Famous “Golden Char Kuey Teow” of Old Town, IpohDecember 1, 2010 | 13,718 views
Why oh why, was this named “Kam Chau Fun” aka Golden Char Kuey Teow?
Maybe because of the gorgeously wet and creamy egg oozing juices seated on top of the pile of fried noodles? OR the fact that a serving of a minimal handful of noodles with two shrimps cost RM3.50/USD1.20 per plate?
Hard to say, but ask anyone about this famous ‘kam chau fun’ of old town in Ipoh, and chances are people would be torn in between. One might sing praises for the skilfully fried combination of kuey teow (flat rice noodles) and yellow mee, slightly charred from the intense frying process (it’s a skill shared by the presumably-father and son duo) then topped with the signature egg omelette with a brilliant, golden hue.
While the other person might scorn for the pathetic serving of a Char Kuey Teow (CKT) cost that much for two mouthfuls. Read on to find out more ……
Very robust, aromatic and rich white coffee from Sin Lean Lee; a superstar overshadowed by the many white coffee specialists in old town.
Throughout the three years in service, this coffee shop named Sin Lean Lee owned the crown for being the most visited joint for breakfast in old town. At least once or twice a week, or sometimes more depending on the mood for coffee. Yeah, a hearty, aromatic and frothy brew resembling Chang Jiang’s white coffee more than the other milder/milkier white coffee favourites (Sin Yoon Loong, Nam Heong). Sin Lean Lee’s white coffee possesses that intense bitterness masked by the balanced proportion of condensed milk to caffeine. An underdog indeed, at least to the out-of-towners. But come weekends, public holidays or school holidays, you’ll bear witness to possibly the most crowded coffee shop in the whole of old town.
Since this shop seats more customers in comparison to the others on the other end of Jalan Bandar Timah, the turnover is rapid too. And since you can’t really find something worthy to eat at Sin Yoon Loong, one tends to settle for the toast and white coffee only when eating there.
Rivalling Nam Chau‘s egg toast (“dan ji”); the half-boiled eggs on toasted bread slathered with margarine provides enough fuel to set you off on a protein high early in the morning.
But at Sin Lean Lee, you can actually find an impressive array of Ipoh hawker foods. Though I can’t attest to the quality of each and every one of the hawker fare, the ‘liew fun’ (fish ball noodle) stall and Char Kuey Teow stalls are good bets. Judging from the crowd on a daily basis, these should be your priorities when you’re stumped on what to order.
The Ipoh style of Chee Cheong Fun with Mushroom Gravy
The Chee Cheong Fun stall sells a variety of lighter bites. From savoury glutinous rice with dried shrimps (not as good as All Inn Cafe‘s situated opposite of this shop) and pulut with kaya (not bad, still a notch below Keng Nam‘s on Cowan Street), to the normal Chee Cheong Fun (steamed rice noodles served with various condiments) and even the stuffed CCF with crunchy turnip.
Go for the dry lou shu fun, or any dry noodles served with their tasty minced meat topping. Then pick the bouncy beef balls (not in the picture), beef tendon balls, or even a whole bowl of fresh beef slices/tripes.
Lots of bean sprouts, Chinese chives (kuchai) and a wet omelette coating the strands of noodles; making this version of Char Kuey Teow very different from Penang’s version. You can opt for cockles or shrimps, or both, or none at all.
Then there are the other stalls. One selling curry mee and laksa, while another sells prawn mee. Personally I have not tried any of these (yeah, 3 whole years and I am such a sucker for the same old … same old offerings), but sometime ago I read a review on the very reddish curry mee, that was supposedly good enough to warrant for your attention.
Who knows, maybe the other (ex)colleagues can continue this pursuit?
The shop is opened from the front, and from the sides. Stretching until the back, the very spacious premise can seat a sizeable crowd, hence you can be assured of a vacant table. Unless it’s one of those occasions when people come back to Ipoh in droves.
Wait, 3 whole years and this is the FIRST review? Not really. Back then, I wrote a short piece on the CKT. But until now, I am not much of a fan. Let alone going all out to proclaim this as the BEST in Ipoh. Maybe I don’t like my CKT to be wet and all moist/soggy, but give me a plate of Penang style Char Kuey Teow anyday and see me smiling from cheek to cheek!
*By the way, in Ipoh Garden South, at the coffee shop named Chor Kee (I think, it’s the corner coffee shop a few doors away from the famous Mi Cong Yin selling pork noodles), you can find a delicious and worthy Penang style CKT, sold by a couple previously from the Hor Le Wood coffee shop behind Pizza Hut in Ipoh Garden South too.
Yes. I had my last breakfast in my current office here today. Hence, it’s proper to give this place a proper review, and a salutation or two. Don’t snigger, for we have been such constant customers that the aunties (and leng lui’s …?) running the beverage stall have become somewhat friends to us.
“So, Thank You Ladies for the Great Coffee that has time and again; lifted our spirits and pumped us up with caffeine to energize our weary souls !!!”
RESTORAN SIN LEAN LEE
Corner of Jalan Bandar Timah-Jalan Panglima
30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Business hours : From morning until late afternoon. Closed on Tuesdays.
GPS Coordinates : E101 4′ 41.4″ N4 35′ 48.4″
Google Map to Sin Lean Lee