Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow
  1. Charlie says:

    This looks like the stalls behind the Foong Seong Building, near the Ipoh Central
    Market. Maybe even inside the Central Market itself, before Super Kinta was built!

  2. Alan y says:

    Charlie, u r the man. This was taken in 69 before I left paloh. I believe this was facing foo choo Choong street. My mom n grandma would only frequent the same vendors. Only problem I cannot recall if this was the stall. I was gone for 10 yrs before I came home again. I remember the quai loow loos n I thought that was where they built super Kinta. I e cold storage n Chee kong(I wrote about the restaurant n nobody seemed to know).
    Ps, u seem to know Ipoh well. On the same side of cold storage there was a shop that sold coffee powder. Has a seal or sea lion on their pkg. sue n I would always hv them double seal so that we could take back to the states. if u remember, the hawkers would also sell tai kow meen, the dough thing n the doughnut shaped flour mixture that we dipped in ur coppee oh, n the yam thing with radish, purple in color with chopped scallions n I think peanuts on top. I remember this dish came on a Round alum container.
    Charlie, if u can even remember the late 40’s or early 50’s, my grandpa had a bicycle repair shop in this same shop lots. Al

  3. am says:

    Alan Y, I think u are right as I too can remember these stalls there. I remember a bicycle repair shop along Foo choo choon street. I use to repair my bicycle there in the 70’s when I was schooling. There is also another bicycle repair shop nearby along Cockman Street but I prefer to go to the shop along Foo choo choon because it is much cheaper.

  4. Ken Chan says:

    Referring to comment # 2, I do remember Chee Kong restaurant. It was owned by the Thong family and was very famous for its ‘tai pow’ (big bun). It was generously filled with meat, egg, chinese sausage, mushroom and even abalone (a very expensive item in present day Chinese cuisine). The ‘tai pow’ was sold at 5.00 am and in an hour or so, it would be completely sold out. Vendors from the nearby Central Market would usually have one before they start their long day because the big bun was so substantial, it was a meal in itself. Customers who bought the ‘tai pow’ as a carry out item were only allowed to purchase 2 at a time because this house specialty catered to the dine-in customers from the market.

    The shop that produced the coffee powder with the ‘seal/sea lion’ brand was Yee Hoi. To coffee connoisseurs, the aroma of freshly grounded beans wafting in the morning air delivers a sense of elation that is hard to describe in words. These days whenever I get my morning cup from the drive-thru at Starbucks, I can still recall that sensation wistfully.

    The hawkers that sold Chinese pancakes (‘tai gou meen’), Chinese doughnuts (‘hum cheen bang’) and yam cake (‘woo tow gow’) were located in the alley near Mun Loi Grocery, the corner shop on the block. Other notable hawkers that also congregated in that area included a guy who sold vegetarian food (‘chai low mei’) and a craftsman who could carved wooden Chinese clogs on demand.

    I had a punctured tire patched in that bicycle shop on several occasions even though its name had eluded my memory. In those days it cost only 50 cents to repair a flat. That goes a long way to show how inflation has affected the value of money over the years.

    Thanks Alan Y, for a timely dose of nostalgia. Your posting is the key that opened the door for us to re-visit the past. The trip down memory lane is especially poignant to those who reside half-way across the world from Ipoh.

  5. alan y says:

    Ken, follow up to your previous comments. Thanks for translating my awkward description of the described food. My cantonese is getting worse, as we are now living along the Georgia coast, and there are less Chinese(Most of them are from mainland, and mandarin was never mastered on my part). However what is the long flour dough (like the spanish churros), deep fried, 2 cylindrical forms, about 8 inches long?
    Lets try another dish. Ah Poong. We used to get this, on Cowan street, on the same side of all the driving shcools, across from Jubliee Park. Gentleman had his business on the outside walkways of the shop lots.
    Speaking of driving schools. Remember the morris minors that the instructors used? The clutch was so worn or deliberately changed so that one would not stall out while changing gears. During the driving test (Ashby road, between green town n the army barracks?), the instructor would somehow be allowed on the outside coaching while I was driving with the inspector. Also, the car probably could not go more than 15 mph.

  6. Ken Chan says:

    Alan, the Chinese version of churros is ‘yow char guai’ and ‘Ah Poong’ is a thin, crepe-like pancake with a thick center. Indeed, the stall on Cowan Street, in front of the driving school was very popular and I remember we had to line up early to get it. I happen to be living in a big city and items like ‘yow char guai’ and ‘hum cheen bang’ are readily available.

    Those Morris Minors were very compact, with very little leg room for the passengers. However, they were very hardy vehicles that were built to last and could withstand indiscriminate torturing/abuse from student drivers like us. In those days, many of the driving testers were known to be corrupted and had improper dalliance with the driving schools. Changing gear was always challenging, especially in the more junky cars and I also recall we had to learn parking in the empty lot by Perak Stadium.

  7. alan y says:

    Hi Ken, re 6.
    I suspect that u r on the east coast. Boston, NYC, Philly or metro DC/Balt area.
    Sue, kids n I lived in wilmington for over 30 yrs, and philly was were we usually went for dim sum. i think mike, was only 2 weeks old when sue n i yearned for our dim sum hit, and had to go to chinatown philly.
    Pls reply to email if u would rather. IKA has it.
    Rgds, al

  8. Ivan Wong says:

    Hi! Alan and Ken,
    It really makes for nostalgic and interesting readings of the food you guys reminisce over. I am in Sydney and Asian cuisine and odds and sorts are available, perhaps not the exotic “Ah Poong”. What you call Dim Sum we call “Yum Cha” is abundant in Sydney and suburbs. As Aussies travel far and wide around SE Asia, caucasian aussies love Laksa, Won Ton Mee, Char Siew Bau, etc. etc. We are truly multicultural downunder.
    I cannot recall the streets that you gentlemen were referrin but my dad had a grocery shop (“Cheong Thye”) right smack in the middle of the old “Hot and Exuberant” Ipoh town. It was in the corner of Hugh Low Street and Anderson Road? just opposite Rex Cinema.
    I attended the August 2012 Alumni Dinner and I took a few snaps of my dad’s old shop which had been renovated. That part of town is literally “dead”. The only shop in that row was the biscuit shop, “Chong Hon Yuen”. I still go and say hello to Ah Lek, the proprietor who has been our friend over the past 43 years.They make great biscuits.
    Well, Alan, it is great to have reconnected and reading beautiful histories of “our hometown” and sharing them with whoever may wish to log in to Ipohworld.
    Keep on writing.

    Regards and cheers to you, Alan and Ken. By the way, Ken, are you an Ex-ACSian?

  9. Ken Chan says:

    HI Alan,
    The east coast is not my home. Instead, I am from the Midwest and Chicago, located on the shores of Lake Michigan (often referred to as the 3rd coast) is my adopted hometown. After 1997, with the mass exodus of chefs from Hong Kong to western countries, the quality of Chinese food has improved by leaps and bounds. The dim sum restaurants in Chinatown are more than comparable to those in Malaysia. ‘Har gow’, ‘siew mai’ and a variety of delectable dim sum is available day and night. What I missed most is the hawker or street food and in that respect, Ipoh is still the undisputed paradise for foodies like us.

    And Ivan, I am not from ACS. Anderson School is my Alma Mater and through the years I have lost touch with many fellow Andersonians. Sifting through my hazy memory, I can recall your dad’ grocery shop and the name ‘Choong Hon Yuen’ definitely rings a bell. Growing up in Ipoh, I can still remember that this shop’s claim to fame is its ‘heong pang.’ Another biscuit shop that is equally popular is ‘Aun Thye’, which is located on Cockman Street, across from the central market.

    I was in Sydney two years ago and just as you have said, curry laksa is sold in the food courts all over the city. We ‘Yum Cha’ at the Golden Unicorn on Maroubra Road and the dim sum was superb; just as good as any restaurant in Hong Kong. Spent many happy hours boozing and watching people at Darling Harbor and Circular Quay. For some adventure of sorts, we climbed the Harbor Bridge and enjoyed the fantastic view of the waterfront. Our visits to the nearby Blue Mountains, Jenolan Caves and Bondi Beach were equally memorable and the spectacular scenery left an indelible impression in my mind. Sydney is indeed my kind of town!

  10. Alan y says:

    Ken, a Windy City boy. I guess I was way off. Having spent 18 months in South Dakota, and enduring 2 harsh winters made me very sure that if I could choose….. Anyway , 34 yrs in the mid atlantic states was enough as the snow and freezing conditions got too much as we got older.
    We know enjoy 50 degree weather for Xmas. Also being an avid runner, I can run in shorts all year round.
    I lived in canning gardens before shipping out. So most of my friends from fair park, greentown and canning went to Anderson school. However, I cannot think of anybody except mr. Ung Kek chow and off course lat.
    By the way, before leaving Wilmington for good, we visited Toronto. A doctor friend offered Sue a job in their research group. It did not take long for us to make up our minds.
    To each his own. However, I know your ethnic foods are very good in the Windy City. Mexican and Indian fare are very plentiful and good.
    Take care and we will continue reminiscing about our Ipoh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>