Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant @ Ipoh

I only have three words to describe Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant: ‘so damn crowded‘. This is not a complaint ok, just an observation.


Customers queuing outside the restaurant for dim sum before 8am.


The chaos inside the restaurant. Number of customers standing could easily match those being seated. Your seat hogging skills have to be very good to ‘survive’ in here lol. I even saw an uncle hoggingreserving a whole table for his not-yet-arrived-big-family. So, being thick faced is the other requirement.


Look at how the customers were staring at the tables lol. They were hoping for you to finish ASAP and just get up from the table and leave. It was a really unpleasant experience with so many pairs of eyes looking over your shoulder while you eat with their hearts thinking “Oi, faster finish and go away la. Wah still take photos ah? Wah lao once not enough, take twice somemore! Never see dim sum before meh? Wah wah wahhh” lol.
So, no matter how good the dim sum, for me it’s pretty pointless. Because how on earth are you going to enjoy it?


Even the takeaway department was overwhelmed. Is this an everyday scene in Foh San Restaurant? Seriously, I have never seen any dim sum restaurant doing such good business.


Generally the dim sum was good, very authentic and traditional. But maybe because of that, choices are a little too limited.


The sifu’s skills must be really good to produce Har Gao like these with super translucent dumpling skin that didn’t break easily. Impressive.




I had really high expectations before coming, mostly due to the many raved reviews about Foh San’s Dim Sum being the best in Ipoh and Malaysia. But honestly, I wasn’t as impressed as the others seemed to be and even left a frustrated customer because of the crowd that spoilt our mood.
Hmm I also don’t know what to say, didn’t expect a restaurant doing overly well to be a turn off lol. Anyway, next time I will come at 6.30am to avoid the crowd haha!

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41 Responses

  1. Feel the same here. I wasn’t very impressed either maybe because of the lack of variety.

    pigpigscorner’s last blog post..Restaurant Review – Iberica, London

  2. Chris ( SkyNet000 ) says:

    Huh ?? waffak ?? Just these choices ah ? damn … but looks nice lol

    vk: got more actually but I didn’t show because they don’t look nice haha. overall, the choices are still less if compared to KL/Penang. Good thing is the dim sum is really traditional

  3. allie says:

    I used to patronize this restaurant when I was small.. it’s always so crowded!
    But I feel that the dim sum is not that great anymore.. I stop patronizing is sometime ago..
    Maybe you can try out Yoke Fook Moon near Excelsior hotel.. I feel that it’s nice and cheaper too :)

    allie’s last blog post..Penang Hawker Food | Balik Pulau Laksa (Laksa Marathon Part III)

    vk: Thanks Allie :) I might plan a trip to Ipoh again and will try Yoke Fook Moon

  4. iamthewitch says:

    I’m a supporter of Ming Court dim sum instead! Do try that out and compare to Foh San next time :)

    iamthewitch’s last blog post..Sushi Tomo at SS2

    vk: haha.. we went to Ming Court before going to Foh San.. even met the same family that ate at Ming Court earlier.. the crowd was as big too omg

  5. Superwilson says:

    Heard about this place many times but never had a chance to visit. I respect u to endure such packed restaurant.

    I might try one day, but if its so packed, I would go somewhere else.


    Superwilson’s last blog post..Snow Flakes Beer @ Restoran 2008, Cheras

  6. Superwilson says:

    Overcrowded sometimes is a letdown.

    Nice review, vkeong!

    Superwilson’s last blog post..Snow Flakes Beer @ Restoran 2008, Cheras

  7. JD says:

    That’s what I felt too the first time I was there. It’s crowded with people waiting for your table. And the staffs there are not that helpful either as they will show you the sour face. Not a very nice experience and the dim sum is nothing to shout about also.

    vk: yeah the experience was a real turn off for us. we left very very frustrated and even vowed not to come back. but now, i feel like returning super damn early to see if it’d make a difference

  8. soo sean says:

    I never reach there after 8am. I still think the dim sum is good, but it is definitely overcrowded. They are moving soon, not sure if the new place will be better.

    soo sean’s last blog post..home-cooked-ecstasy

    vk: I have the same doubt too.. let’s hope for the best :)

  9. Bangsar-bAbE says:

    I went to Foh San at 6.30am, and I thought it was quite crowded de….this one is much, much worst! o_0

    Bangsar-bAbE’s last blog post..New Cappuccino Truffle @ Häagen-Dazs, 1 Utama

  10. cumidanciki says:

    i love this place! the crowd says it all!

    cumidanciki’s last blog post..The Betong Connection

    vk: I like the ambiance but not the crowd! >_<

  11. no la. choices are aplenty, maybe sold out? they often come out with new dim sum every now and then, and some special items are a/v on sunday only. haha trust me, dim sum shops in HK are worst! have to wait outside the kitchen for the trolley to come out

    kampungboycitygal’s last blog post..Restoran Baby Seafood @ Batu Buruk, Klang

  12. vixar says:

    wakaka, well, at least we know the skill of their dim sum sifu. Dim sum sifu’s skill is always judge with the har gao they made. Nice post! So what is the price actually?

  13. jason says:

    Em… I never come here on weekdays, can’t say if the crowds are as crazy as on weekends. But yeah, it’s overcrowded every weekends.

    I don’t quite like the dim sum here anymore. I found the char siew bao too dry, it sticks to my upper jaw all the time!

  14. icyfawkes says:

    liked the presentation of the food…

    too bad im vegetarian, when gonna do reviews on vegetarian food dude

    you have been blog-rolled ;D

    vk: lol too bad i am not a fan of vegetarian food :P

  15. HMMaster says:

    They are moving to a new place soon… it is way bigger than the current shop. Hope that no more waiting by that time…. hahaha.

    The variety of dim sum maybe not much (if compared to KL’s), but every time I go there sure got some new dim sum to try. And this is one of the few dim sum shop that still use dim sum ‘cart’…

  16. J2Kfm says:

    seriously, Foh San’s better than Ming Court (by heaps… sorry fans). Ming Court’s dainty portions too over-rated.
    Foh San’s dumplings still meaty, fresh, and tasty.
    though sometimes the crowd can be unnerving, hence the slower service.

    this place gonna move next month, so those who have yet to visit Foh San at this OLD, Nostalgic spot, DO SO NOW. :)

    but there are so many other varieties you didnt try, vkeong! you HAVE to walk over to the trolley, open the covers and explore, if the crowd’s too overwhelming.

    J2Kfm’s last blog post..Fullpann Steak House @ Seri Manjung, Perak

    vk: actually I took some other dim sum like the fish balls and some porridge.. but they didn’t look appetizing hence not appearing in this post :P I looked into every dim sum cart but all of them carry more or less the same thing. After 2 rounds I realized it’s the same thing again and again :(

  17. tan5021 says:

    You should try Nilai dimsum shop, only one ,so how to grumble about choice

    vk: Hmm.. I have tried the dim sum in KL and Penang too, so a comparison of choices has to be made loh

  18. Nate says:

    Looks like pretty standard dim sum to me.

    I like your depiction of what the table hoggers are thinking. I agree, you have to be pretty thick skinned to deal with them looking over your shoulder as you eat. That alone would turn me away from going there.

    Nate’s last blog post..Garlic Cheddar Polenta with Shrimp and Asparagus

  19. ya ya ya… I was told they’ll be moving soon. I heard it’s a bigger space to cater their customers.

    New Kid On The Blog’s last blog post..Perut Rumah Nyonya Cuisine

    vk: I really really hope the new space is big enough, and the dim sum’s quality will be maintained.

  20. fraulein says:

    At least VK made it into the shop. The last time I went, I ‘U-turned’ at the entrance. Scared off by the crowds.

    vk: lol for real? but it’s worth trying la.. at least get to know how the dim sum taste like after hearing so much about it

  21. Jean says:

    my friends just went this dim sum restaurant too..
    so envy..
    I’ll surely visit this one if I go chance to go Ipoh!

    Jean’s last blog post..甜品

    vk: I hope the crowd won’t scare you haha

  22. lingzie says:

    i only visited foh san once. and i really liked it! we were there pretty early so it was still ‘ok’. i think we grabbed the last empty table there was. but you’re so right abt the ppl standing ard waiting for you to finish!
    the table next to ours was a group of old uncles and aunties. it was very obvious that they had finished their food. but they were just drinking their teas and reading the papers! so keng la! completely ignore the crowd standing ard waiting!

    hopefully the new place can cater for the ginormous crowd :)

    lingzie’s last blog post..Glutinuous Rice Dumplings (Bak Zhang) @ Tavoy Road, Penang

  23. mimid3vils says:

    So when u took this photo how many starring is pointing to u? hehe ^.^

    mimid3vils’s last blog post..Dragon-i Restaurant

  24. Rosy says:

    I share the same views. Liked your blog very much.

  25. Lai says:

    did you go on a weekend or weekday? Maybe weekday won’t be so crowded?

  26. ntan says:

    plenty of varieties at foh san, we usually reach there for brunch and we could get a table easily although i agree some of the varieties may have sold out. but if you ask for the dim sums you like they can steam up instanly for you. we usually go for the chiili sauce which is very nice with the dim sums.

  27. thamchiak says:

    I went there during 01/05/09, over all we quite satisfied with it. But not all the food is nice. We also feel that very stress, always got people stand behind you and stare on you. They should do something like HK style, put a chair at outside and let people waiting.

    thamchiak’s last blog post..Black Canyon Coffee

  28. mayb u can ask the ipoh bloggers how to get a table haha…j2kfm didnt seem to have a problem..

    but yes i remember to avoid the crowd as a kid, we go at 6am b4 the sun is up..

    lotsofcravings’s last blog post..Fu Shing Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant @ Lockhart Road, Hong Kong

  29. jijitankyy says:

    This dim sum is overcrowded.

    Pointless to sit down n dine if many pairs of eyes to “look after” your table.

    jijitankyy’s last blog post..《猪流感》改编杰伦-《退后》

  30. KY says:

    Hey Vkeong,have you tried the restaurant in USJ 21 ,Subang Jaya called Hoong Foong?

    The dimsum there is also very good.Every sunday morning,there will be heaps of ppl there.So finding a table will be quite a problem.

    But food is good!

    vk: Hi KY, I know the dim sum restaurant you mention :) But mostly I won’t be able to try it because it’s too far for me, although I am working in Subang Jaya currently lol. Maybe one day lah

  31. Cheryl says:

    I heard from many that Foh San had dropped in its quality ever since its good old days probably 10 – 20 years ago.. is it really still good? I normally go Yoke Fook Mun

    Cheryl’s last blog post..The Sire Museum Restaurant @ King Street – 2nd & 3rd visits

  32. DC says:

    Still prefer Ming Court after visiting both the dim sum shop twice. (Love the desert, should be lin zi,cant remember well, but is much tasty than the famous black saseme bowl in my opinion.)
    Heard that Foh San is going to shiff to opposite of Ming Court. Will certainly try out Yoke Fook Mun next round.

  33. Elaine says:

    Hi i like Foh San’s dim sum too even though my aunty owns Ming court haha. I havent been to mingcourt for ages coz its always crowded and we need to wait for a table everytime when we r there.

  34. meiLin says:

    i think foh san’s dim sum is really good tho, despite the crowd. apparently even if u go at 6am it will ALREADY be crowded. so yeah, the letdown is the big crowd.

    i guess to enjoy ur food u just gotta imagine that there’s nobody staring at u or waiting for ur table :P btw, foh san is opening a newer and bigger restaurant soon, do try that out too :) (sorry i dono wheres the place, but ipoh ppl would kno)

    meiLin’s last blog post..Guessing game ;)

  35. Jys says:

    first time I makan at Ipoh, i was like.. wat the hell, how to eat when ppl staring at me and my food? hehe.. now somehow got used to it liao.. :p

    Jys’s last blog post..Keelung, Miaokou (基隆庙口)

  36. Alicia says:

    They actually hav alot of varieties. But u know, they dont really display all of them out . regular customers would know what to order.. well. . i dont. haaha.

  37. Jimmy Chua says:

    I am a local staying in Ipoh for the past 50 over years. The locals prefer Yoke Fook Moon and Ming Court where the the dim sum are freshly prepared.

  38. graham ng says:

    i am from johor and visited both Foh San (the new grand shop in front of Ming Court) and Ming Court end of last year. both have been rated highly in both press and internet. unfortunately, my family was not at all impressed by the taste. the Fan Cheong of Foh San even had the taste of the cloth in which it is made ( not sure if you know what i meant). Perhaps we are not used to the taste of northern malaysia . my singapore friend who went this year was also disapppointed.

  39. jalancarimakan says:

    last weekend, we traveled from kuantan to ipoh just to have a taste of this so-called best tim sum in ipoh. we had tim sum in Ming Court…just opposite the new Foh San. We ate just enough and then proceeded to Foh San…across the road. In summary, I preferred Ming Court for three reasons. First, you get served in Ming Court whereas Foh San is self-service. Second, Ming Court provides servette or tissues (but have to ask for it) whereas Foh San does not provide any kind of tissue or servette. You use your hand to wipe your mouth….literally. Otherwise you can buy the tissue from the counter. When I made a complaint on this…..they have this type of stare….(if-you-dont-like-you-can-go type). Third, Ming Court is very much cheaper than Foh San. What I ate in Ming Court and with the same amount in Foh San…..Ming Court is very much cheaper. Will I go again to Foh San—–NO. Will I recommend to friend…NO.

  40. Chaileing says:

    Fohasan now have Facebook!! welcome go to like ths page n suggest to ur friends~~

  41. I always miss Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant @ Ipoh because everytime cannot get table there.
    chee lee leng´s last blog post ..Penang Chee Cheong Fun – One of the best snack that can’t miss in Penang

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