Small town, but good food :D

Today I will take you to a small town in Perak, Peninsular Malaysia called Taiping. It’s an old town which was famous for tin mining back then, for being state capital shortly in 19th century and now mostly for being the wettest town in Malaysia (hail the rain!).

Look how quiet it is!

My first meal in Taiping: Ji Si Mian – Shredded Chicken Noodles (but here in Malaysia they call it Kai See Mein)

Chicken, rice noodles, chilli sauce (add if desired). Simple and healthy breakfast. Tasty too. 😀 Now I can’t recall where boyfriend brought me to exactly. He loves this a lot, every time going to Taiping he will eat here.

In the meantime, as a substitution, I will give another famous address for Kai See Mein in Taiping (but from the picture, doesn’t look like where I’ve been to)

111, Jalan Pasar,
34000 Taiping,
Perak, Malaysia.
Opens daily from 6.00am until 1.00pm.
Closed on Mondays.

***Update: My boyfriend said the address he took me to is at the junction between Jalan Stesen and Jalan Lim Teong Chye.

Next up: Popiah (Pe̍h-ōe-jī: pȯh-piáⁿ)

Have you heard of a dish called Popiah? It is a Fujian/Chaozhou-style fresh spring roll common in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Popiah is often eaten in the Fujian province of China and its neighbouring Chaoshan during the Qingming Festival.

So of my many years in Singapore, I’ve never had enough patience to queue in the famous Popiah stall at Clementi central market. I should have tried. Maybe in a few years when I may return.

Popiah in Taiping was the first popiah dish I’ve ever tried. (claps from the audience please) And it was proven to be the best and most famous Popiah in the whole town. Talk about first impression heh! Look at uncle rolling those rolls. (Note: don’t fret, in Asia, we call everyone uncles and aunties, everyone is family :D)

They (the rolls) are eaten with a sweet sauce such as a bean sauce, a blended soy sauce or oyster sauce or a shrimp paste sauce and with hot chilli sauce before it is filled. The filling is mainly finely grated and steamed or stir-fried turnip or mengkuang which has been cooked. Other ingredients include bean sprouts, French beans, and lettuce leaves, grated carrots, thinly sliced fried tofu, finely chopped peanuts or peanut powder, fried shallots, and shredded fried eggs. Other common variations of popiah include include pork (lightly seasoned and stir-fried), shrimp or crab meat. Some hawkers will add fried pork lard.

Location: Air Kacang Taiping coffee shop at the corner of Jalan Panggung Wayang and Jalan Kelab Cina. Say hi to Ah Kuan, second generation popiah seller who inherited this delicious recipe from his mum who made Taiping popiah famous at the Tai Chien restaurant during the early 60s.

** In mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan there are “popiah parties” at home, where the ingredients are laid out and guests make their own popiah with proportions of ingredients to their own personal liking.

Now before I go, below is Vietnamese-style popiahs. To be honest, I don’t like it. Chinese-style fillings yet using Vietnamese rice paper gives it a weird feeling. Vietnamese have our own spring rolls in rice paper (popiah – flour) and we have other sets of ingredients and flavors. I enjoy fusion food sometimes but I will really prefer traditional popiahs, and traditional spring rolls.


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