Located along Jalan Raja Ekram, Restoran Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau is a stone throwaway from the ever famous Foh San and Ming Court. Just like other famous joints such as Onn Kei or Lou Wong, this particular shop has a strong fan base of its own as well.
But here’s the thing. They are known for their odd business hour – they open (for business) whenever they feel like it. Hence, there’s a good chance tht they might not open for if you so happened to be in Ipoh on one particular day.
But then again, being crowned as one of the best nga choi kai (bean sprout chicken) by the locals, people are willing to take their chances by making a trip to this shop in hoping for it to open its doors for their customers.
Ordering is simple and straightforward. Just grab a table and wait for an elderly man to come by your table to take your orders. All you need to say is how many portions you need and do you fancy ‘exotic’ items such as chicken gizzards, livers or feet. And then, you continue to wait and wait until they start allocating the condiments, chopsticks and what’s not to your table. That’s the sign that the good stuff is about to arrive…
The thing about this shop is that they serve noodles instead of rice. Hor fun (flat noodles) to be exact. Just like the one above, there’s no sightings of any toppings. It is as simple bowl of noodles as it could get. But, having that said, it is heavenly delicious to say the least. Each strand of the flat noodles is silky smooth yet has a firm texture to it without breaking part while picking them up with chopsticks. The hearty soup that comes along with the noodles is amazingly flavourful – packed with chicken essence (probably) due to the number of chickens they poached in it. It is perfect comfort food, I would say and it could be served on its own.
The poached chicken and bean sprouts are equally good as well. They may looked rather plain with little garnishing on top of it but any bad thoughts about these plain-looking dishes will soon be forgotten after you had your first bite. Tender and moist – even for the chicken breast, it is cooked perfectly (and thoroughly) without any parts being undercooked (e.g. the thigh area). The concoction of sauces is light and goes well to give a slight hint of saltiness to the dish. A quick blanch in boiling water, the plump bean sprouts remains fresh with crunchy juicy texture in it.
The braised chicken feet is another dish not be missed if you are fan of it. These gelatinous bony parts are full-flavoured with mixed herbs and spices as their main seasoning. Despite being braised for good amount of time, the gravy is flavourful without a taste of any overpowering agent in it. It is easy to eat them; sucking each and every tiny bones striping the wrinkled skins off the foot to unveil the hidden collagen goodness, which some said it is good for our skin, underneath it.
So, whether you’re heading up north or down south, do consider Ipoh as your midway pitstop to check out this place. Portion for 2 with two cups of leong cha (herbal tea) will likely to set you back around RM20. Opens for business from 7PM onwards, it could get really crowded during peak hours. Therefore, it’s advisable to arrive early to avoid the dinner crowd… if that’s possible.
Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau
44, Jalan Raja Ekram,
GPS Coordinates : 4.597474, 101.085776
Business Hours : Wednesday – Sunday. 7PM onwards.