Weekend trip to Ipoh: only for the food
Saturday morning at half-past six the alarm clock went off because it was time to discover more of Malaysia. By bus to Ipoh, a city north of Kuala Lumpur. Here we are at the right place for the best chicken rice and dim sum of Malaysia.
The first plan was to catch the train to Ipoh. We thought we could buy tickets on the day itself, but fortunately, we looked this up in advance. As it turned out, the train was completely sold out. The only option was to take the bus. For RM 20, less than €5, you have a one-way ticket to Ipoh 2.5 hours away. But don’t be fooled. There may be 2.5 hours on the website, but before you know it, you’re four hours away and you’re still in the bus…
Ipoh is a city in the state of Perak where 75% of the population is of Chinese origin. Malaysians come mainly to Ipoh for food. When you type in Ipoh on the internet, you get hits everywhere with the ten best restaurants, most of which are dim sum. Of course, we couldn’t stay behind and, in the meantime, we had become very curious about this touted delicacy. We were told that even Chinese Singaporeans fly back and forth to Ipoh for a day, especially for the food.
For lunch, the chicken rice was on the menu. Nothing special you would think and that’s how we thought about it. Two restaurants seem to serve the best chicken of Ipoh. Onn Kee and Ong Kee. What is the difference? We really have no idea. We joined Onn Kee and within no time the table was full of chicken, rice and beansprouts. It was delicious and the beansprouts were also very crispy. In combination with a not too spicy chili sauce, we were ready for the rest of the day. And the costs? € 2.50 per person. Whether it’s worth it to sit in the bus for five hours … that’s also a bit exaggerated.
After walking around Oldtown Ipoh it was time for dinner. Dim sum was on the program and also here we had been advised. We joined the Greentown Dim Sum. After we had written down the dishes on paper, the server came to tell us that half of them were sold out and that we did not get what we had ordered. That was not to spoil the fun, because of the tastiest dish of the evening we managed to buy. It looked like a bapoa sandwich with barbecue chicken and actually, it tasted that way. A bit of a pity about the dishes we didn’t try, but that’s for the next time.
Platform 9 1/2
The next morning we went looking for breakfast and were the first to arrive at Plan B. This cafe can also be found at several places in KL so we were familiar with the menu. After a chia bowl with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, we had a coffee at Platform 9 1/2 before we had to go home again. This coffee shop is very popular with the Harry Potter fans and people come here for a picture on Instagram.
Platform 9 1/2 is in the Concubine Lane street. This is a busy tourist street where the different smells and creations are everywhere. If you’re still hungry, you can try out all the different snacks here. From a sandwich with cheese in the rainbow colors to small pancakes in a fish form. Ipoh is definitely the city where you have to be for good and varied food.