So what do you think about Tanjung Malim Pau? I guess that for an establishment that started way back in 1926, making all that pau for more than 8o years can get a bit tiring. But on a recent visit, they seem to have gotten some of their 'mojo' back. The steamed pau's are fluffier and tastier than it ever was in the past 36 months, the mee hainan is decent and the yong tau foo soup actually raised one of my eyebrows.
The fluffy steamed bun returns
1, Jalan Besar, Tanjung Malim, Perak.
Nice pau's, relatively cheap prices for food.
Wait Service is run by non-Malaysians sometimes. So the feel is missing.
Kok Ee Choon started Yik Mun in Malaysia after closing his coffee shop on Hainan Island, China. Along the old interstate route connecting Ipoh to KL, his small shop started with the kaya pau. At the same time his kopitiam opened its doors, the Sultan Idris Training College opened as well. Since Yik Mun was one of the only coffee joints in the vicinity, it became the 'place to hang out'.
Yik Mun is now run by a 3rd generation Kok Family, Kok Jek Ming. The steamed pau's now come in four flavours which are chicken curry, beef curry, red bean and coconut jam (kaya). Chicken or beef curry filling has a slightly sourish curried taste that is deliciously wrapped in the fluffy bun. I love my red bean filling sweeter and my kaya generously runnier so Yik Mun's version of these are not my favourites.
True to being a Hailam kopitiam, they serve a variety of other kopitiam dishes such as Mee Hainan, Wantan Mee, King Prawn Mee and Soft Boiled Eggs. Go for the Mee Hainan, a bestseller. Yellow noodles drenched in dark soya sauce and fried with fishballs and prawns are just delicious. The soya gravy has a nice seafood taste.
The other recommendation I am happy to share is the Yong Tau Foo Soup Campur. Nothing better than cuts of soya cake, fucuk, fishballs, fried brinjals swimming happily in a light fish broth and garnished with freshly cut spring onions.
The Char Kuey Teow is decent. The 'char' is there but Yik Mun's version is not really a chinese CKT nor is it a Malay Koay Teow. So, it's not as garlicky as a Chinese one, or wet and sweet as a Malay one. It's actually in the middle of these two.
They sell their own blend of ground coffee and the pau's do go well with a cup of Yik Mun's coffee or milk tea. The good news is that when prepared well, the coffee tastes awesome. The bad news is that sometimes, they get it wrong. It does happen.
So what do I think? The lowdown? I wouldn't drive all the way to Tanjung Malim for the pau's only but maybe to have a nice quiet meal with a couple of friends and escape the hustle and bustle over pau's and good Mee Hainan and Yong Tau Foo soup. Next visit, chicken chop.