The Hype That Was AEON Station 18 & The Mia Eating House @ IpohApril 10, 2012 | 8,811 views
Life’s a freaking carnival @ AEON Station 18, Pasir Puteh, Ipoh; the new and easily largest shopping mall in all of Perak. (And no, the Golden Retriever does not come with the experience)
A few posts back, I was actually very keen to explore this brand new shopping mall in Ipoh; a new Jusco (now a blanket rebranding to AEON across all outlets). I still vaguely remember how back in 1997 the first Jusco opened its doors in Ipoh, effectively burying the ghost of Super Kinta’s past. Although one might say that the Jusco Kinta City has seen better days, yet the shopping mall is rarely empty even on weekdays. Try to visit on weekends or public holidays, or worse … the festive season (CNY especially!) and you’ll be wondering what the fuss was about over this two-floors departmental store.
Then, AEON Station 18 arrived on the scene. A good 15 years later, and I guess folks staying around Ipoh Barat must have been overjoyed at this development. Rather than bracing an astounding 10km drive (don’t laugh, here in Ipoh every km feels like miles …) to Ipoh Garden East, they can literally hop over to Station 18 instead.
And I know a post without any food will sound dry and bland. So here’s a menu featuring 20 types of noodles (!) to tie you over @ The Mia Eating House; within a short drive away from AEON Station 18.
As usual, if you’re ready for the insanity, jump on the bandwagon …..
Now I shall start with my impression of the new mall. HUGE. In comparison to whatever Ipoh has. Yet, when you’re actually inside the premise, the place did not feel extraordinarily humongous after all.
Yes, the 3 floors or so might be a welcoming respite from the ‘two-rounds-and-you’re-done’ Kinta City. However, the slightly awkward L-shaped curvy structure was somewhat restrictive to a seamless shopping experience. From one corner to another, the distance is not negligible.
AEON (or better known as Jusco) supermarket is there, and the almost-predictable lineup of men and women fashion repertoire. There are a few pharmacies; most notably the first Caring Pharmacy in Ipoh, and the usual Watson’s and Guardian. No cinema yet, but TGV is expected to open in July this year. No karaoke or bowling alley yet, though this might change as time goes by.
Fashion outlets were looking good, though don’t expect the high end brands to make their novel appearances here, for AEON is essentially still your neighbourhood departmental store.
Then someone asked me; What’s worth eating at AEON Station 18 anyway?
For one, I’d say Taang Shifu, Sakae Sushi, Kim Gary and Nando’s. Papa John’s and Wendy’s to open soon as well. Most of the names are familiar and dare I say … predictable choices, yet to us Ipohans, the glimmering prospect of actually having one Nando’s after so many years is worth shouting out in glee for.
Pan Mee with Hakka Braised Pork (RM5.80/USD2) @ The Mia Eating House, Station 18
However, being the rebellious me (okay, I was alone and was not exactly in the mood to dine in fast food outlets), I ventured out of the mall and started to pick my brain on what to eat around the area.
Oh yeah … not too long ago (could be a year or two, but I lost track) more than one readers highly recommended for me to try the pan mee stall around Station 18, Pasir Puteh; where the relatively new Tesco is at.
I was of course, assuming that this stall is still around after the hype died down. And half blown-up with pride, decided to go against the routine manner of searching through the net or GPS to pinpoint the location.
I mean, how big can this area be … right?
Yong Tau Foo, Homemade Spring Rolls, Iced Milk Tea
To imagine going around in circles like a lost sheep, wondering should I just stop and ask any good Samaritans on this ‘legendary’ pan mee place. I had two names in hand, The Mia and Eat City, yet had no inkling on how these are related.
The shops around AEON and Tesco are relatively new, yet there are those abandoned shop lots that are eyesores and high time to be refurbished or demolished to make way for development.
I almost gave up and decided to change my lunch destination to somewhere else (maybe Menglembu for the chee cheong fun with pig’s skin curry or nasi lemak with sambal petai) when one last stride led me to the last most row of shops facing a large drain. The shops here are one-storey lots painted with …erm, some funky colours.
Lo and behold … I found gold.
I did not imagine The Mia being this stand alone, two shoplots eatery populated by hungry diners. The place was at least 70% full, and it was not even noon yet! And the thing that surprised me the most was …. this area can easily passes off as just another light industrial area without a faint hint of life.
Eat City, I found out, was this coffee shop a few doors down the road. Maybe The Mia was from there?
To cut an already grandfather’s-category story short, I picked a dry pan mee but with added boost of Hakka braised pork with ‘mook yee’ or cloud ear fungus/wood ear fungus/black fungus. And I had to order some sides since I doubt I will be back anytime soon, and without a fellow diner, I can’t just write about a bowl of noodles only, can I?
The pork was braised to a beautiful finish, maintaining the firm bite yet seeped with flavours of ‘nam yue’ (fermented bean paste) and the crunchy cloud ear fungus was absolutely pleasant to the tongue. The noodles were okay, being cooked to a slight al dente (read : harder than the usual wobbly, flour-y texture of most pan mee) and tossed in a savoury mix of soy sauce and dark soy sauce.
The sides were forgettable though, even their proclaimed ‘Homemade Spring Roll’ (RM4.50/USD1.50) or Hakka Yong Tau Foo (RM3.30/USD1.10). Stick to the noodles, and I was already eyeing the Black Sesame Pan Mee, Chili Pan Mee, Loh Pan Mee and Curry Pan Mee for the upcoming visits.
THE MIA EATING HOUSE (non-Halal)
No 63, Medan Stesen 19,
Stesen 18, 31650 Ipoh, Perak
Business hours : 8am – 4pm
Tel No : 05-323 3110
Among the row of shops directly behind of Tesco @ Station 18, go towards the LAST row facing residential area and a large drain. Or it could be a river, but sure did not look like one. Nearby the place you can find Hotel Station 18 which is within walking distance from Tesco. Go further in some more and you’ll find this row of shops with The Mia that’s one-storey tall only.