Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sentimental Kong Heng

I start my blog by writing about a coffee shop which I have known for a long long time. It has always been my favorite eating place whenever I am in Ipoh.

The place is Kong Heng Coffee Shop in Jalan Bandar Timah (formerly known as Leech Street) in Ipoh old town. The shop is old and rustic and brings back so much memory.

It used to be operated by 2 uncles of mine. Both my uncles have passed on and it is now managed by 2 cousins. My father first took me there when I was a little kid. He was there to visit his 2 brothers. For me, it had always been the food.

The shop must be about 60 years old now. Over years, nothing very much has changed. The tables, chairs and furniture are still the same. Except that it used to have a lot of mirrors and was once popularly known as the "House of Mirrors". Now, for some reasons, the mirrors are all gone.

There are many food stalls in and around the shop. Most of the original stall operators have retired or passed on. The new set of food sellers still offer stuff that I very much enjoy.

Firstly the white coffee there is awesome. It is authentically Ipoh white coffee. It is personally prepared by one of my 2 cousins and she tells me that it is a top seller.

The sotong kangkong (yau yee hong choy) is one of a kind. You won't find sotong kangkong like this anywhere else in Malaysia. The difference is the sauce. The stall does not use ordinary chilli and sweet soy sauce. I do not know how to describe the flavour. It is kind of a mix between satay sauce and curry. You have to try it.

The popiah is also very good. The stall serves 2 types of popiah - the normal soft skin popiah and the deep fried ones. They are quite big unlike the small tiny rolls that they sell in KL and PJ. Both types are good. There are lots crunchy fried onions and dried shrimps (har mai). Sheer pleasure to bite on.

The kaoy teow soup stall is OK. Not fantastic but good enough to satisfy my palate. They use the famous soft Ipoh noddles. The soup is good. The toppings adequate.

Other food in the shop include satay (so-so), rojak (also so-so), beef soup noodle (have not tried), chicken rice and others.

I like Kong Heng a lot - not just because of the sentiment and the fact that I still get free white coffee and other drinks whenever I am there. The food there is the must-eat-again type.

The shop may be old and dilapidated. There is definitely no dining ambiance. But if you are looking for a typical old town, Hainanese kind of kopitiam, this is it.

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