That Timeless Pasir Pinji Chee Cheong Fun in IpohOctober 4, 2010 | 13,514 views
The Pasir Pinji Chee Cheong Fun Aunty – Not the most pleasant soul on earth, yet equipped with her own brand of witty charm that draws the crowd to her stall …. Or wait. Was it the freshly steamed rice noodles instead?
When it comes to famous Chee Cheong Fun (CCF for short) in Ipoh, you may be getting yourself waist deep in the heat of the argument, with regard to the perpetually-unanswered question : “Which place serves the BEST CCF in Ipoh?”
Some would vouch for the Canning Garden’s grumpy uncle’s version served on those timeless metal plates. Those media savvy geeks (like yours truly) might have fallen for Menglembu’s Ma Zai (Twin Brothers) CCF with an endless array of curries as accompaniments, no thanks to the influence of 8TV’s Ho Chak program sometime back then. Old town folks (like yours truly again) might not agree, but instead vote for the CCF at a stall in Sun Yuan Foong, next to Sin Yoon Loong coffee shop; also known as the origin of white coffee. Or even the other uncle running the stall in Thean Chun/Hall of Mirrors next to Kong Heng.
The other place that I have missed doing a review include the Taman Cempaka’s legendary CCF stall that was supposedly operating from the field at Canning Garden from way back then.
Would it be a sin, had you decided to pass this off as just another run of the mill Chee Cheong Fun in Ipoh?
And I have been aching for a visit to this house in Pasir Pinji of Ipoh for ages now. For a plate of their elusive CCF (yes, not only exclusive but somewhat elusive as well. You’ll see why soon enough).
For if you ask around for The BEST Chee Cheong Fun in Ipoh, I guarantee this place pops up more often than the others. No joke. We were loyal customers of theirs in the 80′s, when the hype was gradually building up and the attitude was not there. Yet.
Read on for more of this incomparable street food experience, and when are the best days and time to visit, as well as some tips on how not to embarrass oneself while eating there ……
And I was snapping these shots in a somewhat reconnaissance mode. Yes, with my life and reputation at stake. Overly-dramatized?
Rule #1 – You are not allowed to take any photograph at the premise. Yes, when I was in my usual snapping frenzy mode, the aunties instantly sprang to their defensive stance and warned me not to;
“Aiya, we are not the brides lah … Why you wanna take our photos?”
Bouncy fried fish balls served with your choice of sauce(s). You can pick from the usual condiments served with CCF; like chili sauce, the sweet sauce (tim cheong), or even the chili oil. (RM0.50/USD0.20 per piece)
Rule #2 – Enter the compound, take an imaginary queue number before sitting down at any of the 6 or so tables. No, you don’t press on the QMS (Queue Management System) for your ticket, nor picking up a small card with handwritten numbers on it. Instead, you must remember the queue number given to you verbally by any of the ladies.
“Who? Who’s Number 17?!!”
I prefer to order the Chee Cheong Fun in a simple mix of soy sauce, and shallot oil. So you can taste the freshness of the steamed rice noodles, and the briny flavour of the dried shrimps.
Rule #3 – Don’t be a nuisance and keep pestering the aunties with your order. Sit down, keep quiet, count your fingers, play some Angry Birds on your phone, order a some fish balls or otak-otak, or just be a good boy and doze off. Just be on the alert when your turn’s up. Else she might just give you a scolding (sarcastically), or you have to miss your order. Good thing is that they have relatively good memories. And only place your order when you are approached by them.
“Aunty, I want my Chee Cheong Fun with char siew, siew yoke, prawns, scallops, salmon etc in a mix of curry, sambal, laksa gravy, rojak, peanut sauce, wasabi and sweet sauce.”
“ASK your mother to cook for you lah …. ”
* Only Lat Jiu (chili sauce) and Tim Cheong (sweet sauce). And some Lat Jiu Yau (chili oil). Not sure whether mushroom sauce is permanently on the menu, for I personally never bothered to order anything other than Pak Yau Sook Yau (soy sauce + shallot oil).
Toss them up real good. This is the MOST popular combination. A little bit of everything; Chili Sauce, Chili Oil, Sweet Sauce, Soy Sauce and Shallot Oil. If it’s your first time here, don’t bother picking anything else. Go with the flow and ask for a plate with EVERYTHING.
Rule #4 – NEVER go on an empty stomach. Or on the brink of dying from famine. On a usual day, if you’re there at about 2pm, you may have to wait a good 30 minutes or so. IF … the people before you do not take away tens of packets back home. And if you’re a loyal customer of theirs, you would have experienced the severe intention to punch the person before you when he/she orders 40 packets (!) at one go.
*By the way, 40 packets is the limit I was told. And don’t even think about buying the whole container of steamed fresh rice noodles back home, because she does not let that happen. Nor asking for her to hold the sesame seeds lah …. fried shallots lah …. soy sauce lah …. green chillies lah …. This may open up a whole new opportunity for her to retaliate in her usual sarcastic demeanour.
The Har Mai (dried shrimps) make all the difference. Not the slightest unpleasant, fishy or stale stench from the shrimps, but instead they were very soft with a briny nuance and added much oomph to the rice noodles. Oh, and don’t be a smart a$$ and order ONLY the Har Mai Fun (rice noodles with dried shrimps). She will in her own discretion, mix and match the plain noodles with the Har Mai ones.
Rule #5 – Don’t bother coming on weekends. Or during the public holidays. Or even school holidays sometimes. They are CLOSED on weekends and Wednesdays, as well as on public holidays. And if for some stroke of luck they decide to open, the place would be swarmed by tourists from the outer states. So much so that the small lane of Jalan Pasir Pinji 5 can be so congested it’s not even funny.
This place is supposed to serve the BEST Chee Cheong Fun in Ipoh? Seriously?!!
VERDICT? Hands down One of the very best Chee Cheong Fun that Ipoh has to offer. The smooth rice noodles steamed freshly at the back of the house (you can see the small shack beside the house resembling a kitchen in the picture above), coupled with the abundance of toasted sesame seeds, sweet caramelized fried shallots, pickled green chillies, and your choice of gravy; result in a most delectable ensemble served on the traditional painted metal plates.
A small serving at RM1.80/USD0.60, large serving at RM2.50/USD0.80 and an EXTRA large portion (add noodles aka “Kar Fun”) at RM3.00/USD1.00.
PASIR PINJI CHEE CHEONG FUN
House No 1456,
Jalan Pasir Pinji 5,
31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Business hours : About 1.15pm, until the CCF finishes (around 4pm).
Opens only on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
GPS Coordinates : E101 5′ 3.4″ N4 34′ 43.8″
Google Map to Pasir Pinji Chee Cheong Fun
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Here are some reviews of this (not so) hidden gastronomic gem of Ipoh : Gourmet Garden, Dine And Health, Best Food Network and My Little Diary