Rating: 7 / 10
Similar to the problems faced by Bangsarbabe I too tried to go to Cowan Street Ayam Tauge three times before finally catching them on a rare open day. I'm not quite sure what the thinking is behind their restaurant hours, but it seems to confuse a great deal of potential customers.
That aside, I had heard rumours of beautifully poached chicken, comforting bowls of koitiau and side-dishes including their famous bean sprouts. My stomach had been remonstrating for well over an hour when I jumped out of my cab dizzied by the shining lights that had shone dead the previous two nights. I grabbed a table, ordered my chicken, bean sprouts, soup and an ice cold can of 100plus to damage the intolerable heat of Ipoh evenings.
Everything arrived in quick succession, not that the food would ever get cold in this heat, but it's always nice when you want to try everything together and don't sit waiting 10 minutes for the last dish to arrive.
The locals were right. This was some tender, juicy, delicious chicken. I ploughed through the plate in gunfire bursts, remembering to sip some slippery noodles and crunchy bean sprouts once in a while. Above me the fan did little to disturb the moist mess of humidity, the surrounding tables didn't look up for everyone was focused solely on the bright plates in front of them.
If I am allowed to come with one slight correction, those unfamiliar with copious amounts of salt in their cooking might struggle a bit with the soup. It was heavily, heavily seasoned. Apart from that everything else tasted like a little hole in the wall whispered about in local bars by those who want to show off their knowledge but secretly hope it doesn't get discovered and end up too busy.
When in Ipoh, you'd be foolish to not drop by.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"