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
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
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
If you know anywhere else serving this “intestine” in satay format, let me know!
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 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
Char kuih teow, prawn mee, and curry mee are pretty legit here as well if chee cheong fun isn’t enough for you.
Address: Genting Cafe Lorong Delima 3, Taman Island Glades, 11700 Jelutong, Penang GPS: 5.3829822, 100.303885 Hours: 7am to 4pm, closed on Wednesday
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
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!
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!
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.
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
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
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
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.
On my trip to Ipoh when we were in this period of “Recovery CMO” back in August 2020 (yes, 2020 is a strange year), I was introduced to one of the more famous Ipoh hawker offerings by the name of “liu fun” at Choong Kee, or commonly also known as Big Tree, at Pasir Pinji, Ipoh – 忠记大树头炸料粉.
Choong Kee “Big Tree” at Ipoh
As it turns out, liu fun is almost entirely exactly like yong tau foo – with stuffed tofu, red chili, bitter gourd, long beans, tofu, and so forth. These comes both in deep fried as well as soup version. The only difference here is that instead of serving with chee cheong fun or rice like most yong tau foo places, in Ipoh, you get to choose your choice of noodle (meehun, yellow noodle, kuih teow etc) instead.
The ingredients (or yong tau foo in this case) = liu 料, noodle = fun 粉. Hence, liu fun 料粉.
Choong Kee is located under a big tree, and hence the name. While there maybe others that claim to be of same origin, this is apparently the one and only Choong Kee in the whole of Ipoh or anywhere else.
do you call it yong tau foo or liu fun?
There’s close to a dozen different ingredients to choose from, with the price clearly stated on the billboard atop the stall. The SOP is simple, take your pick and place them in a basket, and the operators will re-fry or put them in hot soup prior to serving.
The must-order here is their excellent fried turnip. Imagine a very good, crunchy & sweet version of fried radish, but better.
Pasir Pinji chee cheong fun, tapao only
To kick it up a notch, instead of their “noodle”, we actually stopped by the famous Pasir Pinji chee cheong fun and tapao a couple packs of these delicious carbs to go with the liu fun.
The chee cheong fun is super soft and carries an excellent texture that is just right, they also come with pickled green chili and a chili sauce that’s spicy and slightly sweetish. It is a must-try if you’re into chee cheong fun.
chee cheong fun, liu fun, and roast pork
Pairing the yong tau foo/liu fun with the chee cheong fun proved to be an excellent combination, and if you’re a fan of siu yok (roast pork), there’s a stall at Choong Kee offering that as well, get some!