Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yee Fatt Curry Mee

Ipoh is famed for its good food. One favorite among Ipoh folks is curry noodles. There are so many places in this clean city that offer good tasty curry mee. One such place is Yee Fatt (怡发) Kopitiam. It is located in Jalan Kampar at the round-about connecting Jalan Tokong, Jalan Kampar and Jalan Permaisuri Bainun - opposite the Methodist Girls' School.

The place is very popular. It is almost always full. The coffee shop serves a variety of local makan, but looking around the tables, it was very obvious that most people were there for the curry mee.

The noodles were prepared at a stall at the front of the shop. I asked the stall keeper if I could take some shots of his business. He was most obliging. In spite of his busy schedule, he managed a smile for me.

You could have your curry noodles wet or dry. The dry version is actually kon lo (干捞) with a thick curry gravy over it.

My bowl of wet curry mee came with curry chicken, bits of char siew (叉烧) and siew yuk (燒肉), topped with some mint leaves. A thick layer of curry oil floated on the surface.

The dry (kon lo 干捞) noodles was similar with a thick curry gravy concealing almost everything in the plate.

I did not like the curry mee. I found the curry flavor too strong. The spices they used were over-powering. The flavor was there, but there was too much of it in one bowl. There appeared to be an excessive use of lengkuas (a type of ginger). It masked the taste and flavor of everything else. There was also too much oil in the curry. We had to spoon out the oil to make it more palatable. The surplus that did not make it to our arteries was this much...

After a couple of mouthfuls, I declared that the sisters in SEA Park PJ make better curry mee. Except for my wife, the kins in my party initially differed. But before the meal was done, they gradually began to agree with my verdict.

We also ordered a plate of taugeh (bean sprouts) to supplement our noodles. Like all taugehs in Ipoh, they were wonderful. Fat and stubby, they were so fresh and delicious.

Besides the curry noodles, we also had some side orders, The wu kok (芋角) - a yam pastry with meat fillings - was served in a plate of 3 pieces. Very ordinary.

Likewise, the loh mai kai (糯米鸡) was also nothing to shout about.

My personal experience with the curry mee was not positive. But that does not necessarily mean that the curry noodles there is inferior. The large patronage in the shop attested to the real possibility I might be wrong. I guess it is a matter of taste and preferences. Certainly the shop is worth a visit and it is your decision to make whether to agree with the large number of Ipoh folks or with this outsider palate of mine.

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