Ipoh is known for its beansprouts chicken (among other food items) and the locals will often tell you to skip the touristy places because it doesn’t do justice to the real deal. Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau came highly recommended but I never got the chance to try it for myself as they were closed each time I attempted a visit.
A couple of weeks back, I got lucky. We went to the restaurant to see if they were open, failing which, we had a backup in mind. Fortunately, they were and at 6pm, the place was already packed with a queue forming at the entrance.
We got a table quite quickly but waiting for our turn to order took a while as there were only 3-4 staff helping out while the auntie manned the steamed chicken station. The uncle who used man the front is now helping out with the orders; his foot seemed to be recovering from an injury.
The steamed chicken (RM52 – whole) was deliciously tender, silken and coated in a light gravy of sesame oil and soy sauce. Cowan Street does it beautifully and though we initially agreed on half a chicken to be shared between three, we ordered another half while still working through the first plate.
A plate of Ipoh beansprouts (RM8) is a must to go with your chicken – plump and crunchy, and extremely satisfying between bites of steamed chicken. Chicken spare parts are also available but it wasn’t something we were up for. If you are, order some as almost every table had a platter.
The kuay teow soup (RM2 per bowl) was also pretty good where the noodles were smooth and bathed in stock, sweetened by prawns and chicken bones. This too, got me ordering a second bowl because it went perfectly with the chicken and beansprouts.
All in, Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau did live up to the local’s claim of their best Ipoh beansprout chicken spot. My only gripe about the place is it uncertain business hours – the restaurant opens and closes on random days and sometimes, for weeks. I guess if you want to try this (I insist you do), call ahead to check if they are open.
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Food: 8/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Best Ipoh beansprout chicken I’ve eaten so far.
Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau
44 Jalan Raja Ekram,
Tel: 012-520 3322 (Uncle Meng)