Ipoh has always been a stopover for food on my way up to Penang or back down to KL but this time around, I made Ipoh a destination. I can’t say that I’ve thoroughly explored the place because I was only there for two days and didn’t know a local to take me around. But thanks to technology, I got around just fine and experienced some pretty awesome stuff. Hence, here are some of the things I loved about the charming town of Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
1. Eating The Food
Google best curry mee in Ipoh and immediately the name Xin Quan Fang pops up! And it definitely lives up to its title. Curry mee is a little different in Ipoh compared to the ones in Penang. I would say that it’s a little bit more citrus and even the chili and meat ingredients are different. You might find roasted pork, barbecued pork and chicken in the Ipoh curry mee. To my disappointment, Xin Quan Fang was closed at the time so I opted for another; Yee Fatt dry curry mee. I’ve to admit, before trying it, I thought how good can dry curry mee be and it was kinda strange because I was so used to the soupy one. To my surprise, it was absolutely delicious. Very fragrant and flavorful and perfect for those of you who can’t handle the spice of curry mee because it was very mild. Another food worth the rave in Ipoh is the bean sprout chicken rice. The chicken was good but to me, the bean sprouts stole the show. They were so fresh and crunchy (apparently it’s to do with the water in Ipoh)!
2. Savouring The Snacks
Still on the topic of food, there are two mind-blowing snacks/desserts that you MUST indulge in when you’re in Ipoh. The queue for them may be long (especially during weekends and holiday seasons) but they’re definitely worth the wait and most certainly, not overrated. I’m talking about Funny Mountain tau foo fa and Sin Eng Heong kaya kok. They’re both light and fluffy. They sit well with your sweet palate and send a sweet tingle down your throat.
3. Sipping The Coffee
Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you what a huge coffee person I am. It’s no mystery that the best white coffee originates from Ipoh. Therefore, imagine my excitement when I was presented with a cuppa at Sin Yoon Loong coffee shop. It was a really hot day so I opted for an iced white coffee but I have a feeling that the hot version would have been better. I always feel like you get the best aroma of the coffee when it’s served hot.
4. Exploring Kong Heng Square
I’ve heard so much about Kong Heng from the whole Sekeping concept to the cafes and the Yasmin Ahmad museum/gallery. I was not disappointed. My only disappointment was that the gallery was closed (only open on weekends). But the area itself was very artsy and had lots of spots for insta-worthy photos. Made a pit stop at Burps and Giggles as well for a cuppa and let’s just say, the latte and the cosy ambiance put a smile on my face.
5. Interacting with The Locals
You’d think that having successful businesses would make one arrogant but that’s not the case with the townsfolk of Ipoh. They were warm, friendly, and pleasant and constantly had a smile plastered on their faces. The same can’t be said about the drivers though (if you know what I mean).
If you’re from Ipoh or know of a place in Ipoh that I’ve missed out on, drop me a comment below. Thanks.
Photos by Jon Teo