Going NUTS over Menglembu & Char Kuey Teow @ the MarketAugust 8, 2010 | 4,539 views
The traditional no-frills Char Kuey Teow (also better known as simply Chau Fun in Ipoh) with loads of wriggly bean sprouts, gorgeously-golden eggs, and plump prawns seated atop.
So here’s a post that is exactly one year overdue. More than a year actually, for I read Jason‘s account of the same breakfast; which was posted in July of 2009! That was even before I got infected with this dotcom mania. Imagine the might of procrastination.
Anyway, Menglembu is one of the main township in Ipoh of Perak, that is also widely-acknowledged as the birthplace of crunchy, tasty groundnuts with shells intact, but yet with a roasted, smoky flavour. The term “Menglembu groundnuts” it seems, originated from the fact that a local resident named Mr Lee discovered this technique of processing the groundnuts way back in the 1940′s, and the name has been used since to describe this particular method of production; not necessarily indicating that Menglembu has a groundnut plantation or even houses the production companies. Here’s a brief history from PAGODA brand and the particularly interesting method of producing the tasty snacks.
Two most prominent brands of Menglembu groundnuts are Pagoda and Ngan Yin, also known as “Kacang Cap Tangan” with the signature thumb’s up logo.
Read on to find out more about our breakfast at the morning market, and the famous (for a variety of reasons) Wantan Mee at the “Wai Sek Kai” (Glutton Street) at night …..
Can’t go wrong with a breakfast as simple as kaya and margarine toast with a glass of iced milk tea.
Unabashedly, I admit that this was my first time to Menglembu morning market. Yes, throughout the decades of my life (and trust me, there were many!) I seldom ventured to Menglembu aside from the occasional patronage of Menglembu’s Ma Zai (Twin brothers) chee cheong fun, a Laksa stall that opens in the evenings on the street running parallel to the main road, and meals at Wah Chai restaurant or Pin Sum on the main road.
Don’t even ask me about the famous stretch of stalls at Wai Sek Kai (Glutton Street) come night time, for I barely had any recollection of the hawker fares aside from the famous fried chicken stall, a stall selling all types of braised offals, the tiny fish balls which you can down fifty at one go, and the skimpy portions of wantan mee.
Hahaha … on a Prawny Overdose, anyone?!
Jason’s aunt runs this stall at the food court fronting the morning market. If you’re one who can eat anywhere and everywhere you want, then this is fine. For you get tables under the trees, under some canopies, out in the open (you can imagine how many times we shifted to avoid the glaring sun), or under the zinc roofs with ceiling fans.
To be honest, I do not know whether she dishes up the prawns in such a generous manner to every patron, but we sure did get LOADS of them on our fried noodles. I picked a plate with “hor fun” (flat rice noodles) and yellow mee, for I have always felt that the combination works wonders in CKT (Char Kuey Teow), while Jason picked rice vermicelli noodles (bee hoon) or something. But I got ALL of his prawns, hence the tag line above : “It pays to eat with someone who does not eat prawns ….”
You can wallop your breakfast anywhere at all !!! Just be courteous and not hog the tables for hours ….
There are various other stalls selling hawker fares all around inside the food court. Reanaclaire had a mind blowing curry mee for breakfast once. So if you’re anywhere around the market in the morning, give the hawker stalls a try. Who knows … you may discover gems to be shared with everyone here.
Food Stalls @ Menglembu Market
Jalan Lee Meng Hin,
31450 Menglembu, Perak, Malaysia
Here’s a GOOGLE MAP to the Menglembu Market
Directions : From town area, go towards Menglembu town using Jalan Lahat. Once you reach the roundabout with the giant groundnuts replica, take the first turning from your left. Go towards Lahat/Bukit Merah’s direction instead. You will pass by a police station on your right, and reach a traffic lights. Turning left will take you to Klinik Kesihatan Menglembu, while the food stalls will be on your right.
Pardon the blurry, grainy shot. This was taken at extreme low lighting with a handphone. Yes, read that right. My trusty Nokia 5610, way back in 2008.
I probably should go to the Wai Sek Kai at night once again. The stretch of hawker stalls by the street come alive from evening onwards, with a myriad of street food for sampling. As I had mentioned earlier, the wantan mee (pic above), fried chicken/paper-wrapped chicken, mixed offals (maybe just me?) and tiny 10 cents-sized fish balls warrant a hunt, but be prepare to be seated on the sidewalks or even by the roadside.