[Ipoh, Malaysia] Apart from Penang, Ipoh is also known as the other food capital in Malaysia with a diverse variety of local delights.
Known for being rich in minerals, the spring water in the limestone hills is also known as “hard water” and is used to create the silky and springy texture in their Hor Fun and Chee Cheong Fun, whereas their Beancurd proves to be light and smooth.
“How different can it be?”, I was quite skeptical as these dishes are no stranger to us Singaporeans.
And seeing multiple decades-old bean curd specialty shops in Ipoh, this shows that Ipoh people are really serious in their Tau Fu Fa.
iWoong Kee Traditional Bean Curd 旺記祖傳豆花 which is a humble looking shop first started out in Bercham (22km away from Ipoh) on a trishaw.
It has shifted to a permanent space in the corner of the shophouse at 32-38A Jalan Ali Pitchay.
Probably one of the hidden gems that is highly recommended by the locals and not populated with tourists, there was a sizeable queue even on a weekday afternoon.
Seats are limited both indoor (maximum of 10) and outdoors on stools along the wall.
Only 2 items can be found on their menu, namely Plain Bean Curd aka Tau Fu Fa (Dine-in RM 1.60, SGD0.55; Takeaway RM 2.30, SGD0.80) and Soya Milk.
The Beancurd is scooped into a traditional chinaware dessert bowl for dine-in customers before adding optional flavoured syrup (RM 2, SGD 0.70) such as Chrysanthemum, Rose, Blue Pea Flower, Osmanthus and Jasmine.
The syrup contains mainly floral notes, with various health benefits, and does not greatly mask the taste of the beancurd.
In Ipoh, various toppings are available to add-on to the beancurd such as Red beans, Ginko nuts, Crushed Peanuts, Sesame seed paste, Grass Jelly at RM0.50 (SGD0.20) and Glutinous rice balls (RM1, SGD0.35).
Opt for the Super Star (RM3.60, SGD1.20) that comes with 3 toppings: red beans, grass jelly and crushed peanuts, if you can’t decide what toppings to add.
The Blue Pea Flower syrup (RM3, SGD1) and Glutinous Rice balls is probably the most Instagram-worthy beancurd, coming in a traditional chinaware.
The texture of the beancurd was surprisingly soft, smooth and silky that it literally glided down my throat.
Taste-wise, the soybean flavour was subtle but yet, distinctive.
True enough, the spring water from Ipoh plays an important role to create such as a delicate dessert, which is different from the ones I had tried in Singapore.
The second bowl of beancurd I had came with Osmanthus syrup and grass jelly (RM2.50, SGD0.85).
The Osmanthus syrup had more obvious floral notes, sweeter than the other bowl.
I enjoyed the addition of grass jelly, which was sliced into thinner portions which made it easily to consume on the spoon.
The grass jelly was as soft and smooth, but added a firmer layered texture to the entire combination.
The other product on the menu is the Soya Milk which is available in 2 flavours: Normal soya (Cup RM 2.20, SGD 0.75/ Small bottle RM 2.50, SGD 0.85/ Big Bottle RM 7, SGD 2.35) or Black Soya (Cup RM 2.70, SGD 0.90/ Small bottle RM 3, SGD 1/ Big Bottle RM 8.40, SGD 2.80).
Do not be surprised to see soya milk in a green shade as they are manufactured from soybeans after removing the black husks.
Bean curd is one of the Must-Try in Ipoh, Malaysia and I really appreciate such a simple bowl of dessert from Woong Kee Beancurd.
Note: There is a franchise outlet of Woong Kee Traditional Bean Curd stall located in Maxwell Food Centre in Singapore (which I will probably head down to try soon.)
Woong Kee Beancurd 旺記祖傳豆花
32-38A Jalan Ali Pitchay, 30250, Ipoh, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 1pm – 5pm (Mon – Sun)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.