Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ipoh Lou Yau Bean Sprouts Chicken

Does the chicken in your chicken rice carry a passport? Apparently, those served at Ipoh Lou Yau Bean Sprouts Chicken do. They are certified Malaysian Kampung Chicken. And the bean sprouts which accompany are fat, crunchy and gorgeous. The horfun which one can order as part of the meal is white, oh so smooth.

Introducing the Ipoh food phenemona. According to legend, the water surrounding the town of Ipoh in Malaysia has special properties, and food made from this water is especially delicious. Like the bean sprouts grown in the water. Or the hor fun made from the water. They are truly and indeed different from those from elsewhere.

Nowhere else, do I find the horfun or kway teow which is so smooth, totally soft and luxurious. Ipoh Lou Yau features these wonderful noodles. The only other place in Singapore I have eaten such wonderful horfun was at a restaurant called Hong Kee, but alas it is no more. Those served at the Ipoh White Coffee is close, but no cigars. The Lou Yau one is indeed the real McCoy.

The chicken is true bred, real kampung chicken. Free range chicken, reared for a bit longer than commercial battery chicken, are imported from Malaysia. The chicken are first boiled in broth with herbs and spices. Then just before serving, it is boiled in a gentle heat which keeps the meat tender, then submerged in an ice bath, to stop further cooking after the desired doneness is achieved and also to seal the juices and give the skin a glossy sheen. The skin colour is also a tell tale intense yellow, compared the the paler complexion of the battery chicken.

Taste wise, it is a bit more intense as well, more flavour, a bit more gamey. Not my favourite, as I prefer a milder chicken, but I can see the attraction. In some Malaysian shops offering similar fare, like the famous Ipoh Chicken at Jalan Gasing in Petaling Jaya, the shop also offers commercial chicken as well as roast and soy sauce varieties.

The bean sprouts were as advertised. The standout is the thick plump strands, albeit shorter than regular ones. The sprouts are blanched and bathed in a savoury sauce. The bean sprouts are sweet, and very crunchy. Nice.

But I cannot fail to mention one of their side dishes...which to me was the star of the day. The braised platter.

Braised egg, tofu and pork. The tofu and egg were great, but not very special. But the braised pork belly was superb. I found the meat tender, full of flavour, the fat bursting on the palate giving a wonderful mouthfeel. One of the better braised pork I have eaten.

For dessert, I had what they call Hometown Osmanthus Tea...nice ingredients...served cold, very refreshing.

Nice little stall...the setting is like a food court, but unlike regular food courts where there is shared seating, this is more like a bistro, with each stall having their own seating.

This is an invited review, thanks to Ying Ying at Ninemer for the invitation, and to Select Group for hosting. I leave you with a picture of the Chef, who was also happily shooting away at his food with his own DSLR as we started the photo session.

Ipoh Lou Yau Bean Sprouts Chicken
B1-52 Chinatown Point.
Many other locations in IMM, Centrepoint, Chervon House, VivoCity, White Sands, and Junction 8 (Mar 2013), Bugis Village (Q2 2013)

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