Sin Hup Heng Chaozhou Restaurant @ Theatre Street, IpohNovember 22, 2011 | 3,392 views
Wait, you mean ANOTHER post on Teochew cuisine in Ipoh? The last one was barely half a month ago (read the Ah Jik’s decades old story). Have I gone insane? Or mellowed from the aging process?
Throughout the 3+ years of blogging, I showed close to no love for Teochew food in Ipoh; save for one other popular porridge shop in old town. And now I’m bombarding you with almost back to back posts?!
In fact, yes. And had I told you that this lunch happened on the SAME day that we had Ah Jik’s stuff for dinner, would you have rolled on the floor, laughed at the sheer silliness (or irony), or are you already smacking your lips in delight?
Even if you absolutely detest Teochew cooking (boring, bland and lifeless?), you should consider giving this restaurant a chance ….
Steamed ‘Ikan Mamong’ (like a mackerel, or ‘ikan kembung’) in a Teochew style sauce with plenty of preserved vegetables and the fermented/pickled soy beans (are they?) that reminded me of the Japanese natto; an acquired taste not for the faint-hearted.
I confess. Now, I don’t routinely hunt for random food finds in Ipoh anymore.
Not so much of gradually losing the passion to eat (wait, who doesn’t love eating until the day he dies?), but more to because the 2-3 days per month that I can afford to spend in Ipoh; they have to be utilized to their fullest potential. In other words, every action has to have an ROI factor taken into account.
Every meal MUST come with a purpose. To the extent of myself handpicking the eateries before I reach home. Perfectionist?
Nah ….. If I don’t set a disciplined regime, would I be able to still continue sharing these droolworthy stories from Ipoh with you guys?
Stir-fried French beans with minced pork in olive paste
When you’re a food blogger, there WILL always be expectations from the others. Not only readers, but peers and even family members and relatives alike.
It works like this; even after leaving Ipoh for almost a year now, everyone still expects the same proficiency in naming a place for a meal instantly. Or new places in Ipoh worthy of a try.
Or even wondering why the spanking new restaurants are NOT featured on the blog yet. Throwing brickbats and laments about me being slowpoke, etc.
Ahem …. Like I care.
Salted Fish Pork Patties (Ham Yue Chu Yuk Peng)
There was even once when this reader complained on how I started writing several posts on the same outlet, wondering whether I was paid to do so, or getting free food in return for the writeup.
If it is an invited review, I don’t hide the fact. It’s all there, usually highlighted in RED at the end of the post.
Like in the case of JJ Swiss Rolls, Sin Eng Heong Kaya Puffs, Ching Han Guan biscuits, etc, I have this inclination to rewrite a fresh post either because they have newer items on their menu, they moved to another location, OR plain because …..
I WANTED TO DO SO. Period.
Plate of braised pork and mixed pig’s offals.
You can either go for the porridge, or the rice to go along with the various savoury dishes. The salted egg yolk would be a staple, much like the dace with black beans in can, waxed sausages, and braised items.
I first read about Sin Hup Heng Chaozhou Restaurant from Ipoh Echo (article HERE). Always fascinating to discover an old school place like this to try, plus the array of dishes they serve are not of the generic line.
Imagine classic Teochew dishes like the steamed fish in Teochew sauce, the pork patties infused with the briny nuances from the salted fish, braised meats and egg like how a complete Teochew feast should be incorporating, fried greens in the seldom-heard-of olive paste (Mum mentioned that you can buy them in jars from the supermarkets) and even fresh clams stir-fried in a spicy Kam Heong sauce.
It has to be a mother-and-son bonding session. On how to run a business that’s viable with loyal customer base (mostly locals, almost close to zero tourists …. unless I was considered as one, brandishing a camera and scaring the much older population of diners there)
Now, I had really high expectations of this restaurant. Judging from the rave review, the potential it exudes in serving something not of the familiar Chinese dishes in common ‘dai chow’ restaurants, and the massive crowd serenading each other with small talks and tales from the archives.
The place was packed, and we had to wait for a vacant seat. Not that the staff were of much help though, trudging along in a hasty mode, catering to the hungry lunch crowd on a Sunday afternoon. But a mere 5 minutes or so, and we were seated.
The lady took our order (she’s doing everything from refilling pots of Chinese tea, to serving the dishes and chopping up the braised items from the counter, as well as taking orders and settling payments) after a good 10 minutes or so. And the wait for our food was slightly stretched to a dreary half an hour.
Good thing I had a good breakfast earlier that day.
Verdict? The dishes came in smaller portions than we expected, which was okay since we requested for small servings in view of there were only 3 of us. But safe to say, you can go all out and order more if you wanted to, since everything went well with copious servings of porridge with sweet potatoes, or rice. Though I cannot pinpoint any particular dish that excelled in warranting a Die-Die-Must-Try badge, but the lunch was above average overall.
Not dirt cheap though, came to about MYR42+ for all the above and drinks. The braised platter of pork and offal was disappointing though; the gravy being slightly too watery without a flavour that instantly registers on the palate (like all good braised sauces should be). We had a blast picking on the fermented beans that came along with the fish, but a tad too salty if eaten on their own; since the dishes ARE meant to be eaten with plain porridge.
And if you ask me why the flurry of posts on Ipoh lately, almost back to back without a chance to breathe? I am desperately catching up on the backlog of posts waiting to be drafted and see the light of day.
Then, there’s the fact that the change in working environment entails a whole slew of new job responsibilities, massive adaptations to the different work culture and people, and a tremendous burden to close the year on a high note.
Maybe … just maybe, this little space on the web is where I seek for solace and a therapeutic effect. It calms my nerves knowing that this review packs a devilish intent and capability of making you hungry. At the oddest hours of the day.
SIN HUP HENG CHAOZHOU RESTAURANT
91, Jalan Theatre,
30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Tel: +6012-502 3116 or +6012-519 8377
Business Hours : Open from 10.30 a.m.-4.00 p.m.
Closed 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month.
Google Map to this restaurant
*Directions : Remember the Pasar Bulat (Pat Kok Ting) off Hugh Low Street, near to the police station in town? There’s one famous Buntong beef noodles restaurant there (named Sri Mahkota, last time named Sri Maju). Sin Hup Heng is along the same road, leading to the back of Theatre Street.