Travel Diary: Ipoh Malaysia


Over the end of year holidays, we took a break and went to Ipoh Malaysia to visit some friends and eat our way through town.

We started our 2016 in Singapore before taking a short trip to Ipoh Malaysia (Tiger Airways fly direct and it’s only 55 mins! Otherwise it’s a 6-8 hour drive depending on traffic.)

Our local friends wanted to show us the less gentrified sister town of Penang. It was charming and quiet – I was surprised that there was not a single Chinese tourist in sight, which is odd, as I have travelled as far as to the deserts of Tunisia and there are Chinese tourists in the Sahara, but the town is only staffed by locals and mainly Singaporeans and Thai tourists. Everyone else was local. It reminded me of the Singapore I know 30 years or so ago, before the influx of foreigners.

Well, what did we do in Ipoh? We went to bed early, got enough rest, talked, ate and drank way too much.

First up, we went to the chicken rice institution Ong Kee, served with blanched bean sprouts in the magic sauce of sesame oil, soya sauce and what tasted like a dash of sugar. Home made pork balls in a lovely bouillon over kopi peng. Perfect way to start the day.

Head over to Ipoh old town for a walk, there is a guide to find all the graffitti within the vicinity. The same talented artists had move from Penang to beautify the walls of Ipoh too.

ipoh graffitti
ipoh malaysia

Pit stop for lunch in the old town  for the curry mee noodles – I find it interesting that they always serve it with mint leaves. Go to Yee Fatt, Restoran Xin Xuan Fang or Kafe Tim. I had mine topped with roast pork and BBQ pork Charsiu. Sooo good.

We got greedy and over ordered so we could sample the different dishes. Never had chicken curry served with glutinous rice, that was a novel experience and really good. Ipoh prawn mee, a lighter broth version of the Singapore prawn mee and they serve it with vermicelli.

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ipoh prawn me

They also served the traditional Hong Kong style egg waffles with chocolate or western style. The husband had to get his Western fix after so many days of local binging. Appreciate him for taking one for the team! ;)


We switched gears a little to find out how Indian food is like in Ipoh. So good. Here’s Maharaj, we had wanted to go to Tandoor but it was closed on Sundays. Our local friends and their mum say that Tandoor Grill is better, but we had a great time (over)stuffing our faces at Maharaj anyway!

maharaj ipoh

I don’t read much about this place, it’s close to our friend’s childhood home in Tambun and she eats here often. True to her description – some of the silkest and smoothest “sui gao” (literally translates to water dumplings from Cantonese) wrapping skins, over egg noodles dressed in a soya sauce – eat with plenty of pickled green chillies. They don’t specialise in wantons alone,  as there is a menu for stir frys and we had to have some petai beans and shrimp dumplings.

wantons and petai beans ipoh

We also went to a gentrified cafe called Plan. B in old town, beautiful space and nice café style food. Had a great fried chicken western style but would have been equally happy with the traditional ayam goreng.

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