3 Years Old & A Good Deal of Street FoodMarch 5, 2011 | 4,117 views
And I am back in Ipoh (hurray?!) for this weekend. A relatively short homecoming, for work purpose more than play. But every minute spent at home would be treasured immensely. I mean, as much as I would like to commit myself for food hunts and reviews in the metropolitan on steroids, somehow the presence of heavy traffic, time constraint, and lack of directions (in every sense of the word) barred me from the real intention.
A pot of braised goodness; Blocks of beancurd, whole eggs, slices of pork belly and pigs’ offal swimming in the dark elixir with a distinctively concentrated flavour. Heavenly when paired with the oil rice.
Thus, the short 2 days will be spent in an intelligent manner; good time management is essential and strategic planning is deemed to be of utmost importance. After all, I can only squeeze in 6 meals a day.
Or more. Depends on my appetite. And till now, you know Motormouth can really wallop everything in sight, and then some.
Let’s start with lunch (after a serious bingeing session on Simee Market’s delicious fares earlier!), at this inconspicuously low profile eatery named Sun Kam Wan in Ipoh Garden; yet this particular stall serves possibly one of the BEST version when it comes to braised chicken in soy sauce, and various other braised dishes. Get your napkin ready, and here we go …..
In his elements here; this affable guy has been running this stall for years now. He was from Bercham; if you’ve been an ardent follower of his, then you would know.
Somehow, I find it so easy to write about food from Ipoh. Effortlessly, if you will. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I have been growing up with some of the places that I have reviewed. Or the fact that searching for good food in and around town has never been tedious. I can remember almost every shop located at every nook and corner of Ipoh at the back of my mind.
Seriously, after more than two decades of life spent in this charming town (to me, Ipoh is still my beloved homeTOWN) exuding a warm aura of homeliness and belonging, it’s slightly disheartening to see the younger generations (I’m an aged specimen, so don’t group me together …) opting instead for the swanky bistros/cafes/’char chan teng’ …. shunning the ‘low jiu pai’ (classics) in the process.
You don’t see teenagers nowadays meet up and chat over coffee at Sin Yoon Loong, lunch of a hearty meal at Concubine Lane, or even vague recollections of Cowan Street being the origin of the ‘nga choy gai’ mania, not the commercialized Lou Wong.
Sumptuous soy sauce chicken lightly garnished with Chinese coriander, and a block or two of the velvety smooth beancurd in the background. Call me old school, but braised chicken in the sweetish soy sauce with a herbal tinge beats roast chicken anyday.
Maybe owing to this peculiar trait of mine; perpetually vouching for the old school eateries, traditional restaurants, and taste from the yesteryear’s, that I have constantly surprise many strangers over the fact that I am NOT a grumpy old dude in his late 50’s. Or even older, but to be eating in such reckless fashions at 60’s doesn’t sound believable, hence 50’s wouldn’t be stretching the imagination too far?
I have even met people whom have had this misconception that I am a full time writer, since I used to write at breakneck speed, it was almost impossible to imagine from where I managed to attain the energy, time and effort to do so.
And the sheer unenviable fact that I eat like nobody’s business created this perception that I have to be weighing at least 200 pounds. Or more. But fret not, I don’t weigh 200 pounds the last I weighed myself. Maybe 199.90 lbs, but I’ll let your imagination run wild ….
Though not as plump as the ones served in dedicated Bean Sprouts Chicken outlets, you can’t actually fault Ipoh’s most famous vegetation.
Anyway, it’s been a good 3 years since I started writing on Motormouth From Ipoh. Not an incredible feat, as we have plenty of food blogs with life span longer than you and I could imagine.
I probably will bore you to death if I continue harping on the ‘legacy’ (or lack thereof) of this personal space of mine. So let’s leave the rants for another day.
Gorgeously golden oil rice with a plate of piquant chili sauce as condiment.
Additional plate of braised pork, egg, the pig’s skin and the intestines.
Sun Kam Wan is this restaurant (more of your neighbourhood coffee shop) in Ipoh Garden, situated a few doors away from the famous Sun Marpoh (one of the BEST Chinese diner in Ipoh, period) and KFC/Maybank near to the Ipoh Garden roundabout. The same row of shops also houses two vegetarian restaurants; namely Sin Meng Kee and Su Sum.
I have been itching to write about this stall; serving what could be the most basic of dishes to go with your rice; soy sauce chicken, braised pork/egg/offal and several vegetable dishes to complete your meal. Only opened for breakfast-late lunch, you will see this place swarmed during lunch hours; usually a line of people queuing up to take away the reasonably-priced fares to be consumed within the comfort (seriously?!) of their office or home.
But to be able to whip up such pleasantly delightful braised chicken (about 8 or so chickens on display, and finishing fast, so don’t go after 2pm) is a mastery of sorts. My grandma was and still is an ardent fan of this; and I have been converted into one by Mum a few years ago.
Good coffee and tea at the same restaurant too, so don’t count them out.
For RM19/USD6, you can get a satisfying meal for three here. All of the dishes above inclusive (except the drinks, of course). And no, this may not be rocket science, nor molecular gastronomy …..
Far from even being a candidate for Michelin stars, or perpetually etched in Lonely Planet guides. But who needs publicity, when you know that your food is good, and you’re actually appeasing hundreds of hungry souls come lunch hours?
Braised Chicken Rice Stall @ Sun Kam Wan Restaurant
61, Jalan Dato Lau Pak Khuan,
Ipoh Garden, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Closed on a consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday middle of the month.
Opens from morning until late afternoon daily.