[Ipoh, Malaysia] Not referring to Michelin-starred Ming Court in Hong Kong, Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum (yes, it’s spelt this way) is one of the popular breakfast spots in Ipoh.
The popular breakfast spot is located along Jalan Leong Sin Nam.
This area is also known as Ipoh’s popular Dim Sum Street, with multiple options such as the famous Restoran Foh San Dim Sum 富山茶樓 established in 1971 (located in a huge mansion-like building) just opposite the humble-looking Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum.
Taking the advice from my Ipoh friends who commented that Foh San is catered to the tourists whereas more locals will frequent Ming Court, I decided to visit the latter for a more local experience.
Stepping into Ming Court is like a scene from a Hong Kong drama coming to life: the early morning hustle, old-school tables, chairs and mosaic floor tiles, table-sharing with strangers and service crew weaving through the crowd with trays of dim sums in a cha chaan teng.
This is the situation on a weekday morning at 7am and I heard that it is usually more crowded during the weekends.
Keep a lookout for empty tables (or chairs) and the attentive staff in red uniform with red cap will attend to you once you are seated.
Each group will be given utensils and an order chit with pricing indicated starting from RM2.40 (SGD0.80) to RM5.80 (SGD1.95).
The service staff are very responsive and will come to you promptly with trays of dim sum, which can be a little overwhelming for first-timers, but they are definitely enthusiastic and polite.
Choose whichever you want from the tray and the staff will indicate the quantity on the order chit for payment at the cashier before leaving.
With their prompt service and more than 50 different dim sums to choose from, I guessed over-ordering is inevitable, especially when the dim sums look more appetising when you can choose on the spot.
I regretted a little when I finally sat down to dig in, and hope to share some food (and calories) with the other group sharing the same table but they seem like they are starting a Mukbang (binge-eating) show too.
Instead of using the usual dim sum bamboo steamers (“zheng long”), the steamed dim sum are place within metal steamers.
Even though the size of the dim sums are smaller than the ones we usually see, I actually appreciate that I can try out more options given these smaller portions.
Prices start from RM2.40, SGD0.80 for 3 buns: White Lotus, Custard and Chicken, whereas the popular signature dim sums include Har Gow – Shrimp Dumpling (3pcs for RM4.30, SGD1.45), Siew Mai (4pcs for RM4.10, SGD1.40), Chee Cheong Fun (for RM4, SGD1.35) and Chicken Glutinous Rice (RM4.60, SGD1.55).
There is a certain old-school, traditional taste to it, homely and comforting but nothing out of the ordinary.
Do not expect fine-dining refined dim sum but it is still well-balanced, flavourful, soft in texture and not too starchy and well-worth the price tag.
The Carrot Cake (2pcs for RM3.80, SGD1.30) is worth a mention which is smooth and moist in texture, with a distinctive carrot taste and crispy golden-brown edges.
Hidden within the fluffy carrot cake are bits of Lup Cheong (Chinese sausage) which adds a chewy texture and fragrance to it.
My favourite dish is the Muah Chee (RM4, SGD1.35) which is glutinous rice sprinkled with crushed peanuts and peanut paste in it like Tangyuan.
The Muah Chee is extremely soft and delicate with a Mochi-like texture, giving it a contrast to the bits of crushed peanuts.
Judging from the crowd on a weekday morning and the selection of dim sum, Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum is worth waking up early as there are limited quantity for each dim sum.
It was a pleasant experience to dine there with a fuss-free ordering system, staffs are very attentive, fast turn-over rate and spacious with two dining halls.
Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum 明阁香港点心
50, Jalan Mustapa Al-bakri, Taman Jubilee, Ipoh, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 10.30am until sold out (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.