Lou Wong Tauge Ayam Kuetiau @ IpohDecember 27, 2009 | 15,900 views
Restoran Lou Wong Tauge Ayam Kuetiau has to be the MOST famous of all Ipoh’s restaurants, bar none. Ask any outsiders, foreigners, or even the locals themselves on where to have dinner (or supper, commonly) if you’re down in Ipoh for one night only, the chances are most would mutter the name; Lou Wong Nga Choy Kai (“Nga Choy Kai” means Tauge Ayam, or Bean Sprouts Chicken).
Even when most locals do not frequent the highly-sought after, yet slightly over-rated premise any longer. You can find out more about other Nga Choy Kai outlets in Ipoh by clicking the following link : Tauge Ayam in Ipoh.
Come early or come late, and you’re bound to get yourself worked up, frustrated, or even astonished at the sheer amount of human traffic going for their Ipoh famous bean sprouts chicken fix. Come rain or shine, night or day. For your information, Lou Wong opens for lunch and dinner now, until the late hours of the night (or should I say wee hours of the morning?).
If you’re there on a weekend, or public holidays, be prepared to stand around (much like Foh San, but only not as sightly, for you’re practically forced to stand by the roadside for this one).
You see, I never hide the fact that I’m not a fan of Lou Wong, or even Onn Kee’s brand of Ipoh Tauge Ayam. For the uninitiated ones, Onn Kee is Lou Wong’s utmost rival, situated right across the street. That probably explains why I never wrote about these two mega-establishments although I’ve been blogging for nearly two years now. And of course, second closest excuse would be sheer laziness, for I’d rather opt out than jostling with the crowd for chickens and bean sprouts. Ahem, how ‘UN-Ipohan’ can I get?!
But still, when out-of-towners came down for a visit, or foreign relatives lamented that there are NOTHING to do in quaintly serene Ipoh, I had to draw the ace card, and brought them over to these same old brands of trusted eateries (as tourist-y as they might be). At the very least, the throngs of people alone would be sufficient to instill a sense of awe in them.
Except of course, those with jaded palates, and pampered with delicious food all year round. Then Lou Wong and Onn Kee are straight NO-NO’s. Don’t believe me? Go ask the locals residing in Ipoh. Any foodie worth his salt will tell you that Lou Wong serves mediocre chickens nowadays, and some proclaim Onn Kee to be the superior choice.
On to the food now, before my ramblings start to take a life on its own. The bean sprouts at Lou Wong, or Onn Kee to some extent is REALLY great stuff. Crunchy, juicy and fat, the tauge (in Malay) is lightly blanched, then tossed lightly with a dash of soy sauce, and some sesame oil for that extra, inviting aroma. The garnishing of chopped scallions and red chillies lend some colours to the pale-as-snow plateful of fibres, guaranteed to have you craving for more.
Unless, of course, you’re one of the very few who DO NOT like your vegetables cooked lightly. For I have a few peers who hate the raw, ‘greenish’ taste of the bean sprouts. Unless they’re stir-fried with salted fish, or blanched until soggy/soft. Yucks?
There was once when my experience at Lou Wong was marred by bloody chickens. Yes, RAW and GLISTENING flesh, almost translucent. Poke into the tender flesh and blood oozes out, really. Definitely not for the squeamish at heart, for chicken sashimi is NOT your everyday dish, that’s for sure.
But thankfully this time around, Lou Wong managed to get things right. But definitely not on a stellar level. At the rate they’re cooking the chickens, chopping them up with gusto and dishing them out on those familiar oblong, melamine plates – QC was almost too hard to assure. Our half a chicken was poached well, but the chicken was far from tender and smooth, bordering on tough and chewy, especially the fleshy parts (breast meat and upper thighs). Of course, I’d still take this variety compared to the uncooked version of the same chicken.
The Ipoh’s classic ‘Sar Hor Fun’ (flat rice noodles) can be served dry (tossed with soy sauce and dark soy sauce) or in soup (the more popular version, in a sweet-tasting broth flavoured with chicken bones, parts, and a dash of pepper). The noodles at Lou Wong deserves a commendable mention, even when compared to the other challengers, ie Buntong Ayam Tauke, Fifteen Tower Tauge Ayam and Kam Hor in Ipoh Garden. Silky smooth, rendering chewing almost irrelevant, the noodles slither down one’s throat with ease, and for some extra oomph, some even pour a whole saucer plate of soy sauce with chopped ‘cili padi’ (those FIERY bird eye chillies) into their bowl of broth.
The meal for three came to about RM22 / USD6.30. Ordering of food and drinks is never a hassle, as everyone orders the same dishes, more or less. You can ask for the ‘spare parts’ (chicken offals lightly boiled then served with soy sauce), or even braised chicken feet, aside from the perennial favourite of pork meatballs.
Just don’t ask for a menu, or extraordinary requests, for you’re bound to get chided. Sarcastically. I overheard the next table’s patron asking for a warm drink, and got scolded! As they serve the same generic beverages (barley, herbal tea etc with ice cubes) to your table, so you can just pick your preference from the metal trays.
Address & Contact Number :
Restoran Lou Wong Tauge Ayam Kuetiau (Bean Sprouts Chicken/Nga Choy Kai)
49, Jalan Yau Tet Shin,
30300 Ipoh, Perak,
Here’s a GOOGLE MAP TO LOU WONG
Opens for lunch and dinner daily. Days off not sure.
Some other posts on Restoran Lou Wong Tauge Ayam Kuetiau :
WikiStreetFood,Vkeong, Feedmelah, Bangsar Babe, Ipoh Chai, Places and Foods, Gourmetsharing, Life Thru The Lens, Malaysiabest, Travelerfolio, and Niki Cheong.