Medan Selera Stadium Ipoh – Street Food GaloreJuly 28, 2010 | 13,015 views
Yoon Kee @ Stall No 23 – This is also Ipoh’s most beloved superstar; Dato’ Michelle Yeoh’s favourite!
Perseverance pays off handsomely. That’s exactly what the elderly have always tried to instill in the raw, naive mind of a young one’s.
Medan Selera Stadium (a popular hawker food centre) in Ipoh is a stretch of food stalls that operate almost round the clock, numbering around 60 stalls if I’m not mistaken. But don’t get the wrong idea. The stalls open intermittently; some during daytime while the others open from evening until late night. Not sure if there is any stall that stays open until wee hours of the morning, but I don’t cast my doubt on this issue.
Come weekends, public holidays, or when there’s a football match at the stadium, you’ll bear witness to throngs of people swarming the stalls, hoping for some midnight snacks and a cup of “teh tarik”.
Yoon Kee’s Chicken Rice – Smooth, poached chicken (without the gory, bloody bits, thankfully!) with ‘oily’ rice and the compulsory pounded garlic/ginger with chili sauce.
Time and again, the purposed outings to Medan Selera Stadium Ipoh ended up in disappointment. Either the stalls were not opened on that particular day, or we ended up losing sight of what to eat and ended up somewhere else for dinner.
Things got a little easier during lunch hour, for we’re still fans of Sri Asoka Corner’s (Stall No 19) banana leaf curry rice (BLR), and Thillai Stall (Stall No 25) which is located a few cubicles away from Sri Asoka’s, and also rather famous for their BLR. Plus, Thillai also serves deep-fried crispy bitter gourd !!!
So why was I so adamant on trying Yoon Kee’s Bean Sprouts Chicken, a 21 years old ‘lau zhi hau’ (old and trusted brand)? ……
Yoon Kee also serves dry curry chicken noodles, aside from their rendition of hands-down, Ipoh’s most famous (some might say over-rated) combination of dishes named “Nga Choy Kai”
I was coerced into trying Yoon Kee by a stroke of luck. I was told that this ‘Tauge Ayam’ stall is Dato’ Michelle Yeoh‘s favourite haunt. Not Lou Wong, Onn Kee or Cowan Street. This came from a very reliable (maternal?) source, but at that time I did not even know there was such a stall at Medan Selera Stadium Ipoh.
Talk about being an avid fan of Ipoh food, and yet sometimes I feel like I know peanuts about the simpler hawker fares in Ipoh. I bowed my head in shame ……..
Anyway, Yoon Kee has been around since 21 years ago. They started business at the sidewalk/road shoulder along Jalan Dato Lau Pak Khuan; somewhere in front of Sun Marpoh Restaurant as told by my mother. My personal hard disk does not register such a visit, nor any vague recollection of such roadside stalls ever existed, but Mum said we went there few times before when we were kids.
Verdict : I gotta get my head checked sometime down the line.
Char Koay Teow (complete with the charred wok’s remnants – ‘wok shit’?) from Stall No 18; the Penang Char Kuey Teow stall.
I stumbled upon Yoon Kee one evening, while searching for the Hong Kong Chee Cheong Fun that we used to love back then. But this row of stalls do not house the aforementioned stall, hence we nonchalantly parked our fatigued a$$e$ on the plastic benches and ordered some wantan mee and dry curry chicken ‘sar hor fun’ (smooth, flat rice noodles – Ipoh’s signature) to devour. Not forgetting bowls of ABC (ais kacang) with generous drizzles of gula melaka (brown sugar syrup), but lacking in ingredients.
But I forgot to bring my camera that evening. Sucks huh? To be a food blogger and yet forgetting the most fundamental of utilities. Then I put the pieces together and concluded that Yoon Kee MUST have been the stall (Datin) Mrs Yeoh was raving about.
The Wanton Mee from Stall No 22 – Opens only for dinner-supper, while Min Chee’s Wantan Mee (Stall No 36) only opens for breakfast-lunch.
A week or so later, I dragged my parents over for another visit. Surprise, surprise. Mum actually knows both the stall owners of Yoon Kee (No 23) and the Wanton Mee stall (No 22) !! Imagine the small, small world of gastronomy Ipoh really is.
Grandma agreed that the chicken rice was good; for she’s very, VERY fussy when it comes to chicken rice. Give her half-cooked rice, or soggy, clumpy grains, and she’ll throw tantrums (literally). Or tough, over-exercised chicken and she’ll leave most of the meat unattended.
But Yoon Kee’s version got her polishing every single grain of rice on her plate, and the whole poached chicken drumstick lightly seasoned with some soy sauce, and garnished with chopped chillies and scallions. At RM3.30/USD1.00 per portion (for the regular cut of chicken; the drumstick/thigh will cost you slightly more), we sure were not complaining one bit.
The Dry Curry Chicken noodles might not be ground-breaking; die-die must try stuff. But still, not as heavy as the ‘santan’ laden creations from the usual curry noodle stalls.
Lin Chee Kang – A sweet soup dessert with a boiled quail egg.
The Char Kuey Teow paled in comparison to Seng Loong’s version though; the daytime hawker at Stall No 32. Rather greasy and speckles of charred bits from the wok was clinging to the noodles and prawns. Unsightly? Yes. But the plump prawns kinda made up for the minor gripe. Definitely not among the best in Ipoh, let alone in comparison to Penang’s indomitable versions.
But the Wanton Mee tasted okay, slightly better than Min Chee’s (Stall No 36) in my personal opinion.
In case you want the complete rundown of stalls along this stretch, here goes :
Stall No 16 – Traditional Western Food – Pork, Lamb, Chicken, Fish
Stall No 17 – A Frankie Pan Mee stall, but also selling drinks? (not sure)
Stall No 18 – Penang Char Kuey Teow
Stall No 19 – Sri Asoka Corner Banana Leaf Curry Rice (daytime only)
Stall No 20 – Satay Stadium
Stall No 21 – *not sure
Stall No 22 – Wanton Mee
Stall No 23 – Yoon Kee Bean Sprouts Chicken
Stall No 24 – Beverages
Stall No 25 – Thillai Stall Banana Leaf Curry Rice (daytime only)
Come dress in your best. NOT.
It seems that the stalls on this row (No 16-25) at Medan Selera Stadium close on Wednesdays and Thursdays. But the earlier row of stalls will be opened on those days, instead closing on Mondays (and not sure about the other days).
Here’s a GOOGLE MAP to Medan Selera Stadium Ipoh, in case you ever need the directions.
Even the Cat felt I was lame enough to throw her a prawn shell, of all edible stuff?!