Food Review: Yeong Liew/Assorted Stuffed Goodies @ Tai Kar Rock, Greentown Ipoh

When speaking about yong tau foo (or yong liew as it is known in Ipoh), Tai Kar Rock is a household name, with many branches across the city. I can’t remember the last time we had it when we were in Ipoh, but it has been many, many years. We stopped by for lunch one day at its Greentown branch, located within a renovated single-storey shoplot.

The resto has the typical bamboo blinds to keep out the hot sun.

Cool and spacious interior.

How to order: Grab a plate and pick out the yong liew (assorted fried/stuffed goodies) that catches your fancy. There are fried items as well as ones that come served in a soup (fishballs, pork balls, tofu, etc.)

Back in the days it used to be old uncles/aunties doing the cooking, but these days they’ve relegated it to foreign workers.

Balls of all kinds lel.

To go with the yong liu, you can order a hot bowl of soupy noodles. Variants include kuey teow, thick yellow mee and mihun.

Assorted fried goodies. Pops likes the chilli stuffed with fish paste and also the sar kok liew  (jicama fritters, mixed with fish paste and deep fried in a beancurd skin) which is an Ipoh specialty. I liked the fried foochok, which was crispy but not too greasy.

  

Also pig skin. If done well there is no unpleasant odor at all, although some people might not like the chewy rubber-like texture. 😀

Won’t say that the yong liew here is the best (Batu 14 Puchong still wins hands down!) but its a good place to satisfy your cravings if you’re ever in town.

TAI KA ROCK (GREENTOWN) IPOH 

24, Jalan Seenivasagam, 30450 Ipoh, Perak.

Opening hours: 6.30AM – 3PM (daily)

Phone: 012-522 2067

The Best Fried Chicken in PJ ! – Gerai Seong Kee Yong Tau Foo, Medan Selera PJ Old Town

I remember the days when food courts or medan selera were all the rage. Canteen style, with lots of seats in an open space, dozens of stalls to choose from, all sorts of food. It was the go-to place for tasty and cheap food. But as standards of living increase, and more people opt for the air-conditioned comforts of a shopping mall or a glitzy cafe,  food courts have slowly lost their charm, especially among the younger crowd. More recently, two very prominent ones – Asia Cafe in SS15 and Ming Tien –  announced their closure to make way for redevelopment of the land.

One of these surviving old food courts is the one in PJ Old Town. While I’m not sure how long it has been around, I think it is easily 30 years old as my parents used to eat here in the 1990s, when I was still a baby. Lunch time sees mostly an office crowd. Half of the stores only open for dinner, but there’s still a pretty good selection. I like how they have a Chinese, Malay and Indian section, and all the races can be seen eating together. Now that’s muhibbah! 

W suggested we try out the Yong Tau Foo (assorted items stuffed with fish paste) at a shop called Gerai Seong Kee. They hand you a chit, and you tick off the items you want, which are either fried or served in a soup.

AD’s stuffed lady’s finger, tofu, tofu pok and chilli in soup.

W ordered stuffed brinjal and fried dumpling.

I had deep fried tofu pok and foochok (beancurd roll). The fish paste was flavourful, with a smooth, bouncy texture, and I like the crunchiness of the tofu pok skin. The foochok was too greasy for me as the bubbles created little pockets that filled my mouth with oil when bitten into. But the real star, for me, was this…

Their fried chicken wings. I think I’ve found something I love as much as Jollibee, and that’s saying something.  Crunchy and golden, the skin was salty goodness with a hint of curry powder, while the inside was piping hot, tender and juicy. Despite eating several pieces, I did not feel like it was greasy at all. Each piece is RM3. I’m planning to go back and just getting like 10 pieces to snack on. Joke.

Or is it?

GERAI SEONG KEE @ PJ OLD TOWN FOOD COURT 

1, Jalan Selangor, Pjs 4, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Opening hours: 12PM – 9PM (closed Tuesdays)

Where to Eat Yong Tau Foo in Puchong – Kedai Mee Siew, Batu 14 Puchong

When talking about Yong Tau Foo in Puchong, one immediately thinks of the famous Batu 14 stalls near SJK(C) Han Ming. There are, in fact, two stalls right next to each other, but the fam and I always frequent Kedai Mee Siew, which is the one in the house that has been converted into a restaurant. Why? Well, the other used to be good but ever since those two siblings who manned the kitchen subbed the cooking out to foreign workers, the taste just wasn’t the same.

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A testament to its popularity – the place is almost always packed with customers. There is indoor and outdoor seating, nothing fancy, no air conditioning.

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Yong Tau Foo or Yong Liew translates to ‘stuffed tofu’ or ‘stuffed items’. Beancurd sheets, round beancurd, tofu, vegetables such as okra, chilli and eggplant are stuffed with fish paste, before being fried or served in a soup. It is often eaten with chilli or sweet sauce dip. Some outlets also serve fried wantan/dumplings.

Mee Siew is also famous for their curry mee and curry wild boar.

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How to order – there will be two big baskets filled with different goodies – beancurds, veges, etc. Just pick the ones that you want on a plate and they’ll stuff it and fry/cook it on the spot. Nothing tastes better than fried yong tau foo fresh out of the wok! 🙂

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I like the items at Mee Siew better because it’s fresh and doesn’t have that recycled oil taste (which is common in restos that reuse their cooking oil). They also stuff the items generously: the fish paste is smooth and bouncy, while the outside is crisp and crunchy. My favourites are the beancurd sheets, char kuey (Chinese crullers) and deep fried dumpling.

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The soup is pretty good too, and comes loaded with veggies so you feel less guilty about stuffing your face with fried stuff lol.

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Each piece of yong tau foo costs about Rm1.20, so it can also be a value for money meal.

KEDAI MEE SIEW / Puchong Batu 14 Yong Tau Foo 

Jalan Besar, Kampung Baru Puchong, Batu 14, 47100 Puchong, Selangor.

Open for dinner.