Friday, April 03, 2015

A day in Taiping

My dad hailed from Taiping. We used to come back Taiping at least annually for Chinese New Year (CNY). Then the annual visit changed from CNY to Qing Ming (visit ancestor's grave). And now we just keep coming back annually to keep the tradition going and go down the memory lane until the day we can't do it anymore..
But what I want to share with you, are the standard makan place that has been there for at least 3 generations. That speaks for itself.

Breakfast @ Chai Chee

Chai Chee used to be so busy from morning till late in the night. But now, it is only the morning that you see the hustle and bustle. But at least we still get our must-eat "Chai Thow Guey". 

 There are only 2 or 3 stalls selling this now. As far as I know, this deep fried white radish cake to be eaten with the sweet sauce can only be found here in Taiping. Eat it when it is hot. You won't be able to stop.

Can you guess what's in the tiffin?
How about now? These should pretty much give you an idea..
Yup, it's nasi lemak. I'd say this is the local nasi lemak where you can also mix with soy sauce pork. It's basically nasi lemak with a difference (catered taste). But for a nasi lemak lover like me, the difference is a good one :)

And then there is the Taiping Char Koay Teow with Fishball. But this one seemed a mixture between Taiping and Cantonese style. Nevertheless, you can still taste the fragrance from intense heat of frying the koay teow (btw, this is flat rice vermicelli).

Oh and how can we forget the wan ton mee + sambal belacan. My dad used to drive down to Taiping just to fulfill his craving for this noodles.
Lunch @ Kedai Ais Kacang Merah Raex (fka Rex Cinema Red Bean Ice)
My dad loved it. I loved it. My kids loved it. 
 Need I say more?

The red bean ice stall used to be accompanied by a few other eatery stalls. They all moved in together after Rex Cinema has been taken down. One of our best lok-lok haunt is here.

Do you know the curry mee in Taiping is slightly different from Penang. The base is white with a stronger curry fragrant compared to Penang.
Oh I miss the northern Pohpiah which is simple without all the krup krup, which I find a pain to the mouth and not very helpful to the clean taste I expected from a pohpiah (this is personal).

Dinner @ Pasat
If we could, we would have tasted every single stalls that sells nasi lemak bungkus here. The 220ftx60ft square is laden with stalls selling rice, dim sum, chee cheong fun, char koay teow, noodles and drinks. Nasi lemak bungkus are the standard staple offered by the drinks stalls. Every single stalls get their supplies from different sources, so you get different variety of nasi lemak bungkus. There are sambal prawn, curry prawn, fried fish, sambal anchovies, sotong, mantis prawn, many many more according to season and suppliers.

Nasi Lemak Bungkus - Udang + Kacang Panjang
My favourite of all the nasi lemak bungkus is prawn curry with long beans. I have yet to try the seasonal mantis prawn. Looking forward to my next trip.

My sis came across this deep fried dried fish coated with sweet sauce. Savoury.

My dad said there used to be weather masters sitting here. What do they do? They bet on the exact time that the first rain drop from the corner of this market roof. These masters will look at the sky, feel the moist on their skin or even taste and smell the air. And they can tell you the exact time rain will drop.

Restaurant 1919 @ Ipoh Garden East

The last time I visited 1919 was at least 10 years ago, when my dad brought me along with his friends for dinner. All I could remember was this dish below. 
Deep fried crispy aubergine with sweet sour sauce

How time flies.. Now dad is no longer here and all I have are places that I have visited with him, food I have tasted with him, and experiences he had shared with me. How I miss him. Oops.. let's skip the emo. Like dad always say: Life must go on.
This time, I bring my kids to the same place. They may be too small to take on the spicy stuff, so we ordered deep fried salted egg yolk mantis prawn. The salted egg yolk sauce was good, and the kids enjoy the usual crispy stuff.
Deep Fried Mantis Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk
We had also wanted to order the house-specialty tofu basket, but they ran out of stock (wonder if it was that good). We replaced it with their in-house spinach tofu. Hub says a bit tasteless, but I think it was just nice to balance off the other strong taste dishes we ordered.
Spinach Tofu

We also ordered green curry chicken. It was mild enough that the kids could enjoy it too. But if you do not like aubergine that is cooked to a spungy tecture instead of being thouroughly cooked to soft mush, this might not suit you. Otherwise, it is good to go with white rice (typical Asian speaking)
Green Curry Chicken

My FIL ordered Cencaluk Sotong (Squid Fried with Fermented Krill Sauce). For nyonya food lover, I truly enjoy this. The squid was not chewy and easy to bite. The sauce is fragant with spices.
Squid Fried with Fermented Krill Sauce
Using the kids as excuse, we ordered chinese pancake with pandan lotus paste coupled with ice-cream. I thought it was a good conclusion to the meal.

Price: +-RM150

Address: 1, Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, Taman Ipoh Timur, 31400 Ipoh, Perak.