Ipoh has always been one of my favourite destinations in Malaysia when it comes to food – a small but fast-emerging town that is often packed with tourists during weekends and long holidays. It is home to one of the best steamed chickens I’ve tried and smoothest hor fun you’ll find in the country.
What I didn’t know was that Ipoh also offers good wat tan hor and moonlight kuay teow, at Tuck Kee. This highly raved place gets crowded by dinner time and the crowd spills over to the side of the road. Best to arrive by 6pm or go during weekday night, like I did. They close from Monday till Wednesday, so do take note.
We ordered what Tuck Kee is known for – the moonlight kuay teow (RM13 – medium), wat tan hor (RM7 – small) and a portion of boiled baby octopus (RM18). Waiting for a vacant table may take a while, but food arrives pretty quickly once you place your order.
I reckon I waited no more than 20 minutes for everything to be served despite Tuck Kee being a full house. The wat tan hor is tasty but I find the kuay teow lacking wok hei. It’s tasty enough but missing that one key factor to change it from a regular wat tan hor to something great.
That said, the egg based gravy is quite good – thick, eggy and flavourful. A tad on the sweeter side for me, but overall, I think it’s tasty. They are pretty generous with pork lard; which adds character and flavour to the noodles.
The moonlight kuay teow hogs the limelight at Tuck Kee, in my opinion. There is little to fault in this sumptuous plate of wok-fried kuay teow, tossed with lard oil, dark sauce and plenty of pork slices. This comes with a raw egg on top, to bind the flavours together.
Good stuff. I don’t think you need to eat it with sambal cili because the noodles are good on its own. One tiny gripe though – there wasn’t enough pork lard in this plate of noodles. I would have liked more crunch as I work through the plate.
I didn’t know what to expect with the boiled baby octopus. On one hand, it isn’t the kind of dish I would see myself ordering but on the other, I didn’t want to miss out on something good. Because almost every table at Tuck Kee ordered one.
So I followed suit.
No regrets. The octopus is cooked just right so it’s crunchy on the outside and tender at the centre. It comes with a dipping sauce of chili and peanuts. My in-laws like it with, but I prefer it as it is – with sesame oil dressing.
The latter I feel, accentuates the freshness and sweetness of the octopus while the chilli lends a tangy, nutty twist. So it really depends on what you’re going for.
Our bill came up to RM38 for all the above. Pretty reasonable considering the portion. While I don’t think the wat tan hor is that great (also a matter of personal preference), the moonlight kuay teow and boiled baby octopus is worth checking out if you’re in Ipoh.
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Food: 6.5/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Try the moonlight kuay teow and boiled octopus.
61, Jalan Yau Tet Shin,
Tel: 05-253 7513
Business hours: 5pm till 2am (Thursday till Sunday)