Cuti-Cuti Malaysia: Lunch in Ipoh

Ipoh signboard Ipoh is my favourite stopover when journeying up North. Something about the serene and breathtakingly beautiful limestone hills dotting the edge of the city, and being the birthplace of some of my favourite celebrities such as Patrick Teoh and Lat. OK I suppose I somewhat like Michelle Yeoh too.

I was first introduced to Ipoh food by Jaime (as were many other things in life). GPS was non-existent back then so she relied on her good ol’ memory. She brought us to a corner shop called, the food was really good and it stuck in my mind for many years as real Ipoh specialties.

Kevin, Joyce and I were going to Penang so I asked Jaime for directions to this shop. Found out that it’s called Thean Chun on Jalan Bandar Bijih Timah. Thanks to Kevin’s iPhone + Google Maps, we got there without problems. As Ipoh uses coupon parking system, we had to buy them from a nearby old-school medical hall. Had to read the directions on how to use it, heh.

Ipoh Thean Chun restaurant
Thean Chun restaurant in Ipoh

The one thing that I wanted to eat was the famous Ipoh sar hor fun at Thean Chun. Apparently this stall has been around for four generations, currently operated by 67 year old Mr. Neow Ah Chye.

Ipoh Thean Chun - Neow Ah Chye
“Watcha looking at?”

Silkily smooth Ipoh-made kuey teow in a light but flavourful broth, served with prawns, chicken slices and Chinese chives. Hearty and satisfying! A small bowl costs RM4 while a big bowl costs RM5.

Ipoh Thean Chun - famous chicken kuey teow soup

I normally do not like beansprouts, but the one here is quite fantastic. Fat, juicy and crunchy beansprouts in soy sauce and white pepper served with chopped spring onion. RM1.50 per plate.

Ipoh Thean Chun - beansprouts

Thean Chun is also host to a few other stalls that sell assorted good food. I see a lot of orders for chee cheong fun and poh piah. We didn’t get any of those: only 3 of us! We ordered the pork + chicken satay instead. RM7 for 10 sticks. Quite delicious!

Ipoh Thean Chun - pork and chicken satay

And for dessert. It is unusual for a coffee shop to serve anything but ice kacang or cendol. Thean Chun has a rather famous creme custard dessert at RM2.10 each. It tastes like halfway between a pudding and tau foo fah. Definitely a must-try!

Ipoh Thean Chun - creme custard

We had a good lunch, but inflation has hit hard, eh? Or has Ipoh hawker food always been the same price as KL’s?

Walking back to the car, took these photos. One is a pavement with colourful tiles, I thought it to be characteristic. The other is just a random reminder of what the pillars in front of the old shop houses were used for – advertising the shop’s names and products. Batu Pahat used to have a lot of them, now they’re all repainted with gaudy colours. Modern signboards are huge pieces of plastic with printed names and such. Still my memories remain.

Ipoh sidewalk Ipoh random shops

Thean Chun coffee shop
73 Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000, Ipoh, Perak.
GPS: N 4 35.78028 E 101 4.67681



  1. this shop looks very familiar but not sure if its the one i went before. Ipoh does has lots of nice food.

  2. I’m from Ipoh too!! 🙂 Yes, definitely inflation, when I used to frequent Thean Chun, the sar hor fun RM2.50-3.00 only ler. But that was years ago. Oh Suanie you make me crave for sar hor fun and pork satay already…..*drools*

  3. horng: or maybe all shops in ipoh look the same! hahah but this one is famous so maybe it’s the same one.

    tien: haha if it’s years ago, then not bad lah. the amount of ingredients are still the same as i remembered.

  4. i want to eat that cream custard dessert!!!!

  5. Yea Kristin and I were at the Sar Hor Fun place in April. Wow.
    Interestingly enough in Seremban it’s a dry-noodle version.
    I miss both 🙁

  6. Shirley: let’s make it happen!!!

    Vagus: Hmm delicious or not the Seremban one? Should I make a trip down just to try it??

  7. Will be making a trip there this 17/2/12. Yum….can’t wait to bring my friend and cousins from USA to Thean Chun.

  8. hi there, this is tina from the star, can i use ur photos for an assignment on ipoh kai see ho fun?

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