Obediently Eating My Porridge (Zhu Chap Chuk) @ Kar Heng Restaurant, IpohDecember 27, 2011 | 5,954 views
The Chinese believed that when you’re not well, avoid eating solid food. But the uncles seated next to us were as energetic/vibrant as tigers. And they sure were joyously slurping away.
I don’t hide my disdain or sheer displeasure from eating a piping hot bowl of porridge (or congee, depends on where you’re from). I can’t imagine myself squatting by the streets, with a scorching hot porcelain (or worse, plastic) bowl in hand and slurping on a gruel that’s best described as a sick man’s food (or worse … baby food?), all the while sweating like a camel.
Wait. Camels don’t really sweat. But you get the point.
That explains the very scarce posts on porridge finds in Ipoh. There’s this one in Bercham that I kind of enjoyed, maybe more to because the coffee shop has this amazing roast pork stall that complemented the porridge oh-so-well.
Sinful stuff; yet you can’t help but to munch on these deep fried pig’s intestines lightly seasoned with salt and pepper once you get your hands (or maybe …. chopsticks, since hands don’t sound civilized!) on them!
Then there’s those times in life when Motormouth does incomprehensible stuff. Like that afternoon when I went all manic in search of this much-hyped about mixed pig’s offal porridge stall in town.
Clockwise from top left : A piece of coagulated pig’s blood (wobbly, jelly-like delight), the black-coloured century egg that’s more of an exotic taste to some, but a favourite of mine, Mr Cheong the man behind the 15 years old stall, and chopping away at the piece of pig’s innard.
I first came to the knowledge of the existence of this stall run by the Cheong’s from the All About Ipoh Facebook page. They have a legion of fans, admirably. And the numbers don’t run by the single digits. Or so I was brought to believe.
But you know lah … now that I am away in KL for good, only coming back to Ipoh for a weekend or two per month, things can get a wee bit tough to cover every stall that I wished I could. And so, the procrastination took over. Days became weeks, weeks became months.
Chicken and Fish Porridge; a safe choice if you’re not fond of funky pig’s organs in your porridge. Or century egg that’s preserved with clay, ash, salt, lime and rice hulls sometimes up to months.
To cut a potentially yawn-inducing story short, I made it. (Yeah!)
Driving all the way to Chamberlain Road in town, the place was thankfully not packed to the brim. There was another economy rice stall serving Chinese delights (heard someone ordered Vinegared Pig’s Trotters), and this stall fronting the main road that was manned by a middle age couple.
We proceeded to share a table with two elderly men already tucking in into their bowls of fried fish head porridge (RM4.50/USD1.50 per bowl). They got curious and wondered why was this young chap brandishing his DSLR around taking photos of the ….. what could best be described as just another humble porridge stall.
“Oh … uncle, I am from KL ma. Just want to share this experience with my friends.”
I can be a nonchalant liar with a damn straight face. But please …. don’t judge me.
Mr Cheong walked over and proclaimed that he had customers coming all the way from Cameron Highlands after viewing his stall from the Internet. Highly suspecting that this could be the viral effect of that same Facebook page (come be a FAN already!) posting, with a picture of the stall.
I managed a weak (yet sly) smile.
Now, you will never see Kar Heng Restaurant or this porridge stall being featured in food guides, or tourist maps. Not unless of course …. this story gets out of hand. Wait, then I’ll be damned if I wanted to return for their RM3.20/USD1.10 per bowl porridge.
I don’t deny that the porridge here was good. Not the best, but still worthy of a visit. For those crunchy bits of fried intestines, the freshly-fried fish head dunked in a slurry of rice gruel, or even the wobbly cubes of coagulated pig’s blood.
If all else failed, wait until sundown and walk over to Embassy Restaurant for that other famous Hor Hee in Ipoh. What’s Hor Hee?! Duh …. go read that. I am still in my post-holiday trauma.
PORRIDGE STALL @ KAR HENG RESTAURANT
31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Business Hours : 12pm – 6.30pm daily.
Closed one day every two weeks, not fixed.
GPS Coordinates : 4.591365,101.08242
Google Map to this stall
*Directly opposite of Olympia College, near to the roundabout where Srimaju Bus Station is.