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  • Writer's pictureRick

West Malaysia Day 15: Stuffing Myself Silly in Ipoh

Monday. Going to be another lazy day in the laid-back old town. I had extended for another day in Ipoh so I could have one more day to go for local fare and desserts. Similar to Malacca, Ipoh had always been a great spot for traditional local Chinese food.

I wanted to visit some other coffee shop near to Nam Heong along the same street. I thought I would have alternatives if some of them were closed on Monday, but it turned out that all of them were closed except Nam Heong, which closed on Tuesdays.

So, I was at Nam Heong again and it was crowded since everyone had only one choice. As I was solo, it was easy for me to join a table. After securing a seat, I ordered prawn mee and hot white coffee this time. The prawn mee, or Penang Hokkien mee, was still as nice and also the rich creamy texture of hot white coffee.

Nam Heong

It was not a heavy breakfast, so I got an egg tart and chicken char siew bao (鸡肉烧包) from Nam Heong’s dim sum stall. Many Singaporeans and Malaysians came to Ipoh for their egg tarts, so it was must-try. The custard was thick, creamy and not too sweet.

After strolling for a short while in the old town, I jumped into Baby Coco to get out of the morning heat. The little shop served coconut shakes. I got a Coconut Avocado shake with coconut juice, coconut ice cream and avocado with no sugar and water added. I hid in the shop till it was time for lunch.

Baby Coco coconut shake

I went to Restoran Thean Chun, which was not very crowded, and ordered their tricycle chicken & prawn koay teow (鸡丝虾沙河粉), added-on a plate of stir-fried bean sprouts for RM2 and iced kopi-o. I was asked to try a homemade fish otak-otak, wrapped in lotus leaf instead of palm leaf, for RM8. It was a little pricey but the taste was good with some spice leaves mixed in with the not-too-spicy chunky fish paste.

Thean Chun

After the meal, I pushed it further with one egg custard. It was the traditional dessert of Ipoh before any others came along. The ultra-soft egg pudding, topped with mild-sweet syrup was a great enjoyment.

I combed the old town for street arts the day before, so I sort-of combed the town again for historical buildings — both colonial-style and Chinese mansions. But I was not really into architectures, mainly taking photos to kill time. Ipoh Train Station had a colonial-style structure too.

Ipoh historical buildings

The weather was too hot and the only place to get out of the sun, was cooling, free and unnecessary to eat or drink something was my own room in Brick Box Hotel. It might seem a waste of time but that was the consequence of travelling in hot-climatic places.

I was in the room till 4pm and decided to visit a cafe called Flufff to try its specialty soufflé. The cafe was located on the second floor, above another cafe named Chloe,co.

I ordered a grapefruit mojito and a Niko Neko matcha soufflé. The pancake dessert had red beans, matcha sauce and low sugar cream as toppings and the soufflé was so soft that it melted in the mouth. And best of all, it was not sweet — maybe because I chose matcha.

Flufff Cafe

Around 5pm, I left the cafe. The sky was dark and starting to drizzle. Seeing that a heavy downpour was working its way to the old town, I hurried back to the hotel, not wanting to jump into another cafe to wait out the rain.

And so I was back in the hotel — which was why I picked it in the old town, a place to get out from both the sun and rain conveniently.

Two hours later, I went out again to search for dinner. I was like a rat that stayed hidden in a hole, only to come out to look for food when the coast was cleared.

Not far from the hotel, I stumbled on Hup Mui Kopitiam (合美茶楼) along a stretch of shophouses that I thought I had combed. Hup Mui served local fare from mid-day till 9:30pm. I was happy to find local Chinese fare for dinner in the old town other than seafood restaurants and cafes.

I was the only one in the restaurant but I had already gotten used to it. This would always be the case on weekdays. As usual, I opted for their signature dish, which was their Signature Triple Combo Mee (合美招牌三宝) and hot sour plum juice (咸梅桔). The combo noodle came with tender pork ribs, soft chicken feet, fried wanton (meat dumplings) and Chinese cabbage. It was a sumptuous meal.

Hup Mui Kopitiam (合美茶楼)

I took a night stroll. The old town was quieter on a Monday night but it was brighter compared to 7 years back. At the very least, the town would not be sleeping earlier than me.

Night scene of Ipoh old town

I fought off the notion to go to Kiki Lalat for more local wine. I had tried their todi and tuak, objectives had been met, so I should not get into the habit of drinking every night.

Back at the hotel, I re-packed my backpack for checking-out the following day.

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