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2006.08.14

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Cupcake

Hrrmph! I thought I'd be really smart and look at your blog when I'm full from lunch. Instead, now I find that I'm hungry again! And it's just an hour after munch time.

Great story, and great pics too. I can almost taste the sweet and sour pork. And the crab balls too.

We really should go to Penang. There are loads of places like these there!

szer

Wow..good stuff...there's also a famous Pan Mee near Jln Raja Laut..with really spicy dried chilli paste

serena

amazing, robyn, you've outdone yourself with this post. the number of times that i've been asked what, besides the twin towers, are "musts" for tourists - & the number of times that i've stumped as to what to say! the food, the food, & the history that lies behind deceptively blank facades.

thanks for a great post, will have to check out hong ngek.

Robyn

Cupcake - the only solution seems to be ... read the blog WHILE you're eating? ;-)

szer - do tell. I am a huge fan of Kinkin's (Chow Kit) pan me with spicy dried chili paste and would love to know about another version....

serena - thanks. Look, it must be said that not *every* tourist is gonna 'get' a place like Hong Ngek. But I do think there are many out there who want to find a place like this but just don't know where to look. You said it best -- 'the history that lies behind the blank facades.'

RST

Yes, this is one of the most eloquent posts on this blog.

szer

yar..that's the one..the dry pan mee near chow kit..but the kinkin one is overated i think..there's one just opposite it that is cheaper and just as good

szer

and..i think there's a lot of places like this in ipoh..just that people dont know where to go..but i grew up knowing a lot of these hawkers...almost like a family..its amazing that in ipoh..even after 20 years..some of the ppl are still at the same places selling their grub

Robyn

szer - kinkin is always packed while the other is always empty. Perhaps we need to buck the trend. Yes, gotta get to Ipoh. Dave's been a few times now and always comes back raving about lunch.

RST

Just want to note that there's a brief glimpse of Restoran Hong Ngek in Tsai Ming Liang's haunting "I Don't Want To Sleep Alone". The lonely all-night Chinese restaurant in the film, which is frequented by migrant workers (Bangladeshis, Africans, groups of Filipinos) in the film looks almost exactly like the interior of Hong Ngek (above). Tsai Ming Liang's Kuala Lumpur is a city of silences (no one speaks) and voids (empty stretches of highways, abandoned construction sites etc), but the film itself, though "minimalist", is packed with details, both aural and visual. It is a melancholy city of night-time street walkers and migrant workers-in fact possibly the only glimpse of Malaysian Malays that we get in the film is that of an old beggar couple seated in a tunnel of some sort singing a vaguely-food-related folk song about a handful of uncooked rice and seven birds thrown into a pot to be served to the king...

Richard
Opplicario@yahoo.com

RST

Just want to note that there's a brief glimpse of Restoran Hong Ngek in Tsai Ming Liang's haunting "I Don't Want To Sleep Alone". The lonely all-night Chinese restaurant in the film, which is frequented by migrant workers (Bangladeshis, Africans, groups of Filipinos) in the film looks almost exactly like the interior of Hong Ngek (above). Tsai Ming Liang's Kuala Lumpur is a city of silences (no one speaks) and voids (empty stretches of highways, abandoned construction sites etc), but the film itself, though "minimalist", is packed with details, both aural and visual. It is a melancholy city of night-time street walkers and migrant workers-in fact possibly the only glimpse of Malaysian Malays that we get in the film is that of an old beggar couple seated in a tunnel of some sort singing a vaguely-food-related folk song about a handful of uncooked rice and seven birds thrown into a pot to be served to the king...

Richard
Opplicario@yahoo.com

J2Kfm

Great post, I can almost relate to your story.
As time goes by, the younger generations (mine included - 80's baby) started to forsake the few and far in between eateries, those lining the battered streets, ie the old town of Ipoh.
Penang is the ONLY place that really promotes this type of heritage eats, with Teochew restaurants and Hokkien food still plying the menu consistently.

No more mall foods, I'd say.

Pete

Hong Ngek today no longer offers Xinghua Hokkien food, but one-plate "dai chow " dishes which KL's office workers in that area look for.

Robyn

Sorry to hear that Pete, but thanks for the update.

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