Perak Scenes And Sitiawan Snacks - Cendol, Pau, Tau Sar Pneah And Kong Piah

I'm back after my trip to Perak. Didn't take pictures of all the food we ate but I did click some memorable items. The blog may be slow in uploading as I'm experimenting with this new Pictobrowser. Not sure if it is better, but I thought I'll just share the pictures of Perak with you.

James Cendol
The only cendol woman seller with a bowtie in Malaysia

Picture loaded blog post, but every bit is worth it. We visited quite a few places - Teluk Intan and Sitiawan. Chief feature of the town is their leaning clock tower, that sits in the centre of town. You can go up but what we ended up doing was searching for wifi connection, since that area was well connected. A quick pit stop, which didn't yield very yummy food. We moved on to Sitiawan and the most memorable scene was this little boy in Kampung Cina, who had a live crab as a pet. Poor crustacean as the kid was throwing it around a lot. Definitely not a good idea to dine at the neighbouring seafood restaurant, as you never know how many the kid has "exercised" before. On the way to Ipoh, we dropped by Ayer Tawar and slaked our thirst at this quaint restaurant. We ordered a bottle of homemade barley, which arrived in a beer bottle. Too bad, as my colleague got excited for a second, thinking he was about to get a shot of a cold beer. Last but not least, you have the view of Ipoh town (one part of it) from my hotel room. Check those limestone hills, Ipoh is so famous for that produces that all important water for smooth kuey teow and crunchy beansprouts.

Divine cendol
divine, delicious cooling treat for a hot day

Although we spent quite some time at Sitiawan, the most memorable eats were the freshly baked snacks available in town. I absolutely loved the divine cendol served in front of the Indian temple. Top class service here, as they dress up for the occasion - in a red bow tie and a long sleeve white shirt. Known as James Cendol, that afternoon we didn't get to meet the famous James as his wife was manning the stall. He's super famous as there's a banner of him with the Sultan of Perak and loads of write-ups. I guess he should also be flattered as "copying is the greatest form of flattery" since next to James Cendol, is a copycat cendol seller with a black bowtie. I loved the soft cendol with a hint of saltiness mixed with soft red beans, glutinous rice (pulut) and rich coconut milk laced with gula melaka syrup.

Peanut layer pau
count those yummy layers of crushed peanuts and sugar

If you're visiting the town, make a stop at Yee Si next to Maybank at Kg Koh at 3pm for this fluffy pau. Unlike a round version, here you get a multi-layered soft version with ground peanuts and sugar. Just be quick as the buns tend to sell out super fast. They also serve sang yuk pau (meat pau), tai pau, mantous slathered with margarine and kaya and peanut stuffed paus. Take away your pau or just sit at the coffeeshop to enjoy the hot pau with a cup of coffee, just like the locals.

Tau Sar Pneah1
San Yew Chay's lady owner who churns out the most fantastic snacks

Round the corner from Yee Si, is San Yew Chay which serves tau sar pneah. Two types - a white and black version. Both are just divine especially when eaten hot from the oven.

Tau Sar Pneah
two types of tau sar pneah. One is never enough.

These snacks are just so fantastic, you can chomp down a few at one go. They're great with coffee as breakfast or a teatime snack.

Another must-have at Sitiawan is the kong piah. A Foochow pastry (Sitiawan is full of Foochows who migrated from China previously). The only place to eat it from is this stall run by two brothers called Cheong Cia Gong Pia. They bake the pastry in clay tandoor ovens (no machines please!). Located at a corner of a restaurant, you will be able to get freshly baked kong piah here. There's two types - a more plain but just as delicious onion version and a darker stuffing with minced meat and onions.

I didn't snap pictures but another must-have is Lou Por Peng from Heng Lee coffeeshop at Kg Koh. Run by an old man, who just opens the place to keep himself occupied, he makes small batches of these pastries everytime they run out.

More Perak food tomorrow and for this whole week (sorry!) stay tuned for Ipoh food.