In search of IPOH best curry mee … here’s seven (7) curry mee in Ipoh that you can try

Ipoh curry mee may be a favourite for some but personally I prefer Penang curry mee.

Our rich, creamy coconut milk based broth differs from the Ipoh version. To me the soup version of the Ipoh curry mee is akin to boiled stock with curry powder which leaves an annoying grainy residue on my tongue.
That said, I don’t mind the toppings that comes with a bowl of Ipoh curry mee; particularly the thick cuts of roasted pork, slices of BBQ pork (char siew), shredded chicken, shrimps and beansprouts.

Many outlets allow addition of gelatinous pig’s skin or even more roast pork, but with additional charges of course.

During my recent 4th Sept Ipoh trip, one of my dining companions was craving for curry mee.
I was in Ipoh in search for top cafes, the best dim sum and excellent chinese restaurants (dai chows) to feature on my blog, and curry mee wasn’t in the plans.

But how could I say no to a pregnant lady’s request?

So we ended up trying 7 curry mee over 3 days. Out of which two she missed because she had to return to KL.

But fret not, the remaining 3 of us dutifully slurped up the rest of the shortlisted curry mee as recommended by my trustworthy Ipoh guide Brian and here’s our verdict.

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We began our “curry mee journey” with the popular, famous names such as Nam Chau and Xin Quan Fang (otherwise also known as police station curry noodles) as that would form the base of comparison.
The 3rd famous one that was repetitively recommended by my FB friends was “the one near CIMB”; Yat Yat Seng.

I shall keep this to the point.

I (and my 3 other dining partners as well) dislike (1) Xin Quan Fang‘s curry mee (RM7).
The gravy left a strong powdery aftertaste on our tongues. The only item we enjoyed was the roast pork and should I ever have to return to Xin Quan Fang, I would make do with a combination plate of their roast pork, pork skin, roast pork, chicken and chicken kidneys. That, and a cup of coffee.

For the record, the toast and overcooked half-boiled eggs were tragic.

famous ipoh curry mee - xin quan fang-003

IPOH - Dim sum Day 2 221

(2) Nam Chau was terrible.
Between the 5 of us we ordered 3 versions of noodles (RM5.60 – 5.80) and they vary between bland and just-about-edible. The soup was thinner (less grainy too), the portion smaller and even the roast pork was dismal.
There wasn’t an option of adding pork skin.

To add to the insult, the mint leaves sprinkled on top of our noodles were not fresh and had blacken edges. What a turn off!

nam chau ipoh - famous curry mee-002

Next on the “Ipoh famous curry mee” list is (3) Yat Yat Seng.

Now, Yat Yat Seng’s version was at least acceptable.
The soup was slightly grainy on the tongue but overall it is tasty and isn’t as oily.
For RM4 – RM5 per portion with chicken, prawn and roast pork, I would rate it as “fair“.
**Do note that the bowl below is a pumped up version with added cockles and pork skin for RM8.50. 

yat yat seng - ipoh - best curry mee-003

Moving on to the positive, I would recommend (4) Cathay Restaurant at Jalan Dato Tahwil Azhar for a delicious and truly enjoyable curry mee breakfast.
The soup wasn’t as powdery on the tongue and the broth punchier. The portion is generous (look at the amount of meat!) for the price of RM4 – RM5.

The ambience in the coffee shop is relaxed; there isn’t a mad queue, the service is efficient, the stall owners friendly and parking is a breeze!

IPOH - DAY 4 11

If Cathay is slightly out of the way for you (I did provide Waze location below), (5) Sin Lean Lee offers a mean bowl of curry mee right in the busy enclave of tourist Kong Heng/Thean Chun area.

The gravy here is creamier and of a lighter color.
The abundance of ingredients for a bowl like this (yes, inclusive of pork skin!) at the price of RM4.50 would please anyone I reckon.

sin lean lee - ipoh - best curry mee

Also in town is (6) Wah Nam, where a relatively young chap churns out bowls of creamy, rich curry topped generously with chicken, roast pork and BBQ pork (char siew) for just RM4.50 a bowl.

Do not mistaken Wah Nam for the HUA Nam shop just opposite. Do refer to my pictures below for the correct shop.

ipoh best curry search review - Wah Nam-001

Last but not least is the curry mee at (7) Restoran Yei Lock Ipoh.
They are famous for their Hainanese pau as well but I find them a waste of calories.

The curry mee on the other hand is excellent; fragrant gravy though not particularly creamy. Here it is accompanied with their own sour homemade chilli sauce, a break-away from the norm of a squeeze of lime juice.

This RM6 bowl with THICK, tender cuts of roast pork plus pork skin cooked with long beans and brinjals was satisfying. The roasted meats are

ipoh best curry search review - Yei Lock Ipoh-004

IPOH Day 5

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1. Xin Quan Fang curry mee/ “police station” curry mee
Address: 174, Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah, 30300 Ipoh, Perak
Opening hours: 7.30am to sold out (about 10 am on weekends, potentially later on weekdays.)
Off day: To be updated.
Tel: NA.
Waze: “Xin Quan Fang” or “Guan Heong” (it’s on the same row)
Price : RM7.00
Verdict: Not worth the time or effort. Unless you like the pork.

famous ipoh curry mee - xin quan fang-001

The overboiled eggs and standard toast.

famous ipoh curry mee - xin quan fang-002

famous ipoh curry mee - xin quan fang-004

famous ipoh curry mee - xin quan fang-005

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2. Nam Chau Curry Mee
Address: 174, Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Opening hours: 7.30am to sold out (about 11.30 am on weekends, potentially later on weekdays.)
Off day: To be updated.
Tel: NA.
Waze: “Nam Chau Ipoh Curry Mee”
Price : RM5.50 – dry noodles, RM5.60 – dry curry noodles, RM5.80 for curry soup.
Verdict: Not worth the time or effort for us.

nam chau ipoh - famous curry mee-001

There are many better bowls of curry mee compared to this. Really.

nam chau ipoh - famous curry mee-004

Good old coffee. Thick, strong and made the wait we had to endure bearable.

nam chau

Prices and variety:

nam chau ipoh - famous curry mee

Interior:

nam chau ipoh - famous curry mee-003

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3. Restaurant Wah Nam
Address: Jalan Leong Sin Nam, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Opening hours: 7.30am to sold out (about 11.30 am on weekends, potentially later on weekdays.)
Off day: To be updated.
Tel: NA
Waze: “Restaurant Wah Nam
Price : RM4.50
Verdict: Rich curry topped generously with chicken, roast pork and BBQ pork (char siew) for just RM4.50 a bowl.

THIS WAH NAM. NOT Hua Nam.

ipoh best curry search review - wah nam

NOT this one.

ipoh best curry search review

My curry mee for RM4.50.

curry mee - ipoh best

Wah Nam has a long, open ceiling area within its shop. Since I love the sunlight I chose to sit here instead.

ipoh best curry search review - Wah Nam-002

The inside can be noisy and crowded.

ipoh best curry search review-001

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4. Cathay Coffeeshop
Address: 17A, Jalan Dato Tahwil Azhar, 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Tel No : NA
Starts from 7am until sold out (usually 12pm). Closed on Saturdays.
Waze: “Kim Bali” – this restaurant is on Waze but Cathay is not so use Kim Bali as a landmark.
Price : RM4.50 and above depending on your order.
Verdict: Love the noodles and the fact that there is no mad rush here. Easy parking too.

IPOH - DAY 4 11

curry mee

ipoh best curry mee - Restaurant Cathay - Jalan Dato Tahwil Azhar

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5. Restoran Sin Lean Lee 
Address: Jalan Tun Sambathan, 30300 Ipoh, Perak. (Just around the corner from the famous Kong Heng, Plan B).
Opening hours: 7.30 am to sold out (about 10 am on weekends, potentially later on weekdays.)
Off day: Tuesday.
Tel: NA
Waze: “Sin Lean Lee Restaurant”
Price : RM4.50.
Verdict: Delicious curry mee, worth the price paid!

sin lean lee - ipoh - best curry mee

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sin lean lee - ipoh - best curry mee-001
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6. Yat Yat Seng 
Address: 83, Jalan Datuk Lau Pak Khuan, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Hours:  9am til finish, but usually around late noon
Off day: To be updated.
Tel: NA
Waze: “Yat Yat Seng ”
Price : RM5 onwards.
Verdict: Not bad and generous with the ingredients.

yat yat seng - ipoh - best curry mee-003

The coffeeshop offers creme brule too, though a rather terrible version.

yat yat seng - ipoh - best curry mee-001

The chee cheong fun was much better.

yat yat seng - ipoh - best curry mee-002

Interior:

yat yat seng - ipoh - best curry mee

yat yat seng - ipoh - best curry mee-004

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6. Restoran Yei Lock Ipoh 
Address: 173-175 Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun (Kampar Road).
Hours: Opens daily,  7am til finish, but usually around 12 pm
Off day: Closed 2 days a month, not fixed.
Tel: NA
Waze: “Yei Lock “.
Price : RM5 onwards
Verdict: Good and there are options of yong tau foo (RM0.60 each onwards), chicken curry with potatoes, freshly roast pork.

ipoh best curry search review - Yei Lock Ipoh

The dry curry mee with added chicken curry and potatoes.

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Soup version. You can choose to add on yong tau foo.

ipoh best curry search review - Yei Lock Ipoh-001

Roast pork is excellent. Skip the char siew.

ipoh best curry search review - Yei Lock Ipoh-001

You can skip the pau too. The durian version is filled with thick but bland durian paste while the char siew version is meager for its price of RM1.30.

ipoh best curry search review - Yei Lock Ipoh-002

Just enjoy the curry mee. This bowl is RM6 and so satisfying.

ipoh best curry search review - Yei Lock Ipoh-004

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ipoh best curry search review - Yei Lock Ipoh

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So that’s it!
7 different curry mee choices that I’ve tried. Which is YOUR favourite?
Or do you have more recommendations for curry mee in Ipoh? Do let me know on Insta/FB/FB Page or email or leave a comment here! 🙂

PS: I’m looking for accommodation in Ipoh as well. Any hotel/AirBnB/hostels/homestay that YOU would suggest?

Other curry noodle stalls on my list:

1. One in Green Town which I missed, also recommended by Brian.
2. Kedai Makanan Chuan Fatt, Jalan Pasir Puteh
3. Yee Fatt, 39, Jalan Kampar
4. Foo Kwai Restaurant, Jalan Bercham
5. ?