Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ipoh Tuck Kee - the hyped Yuet Gong Hor and Wat Tan Hor specialist

Restoran Ipoh Tuck Kee is not to be confused with the Tuck Kee in Pasir Pinji which dishes out famous roast duck and char siew and Chinese reataurant styled cuisine. First of all, Restoran Tuck Kee is NOT AIRCONDITIONED, and you definitely not bound to find a single grain of rice here. This is because their forte is fried noodles! Quite a number of my friends who visited Ipoh will think of this place for dinner or supper, apart from the famed Ipoh Bean Sprout Chicken. By the way, Ipoh Tuck Kee is situated at the golden triangle which houses the overrated Onn Kee and Lou Wong. Opened from 5pm onwards, you better come before 7pm to secure a seat, slightly earlier if it's weekends.

So what's the hype over this eatery? After deciding on what you want, hand over the order chit and the kitchen will try its very best to ensure food will be served at the minimum time possible. The poor chap is the only one frying the noodles in the kitchen, with some assistants to prepare and pass him the ingredients. In the midst of waiting, why not quench the raging hunger with some side dishes? The herbal stewed egg and stewed taufu is priced at RM1 each. The pork meatballs is at RM3 for a small serving of 5 pieces. The plump and juicy beansprout featured in the photo is at RM3 for a small portion. All these items are very reasonably priced and fast to be served as they are either ready or require minimal cooking skills (prepared by foreign workers)

The stewed chicken feet (RM5) is one worth mentioning apart from the side items. Braised to perfection, the meat/skin can practically fall off easily without much effort. One can easily pop the whole feet inside the mouth and spit out the bones at one go. The gravy has mild tinge of herb and it is not too salty. Mom said this dish has high profit margin as chicken feet is only around 20 cents PER PAIR!

 On the other side of the mouthfeel scale, you can always go for a chewing spree with the Blanched Baby Octopus (single serving at RM10). Please do not get me wrong that it is very chewy, but you do get to exercise your jaws since the eating the stewed chicken feet is not much of a task right? Blanched and topped with fried garlic, you are served with a tangy chilli sauce with crushed peanuts. I feel the fried garlic did a better job in complementing the octopus. And my personal preference is still the version served in Friend Snow Beer - whereby the blanced octopus is tossed in lime juice, generous amount of onions and bird's eye chilli (kerabu style)

Of the myriad of noodles choices, the standard pricing goes for single serving (small) is RM5, medium (RM10) is meant for 2 person and large (RM13) is meant for 3 eaters. One of the 3 single serving picked is the Moonlight Kuay Teow or fondly termed as “Yuet Gong Hor” in Cantonese. Kuay Teow is stir fried in a slightly wet and greasy. Upon serving, a whole egg is cracked on top, thus giving this dish its name. The raw egg yolk looks like the reflection of the moon on a pool of water (egg white). The flat noodles should be piping hot and once you mix up the whole dish, the egg will be cooked from the “heat” of the noodles. The single serving for Yuet Gong Hor is RM6, slightly pricier than the rest.

Those being lesser adventurous can opt for the Wat Tan Hor which is handled with utmost perfection. The "wok hei" (breath/heat of the wok) is present in every mouthful. Thick gravy with traces of egg strands coupled with the flat noodles resulted in a smooth finishing touch. The amount of accompaniments is quite reasonable for its pricing – you get a few shrimps, slices of pork and a few stalks of greens. Oh yes, how I could forget to mention fried lard which adds the extra “oomph”. This is my dad's personal favourite and it should be highly recommended though "tourist" might be attracted by the Yuet Gong Hor gimmick. The Wat Tan Hor is definitely da bomb!

The Dai Look Mein deserves personal mention which is my love at first sight. The “hokkien udon” is braised to a right texture and in slight greasy dark soya sauce gravy. The flavour from the sauce is absorbed by the noodles - a clear evidence from the small remaining amount of gravy. Coupled with almost the same ingredients as other fried noodles, I find this being very savoury and appetizing, thanks to our fried lard.

An average meal for 3 would cost around RM30 (inclusive of drinks) although 1 serving of noodles is RM5 only,  as you wont resist the reasonably priced side dishes. The shop could cater to around 10 tables only but there are definitely more tables outside at the road side. Be warned that there is another shop next door called Sun Tuck Kee. Sources say that Sun Tuck Ke is handled by the "father" while the son inherited this former lot which has gastronomic history of a few decades. Even Lee Chong Wei and Koo Kien Kiet also could not decide whether to eat at Ipoh Tuck Kee or Sun Tuck Kee, so anyone of you would like to verify which shop is your pick? :)

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