Tong Shui Kai has never been my top picks for a light/late night meal. Firstly the jaga kereta nuisance really pisses me off. Before you even start eating, your car "feeds" for RM1 at least. Secondly, unless you are a regular, you wouldn't know which shop serves the better/best dessert or noodles. I observed a general repetition of this pattern: wantan mee, drinks stall, chee cheong fun/ curry mee, fried noodles, drinks stall, wan tan mee. Clusters of these stalls form a "zone" and bear in mind that you are not allowed to order from the wantan mee from another zone to be bought over to your place. If the tables nearby your favourite wantan mee stall is full, tough luck, go sit in another zone and hope the other wantan mee stall can satisfy your cravings. This is another reason I do not fancy eating here as there is no full liberty of choice! What if my preferred drinks stall is in this zone and my fave noodles stall is somewhere further away?
But should you be okay with the few annoyance mentioned, then let's dig into what Tong Shui Kai has to offer. The repeating patterns of drink stalls do not have a single one which stands out. Each promising you wide selection of hot and cold desserts. I would not go for Coca Cola if I were you. Choose from the Peanut Paste Dessert, Red Bean, Pak Kor Yee Mai, Momo Cha Cha, Lin Chee Kang, Ais Kacang and their Mixed Fruit Ice (fondly known as Chap Gor Bing), just to name a few. I had the Mixed Fruit Ice with a scoop of Ice Cream (RM4). You get generous portions of watermelons and honeydew melon balls, mangoes, jackfruit strips, lychees coupled with peanuts for the extra crunch. The rose syrup normally used in Ais Kacang provided an extra fruity kick to this thirst quenching dessert. Look at the contrasting colour hues. Don't you wanna dig into it too? =)
Some friends ordered the Liew Fun in curry soup. Wow, look at that layer of curry oil. Tempting isn't it. But far from deadly though for those who have an affinity towards spicy stuffs. One friend had his Chee Cheong Fun fix. You can only find the winning combination of curry+mushroom gravy in Ipoh! Yes, nowhere else will have the curry pig skin and the minced pork mushroom sauce combination for you Chee Cheong Fun. Stalls out of Ipoh or Perak would have their own interpretation of having the thick black sweet sauce instead of the dark red "tim cheung" fondly drizzled in the Ipoh version. No compromise when it comes to pork skin curry and mushroom gravy! RaaaaRRwRrssS!
This time around, I managed to try the beef noodles which some people claimed to be quite tasty. For RM4 a bowl with noodles, you get some meat and tripes. Hmm... I was digging around for the tongue part, which is my fave. The beef is tender and the soup is hearty from the bovine goodness but still lacked some kick. The beef balls are 50 cents per unit and they are far from expectation. The bounciness is there but lacked some characteristic beefy aroma. The version here paled into comparison compared to Restoran Hollywood in Canning Garden. The soup from the Canning Garden stall is much more robust with some faint hints of Chinese herbs such as red dates and white raddish (lobak). The breakdown of the body parts of the cow is much evenly distributed having more tendons and tongues! yummy! To summarise my food experience in Tong Shui Kai, just another row of food stalls, but just be there for the hype if your friends from elsewhere insist to have a look =)