Monday, August 1, 2005

Pasir Pinji Chee Cheong Fun

scratching a seven-year itch

Seven years ago, I met a woman who would change my life forever.

Okay, okay. So maybe our encounter wasn't quite as life-changing as I put it, but she did introduce me to what she considered the best Chee Cheong Fun in the world. "It's so popular, you actually have to take a number," Favourite used to tell me. Favourite was a bit of a tease. She'd tell me all about it but never ever offered to buy some back, or even to take me to the place. And so I waited for the day that I would indeed savour the finest Chee Cheong Fun on the planet.

After seven years or longing and waiting, that day finally came.

Thanks to our Ipoh guide, MaiLing, we got there quickly enough and true to Favourite's words, we had to take a number. "You're 25, we're serving 19," the old lady snapped. "If you can't wait, don't eat," she added. I had waited 7 bloody years. An hour or two wasn't gonna hurt. And so to kill some time, I explored around the place. The first photo is the price list. You pay only RM 1.30 for a small plate. A large was RM 1.80 and an extra large would set you back only RM 2.20. Cheap! The place was bustling with people and the ladies were putting together a takeaway order. Some crazy guy was buying some 25 packets of the stuff.

Elsie and I went round to the kitchen. There we found an old gentleman making his delicious Chee Cheong Fun. "You're not the press, are you?" Uncle asked. "I don't want this coming out in any newspaper," he said. We assumed he didn't want to have to deal with a surge in patronage that might come with a press report. I assured him we weren't the press but I never promised I wouldn't promote his place. Good food was meant to be shared, and if I had to suffer doing it then suffer, I will!!!

The process looked simple enough. Just like he'd always done in the last 55 years, Uncle spreads a sheet of cotton over a steamer. He then brushes off any crease and proceeds to pour a rice flour batter over the thing.

He then sprinkles bits of cooked dried shrimps on the Chee Cheong Fun, after which he closes the lid and let the rice sheets steam. When it was done, he takes out the entire cotton sheet and scrapes off the Chee Cheong Fun on to a metal table. There, he sprinkles a little oil over the Chee Cheong Fun and proceeds to cut them into smaller sheets of six.

From here on, his wife takes over. She chops the sheets up into thing strips (like fettucini), drizzles a little oil over it. She then tops up the thing with sesame, fried shallots and pickled green chillies. The dish is finally served with a combination of a sweet and a hot sauce. I tasted a little curry oil in the dish, which I must say lends a nice, spicy aftertaste. The noodle is smooth and tender, and the cooked dried shrimps provides a nice contrast to the texture. Excellent stuff! Definitely worth the one and one half hour we had to wait.

I can't really direct you to the exact spot, since I don't know Ipoh very well. The place operates in the front porch of the proprietor's house, and it's at 1456 Pasir Pinji 5, Ipoh. This is gonna be a bit of a dilemma when I need to go back for more. *sigh* Anyway, if you're anywhere in Ipoh, do make the trip. But please, don't tell them I sent you. ;)


  1. Yum! I love chee cheong fun and those pixs of him making it are fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. wow! you waited for 7 long years to taste this?!!! next time I go/pass Ipoh sure must look for this one!

  3. that does look yummy! waaa... Jesse'll be in Standard one already if I have to wait that long. U and ur gastronomical adventures. *comel*

  4. Wah Lau Yeh. This is going to be on top of the list of the NEXT fei chai trip.

  5. Aiya...we will just storm the place with a knowing smirk la. Even if we tell the old man we knew it from Loopymeals, most probably he will just shout out loud, "Meh kwai Roopi-miew? Mei theng koh la." :lol:

  6. Nice shots..!! i love CCF alot too. :)
    If i'm back home next year with my brat.. you would have to take us there....!!

  7. Ugggggggggggghhhhhhhhh dying!!!
    *cries from the torture*
    This is probably a dish that cannot be replicated at home :(

  8. alamak james! you should have blog on this earlier. last week i was just in ipoh for 5 days and was searching for food.
    i love chee cheong fun. there are a few different version of chee cheong fun though. this one looks a bit like the 'hong kong style' chee cheong fun? this chee cheong fun is not like our penang's chee cheong fun.

  9. goshhhhh such a long wait huh BUT i would do it to kekeke... i know someone will strangle me BUT who cares cos he still hv to wait if i want to kakakaka *evil grin*

  10. this point of my life.... (again!), I wish I didn't see this blog....!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, saliva will be all over my house.................sniff sniff...

  11. wah!! queue numbers to buy chee-cheong-fun?? must try...must try....if only I can find it ...
    anyone can draw a map?

  12. Wah, you get the privilege to take pictures of them doing the chee cheong fun some more ah? Don't think even the Press has this story! :) I like it plain with "see yau" and "suk yau". I like to bite the bits of crunchy dried prawns in it. If no dried prawn, I no eat chee cheong fun.

  13. No problems Boo! So, you gonna try it or what?
    You do that DomesticGoddess! It's worth the wait.
    :lol: Inn, what can I say? Now you know why I'm struggling with weight problems.
    Gina, didn't you say that there wasn't gonna be anymore feichai trips?
    Hahahahah!!!! You kill me, Anjali! :lol:
    I'm afraid I'm not gonna be much help BigBoK. I doubt if I can find it again myself.
    Aww Gwen... dun worry, maybe someone will post up an easy-to-make version!
    No Lucia, it's not like Penang Chee Cheong Fun, but it's also not like HK CCF, since the filling is just minimal.
    Hahhah Babe, it's nice to be the Queen of the House, rite?
    Don't worry, MOTT, it'll be over in 1 month? BTW, congrats on a safe delivery.
    Good suggestion Papi. If any of you Ipoh folks are reading this, pls sketch me a map and I'l l publish it here!
    Ah yes, Primrose, this is a Loopymeals Exclusive!

  14. urhm... did u just give away the poor old man's chee cheong fun secret recipe to which his whole life's fortune has been dependent on!??! arent you risking some greedy (be it for money or for good food) dude to read your blog n pics n try and duplicate the recipe?!? wish i could, but the most i cook is half boil eggs and maggi mee, so no danger of me EVER being able to cook anyone's secret recipe.

  15. Go, go, Minishorts!
    :lol: You have a point there EE. But the old guy was very confident. When we asked him if we could snap pictures he coolly replied, "Sure, it's no big secret!" The secret must be in the sauce. Hehh.