If there’s a worst service award for restaurants then Hou Xiang will definitely be one of the top contenders and probably win it as well. The staff is a bunch of incompetent blur sotongs and even the boss is a confused soul himself. All four different waiter and waitresses who attended us did the following during our short lunch:
- Got our table number wrong even though we pointed it out to him that it’s 18 not 19
- Got our orders wrong
- Brought food from another table to us
- The bill took 20 minutes to arrive and I had to remind 3 different staff including the boss himself who also forgot about it later – what a joke. I think they are just not bothered
- The wrong bill was given to us
- Change was given before we even paid, it was actually intended for another table [insert facepalm]
Moreover, the food is not even great to begin with – they are just cleverly disguised in vintage enamel wares for that gimmicky, nostalgic feel.
In all fairness their Chee Cheong Fun is alright, but not worth the anguish caused by the horrible service here.
When I went to Guan Heong biscuit shop, I also had the privilege to witness first-hand how their traditional mooncakes are made. I am always inclined to learn how food is made because it leaves me with a renewed and greater appreciation for the things I eat.
The most basic ingredients for a mooncake are the dough and filling and both of them are equally important. There are two types of dough involved here and when directly translated, they are called the ‘crispy skin’ and ‘oily skin’. The main difference between them is that one contains water while the other does not.
Apparently this is a common practice when it comes to Chinese pastries. Well, I never knew that. Anyway, according to Mr Sitt (the sifu) the general gist for having two different dough is to create the texture of the mooncake’s crust.
Then, a lotus paste log is cut into chunks and weighed before being molded into balls like these. Guan Heong only uses high quality lotus seeds and they grind them into paste at the back of their shop using a stone-made grinding mill. Lard is traditionally added into the paste for the extra fragrance but modern consumers are getting more health conscious. Since then they have switched to use vegetable oil instead.
Judging by the number of customers at Funny Mountain, it could very well be the most popular Tau Fu Fah shop in the entire country. I had been to Ipoh a couple of times before but it was only during my last trip that I finally decided to try their legendary Tau Fu Fah.
For RM1 you could get yourself a small bowl of half-full Tau Fu Fah or a cup of soya bean milk. I suggest getting both of them because they are so affordable that there’s simply no reason not to. And since Funny Mountain’s fame has preceded them, I had mountainous expectations and expected to be blown away. And boy, was my expectation exceeded! After the first sip I instantly regretted not coming here sooner.