Ask any Ipoh folks about breakfast suggestions and you might get various answers. Some would suggest the infamous dim sum joints while some would direct you to other locations of their favourite coffee shops. And you might possibly get this recommendation; Thean Chun which is said to be one of the places to go to for good hearty food.
And this is the place we went to when we were on our way to Penang (again!). We did consider Keng Nam but then, it’s always good to try some place new since we don’t often travel up north like it’s a weekly affair.
This place somehow exudes great vintage charm with its old wooden chairs, plastic and marble table tops, gigantic mirrors and faded green tiny tiles. Getting a parking lot might be a challenge / problem but it is definitely worth the patience for the glorious foods that are waiting for you at this coffee shop.
One must not leave the shop without try the Ipoh Kuey Teow / Sar Hor Fun / Kai Si Hor Fun (Shredded Chicken Flat Noodles). It is epitome / mother of all noodles. Okay… Maybe I’ve over exaggerated. But this is definitely one of the better version (if not the best) version I had for the longest time. Silky smooth kuey teow soaked in savoury prawn-infused broth topped with shredded chicken and sliced prawns. It’s just pure goodness in every aspect. A small bowl will cost RM4.
I did not try the dry noodles as I was pretty engrossed with my bowl of awesomeness. I guess it was alright. But I did grab a bite of the fried stuff which I think they were decent, albeit cold. The (beef and pork) noodles were a-okay, nothing to shout about. Such selections will set you back RM6.60.
Since we were famished, the chee cheong fun (RM3) was a side order to accompany other dishes. Light yet smooth, it arrived with mixture of brown sauce and chilli paste and pickled chillies and finished off with sprinkles of fried shallots.
The grand finale (but not that grand anyway compared to the epic noodles) has got to be their in-house Caramel Custard. Notoriously known for early sold out (by 10AM), it is something meant for those with sweet tooth. Wobbly smooth yet slightly chilled, one would get sugar rush from this. No wonder they will serve a cup of ice water alongside.
As I walked out this nostalgic coffee shop feeling all full and satisfied, I vividly remembered that I did in fact visited this shop… about a decade ago. It was when my brother-in-law who brought us (my family) there for breakfast on one fine morning.
So… whether Thean Chun is famous amongst the locals, I do not know. But what I do know is that this coffee shop will be the place to go to for breakfast whenever I’m in Ipoh.
Thean Chun (天津茶室)
No.73, Jalan Bandar Timah,
GPS Coordinates : 4.596159,101.077867