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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Cendol Melaka - Changi Village

There are a number of Cendol variations available, such as durian, red bean, corn and glutenous rice.
I absolutely adore cendol.  There is something about the relentlessly humid weather of Singapore and Malaysia that make cendol a truly perfect South-East Asian dessert.  There are a number of cendol variations that exist, and countless stalls/restaurants selling the dessert in Singapore.  However, only a handful of stalls have gained the reputation of selling truly incredible cendol in Singapore.  Today, I am going to be testing out one of those stalls.  Cendol Melaka is located at Changi Village.  Unless you live in Changi Village, this is not an easy place to get to (incidentally there are no vegetarian options currently available at Changi Village).  

Cendol Melaka
Location: 01-2046, Blk 1 Changi Village Road
Contact: 65421246
Opening Hours: Daily 10.30am-10.00pm

The perfect remedy for a hot and humid day.
There are a number of variations of cendol at this stall, but usually I always go for the original Cendol Melaka.  Cendol is a very simple dessert in many ways, yet so difficult to perfect.  A standard cendol consists only of four ingredients - Shaved ice, coconut milk, gula melaka (palm sugar) and the actual cendol, which I will simply describe as 'the green things'.  Although simple, there is wonderful contrasting flavours that shimmer throughout the bowl.  I love the combination of the slightly salty coconut milk, matched with the roasted sugary flavour of the gula melaka.  Although it is not the best gula melaka I have tasted, it still definitely does the trick.

Heaven in a bowl.
The quality of the coconut milk and the gula melaka is decent, but it is the actual cendol that really won my heart.  The wormlike cendol have a subtle glorious pandan flavour and a texture that literally melts in the mouth.  So often commercially produced cendol is tough and rubbery with very little flavour.  For Cendol Melaka you can really tell that the cendol is homemade - The shapes are odd, asymmetrical and ugly, but taste and texture wise they are the best I have ever tried. 

Price: $1.50.     9/10

Conclusion - Not only is the cendol phenomenal from this stall, but the staff and owner are very friendly as well.  Every aspect of this dessert is excellent, but I have to give particular credit to the actual cendol (green things) itself, which were the best I have ever tried.  It may be an arduous journey to get to Changi Village, but boy is it worth it to cool off and enjoy this incredible dessert.

Overall Rating
Food - 9/10
Ambiance- 7/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 8/10 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Chutney Mary Indian Fast Food - Changi Airport (Terminal 2)

Out of the countless vegetarian outlets that have ultimately met their demise since I have been blogging in Singapore, one of the eateries I was most disappointed to see close down was the Changi Airport T2 Ananda Bhavan.  This eatery offered a lifeline to vegetarians who were traveling, whether it is tourists or locals.  I lost count the number of times Ananda Bhavan saved my stomach prior to a long haul flight out of Singapore.  

Immediately after the closure of Ananda Bhavan, a new Indian eatery opened up in the exact same spot, which goes by the name Chutney Mary Indian Fast Food.  It is important to state straight from the get go, that this eatery is NOT 100% vegetarian.  However, currently as of writing this, it is the best vegetarian option for anyone frequenting Changi Airport.  If I ever eat at a non-vegetarian eatery, then 9 times out of 10 I will always pick an Indian restaurant - Why?  Firstly, even if they are non-vegetarian, usually around 50% of their menu will be vegetarian.  Secondly, Indians understand vegetarian better than anyone on the planet, you simply have to considering almost half your population is vegetarian.  So overall, I feel a lot safer in a non-vegetarian Indian restaurant, compared with anywhere else.  That, as well as the fact I adore Indian food.

Chutney Mary Indian Fast Food
Location: 036-056, Viewing Mall South, Terminal 2, Singapore Changi Airport
Contact: 65472790
Opening Hours: Daily 24 hours a day (never closes)

Number '29' - Here I am as officially the last ever customer at Ananda Bhavan Changi Airport on the 10th October 2015.

Chutney Mary are no new face to the Singapore scene, they have an outlet at 719 East Coast Road, which has been running for a few years now.  Moving to their Terminal 2 spot, however, is a huge expansion.

There is nice large selection of vegetarian options (Jain/no onion and garlic also) that the customer can choose from.  Similarly to Ananda Bhavan, the options here are certainly more towards South Indian cuisine.  They are known most for their chaat items, which come from all over Indian.  There is pav bhaji from Mumbai, pani puri from Calcutta, papri chaat from Jaipur, and so on.  They pride themselves on bringing an Indian street food style experience - Of course, in the confines of the ultra sterile Singapore.

First dish I tried was the Vadai.  Straight off the bat, I have to say I was incredibly impressed with the excellent quality of the chutneys at this eatery.  The white coconut chutney was slightly coarse, but had a tremendous rich and flavourful character.  But it was the tomato chutney, which won my heart.  It was slightly spicy, smooth and went perfect with these vadai. In terms of the vadai, they were fresh, fluffy and had that moreish crisp outer layer.  I could literally eat 20 of these bad boys in one go. 

Price: $4.00.     8/10

Next up was the Masala Dosai.  For those who are regular readers of my blog, you will know I was quite picky when it comes to eating dosai.  In my eyes, a dosai should be neither too soft nor too brittle in texture.  Instead, it must reach a perfect balance right in-between those two textures.  The dosai at Chutney Mary comes pretty close to that ideal texture, and has that lovely slightly sour taste that dosai is known for.  I would have ideally liked to have seen the dosai cooked for a little longer, as it was a tad too pale for my liking.  Inside the dosai, the potato masala was slightly spicy, and while not at the amazing level of of Murugan Idli, it is still certainly a decent masala.  This, combined with those mouth-watering chutney's once again, made for a thoroughly satisfying experience.

Price: $5.50.     8/10

Conclusion - Ananda Bhavan may be gone, but we have got ourselves a pretty excellent replacement.  Yes, I would prefer the eatery to be 100% vegetarian, but beggars can't be choosers.  In terms of the quality of the vegetarian food at Chutney Mary, I have to say I was very impressed, and am certainly planning to frequent this restaurant whenever I am flying in and out of Singapore in the future.

Overall Rating
Food - 8/10
Ambiance- 8/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 7/10 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Best places to experience 'tze char' cuisine in Singapore

Arguably the most shining example of how phenomenal Chinese cooking is the concept of 'tze char' 煮炒 cooking.  Whether you are eating in restaurants or hawkers, tze char food is the most common form of Chinese food preparation you are likely to find in Singapore. 
The entire coffee shop filling with smoke as the Jing Yi master cooks another tze char dish.
But what is it?  'Tze char' is a very fast and simple way of preparing made to order dishes, almost entirely coming from the wok.  It is a style of food which suits any occasion, whether it is a gathering, family meal or individual consumer.

In my opinion, 'tze char' is best eaten at night, in a sweaty (air conditioning ruins the feeling), somewhat dirty, loud hawker centre or coffee shop.  

Although 'tze char' food is plentiful in Singapore, it is actually incredibly difficult to find good quality tze char.  The main reason for this is the skill needed to produce it.  Although in terms of ingredients and time, tze char is very quick and easy to make.  The issue comes with wok skill, which is incredibly difficult for even seasoned chefs to master.  To give you an idea, out of over 450 eateries I've reviewed in Singapore, I have only met three chefs that I would say have mastered the skill of cooking tze char in a wok.  The key to any good tze char is what is known as 'wok hei' 镬气, which is essentially the smokey aroma of the fire being absorbed into the food.  Do not confuse this with charring/burning the ingredients, a highly skilled wok hei master should be able to get that addictive smokey flavour without burning/charring the ingredients in the wok.  It is not easy, but it is possible.

So, if you want great tze char vegetarian style in Singapore, where do you go? Let me show you:-

1st 我的新加坡镬气王 Jing Yi Vegetarian
Amazing flavour from this Stir Fried Sweet Potato Leaves ($6.50), crisp and smokey.

My 'king' for this post is the owner of Jing Yi Vegetarian, this is one of the most popular vegetarian stalls in the West of Singapore, and it is easy to see why.  If you arriving during the peak eating period (especially on Friday and Weekends) you can expect to wait for over an hour for your food to be served.  His skills are incredible, with easy dish having that beautiful wok aroma shimmering throughout it.

This stall is known for their hor fun, but any vegetable or rice dish that goes through the wok should be a guaranteed hit.

Full Review:

Tze Char Mastery Score:

Jing Yi Vegetarian
Location: Block 359, Bukit Batok West Avenue 5
Contact: 91811413/90669185

Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 2pm-9pm.  Closed Monday.

2nd 我的新加坡镬气女王 Lin Lin Vegetarian
One of the signature dishes at Lin Lin is their awesome Dry Fried Hor Fun ($4.00)

It was at this humble stall in Bedok that I really started to become addicted to wok hei Chinese cooking.  The Cantonese auntie running this stall sets her wok to an unbelievably high temperature, and when the ingredients hit the wok, it is an explosion of smoke.

Unfortunately, recently the Cantonese auntie who owns the stall retired from the kitchen, and is now employ and overseeing hired cooks to do the food, while she manages the rest of the stall.  This ultimately has led to the quality of the food dropped, as the cooks just can't match the skill of the auntie.  Nevertheless, the tze char food is still awesome, and definitely worth visiting to try it out!

Full Review:

Tze Char Mastery Score:

Lin Lin Vegetarian Delights
Blk 412, Bedok North Ave 2, 01-114, Bedok
Contact: 62427010
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10.00am-10.00pm. Closed Monday.

3rd Divine Realm Vegetarian
The glorious lip-smacking Sambal Petai with Eggplant ($10.00)

In terms of overall food quality, I personally rate Divine Realm as the best vegetarian Chinese eatery in all of Singapore.  There is a reason why this eatery ranks in 2nd on my Top 10 Vegetarian Eateries in Singapore - The food is simply magnificent.

The menu is large and diverse, and whether you want breakfast, lunch or dinner they will have a dish that you will surely be secretly craving.  I used to eat at this eatery on a weekly basis, and have really almost never had a bad dish from Divine Realm.

One of my favourite dishes of all time in Singapore is the Sambai Petai with Eggplant from Divine Realm, but I also highly recommend their Olive Fried Rice and vegetarian Sweet and Sour Pork.  You won't regret visiting this eatery.

Full Review:

Tze Char Mastery Score:

Divine Realm Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: 501 Hougang Avenue 8, #01-630 (take note Divine Realm's tze char is now being served at their Jalan Kayu SHU Vegetarian outlet instead, due to complaints by residents at Hougang)

Contact: 63872058
Opening Hours: Daily 7:00am-9:30pm 


4th Keat Lim Vegetarian
Thick, spicy, rich and so flavourful - Eat this Claypot Nyonya Mock Fish with a plate of white rice and you will be in heaven ($8.00)
Vegetarian options are plentiful in Ang Mo Kio, but quality wise, they range from average to rubbish.  There is one exception to that trend, however, which is Keat Lim.  This large stall specialize in tze char evening cooking, which attracts a large crowd on a nightly basis.
They have a very large menu, with dishes to suit any fancy.  The dish that stood out the most to me was the astonishing claypot fish.   For vegans, take note that milk is used to cook this curry, therefore you can ask the staff if they can replace the cows milk with coconut milk for you.
Full Review:

Tze Char Mastery Score:
 Keat Lim Vegetarian Food
Location: Blk 108 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 (new location as of June 2016
Contact: 96932138

Opening Hours: Daily 11.00am-9.45pm

Friday, May 27, 2016

7 Vegetarian Eateries You Must Try In Chiang Mai

Best form of transport in Thailand is your own scooter!
 Over the last 10 years, Chiang Mai has emerged as one of the most popular destinations in all of Asia.  The city is indeed beautiful, with lots to see and do, fantastic fresh fruit, and cool winter weather.  In addition to all these lovely aspect, it does have a pretty decent vegetarian/vegan scene too.  Vegetarian food in Chiang Mai (and most of Thailand, for that matter) can be separated into two categories:-

Category 1
Restaurants opened purely targeting tourists.  These eateries will have a wide range of dishes (including Western), English menu etc.  Take into consideration, you will be paying much higher price to eat at these restaurants, you are not going to find any local Thai people that can afford to eat here. 

Category 2
Traditional Thai 'jay' vegetarian eateries.  These are typically smaller, more humble eateries, which serve a limited menu.  If you want to eat what the locals are eating (I can't imagine why you wouldn't), then these are the places you should be visiting.  Moreover, the prices at these eateries can be literally 1/5th of that in the tourist restaurants.  Two excellent local eateries which don't feature on the list below are Ratsamitham and Ariyasathan Haeng Panya Foundation.

This is the symbol you must learn in Thailand.  The 'jay' symbol may be the only way of identifying if the eatery is vegetarian or not.

Another must try in Chiang Mai is the amazing mango sticky rice.  There are several places selling it, but the most famous is at Manna Best Mango Sticky Rice, I will post my video blog of eating mango sticky rice below:-

Unfortunately the most ugly aspect of Chiang Mai is the tourists.  Most make no attempt to adjust to a new culture, and basically stay on the tourist stretch, going to Western restaurants, getting drunk in a Western bar, and then going back to their Western hotel (why leave your own country?).  This coupled with the copious amounts of 78 year old divorced dirty (borderline paedophilic) old men with their hands in the back pockets of 18 year old local Thai women (I vote for the implementation of mandatory castration for any single white man over 60 visiting Thailand), it does leave a bit of a sour taste in ones mouth.

Nevertheless, we can't allow the aforementioned to lose our appetite can we?  So let us not waste anymore time, and roll through the list of the best seven vegetarian eateries that one can find in Chiang Mai:-

7th Vegetarian Society Chiang Mai
Customers choose their dishes from the trays available
Almost every country has a vegetarian society of some kind, but there are not many that have their own eatery.  This is the case for the society in Chiang Mai.   Vegetarian Society in Chiang Mai seems (from what I gather) to be more of a Thai Buddhist group, who operate a small temple style cafeteria open to the public on weekdays.  In terms of their other activities, basically think of them as a temple group and you will be spot on.  The food is served economic rice style, where you can choose whatever dishes you want.  There are not many options of dishes, but the food I tried was above average overall.

Full Review
Chiang Mai Veg Score

Vegetarian Society Chiang Mai
Location: 42 Mahidol Rd, T Haiya, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact: 053-271262
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 6.00am-2.00pm.  Closed on Weekends.

6th Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant 
The Crispy Tofu Tamarind Sauce was my favourite dish from Anchan! (THB95.00)
One of the most highly rated eateries in Chiang Mai, Anchan Vegetarian has some of the best reviews for vegetarian food on Happy Cow and Trip Advisor.  It is a restaurant firmly aimed at farangs.  Is the Anchan hype justified? Yes and no.  Most farang's have absolutely no idea about Thai food (or any other cuisine for that matter), so due to the fact that most the positive feedback is from foreigners, it is almost like taking music advice from someone who is deaf.

Having said that, there were some very nice dishes at Anchan, which I could foresee myself returning back to try again.  The owners are very friendly too, and the kitchen (which is open to view) is clean and well organized.

Full Review
Chiang Mai Veg Score

Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: Nimmana Haeminda (between lane 6 and lane 10), Suthep Mueang, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact: 083-5811689
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 11.30am-8.30pm.  Closed Sunday & Monday. 

5th Happy Green Restaurant
I think I 'Laab' you (THB60.00)
Happy Green is a vegetarian eatery (with vegan options) located on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, on the bank of the Ping River.  Unlike most of the eateries in town, Happy Green does retain some authentic Thai culture in its ambiance and food.  Don't get me wrong, the primary audience here is still foreigners (the place didn't have any locals when I visited), however, I felt Happy Green hasn't sold its soul, and maintains a very 'real' vibe.

The dish you simply must order is the Laab!  Traditionally laab is a meat salad dish, which relies on a myriad of fresh herbs (the key to all great Lao cuisine).  Happy Green uses scrambled tofu to replace the meat, which works really well.  Happy Green also have a daily buffet and a wide a la carte menu.

Full Review
Chiang Mai Veg Score

Happy Green Restaurant
Location: 4/3 Moo 3 Pa Daet Road, Tambol Pa Daet, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact: 085-5989010
Opening Hours: Daily 9.30am-7.00pm.  Closed on Monday. 

4th Pun Pun Airport
The delicious and filling Black Bean Burrito from Pun Pun (THB80.00)
Pun Pun has recently received global attention thanks to the incredible TED Talk by founder Jon Jandai.  Pun Pun is not a restaurant, it is a philosophy (see the talk).  There are currently two Pun Pun outlets in Chiang Mai.  The first on our countdown list is their 'airport' outlet - This outlet is not located inside the airport, but named so because it is located relatively close to the airport.

Rather disappointingly this outlet is not 100% vegetarian (some fish and chicken dishes are served).  But there is still an excellent selection of vegetarian and vegan food.  But I would much rather they ditch the dead animals.  The burrito is absolutely incredible, definitely a must try if you're visiting here.  But in terms of the rest of their food, I find the Wat Suan Dok outlet to be far superior (plus that one is 100% veg).

Full Review
Chiang Mai Veg Score

Pun Pun Restaurant Airport
Location: 97/3 Moo 1 Tambon Padad, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact: 093-2566727
Opening Hours: Daily 11.00am-7.00pm.  Closed Thursday.


3rd Amrita Garden
This may well be the best vegan burger I have ever eaten (THB110.00)
 The food at Amrita Garden was a bit hit and miss for me.  But it gets 3rd on my list simply due to the fact that they sell, in my eyes, the best vegan burger that I have ever tried!  This burger is titled 'No. 1 Vegan Burger', and I must say that is a pretty apt title.  This burger was excellent in almost every aspect.  The sesame bun texture was superb, it was crisp, firm and perfectly designed for burger consumption.  The vegan mayonnaise was great, the mustard was tangy, and the ingredients inside were fresh.  The burger held itself together pretty well also, instead of collapsing pathetically into mangled heap of indecipherable mess.  It is simply an incredible burger.

The burger (which I still catch myself fantasizing about), coupled with the lovely outdoor ambience of the eatery makes this a really serene place to have a meal.  The only downside is the cost, for a meal at Amrita Garden you could more or less purchase a house in Thailand - Ok I'm exaggerating, but the cost is very high.

Full Review
Chiang Mai Veg Score

Amrita Garden
Location: Samlan Road, Soi 5, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact: 086-0539342
Opening Hours: Daily 9.00am-8.30pm.  Closed on Tuesday. 

2nd Khun Churn Thai Vegetarian Cuisine
My first (of many) plates from the incredible buffet selection.
As much as I enjoyed the vegan/vegetarian food in Chiang Mai, there are only two eateries that I would truly say are great.  The first of those is Khun Churn, this popular restaurant has been running successfully in the city for over 20 years now.  It is a Thai specialty restaurant, and arguably the most high end vegetarian establishment in Chiang Mai.  Freshly divorced Western grandfathers out there reading this, this place has a lovely ambiance to bring your -just turned 18 yesterday- year old prosistut...wife.

What you must do when visiting Khun Churn is try out the buffet, it is truly one of the best vegan buffets that I have ever tried.  It has countless amazing selections, from a salad bar, dessert table, countless savoury options, khao soi table, on and on...  The staff are fantastic, not like the 低头族  zombies that are slowly taking over the world.  Even the chef can be seen regularly prowling around clearing plates and showing customers to their seat.

At 169 baht per person flat (no surcharge etc) the buffet represents great value, especially for such a high end restaurant.  It will definitely be a regular spot I visit, whenever I'm in Chiang Mai

Full Review
Chiang Mai Veg Score

Khun Churn Thai Vegetarian Cuisine
JJ Market Atsadathon Rd T.Changpuak A.Mueang, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact: 053-270-071
Opening Hours: Daily 10.00am-3.00pm (buffet)

1st Pun Pun Wat Suan Dok
The entire menu at Pun Pun is like a work of art - Homemade Tofu Steak with Coconut Milk & Black Pepper Sauce (THB80.00)
I don't want to exaggerate things, but Pun Pun may easily rank as the greatest vegetarian restaurant that I have ever visit in my life (yes, even higher than Gokul).

Jon Jandai, the Pun Pun founder, abandoned the rat race, gave up the obsession with money and started his own self-sustainable farm in the north of Thailand (about a 90 minute ride from Chiang Mai city).  The Pun Pun restaurants followed from this and place a high emphasis on using fresh locally produced ingredients.  You are not going to find any processed food and mock meats here.

The menu is large, affordable, and every dish is presented beautifully and tastes immaculate.  I am at a loss as to what I can recommend, because literally every dish I have tried from Pun Pun has been excellent.

Luckily this restaurant is in a nice city like Chiang Mai, but even if this restaurant was in a concentration camp in North Korea, I would still be making regular visits there.  The food is an amazing eye-opening experience, which gives you Thai food at its very very best.  I would say honestly that I felt very humbled by the food at Pun Pun, because it showed me just how amazing vegetarian/vegan food can be (and I already had pretty high expectations).  You owe it to yourself to visit Pun Pun once in your life.

Full Review
Chiang Mai Veg Score

Pun Pun Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: Wat Suan Dok Temple, Suthep Road, Chiang Mai
Contact: 084-3656581
Opening Hours: Daily 9.00am-4.00pm.  Closed Wednesday.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Top 5 Vegetarian Eateries in Ipoh

The beautiful scenery of Ipoh, Malaysia
Out of all the places I visited in Malaysia, I may have to rank Ipoh as the most enjoyable.  The people are incredibly friendly, the scenery is absolutely beautiful and (very importantly for me) it does have some pretty excellent vegetarian eateries.

When visiting Ipoh, one thing you have to take note of is that everywhere is very spread out.  This, coupled with the fact that the public transport infrastructure is dire, makes things quite difficult (in terms of getting around) without your own car.  Similarly with the eateries below, they are quite spread out over Ipoh, so if you want to visit them all, then it would be best if you have your own car.

Without further delay, here is the list of the FIVE best vegetarian eateries that I visited in Ipoh, Malaysia:-

5th Fu Tien Vegetarian Restaurant
Fu Tien Special Fish (RM10.00) - I wouldn't say 'special', but certainly decent.
Fu Tien is a restaurant with a very good reputation in Ipoh.  In fact, prior to visiting Ipoh, this was the eatery that most people were suggesting I visit.  Overall, this is certainly a decent eatery, but frankly didn't live up to the hype of being the 'best in town'.  

The ambiance of this eatery is a very traditional Chinese style, it is a small humble little restaurant with a medium sized menu.  The dish that stood out the most to me was the Fu Tien Special Fish (pictured).

Full Review
Ipoh Veg Score
Fu Tien Vegetarian
Location: 34 Jalan Medan 1B, Medan Ipoh Bistari,Perak Darul Ridzuan
Contact: 05-549 9098
Opening Hours: Daily 11.30am-2.45pm & 6.00pm-9.45pm.  Monday Closed. 

4th Beyond Veggie by Secret Recipe
The delicious Veggie Roll (RM9.90)

Although most people know Secret Recipe, what you might not know is that in Malaysia they are known for something entirely different.  In addition to selling cakes, Secret Recipe also have a franchise of 13 vegetarian restaurants, all of which go by the name 'Beyond Veggie'.  From what I was told, the husband and wife owner of Secret Recipe are both Buddhist vegetarians, and therefore opened these restaurants to promote vegetarianism.

In addition to Ipoh, they have other outlets in KSL City Mall (JB), AEON Mall (Kulaijaya), Sunway Pyramid, 1 Utama, The Curve Shopping Mall, Oasis Square (Ara Damansara), Sunway Giza, Taipan USJ 10, Mid Valley Megamal, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Publika and Tropicana City Mall.  They also recently made a failed attempt to break into the Singapore market at Bukit Timah Rd, which has subsequently closed down.

Beyond Veggie has a large menu of a variety of cuisines.  I particularly enjoy their fruit teas and salads.

Full Review
Ipoh Veg Score

Beyond Veggie by Secret Recipe
Location: No.18, Tingkat Taman Ipoh 6, Taman Ipoh Selatan, Perak Darul Ridzuan
Contact: 05-546 8298
Opening Hours: Daily 10.00am-10.00pm

3rd Happy Ice Valley
The best vegetarian Curry Mee (RM6.00) that I tried in Malaysia
A lot of my readers were pleading with me to try the famous Penang curry mee (when I was on the island).  The answer to this was, I did!  I ate Penang curry mee at a number of eateries and frankly I was disappointed every time.  The curry soup was often bland and flat, and thoroughly bore-inducing.  Having pretty much given up hope in the dish, I decided to give the Ipoh variant a try at Happy Ice Valley - This curry mee was incredible.  To my surprise, this curry mee managed to be full of flavour.  It was not too spicy, with perfectly cooked ingredients lurking inside.  The fresh mint leaves on top added an ideal freshness, which complimented the rich flavour of the gravy.

The highlight of this humble eatery is the curry mee, but they have several other excellent dishes at this eatery.  Out of all the eateries in Ipoh, this one exceeded my expectations the most.

Full Review
Ipoh Veg Score

Happy Ice Valley
Location: 31 Jalan Medah Ipoh 2, Hulu Kinta, Perak
Contact: Unknown (anyone who can provide please do so)
Opening Hours: Daily 8.00am-3.00pm 

2nd Yi Shen Su
There were a lot of excellent dishes here, but the Portuguese Fish (RM18.00) was my favourite!
For the vegetarian locals in Ipoh, arguably the most famous vegetarian restaurant in the entire town is Yi Shen Su.  Over the years, the restaurant has franchised out and now has identical outlets in Kampar, Petaling Jaya and Bandar Bukit Tinggi, but the franchise was born in Ipoh.

It is another traditional style Chinese eatery, with a wide (high end cost) menu.   I ate here a couple of times when I was in Ipoh, and I can honestly say there are many excellent dishes on this menu.  My personal favourite was the Portuguese Fish, but they also serve a phenomenal char kway teow, which I highly recommend you order.

Full Review
Ipoh Veg Score

Yi Shen Su
Location: No. 19-21 Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, Medan Baru, Ipoh, Perak
Contact: 012-453 7246
Opening Hours: Daily 9.45am-2.45pm & 3.00pm-10.00pm 

1st Shi Fang Zai Vegetarian
One of the best dishes that I ate in Ipoh was this Bean Curd in Pumpkin Gravy (RM8.00)
For the number one spot it was a very close decision between Yi Shen Su and Shi Fang Zai, which are both excellent eateries.  I narrowly gave the top spot to Shi Fang Zai, as I felt that the overall quality of their food was just slightly better than Yi Shen Su.  Moreover, price wise this eatery is much more affordable than Yi Shen Su.

This restaurant is close by One Curve and Emas Food Court, and you can access it from the Ipoh Lumut Highway, and inside it is of a traditional Chinese decor.  If you are visiting this place, you must eat the bean curd in pumpkin gravy and the rendang mutton - Both those dishes were absolutely incredible, and I am drooling just thinking about them now.

Full Review
Ipoh Veg Score

Shi Fang Zai Vegetarian
Location: 6-8 Jalan Mas, Taman Mas, 30100 Falim, Perak
Contact: 016-4229 389/016-5519 389
Opening Hours: Daily 10.30am-3.00pm & 5.30pm-10.00pm
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