Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation
Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation

May 2017

Can you believe it?

By |2017-05-03T17:08:59+08:00May 3rd, 2017|Categories: childhood, food|Tags: , |


This steamboat is ‘powered’ by charcoal. Yes, I kid you not! This brass object is divided into the base, pot and lid. The soup is placed in the pot, which is heated by the charcoal in the base. I’ve never eaten out of one of these…have you?

November 2014

Another famous brand?

By |2014-11-26T08:34:04+08:00November 26th, 2014|Categories: childhood, food, Memories|Tags: , , , |


It is said that the story of Horlicks began with James & William Horlick from Glouscestershire, who came up with the idea of a malt milk drink (as an artificial infant food).

History aside, what was YOUR Horlicks memory like? I remember drinking this during my pre-school years. Later, this malt drink (and the famous Milo) kept me company during my university days – especially when studying late into the night (coffee never seemed to work!). Was Horlicks part of your life too? Is it still part of your life? 😉

April 2014

Kaya Puff for Dessert?

By |2014-04-15T14:27:50+08:00April 15th, 2014|Categories: food, Identify Photographs, People|Tags: , |


I’m sure some of you have seen this shop….some of you may be regular customers too! This shop, located at Jalan Mustafa Al Bakri, is said to be famous for its Kaya Puff – a light and fluffy pastry with egg-jam filling.


Ideal for those with a sweet-tooth, don’t you think? Have you eaten one of these tasty treats? Or, perhaps you know of yet another place which serves this particular sweet.

We’d love to hear from you 🙂

March 2014

Here Comes the SPIDERMAN!

By |2014-03-17T16:08:15+08:00March 17th, 2014|Categories: childhood, food, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , |

Mano asked if we could start a food blog page and after discussing it we have decided to intersperse our traditional style heritage photos with some food photos and invite comments on certain well-known local foods. If there is sufficient enthusiasm from our readers this will become a regular feature of ipohWorld’s World.

So what could be better than to start this new venture with the famous dish Sar Hor Fun and a picture of the most famous purveyor of this wondrous food – Spiderman.


We were fortunate to get this picture from Ms Ong Su-ming when she wrote her growing-up stories for our book “Ipoh, My Home Town”. As you will appreciate, like others in the book, it is a very rare picture and we are very happy to share it with you all.

But now it is your turn – Who remembers Spiderman, were his noodles really that special and where else on Kinta Valley could you get Sar Hor Fun in days gone by? Where can you find it now?

October 2013

What to buy for ‘Satu Kupang’?

By |2013-10-23T16:54:20+08:00October 23rd, 2013|Categories: childhood, Memories, People|Tags: , , |


Do you recall the days when you could by an ice-cream sandwich for “satu kupang” (10 cents)? It was big money then, but today you hardly get a handful of sweets for that price.  The donor of this photograph says that the location is somewhere up north – Was “kupang” a common phrase used for money in Ipoh?

We thank Taj Firdaus for this photograph 🙂

May 2013

The Unknown Restaurant

By |2013-05-03T15:26:26+08:00May 3rd, 2013|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, tourism|Tags: , , |

We’re pleased to have received a nice set of photographs from John McAuley – who served with the British Army in Ipoh from 1956-57. The picture below is from his collection. Take a good, long look at it and tell us if you recognise this place. The only clue John gave us was that many a Saturday night was spent at this restaurant, enjoying Nasi Goreng and Tiger Beer! 🙂 Happy guessing!

john macauley009b

April 2013

Fung Lum Restaurant

By |2013-04-17T16:40:50+08:00April 17th, 2013|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Memories|Tags: , , |


I’m sure some of you out there remember Fung Lum Restaurant. From what we were told, this restaurant once had its own building somewhere behind Lido Cinema. Could this be the building? This picture was taken off a matchbox cover, hence the poor quality……but some ‘sharp eyes’ may be able to give us some feedback 🙂

July 2010

The Street Hawker …. “Chee Cheong Farn” ….

By |2010-07-12T15:21:04+08:00July 12th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , |

Here’s a picture of a street hawker, taken from an old postcard – as some of our fans out there recall, there were such hawkers….who came around with their ‘treasures’ in coolie baskets. This hawker is said to be selling “chee cheong farn” (as how the postcard spells it).

Besides food and snacks, I do wonder what else these ‘travelling salesmen’ sold. Maybe some of you out there might have bought a thing or two from them. Don’t know if they’re still around – I for sure have yet to see one, especially around Hugh Low or Belfield Street.

June 2010

Nephew – May He Rest in Peace

By |2010-06-05T16:05:31+08:00June 5th, 2010|Categories: Ipoh Town, Memories, People|Tags: , |

Nephew of FMS fame was not only the well loved barman of the FMS, but he was friend and confidente of literally thousands of people from all over the globe who dropped in the FMS for a ‘quick one’ over his sixty years behind that famous old bar. Sadly he passed away this week and will never serve us a beer or one of his delightful meals again. An icon of Ipoh and part of the city’s history, he will be sorely missed when the FMS reopens its doors next year.

We pass ipohWorld’s condolences to his family.

May 2010

…..perfect for a hot afternoon!

By |2010-05-09T11:48:49+08:00May 7th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

My name is Mohammed Salleh, age 39, married with three children. I am one of the many hawkers in town selling ‘chendol’ for the past 22 years. You can find me daily at the Magistrate Court compound in the morning; around Railway Station at one o’clock; and at Hale Street (opposite Town Padang) from 3 pm. I finish work at about 5pm.

He used to be one of the many hawkers who served locals (and probably foreigners too!) back in the 70s. Anyone tried his famous ‘chendol’?

October 2009

Perak’s Own Leaning Tower

By |2009-10-07T06:21:45+08:00October 7th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , , , , |


 This photograph taken in 1920 shows little sign of the famous Teluk Anson (now Teluk Intan) tower actually leaning, but if you go there yourself I can assure you it leans!

Manufactured from bricks and wood and standing at 25.5 metres tall, its Pagoda-style construction gives the tower an appearance of having 8 different levels (like Pisa). However, the building is actually divided only into 3 storeys each 16½ feet high, connected by 110 stairs.  Above the third storey stands the water tank (for it was actually a water tower for the surrounding population) 16 feet deep and with a surface area of 680 square feet.  All 8 levels have a 6 feet wide balcony and a decorative 2 feet high marble wall surrounding the main structure.  Roofing tiles complete the picture.  One amusing fact, taken from the very limited history available is that the side balconies were designed “to ensure the safety of the tower’s caretaker from rainstorm”.  There is still a regular caretaker of the tower today and one of his duties is to wind the old clock that was originally ordered from London and still keeps good time while chiming every 15 minutes.  Again the records claim “the hourly ringing of the Tower’s clock could be heard up to 8 miles away, but now the chimes could be heard as far as one to half a mile in radius due to the modernization of buildings and all means of transportations”.  Today I doubt that it can be heard much further than the town center.

Over the years the tower has been a Japanese observation post and a Boy Scout Headquarters amongst other roles, but in 1997 the council decided that the tower should remain a landmark for the town’s tourism and constructed the new town square around it. Not long ago it was subjected to careful internal restoration.

 P.S. The World’s Best Duck Soup is at Bidor

Next time you are going to Pangkor, Lumut or even Penang (if you are coming from the South), why not take that detour off the highway at Bidor and enjoy Malaysia’s own leaning tower and while in Bidor, just stop at Pun Chun, the first large Chinese restaurant on the right past the traffic lights and enjoy the best duck noodle soup in the country.  They have been serving it for more than 3 generations and you will love it.      


September 2009

Singing Cockles, No Mussels, Alive, Alive O

By |2009-09-22T11:47:35+08:00September 22nd, 2009|Categories: Memories, Natural Heritage|Tags: , , , , |

You might wonder why these three men are pushing their boat up the Perak River towards Kuala Sepetang, originally known as Port Weld, the site of the first railway in Malaya that connected the port to Taiping Station (the then capital of Perak), rather than doing the obvious thing of riding in it. But the title of this post (with apologies to the composer) may have given you the answer, but if not then a glance at the next picture surely will.

Yes they are bringing in their daily harvest of cockles, for Kuala Sepetang is famous for supplying fresh, machine washed Perak cockles across the Malayan Peninsula and has been for many years. Now there’s a bit of heritage that many people are not aware of, even those who regularly enjoy the little crustaceans.

Kuala Sepetang, as Port Weld once used to export, not cockles, but tin and that was the rhyme and reason why the railway was built in 1884 using Ceylonese labour. But that lucrative business has of course disappeared, nonetheless, Kual Sepetang is still a busy little fishing port and besides the cockles which mostly leave by lorry, is a great place for traditional seafood dishes.

Why not drop in on the friendly folk there and have a restful day off. You know you deserve it! By the way, the prawns are excellent as well and that is personal experience talking.

June 2009

The Beef Noodle Family of Ipoh

By |2011-08-11T12:31:49+08:00June 22nd, 2009|Categories: Ipoh Town, People|Tags: , , , , , |

The photographs, taken by a Japanese tourist, show Ipoh’s famous Beef Noodle Stall in operation in Theatre Street in 1968 where it served the people of Ipoh for more than 50 years, until they were forced by legislation to move to a central hawkers area, known locally as Rainbow City. They have been at this second site for more than 20 years. Consequently, the stall has been in operation by the same family in Ipoh for more than 70 years.

The business was founded by Lee Cheong who was born in Phunyu, Guandong in 1902 and first came to Malaya in 1916 to help his father, already in Malaya, to sell rice on their stall in Kuala Lumpur. After some time he returned to China, but times were very tough there and so in 1922 he returned to Malaya and found employment as a supervisor (kepala) in the tin mine of Cheong Yook Chong near Kuala Lumpur. However by the mid 1930s the world depression had taken its toll on tin mining and many unemployed coolies had to return to China to take up hawking or begging in order to survive.

Lee Cheong decided that a move to Ipoh and the new profession of a beef noodle hawker would be the best thing for him, which as it turned out was absolutely correct as he successfully created a long term family business and had eight children, all born in Ipoh.

The photograph on the left shows eldest daughter Yea Sin busily preparing the succulent beef that is the hallmark of their success, together with the home produced noodles and chili sauce made fresh daily. The second photograph shows father Lee Cheong, the founder, measuring out a good handful of noodles and in the background younger daughter, Li Lin, polishing a traditional Cockerel bowl (like those on the counter and still in use today) and the showcase full of freshly made noodles. Both daughters continue to work at their stall, now in 2009, on a regular basis.

There are more photographs and information about this family on our database archive.

As there are some additional, recent comments about this blog I decided to upload another photo.

 Here we have the stall in 2007 with the normal team that provide us with their traditional beef noodles. Note the cockerel bowls on the counter, the same ones as used in Theatre Street more than 40 years ago. 



January 2009

Anyone for Pork Rice?

By |2009-01-26T04:51:10+08:00January 26th, 2009|Categories: Identify Photographs|Tags: , , , , |

This is a rare photograph of a Kopitiam hawker cutting roast pork from a joint hanging above his chopping board, on which there is already a hearty portion of cut meat. Note the thickness of the board and how it is worn away on the side nearest to him. No doubt there is a customer anxiously waiting for his “Roast Pork Rice and Chilli Sauce”.

In the background can be seen a selection of tins and packets and partially visible,behind the hawker, is a traditional round wooden table with marble top.

Now, the key question is if anyone can recognise the man, said to be from Ipoh. If you can, please click on ‘comments’ below and share his details with us.

If anyone has any similar photographs showing the inside shops, coffee shops or restaurants, we would be delighted to include them in this archive.


By |2010-06-26T14:00:57+08:00January 26th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

“To eat durian is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience.” 

Alfred Russell Wallace, The Malay Archipelago.

Despite being written almost 150 years ago, that is one of the nicer quotations describing the King of Fruits.  More modern critics are likely to use descriptions that vary from being simply rude to downright obscene.  All are unprintable in a volume such as this.  Personally, the author being a keen supporter of the Durian prefers to describe its special taste and aroma as “Tastes like Heaven, smells like Hell”.  Nonetheless, no matter which side of the Durian fence you sit, lover or hater, the King of Fruits, either fresh or in any one of its many guises, is still popular with many citizens in South East Asia, young and old.

Apart from the obvious tasty snack of the raw, soft, yellow flesh, found inside that prickly exterior one longstanding Durian treat is the Durian cake or Dodol (in local parlance), not cake in the form that Caucasians would expect, but more a rubbery texture more akin to a toffee than a cake.

Anna Down, locally born but now a UK resident, has very pleasant memories of her childhood in Ipoh during that special time of the year when Durians were in plentiful supply – and cheap!

She recalls that the best place to buy Durians in the season was at the roadside around the old children’s playground at Brewster Road.  Here there were always plenty of hawkers competing for trade and for bulk buys, prices could be haggled down to a level which made the subsequent effort well worth while.  Such buying sprees were never made alone as the best prices could be obtained if a group was to buy together with the best bargainer appointed to lead the expedition.  In Anna’s case her mum always went with a group of friends and after selecting the best bargains and employing her best and most persuasive haggling technique, she would hail one or two trishaws or rickshaws where the ripe and prickly fruit would be loaded aboard and the unfortunate rickshaw puller/trishaw man would be directed to her home address where the next stage of the process was to begin.  For these Durians were destined to become home-made Durian cake.

Once unloaded and transferred to the back yard, the Durians were prised open with difficulty and the assistance of a butcher’s cleaver.  The aromatic (some would say ‘smelly’) yellow flesh was separated from its seeds and scraped into a big multi-coloured bowl from China.  Once all the Durians had been stripped of their delicious contents, the shells and seeds were discarded and the precious flesh transferred into a big copper container.  Sugar was added and the mixture was stirred constantly with a large wooden paddle over a low heat until the correct consistency was reached.  By this stage the mixture had become dark brown.  To test the consistence Anna would take a spoonful of the mixture taste if if she could get away with it and see if it another spoonful could successfully be rolled into a shape like a Swiss roll.  Once that was achieved, the entire contents of the copper container were removed from the heat and the mixture formed into as many rolls as could be made.  Once cooled the rolls were then wrapped and distributed to the families involved and the copper container could be scraped clean by Ann as a reward for her help..

Anna ends this tale by reminding us that commercial Durian cake is readily available in Malaysia today, but bears little resemblance to that home-made treat from years gone by.

 Do you have any memories of days gone by that you would like to share with us please?

December 2008

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