If Gunung Rapat is famous for anything, it has to be Heong Peah (Heong Peng) – literally translated to fragrant biscuits. These round and flaky pastries are filled with a sweet and chewy malt filling, great as breakfast as well as anytime snacking.
While you can easily find Heong Peah everywhere in Ipoh, the freshest ones are only available in Gunung Rapat, as there are close to a dozen of families producing this biscuit in their backyard. Each with their own brand name, of course.
You should also notice that many of the brands are in numbers eg. 189, 362 and 302. These digits actually represent the house numbers where the biscuits are made. If it says 362, it means it’s produced in the wooden house you see above.
In fact, we were attracted to enter the house-cum-mini-factory-cum-shop because it was so eye-catching. It’s impossible to miss. Apparently 362 Heong Peah was also known as 强记炭烧香饼 previously, but during our visit all the references to that name were removed.
Bags of coconut husks can be seen near the entrance, they are used as the main burning material to bake the biscuits. Some of the bigger manufacturers have moved to use electric ovens but the smaller business owners still retain this tradition, said to impart a better aroma into the Heong Peah.
As soon as you enter the house you will see a variety of biscuits and instant beverages for sale on your right. On your left are workers rolling and flattening the biscuits dough into shape.
While you are here, don’t forget to peep into the back of the house where the biscuits are baked. When you look at how the Heong Peah are made you can’t help but gain a new sense of appreciation for what you are buying.
Every Heong Peah is 100% handmade (at least at 362) with heart and care. Quality control is taken seriously as the master inspects each biscuit for defects and scrapes off the burnt bits.
If possible, try to get a packet of Heong Peah that’s freshly baked. They just taste a whole lot more superior when the malt filling is still warm and molten.
FYI a packet of 362’s Heong Peah costs RM8.50 and they tend to sell out faster during holiday and festive seasons. Just to be clear, I am in no way saying 362’s Heong Peah is the best, my preferred shop is actually 302’s just across the road.
362 Heong Peah 昆仑喇叭炭烧香饼
362, Jalan Gunung Rapat
31350 Ipoh, Perak
Tel: 05-311 3529 / 016-560 9094
Business hours: 8am – 4pm (1st batch of Heong Peah at 10.30am), closed on Sundays