There used to be a time when ang-moh (western) food are all about chicken chop, steak, black pepper chicken, fish and chips and of course, mushroom soup.
Having garlic bread with a bowl of mushroom soup followed by a chicken chop was considered a celebratory meal, or a weekend treat back then in Penang for our family.
I recall the chicken chop vividly; chicken thigh coated in crisp batter and drowned in tasty, brown sauce plus sides of fries with slices of cucumber and tomatoes.
Now I refer to these as old school western food, since “western food” has taken on a whole new parameters now.
What used to be common has now quietly gone off radar.
In fact, if you wish to have a bite of that childhood western grub, chances are you would have to hunt high and low for a good one.
In Penang, Chef Delight’s at Pulau Tikus has been in business for decades and Chef David’s repertoire of western food remained steadfastly well, a delight.
In Ipoh, I was introduced to Restoran Cathay, though not quite a “western food” joint, but one that specialised in Hainanese fare, limited to 4 variants of chicken, pork, beef and fish chops.
Pork or Chicken Chop: RM11 nett.
Beef Chop: RM11.50 nett.
Fish Chop: RM11 nett.
As the images above clearly depicted, every plate is similar save for the main protein; of which you have the choice of chicken, pork, beef or fish.
As we chowed down the meal with gusto, aunty who was fascinated with all the photo taking earlier came over to chat. As she warmed up to us, she kindly shared a generalized version of how each was prepared.
Chicken and Pork:
Meat is coated with flour seasoned with ajinomoto and soy sauce, given a shake to remove access flour before it is coated in egg and fried.
Same method as above but omit the ajinomoto and soy sauce but season with salt instead.
Flour, soy sauce, ajinomoto, five spice powder (minuscule pinch). Shake off excess flour and pan fry with little oil.
Please do not refer to the above literally as recipes (though I do think that it’s not far off the truth) for I doubt that aunty will share her exact recipe, but it was kind of her to explain to us the difference of each dish.
Between the pork, fish and beef I liked the pork best though the other 2 were good as well.
The thin, mildly zesty tomato gravy complemented all 3 variants of protein; while the green peas and cubed potatoes were adeptly cooked.
The beef was tender, the fish fillet cooked just right and the crust remained crispy for a while. Still it is best to tuck in as soon as it was served to enjoy it.
I did felt parched for a while after (I’m rather sensitive to MSG) but it wasn’t anything severe. Besides, when you eat out, there are bound to be small amount of MSG used.
Another highly recommended item to order here is their french toast, old school style.
Thick, fluffy and eggy, the accompanying kaya (coconut custard) was a dream; not overly sweet, thick and rich with eggs.
I would be very happy with just this!
Restoran Cathay is operational the whole day and thus there are different food to be enjoyed at all hours.
The Hainanese chops, french toast, eggs, Chinese dishes with rice are from the main kitchen of the coffeeshop so those are available for order at all hours. The noodles from individual stalls are open for breakfast.
You can check out my post on the Ipoh curry mee HERE. It’s good!
Address: 17A, Jalan Dato Tahwil Azhar,
30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Tel No : NA
Open from breakfast until dinner (7.30am – 8pm).
Waze: “Kim Bali” – this restaurant is on Waze but Cathay is not. However it is on the same row so I’m using Kim Bali as a landmark.
Price : As above/depending on your order.
Ipoh Best Chinese restaurants series:
Part I: Kedai Makanan Rasa Lain –> https://www.rebeccasaw.com/ipoh-best-restaurants-for-dinner-part-i-kedai-makanan-rasa-lain-bercham-claypot-crab-fishballs/
Part 2: Ipoman Seafood Ipoh: https://www.rebeccasaw.com/ipomanseafoodipoh/
Part 3: Restoran Cathay Ipoh: https://www.rebeccasaw.com/ipoh-best-chinese-restaurants-part-3-restoran-cathay-for-old-school-pork-chopchicken-chopfish/
Part 4: Restoran Yum Yum Ipoh: https://www.rebeccasaw.com/ipoh-best-chinese-restaurants-part-4-yum-yum-for-halal-delicious-nyonya-thai-food/