Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Food Review: Restoran Sin Hup Kee, Ipoh

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SHK is probably the most famous no-frills chinese restaurant in Ipoh.
It used to be a hidden gem that local folks guard zealously, but in the last few years word has spread around to out-of-towners (mostly from ex-Ipoh folks returning home for visits) about the delicious homestyle dishes and ridiculously reasonable prices.

I practically grew up eating at this restaurant. It used to be housed in a dilapidated, pre-war shoplot where the grouchy lady boss-cum-waitress took orders and barked at her harried-looking husband cum chef. When we were kids, my parents used to bring us here for regular dinners because the food was cheap and good.

Fast forward 20+ years to the present, SHK is now a two shoplot, double story, airconditioned restaurant, with a computerised ordering system and multiple staffs. They even had a branch in Puchong which was apparently doing quite well. The lady boss now wears makeup and sports a huge rock on her finger. The husband currently oversees the kitchen operations.

Steamed Grouper (Sek Pan) with Soy Sauce and Ginger – a simple homestyle dish. Ask the lady boss to recommend the fresh fish of the day. Medium size dish for RM37.

We always order this – our favourite Stir Fry Kangkung with Belacan. Unlike the KL version that has a more spicy, red chili kick and less belacan, SHK's version is more salty with a heavier dose of belacan with a subtle spicy backnote. A huge mound of vegetables – enough to go around for 5 hungry adults - for only (gasp) RM5.

This was apparently new on the menu – Steam Egg with Homestyle Tofu and Braised Peanuts (RM15). We usually order our regular 3 variety Steam Egg but decided to just try something different. Not a good decision. This was the only dish of the night that somehow tasted bland. There wasn't any stand-out flavours, instead it tasted as if the whole dish had just one taste. Nevertheless, kids would enjoy the smooth steam egg and soft eggy tofu texture.

Another all-time favourite - Fried Brinjals with Crispy Garlic and Dried Shrimps.  It was almost hilarious how 5 adults fought for the last bit of this yummy dish. 
Fried brinjal slices that were crispy on the outside yet warm and soft on the inside. Tossed with long beans and loads of wonderfully fragrant and crispy garlic bits, as well as salty and crunchy dried shrimps. There was also a sprinkling of chili padi to give it that extra kick. So so good, and only a measly RM8.

Petola soup – another of our regular choices. A huge bowl of steaming soup with loads of goodies. Tender petola, rice vermicelli, fu chuk, tofu cubes and loads of fried dried shrimps to give it plenty of umami goodness. Portions are enough to fill 7 rice bowls. Only RM6.

Sin Hup Kee is almost always packed, even on weekdays. Weekends are crazy, with the noise level at ear-deafening decibles. My father-in-law jokingly referred to it as the noisiest restaurant in Ipoh. Best to call ahead for reservations or come after peak hours.

Recommended items: Most dishes are generally good. You won't go wrong with their Fried Brinjals with Crispy Garlic and Dried Shrimps, Kangkung with Belacan, Petola Soup, and their all time signature items – Dry Fry Black Soy Sauce Chicken, Assam Fish and Steam Minced Pork with Lime.

Sin Hup Kee | Address: 17, Jalan Leong Sin Nam, 30300 Ipoh | Tel: 05-2423.128 | Opening hours: Closed on Tuesdays 11am – 3pm, 5pm - 10pm | GPS 4.597059, 101.0858049999

CLICK HERE to see this article on Hungrygowhere Malaysia

1 comment:

  1. Hi Esther! I hear that Ipoh is the place to go for good and yet cheap food. I haven't been to Ipoh for ages. Was there when I was a child. If I ever go down that way, will certainly check out Sin Hup Kee!


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