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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Happy Ice Valley - Ipoh

I love travelling around and sampling different food in Malaysia.  Each region have their own unique dishes, which constantly surprise and delight me.  For today, I will be featuring Happy Ice Valley, which is a 100% vegetarian that has been running successfully in Ipoh for over eight years now.  Be warned, the auntie owner who runs this shop quite openly admitted to me that some days she doesn't feel like opening, and therefore she doesn't (its great to be your own boss).  Due to the unpredictably casual nature of the owner, it would probably be best to call in advance prior to visiting.

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

The inside of Happy Ice Valley is that of a typical traditional Chinese eatery.
Here is the menu...
One of the signature drinks at Happy Ice Valley is their mulberry leaf tea, so be sure to order that if visiting.
Chicken Rice is a ubiquitous dish, which can found all over Singapore.  In Malaysia it is a little more tricky to hunt down this dish, however.  Happy Ice Valley was the only vegetarian eatery I visited in Ipoh that was selling chicken rice.  The mock chicken in this dish is made using beancurd (similar to the Singapore version), with the trademark orange chilli and cucumber as accompaniments.  Overall a pretty good chicken rice, but I found that the rice could have benefited from an increase in flavour.

Price: RM4.00.     7/10

I've been going around Malaysia for quite some time now trying to seek out the perfect Curry Mee.  Most of the curry mee I've eaten in Malaysia has been bland and totally forgettable.  However, the curry mee at Happy Ice Valley was probably the best that I have eaten in Malaysia.  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.

Price: RM6.00.     9/10
If you're looking for something slightly more healthy, then you may want to opt for the Sliced Bittergourd Noodle.  Bittergourd is one of my most favourite vegetables, and due to the numerous health benefits, it should be a regular part of anyone's diet.  I even used to drink a glass of freshly juiced raw bittergourd every morning - Try if you dare!  This soup was pretty decent overall, and thankfully not too salty.  The bowl contained a wide variety of ingredients - I particularly enjoyed the tomato, beancurd and coriander.

Price: RM5.50.     7/10
Lastly we decided to order the Bak Kut Teh.  This black coloured herbal soup style dish has a unique flavour that non-Chinese palates often struggle to appreciate.  For myself, I adore bak kut teh, when it is cooked well.  Herbal soups like this take a lot of time and patience from the cook, in order for the herbs to truly release their magnificent flavour.  Often, restaurants don't have the time to cook dishes for long periods of time, and ultimately the flavour of their herbal soups is usually sub-standard. This soup did have good flavor, another solid dish.

Price: RM7.00.     7/10

Conclusion - Happy Ice Valley represents one of the better vegetarian eateries in Ipoh, and one I would certainly recommend you visit.  The only setback is the early closing time, and unpredictable opening days - Call first to avoid disappointment.

Overall Rating
Food - 8/10
Ambiance- 7/10
Service - 6/10
Value - 8/10

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