Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 3 Finale - Foh San Dim Sum, Ipoh Old Town & Funny Mountain Taufu Fah!

Most of my friends were either drunk or too tipsy on the wedding dinner! Somehow I managed not to get drunk :) as I wanted to utilise my last day in Ipoh by taking Jenn to taste some of the much mentioned about food in Ipoh. Initially I wanted to ask my friends to join me on the excursion but looking at their states yesterday, I knew that it was impossible. Both Jenn & I woke up early in the morning and walked to Foh Sam for breakfast. Oh yes... we stayed in Excelsior Hotel which was near (I mean.. very near) Foh San. As a matter of fact, I could see Foh San from the hotel room that we stayed in.

at 8.30am, the street was already bustling with activities. Some tried to make $$$ by selling balloons in front of the restaurant. If Sher Ryn was here, she'd beg me to buy one for her :)

The new Foh San was huge! Occupying at least 4-5 shoplots, the proprietor has done a great job in renovating and turning the whole place into a very modern looking and grand restaurant. Even Jenn commented on why there isn't such place in Klang Valley. She loves this place!

Clockwise from the top - Foh San's sign; Chinese tea (a must for us everytime we eat dim sum) & reception table in front of the entrace. Personally I think it's useless to have the reception table because it didn't serve any purpose at all. Lucky for both of us that we arrived early as there were still some empty tables, as the restaurant became chaotic 15 minutes later when every table was taken and those who arrived late would literally stand next to you (if they noticed that you almost finished the food). It was hard to enjoy our tea after the meal which we usually did in KL. The people at Foh San should have started the numbering system in order to be more systematic.

The selection of dim sum at Foh San was extensive. When we arrived, the waitress would push the cart to your table and asked you to pick your choice. And when the place reached its full capacity, I had to literally shout but everything fell into deaf ears. So I took everything into my own hands - when the fresh dim sum(s) were rolled out from the kitchen, I just walked over with the order chit and picked those that I wanted & brought back to my table.

Most of their dim sum(s) were good! Fresh from the kitchen, I love the fact that they were still hot and smoking! clockwise from top - steamed HK style CCF (smooth skin and fresh prawn); juicy and tasty char siew bao; must-order siew mai; and crispy Wu Kok with delicious pork filling!

Clockwise from top - delectable har gao (prawn dumpling); bouncy and fresh tasting fishballs; full of wok hei stir fried radish cake; and something similar to har gao (but with mango slice and other filling which I have forgotten). At the end, we left our tables to a few polite ladies who had been patiently waiting for us.

We checked out of our hotel shortly after that and drove to Ipoh Old Town (No! not the chain) area in search for a good cup of famous Ipoh White Coffee! In fact, my friends and I wanted to sip coffee at one of the restaurants here but my Garmin didn't recognise that some of the roads had been converted into one-way-street. This time I had to rely on my sense of direction again! Arriving at Jalan Bandar Timah where most of the famous coffeeshops were located, we could not find any parking and those available ones were guarded by touts trying to make easy money.

I didn't want to let them profit so easily and therefore, I parked along Jalan Bijeh Timah where a number of Indian shops were located there.

Jenn & I strolled along this small lane that led to Jalan Bandar Timah where most of the old school kopitiams were located. Love this shot as Jenn didn't even realise that I was photographing her :) my lovely wife!

My destination?? Kedai Kopi Nam Chau as I have read rave reviews on their dry curry noodle as well as white coffee. The place was packed with people as we arrived. Somehow we managed to secure a table located almost at the end of the shop.

Clockwise from top - the task of preparing noodle was given to the foreign worker (indication that we are getting lazier); plump & juicy bean sprout; and the interior of the coffeeshop.

As both of us were quite full from having dim sum earlier, we couldn't order much here. The iced white coffee was normal even though it was packed with flavour. Reading j2kfm's blog, I had high expectation on their coffee and that's why I was disappointed in the end. It tasted like they had brewed the coffee earlier and just poured into the glass and served immediately.

However, their dry curry noodle wow-ed me! Opting for the normal sar hor fun, the dish came with chicken shreds, char siew, and a few plump prawns. Doused in rich curry gravy, all you need to do is to squeeze the lime in order to enjoy the combination of spicy, sour and sweet flavour gravy that enveloped all of the hor fun. One of the best dry curry noodle that one can find in Ipoh!

Slightly oily but it really didn't matter at all!! The taste trumped everything else.

Jenn & I were practically full after the meal but we wanted to end our trip in a sweet note. So what place is more suitable than the famous Funny Mountain taufu fah? Now here was where the story took a funny twist. I punched in the street name (Jalan Theatre) into my GPS and it led me all the way to Pasir Pinji area. Apparently there was a street by the name of Jalan Theatre in that area too :P anyway, we made it back to the town area where the stall was located after realising our mistake!

All the cars that stopped to ta-pao or just to enjoy a bowl of taufu fah in the comfort of their cars.

Operated by a few family members, they were enjoying brisk business as the customers kept pouring in. All of them seemed very busy running here and there just to serve the sweet desserts.

However, they were very friendly and accommodating when I asked them questions. They even let me took pictures despite blocking their path :P

Both of us sat on the small stools provided near their stall and enjoyed the silky smooth taufu fah that was doused in ginger-flavoured sugar syrup in the hot weather! Of course, you can opt for gula melaka syrup or any combinations that suit your taste.

whoops! Caught in the act!

Leo's verdict - after the dessert, we started our 5 hours++ journey back to Pahang as we missed Sher Ryn very much! This was the last time that both Jenn & I got to spend time together before little Keith finally arrived one month later!

Restoran Foh San
51, Jalan Leong Sin Nam
30300 Ipoh, Perak
Tel: 05-2540308
*Closed on Tuesday

Kedai Kopi Nam Chau
54, Jalan Bandar Timah
30000 Ipoh, Perak
*closed on Saturdays (weird huh?)

Funny Mountain Soybean & Traditional Tau Fu Fah
49, Jalan Theatre,
30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel No : 016 595 0369

1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.


Life for Beginners said...

Funny Mountain? Seems more like Yummy Mountain to me, judging by the smoothness of the tau foo fa. :D

iamthewitch said...

Wah you guys can really eat!! :P Dim Sum and curry noodles in one go. Hehe but it sounds like you all had a wonderful time, which was all that mattered! ;)

Sean said...

the streets of ipoh still look quite romantic, in a good old-fashioned way. my last time in ipoh was probably 2005 or 2006 :D
wonder why the family chose the name 'funny mountain.' catchy.
and the curry mee looks nice, but i prefer mine with cockles/see ham!

eiling lim said...

eah you made me miss ipoh. the funnt mountain TFF is the best - so smooth. arrghh... i want to eat too!

Wilson Ng said...

I think the dim sum place is slightly overrated. Went there earlier this month, no wow factor.

jason said...

Hope your wife enjoyed the makan trip :) And sorry to hear about the accident.

J said...

WAH. The dim sum place is so big oredi??

foodbin said...

great eating expedition.

thule a.k.a leo said...

Kenny - many will vouch for this place.. google it and you shall be rewarded with the hits

iamthewitch - ya loh... so full in the end!!

Sean - not bad I'd say... dunno if they have si ham or not :) so many years already... drive up lah

eiling - you come fr Ipoh.. anytime lah! me once in a blue moon only nia

wilson - well, I love the ambience.. dim sum not out of this world but decent enoug for us to enjoy :)

jason - yeah.. everything OK already

J - yes.. very big!!

foodbin - thanks!