Friday, 10 October 2014

Ipoh's 3 best desserts

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Ipoh folks love their local desserts with a passion. The fact that there is even a street called Tong Sui Kai (Desserts Street) attests to this.
As the city is surrounded with age-old lime stone hill ranges, Ipoh-ians firmly believe that the sweet clear waters from these hills give that extra clean sweetness and smoothness to their food and desserts.

Forget fancy-schmancy desserts that will burn a hole in your pocket (and add extra inches to that waistline!). These hawker style desserts are not only drool-worthy, they cost practically next to nothing. That's probably how I'd sum up the local cuisine in this ex-mining town – no frills, homestyle cheap eats that warm the cockles of your heart even in this tropical heat.

Here's my take on Ipoh's top 3 local desserts.

No. 1 Funny Mountain Tau fu fa

Funny Mountain is synonymous with tau-fu-fa as Lou Wong is famous for its beansprouts chicken rice (nga-choi-kai). From its humble origins as a tiny, hole-in-the-wall soya bean stall, this father and son enterprise is now practically an institution that attracts hordes of locals and even more interstate tourists, especially during weekends and holidays.

There are no tables or chairs. You stand, eat/drink and run. Funny mountain is also the only hawker stall that has a “drive-through” service, where one can enjoy their silky smooth tau-fu-fa in the comfort of their airconditioned cars. Because of the volume of cars queueing up, there's an unspoken rule - when it's your turn, give your orders immediately (no “hmm...what shall I have today”), consume your portion expediently, pay the exact amount and move on. Don't jam up the queue. The whole thing runs like clockwork.


FM sells their super silky and smooth taufufa by the barrels.

Being a big time tau-fu-fa addict, I can safely say FM's tau-fu-fa is the smoothest I have tasted. Each bowl costs RM1. One bowl is never enough.

Some humorous trivia here – FM has some creative descriptions for their drinks. Soy bean drink mixed with taufufa is called “white and white”, whilst soy bean drink mixed with cincau is referred to as “michael jackson”.

Funny Mountain | Address: 49, Jalan Theatre, 30300, Ipoh | Tel: 05-5469968 | Opening hours: Daily 1030 onwards till sold out | GPS4.5945, 101.0842

No. 2 Gui Ling Tong Creme Caramel

The newest kid on the block (at the foodie street of Jalan Yau Tet Shin), Gui Ling Tong is a small dessert shop that is located right opposite the famous Lou Wong and Onn Kee chicken rice.

In my opinion, the crème caramel made by Gui Ling Tong beats the famous one at Thean Chun.  It is incredibly smooth, creamy with that fragant eggy-ness, and perfectly chilled.

The best thing is it comes practically swimming in a pool of caramel syrup. It always disappoint me whenever I'm served a crème caramel that has a miserly portion of caramel syrup; or worse, without any.

My favourite is the original version. Other popular flavours include Macha and Tiramisu. In addition of crème caramel, GLT also makes their own Gui Ling Gou (herbal jelly-like dessert) that's serve with honey, and other traditional desserts such as boiled sweet hasma and snow fungus.

GLT is owned by a family member of the Onn Kee owners, hence you can have a meal at Onn Kee and order crème caramel served to you at the restaurant itself. Have your cake and eat it too!

Kedai Gui Ling Tong | Address: 68, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, 30300, Ipoh | Tel: 05-2531.652 | Opening hours: Daily 11am till 9pm | GPS 4.594231, 101.084066

No. 3 Mixed Fruit Shaved Ice at Tong Sui Kai


As the name suggests, it is a combo of mix fruits ontop of syrup sweetened shaved ice. The best place to tuck into this quintessential Ipoh treat is at Desserts Street (Tong Sui Kai). This 300m odd stretch of 50plus hawker stalls are famously known in the foodie circuit as the best spot in Ipoh to enjoy a wide variety of authentic hawker fare at night.

Because of the many desserts stalls offering similar items, competition is intense. As such, stall operators compete by increasing the quantity of their offerings. My favourite stalls for this are Stalls 21 and 27.


Just look at the humougous serving from Stall 27.

It is literally a buffet of fruits and ice. You'd find at least 6-8 types of fruits piled on top; depending on season, there are usually jackfruit, watermelon, honeydew, lychee, white dragon fruit, papaya, mangoes, plus jelly AND a scoop of icecream. Forget about having it all to yourself. This one is meant to be shared. With at least 2-3 persons.

Desserts Street comes alive from 5pm onwards till midnight. It is probably the last bastion of true-blue roadside hawker stalls (read cheap and good food in a hygiene compromised environment!) that still remains in Ipoh. Word has it that the local council has been trying to relocate it to a proper food court numerous times but was met with storms of protests from both stall owners and the public.

Tong Sui Kai | Address: Jalan Sultan Ekram, Off Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, 30300 Ipoh | Tel: NA| Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 4pm onwards | GPS 4.595333, 101.087308

This article was first published on Hungrygowhere Malaysia HERE


1 comment:

  1. Oh I love this post.....because I go jalan jalan to Ipoh soon. Miss all the food about it just makes me go hungry


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