Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Journey Home

It has been so blissfully quiet in the city as city dwellers return home for the holidays. Couple of weeks before the traffic on the roads started, I took the opportunity to journey back to Ipoh; the hometown of my parents, home to the most beautiful women and more importantly ngah choy kai (bean sprout chicken). I am grateful for the NKVE which makes the journey much easier but this time round, I found myself reminiscing about the slow and windy drive on the old roads through dusty old towns. Its been awhile since I had a chicken biscuit from Bidor. I always prefered the ones at Kampar but obviously no one else feels the same way. Not so pleasant memories of second-hand smoke and Tom Jones also cropped up in between. I was incredibly hungry by the time I had finish imaginary eating over 1 hour and 45 minutes. We headed straight into old town. For the first time it struck me as odd that my favourite coffee shop , Tien Chun, served custard. Not custard like Bird’s Eye or Ambrosia but crème caramel. How random!

I found myself really enjoying my kai si hor fun. Funnily enough, I never really liked this particular one but father and grandfather used to frequent this place so I never stopped to question. Just like how I never questioned why the “chicken” satay here tasted so different from everywhere else. You know it was only about 10 years ago that I found out it was pork? This is one time when I prefer chicken over pork. Anyway, for awhile I stopped coming here to eat because I found I always felt queasy after. This time was no exception but I found it tasted better than I remembered. This is the original kai si hor fun for me after all. Old Town White Coffee is a good substitute but is a substitute no less. The noodles are smoother than a baby’s bottom and the broth sweeter than a lover’s promise. We also had the customary satay, popiah and chee cheong fun. I am carrying on a family tradition after all. We finish lunch with a plate of chilled custard. It is still as egg-y as always. I still don’t like it but I eat it anyway for old times sake. It just wouldn’t feel right ending the meal without it. I order 6 more to bring with us and we head home with our tray of wobbly custards in tow.

12 comments:

  1. They also do the steamed egg custard version if I am not mistaken. This is my must stop whenever I'm in Ipoh. Made those court dates I used to attend so worth it. Thxs for sharing yr memories with us.

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  2. That's also my favourite stop in Ipoh but waiting for a table can be quite difficult. I love the kai see hor fun here, a must have for me. I missed the creme caramel the last time cos i was overstuffed. Maybe time to revisit Ipoh soon.

    Err..for your info, I like Kampar Chicken biscuits too, i find the bidor one too chewy and sweet.

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  3. Another Ipoh post! My dad loves Ipoh's Kai See Hor Fun too....:D
    And there is this shop he always goes to, near the Old Town and Nga Choy Kai area...maybe it's same as yours, the original one:D

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  4. Ipoh trip??? Jason...Oh...Jason! :o)

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  5. somethin that i tapau back to kl too..haha the "dun dan"..always wallop how many they have left..

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  6. What are memories if they are not meant to be shared? How come I've never had this dun dan?! Obviously no one in my family likes it! haha

    Kampar chicken biscuits rocks! Best to go at 11:30 or 2:30pm to avoid the crowds.

    Christy, Don't know if Tien Chun is "the original" but it is for me. But I've never had a bad bowl of hor fun in Ipoh anyway!

    WMW ssshhhhhhhhhhh!!!

    Haiya, must make a trip back again to try this dun dan you guys keep talking about!

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  7. iph mali too? i just went to kong heng n tian cun yesterday..whipped up the last 2 custard :D

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  8. I heard my name :P
    I miss the popiah there.

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  9. it's not often that they serve chilled custards in coffee shops. That looks lovely and definitely a good way to end the meal with.

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  10. I miss the winding coastal roads too but never seem to find time/patience/company to take them.

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  11. KBCG, can't you tell from my flawlessly beautiful skin that I am from Ipoh?! hahahahaha

    Oh darling I miss you too! I mean the popiah...Er...

    Like I always say "there is always room for dessert" :-)

    Sigh, I know. Think we just have to bite the bullet. Maybe not all the way right? Can cut in at Slim River and out before Gopeng? Hmmm must remember to try that next time!

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  12. Wanted to try the custard when i was in Ipoh last month. I think I will head there when I visit my grandpa the next round. Heard a lot of good stuff about it.

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