“Holy Grail” of Pan Mee? Sun Seng Fatt @ Jalan Leong Sin Nam, IpohOctober 30, 2010 | 6,872 views
Dry (‘Kon Lou’) Pan Mee from Kedai Makanan Sun Seng Fatt – To fully appreciate a good bowl of pan mee, many factors come into play. For me? Most importantly; the noodle itself.
Talk about Pan Mee (read this article from Wikipedia for an idea of what this is) and you’ll most definitely perk up someone’s interest. At least one in five Ipohans, I dare say, is a fan of the flat flour noodles best eaten during the breakfast-brunch period.
Since I am not (dark horse of the family?) one who would go all out for a bowl of noodles, let alone a bowl of pan mee in its soupy, hearty nature (though you can gimme a good bowl dry-tossed flour noodles with chili flakes and I’ll nod restlessly), I relied on recommendations from the others.
What an energetic duo; a Mother & Son team running a pan mee stall that is experiencing a sharp spike in popularity, thanks to the closure of Hua Nam (once) and Wah Pan?
Mum has never been much of a fan of Pan Mee either. But she sang lullabies, hymns, praises and flowery compliments on this particular stall on Jalan Leong Sin Nam (yup, that Dim Sum Street of Ipoh, albeit this one on the other end of the road). And since I practically dragged her along for the somewhat lacklustre experience at the (over-rated?) Peking Pan Mee Noodles Shop, I had to concur and be led to this nameless pan mee stall at Sun Seng Fatt.
Read on to find out whether this stall is worthy of a try ….
And grandma finished this whole bowl of hand-torn pan mee by herself in record’s time. Been ages since she last had a good bowl of such, probably ever since that stall in Ipoh Garden South.
Being the skeptical me, I was not sold at the thought of waking up early on a Saturday (they’re closed on Sundays, by the way) for a go at this supposedly “holy grail” of pan mee. At least according to Mum.
And I relented this morning. For a couple of reasons; one being I may not be able to go for frequent food hunts anymore. Secondly, I was eager to find out how this one fares in the dog-eat-dog’s world of hawker food in Ipoh.
A bowl of sweet ‘Sayur Manis’ (sometimes known as pan mee vegetables, at times also called sweet leaves) in the savoury soup if you order the dry version of the noodles.
Usually, stalls that sell pan mee and pork noodles would have required you to wait forever, since every portion would be cooked separately and made-to-order. A good example being the one at Kafe Tim in Medan Ipoh Bistari (ironically directly opposite of Peking Pan Mee); whereby you may have to wait for more than half an hour when the orders pile up!
Good thing was, although the wait for our pan mee at Sun Seng Fatt was not entirely negligible, the 15 minutes or so was time well spent. The corner coffee shop looks just like any other generic ‘kopitiam’, and offers nothing much in terms of comfort or ambience. But the airflow was satisfactory, as the sides of the shop opens up to the small lane adjacent to the premise. And although there were a few customers already lining up in front of the stall since we arrived, and a few more waiting at the dine-in section, the man (introduced as Ah Yau by his mother) was quick on his heels. Cooking up pot after pot of pan mee in a jiffy. Watching the mother-son team at work was a delight; the mother does the serving while the son does the cooking.
A well-tossed serving of ‘Ma Lat’ or Spicy Dry Pan Mee, the pungent condiment of ‘sambal belacan’ and the bowl of sayur manis.
You won’t be spoilt for choice here. But you can try the pan mee either in soup or the dry version tossed in a mix of sauces. For that extra kick, go for the ‘Ma Lat’ version, but rest assured the spiciness is considerably tampered down compared to say, the Szechuan’s rendition of ‘Ma Lat’ dishes. They also serve Loh Mee, a starchy bowl of thick noodles (also served with the flat flour noodles) not commonly found in Ipoh; as compared to the neighbouring state of Penang.
Verdict? Good. I personally liked the really crunchy and good quality anchovies, the sweet leaves dunked in the hearty broth without MSG (thankfully), and the robust taste of the sambal belacan that complemented the noodles and minced pork patties to a tee. Though the spicy pan mee here is unlike the famous Kin Kin version with one poached egg and lots of spicy chili flakes, the sauce coating the strands of flour noodles (we picked the thin noodles, rather than the flatter, broader ones) was a pleasant mix of soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce/oil, and aroma from fried garlic/shallots.
Yes, notice that signboard displaying that infamously notorious for more than an hour’s wait; “Bentong Fried Noodles”? Come night time (7.30pm onwards), you can bring a book, a pillow, or even your homework and start counting down for your serving of Wat Tan Hor to arrive.
I dare say this stall serves one of the best pan mee in Ipoh, that I have personally tried. Far exceeding my expectations, with no funky twists (like Peking Pan Mee) or horrendous waiting time. Next in line? The one at Restoran 222 on Jalan Pasir Puteh, the Chili Pan Mee near to Tesco in Pengkalan, and maybe another shot at Ipoh Garden South’s hand-torn version of the noodles.
“So, where do YOU go for your pan mee fix in Ipoh?”
PAN MEE STALL @ KEDAI MAKANAN SUN SENG FATT
25, Jalan Leong Sin Nam,
30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 6012-989 1068 (Ah Yau)
Business Hours : 8am – 2pm.
Closed on Sundays.
GPS Coordinates : E101 5′ 6.2″ N4 35′ 49.5″
Google Map to this pan mee stall
(For lunch, the economy rice stall here is very famous amongst the lunch crowd. The Bentong fried noodles stall is opened from 7.30pm onwards, until late at night)