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IPOH best Chinese restaurants Part 2: Ipoman Seafood Ipoh

Opened in August 2013, this low-key restaurant serves ones of the best Chinese food in Ipoh, as recommended by my trusted Ipoh guide Brian Law.
The cook is the sweet Mdm. C.W. Lian herself, both sweet in demeanour as well as in looks.

The location can be challenging to find so it is better to call in advance for directions or bring along a local.
Advanced reservations are definitely encouraged.

First visit:
I had a patient bunch of friends along so I had more time for photos on this visit. On my 2nd visit it was with a bunch of hungry “ghosts” who grabbed at the food even before I could get some shots.

Ipoman’s signatures are their Curry Tongfun (bean thread vermicelli) with prawns (RM30) and Sweet and Sour Pork in Ice (RM20).
The prawns were fresh, mid- large sized ones cooked in mild, creamy curry sauce. A RM30 portion was sufficient for 5 of us, for there were 7 prawns in the pot.

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The gravy would have been richer if coconut milk was used instead of evaporated milk. Still, it was a near faultless dish, tasty yet not overwhelming (jelak) in taste.
The lady boss shared that the recipe includes about 20 different ingredient, and thus the complex, spicy, sourish flavours.

Once served, you can opt to have it portioned individually. On my last visit, we even asked for the prawns to be de-shelled.

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Sweet and sour pork is a must for me whenever I dined at a Chinese restaurant.
In fact, I judge most chinese restaurants on their fresh steamed fish and kou lou yuk.

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The interesting part about this dish is the added ice.

Why, you asked?
Why cook a hot dish and then have it cold?

Well, here’s the rationale for this dish:
The ice supposedly “freeze” the thin layer of fat and sauce coating the meat after cooking. Thus this solidifies the coat for a crisp bite.
The coating in turn keep the juices and flavours intact within the meat.

It is a pretty cool dish (both in temperature as well as dinner conversation) and if you’re curious if this dish is any different to the standard ku lou yuk, the answer is yes.

The difference is evident when you bite into each piece.
As your molars got in contact with the outer cold coat and upon sinking into the inner hot flesh, the contrast of hot and cold, crisp and tender with each chew is enjoyable (nothing mind shattering of course, but it is not an everyday affair), especially so when each pork chunks are tasty on its own.

So yes, do order this when you’re at Ipoman, but keep your expectations in check.

Besides the 2 dishes above, we are fond of her Vinegar Pork Knuckle (RM15).
Granted it is not as sharp or as ginger-ish as we would like it, but this milder, sweeter version is a more accepted version by all palates.

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For fish I would recommend this ‘3 Taste Fish‘ dish (RM30); ‘3 taste‘ here in reference to the sweet, spicy and sour nuances.
We loved this for its unorthodox flavours and since it is one of Madam’s own creation, it is for certain not a common dish found anywhere else in Ipoh.
We coaxed her a little about the ingredients used, and she let us in on “onions, tomatoes, lime, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and bird eye chillies.”

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I wanted more pork so we had the pork ribs (RM15) next.
While I like the addition of greens here as well as the texture of the pork, it was too sweet for me. A small matter which can be rectified by eating it with rice though.

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And thus I needed more pork, specifically the non-sweet type.
So Madam bought out her special pork strips (RM16), fried with a coat of her secret spices. She calls it “kam see heong yok“; Golden Sliced Fragrant Pork.
This was good. I happily ditched the pork ribs and dug into this instead.

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A pot of tea for 5 was RM7.00 while water is charged at RM0.40 each. Rice is RM1.50 each.

We were served complimentary desserts while my order of sweet tong shui was RM3.00. All in all I thought the prices commensurate with the quality and portions served.

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2nd visit: Not so great pictures this time, but you get the idea!

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We ordered the signatures again – iced sweet and sour pork, Curry Tongfun, vinegar pork knuckles, Golden Sliced Fragrant Pork plus a few other new ones.

The fish this time is a non- spicy version; steamed fish slivers topped with soy sauce and scallions (RM30). This was fresh and the flesh firm, nicely flavoured with good quality soy sauce. No complaints here at all.

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The Marmite Chicken was enhanced with cuts of bird eye chillies and wasn’t overly sweet so everyone enjoyed it.

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The pork knuckle was same as my previous trip, more sweet than sour so that’s consistent. Likewise for the curry tongfun, the sweet and sour pork and the golden spice pork strips.
Prices remained the same as well.

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See? We requested for the de-shelled version this time for convenience sake. Personally I prefer it with shells.

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Dinner this round saw a total of 3 vegetables dishes; sweet potato leaves as well as 2 others (didn’t manage to grab any shots before it was devoured), each at RM8, RM10 and RM19.

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Complimentary desserts again.

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Conclusion:
Besides Kedai Makanan Rasa Lain, Ipoman is another restaurant in my “Best Chinese Restaurant in Ipoh” list which I would recommend to friends and readers.
Quality ingredients, home-cooked style food and unique dishes which are reasonably priced, what’s not to like right?

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Ipoman Seafood Ipoh
60-62 Laluan Tawas Damai
Anjung Tawas Impiana
30010 Ipoh
Tel: (Better call for directions) +6 012 506 1714

Business Hours: Daily 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm
Closed on Mondays every 2 weeks.

Air con: Yes.
Parking: Roadside, easy.

Ipoh Best Chinese restaurants series:
Part I: Kedai Makanan Rasa Lain –> http://www.rebeccasaw.com/ipoh-best-restaurants-for-dinner-part-i-kedai-makanan-rasa-lain-bercham-claypot-crab-fishballs/
Part 2: Ipoman Seafood Ipoh: http://www.rebeccasaw.com/ipomanseafoodipoh/