Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Min Jiet: The Best Coffee

It is known that Ipoh is famous for its white coffee. In fact, the place where white coffee first originated, Sun Yee Loong, is still in operation.

A lesser known place with the best coffee my friends and I vouch for is Restoran Min Jiet. Located directly opposite the Anglo-Chinese School at Lahat Road leading to Menglembu, this nondescript shop bears only a small yellow signboard and would usually go unnoticed by most passing motorists. Most of its customers are the ACS students and workers from the industrial areas in Menglembu.

The shop is rather small and has about 10 tables that can accomodate at least five people - more if you have a small-sized group! The place gets really packed during lunch. It may seem a little rundown, dark and hot; but it serves good food and coffee. :)

Besides coffee, a couple serves hor hee (clear soup flat noodles) and kon lou noodles (dry black sauce noodles) in the morning. To cater for the working crowd, there's economy rice and also one-dish rice like sweet and sour pork rice, Thai-style chicken rice (our all-time favourite! *will post a picture soon).

The 40-something Min Jiet Aunty (as we fondly call her) runs the drinks stall, takes rice orders and sells economy rice single-handedly! And there is only one cook. Talk about efficiency.

The menu and prices are pasted on the walls; and they are reasonable despite the recent hike.

BACK TO THE COFFEE. The coffee is gao (thick) but not overdone, and the milk in right proportion. It's fragrant as well and done with just the right amount of froth, for me. (I'm not a coffee expert, except in the tasting department XD) MJ Aunty mixes the coffee with a whisk at full speed, and rest be assured, coffee arrives on the dot.

RM 1.40 for satisfying an addiction. Very worth it!

Opening hours:
Breakfast till about 4:00 pm daily except Sundays.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Go Ko-Re-An!

My parents know how much I love kimchi and so, after my MUET exams, they took me to a Korean restaurant (my first time!) for authentic kimchi.

Onix Jun Restaurant is manned by a Korean family and yes, they can speak Mandarin and English. I was so worried the young boy couldn't and so I, embarassingly pointed to my order and said "This, one." while indicating "one" with a finger.

We ordered a very minimal meal as it wasn't exactly very cheap. We had Kimchi Stew, of course, barbecued beef and plain rice.

The kimchi stew which comes with a bowl of rice was delicious but the portion could have been bigger. It was on the salty side but very tasty and not too spicy. The white tofu was just right. I once tried making my own kimchi stew from scratch (ie. from fermentation) and I loaded too much gochugaru (red chilli pepper flakes) which sent the spice straight to my ears! But taste-wise, mine tasted almost exactly like Onix Jun's! :) It was sour and appetising.

The barbecued beef was simple goodness. The unmarinated beef is wrapped with Romaine lettuce and chomped down.

Also served was banchan or side dishes like:
Sigeumchi namul 시금치나물 - Lightly parboiled spinach dressed with sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce.
Baechu kimchi - Napa cabbage kimchi
Yeolmu kimchi 열무김치 - thin and small young summer radish kimchi
Pa kimchi 파김치 - hot and salty scallion kimchi, seasoned with lots of myeolchijeot, the Korean version of salted anchovies.

Dad had aloe juice and Mom had green tea. I decided to try dunggulle tea which is made from the dried root of Solomon's seal. It had a rather interesting taste. For the teas, water is refillable.

1. Kimchi stew: RM 18.00
2. BBQ beef: RM 12.00
3. Banchan: RM 0.00
4. Aloe juice: RM 5.00
5. Teas: RM 4.00 x 2
Total: RM 43.00 (13.5 USD)

*No service or government tax.
** Lunches during weekdays are more affordable.

I would certainly like to dine here again and try more dishes like kimbap, bibimbap and bulgogi! The atmosphere is pleasant and it's a good place for conversation.

There are vacancies as well and they pay RM 5 per hour. Employment is by walk-in interview. I wouldn't mind going after STPM! Haha.

Onix Jun Restaurant. 31, Jln Medan Ipoh 4, Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh, 31400 Ipoh. Tel : 012-5377530, or 05-5477530. Open at lunch and dinner.
I'll be back!