Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

I’m sure some of you remember what this part of Ipoh looked like – way back in 1967/68.

Of course, now….a LOT has changed! The SHELL station has been renovated a number of times. As for the row of shop houses beside the SHELL station; well the half nearer to the junction is now Maybank, while the other half has been demolished (sadly). Across the road is Jubilee Park, which seems to be a shadow of its former self. ๐Ÿ™

So, what was it like in the late 1960s? We’d love to hear your many stories!

  1. Alfred says:

    What a fantastic picture of the past ! The traffic was not busy with just fewer cars..was the pic taken on weekend or weekdays ? Also just wonder the small hill at the backdrop still exist ?

  2. foong says:

    Wow..awesome.in the 60’s the jubilee park was a fabulous place thronged with many activities,,,with the ronging, boxing and wrestling matches ..and also the Rose Chan show ..we young boys used to roamed around there during week ends…

    The hill at the back still there that is the jelapang hill.
    the place opposite the shell station at night is a cabaret place with dancing activities too..

    great memories…love it! thanks for the sharing !

  3. Karu says:

    Great picture! Those days very few cars on the road. Now its always jam on this road. The shell petrol station on the right still exist.
    On the left was the Grand Cinema, the advertisement post is no longer exist. I always go to the cinema when i was very young to see Tamil Movies. The hill backdrop is still exist.

  4. Mohan says:

    The hill in the bacground is part of the Kledang range and there is a TV station on it. It is still there. There was a photo studio (Salon Photo, I think) somewhere in the middle of the row of shops. This picture has been taken from the Odeon cinema direction. I was living in Ipoh those days (my home town)

  5. LMS136 says:

    There was a certain charm in Ipoh those days – the town living up to its reputation as the cleanest one in the whole country, the Kledang Hill, the Main Range and the clear blue sky forming a surreal background and the absence of the maddening rush and cacophony of cars and motor bikes.

    Indeed pedestrians, cyclists and motorized transport could all share the roads without incessant honking and tooting. You will also notice that there was no need for road dividers in those days. Perhaps human lives and courtesy meant more then.

    I can’t exactly recall but the street lights seemed to occupy only one side of the road.

    Street hawkers did not ply their trade at night on this main road. Perhaps they were not allowed to. In the side streets, at dusk hawkers set up their brightly lit stalls adding colours and flavours to street life.

    The town area was so neat, so well laid out.

    Next to the sign posted stand on the left hand side of the photo was the Jubilee Park which belted out music in the evening as a night of entertainment began. In a relatively small area was packed the ferris wheel, the merry-go-round, the boxing / wrestling ring and the ronggeng area. Next to the park was of course the Grand Cinema which had a good quota of Indian films.

    Further on after the park were the Indian Muslim confectionery and bakery shops with the not unpleasant smell of baked butter aand then Chow Hung Kee, a good Chinese restaurant of old ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ken Chan says:

    In the days of old, ipoh exuded a quaint, provincial charm that was so reminiscent of the 60’s and early 70’s. As I turn back the pages of time, my mind wanders off to those carefree moments when life was a lot less complex and hectic. Many office workers were able to enjoy the luxury of going home during lunch break, with enough time for a leisurely meal, refresh themselves with a cool bath, and even catch the 1.30 p.m. news before going back to work. At that time, tall buildings were almost non-existent and the illuminated signage that advertised the current attractions in Shaw’s cinemas was quite an imposing structure that was visible from afar. Beneath the signage, the low, double story building (next to Grand Cinema) was the Jubilee Cabaret, with a car park on the ground floor and the dance floor was on the upper floor. At twilight time, the place would come alive with the beat of dance music. It was quite a sight to see middle-aged men making all the right moves, dancing the Cha Cha, Rhumba, Foxtrot and Waltz with dance hostesses that were available for hire.

    Proceeding past the Shell station towards the right side of the photo, one would reach the Catholic Center, Po Garden Florist, and Main Convent. After passing the cabaret on the left side of the photo, there was the popular Kwong Chow Restaurant, where food connoisseurs could enjoy dim sum and Cantonese cuisine, dining alfresco under the stars. Further down from the restaurant was Odeon Cinema and Sam Tet School was just a stone throw away. With two major schools in its vicinity, this stretch of Brewster Road was always busy in the morning and afternoon. The Convent girls smartly decked in their stiffly starched pinafores added color to the street scene, while the Sam Tet boys in their pristine white uniforms provided the contrast in a sea of blues.

    Those were the days when Brewster Road was a major thoroughfare in the city. When tin-mining was still a viable economic activity, heavy trucks transporting ore to the smelters would zoom along nosily on this stretch of Brewster Road. Regrettably, this once busy road had seen better days and today, it is just a pale shadow of its glorious past.

  7. LMS136 says:

    Yes, as Ken has quite rightly pointed out, by the standards of those days there were so much packed into a small vicinity fronted by Brewster Road.

    Beneath the facade of a “complete”, quite self-contained, mature provincial capital, in the sector staked out behind the Odeon Cinema and the Yau Tet Shin market, you would find in those days some intermittent rows of double storey shophouses. They were served by short stretches of earthen tracks, beaten down and untarred. Puddles would quickly formed on these tracks after each rain shower. Whilst cycling, one had to slow down to navigate through the dry patches to avoid specks of wet earth flicking onto the legs of one’s white trousers.

    The “developed” space were often interspersed by clunks of secondary vegetation and piles of construction debris. These side roads were dimly lit at night and were home to a few milk bars or snack bars as they were called those days. Quite “cow boyish” and in a way, I suppose, these facets distinguished Ipohans from the city slickers.

    Life went along on a smaller scale then. The population was smaller so between the Main Convent and Sam Tet School one really didn’t encounter the massive sea of blues and whites as one would today. Dual colour rivulets yes but they all seemed to “evaporate” very quickly after the school bells struck.

    Even during major parades or processions, the crowd strung out along the route was quite sparse, not even three deep. The Police sentries formed a thin cordon, spaced out 15 feet in between and this low-key formation was adequate to maintain order.

    Ipoh was a small oasis of development. The cabaret and night club music meant very little to most of us. We were hardly curious about what went on within their premises as our priorities were on things more basic and relevant to our lives. I learned later that some of my more senior expatriate colleagues practised their social skills with the “ronggeng” ladies.

    A lot of us went into exile , largely for employment and economic reasons, as I did. For me, Ipoh stood out in 2 major ways. Firstly, there was and still is a very independent streak in our character. This is coupled with a willingness to stand up for the things we believe in and the the qualities of determination and adaptability (developed because we had no hand-outs to rely on?). Secondly, the fact that Ipoh was outstanding in many ways gave us many things to be proud of, it was never the “boon docks”. This heritage perhaps bolstered our self-confidence. In our adulthood, many of us exiles found our places in far larger and challenging environments away from Ipoh. But Ipoh remains as always in our hearts.

  8. Katherine Wong says:

    Thanks for photograph of old Brewster Road. I stayed there during the 50s to 60s. There is a rustic charm in old Brewster Road. I remember we (my friends and I) walked to school from our houses to the Main Convent. It only takes about a few minutes. Our school friends stayed nearby. We had great fun just walking and talking on the way to school. There were so much camaraderie in school, and with neighbors. People will just greet one another when they meet on the road. The famous greeting in Cantonese is “Sik Hoi Fun Meh?” (Have you eaten your rice.)
    The youth of pastime during those days is to stare at beautiful girls walking past. You will occasionally hear a few wolf whistles at some beautiful girls passing by. It was a complement when you are whistle at. I could see those young men with rubber necks and ogling at some attractive young women. Guess there were a lot of pretty girls in Convent School at that time.
    That place was a melting pot of the old and the new culture. The domestic servants from China (Mah Jay) going to market and cooking for their employers, taking care of the children and the houses. In the evening you can see them going to the Jubilee Park to relax. They like to go and see the Chinese Opera in Jubilee Park. Whereas the youth will hang around in the coffee house with their girl friends, or the cinemas.
    There were so many eating stores in Brewster Road. There were all within walking distance.
    At night we will sit around the shop verandah. The elderlies sitting there talking and drinking tea. The children playing around the shop houses where we stayed. Those were the days with so much peace and freedom. We could play a lot of outdoor games with our friends and neighbors in front of the shop houses or the back lanes. Crimes were few and we felt so safe and secure wherever we go. There were few cars on the road. We parked our cars by the side of our shop houses and there were no parking fees imposed. The morning and night were cool. During those days the cars we had no air-condition at all.
    The road was so clean and so well maintained. There were no pot holes and uneven surface.
    It brought back a lot of cherished and happy memories just thinking about my childhood days in Brewster Road. Ah what pleasant memories indeed.

  9. Charlie says:

    There was a Jeweller/Silversmith located in the block of shops next to the Shell Station. They sold Silver Cups and Trophys, and did all the engraving with a very shape tool, manually. No motorized equipment in the sixties yet. I remember my Dad picking me up from school on Saturdays after Cubs and visiting this shop, not to buy any throphys, but to look at a Giant Ikan Kaloi that the Silversmith was keeping at the back of the shop. I think my Dad wanted to buy it off him, but never succeeded as we stopped going there after about six months! Does anyone remember the name of that shop? I think the silversmith was Ceylonese.

  10. Alan says:

    Thanks for posting the photo. It sure brings back memories of my childhood. This is the view I see every school morning going to school, and every Sunday morning when the family would drive down to Old Town for breakfast after attending St Michael’s Church (around the bend in the road, behind where this photo was taken)

  11. Ken Chan says:

    Charlie, if my memory serves me well, I am quite certain that the name of the jeweler/silversmith shop was H. Jinadasa. It occupied the 3rd shophouse on the block, counting from the Brewster Road/Cowan Street intersection. The 1st shophouse was a motorbike dealer (also owned by Jimmy Khor’s family, the proprietor of Eastern Motors, located on another block, nearer to Anderson Road.) The 2nd shophouse was Yuen Fong Coffee Shop and Jinahasa was next door. Indeed, the owner was a Ceylonese gentleman, an artisan with consummate skill in using hand tools for engraving. The shop also provided silver and gold-plating service. I am sure these shops are no longer in existence because I don’t recall seeing them on my latest trip to Malaysia, a few years ago.

  12. felicia says:

    Hi Ken & Charlie. sadly, the shops before the Shell station have been demolished……however, does anyone have any idea what happened to the silversmith?

  13. hasbi says:

    It was H. Jinadasa? Most probably, by the way I still remember there was a small palque ‘JAUHARI’ (Malay) meaning ‘Jeweller’ at the emtrance. In the 70’s, whenever I sent my bike for repairs at the corner shop, I used to lingers at the Jauhari shop.
    I saw a few ivory tokens in one of his showcases , he told me that they were from Cocos Keeling Island. He got them as souvenier during the Jap’s Occupation while in the islands as a prisoner – civilians labour group. He also showed me a hand=made cigarettes box he made himself with his initial.

    I wonder what happened to those priceless artifacts . . are there still his next-of-kins in Ipoh ? A nice gentlemen . . .

  14. hasbi says:

    It was H. Jinadasa? Most probably, by the way I still remember there was a small plaque ‘JAUHARI’ (Malay) meaning ‘Jeweller’ at the entrance. In the 70’s, whenever I sent my bike for repairs at the corner shop, I used to lingers at the Jauhari shop.
    I saw a few ivory tokens in one of his showcases , he told me that they were from Cocos Keeling’s Island. He got them as souvenier during the Jap’s Occupation while in the islands as a prisoner – civilians labour group. He also showed me a hand-made cigarettes box he made himself with his initial.

    I wonder what happened to those priceless artifacts . . are there still his next-of-kins in Ipoh ? A nice gentleman . . .

    • Lavanya Ramesh says:

      Does anyone know where Mr H. Jinadasa or his children might be or have their contact details. We just found out that their family might be biologically related to my mother-in-law who was given up for adoption way back 63 years ago! If you do please pm me at laviram2308@gmail.com. Thank you!

  15. Allan Lim says:

    Among the row of shops next to the Shell station was a music shop – Nam Fong/Hong (?). Used to cycle there and just stood outside the display glass and drolled/fantasied at the few electric guitars.

  16. Ruth Iversen Rollitt says:

    Lovely memories of my hometown – Ipoh! The Odeon Cinema – designed by my father, B M Iversen, opposite the Poh Gardens where we bought flowers, pots and fish for our aquarium – it was magical. Jubilee Cabaret – also designed by my father and the ‘tower’ advertising the films in the many Shaw Bros cinema designed by Iversen. Jinadasa the jeweller – who made much jewellery for my family – a dear old friend. Radio & General where we bought records, the drycleaner and toy shop on the other side of the road, the photographer who developed my films and sent off my cinefilms (I think they had to go to Australia to be developed), Chung Mee the dressmaker who made all the Ipoh ladies look so elegant…. I could go on and on dreaming of the Ipoh I once knew.We had no need of shopping malls and supermarkets – evrything was available there and in the market just behind. Now the charm has gone – and I weep.

  17. AARON ONG says:

    “We had no need of shopping malls and supermarkets – evrything was available there and in the market just behind. Now the charm has gone – and I weep.”

    I agree 100%

  18. Dominic Goh says:

    Like Katherine Wong, I also stayed along Brewster Road above the shop house named Lin Radio (facing the BIG playing field-now a big part occupied by UMNO building). I had a group of childhood friends (about 30 of us) living in the same area and we called ourselves “Brewster road youngsters”. Kite flying, tops, marbles, etc. were the daily activities. When dinner time comes around, my mum (still living) would shout from across the road saying “(my chinese name) come back for dinner!!!”. Surrounded by cinemas, my father would take us (brothers & sister) to the cinemas regularly. Also facing the padang was Osborne Street (Lau Lin Kai-“Durian St) and behind that lane at night, prostitution was the activity.

    Brewster road was a 2-way traffic at that time. So few cars, we were able to cross the road easily. During my primary year, a trishaw would take me to school, whilst in my secondary years, I would cycle to my school (Anderson School).

    I had a band after my school years and we would practise inside the radio shop every now and then.

    Those really were the good old days for me.

  19. mah kin fatt says:

    to me hugh low street and brewster road were like abang adik.after school ,thats anderson school,my friends and i would cycle between these two roads.cars were fewer then and sometimes we would even walkjust to pass time.would young people nowadays do this anymore?

  20. S.Y. Lee says:

    Talking about few cars – my uncle and aunt used to roller skate down Station Road (now known as Jalan Maharajalela) with no fear of being knocked down by cars.

  21. LARRY N says:

    I remember Odeon theater’s seats were arranged in curved rather than straight lines: the seating arrangement might’ve changed later – after the early 60s? – I’m not sure. One favorite haunt used to be the Sun cinema because of cheap fare. There I saw some unforgettable re-runs such as “Fanny” starring Leslie Caron and Horst Buchholz as well as Marilyn Monroe’s “River of No Return.”

    Still, I probably spent more time along the Kinta river embankment, where the backs of shophouses revealed their interesting shapes and shadows cast by the morning or evening sun. I produced many watercolors of those scenes, the popular ones (meaning those easily sold) being the back of the Hor Yan Hor building and a more rustic backyard near the Old Town market where a very filling plate of Cha Kuei Tiow cost only 30 cents (the stall was very popular with truck drivers).

    There was a guy who hawked his fantastic rojak in front of Sun theater. I wonder what became of him or his business. People used to drive there to sit on small wooden stools, waiting for his delicious concoction of fruits and unique sauce.

  22. LARRY N says:

    Katherine Wong wrote:
    “They like to go and see the Chinese Opera in Jubilee Park.”

    Yes, I remember the Teochew operas and also a circular, open-air dance contraption where people would ronggeng to their heart’s content. A Malay cultural show, the bangsawan, was also popular (my mother’s favorite). Some readers mentioned boxing – anyone remembers Tiger Ahmad? A memorable wrestling match took place between Leong Fu (Robert Leong’s brother) and King Kong – that was probably around the late 50s.

  23. mah kin fatt says:

    yes! the rojak seller,with his burnt sotong,who can forget the aroma.sun cinema famous for its mook sut or bed bugs.so manny memories.

  24. LARRY N says:

    One common ingredient in the old days was the “tang chai” (small mango) that I liked so much, and which I cannot find in today’s rojak anywhere in West Coast Malaysia. I can’t recall the bed bugs in the Sun – perhaps that happened only after the mid-60s. Much has changed since I left this country after the 1970s, and so like most of us oldies I’ve only memories – sometimes faulty ones – to talk about. This is a rather nice place to share.

  25. Ken Chan says:

    Dominic, what a small world it is! Do you recall the shoe shop that was located next to Lin Radio? It was owned by my wife’s family and when her dad passed on, the whole family migrated to Edmonton, Canada. Likewise, my family relocated to the US some years after my father’s death. In one of our trips to Asia, we visited your mom in Ipoh Garden, and also met up with your sisters. Your vivid recollection about life on Brewster Road during those bygone years struck a chord in Teresa’s mind and it unleashed a flood of fond memories too. It was indeed a pleasant surprise to hear from you in this forum. Please convey our regards to your folks.

  26. PT says:

    Larry N #25
    The rojak stall had relocated to Lok Wui Kui, intersection of Clare St. and Anderson Rd. The coffee-shop sits infront of Kamdar Store.

  27. Ken Chan says:

    Spot on PT, that rojak stall has indeed relocated to Lok Wui Kui Coffee Shop. When I visited Ipoh a few years ago, a relative of mine was the walking GPS who directed me to that location. Needless to say, the old man has passed on but fortunately his trade secrets were not buried with him in his final resting place. Supposedly, the current stall is operated by his relative and the rojak gravy is just as good as before. The only item that is not available is the rolled, grilled cuttle fish (sotong bakar) which is to die for when dipped into the rojak gravy. Somehow, foodies like us are gifted with a food radar and we can detect good stuff even when we are thousands of miles away.

  28. LARRY N says:

    Thanks, PT and Ken Chan. Am visiting my relatives – mostly very young ones around 40/50 years of age! – this CNY, and will surely visit the stall then. My teeth aren’t too good with some kinds of fruits, but as obvious the sauce’s the key to good rojak – other than the great grilled cuttlefish and the small mangoes.

  29. alan y says:

    do u folks remember Spider, the char kway tow man. i believe he operated a cycle mounted stall n would start selling in the evenings, either in fair park. I remember going with my folks, all piled up in the car to search for spider. used to get cockles n eggs as part of the dish. The posomode stall was at coronation park(?) opposite the main GH n Anderson school.
    At nights, we used to hv a chee choong fun seller who would hang around the jln caning estate by the caltex. famous for his mushroom sauce.
    also the chinese curry mee across frm the TR bus station n the polis barracks. the pak cham kai store around the corner, ngaw lam stall, the lok lok store n off course the loh mai kai (25 cents!), tow cheng store across. what wonderful memories. off course for lunch, hall of mirrors, adjacent to the old cinema(?) which was already closed for years in old town.
    It was such a wonderful surprise when I finally made it home(after ten years in 78) to eat the nasi kandar by the clock tower n hving the indian muslim seller know who i was! Thanks for the nostalgic memories that u folks hv brought us!

  30. ika says:

    Just for info, we have a wonderful photo og Spider in our book “Ipoh, My Home Town.” According to his family it is the only photo of him n existance.

  31. NCK says:

    Alan, this food in Ipoh isn’t called ‘char kway teow’ (fried ‘kway teow’), but ‘chow fun’ (fried noodle), for it offers alternatives of different noodle types or mixtures of them.

    ‘Char kway teow’ is what is called in Penang or Singapore for having only ‘kway teow’ and is always monotonously ‘kway teow’. In Singapore, it is even fried with sweet source and is therefore sweet. It is different from Ipoh’s ‘chow fun’.

    ‘Chow fun’ uses to be served in slightly wet form with some water added/sprinklered during the frying. Now, I only find it served dry and without the soothing moisture. I have yet to discover a stall that serves the old ‘chow fun’. May be not at the usual places where I frequent.

  32. alan y says:

    nck, I believe that char kway teow is Hokkien. My father’s side were frm Shanghai area, n his hokkien was excellent. I recall him speaking in a very different dialect from Hokkien, very early in my life, when he spoke to his elders. My mum’s side was cantonese but her hokkien was just as good. Anyway, chow fun I recalled is cantonese. Here in the states, our chow fun is either sub(wet) or kon(dry) chow. However no cockles nor duck egg! Nga chow is a rarity as they usually use scallion(spring onion) n ginger. For years, I used to have 2 sets of clothes. One after coming home frm My n Sin, n the other before going home! I hope we do not lose our “wan saik” heretige of My. Cheers, Al

  33. NCK says:

    Hi, Alan. Both your parents are multi-lingual. The dialect in Shanghai is Shanghainese. Yes, ‘char kuay teow’ is Hokkien and ‘chow fun’ is Cantonese but the difference is not just in language.
    ‘Chow fun’ is served in variants of different noodle types or mixtures of any two noodle types, and with egg, cockles and/or prawns, bean sprouts, and ‘gow choy’ or a green leafy vegetable as the ingredients.
    Whereas ‘char kuay teow’ only has ‘kuay teow’ and is served with egg, cockles, prawns and Chinese sausage, but mostly without bean sprouts and vegetable. The type in Singapore is added with dark sweet sauce during frying. It therefore tastes sweet, salty and bitter collectively. Fortunately, hawkers in Penang don’t add sweet sauce.
    When I speak of the slight wetness ‘chow fun’ used to have, it is usually mistaken as ‘wat dan hor’. I have to follow to explain that ‘wat dan hor’ is much more watery and is not what I mean.

  34. Alan y says:

    Hi nck. Thanks for the clarification. r u still in Ipoh? My last trip was in 09, n I was in sin, kl, iPoh, Penang, n phuket. food has always been the big attraction when I come home. I m an old acs boy std 1 to lower 6 n then left for the states in 69. Of all my siblings only my oldest brother is in Ipoh. I grew up in pasir pinji n canning gardens. I somewhat remember vaguely, prior to pasir pinji of living in foo choo chon street by the new market around the magnolia supermarket n Chee kong restaurant. Ps, I do remember we use to hv wad tan hor fun in a corner restaurant across from the ice kachang store on Cowan st. Also did u also try spider’s chow fun? our family always rated his as the best followed by the old man that was by the old cinema next to hall of mirrors in old town. Any hope to hear frm u!

    • Chua says:

      Anyone remember the two “liang cha Moi”?
      There were these two beautiful sister selling herbal tea on a trishaw. Can’t recall the Street that they park their trishaw. But it never attract many young man from outside Ipoh to patronise their stall.
      Anyone from Ipoh can still remember them.?

  35. alan y says:

    It has taken quite a few visits to this site for me to remember that I had spent many a night at Jubliee Park! My widowed grandma used to take care of me when we used to live in Pasir Pinji.
    Every evening in the early 50’s we would take the bus as she used to run a swing set business inside the park. She would give me a few coins n i would hang out in j park! I remember the out door movie that showed old western films, the chinese wayang theater, where i would watch through the screens (grandma didnt spoil me n probably was my source of money mgmnt!), n definitely the 2 nite clubs. The joget club was tucked n one corner, and the ohter was on the 2nd floor at the other end, at Brewster road. Sadly to say, grandma was hurt one night alighting frm the bus at home, n that ended her ability to run the concession.
    I believe I hv an album of black n whites somewhere n I will scan and share. Will be from the late 60’s before I left. Thanks all for sharing our good times. I realize that I have shut out many years of great experiences in our paloh.

  36. NCK says:

    Hi Alan. I’m now working and living in Klang Valley. Regretably, I don’t think I have tasted Spider’s delicacies. I lived at Pinji Park, just next to your Pasir Pinji, before moving to Pasir Puteh.
    I tasted the ‘chow fun’ from a mobile stall on tricycle that went around my area at night, a stall manned by an old couple by the road side near the junction of Jln Pasir Puteh and Kampar Rd, a stall under the trees outside Little Genting and facing Hugh Low St, and some other stalls in town. The uncle on the tricycle always called out ‘chow fun’ to tell his arrival and usually stayed for sometime on every road to serve the customers who came out from their houses to grace his stall.
    Speaking of the old ‘chow fun’, the battle may have been lost on this front, but some other true Ipoh food are still holding ground. This includes ‘chee cheong fun’, bean sprouts chicken, iced kacang and ‘tong soi’, white coffee and iced coffee among others. All taste fantastic and at low prices compared to the other cities.

  37. NCK says:

    PS: The mobile stall on tricycle did its rounds at Pinji Park. It was at this stall that I watched the spraying of water onto the noodle during frying. The wok was then covered for a while before the noodle was again stirred and flipped.

  38. alan y says:

    hi nck, just wanted to tell u that i also used to visit klang n port sweetengham(?) when I was in my teens. My oldest sis n her family used to live between klang n ps. Also hv great memories of eating establishments there! I always recall that crows were very abundant at the Klang wet market n off course the suspension bridge that was under designed crossing the klang river.
    I also do remember going to a talent show n the ‘teenage hunters” were the main draw.
    PS, the last 2 visits, while in KL, I did indeed hv dinners in both klang n port kelang (sea food restaurants along the coast). What a small world. Ps, u r most welcome to contact me at my email address, cyeow@comcast.net. Cheers, al

  39. rosebud says:

    Much has been written about chow fun or char kuay teow by the legendary Spider & others. One unique Ipoh food which I never come across elsewhere is ‘Kap Thye Fun’, a form of chow fun with pork & pork liver meat pieces, bean sprouts & choy sum all dried fry in lard oil. The best I have eaten was the one at Kg Simee & the other one was the same place that also sells wat tan hor fun at Cowan St as described by Alan Y at post 38.

  40. NCK says:

    Hi Alan. I live in Kalng Valley but have not been to Klang city. I read about the city having large number of crows nonetheless. Some shops in the valley sell ‘bak kut teh’ and ‘yong dau fu’ claiming origin from the town. It then seems that the city is famous of these foods.
    Hi Rosebud. ‘kap thye fun’ and ‘wan tan hor fun’ sound familiar. I definitely had heard of them when I lived in Ipoh in younger days but I can’t remember if I’d tasted them. Ipoh offers many foods – among them, ‘gai si hor fun’, ‘hor hee’, ‘yim gok gai’, ‘ngau lam fun’, ‘yong yong choy’, pomelos, and so on. There are also many ‘food centres’ in the city.
    Some common foods in Ipoh are markedly more superior than what are found in the other cities. Among them, ‘chee cheong fun’, iced coffee, and various ‘tong soi’.

  41. alan y says:

    Hi Rosebud, I do recall eating the how fun noodles with ground pork, slivers of pork kidney, liver n whatever else. It was in a soup form with cilantro or spring onions. Store was down the road from the Kong Fatt departmental store in old town. Round the corner from Tai Kong (the mining hardware store), Hugh Low Street?
    Re: Wad tan hor fun, remember the ice kachang store across, under the trees, there used to be an excellent kai yoke say how fun there too. Cheers, Al

  42. rosebud says:

    Hi Alan Y, Kap thye fun looks like chow fun.Chow fun is dry stirfried with see hum[cockles] while kap thye has pork & liver pieces. Of course in the 60’s & 70s those old hawkers fry them over charcoal or firewood stoves which gave that extra oomph in the form of fragrant’wok hei’. Has this dish become so rare that no one remembers it?Great you still remembered the Cowan St ‘under the trees’ food centre. That sar hor fun guy has shifted across the road to the shophouse & is doing a roaring business there.I dont know what happened to the great laksa sold by the skinny old lady in nonya clothes & equally great ice kachang.

  43. Alan y says:

    Hi rosebud, speaking of laksa n nyonya women. My grandma, was an excellent cook as well. My mum n her were members of the Chinese Methodist church at jln yang kalsom. For the yearly church food fun fair grandmas laksa would sell out even before the event! Call in orders by the insiders! Grandma also made excellent chang(peanuts, ground pork(?) n gula melaka), small (4 inch) deep fried egg rolls, hokkien style roast duck(which I still make, tho less frequent, too many calories!) n finally her lam mee.
    The lam mee recipe was indeed sold commercially in the late 80’s in Ipoh garden by my brother n his wife.
    Food! Sure m delighted that we my Chinese have not lost ur quest! Cheers al

  44. Alan y says:

    Hi rosebud. I cannot recall the kap thye fun, will reach out to my oldest bro. Now I do remember at Cowan n leong sin nam, there was a stall that sold a chow fun. I remember vaguely the dish (had the chee ma(the pork crackling after the lard had been cooked out) n dish had the hot sauce served on the side with a wedge of lime. Is this the dish? Al

  45. Merrill Leong says:

    Hi Rosebud… I refer to your post (44) and your comment, “The best I have eaten was the one at Kg Simee…” on “kap thye fun”. Was this eating shop in Kg Simee called Lock Loo? If it is, then it was the corner coffee shop next to the wet market. The address was 169 Third Avenue, Kg Simee.

  46. alan y says:

    Hi Merrill, ref 51. R u one of Mr. Robert Leong’s son’s? If u r, ur brother(might be u, with the way, my mind is working nowadays) n I were class mates at ACS. N Mr. Leong also taught me.
    Mr. Leong lived in Canning Gardens, n the house had the uniqueness of hving water(moat) around it. Mr. Leong had also imported a car back frm uk, after his kirby training.
    Furthermore, remember Leong Fu’s red car. Probably a chevy impala, 63-67, with a convertible top, but cannot remember if it had fins. PS, if the car is still around, worth mucho, esp without the salt damage that we get frm ur wintry roads in the upper us states.

  47. rosebud says:

    Hi Merrill-Unsure of the shopname cos in the early 60s as a child, my uncle would pack for me & I cannot forget the taste. Looks like you remember this dish. Maybe we can try to fill in Alan Y who until now still cannot recall this dish.
    Alan Y -the best lam mee I have eaten was the stall at the extreme left as one entered Kong Heng in 70s. The hawker, a huge Hainanese man was a Kampar Rd Chinese Methodist church member too. In the early 80s he told my late dad that he was retiring & wishes to go back to live in his native Hainan.Do you remember from this church, in the 60s, a slim middle aged lady pastor who wears cheong sam,bespectacled & tie her grey hair in a bun? Everyone calls her ‘Yee Koo'[2nd aunty] & she goes around everywhere doing God’s work driving a VW van.

  48. alan y says:

    Hi Rosebud, I guess my description of the dish from the chow fun at Leong Sin Nam n Cowan is still not kype thy fun.
    Re: Yee Koo, absolutely correct with your description n the VW Van. Yee Koo would always visit my grandma n mom when we lived in canning gardens. very sweet n gentle individual. I believe that her son may also hv been a minister at the yang kalsom church. I recall prior to my mom’s passing in 91 that yee koo had followed her minister son when he migrated to australia.
    If it is not too personal, i m curious how u know yee koo. If u prefer u r most welcome to contact me at my email address, cyeow@comcast.net.
    PS, still mulling over your kap thye fun. There r still 4 sources within my extended family group that r frm Ipoh, who r in their 70s n 80s who have better brain matter than me. I dare say if you went to MGS or ACS, you would probably know of them. Cheers, Al

  49. Christina Teh says:

    Hi, I wonder if you have information about a photo studio that was located on Brewster Road maybe mid 20th century? The name was Suen Sui (Malaya) Film Co., the address 150 Brewster Road, Ipoh. It’s the only link to my grandparents youth spent in Ipoh in the 1930s. The Suen Sui Art Studio took their wedding photograph in front of a very ornate chinese style latticed (possibly an) entrance to a hall or temple. Would you be able to help identify the place if I showed you the photo?

    • ika says:

      Hi Christina, thanks for the comment and welcome to our world, ipohWorld.
      The name of the shop does not immediately ring a bell in my head, but it might do so with one of our many readers here and on FB. Therefore the best thing to do is send me a high resolution scam (say 300 or 600dpi) and we will publish it and ask for our readers’ help. High resolution is important so that we can enlarge the photo to study the detail. Please also let us have your grandparents’ names and any other details you have. Every little piece of information helps in this situation.

      I look forward to receiving the scanned photo at info@ipohworld.org.

  50. Ipoh Remembered says:


    There was a Jeweller/Silversmith located in the block of shops next to the Shell Station. [โ€ฆ] Does anyone remember the name of that shop? I think the silversmith was Ceylonese.

    The jeweler at 196 Brewster Road was P. G. Jinadasa and, yes, he was Sinhalese.

    Given the gem industry in Sri Lanka, many young Sinhalese men were trained in the business. As they emigrated in the early 1900s in search of fortune, some came to Penang, Taiping, and KL, as well as to Ipoh. In the ’50s, there were at least two Sinhalese jewelers in Ipoh: Jinadasa and Adris. Other Sinhalese emigrants became jewelers to the Sultans of Kelantan and Johor; one became the royal jeweler to the first Agong.

    Other notes:

    I think Adris is still in business in Ipoh; perhaps someone local can confirm.

    In the ’50s Mr. Jinadasa shared that shop lot at 196 Brewster Road with a business called Union Commercial, a sort of news-agent where one could buy foreign newspapers, magazines, and so on.

  51. Chang Kok Khan says:

    Hi all. I am trying to help my father to locate his elder sister whom was given away to a doctor opened a clinic along Brewster Road somewhere btw 1940 to 1945. Somehow the doctor and his clinic had closed and moved to kl. Until now i couldnt get any info from my father’s generation about the name of the doctor. Hence, i hope to get some leads here to locate this doctor or his clinic name. At least with his name, i could try to search the Malaysia Medical Association for his background. The question does anyone know any clinic along Brewster Road during that time? Thanks.

    • Shen Ooi says:

      Hi Chang Kok Khan,

      The only Clinic that I can think of is what I read in a book called “No Dram of Mercy” about a local hero called Sybil Kathigasu. Her husband ran a clinic in Brewster Road right into the Japanese Occupation of Ipoh. They moved from Ipoh to Papan, a small town outside Ipoh, where Sybil carried out heroic acts as a Freedom Fighter.

      An excerpt from Wikipedia as follows:

      She and her husband, Dr. Abdon Clement (A.C.) Kathigasu, operated a clinic at No. 141, Brewster Road (now Jalan Sultan Idris Shah) in Ipoh from 1926 until the Japanese invasion of Malaya. The family escaped to the nearby town of Papan days before Japanese forces occupied Ipoh. The local Chinese community fondly remembered her husband, who was given the Hakka nickname “You Loy-De”.

  52. Shen Ooi says:

    Hi Chang Kok Khan,
    The only Clinic that I can think of is what I read in a book called โ€œNo Dram of Mercyโ€ about a local hero called Sybil Kathigasu. Her husband ran a clinic in Brewster Road right into the Japanese Occupation of Ipoh. They moved from Ipoh to Papan, a small town outside Ipoh, where Sybil carried out heroic acts as a Freedom Fighter.
    An excerpt from Wikipedia as follows:
    She and her husband, Dr. Abdon Clement (A.C.) Kathigasu, operated a clinic at No. 141, Brewster Road (now Jalan Sultan Idris Shah) in Ipoh from 1926 until the Japanese invasion of Malaya. The family escaped to the nearby town of Papan days before Japanese forces occupied Ipoh. The local Chinese community fondly remembered her husband, who was given the Hakka nickname โ€œYou Loy-Deโ€.

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