28 September 2010

Sun Hup Kee (Sin Hup Kee)

Having read so many good reviews by bloggers about this place, as well as personal recommendations from family, we finally had dinner there. As recommended by blogger Motormouth, we called to book in advance for an early dinner at 6.30pm.

Still, when we got there the place was packed out! And we had no table! With the advance booking we only had to wait a couple of minutes, in which time the waitress took our order. We ordered the classic dishes - pan fried chicken, kangkung belachan, sengkong taufu and the 3-yolk steamed egg.

My review - the pan fried chicken (kon chin kai), which is the most raved about dish, was fair but not outstanding. Small pieces of chicken, dry with thick sticky (and yes, tasty) sauce on them. I was rather disappointed since most of the Ipohan bloggers are practically in love with this dish. Guess my KL taste buds are different from those in Ipoh.

The sengkong taufu was actually quite bland and dry. The kangkung belachan was not as fragrant as some other restaurants' while the steamed egg was acceptable. But what is outstanding was the price - only RM33 for our family of 3 adults and 2 kids! Extremely reasonable. Maybe that's why people like to go there, perhaps?

25 September 2010

Malay Food in Ipoh - Restoran Tasik Raban

We finally tried out the well-known Restoran Tasik Raban near the Balai Bomba HQ close to the Stadium Sultan Azlan Shah for lunch today. The restaurant started out somewhere near Sauk (near Kuala Kangsar) at Lake Raban. The story goes that some VIP in Ipoh loved the food so much that the restaurant owner was made on offer too good to refuse to open up in Ipoh.

Well, the food was really tasty. I am not that well acquainted with Malay food, and this restaurant is famed for homestyle Perak-Malay cuisine - but I certainly enjoyed all the dishes that we ordered.

I used to be repulsed by "tempoyak" (a durian paste that is fermented and mixed with chillies and spices to be eaten as a sambal/ sauce) but on trying tempoyak here, it was fabulous! The traditional sambal that goes with "ulam" was also great.

While I was picking out my ulam, a Malay gentleman asked me "Orang Cina tahu makan ulam juga? " (The Chinese know how to eat ulam too?) I smiled and replied, "Tahu, sebenarnya saya sangat suka. Lagipun sekarang kan 1Malaysia?" (Of course, actually I love ulam. We are all 1Malaysia now.) Wouldn't our PM Najib be proud of my response??

The place is supposed to be famous for its grilled fish (ikan bakar), but we didn't order any today. Well, reason enough to go back again! We had ulam, "urap" (salad-like dish with coconut and chillies and "pucuk paku"), sambal sotong, tempe cooked in sambal, rendang and french beans fried with tumeric and egg. All were eaten with hearty appetites and I finshed my big plate of rice. (the kids had their take-away KFC snack plates there, though!) I bought some home for our maid's lunch - she said it was delicious and reminded her of her mother's cooking at home!

Well, looks like everyone agrees that the food at Tasik Raban is good.