Or I can be delusional. But still, one can be hopeful, ya? ……
Sambal Squid Rice (RM5)
I’ve not been here since aeons ago. Possibly since secondary school years. Yeah, and now I’m a priceless, ancient piece of antique, do your maths.
There were a few occasions when we went there for breakfast, and felt dejected as the shop was closed. But usually open for business (a very brisk one at that) on weekends, it’s safe to get your CCF fix on a Saturday or a Sunday. (Do correct me if I’m wrong, ya?)
A regular serving for RM2.50, large portion for RM3.00. No frills. Either the chilli sauce+sweet red sauce combination, OR their mushroom gravy to accompany your rice noodle rolls generously sprinkled with sesame seeds, fried shallots, and served with pickled green chillies, the compulsory side kick.
The uncle and his assistant are not the friendliest chaps around. So when they said you’ve to wait for a while as there are a lot of customers around, DO NOT protest and throw a tantrum. Seriously. Even if you see those coming in later than you, and got their servings first, DO NOT scold the uncle, but “politely” remind him that you’re on the brink of starvation and would really appreciate a faster service instead. (We were lucky to get some seats right behind the stall, thus we got ours pretty fast =P)
The rice noodles rolls was impressively smooth, and glided down the throat with ease. The sesame seeds and fried shallots provided much texture and crunchiness, as well as extra fragrance, while the pickled green chillies are never enough. Of course, you can ask for more. Politely, remember?
But sorely disappointed that the chilli sauce and sweet red sauce combination did not work wonders, in fact was way too salty as he was probably in an ultra-high mood, liberately dousing my CCF with the red sweet sauce. Remember to request for less, if you’re not in favour of wet, and saltish gravy.
The regular portion’s rather sufficient as breakfast, and even if it’s not, there are NO sides of Yong Tau Foo (Stuffed fish paste) and the likes (unlike KL’s version) to complement the noodles.
Location : Kedai Makanan Canning Garden @ No. 27, a corner lot facing Canning Garden wet market. Sorry I forgot to take down the road’s name. But it’s right behind Restaurant HONG KONG, that faces the main road of Jalan Lee Kwee Foh, which sells chicken/duck rice, and tasty fried dough (yau char kwai, fried nin gou etc).
UPDATED 12 Oct 2008 – Directions to the Canning Garden CCF. I’m in such a jolly weekend holiday mood. Here goes ; Exiting from PLUS Highway IPOH SELATAN exit (the one with Tanjung Rambutan/Tambun on the signboard), you’ll reach a T-junction traffic lights, whereby turning right will reach Tasek and Bercham, while left leads to Jusco. Take the LEFT turn, and go straight, passing by McD Drive-Thru on your left, and some rows of 3-4 storeys shoplots+Jusco on your left as well. At the Jusco’s traffic lights, turn RIGHT and you’ll soon reach another traffic lights. Turn LEFT at this one, and go straight until you reach a round about. Take a 12 o’clock turning, and you’ll reach Jln Lee Kwee Foh, then see a field on your right. Turn RIGHT after the field, before the row of shophouses on your left. The CCF shop is at the left corner, facing the back, opposite the market.
But before I’m off for my precious, beauty sleep, here’s another strong contender :
Remember the old couple’s faces, as the shop has no name
Still remember The Star’s Sunday Metro’s recommendation of Lawan Kuda’s Chee Cheong Fun (Rolled Rice Noodles)? Lawan Kuda is a small town near to Gopeng, about 30km from Ipoh.
Many may associate the name of the town with “weird” food, from fruit foxes to terrapins, and snake’s blood soup to squirrels’ meat. Therefore, it was an eye-opener for me of sort, reading about this stall selling Chee Cheong Fun (CCF), and supposedly quite famous for it. Suffice to say, this stall warrants a visit in my book, and the opportunity came when work took me over to Lawan Kuda.
Their homemade stuffed fish paste (Yong Tau Foo) to complement the CCF
Locating this stall was not hard. Situated on the main road of Lawan Kuda, this stall opens only a few days a week, from Thurs-Sunday (reference : Sunday Metro), from 12pm onwards. The stall is next to a Chinese medicine shop, punctuated by TWO big, colourful umbrellas. Opens only during lunch hour, we were amazed by the endless queue for the CCF once the stall started operating. Students, housewives, workers etc swarmed the stall as soon as we took our orders. It was a good thing we arrived earlier.
My plate of CCF with Curry Pork’s Skins and Long Beans, and sides of Yong Tau Foo (RM4.70)
They serve the CCF with curries or plain with soy sauce, and the obvious popular choice would be the curry pork’s skins. That’s not all, the extensive array of Yong Tau Foo, supposedly homemade, are the perfect partners for the noodles.
The springy fish-pork balls, steamed and deep-fried varieties
So, how did the CCF fare? The flat rice noodles were indeed very smooth, served plain with NO dried shrimps unlike Ipoh’s version. And fried shallots is an optional garnishing, remember to ask for them, or take them yourself from the container.
The Yong Tau Foo were passable, some hits, some misses. Particularly yummy was the deep-fried balls (fish/pork), a signature item. The curry on the other hand, disappointed us as it was plain oily. So oily in fact, that the chopsticks and plates they serve the CCF on were all greasy from the previous person’s indulgence. Yeah, grab a tissue along before you tuck in.
If you’re sitting at their stall’s area, drinks are not served. But they can order for you from the market opposite their stall. Sugar cane juice was the beverage of the day. Diluted, not sweet, but quench our thirst nevertheless.
Kampar town, south of Ipoh
If you’re going south bound, after Gopeng, you’ll reach the town of Kampar after 15-20 minutes. A popular stop for tourists occupying the trunk road, Kampar is famous for a variety of food, such as the Claypot Chicken Rice, Roti Kari Ayam (Curry Chicken Bread), Ais Kacang, Lou Shu Fan (short rice noodles), and a myriad of hawker delights.
The main food court in Kampar, next to the morning market
To sample a little bit of everything, it is highly recommended that you pay a visit to the Medan Selera next to the morning market, situated on Jalan Pasar.
Memorize the stalls’ number, if you can’t read Chinese (like me)
With what could possibly be hundreds of stalls (OK, I’m exaggerating, but there are at least 50?) around, the area is separated into 2 sections, one serving halal food, while another with mainly Chinese stalls. Once you step into the food court, you’ll be at lost for directions. There are so many stalls, with so many patrons, it is generally tough to make a decision on where to park your butt. Rule of the thumb? Sit where the crowd are. You can’t go wrong. Unless you order what others are NOT ordering.
Stall No 42 has been serving their famous glutinous rice and yam cakes for years. The locals mostly throng the stall during breakfast hours, and the glutinous rice is a hot commodity, wiped out before lunch. So be sure to arrive early.
Savoury glutinous rice, complemented with “char siew” slices, peanuts and scallions, doused with curry (optional). Sheer bliss scooping the grains into your mouth. Simple, unpretentious, but got the job done. At roughly RM2 per plate (with curry), it was a good start to the day.
Notice The Star’s coverage of this humble stall?
Still craving for more? Or looking for something lighter, and healthier? Check out this porridge stall, manned by 2 ladies. Signature item? Pork porridge.
Food for the Soul?
A bowl of smooth, creamy porridge with chunks of minced pork meat and pig’s liver cost RM2.50. Though for some, all porridge tastes the same. But to differentiate a good porridge from an average one, just sip/taste the consistency, and the flavour of the grains. Here, the porridge is smooth, indicating hours of boiling, and the taste is sweet, from the meat, and probably from the stock used to cook the boiling hot concoction.
What a way to start the day …
A good ol’ bowl of pork porridge and a cup of frothy hot coffee. Subdue your hunger pangs, and the caffeine will jolt your brains into activity. But, longing for more?
Nyonya kuih stall, outside the food court
Buy a piece or two, or maybe three, of the sweet or savoury snack termed “Nyonya Kuih”, from the stalls lining the road outside of the food court. As ration when hunger strikes, or something sweet to tempt the palate while walking/driving to your office?
Out-of-topic Rant : Geez …. As expected, the slaughter ended quick, and painless. Or painful. Malaysia lost to China 21-12, 21-8, in about 30 mins. Well, there’s always another Olympics, ya?