After a disastrous hometown experience in Section 17, I was rather skeptical when my sister told us of another Teluk Intan (Anson) eatery in Subang Jaya. Still like a true blue Teluk Ansonian, I was very eager to try. With the same kins, we made our way to Jalan SS 15/4B one Sunday morning and without any problem, located Anson Coffee Shop (安顺茶室).
To die-hards like us who grew up in this small Perak sleepy hollow, our hometown was, is and will always be Anson (or TA), not Intan. So coming into this place named Anson and being immediately greeted by a large picture of our iconic clock tower, made me feel very at home indeed.
The leaning tower was not the only familiar face. I bumped into an old classmate and another Ansonian friend. And the proprietors Elmo and his wife Jessy were no strangers to us. It was like a mini hometown reunion.
After the catching-up with the old friends, we settled down to eat. The menu was so nostalgic - chee cheong fun (猪肠粉), loh mai fan (糯米飯 - glutinous rice), rice noodles or lai fun (平叔瀨粉), curry mee ala Teluk Anson. It is difficult to explain why such simple things excite us - you need to be from TA to understand.
The TA chee cheong fun (猪肠粉) is one of a kind. It is chee cheong fun wrapped with an ingredient of fried mangkuang (jicama), dry shrimps and others. It is very popular in our hometown. I have seen small home "factories" churning out this chee cheong fun on conveyor belt steamers, working all night to meet early morning demands. The chee cheong fun in this shop was very authentic. It was eaten with pickled chili, like how we did in TA, and it tasted so very good. We had 4 servings of it.
The loh mai fun (糯米飯) is another Teluk Anson original. It is glutinous rice served with char siew (叉烧) and/or prawns with a dry curry sauce. The serving in Anson Coffee Shop was very authentic. The aromatic curry and char siew reminded me so much when I was small and used to eat this rice out of newspaper and banana leave packets that used to cost only 10 cents. Served with a bowl of curry and prawns, the loh mai fun here was absolutely delicious.
The bowl of curry noodles may looked a bit odd, but that was how we used to have it in TA. The curry was aromatic and had very little santan (coconut milk). It was served with siew yoke (烧肉, roast pork), see hum (鲜蚶, cockles) and some mint leaves.
The yam cake or woo tau ko (芋头糕) was not extraordinary. It is not a TA specialty. The serving was somewhat small.
The popiah looked rather dry and lonely. There was not enough to go around and I did not have a taste of it.
Finally, we shared a plate of mee jawa. The reason it looked rather messy was that someone had a go at it before I managed to get this picture. Anyway, this was not fantastic. The sauce was too curry-ful. it was also rather dry. In TA there used to be a mamak place called Mastan Ghani. I do not know if it still exists. This place used to serve an awesome mee jawa. The mee jawa here was nothing like Mastan Ghani's.
It's been nearly 10 years now since I made a return to my home town. I missed the chee cheong fun and lo mai fun. Fortunately now there is Anson Coffee Shop. It is like TA coming to me. To those who do not understand what the ga-ga is all about, you should go there and try - at least once. Teluk Anson is still after all, the small town with a big taste.