Sunday, February 9, 2020

[Travel] Ipoh - Where to eat Bean Sprouts Chicken (芽菜鸡) and Best Ipoh Hor Fun (鸡丝河粉)

There are tons of write-ups on where to go for 芽菜鸡 aka taugeh chicken (beansprouts chicken) and Lou Wong would be frequently mentioned as the spot for tourists. Well, we headed towards that direction anyways and decided to try Ong Kee (安记芽菜鸡) which is like beside Lou Wong. Similarly, Ong Kee has a big shop and busy with tourists. We sat alfresco, and the service staff will bring you the menu (has photos of the dish and prices).

shop front

You have the option to choose either rice or sar hor fun (沙河粉).  My advice is, go for the sar hor fun because the soup was so darn tasty and it would make a good base for the gai see hor fun (thin flat noodles with chicken shreds). Of course, we didn't know because we were first-timers, and all of us ordered rice.

Bun Tong Bean Sprouts (文冬豆芽) @RM12 for large
Farm Chicken (whole) 菜园鸡 @RM66
must have chili
super tasty chicken soup

The sprouts was really good and refreshing. It came as a mountain on a plate but we finished 'em all. All us 7 adults. The farm chicken was lean but not too chewy. The soy sauce on it was good. Slightly sweet savoury. Rice was cooked with ginger and garlic and not too oily.

Just beware of the streetside vendor who goes from tables to tables. She sold me an overpriced packet of biscuit which I later found out, was also available at the biscuit shops around that area.

night fall

Ong Kee Bean Sprouts Chicken Restaurant

Address: 48, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia
Contact: +60 5-253 1562
Business Hours:
Daily: 10.30am to 2am

Next, we sampled the best gai see hor fun at Thean Chun Coffeeshop but the wait was super long. At least 15 to 25 minutes to wait for a table and another 45 minutes for the noodles. That is considering we went after 1.30pm.

Thean Chun Coffeeshop
the famous stall for 鸡丝河粉

First, be warned that the coffeeshop is kinda old and dingy looking. Definitely crowded and we stood behind some tables to wait for our turn (like food-court!) and in-turn, sometimes got scolded by the stall assistants for blocking their way. And, often times, the table will have like a few that are already done with their lunch and one who was still waiting for the hor fun. So those are no-go as well.

Not easy when you're in a group of 7 pax and wants to eat at a crowded coffee shop. Finally, we got our table and since we had to wait 45 minutes for the hor fun, we went and ordered chee cheong fun and satay while waiting.

chee cheong fun and satay stall

Most of the stall owners are above 50 years old. So you'll get to taste authentic and old school recipe for the dish.

chee cheong fun

Old school chee cheong fun does not have the additional yong tau foo items as other places in Malaysia, and is served simply with pickled green chili, some shallots and good drizzle of the sauces. My mom says this was what chee cheong fun tasted like when she was growing up.

The satay stall had run out of the innards and only remained a few sticks of pork satay. So we had a mix of chicken and pork satay.

pork and chicken satay with peanut sauce
pork satay

Satay was good and the peanut sauce was thick and chunky. Not that spicy though.

Finally, the wait was over and we were served the hor fun. My first impression come the soup got so many bubbles one? Putting that aside, the soup was flavourful and the hor fun was slightly soft. Loaded with lots of shredded boiled chicken meat and there were some prawns too.

鸡丝河 Chicken Shred Hor Fun Soup
close-up view of the noodles

After Thean Chun, we tried other gai see hor fun at other coffeeshops, but their soup couldn't match up with the stall at Thean Chun (maybe the Ong Kee tauge chicken one can).

Would I want to wait another 45 minutes for a bowl of gai see hor fun again? Well, if you have not tried Thean Chun's version, will recommend to try at least once.

Restoran Thean Chun 天津茶室

Address: 73, Jalan Bandar Timah, 31650 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia
Contact: +60 5-255 3076
Business Hours:
Fri to Wed: 8am to 3pm
Closed on Thurs


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