21.12.12 : Of Eating Tang Yuen, Apocalypse & The “Last Feast”December 21, 2012 | 1,900 views
THE “LAST” FEAST?
Felt like forever since I last wrote about Ipoh food, ain’t it? Thought that I could be running out of ideas on what to eat back home? Close ….
But no cigars.
It has been more than a month since my last homecoming. I can barely remember details nowadays; everything runs at an extremely sluggish rate with foggy recollection of the nitty-gritty happenings merely passing through the mind. Work has been slightly unforgiving this December. The last deadline ever?
Or could this be a sign of growing old?! Maybe. Or the imposing aura of the Apocalypse? Who knows? But here I am; sipping on warm syrup laced with ginger and screwpine leaves (pandan, to you and me) with bobbing balls made from glutinous rice flour; in white (filled with crushed peanuts and sugar) and pink; with less than an hour to go before the clock strikes twelve; proving once and for all ….. that this IS a new beginning rather than an abrupt end.
Welcome back Motormouth, and here’s to more food stories from Ipoh in the coming days.
Clockwise from top left : 1. Braised Pork, Pig’s Skin and Intestines 2. Soy Sauce Chicken 3. Lor Mai Gai and Char Siew Bao 4. Stuffed Brinjals and Bitter Gourd
It’s Winter Solstice Festival today. After two years of missing the warmth of eating “tang yuen” (the glutinous rice balls in syrup) at home, I finally made it back this year. And a feast that brought together various sumptuous dishes from different stalls in Ipoh.
We had various braised meats and soy sauce chicken bought from the stall at Foo Kwai Restaurant in Bercham (read about Foo Kwai’s curry mee with their signature Char Siew), with a serving of braised eggs and tau fu (yellow beancurd) too. Ironically, this stall is run by none other than the brother of the man operating from Sun Kam Wan in Ipoh Garden; a few doors away from Sun Marpoh, KFC and Maybank. And yes, the latter has been the yardstick in comparing good braised dishes (especially his unbelievably smooth and delicious soy sauce chicken) in Ipoh for me.
The ‘yeong liew‘ (stuffed items) from the noodle stall in Foo Kwai contributed the deep fried stuffed brinjal (aubergine/eggplant to some) and bitter gourd. While the dim sum array came from Ipoh Garden South’s Chooi Yue. Don’t be silly and engage in stampede near Foh San/Ming Court this holiday season. Go for viable options, please.
And the festival means nothing without the pinky-sized balls of glutinous rice flour cooked in a ginger-laced syrup perfumed with pandan leaves. Go crazy with the colourants if you would, or save the hassle and buy ready made ones from the hypermarkets.
Still, the pleasure of mixing the flour, kneading the dough and shaping the dainty spheres will always remind us of the humble times as kids when we would look forward to dinner with the entire family at home; capped off with a heart-warming bowl of ‘tang yuen’. More than an ordinary bowl of desserts, ‘tang yuen’ symbolizes togetherness.
So, have you had your bowl of ‘tang yuen’ yet?
*This (in)significant 21st Dec 2012, Motormouth From Ipoh takes a break from writing food reviews. Merry Christmas to all readers.