I remembers my old-school days; how my classmates and I would sprint to the canteen when the recess bell rang. Most of the Chinese students would surround the noodle stall, picking their choice of noodle with their favourite liew or yong liew (that’s the common term for yong tau foo in Ipoh) and pass to the aunty mending the stall. My favourite would be the deep fried fuchok (rolled or flat version), sotong ball, deep fried wantan and so on.
When CityGal brought J2Kfm and me to this coffee shop in Gunung Rapat one week before Father’s Day in June, it really opened up my eyes to how liews had evolved into over the years. My pictures here don’t do justice to the selection (kindly hop over to CityGal and J2kfm’s posts above for a better view, or Star Metro’s article by Alexandra Wong here, tenkiu), but my eyes couldn’t be playing tricks on me, right? Erm…. stuffed brocollis, stuffed oyster mushrooms, stuffed baby bok choys, stuffed enoki mushrooms (how did they do that???), stuffed baby corns, stuffed capsicums… I lost count. And that haven’t include the usual fried items. The mah tai kang (water chestnut drink) with bits of water chestnut was refreshing on a hot afternoon.
The fried liew were freshly fried upon ordering and was a hit among us. The fried Chinese crullers and taufu pok stuffed with fish paste were a tad hard though. Stuffed capsicum was not bad, a nice substitute for green chilli especially if you don’t fancy the latter. If I were to compare Tai Shu Keok with Kwong Hong, I would say Tai Shu Keok has more fried items while Kwong Hong’s liew are more suitable for those who wanna watch over their waistline. The next surprise was in the bowl, where our shared portion of curry hor fun served with kaku choy (a type of fern commonly stir-fried with belacan and chilli). Odd combination but it worked well on our palates.
Kedai Kopi Kwong Hong
Jalan Gunung Rapat (opposite Gunung Rapat wet market)
31350 Gunung Rapat, Ipoh.
Click here for map by J2kfm.
Hold on…. the day was still early and there are still more space to be stuffed in our belly… so, we hop to another shop for more liew!
Located just further up at the same street, we passed by this shop earlier before Kwong Hong and we decided to drop by later upon seeing basketfuls of liew on the counter. The low profile, wooden shack of Kedai Kopi Kean Seng seems to be famous for the assam laksa.
The stall, called Kee Poh (not Kai Poh, as we wrongly read at first!) is manned by a couple. The same system goes here; pick whatever liew you want, pass them to the husband and order your noodle. Get a table and wait patiently.
While the other two only wanted liew, I couldn’t resist to lay my hands on a bowl of assam laksa (RM2.20). The broth was slight watery but when you mix in the prawn paste, it’ll be nice. Piquant but not spicy, it wasn’t the best assam laksa I had so far but still rather good.
This time, we picked some sar kok liew, one of my favourite as we did not see it at Kwong Hong earlier. The fritters are made from diced yambean (sengkuang), fish paste and seasoning, rolled up before cut into thick slices and deep-fried. This only can be found in Perak as I never seen it in KL or Penang before.
Kedai Kopi dan Minuman Kean Seng,
Jalan Gunung Rapat,
31350 Gunung Rapat, Ipoh.
Click here for map.
Before we part ways, J2kfm asked CityGal about the traditional hiong peng (fragrant biscuit) of Gunung Rapat and immediately, she brought us to a single storey house tucked away in the residential area. Boxes of home made cookies and biscuits are laid out at the porch, waiting to be picked up by potential customers such as the traditional home made hiong peng, biskut telinga, lou poh peng (Wife’s biscuit) and so on.
How did we know the hiong peng are really traditionally baked? From these clay oven, clad in wooden planks and cocount husks, of course!