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Kai Si Hor Fun (kuih teow with shredded chicken) to Ipoh is pretty much char kuih teow or asam laksa to Penang, if there’s one hawker dish you should not miss when in Ipoh, it should be this.

And when it comes to kai si hor fun, the most famous of it all is arguably the Tricycle Chicken & Prawn Noodle at Restoran Thean Chun.

Thean Chun kopitiam at Ipoh Old Town
Thean Chun kopitiam at Ipoh Old Town

Restoran Thean Chun is located at Ipoh Old Town, and on “normal” days, commands quite a long queue and wait time. Thankfully, due to Covid-19 and being somewhat early in the morning (before 10am), there wasn’t a crowd.

P/S: yes, we did have to obtain police permission for interstate traveling with valid reason.

The kai si hor fun is a dish that has elements of prawns as well as poultry. Shredded steamed chicken & sliced prawn on top, a soup base that’s enhanced by prawn oil, and along those yummy Ipoh bean sprouts and chives, makes for quite a unique taste. This dish outside Ipoh usually can capture some of these elements but falls short when it comes to quality of bean sprouts.

Also,  speaking of bean sprouts, they are offered as a side dish as well, which I recommend 100%.

kai si hor fun with bean sprouts
kai si hor fun with bean sprouts

Other than the excellent kai si hor fun, another stall worth checking out would be the pork satay at the rear. We tried their pork meat satay as well as intestine (actually pig fallopian tubes, or “sang cheong”) and they were definitely yummy, especially those intestine, soft and crunchy at the same time and goes super well with satay sauce.

pork satay with intestine too
pork satay with intestine too

If you know anywhere else serving this “intestine” in satay format, let me know!

map to Thean Chun Ipoh

Address:
Restoran Thean Chun
73, Jalan Bandar Timah,
31650 Ipoh, Perak
GPS: 4.596365, 101.077886
Tel: +605 2553076

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For someone who’s from Penang, I guess this blog will never be complete without a mention to the best chee cheong fun on the island, so here I present to you – Genting Cafe Chee Cheong Fun.

Genting kopitiam, Penang
Genting kopitiam, Penang

Genting Cafe is a kopitiam completely unrelated to Genting Highlands in Pahang, it is in fact located at Island Glades amongst residential area and next to a school. The good thing is, the area is rather close to Lim Chong Eu highway, making it an easy stop right after you get on the island via Penang bridge. Parking though is a different challenge.

There are many stalls in this kopitiam, with chee cheong fun being the star.

The default order is 2 piecces of chee cheong fun, wrapped, and served with the dark sauce (har kou in Cantonese, heh koh in Hokkien) and chili paste, topped with some sesame seeds.

The chee cheong fun warms you up the moment you have it in your mouth, and you just let that peanut butter infused dark sauce and chili work its magic to tickle all the right senses. It’s a dish so simple yet ultimately so satisfying, it’s a wonder why others fail to recreate it.

I try not to miss this whenever I’m back in Penang.

chee cheong fun kosong, simple as it gets
chee cheong fun kosong, simple as it gets

Char kuih teow, prawn mee, and curry mee are pretty legit here as well if chee cheong fun isn’t enough for you.

map to Genting Kopitiam

Address:
Genting Cafe
Lorong Delima 3,
Taman Island Glades,
11700 Jelutong, Penang
GPS: 5.3829822, 100.303885
Hours: 7am to 4pm, closed on Wednesday

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For those who fancy a good bowl of Penang kuih teow soup, there’s now another challenger in Ara Damansara at the kopitiam by the name of Restoran Tien Tien Lai.

Tien Tien Lai kopitiam
Tien Tien Lai kopitiam

Interestingly, I was told about this kopitiam by my mom when she was staying with me for a couple of weeks during the times when Covid-19 seems to be more rampant up North (things has reversed since…). It was a recommendation by one of her friends. When older folks recommends places to eat, more often than not, they’re right.

The kuih teow soup stall in this restaurant offers both kuih teow soup as well as asam laksa. The latter looks pretty good with big chunks of fish in the soup, but I did not try as my love for kuih teow soup usually surpasses asam laksa.

look at those coagulated blood in kuih teow soup!
look at those coagulated blood in kuih teow soup!

The KTS here comes with the usual ingredients of sliced pork, chicken, fish ball, fish cake, spring onion, bean sprouts, and even two of my favorites – coagulated blood and fried pork lard! The combination proved to be as good as I expected, with soup that’s not overpowering, making for a comfort meal suitable at any time.

This is only the second kuih teow soup place in Klang Valley that I know of offering coagulated blood, the other being at O&S kopitiam in PJ.

mom didn't look impressed in this pic but she did like the KTS!
mom didn’t look impressed in this pic but she did like the KTS!

There’s a stall offering superb chasiu as well, and I will soon talk about another very good dish here – yam rice. Stay tuned.

And yes, this is a kopitiam worth visiting for sure.

map to Tien Tien Lai, Ara Damansara

Address:
Tien Tien Lai kopitiam
Ara Permata, 33,
Jalan PJU 1a/42,
Ara Damansara,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.117288, 101.587120
Hours: breakfasts

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Klang is forever associated with bak kut teh, but if you dig a little deeper, this district at the West of KL also offers some pretty unique dishes you may not find anywhere else – such is today’s topic – Hong Ba (封肉)

158 Hong Ba, Pandamaran, Klang
158 Hong Ba, Pandamaran, Klang

While the main ingredient in Hong Ba is similar to bak kut teh, hong ba usually consists of the fatty leg part, and is stewed instead of cooked in herbal soup, resulting in a broth that’s thick and sticky, but without the strong herbal note.

According to my friend Jodie, the best Hong Ba places in all of Klang is the Restoran 158 Hong Ba at Pandamaran near Port Klang. It is located at Jalan Chan Ah Choo, the main road in which you can find over half a dozen bak kut teh restaurants, you know you’re at the ground zero of porky goodness when you’re there, there’s no mistaking it.

A meal for four, Hong Ba at center stage
A meal for four, Hong Ba at center stage

Hong Ba is best consumed by 3-4 pax so you can share the entire leg portion that comes with ample amount of fatty & skin bits that are so tender and smooth. At 158, they also serve it with some “alkaline kuih” that goes well with those thick broth.

Like most hong ba places, they also serve stewed chicken feet and hard boiled eggs. However, I think the best thing about Hong Ba is the availability of those pork tendon, those texture are superb and with those broth, a match made in heaven.

hong ba, yau char kuih & alkaline kuih, vege rice, stewed egg & chicken feet
hong ba, yau char kuih & alkaline kuih, vege rice, stewed egg & chicken feet

158 Hong Ba also serves at night, but it’s run by a different person and I believe the morning version is superior. Alternatively, Klang Utama also has a pretty good Hong Ba place by the name of Swee Xiang.

map to 158 Hong Ba, Pandamaran

Address:
158 Hong Ba
158, Jalan Chan Ah Choo, 
Pandamaran, 
42000 Pelabuhan Klang,
Selangor
GPS: 3.009868, 101.418189
Tel: 012-2263043
Hours: 6.30 am – 1 pm

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Since the start of working from home arrangement due to this fantastic 2020 pandemic, one of the very few positives has been the number of hours I get to sleep every night. It is incredible the amount of time we used to spend in traffic each day. My fitness watch tracks an average of almost 9 hours of sleep each night for me.

Which got me thinking, perhaps I should spend a bit more effort and investment on a surface we spend so much time on everyday?

Origin mattress, love the packaging
Origin mattress, love the packaging

Of course, shopping for mattress can be a very complex and convoluted process. Getting a mattress that is priced just right with the quality you can trust can be a fairly tricky process. There’s also myriads of different technology, something that can take quite a bit of effort to go through.

Thankfully, Origin Mattress makes things simpler by shifting things online and offering a 120 Night Return Guarantee on their Origin Hybrid Mattress.

The mattress is a full 24.5cm in height and comes in Single, Super Single, Queen, and King sizes. Made of natural latex with cooling gel memory foam and pocket springs, the hybrid nature of its construction ensures that we get the best of what each material can offer.

unrolled, unwrapped, and a few minutes later... done!
unrolled, unwrapped, and a few minutes later… done!

After sleeping rather sound for the past few nights on this new mattress, I’m sold. The mattress is firm but not hard, providing good support for the back and offers very comfortable surface to zzz in, the cooling foam does work in keeping the surface temperature in check as well, perfect for our climate.

I was also quite impressed with the way the mattress is delivered in a compressed, space saving format. Simply unroll and set it free from the vacuum seal, a few minutes later and it’s all proofed up like magic. I thought that was very impressive.

founders of Origin Mattress - Shaun and Gee
founders of Origin Mattress – Shaun and Gee
Credit to Express photography

These mattresses are actually designed in Germany and produced locally in Malaysia, brought to you by Shaun and Gee, the founders who bought the patent for its construction.

If you’re in the market for mattress or pillow, do check the – The Best 8 Pillows in Singapore article.

Origin Malaysia

Showroom:
No. 77 Jalan SS2/55 47300, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 10.00am – 7.00pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 5.00pm. Closed on Sunday & Public Holiday

Tel: +65 6977 9637