What We Did, Ate & See In Ipoh
Most of you might not know this but I was actually born in Ipoh. I used to find Ipoh boring because whenever we're there, we just stay indoors and spend time with our relatives. We don't go to the town area or have breakfast at kopitiams (coffee shop).
Now that I'm older (not that old ok), I love exploring cities, food hunting and taking pictures. I told my family that we are not going to lock ourselves at home for this trip! I did some research of places that we should eat or go and created a little itinerary. So here is a short breakdown of what we did, where we ate and went!
What We Ate?
1) Breakfast @ Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong
I just realised that in my 19 years of living, I've never tried Ipoh white coffee in Ipoh. We always go back for the Ngar Choy Gai, Heong Piah, and the yee mee near my uncle's place. So I asked Mr.Google where can I taste the best Ipoh white coffee? There were quite a few suggestions but the most featured one is KKSYL so I decided to give it a try.
I wanted to come early to avoid the crowd but I think 7:45am is not considered as early in Ipoh. It was already packed when we arrived so we had to wait awhile before getting a table. Just like any other kopitiams, there're no air-conditioners, it's stuffy and loud.
I was really craving for egg tarts that morning so I got these next door at Kedai Kopi Sin Yuan Foong, which you can order their food and have it at KKSYL. These are just some ordinary tarts, nothing special. This stall in KKSYF sells a variety of food including nasi lemak bungkus, mee goreng, spring rolls, cucur udang etc.
We ordered Chee Cheong Fen (steamed rice rolls) and it's topped with a generous amount of fried onions but a bit stingy on the red sweet sauce and we all love our CCF to be drench in sauce. There's nothing much to shout about the CCF but on the other hand, the wan tan mee was good! I didn't try it but both my parents said so. The char siew is nicely done.
I had their Dan Chi (half-boiled eggs on toast) and white coffee, the perfect breakfast combination. I've always thought that white coffee are sweet, thanks to those packaged instant coffee but I was wrong. They are actually slightly bitter and have charcoaled aftertaste. I really liked it and wanted to order another cup. Would suggest to go for the hot one so that you can really taste the flavour of it.
2) Funny Mountain Tau Fu Fah
Wait, how do you spell TFF? Well, mine is "Tao Foo Far". Anyway, right across Concubine Lane at Jalan Theatre, you'll come across this tau fu fah shop that is always busy. No surprise to me because their tau fu fah are softer and silkier than the ones I would normally have. You can get a bowl of TFF or a glass of soya bean milk for RM1.
3) Kedai Kopi Kong Heng
We went there during lunch hour and it was packed, as expected. I did not had a great experience there. There's this guy that will assist you to your table. He'll be walking here and there, shouting across tables asking you the number of person you're with and will get you a table. I totally get it that it's busy and he's probably stressed out in that stuffy and loud place but he did one thing that totally put me off. I will get to it later.
This kopitiam has many individual stalls and there's pork sate, chee cheong fen, char kuey tiao, popiah etc. We ordered CCF and CKT. I had the one with mushroom sauce and I didn't quite liked it. Not sure whether are all mushroom sauces like this but I find it very diluted. The CKT was alright though it tasted even better with their chilli sauce.
I had their iced Ipoh White Coffee. I prefer the one at Sin Yoon Loong as the one here is sweet and I'm not a fan of sweet coffee. Though the comparison would be more fair if I ordered a hot one at Kong Heng. I also had to try Ipoh's caramel custard because they are always proudly advertised at every kopitiam.
So this is the part where the guy pissed me off a little. He was also in charged of bringing a tray of tau fu fah and caramel custard to tables. The choose what you want and pay style. So we took this and he put the cc harshly on our table and threw the spoons onto it about 10cm away. He threw them one by one and the last one bounced back on to the table. I was extremely disgusted by his attitude that I took the one on the table and threw back lightly onto his tray. He knew that I was pissed so he tried to cover back and asked whether have we ordered our drinks, which he clearly knows that we already ordered. I didn't looked at him and just slightly nod my head. I know you're stressed out but you clearly didn't have to show it to us by throwing our spoons?
Anyway, the caramel custard was nothing special. It tasted like egg tart. I didn't liked it.
Where To Go and What To See?
1) Miniature Art Gallery
Right across the Jalan Ipoh sign, there's this miniature art gallery which opens from 8:30am-6pm and admission is free. The shop is decorated with red tanglungs both indoor and outdoor so it's hard to miss.
I really enjoy taking my time, appreciating every details on miniature items so I have to share about this place! There is a long stretch glass display of a miniature town right at the centre of the gallery. The dough sculptures are all handmade.
2) Catch A Toy
If you walk straight from the art gallery, you'll see a clothing shop called "What To Wear" and Catch A Toy is just a few shops away. You would definitely not miss this "all pink" shop! If you are one of those that love your claw machines, here's the place for you in Ipoh. If you're like me and just want to take pictures, here's a cute location for your IG pics!
3) Concubine Lane
This is definitely one of the tourist spots as it has everything from heong piah, kaya puffs, ding ding sweet, souvenir shops and even those Instagrammable cotton candy and rainbow cheese toasts! Not much pictures taken here as I was busy vlogging which you can watch it here.
4) Kong Heng Square Artisan Market
Apart from all the old buildings, there is also a more modernised part of Ipoh old town and it's here at Kong Heng Square. Surrounded with green plants, trees, black and grey walls that gives it a nature-friendly impression. I was surprised to find Plan B here in Ipoh old town. The nicely decorated outdoor seatings of Plan B definitely makes it a very Instagrammable spot.
I love artisan markets so this has got to be my favourite spot in Ipoh old town. You should give it a visit too if you like custom made stuffs. My favourite shop is Am Zakka Store. They really have a lot of cutesy and quirky items.
This is a nice place to shop around as it is sheltered and there're ceiling fans so my experience there was nothing but pleasant even when it was a bit crowded that afternoon.
There was also this stall where this lady gives massages using parang knives. Interesting.
5) Burps & Giggles
We only went in to look around hence why it's on my What We See list instead. I really liked the cafes in old town because they incorporate their decorations with the old buildings, creating a vintage and rustic ambience.
This cafe is separated into two parts and is connected by a wooden door. This is the other side of the cafe where the cake counter is at. Would love to come and try their food for my next trip!
We didn't get to try many places in this trip as we have relatives that cook incredible meals so we ate at home most of the time. I didn't get to try Ipoh's dry curry chee cheong fen which I'm quite bump about but that'll be on top of my list for my next trip, probably in July.
Overall, this has got to be my favourite trip back to Ipoh. I enjoyed every moment be it spending time with my relatives or exploring the town. Life is all about good balancing (hahaha) I will be writing another post where I share with you the places/spots I went for my Instagram pictures which if you haven't follow, click here to follow!
That's it for now! Don't forget to watch my Ipoh vlogs if you haven't already x