Traditional Hainan Pau & Chee Cheong Fun @ Yei Lock, Kampar Road, IpohOctober 20, 2010 | 6,997 views
Yei Lock Hainan Pau @ Jalan Kampar, Ipoh – A great spot for breakfast-brunch.
I must admit that I am not an ardent fan of ‘pau‘. Those fluffy buns of Chinese origin, usually filled with either a sweet or a savoury filling, then steamed until warm before eaten. Though I like the feeling of biting into a warm bun filled with succulent ‘Char Siew’ when I don’t feel like eating heavily; or for a light breakfast on a cold, rainy morning.
But of course, there ARE exceptions to the rule. Pau eaten as mains; larger ones with fanciful fillings like curry chicken (more like a bread, but you can see from the Kam Ling @ Kampar’s post for a general idea) and sweet & spicy crabs. Or the endless varieties from a pau (or ‘bao) specialist operating from kiosks. *On a side note, the Mr Baoz in Pavilion has moved?
Say, you need something more substantial than a piece or two of pau, then go for the Chee Cheong Fun from the feisty and chirpy lady named Lee.
But at the end of the day, nothing beats the traditional, kneaded from scratch buns filled with not-overly-processed fillings of lotus paste, red bean paste, kaya (egg-coconut jam) or even a savoury vegetarian mix of julienned yambean, carrots and wood ear fungus. If you’re suddenly (miraculously?) out of idea on what to eat for breakfast in Ipoh; consider Yei Lock on Kampar Road. Full story after the jump …
“Excuse me miss, what’s your name?” …. “Hoi Leng. Lee Hoi Leng.”
Truth be told, I was craving for the Chee Cheong Fun more than the Hainan pau from Yei Lock. Yup, this in spite of the largely and proudly displayed “Pau Hainan” on the signboards fronting the two lots on Kampar road. And the initial reservations of eating plain buns for breakfast, when a hop and a skip away you can find so many hawker foods from Sun Wah Pan (various stalls from the previous Wah Pan on Cowan Street-Leong Sin Nam), and the four or five coffee shops along the road connecting Jalan King (of the Big Tree Foot Yong Tau Foo fame) and Jalan Kampar (with Nam Fatt fishball noodles).
A clean preparation counter, and the beautifully pickled green chillies in a glass jar. The white coffee was okay, nothing that shouted for repeated doses of intoxicating caffeine, yet not as watered down like a certain Hall of Mirrors’ in old town.
Anyway, we resisted temptations and marched to the doors of Yei Lock’s. This was actually MY first visit to the restaurant. You can order fishball noodles, nasi lemak or chee cheong fun for a filling breakfast. Or go for their 9 varieties of pau; ranging from Curry Chicken, Chicken, Vegetables and Char Siew to sweet ones like kaya, lotus paste, red bean and dessicated coconut. One other selection was not available that morning, but I forgot the filling, sorry.
Loaded with dried shrimps, embedded into the smooth rice noodles and steamed before served with lots of sesame seeds, fried shallots and pickled green chillies.
If you had read the post on Pasir Pinji’s Chee Cheong Fun from a house, you must have noticed that in Ipoh, we tend to have our CCF in the most basic manner. Tossed lightly with some soy sauce, a dash of shallot oil, and sprinkled with sesame seeds and fried shallots for that crunch. Or a mix of chili and sweet sauce.
We usually concentrate on the flavours from the freshly steamed rice noodles and briny dried shrimps rather than the condiments. Although the occasional curries (especially pork skin!) can do wonders; like in the case of Thean Chun‘s version by an uncle in his 60’s.
Chili Sauce, SWeet Sauce (‘teem jeong’) and Chili Oil Paste. Deadly?
Although this CCF from the affable Madam Lee was not bad at all; as she’s very generous with the noodles, condiments and dried shrimps in the noodles, I still prefer the Pasir Pinji’s version. Minus the one hour or so wait.
Anyway, Madam Lee also serves her own version of Teluk Intan Chee Cheong Fun (read this post for the original from Liew Kee in Teluk Intan, a classic MUST-have when you’re in Teluk Intan town), but sadly ran out of those when we were there.
*We had the Small portions, at RM2.50/USD0.80 each. But already more than enough for breakfast.
You can opt to take away the unsteamed pau and steam them at home, before consumption.
Awkward thing was, we were seated right beside the owner(s) of Yei Lock. Thus the man was inadvertently ‘spying’ on my every action. From the taking of photographs of the food and surroundings, to the ridiculously-meticulous re-arrangement of cutlery, condiments and such.
Feeling slightly abashed with my action, we chatted up the man and asked for the Hainan pau to be taken away. Since grandma’s a firm favourite of soft, fluffy pau, and we are of Hainanese origin anyway. (So, we love our Hainanese cuisine? Haha). He was very accommodating to our request for one of each variety; though that sounded a little offbeat in the beginning.
Clockwise from top left – Curry chicken pau, Vegetable pau, Dessicated Coconut pau and Kaya pau from Yei Lock.
The pau from Yei Lock had a very nice texture to it; being pillowy soft and fluffy, without the stick-to-one’s teeth gripe. But we did find that the fillings was not the most generous. Particularly memorable were the buns with vegetable, curry chicken and kaya fillings. The Char Siew one was supposed to be one of their signature, but Dad walloped the piece whole before I even got to see the content inside.
*Priced from RM0.90-RM1.20 (about USD0.30) each.
RESTORAN YEI LOCK IPOH (Pau Hainan)
173-174, Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun (Kampar Road)
30250 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Opens for breakfast-lunch.
Closed for two consecutive days usually at the end of the month.
GPS Coordinates : E101 5′ 18.3″ N4 35′ 4.4″
Google Map to Yei Lock Hainan Pau @ Jalan Kampar, Ipoh
*Situated opposite of Nam Fatt Fishball Noodles, and near to Yee Fatt dry curry noodles and Big Tree Foot Yong Tau Foo.