So we've officially completed almost two days in Malaysia, and have already had four cups of coffee, and some of the food we most enjoy! The morning after we arrived, we got up around 8am to head out to breakfast - we went to the coffee shop that is the home of the original Ipoh white coffee! This is the "kopi" (Malay word for coffee) that we have been waiting for!
And here is the other dish that we have been looking forward to - one of my favorites! This is "chee chong fun", which is a flat rice noodle dish. Obviously, mine is the one on the right - without the pork soya sauce and hot chilis!
Derren also had some tofu (with fish paste in it) soup, and I had a red bean ball (a fried rice dough ball with red bean paste in the middle - very sweet and tasty!)
This is a picture of the famous coffee house that we were eating this breafast at - you can see Derren's dad and aunt sitting at the table with us, and at the table behind them is Monique (Derren's sister), Jenny (Derren's mom), and Derren's grandmother and his uncle. This place was SO busy because it was a Saturday morning, and they make the best coffee in town! In Asia, when you go to a restaurant that's busy, you stand around a table while people are still eating to "claim it" and make them hurry to finish. It seems SO rude to me, but that's just the way you do it. You can see also in this picture the people standing and waiting for their table.
During the day we just spent some time at Derren's grandmother's and we RE-learned how to play mahjong (we had learned four years ago when we were here, but had forgotten how to play!). His two uncles and two aunts taught Derren, his mom and dad, and myself how to play.
For dinner, we had planned to have a fancy meal at one of the nice sit-down restaurants. Derren and I bought dinner for his whole family as a "repayment" for all of the food they are going to feed us, all the driving they will do for us, and the free lodging of course!
Here is a picture of Derren and I before the nice dinner, in front of the restaurant:
This is a photo from inside of the restaurant - we actually saw TWO WHITE PEOPLE when we were leaving (besides me of course!) This is pretty amazing since Ipoh is a relatively small town with few tourists at all! Inside this restaurant there was also a wedding reception going on.
So now some photos of the food that was served. When we first arrived, there was plates of fried prawn crackers as an appetizer. Then the first course was the suckling pig (a baby pig). First the fried skin is eaten with some hoison sauce and on the little buns. Then they take the pig back and cut it all up into pieces so that the meat can be eaten.
The next course was a grouper - Derren's uncle had picked this one out from the tank of fish swimming around. After Derren and I saw the bill later, we learned that this steamed fish cost $100 (that is REALLY expensive for Malaysian standards!) But according to everyone at the table, this fish was absolutely delicious. Derren said it didn't even taste fishy at all. And don't worry, Derren's aunt ate the head. No wasting of this expensive fish!
I didn't catch this dish quick enough to take a picture, but this is a vegetable dish with chunks of beef cooked into it (I think). Again, quite popular! And you can see to the left of the dish is the cut up suckling pig from earlier, all the legs and everything!
This was the first of my dishes - I know it looks boring compared to some of the previous dishes, but it was delicious! Bean curd (aka tofu) with vegetables:
And this was another type of bean curd, but this one has a layer of fish paste on top of the bean curd:
This is the second fish that was ordered (also picked out by Derren's uncle from the tank). This is a tilapia with a curry sauce and some vegetables. This one only cost less than $30, but was just as popular!
And here's the second thing I ate. This is a vegetarian fried noodle dish. It's already half gone because I had started eating it. :) And I did share this dish with Derren and a few others - everyone liked it!
And finally, for "dessert" we had a fruit plate. This is watermelon, honeydew, and papaya covered in ice. A tasty treat to end a delicious meal!
And here is a photo of the whole group - I spy something white....oh wait, that's just me. :)
In the back row, starting from the left is Derren's dad, Monique, Derren's Uncle Chee Yeng (from Kuala Lumpur), Uncle Chee Kit (from Singapore), Derren, me, and Derren's mom Jenny. Then in the front row, starting from the left is Derren's grandmother, Auntie Wendy, Ima (another of Derren's aunts), Ima's husband, Uncle Francis (from Australia), and his wife.
We then came back to the house and played mahjong until midnight. :) This morning we had to get up by 8am again for breakfast. This is the alley behind the restaurant we went to, where some of the tables are. Although it's slightly dirtier back here, it was actually much cooler because it's in the shade. You can see that Derren's dad and sister have already claimed tables for us.
And on the way to the restaurant his aunt and mom picked this up for a treat. This is a pancake type thing with crushed peanuts in it - sweet and delicious!
And here is Derren with his family (you can see our iced coffee - although it is definitely not as good from this place!)
They had very few options for me, so I ate just plain noodle with soy sauce on it. Pretty boring, but I didn't really have a choice.
Meanwhile, everyone else at "yong tau foo", which is a Chinese soup dish. Each person gets a bowl of soup with noodles, and then there are a bunch of things brought out for everyone to share to eat with their soup. Each of these things contains some kind of shrimp or fish paste. So on the bottom left there is eggplant fried with fish paste, top left is a root vegetable with fish paste, the large soup bowl has tofu with fish paste and fish balls, and then the fried things are fried bean curd with fish paste.
After breakfast we came back to the house for more mahjong. (Oh, and on the way home we had picked up an iced coffee from the "good" place!)
Now we've just been relaxing, and will eat some home cooked food for lunch. And I have no idea what's in store for dinner... I will keep you updated about our delicious endeavors!!!
Ashley & Derren
Ashley & Derren