Monday, August 25, 2008

Perak Palates Paradise (Part 2 of 2)

While there may not be much to do IN Ipoh there's lots to do in the surrounding areas. There's Gua Tempurung, Lata Kinjang waterfalls, some smaller waterfalls off Kampar, the cave temples, AND of course, Taiping. Where? Hallo, it's my birthplace, I'll have you know. Taiping, as its name implies, is a serene, and peaceful town. It was also my first official workplace. I remember bemoaning the fact that I was in exile there, when one of my friends, who hails from there, said, "YOU SHOULD PRAISE GOD YOU'VE BEEN POSTED TO TAIPING". I think I almost turned atheist at that point.

Day 2 of our CCM. (Cuti Cuti Malaysia). Breakfast at some coffee shop in Gunung Rapat, supposedly famous Ipoh Laksa. Rather yummy. Resembling Sarawak laksa, though less coconuty, (in fact, none, apparently), it is a fragrant, subtly tangy soup, with three kinds of meat. Chicken, Char siu and siu yoke. Very good way to start the morning.

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The Taiping Zoo and Night Safari trumps Zoo Negara (Not that it takes much) hands down, and really its a pity that there isn't more publicity. Located on the fringe of the famous Taiping Lake Gardens, the zoo is beautifully landscaped, and boasts a wide menagerie of exotic creatures. I used to like animals only if they were on a plate. But since picking up diving, in 1993, I have grown to love God's creatures.

Clockwise: Some deer wading through a algae filled pond, three lionnesses sun bathing on pride rock, while the male sleeps, (that should be the way), the rhinos (check out that ass), and a sun bear. I intend to visit the night safari the next trip.

Boating in the lake gardens is a pleasant and enjoyable activity. The lake gardens are probably the most beautiful in Malaysia. Juxtaposed against the thick mist enveloping the mountain range in the backdrop, all that was missing was a picnic basket with a bottle of champagne, cold roast chicken and chocolate cake.

I would be quite game to organise a gourmet picnic at the Taiping lake gardens. Didn't get to sample the famous Taiping popiah and wantan mee, as we were too late and everything was closed. My bro in law's GPS led him to a restaurant called Kwong Wai San, which coincidentally was where my parents celebrated my full moon back in the 60s.

Dinner was at a Peranakan joint called Yum Yum, back in Ipoh. Quaint little joint, with lots of antique nyonya furniture.

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Magic Mirror On the Wall, Who's the Fattest of Us All?

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Mmmm, petai and prawn sambal. Absolutely divine pairing. Problem with peranakan food is that it goes so darn well with rice. And we all know how EVIL rice has become in the last few years. NO RICE, I hear the dieticians scream. NO CARBO for dinner. Sheesh, chill man.

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Fish head curry. Again, another must eat with rice dish. Lovely rich curry, with generous complementary taufu pok, okra, etc.

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Pandan chicken, a bit different from the Thai counterpart. Very tender, and a bit tangy. I thought it was meant for the adults, but the minute it arrived, the kids swarmed like locust and finished it. (not my kids).

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Omelette, .....well, you cant really go wrong with egg.

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Deep fried taufu with a tangy sauce. Didn't care much for the sauce, but the taufu was nice.

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Ostrich in black bean sauce. If you didn't tell me it was a bird, I'd have thought it was good tender beef. Excellent.


Now, I've heard about this place years ago, when friend raved about how divine and orgasmic the chocolate cake is. So finally, I get a chance to try the famous chocolate cake from Indulgence. They supply to royalty, it seems, and the restaurant is housed in a gorgeous colonial mansion, not unlike in Bon Ton style.



I think setting one's expectations too high is almost always a bad thing. I remember once my schoolmate in form 4 told me that he always sets his expectations low, so he wont be disappointed. What a terrible way of wading through life.

But yeah, there's something to be said about setting high expectations for desserts. Nuff said la hor. It's edible, and tastes okay. But I failed to experience the O word...in fact, far from it. Oh well. Maybe it had been sitting on the shelf too long.

38 comments:

wmw said...

I just finish blogging on my Ipoh trip too. Was told that Thean Chun's caramel custard was good, which I didn't get a chance to try out. The one you had at Sin Yin Loong looks pretty good. Couldn't find good curry noodles this time round, sigh.

boo_licious said...

er, frankly the food at Indulgence is kinda not up to the mark but the place is lovely. Cool, you got to try Yum Yum, we wanted to during the last trip but didn't have the stomach space and time.

Nic (KHKL) said...

yorrrr....just as i finished reading part 1, part 2 already up. so, i'm gonna comment ala fbb style. back to front..haha!

was rather curious about the night safari cos the one at singapore was absolutely awesome. especially those mysterious (sexy) voices of the narrators...

seems like someone's been playing with the white balance, eh? i like that pandan chicken shot!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

hahah i was also bought up with local trips during the school holidays..and i tell u..its madness when u school with a bunch or more like a throng of rich brats mentioning paris, london, aust and usa as if it was only a 2 hr drive to ipoh..

ipoh hor fun..yummm

Anonymous said...

*BAWLS*

I knew I should have resisted!!! I wanna go back to Ipoh!!! :(

kat said...

So distraught I forget to leave my name...

*sniffles*

daphne said...

expectations r good! So that food will always get better and cakes will always be nicer. Pity about that though-especially all the lovely noodles and food u posted before the cake!

fatboybakes said...

kat kat, aiyo, so chai leong ah? but you got so much kebabs there wor...all that baba ganoush la, humus, tabouli, ...

nipples, which school did you go to la??? in my school, in form 4 & 5, the highlight of school holidays was getting a government warrant for your train journey back.... (garmen residential school).

boolicious, how disappointing hor. afterall, it is THE restaurant in Ipoh. Yum Yum was rather yum yum.

wmw, which particular type of curry noodles? i've yet to try the custard at thean chun. drat, after reading your post i realised i forgot the egg tarts, TWICE in a row.

fatboybakes said...

daphne, but to have your expectations cruelly dashed, is so saddd wor....it's like ...unrequited lurve.... SOB SOB SOB....and there's nothing quite like a bad dessert to make you really want to scream.

fatboybakes said...

oh, hairy, sorry, the night safari is apparently world class. more natural than the singapore one, which is so choreographed and orchestrated, one wonders if they're actually NS trainees in costume. so on cue one. "here we have the slow loris" and lo and behold, its there posing for you...

babe_kl said...

i felt the same about Indulgence too. it's over-rated! i think our self-baked ones much better kekeke

btw, yr photography skills hv improved tremendously!

The Caked Crusader said...

Ooooh that chocolate cake looks so rich (i.e. good!). Exquisite!

Life for Beginners said...

I don't need that Magic Mirror lah. My better half tells me how fat I am all the time. Remind me again, WHY do we call them our better half? :P

CUMI & CIKI said...

have not tried the peranakan place nor yum yum... that taiping zoo looks cool, esp the rhino with the hot ass! at least this msian zoo has animals:D

fatboybakes said...

ciki, the peranakan place IS yum yum. taiping zoo rocks man. so proud of my birthplace. (taiping, i mean, not the zoo)...

LFB, omigoshness, if you are fat, then they need to redefine a word for moi. if the "better" other half is that skinny, they should only be the other quarter or one third.

caked crusader, on de contrary, it was not up to expectations.

babekl, aiyo, you mean the FOOD also not good ah? sigh, i was looking forward to dining there the next trip to ipoh. guess i should stick with the ngar choi kai places huh. and thanks for the compliment on the photographs. love ur sardine fried rice idea...used to eat rice, egg and sardines when younger, and it was a treat.

Henry Yeo said...

singapore night safari: more like animatronics from the NTU nearby.

Love the tau geh, no longer enamored about the Hor Fun.

Mirror reply: definitely not you, slim boy bake.

myfoodsafari said...

FBB, we might actually know each other. I was born in the 60's in Taiping and raised there. Really miss Taiping Lake Garden and food. We used to picnic at the waterfalls on Sundays.

Life for Beginners said...

Haha, well you've met the "better" half tonight so ya, even skinnier than me. Anyway, I am sorta skinny other than my love handles ma... those are the fatty bits I mean. :P

fatboybakes said...

LFB, since i havent been privvy to the viewing of the other regions where the purported love handles exists, i really cant comment. hahah. twas nice to meet the better half.

myfoodsafari, thanks for the Daring Baker thing. have signed up. in fact, i just met argus last night, over dinner, with a few others...and yeah, i got that you hail from that bethlehemic little town. alas, we didnt stay on long after my birth, as we were just passing through...so i didnt grow up there. though oddly enough, my first posting was there for work.

henry, yalor, impressive but strangely fake hor, the night safari in singapore?

Tummythoz said...

Taiping Night Safari is a MUST visit!

Err not too enthusiastic about the food in Taiping though.

UnkaLeong said...

*guffaws* Coconuty. Hahah, I love the curry mee in Ipoh, my birthplace. Too bad you missed the popiah in Taiping man, the one by the wet market is the best according to mom, who spent her early years in Taiping.

msiagirl said...

waah, all these Taiping connections suddenly popping up! I Love the Taiping zoo, we go a lot with the children since my mum's family are in Taiping, and I used to go there in the school holidays a lot. So I loved your pictures :) There's something so peaceful and nostalgic about Taiping for me. We want to go to the Night Safari too...I'll remember what you said about gourmet picnic!

Anonymous said...

Haven't been to Taiping like for 20years? Still remember the tiger in the zoo (during then 'twas only a cage between the cat and onlookers)poohed behind us while we took photos. Buff-inducing "aroma". Too much meat for diet.

It's really a nice way of spending holidays in nice sleepy town and go cari makan.

fatboybakes said...

anonymous, lucky you...our malayan tiger was fast asleep in the afternoon. nap time. it must be a government servant. yeah, its a nice stressless holiday. only stress is looking for good food.

msiagirl, we just talking about u last night, at dinner with argus, kenny mah and lemongrass. yalor, they're all popping out of the woodwork, these closet taipingers.

unkaleong, et tu? with ze taiping roots? us elite with the 08 in IC.

tummythoz, yalor, but where does one stay? i dont relish the idea of driving back to ipoh...on that windy changkat jering stretch of highway.... gorgeously eerie...i likey, but i sleepy. lake town bt merah ah?

Not from Taiping Lemongrass said...

Where's Taiping? North of Parit Buntar izzit?

Life for Beginners said...

Forget North of Parit Buntar --- where on earth is Parit Buntar in the first place? And don't some smart aleck answer South of Taiping... :P

fatboybakes said...

i shant even bother replying lemongrass. not knowing where taiping is like a Jew not knowing where Bethlehem is.
parit buntak is near the kedah border, north west of taiping. they grow lots of lemongrass there, for export to the native indians in madagascar. in barter for the lemurs. they like to move it move it.

Henry Yeo said...

kenny: they are the better half because they make you the humble half

fbb: baking lemongrass her pavlova today?

Life for Beginners said...

So... Lemongrass helps native Madagascarian Indians and lemurs move it move it? What, that means it's some form of herbal laxative issit? :P

Enlightened Lemongrass said...

Now you know why Madagascarian Indians fart so much. So do Parit Buntarians.

jason said...

Unka's from Ipoh?? O.o
But anyway, Yum Yum was yum yum indeed.

And Indulgence is a bleh... you whip up a far better pasta and cake than them. I think they prolly will bake a new one if they're supposed to supply for the royal family.

UnkaLeong said...

Jason : Unka has a 08 on his IC, but was raised in Damansara Jaya ;)

fatboybakes said...

same here, unka. i got 08 but raised in various places.

jason, awww, thanks a bunch, how sweet of you to say so. but it was very crowded wor, indulgence, and on a week night too!

henry yeo, no la, we only celebrating her birthday on saturday. tonight must be for bald eagle la.

LFB & LL, guffaw, what can i say!

jeen said...

like all currently overrated places *cough* delicious *cough* indulgence used to be good... waaay back when they were still housed in a shoplot with quirky decor it was one of the places to go to in ipoh.

but, yeah, i haven't been there for a couple of years now and the last time i was there the food was hit and miss. too try-hard with the fusion thing then. don't know if they're still doing that now though

love the way you write btw

fatboybakes said...

jeen, thanks for your kind words. am thrilled you like the writing. i am so disappointed now, i was looking forward to eating there (in indulgence) but everyone's panned it....so i guess no go la.

Anonymous said...

Waaaaa... I'm logged out of my own blog. How? Alzheimer's at this 'young' age, ah?

Great meeting you, FBB.

Yes, the night safari in Taiping is a must - do it on foot - mysterious atmosphere. Nice bear cats and patrolling black panther.

Argus

kat said...

There is only so much chickpeas, eggplant and parsley one can partake la. But I can munch on falafels forever. Much like our vadais, but with a more subtle spicy kick. There is even one shop named "Just Falafel". No prizes for guessing what they sell. Has anyone opened a "Just Vadai" over there?

I love Yum Yum. Greentown has some interesting looking restaurants. The area where YY is, is a bit like Tgkt Tongshin, no?

There is one coffeeshop near YY that sells the most amazing konloh mee! The liew is nice, nothing outstanding, but their konloh sauce.. aitelyu, out of this world! I could have just had plain konloh mee and died happy mam. The lard must have had a large contribution. Unfortunately that was a few years ago, and I don't know if they are still there or not. I don't even quite remember where it is now. :(

I have always found it a pity that it is only in Ipoh that you order noodles and choose your liew separately. How come there is no such stalls in KL/PJ?? To me, liew noodle is every bit as Ipoh as kai see hor fun and ngar choy kai. Mebbe I should come back and be hawker..

kat said...

Oh, and Taiping Lake Gardens look lovely. Esp like that shot of the tree (is it Flame of the Forest ah?) with the darkening sky in the background. So tranquil, so peaceful.

Interesting how names reflect the towns. Kinda like KL and its muddy river hor? :D