One of the most popular places to eat in Taiping is surely the Taiping Casual Market, a hawker center located at the bottom of the Larut Matang departmental store along Jalan Panggong Wayang. With a heckuva lot of stalls operating, halal on one end and non-halal on the other, you can always find something interesting to eat.
Twenty years of living in Taiping and I only stumbled on Heh-Chien only after I leave town. *sigh*
Heh-Chien is not unlike Ho-Chien. While the latter is an oyster and starch flour omellete, Heh-Chien is shrimp-based. Take 20 or so fresh shrimps in a light starch-flour batter, stir-fry it with fresh chives (kuchai) and break in a couple of eggs and you'll have a winning formula. It's elementary! And delicious to boot. I'm just surprised that not more Ho-Chien stalls are doing this.
Some of you purists might scowl at the thought of shrimps instead of oysters but the fact is not too many people can stomach the strong fishy smell of oyster. And so shrimps are the natural choice. Shrimps are delicious. They're sweet and springy and you never run the risk of biting into something nasty.
Stall No.77 does really well here. Their end result is an omelette that is crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside - a welcome assault on the tastebuds. This dish also comes with a garlic-chilli-vinegar sauce that complements the Heh-Chien perfectly.
Of course, all said, I really can't say if this is the best Heh-Chien ever simply because I haven't sampled this dish anywhere else. So if anyone knows anywhere else selling the stuff, point the way and I'm there. Meanwhile, I'll continue to savour this one in Taiping.
Ahhhh... I should never have left Taiping. Coming up, more reasons to stay put in Taiping. Stay tuned.