CNY 2012 – Motormouth Runs Wild @ Simee, IpohJanuary 20, 2012 | 7,901 views
Look at those stacked up slices of pre-smoked dried meat @ Seong Kee in Simee, Ipoh; a very RED (‘ong’) sign of things to come this Dragon Year?!
Yay! Live updates streaming on a day to day basis (I hope). Motormouth reached home extremely early this morning (almost uncharacteristically me, some may say), and thankful for that as I was informed that the traffic jam this afternoon on the North-South expressway was REALLY bad … about 20-30km/hour at best. So, if you’re one who’s sunbathing (terribly scorching today!) out there, drive safe. You know you do not want to miss the onslaught of mega-lip-smacking stories throughout the week …..
Imagine having to smoke every single piece manually, at a rate of thousands of pieces everyday! I would have thrown in the towel LONG before the tenth basket!
An air of festivity is definitely in the air, was grinning from ear to ear catching a glimpse of MH Tower (next to the drive-thru McDonald’s near to Jusco/Tesco in Medan Ipoh Bistari. Then the spanking new row of shops fronting Ipoh Hometown Restaurant that looked promising, yet I wonder what else can they open (new coffee shops, Japanese restaurant, fast food chain again?) that’s a cut above the rest.
Now, read on for the impromptu food run @ Simee in Ipoh ……
The unprocessed slices of marinated and dried meat; separated by hand, smoked by hand, and packed individually. Can you imagine the tedious (read : boring) process in churning out packets of these for Chinese New Year?
Someone posted a question on where we usually buy our ‘yook kon’ (also known as ‘loong yook’ or bak kwa) year after year. Tell you the truth, since we were small, we never bothered much. Mum would do the shopping with Grandma and the rest was history.
We were tasked to finish them up with plain bread/buns.
Then as years became decades, I grow wiser and more involved in the decision-making process. Not to mention of course …. this (very prominent) influence of writing about food for close to 4 years now.
And so, I understood that we either bought ours from Chan Cheong Kee at Super Kinta (hope spelling’s right), Lee Eng Kee @ Woh Heng coffee shop opposite of old Foh San, or this house in Simee branded as Seong Kee.
Waxed sausages, dried meat (like a jerky, if you’re wondering) and other stuff commonly sought after during the festivity.
It was a delight seeing the process from a close distance. You will never learn to appreciate the energy channeled into the making of certain food stuff UNTIL you have witnessed the whole ordeal.
And no, don’t barge in and shoot away as we DID request for permission first. And that also garnered unwanted attention from the lady boss who’s not very eager to let me take shots of the kitchen.
Bordering on being a daunting threat along the line of ….
“Don’t you simply take photos here. What are you? A journalist?”
The prices of these produce are increasing on a YEARLY basis. Yes, to a point of being ridiculously overpriced (try buying from the more famous brands, or even the insanely popular Wing Heong @ SS2)
But Motormouth escaped unscathed with ego intact and tail still wagging valiantly instead of between the legs. I did not scurry away, nor did Mum. I responded in the usual manner of being a tourist, sharing on Facebook, with friends and family only, blah blah blah …..
I can really lie through my teeth with an unquestionably innocent facial expression.
Don’t you just LOVE how these beautiful (and edible) stuff for prayers look like? The effort should be saluted for Khuen Kee did not neglect the fact that not only do these morsels need to withstand the two weeks tenure of being on the altar, the aesthetics should be pleasant AND these are edible too!
A short drive away from Seong Kee brought us over to the famous Simee market. Of course, this was WAY past the frenzied morning hours, thus seeking for a parking lot was still a bearable thought. While walking over to the corner coffee shop nearest to the market, we passed by Khuen Kee Biscuit which sells kaya puffs, cakes, and other confectioneries.
Fresh from the oven; kaya puffs that are STILL waiting for the first bite come tea time later.
But ended up purchasing only 5 pieces of the kaya puffs, since those were all that they could afford to sell us anyway. The rest were all reserved for prior orders.
This is another one of the popular brands of kaya puffs in Ipoh, aside from Sin Eng Heong, See Kee and the one from Bercham (sorry forgot the name).
And nowhere else outside Ipoh can you get plain chee cheong fun (steamed rice noodle rolls with sesame seeds, dried shrimps, and fried shallots) doused in a savoury mushroom gravy, WITHOUT any sides. And still tastes soooooo good.
Icy cold glass of white coffee …. real Ipoh white coffee to counter the heat. Almost got heatstroke. (And now it looks like it will rain any time soon. What fickle weather!)
We walked for lunch at this coffee shop (I did not even catch the name!) but same row as the wet market, a corner lot that you will not miss. In Ipoh, I usually have my CCF (chee cheong fun) either plain with soy sauce and shallot oil, OR with mushroom gravy. Only in rare instances do I take mine with chili sauce + sweet sauce combination. The one in Ipoh Garden South for one, is a good bet since the lady sells a KILLER chili oil paste that burns the roof of your mouth!
This coffee shop also serves chicken rice, wantan mee, pork noodles, laksa and fishball noodles, as well as a stall selling economy rice. Usually crowded during breakfast-lunch hours, but the two lots should be spacious enough to warrant a shorter wait for a table.
And what do you see across from Khuen Kee Biscuits? Choy Kee Bakery. Sounds familiar?
The same legendary Choy Kee that was also featured on Discover Perak on AFC not too long ago.
Choy Kee Biscuits still operate a stall in the Simee morning market, until about 11am. Then they switch hats to become slightly more upbeat (upmarket too) entrepreneurs at Choy Kee Bakery across the road. Selling their famous creations of egg tarts, chicken pies (Chinese style of “Gai Sou” of course), Char Siew rolls, luncheon meat bun and my favourite “Charn Bao” (baked char siew bun), they also sell the other common bakery breads and cakes.
At least …. you don’t have to brace the morning sluggishness and congestion around the vicinity, while waiting patiently for the next batch of egg tarts from the stall in the market!!!!
“Happy Chinese New Year dear Ipohans! Stay tuned for more ramblings.“
Seong Kee Food Stuff (Dried Meat)
No 38 & 39, Jalan Pasar, Kg Simee, 31400 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel No : 012-501 8621, 012-507 6338, 017-578 0417
Choy Kee Bakery (egg tarts)
No 218, Lebuh 3, Kg Simee, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Tel No : 05-545 4351, 012-532 2761, 017-511 1596
Khuen Kee Biscuits (kaya puffs)
No 164, Lebuh 3, Kg Simee, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Tel No : 05-546 4273