Ah Yee Pan Mee – That’s how her regulars used to address her, back at her old stall at Tet Shin Coffee Shop near to Rasa Sayang & Bak Gong Chicken Rice in town.
Since moving to a new premise in old town Ipoh, Ah Yee has been slowly losing her strong following from her days of operating at Tet Shin Coffee Shop (pronounced as ‘Tuck Seng’ in Cantonese); located opposite of Aun Kheng Lim salted chicken and very near to Rasa Sayang Chicken Rice and Lok Wee Koi coffee shop. And she has been there for a good many years.
Not because of the dwindling quality of her pan mee, or the other soupy noodles she’s famous for. The fact that the sudden relocation to this spanking new place (the row of shops on Jalan Sultan Yusufff/Belfield Street ain’t very old though, barely a year plus) got everyone in circles.
Priced from RM3.80 – RM5.00 per bowl of noodles, her offerings could almost passed off as dirt-cheap, with substantial amount of ingredients thrown in. Okay, here goes the story of Ah Yee Pan Mee in old town … an option for those hankering for something beyond white coffee and toasts.
You could have easily zoomed past the two shops side by side facing the legendary Ying Fa Dim Sum Restaurant at the end of the street before it connects to Jalan Leong Boon Swee. But the curry noodles stall next door, seemingly hailing from Pusing is a crowd magnet. Try coming around 9-10am on Sundays and you will see why.
Sun Heng Loong Coffee Shop is where Ah Yee Pan Mee is located at, adjacent to the curry noodles shop. She sells 10 types of noodles; from her signature pan mee to dry pan mee, braised pan mee, seafood noodles and pork noodles, and even mee sua and fish fillet soup.
Her strength still lies in her soupy noodles; the pork noodles and seafood noodles shared almost the same stock broth; a clear version lightly insinuated of pepper yet not overwhelmingly, while retaining the sweetness from the bones, shells and all that were used in the boiling of the stock.
The pork noodles came with pig’s kidneys ( I hope I got this right) which was a plus since not many pork noodle stalls care much about this part of the swine. The addition of fried shallot oil punched in some flavour, while the hefty portion of ‘choy sum’ (sawi or Chinese mustard greens) topped the ensemble with a healthy branding. Okay, almost healthy.
The Pan Mee and Braised Pan Mee differed thoroughly, with the latter being the first that I have tasted “Mun Pan Mee” (braised in a sweetish, soy sauce) albeit yee mee would have been a much better choice for the noodles. The braised version lacked character and even the pork patties, crispy anchovies and a single prawn could not lift this to expectations. Go for the original, soup version instead that came with the usual wood ear fungus, anchovies, minced pork and sayur manis.
For the side items, try the dumplings dipped in their sambal belacan sauce. The fried yong tau foo came across as very chewy and hardened; definitely meant to be dunked in the soup rather than eaten as they are. They ran out of a certain stuffed fish paste (forgot the exact name) that morning, a good sign of a signature of theirs?
And cap off the breakfast with a cup of white coffee. Ever so pleasant and one expected pleasure when dining in old town of Ipoh. So … have you planned for the next trip down to this charming part of Ipoh then? 🙂
KEDAI KOPI SUN HENG LOONG
14, Jalan Sultan Yussuf,
30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Tel No : +6012-442 2982, +6013-500 7700
Situated opposite of Ying Fa Dim Sum in old town