NEW Burps & Giggles
93 Jalan Sultan Yussuf, Ipoh (05 242 6188/www.facebook.com/ BurpsGiggles).
Located behind Thean Chun or Sekeping Kong Heng, Burps & Giggles is the IT spot in town for an instagramworthy brunch. We suggest that you go either early morning or late evening when the weather is more forgiving as there’s a lot to explore around this tiny refurbished café. A lot of heart has gone into the decor, and the menu’s unique items will tempt you to go overboard with orders.
Wed – Mon, 8.30am–8.30pm. Closed on Tuesdays. $$
NEW Espressolab 105 Jalan Canning Estate, Ipoh (05 546 6648); 39 Jalan Seenivasagam (www.espressolab.asia).
KL’s Espressolab has branched out into Ipoh where it serves up aromatic coffees and delectable cakes. There is a small food menu but we recommend you stick to the caffeine and baked goods – we particularly like their tiramisu, infused with Kahlua and topped with caramelised almonds. Sun–Thu, 10am–7pm; Fri–Sat, 10am–10pm.
NEW Happy 8 Retreat Café 46 Jalan Market, Ipoh (05 243 8388/ www.thehappy8.com.my).
This nature themed cafe is one of our favourite new places in Ipoh. Amidst the artfully arranged plants, tree murals and wooden furnishings, it’s easy to relax and forget your cares. On the menu you’ll find a mix of western and Chinese dishes and tasty desserts to enjoy with your cuppa. Sun–Thu, 9.30am–10pm; Fri–Sat, 9.30am–11pm. $$
NEW Jose & Deli Café First floor, French Hotel, 60 Jalan Dato Onn Jaafar, Ipoh (05 241 3712/www. facebook.com/joseanddeli).
Another new café to establish itself in Ipoh, Jose & Deli is actually located in the new French Hotel. Very cool; a vague mix of wood and steel décor, pops of colour here and there, a mini grocery, some quirky items like stylish cacti and pony statues. Food is hit and miss (spicy grilled chicken is one of the better options), but the ambiance more than speaks for itself. Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 8am–10pm. $$$
NEW Plan b. Roasters 75 Jalan Panglima, Ipoh (05 249 8286/www.thebiggroup.co/planb).
Opening this branch in Ipoh's old town area, Plan b. maintains the quirky, rustic décor they are known for in Klang Valley. Try their house blend, a roasting of Indonesian, Brazilian, and Ethiopian beans, and savour a rich creamy espresso. This small café also offers up a menu of mostly western dishes, including deliciously healthy breakfasts and brunches, pastas, sandwiches and salads. There is also a limited Asian menu with pho bo, nasi lemak, and ayam percik. Credit cards accepted. Free parking. Daily, 9am–10pm. $$$
Sidewalk Ice Cream Lounge 26 Lengkok Canning, Ipoh Garden, Ipoh (016 562 6844).
For nearly two decades, the pair behind the Sidewalk Ice Cream Lounge has been hard at work at their shop in a quiet residential area of Ipoh. Their customers, some of whom have been regulars for years, love their creative sundaes and cutesy decor. It’s very different from the average swanky Haagen Dazs or Baskin Robbins: instead it’s a simple, quiet, down-toearth place that’s great for families. To ensure freshness, the fruits are bought fresh from the market and the chocolate sauce and butterscotch are homemade. Child friendly. Free parking. Sat–Sun, 7.30am–11.30pm. $
NEW Something’s Brewing 19 Jalan Medan Ipoh 1B/1, Medan Ipoh Bestari, Ipoh (05 541 5900/www. facebook.com/somethingsbrewingcafe).
While most cafés have a good variety of coffee, Something’s Brewing has a cornucopia of tea with a curious mix of organic ingredients such as roasted dandelion roots, hibiscus flowers, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, and vanilla beans. Teas are served thoughtfully in doubleinsulated cups to ensure comfort. Sun–Thu, 12noon–11pm; Fri–Sat, 12noon–12midnight. $$
NEW Tammy’s Kitchen 7 Hala Bandar Baru Tambun 18, Desa Tambun Indah, Ipoh (017 487 3728).
Lady of the house is Tammy, who bakes wonderful quiches and whips up an extensive selection of local and western dishes. It’s practically a family run affair so have a bit of patience with the slow service when it gets crowded. Other than that, we love their homestyle cooking; simple, flavourful, and wholesome. Highly recommended. Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Wed – Sun, 12noon–7.30pm. $$
NEW Vanity Haus Café 8 Jalan Keliling, Canning Garden, Ipoh (05 541 2047).
This eclectic European café is run by a Dutch family, serving homey dishes and desserts. Try the decadent brownie, immersed in milk and topped with lightly browned marshmallows and crisp thin almond slivers. It’s part café, part spa salon, so you can have afternoon tea and get pampered at the same place, killing two birds with one stone.
Daily, 12noon–10.30pm. $$
Cheap eats Hawker
Taiping Casual Market, Jalan Panggung Wayang, Taiping.
At this buzzing and crowded food court, you can find almost everything from chicken rice and wan tan mee to curry mee. The wan tan mee is especially good, drenched in soy sauce and topped with slices of sticky-sweet barbeque pork. Also hugely popular are the homemade Nyonya kueh such as the kueh talam, kueh ketayap, kueh koci and pulut panggang.
Daily, 8am–10pm. $
Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau 44 Jalan Raja Ekram, Ipoh (012 520 3322).
Come evening time, plenty of locals head to Cowan Street for the ayam tauge or bean sprout chicken. Notorious for closing without notice, you’ll just have to try your luck and keep your fingers crossed that the
restaurant is open.
Wed–Sun, 7pm–12midnight. $
Kedai Kopi Kong Heng 74 Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh (012 227 2745).
While there are cheaper alternatives, if you’re a tourist, this is probably the best one-stop place to sample a variety of famous Ipoh fare. Located in the old street town of Ipoh, this place is not hard to find. If you're staying at Sekeping Kong Heng, take a walk to this coffee shop on the ground floor for dishes like sar hor fun, chee cheong fun, Ipoh white coffee and pork satay, which is a rare feast in Malaysia. The sar hor fun – served in clear soup with prawns and shredded chicken – is slippery smooth and glides down effortlessly. Also popular is the popiah, wrapped with a generous filling of turnips, crunchy fried small prawns and vegetables. Child friendly. Thu–Tue, 8.30am till late lunch. $
NEW Kedai Herbal Gui Ling Tong 68 Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Ipoh (05 253 1652).
This small dessert shop is located right opposite Lou Wong and Onn Kee chicken rice. Their crème caramel is purportedly one of the best in Ipoh, with exceptionally smooth and creamy egg pudding drenched in caramel syrup. Try the original version, or go bold with flavours like matcha, sweet corn and tiramisu with alcohol. They also serve boiled sweet hasma, snow fungus, and homemade gui ling gao (herbal jelly-like dessert) with a side of honey.
Pork-free. Daily, 11am–9pm. $
Lou Wong 49 Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Ipoh (05 254 4199/012 501 8384).
Crowds in search of chicken and bean sprouts pack Lou Wong to the rafters every day. Ipoh bean sprouts are said to be plumper than usual, and the steamed chicken here is the perfect texture, though it’s a little on the oily side. The chicken usually accompanies rice noodles or boiled rice as the main. Also popular are their beef balls in clear broth.
Daily, 10.30am–2.30am. $
Hotel Panorama Coffee House 61-79 Jalan Kota, Taiping (05 808 4111/www.panoramataiping.com).
A popular hangout spot over milkshakes for teenagers and for families in for a quick lunch, the outlet serves good fried rice dishes. For those looking for a kick, go for the nasi goreng belacan. Pork-free. Credit cards accepted. Free parking. $
Restoran Onn Kee 48, 51, 53, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Ipoh (05 253 1562/012 556 6669).
Just across the road from Lou Wong is another haven for chicken and bean sprouts. The jury is still out on which one is the best but then it’s a matter of personal taste.
Daily, 1.30pm–3am. $
Taiping Hawker Centre Jalan Tupai, next to Taiping fire station, Taiping.
Also known as Circus Ground, this food court is located right next to the only fire station in town and is full of families every weekend. Every family has their favourite stall, but we suggest the roti canai, chee cheong fun or the chicken noodle soup. Only the roti canai stall is halal. A popular dessert stall here is the soya milk and tau foo fah served with gula Melaka.
Child friendly. Daily, 5pm till late. $
NEW Tong Sui Kai Jalan Sultan Ekram (opposite SRJKC Sam Tet), off Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Ipoh.
Also known as Ipoh’s Dessert Street, Tong Sui Kai houses around 50 hawker stalls under one roof, promising a wide selection of hot and cold desserts. No single drinks stall stands out, but locals will point you to stall 21, 27 and 41. Highlights include their extra large bowl of shaved ice topped with rose syrup, condensed milk, ice cream and a generous amount of mixed fruits. Or try other desserts like ABC with ice cream, lin chi kang, and a variety of dessert soups such as black bean, red bean, sago, sweet potato and bubur cha cha.
Pork-free. Tue–Sun, 5pm–12midnight. $
Xin Quan Fang 174 Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah, Ipoh (016 521 4193).
Locals know this coffee shop as the police station curry mee, due to the proximity of the police station. Cops aside, Xin Quan Fang serves arguably the best curry mee in Ipoh – noodles swimming in a piquant, fragrant broth that’s brimming with spices. Come as early as possible to avoid the queues of people all there to sample the noodles.
Daily, 7.30am–1pm. $
Kopitiam Funny Mountain 49 Jalan Theatre, Ipoh (012 516 1607).
It could be the quirky name that’s caused the roaring success of this stall, but we’re more inclined to believe it’s the soya bean milk and tau foo fah. It’s fantastically smooth, which is probably why there’s usually a long line of people queuing up for their Funny Mountain fix. If you’re in a hurry, make use of Funny Mountain’s drive-thru service and your order will be delivered to your car.
Daily, 10.30am–5pm. $
Sin Yoon Loong 15A Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh (05 241 4601/www.mycofe.com.my).
Swish cafes serving Ipoh white coffee – the coffee beans are roasted with palm oil margarine and no sugar – and Hainanese kaya toast at hiked-up prices abound across the country, but nothing beats the original. Sin Yoon Loong’s white coffee and toast are better than that of any newfangled franchise. Others have capitalised on this white coffee boom and started producing sachets of 3-in-1 white coffee, but this is the real deal, and shouldn’t be cast aside in favour of mass-produced, commercial monstrosities. Other dishes to try are the Hakka dry noodles, siew yoke (roast pork) and char siew.
Daily, 6am–5pm. $
Sun Yuan Foong 17, Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh (019 759 3600).
Dubbed as the birthplace of the renowned Ipoh White Coffee, this quaint and homely coffee shop serves irresistible white coffee and eggs on toast as well as scrumptious chee
cheong fun. There are pastries like egg tarts and siu pau sold outside the coffee shop for you to have something to munch on while you sip a cup of the thick, rich and creamy coffee.
Daily, 7am–5pm. $
NEW Ansari Cendol 92 Jalan Barrack (Off Jalan Chung Thye Phin), Taiping (012 562 9440).
The old faded signboard proclaims ‘Restaurant Ansari Famous Cendol’, and this is just a few steps away from the famed Bismillah Cendol. Malaysians are blessed for them to have such stiff competition. Ansari’s selling point is the generous helpings of cendol. Those squiggly green jellies are poured to the brim, so for those who are always complaining about other stalls’ measly portions, Ansari’s the one you’ve always dreamed of.
Daily, 10am–7pm. $
Bismillah cendol 233 Jalan Barrack, Taiping.
The dessert stall, located less than five minutes away from the similarly named mamak on foot, serves unbeatable cendol. Excellent for a mid morning snack (if you can find it).
Halal. Daily, 10.30am–6pm. $
Chinese Aun Kheng Lim 24 Jalan Theatre, Ipoh (05 254 2998/ www.aunkhenglimayamgaram.com).
The store has stood the test of time (21 years) in a swarm of recently opened salted chicken shops. At RM16 per bird, the chicken is not big as they use only free range chicken, which is perfectly suited for two persons to share. Herbs such as dong guai and gei zhi are combined with salt crystals to bake this unique Ipoh delicacy. We suggest that you book in advance, especially if you plan to visit on a weekend or a public holiday.
Daily, 10am–6pm. $$
Blossom Chinese Restaurant Swiss-Garden Golf Resort & Spa Damai Laut, Jalan Damai Laut, Off Jalan Teluk Senangin, Lumut (05 684 3333/www.swissgarden.com).
Overlooking the sea, Blossom can sate your appetite for Chinese cuisine. Open for dinner only, this old restaurant complete with wooden furniture and bamboo blinds, serves a delectable variety of Chinese dishes. Daily, 12noon–2.30pm; 6.30pm– 10.30pm. $$
Great Miner Chinese Cuisine Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites, Jalan Lim Bo Seng, Ipoh (05 245 8888/ www.kintariverfront.com.my/dining/ greatminer).
Great Miner’s most ordered dishes are its lamb with signature sauce, wokfried fresh mushrooms with special sauce and its bird’s nest with crab meat. Great Miner has to be lauded for making the constant, conscious effort for self-improvement; it recently introduced an affordable lunch set and is working on a kids' menu for the future.
Halal. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Free parking. Daily, 11.30am–2.30pm; 6.30pm–10.30pm. $$
Greentown Noodle House 58 Persiaran Greenhill, Greentown (Kampung Jawa), Ipoh (05 241 5145).
Situated at the Excelsior Hotel roundabout, this outlet has outshined the others with its excellence. The manners by which they prepare their selection of noodles and rice are extensive, and prices are reasonable. From sweet and sour to spicy pepper, from rice and noodles to congee, you can satisfy your taste buds for less than RM5. Highlights include variety to choose from. Pork ribs, hou si fatt choy (vegetables in oyster sauce), deep fried butter prawns, and kaya puffs are some of the highlights on the menu. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am– 3pm, 6pm–10pm. $$$
Haewaytian Restaurant (Oversea Restaurant) 57-65 Jalan Seenivasagam, Ipoh (05 253 8005/05 253 1970).
Also known as Oversea Restaurant, Haewaytian is part of a chain of restaurants in Malaysia that serves sumptuous banquet style Chinese food. We suggest that you start with the scrumptious four seasons appetiser which consists of four different small dishes and the delights of the sea soup that contains a mixture of seafood, including scallops, crab meat and shrimps in chicken, pork and fishbroth. Other specialities include the Peking duck, stir-fried venison with broccoli, buttered prawns, and for dessert, water chestnut jelly with desiccated coconut. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon– 2.30pm; 6pm–11pm. $$$
Kong Gu Kai @ TSG 11 Jalan Bijeh Timah, Ipoh (05 242 3777).
Kong Gu Kai, an ambitious Chinese restaurant, revolves around a budding concept based on the kind of affordable, comfortable Hong Kong-styled cafés that have gained popularity in recent years. It differs, however, with the food and drinks it offers. Like many of the other places around its area, it serves Snow Beer, a Chinese beer that has sold the most (despite its unpopularity outside of Mainland China) of all beers in the world in previous years. Child friendly. Free parking. Daily, 10am–2am. $
Ming Court Hong Kong Dim Sum 32, 34 & 36 Jalan Leong Sin Nam, Ipoh
(05 255 7134). A hotspot for dim sum, this shop is regularly jam-packed with customers so we suggest that you go early. Try the char siu pau, yam cakes, wu kok, fish balls and an assortment of prawn and fish paste dumplings. For dessert they offer the sweetened and undeniably healthy sesame and lotus seed soup. Credit cards accepted. Fri–Wed, 6am–12noon. $$
Pun Chun Chicken Biscuits & Restaurant 38 & 40, Jalan Besar, Bidor (05 434 1554/www.punchun.com.my).
Dubbed one of the most famous places to eat in Bidor, this humble restaurant attracts large numbers of people so be prepared to wait by a table to get seated. Specialities include the duck soup and the dry noodles topped with char siew and wantans as a side dish.
Child friendly. Daily, 5am–9.30pm. $
Purple Cane Tea Restaurant 2 Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar (Osborne Street), Ipoh (05 253 3090/www. purplecane.my).
Most people associate Purple Cane with their herbal tea egg and selection of Chinese herbal teas. However, the restaurant also provides a comfortable environment where customers can sit down and enjoy unique, healthy meals cooked in tea instead of oil. It tastes better than it sounds, we promise. One popular dish is the simmered chicken boxing in tea (cooked in lychee tea) and the fried noodles with lei cha. Also don’t miss the sweet potato balls here – they’re delicious and very moreish!
Pork-free. Daily, 9am–10pm. $$
Restoran Makanan Laut Kok Thai 56-64 Lebuh Medan Ipoh, Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh, Ipoh (05 546 8407).
Chinese restaurants are everywhere in this predominantly Chinese town. But Kok Thai is hugely popular among locals. Dishes here come in big portions, with an equally abundant variety to choose from. Pork ribs, hou si fatt choy, deep fried butter prawns, and kaya puffs are some of the highlights on the menu. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am– 3pm; 6pm–10pm. $$$
Sun Marpoh Restaurant 67 & 69 Jalan Lau Pak Khuan, Ipoh Garden, Ipoh (05 545 5127).
Called 'twin treasures' in Cantonese, this restaurant has been in Ipoh for a number of years. If you are into cheap eats and if ambience and presentation are the least of your worries, this is the place for you. Go for the stir fried lala, steamed eggs (a blend of salted, century and regular eggs) and kau yok. Daily, 11.30am–3pm; 5.30pm–10pm. $$
Thean Chun 73 Jalan Bandar Bijih Timah, Ipoh (05
255 3076). Another one-stop place for quality Ipoh food, Thean Chun is almost synonymous with Ipoh itself. Must tries in this outlet include the chee cheong fun, popiah, sar hor fun with shredded chicken, beef balls made from tendons, and the satay. For dessert order the crème custard with syrup, an Ipoh favourite.
Fri–Wed, 8am–4.30pm. $
Up & Up Restaurant Third floor, Wisma Kinta, 39-43 Jalan Yang Kalsom, Ipoh (05 241 7089/05 255 6478).
Visit this humble outlet for one of the best fish head curries in Ipoh. As you walk into the premises, you’ll be tempted by the familiar and inviting whiff of curry and the tangy smell of tamarind being cooked. While the restaurant can easily cater to 60 patrons at a given time, it is advisable for you to reserve a table if you plan to arrive in a large group. The fish head curry is what most people order when they visit, and the dish comes with okra, a whole tomato and gravy that bursts with flavour. Child friendly. Mon–Sat, 12noon–9pm. $$$
Yau Kee Restaurant 55 Jalan Idris, Kampar (05 465 1738).
Famous for their curry chicken buns, Yau Kee has been around the Ipoh area for a number of years. The restaurant is located in Kampar, Ipoh and is just a stone’s throw away from the Clock Tower. The bread, sold at RM39 for the big one and RM22 for a small one, is soft and fluffy and blends well with the curry chicken within.
Kids’ menu. Daily, 7am–10pm. $$$$
Yee Hup 7, 9, 11 Jalan Sri Ampang, Taman Ipoh Jaya, Ipoh (05 313 2328/www. yeehup.com.my).
The Yee family has a long history in making heong peng that dates back to 1981. The secret to the unique taste of the pastry lies in the traditional way of baking the biscuits in coconut husks in a custom-made oven. Yee Hup biscuits have become a popular delicacy and gift item among local and international visitors. Halal. Credit cards accepted. Free parking. Daily, 10am–9pm. $
Happy 8 Retreat
Steamed chicken at Lou Wong