Foh San is almost an institution in Ipoh. Locals enjoy a meal here for mid-morning brunch or breakfast on Sundays. Due to its popularity, you'd need to pre-book a table if you want to come at peak hours. However, as dimsum is preprepared, the tables do turn over quite fast and if you are prepared to have a short wait, you can get a table even without a reservation. It is so famous that even people from out of town and from other countries have been known to visit the restaurant for a quick bite of dim sum.
Housed in an old shop house just off the main road, it can get quite noisy- but that's all part of the great atmosphere and charm brunch of Foh San , isn't it? (smile). We were there at 12 noon on a Sunday and that was pretty late by Ipoh standards. By 1pm most of the crowd had gone and there were a few empty tables. I guess most people get there earlier, from about 10 am or so.
Favorite Dish: All the dim sum here range from good to outstanding. I particularly enjoyed :
- large fish balls (four to a plate)
- "wu kwok" yam balls filled with diced meat
- fried radish cake - freshly fried with lots of garlic and bean sprouts
- "chee cheong fun" with prawns-light and creamy
- green vegetables-lightly steamed with soy sauce
- "har gow" with big fresh prawns in each dim sum dumpling
- "siew mai" filled with juicy bites of prawns and pork
- Chinese egg tarts-not too sweet, just right
The price was RM2.50-5.00 per plate of dimsum and each comes with 3-4 dumplings, so there is plenty to go around. If you pay around RM10-12 per head, you'll have filled yourself to the brim! : ) This is much cheaper than an equivalent meal in Petaling Jaya or Kuala Lumpur.
There is a branch of Foh San in SS 2 Petaling Jaya. Both restaurants also offer good Mooncakes during the mid-autumn festival. Jaya Jusco card members can get 10% off on mooncakes.
Do take note that the pricing for dimsum is different in the Petaling Jaya branch.
How to order if you don't know the name of things:
You may not know what to order because you will be spoilt for choice. Look out for the push-carts, and just point to the things that you would like to try. Don't order too much, and take it easy-you can always order more if you are still hungry.
This is the first and the most original shop for Ipoh Bean Sprouts Chicken (Nga Choy Gai). It is served with Hor Fun (flat rice noodles) soup or plain rice. I prefer to eat it with Hor Fun soup as the soup is sweet and Hor Fun is smooth and fine.
What makes this dish so special that everybody has came out with their own version or so called imitation ? It's because the bean sprouts cultured in Ipoh are short and more crunchy and the chicken meat is so smooth but not oily. According to some Ipoh folks, water in Ipoh is sourced from limestone mountains and hence rich in minerals that is suitable for bean sprouts' growth. Some says Ipoh has many local beauties because of the mineral elements found in water. Hollywood Bond Girl Michelle Yeoh was born in Ipoh, do you believe the statement ?
Favorite Dish: You can also order meat balls, braised chicken feet, green vegetables, etc. The chilli and ginger sauce are good for dipping
One bird of large-sized & small-sized chicken costs RM26 & RM24 respectively. However, you still can order bean sprouts chicken according to number of pax. The shop is closed on every Tuesday.
The coffeshop have a whole range of stalls selling all types of hawker food... The shop is always crowded but turnover is also high, so getting a table is not a problem, after a short wait... It is opened daily from 7am to 4pm....
Favorite Dish: The favourite here is the har (prawn) mee, reputed to be the best in town... the chee cheong fun is also a must try... although it is also known for its satay, the standard has dropped a bit as the old operator has retired and the stall is now managed by new tenant... the egg custard is also popular and sold off if you are a bit late...
On our last visit to Thean Chun in October 2008, the standard of har mee has dropped dramatically with very watery soup... Will not dine there again for the har mee...
I had parked my car and was about to walk towards Foh San when I noticed the red eye catching signage of this restaurant. After having dim sum at Foh San, we decided to check this restaurant out.
When I walked into the restaurant, I was in for a big surprise. Instead of normal tables and chairs and table clothes and waiters, there was a large table with stacked with salt-baked chicken neatly prepacked ready for customers to walk in, buy them and take away for their dinner, lunch or breakfast.
Favorite Dish: "Yim Kook Kai"-in the Cantonese language loosely translates to "salt baked chicken". The chicken is gently stuffed with aromatic Chinese herbs, and then its skin is rubbed with salt, before it is "baked" in tin foil.
It is really quite a neat idea and not one that I have seen anywhere else before. The packages of chicken are neat and presentable-much like a cake box. Cooking instructions are included on the packaging: you simply need to steam the whole chicken (inside the foil) in a wok for 5-10 minutes before serving. The result - a tender, chicken that continues to retain its natural juices and is delicious when eaten with steamed rice.
Hot tip for leftovers: If you have any leftovers, you can boil some lovely rice porrige with the chicken parts.
Funny story/fond memory: My colleagues who were with me on this trip were so keen on the chicken that they bought about 10-15 packs each-can you imagine what the insides of their car looked like? with 5 adults, their luggage and stacks and stacks of yim kook kai! LOL When asked, they said they were giving it to their mums and inlaws as gifts that would be appreciated by the KL folks.
As for me, I only bought 1 pack at around RM15. ~Big sigh~ should have gotten more! the porridge would have been marvellous.
PS. there are at least two such restaurants with the same specialty dish. I didn't find the other one, but I am told that it is just as good.
This must be a joker trying to sound cute !
Sabar Menanti ? It means Patiently Waiting .......... probably they are honest about their slow service ....
Slow service is quite the norm in many restaurants in Malaysia ...
Favorite Dish: I wouldn't dare to go in with this sort of name.
This chinese restaurant in Menglembu, Ipoh is always packed during weekends. Food quality is still maintain after my numerous visits. Dishes are served in generous portion and taste are just right for the health-conscious, which is neither too salty or oily. The captain will seek customer's feedback on dishes and use a microphone to communicate to the chefs in kitchen. Haha, customer service improvement is in place !
There is a small parking lot in front of the restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Some of their signature dishes are seafood and vegetables in wooden bucket (Pun Choy), steamed chicken in garlic sauce (concubine chicken), fish slices with spring onion & ginger.
Chicken, bean-sprouts and kue-tiao has made this street / restaurant famous.
Very crowded in the evenings. Go early to avoid the mob.
Order the kue-tiao ( soup or fried ), the chicken and the tao-geh ( NgaChoi ) of course !
Add some drinks and there you go !
Optional soup etc also available, but watch your weight....................
Favorite Dish: Very soft chicken, and bean sprouts are crispy .......... they say it's the Ipoh mineral water from the limestone hills all around. I'd say it's just a long tradition, fine-tuned after the centuries.
Apart from salt-baked chickens, Tambun pomelos, and fair maidens like Michelle Yeoh and Amber Chia, Ipoh is also famous for it’s white coffee. Don’t expect the coffee to be white though as Ipoh white coffee is just as black as normal Malaysian black coffee or other great coffees of the world. However, the thing that sets the famous Ipoh White Coffee apart is that when you sip it, you will notice that the coffee has a tinge of something extra - which is a delicate yet lovely hint of milk chocolate.
Ipoh white coffee is best served "white" (no pun intended!) - meaning when served hot with condensed milk, served in a thick old fashioned porcelain cup (the likes of which may be found only in traditional Malaysian Coffee shops. On warm days, it is also delicious served cold, which is the same concoction as described above, served with ice-cubes, and a generous topping of milky froth on top.
The best places to enjoy a traditional Ipoh cuppa would of course be the old style coffee shops, which are still in abundance in Ipoh's old town. The picture shows two coffee shops highly recommended by the locals. Of course, if a 2 hour drive to Ipoh is not your cup of tea, or coffee rather… there are now many coffee shops in Kuala Lumpur and Penang now also serving Ipoh white coffee. Those that do so would usually put up a signage to indicate that this special brew is available.
An Aside-how white Coffee that is black came to be known as white!
Typical Malaysian black coffee is made from coffee beans roasted with sugar and margarine or butter but Ipoh's famous White Coffee (notice the capitals to indicate a branding...) is made from arabica coffee beans roasted with only margarine but without the sugar. This results in a roast that is less dark, hence the term "white" coffee.
Now, that you know all about white coffee, make sure you have a taste of it when you next visit a Coffee Shop!
Favorite Dish: Favourite Dish: The White Coffee, of course!
This is the most well-known Dim Sum restaurant in Ipoh. It has been frequented by loyal customers for a few decades and business is still going strong today.
Be sure to go there early as the restaurant is always packed with customers very early in the morning. Find yourself a comfortable table and a strategic place to "pursue" your Dim Sum.
Dim Sum are pushed out fresh from the kitchen and sold in trolley carts. Once you have ordered your Dim Sum, hand the card on your table to the waitress to mark the quantity. This is a card to record your Dim Sum order and for calculation of your bill.
Favorite Dish: You may try some of the Dim Sum classics like Har Gau (Prawn Dumplings), Siew Mai (Dumlings with meat filling) and Char Siew Pau (BBQ Meat Bun). Other famous Dim Sum are like Fish Balls, Yu Mai (Fish Meat Ball), Chee Cheong Fun (Glutinous Rice Rolls), and many many more... You will definitely have a gastronomical delight here !
Tasty mooncakes will be introduced during the mid-autumn festival. This restaurant is halal.
The restaurant is a corner shoplot with dining tables place along the side road shoulder... Next to it is a small night market... The road is closed in the evening for the night market... The kitchen is at the front of the shoplot...
Favorite Dish: The specility is of course "nga choi kai" or chicken with beansprouts... There is also braised chicken feet, chicken mix (ie spare parts), fish balls and meat balls... To go with these, you can either have rice, koay teow or mee...
The FMS stands for "Federated Malay States". Founded by a Hainanese settler, it was opened in 1906 and just celebrated 100 years of its existence... Making it the oldest restuarant in Ipoh and (maybe) Malaysia... In the good old days, it is frequented by European miners and planters....
Favorite Dish: Lunch and dinner is now served on the first floor... The food is mainly Chinese... The ground floor still function as a pub and is a favourite hangout for lawyers and high society looking for a pint and to unwind...
The Hillcity Restaurant is located on the second floor of the Hillcity Hotel and Condo. Conveniently and strategically located in Jalan Gopeng. Hillcity Hotel and Condo is only a 3 minute drive from the Simpang Pulai Interchange toward the City of Ipoh. It is set amidst the serene of a hilltop overlooking the City of Ipoh on one side and the Sam Poh Tong cave on the other.
The restuarant serves dim sum for breakfast, Szechuan food for lunch and Peking cuisine for dinner.
Chwee Cheong Fun is perhaps originated from southern China, Hong Kong or Guangzhou province. Ipoh peoples are actually descendants of them but was hundred years thing. So they can make same foods, but is from Ipohans, not from the Chinese.
Many Malaysian and Singaporean tourists coming to Ipoh will make it a point to have dinner at this famous institution in Ipoh.
It is located at middle of town and can be hard to find with the many one-way street of Ipoh. So do not hesitate to ask any local Ipoh resident where "Lou Wong" and you will find it for sure.
Another thing is that it is only open at night. Popular of course, the steamed chicken, the bean sprout and the meatballs with rice flat noodles soup (kue tiau) or (koay teow).
Some local Ipoh residents prefer Ong Kee to the bigger Lou Wong.
Ong Kee is smaller and located just opposite corner of Lou Wong.
I have tried both but don't ask which one taste better. If you want to avoid the crowd at Lou Wong, you can opt for Ong Kee.
Same menu of steam chicken with bean sprout (taugeh) and meatballs and rice flat noodles in soup (koay teow or kuetiau).
Note: Also open during dinner time.