Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kam Wan Ipoh Garden Food Court

I finally get to eat at a food court in Ipoh. Food court is a 20+ years phenomenon when hawkers were hounded of the streets like stray dogs. So unlike Kuala Lumpur, hawkers are systematized and organized. It is an off the grid thing especially for those so use to hawkers' colony sprouting almost overnight along road shoulders. Ipohan will remember Tong Sui Kai put together in site near Sam Tet School. In Penang and Kuala Lumpur food court is a government (less so) and a private sector initiative. Huge hangar like structure being put up and stalls rented out to hawkers,

Kam Wan is next to Woolley Food City. It is like a longhouse with frontage for each stalls to ply their trade. There was plenty of choices. Take your pick. Traditional Ipoh food plus more modern ones that the traditionalist will eschew like me. I try to pick ass many Ipoh-style food as possible. The only food out of the whack were some deep-fried mantis shrimp.It was 8:30pm on Wednesday but surprisingly the place is just a third occupied unlike in times past. Signs of time and also the competition from choices elsewhere. Part of the issue may the the food as I found some of it were very ordinary.

Brown Squid with Kangkung with Peanut sauce. This is by far the best dish of the night. The sauce was excellent and brought life to the bland squid and kangkung. The attraction is usually the sauce and the chewy,, firm and dense texture of the squid mixed with the sauce.

Sengkuang/Jicama Roll whu\ich was my childhood favourite. Lack the oomph and fragrance from being served immediately after deep-frying. It is like the sweet potato tong sui without the pandan infused fragrance in the soup. Average dish but good to renew acquaintance with a favourite.

 I was told these were Parang Fish Balls. Average in texture and taste also.

Duck Leg Wrap was the best literal translation from Cantonese into English at least for me. These can be found mostly in mobile steamboat trucks in Kuala Lumpur. I don't usually eat them there eventhough available as they are already cooked and ready to eat but the cruncher is that these have been exposed to the elements and what nots and one is not supposed to dipped it into the boiling pot of water to sort of to sterilise plus cook it. Inside was mostly char siew. Nice texture, felt solid to taste and chew. Kind of enjoyed it after years of going without it.

Fresh Lala in Savoury Sauce. The sauce was average. I know the Ipohans would disagree as my taste bud is more KL and prefer stronger mix of tastes, smells and flavours. I do like bigger ones and also more succulent meat. Not so easy to get those so got to make do with another palatable dish for the not so choosy.

Mantis shrimp deep-fried in Batter. This stalls have lots of these mantis meat ready and was already dipping them into batter and deep-frying it a cauldron of hot oil in a big wok. The batter was has nice fragrance. Great stuff and this dish can be addictive. Like an expensive plate of chips/crisps of a meaty kind rather than from potatoes or cereals. Recommended.

Footnote: There are to try, give it go as it won't burn a hole in the pocket.

No comments: