Thursday, 30 August 2012

Ipoh Chicken with Beansprout @ Ong Kee Restaurant, Ipoh

The Hari Raya holidays are here again and it's time for a short road-trip (and not to forget, contributing to the traffic jam).  This time, we're heading up north to Ipoh.

Any trip to Ipoh is never complete if you have not tried the famous chicken with beansprouts (芽菜雞), more commonly known as taugeh ayam.  So, it is definitely a must to visit Ong Kee Restaurant @ Ipoh for this popular dish.

Recommended as one of the best few serving chicken with beansprouts, the restaurant was already fully packed by dinner time.  Given that we had a very large group, we were pretty lucky that we didn't need to wait very long to get two large tables.

The chicken is cooked perfectly well and it is still very juicy & succulent.  It feels like it melts in your mouth.  Okay, I am exaggerating a bit, but it tasted very good that I can't help wanting more after each bite.  The soy sauce that accompanied the chicken is sweet and tasty - a perfect combination, without overwhelming the flavour of the chicken.  It would have tasted perfect if it was eaten with rice (which we didn't order since they ran out of the oil rice, of which after 10 mins, was re-stocked again, ish!).  The only setback is that I find it a bit too oily as they have drizzled a bit too much oil over the chicken.  Nevertheless, still good.

The beansprouts, on the hand hand, is very crunchy and given its chubby, short shape, I could stuff a spoonful of these beansprouts into my mouth with ease.  Very different from the usual beansprouts as this is more juicy and have a better texture.

Interestingly, no matter where you go, it seems like these two are always served - pork balls & fish balls.  Oh, I love the pork balls but what actually did caught my attention was the chicken soup they served in.  The soup is so flavourful.  Words can't really describe how nice & tasty it is.  It is as though they have used hundreds of chicken to boil down to this one bowl of hot-piping soup.  Plus, I can confirm that no MSG has come into the picture.  It is the best.

Not too forget is the Ipoh Sar Hor-fun (怡保沙河粉).  The flat rice noodle is also served in the same chicken soup.  A good soup will bring out the best of any noodle and this is no exception.  I love the noodles as they are not too oily and very translucent.

The whole package was a to-die-for experience.  Such simple dishes, yet so heavenly.

Being the first time visiting Ipoh, I really had no idea initially why there is this big fuss over Ipoh's chicken rice. Come on, a chicken rice is just chicken rice, and you can find it almost everywhere, so what's so special?  But after experiencing it myself, it totally changed my perception.  This chicken rice is really good - so good that you will want more of it.  Too bad I need almost 2 hours drive to get hold of this wonderful meal.  So, looks like I will need to dream about it first until the next trip up to Ipoh.

(You won't miss it, it is just diagonally across Lou Wong Restaurant.  If you want an air-conditioned dining experience, then just head to Lou Wong's neighbour, Onn Kee Restaurant.  Both Ong Kee & Onn Kee are owned by the same owner but the latter is a more-newly opened branch)

Ong Kee Restaurant
Jalan Yau Tet Sin,
30300 Ipoh, Perak

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