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