Chong Chew Kedai Kopi, Kanthan Baru

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Have not heard of Kanthan Baru? It’s a small village, located nearby some industrial area about 20km away from Ipoh. Some people would say that hidden gems are usually not found in strategic places… that why we call it “hidden”, right?

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I have not set foot into Kanthan Baru for many years. My colleague mates used to stay in Chemor, which is about 5 mins drive. We would gather at his place to do our college homework and have supper with their parents in Chemor or Kanthan.

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I got to know about this shop thanks to Motormouth. He got to know about this place after watching Taste with Jason (Axian) on Astro AEC and he couldn’t wait any longer to try their Hakka offerings. But since there were only two of us, we just ordered a few items to be shared between the two of us. The Hakka lei cha (pounded tea rice) came with different types of chopped greens, condiments and a pungent chlorophyll-smelling broth – this was actually my first time trying lei cha and it was quite a pleasant surprise, as it wasn’t as bad as I perceived. But I didn’t really add all the broth to the rice, so it was still acceptable.

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Pink-dyed dumplings called “cha guo” are also sold here with various of savoury fillings. It is quite difficult to find these nowadays, so when we saw these, we actually gone overboard by ordering too much (*gasp). Available in shredded yambean with peppery dressing, preserved vegetable (mui choy), grounded peanuts, dried shrimps and Chinese chives, I love the yambean and peanut version.

Authentic Hakka yong tau foo (we call it yong liew) are hard to come by, as the key ingredient for the stuffing lies in the minced salted fish. Fish paste + finely minced pork + salted fish = heavenly combination but due to the time-consuming process and cost, most proprietors would just omit the salted fish. In Chong Chew, they skipped on the salted fish as well, but they substitute it with an ingredient that rarely make an appearance in Hakka or Chinese cuisine – fennel seeds. Used extensively in Indian cuisine, fennel seeds acts as after-meal mint or used to flavour the curries. However, the combination of the yong liew with fennel seeds were surprisingly nice, adding a little bit of omph to the morsels.

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And something for the real breakfast, chee cheong fun with curry pork skin and long beans. Those mentioned above does not count. ūüôā

Chong Chew Kedai Kopi
282, Kanthan Baru,
31200 Chemor, Perak, Malaysia.
Tel: 05-201 7616/012-518 3382
Directions: You can read it here.

*The map does not point to the exact location of the shop, it is just a reference on the nearby spot.

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Restoran J. J. Fatt @ Lawan Kuda, Perak

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Yep, this time we’re going somewhere outside of Ipoh. My friend organized a dinner gathering with some other close friends at this particular restaurant last Saturday. Lawan Kuda (direct translating means “fight horse” in English) is a small village which has been associated with “yeh mei” (cooked wild animals such as wild boar, tortoise, crocodile meat, squirrel etc) for decades. It takes approximately 25 minutes to reach this place from Ipoh city, passing by Simpang Pulai and Gopeng. Once you reached Gopeng, go another 1km further up and you’ll see the signboard “Lawan Kuda”. No photo on the signboard as it’s almost impossible to snap the photo in such dark surroundings.

“Dai chau” restaurants are abundance here (“yeh mei”, remember?), from rickety zinc roof and wooden shops to modern shophouses. But since we’re not into “yeh mei”, we just opt for their usual menu.

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Wu Xi Pork Ribs. They claimed that this dish is specially prepared by the chef who’re from Wu Xi, China. The ribs are cut into long diagonal chunks and tastes absolutely delicious. I have no idea what they used to prepare this but it’s fragrant, no porky smell and it’s hard to resist those sticky sauce on top of the ribs. I lick the bones clean, you know… ūüėõ

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Deep fried white beancurd with minced meat gravy. Love the crispy outside skin and the smooth silky texture inside. The gravy is perfect to go with rice.

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Steamed Herbal Chicken Thigh. The chicken thigh is steamed to perfection – the succulent, juicy flesh is actually dropping off from the bones. Paired with the herbal gravy… Yumzz.

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My friend’s insisted that we must order this, Stuffed Beancurd Puff with “yun choy” soup. (Anyone know the English name for “yun choy”?) The vegetables cooked with herbal soup and accompanied with deep fried beancurd puff stuffed with marinated minced pork filling. The beancurd puff, amazingly still crispy eventhough soaked in the soup for hours. Thumbs up!

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Some veggies to balance our meal, we ordered Stir-Fry Pak Choy with Garlic. Simply love the sweetness and freshness of the vegetables which full of “wok hei”.

From the moment we sat down, our chit-chat topic is basically about food and holidaying… Hahaha… Thanks to Shim and her husband for introducing such good eatery to us. And thanks again for paying the bill too ūüėõ

Directions:
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*Not the perfect map, I know, but this is the best I can make.

(Updated) Other review: