Another Ipoh “Nga Choy Kai” Story – Kah Seng Ipoh Restaurant @ BerchamJanuary 31, 2011 | 4,017 views
Kah Seng Restaurant – Tauge Ayam Kuetiau in Bercham of Ipoh; Guess you can tell from the signboard their un-rivalled history in this part of Ipoh city.
A decade or two ago (sorry, lost count …. happens when you’re amnesiac and aging like no tomorrow), Kah Seng in Bercham of Ipoh used to be our favourite “Nga Choy Kai” (Bean sprouts chicken) hangout. Still remember how we used to position ourselves precariously over those steel covers over drains, dimly-lit walkways populated with plastic tables and chairs, and anticipating what could possibly be a meal featuring the best of street food in Ipoh back then ….. and bear in mind that eating out was not as frequent as now.
Though not as pricey as some of the other famous counterparts, a meal at Kah Seng can easily come to RM15 per person, or more if you’re devouring chickens like a pack of wolves. And yes, on the board there was written a choice of ‘ayam kampung’ (free range chicken) as well, in case you’re particular about your choice of fowls.
And then, after what could probably the longest hiatus since the Pasir Pinji’s Yee Jie fish ball noodles & Leong Kee’s porridge @ Jalan Pasir Puteh revisits, we decided to venture out to Bercham (actually merely 10 minutes or so from our home; but can’t neglect the terrible jam lately) for a taste of the good old days; Kah Seng Tauge Ayam Kuetiau situated next to AmBank and a stone’s throw away from Maybank facing the main road of Jalan Bercham ……
A portion of whole chicken for RM36/USD12; featuring very smooth and thankfully COOKED poached chicken; immersed in a somewhat lacklustre soy and oil-based sauce.
As expected, the place was crowded come dinner hours; and we had to wait a good 20 minutes or so before we got served. Maybe half an hour, but after some serious catching up with family members; time just seemed to fly by effortlessly.
You get to choose from oil rice (fragrant rice cooked to a buttery aroma with oil from the cooked chicken), or a bowl of ‘hor fun’ (flat rice noodles; an Ipoh’s specialty that you must be loco to have missed this) served either dry (tossed in a combination of soy sauce and dark soy sauce, with a dash of sesame/shallot oil preferably) or in soup (best to savour the unbelievably smooth texture of the noodles).
Plate of crunchy bean sprouts aka Nga Choy, or tauge – Blanched simply then to be tossed in the combination of sauces; and a dash of pepper. It’s almost impossible to get good bean sprouts in the other states, so might as well eat all your bean sprouts in Ipoh and be happy.
Just that the lady boss was not exactly your idea of a neighbourhood-type of friendly aunty with a perpetual smile on her face. Oh no sirree … I got taken aback with her sarcastic remarks; when I mistakenly ordered a bowl of “Kai See Hor Fun” instead of plain Hor Fun.
If you are not sure what’s the difference; the former is a complete meal on its own; a bowl of chicken noodle soup made popular by Thean Chun (still the best, at least to me) in old town. While when you’re at any Nga Choy Kai outlets in Ipoh, you only order Hor Fun plain; in soup or dry since you get the chicken and bean sprouts served separately.
Hmm, so much for leaving my Ipoh roots behind.
A mixed bowl of fish balls, meat balls and ‘yue wat’ (fish paste) – Sourced from suppliers; so you can skip these if you’re not fond of extras.
To be fair, their food is still good, just not as brilliant as say ….. Cowan Street‘s or Fifteen Tower‘s. Maybe this palate has evolved. Maybe I have transformed into one super obnoxious picky eater. Maybe I just had too high of an expectation.
Or maybe, just maybe … their quality has dropped over the years?
You be the judge, since this was my first visit in maybe more than 10 years.
And for the slightly adventurous; go for this plate of mixed chicken’s offals (kai jap). Sadly, no crunchy chicken’s intestines. That would have been a great snack to accompany the meal.
A broth with an amazing umami taste; you’d be forgiven for thinking that tonnes of MSG was added into the soup. But seriously, NO thirst after the meal, so the amazing flavour had to come from the sum of chicken bones, parts and such.
I tell you, I am close to tearing my hair out due to this unstable, slow and crazy connection. Since I have moved to KL, I was forced to sever all ties with Streamyx broadband back in Ipoh. Thus I am using Maxis Broadband … for an astonishing …… 0.25mbps download speed. At best.
Can’t even load a Google Map, let alone browse through blogs and sites for inspiration (I still need recommendations for food in Ipoh ma …. not that I have eaten everything here). So pardon me for the lack of information regarding any food outlets. Promise to update the posts once I return to Klang Valley.
KAH SENG IPOH RESTAURANT – TAUGE AYAM KUETIAU
No 223, Jalan Bercham Taman Sri Kurau,
Taman Desa Kencana,
31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Opens for dinner only. No idea on their off-day(s), so any assistance is appreciated.
*Next to AmBank and Maybank on Jalan Bercham. A short distance away from Foo Kwai’s curry mee and yong tau foo.
*If you’re LOST, and need help, drop me an e-mail by clicking HERE. Or browse through the Ultimate Ipoh Food List for plenty of choices. Don’t despair, as most food outlets remain opened during the festivities. You just have to look into nooks and corners.