Egg Tarts@Nam Heong Kopitiam, Ipoh

Demona: I first knew about the existence of these buttery-smelling pastry, egg tarts from Nam Heong Kopitiam from the Stars newspaper article one day. My colleague and I decided to buy some home, when we passed this tiny, mini bakery aka egg tart stall, to have a drink at the kopitiam across the road.

The stuffy hot buttery-filled air explained it all: the egg tarts here are oven-baked fresh. I noticed that the tarts were quickly packed into boxes for the customers to take away before they even got a chance to breathe the air of life.

(I was with Dogma in Ipoh on one evening, and by the time we were there (only 4 plus pm), the baker was already cleaning up his baking trays and moulds). Apparently, the owner sells at least a thousand tarts a day, and on weekends and holiday seasons, the sales can balloon up to around two thousand tarts! IMAGINE!)

Baked “Kai Si Pao” (Chicken pao) was also sold there, but we both decided to stick purely to the pretty yellows.

Demona: Each egg tart, cost RM 1.20, but if you get 5 at a go, you are given 1 free. Thus, I bought 6, bringing down the price to a dollar each.

Demona: The physical look of the tart may not be all that pretty, but the flaky pastry and egg filling, surprisingly stayed in tact, when I cut it into half. When I took the first bite…. UMPH, sugary, heavenly bliss! The flaky pastry was soft and buttery, and its egg filling was delicate, sweet, not too liquid, not too solid. It was a compatible match, those two!

Verdict: I do prefer the hard pastry tarts rather than the flaky ones, but .. no complaints, I did enjoy these too. LY’s mom and me own mom make good egg tarts too, hopefully I get a chance to blog on them one day!

I heard the egg tart stall in Ipoh’s Si Mee market, apparently makes the best egg tarts in the whole entire country. My tummy is secreting the acidic tummy juices now. Will explore this on my next trip to Ipoh!

Nasi Kandar Ayam Merah@Jalan Yang Kalsom, Ipoh

Demona: Do not be fooled by the extremely chinese looking shop as the food served inside is far from anything porky/ non-halal.

I discovered this place thanks to my colleague for being a gracious host in her birth town. According to her, this was the first nasi kandar business to open in Ipoh and she grew up eating this with her family during weekends.

It is currently run by the founder’s grandson Ahmad Haris, who appeared humourous. He scared me initially by raising his voice while I took some pictures of his stall’s display of dishes. I quickly apologised and *tsk*tsk*, gave some “sales talk”, by telling him the reason I took those pictures was because the food looked extremely delicious! Suddenly, he laughed out loud and for a split second, I thought he had a split personality. He explained later that he was just pulling my legs *PHEW* and told me to take as many pictures as I want.

His grandfather, started off originally peddling door to door to sell his rice and curries. From then onwards, everyting else was history.

50 years down the road, the crowd was still packed to the brim at lunch time, and the long queue of customers by the stall constantly remained, LONG. Customers of all different races, were seated everywhere, hungrily devouring this deliciousness while sweating away in the hot weather and spicy food.

Demona: I could not wait to sink my teeth in … THIS!

Demona: My colleague told me that, at one period of time, the nasi kandar from word of mouth, was nicknamed as Nasi Ganja (Heroine Rice) because customers enjoyed the deep fried ayam merah (red chicken?) and sambal so much that they came again, and again, and again for it, sometimes a few visits in a week. They had no idea why, but the mysterious craving for the nasi kandar just forced them to return to the shop, queue up, and eat it again.

Some people said that it was due to the big amount of a certain spice (I do not know what) added into the ayam merah and sambal, so much that it could trigger an addiction, some people said, real heroine was added in, in small amounts.

Rumours, rumours, rumours.

My colleague was also telling me about the spice story, and she said that they had reduced the addition of the “heroine-like” spice to a smaller amount to adhere to the food compliance. From then onwards, the nasi kandar tasted slightly different from what she ate previously, but still… managed to maintain the tastiness of it.
HMMMMMMM… I found it strangely interesting. πŸ™‚

Demona: Mysterious spice? Heroine-like? Addictive?….. THIS. It may look a little wierd from the pict, but trust me, it was… UMPH UMPH UMPH. We wiped the plate clean and went for a sambal refill.

Verdict: Sweating in the heat, from the crazy blazingly hot weather and from the curry and sambal, ladies.. your make up will melt! But it is all worth it. You can cool off with a icey, dicey cold cup of lime juice. Just the perfect drink to complement the fiery, tummy growling dish.

The best part about the nasi kandar without a doubt was its trademark ayam merah and sambal. The beef rendang, was unsatisfactory. The meat was too tough, obviously overcooked.

Each plate, with a chicken and egg, cost RM 4. Not cheap for Ipoh, but a normal price for KL. It is worth the queue, sweat and dollar. However, this shop will definitely stand up against plenty competition from the Penangites Nasi Kandar stalls!