bowl, but Lai Kee was a bit more generous with their portions. Combine the two techniques and recipes into one, it’ll be a 9/10 tau foo fa. Served hot with awesome sugar syrup boiled with some ginger and the pandan leaves, it’ll be a perfect scorer of 10/10; the world’s most perfect tau foo fa.
Ah, done with dessert we went on to hunt for our lunch: chicken! Chicken with Tauge (Beansprouts) is a must-have to devour when one is in Ipoh. By popular recommendation on the Internet, we went to Onn Kee.
Verdict: 7/10. Still prefer the chicken from our One Day Trip in Malacca; this one lacked of succulence, the meat wasn’t as tender as it was meant to be, and it was missing some flavours and cucumber! The tauge was beautiful; full of crunch and fresh.
Salted Chicken (Yim Kuk Gai): can’t miss out on it, since this town is quite famous for it. Just like the Chicken & Tauge, Salted Chicken/Duck seemed to be sprouting everywhere. One of the most popular, again, by Internet search, was Aun Kheng Lim.
Verdict: 6/10. Um..the meat didn’t fall off the bones, some flavours were missing.. hm..wasn’t what I thought it would be. I suppose it’s better if it’s steamed again for dinner the next day at home.
Well, if one of us could have eaten more, we would have stopped at some dessert shops or dim sum shops. But, none of us could, so we decided to leave town and head towards the next leg of the journey. Ipoh, it’s been fun eating, and the adipose tissues were really happily multiplying!!!