TELUK INTAN, June 1 — Teluk Intan, or Teluk Anson as the older timers fondly remember it as, has been climbing up the popularity ranks lately thanks to the by-election that had been hoarding the headlines.
The town centre sits on a bay jutting out into the Perak river that flows west towards the Straits of Malacca. Although tourism is not the main source of revenue (yet), Teluk Intan still has a number of attractions worthy of your time.
The Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan right smack in the town square was erected in 1885 and was once a water tower supplying water to the entire town; ironically the underground stream and presumably the constant flooding tilted the tower a good one foot, rendering the tower unstable for storing water and it was transformed into a tourist attraction.
Teluk Intan still holds a special place in my heart as my late great grandmother hailed from this town. I remember the days when we had to travel all the way from either Ipoh or Sungkai (where my late grandfather used to reside) for certain occasions; for instance the momentous wedding banquets celebrated in a most extravagant manner with what felt like half of the town making up the chorus of “yum sengs” and the festive visits to my late great grandma’s place once a year.
The earliest -- and still fondest -- memory of food from Teluk Intan has to be the Teluk Intan chee cheong fun from Liew Kee; an incredibly down to earth establishment on Jalan Hill churning out packet after packet of steaming hot rice noodle sheets studded with dried shrimps, chopped jicama and fragrant shallots. It is served plain without any sauce, the taste enhanced only with pickled green chillies.
Oh, don’t expect to be served or even seated with a pair of chopsticks. Only take-away option available here, and they open from 5pm onwards until the wee hours of the morning.
For a dine-in alternative, you can try Anson San Siew Yeah Chee Cheong Fun further away from the town centre, off Jalan Sultan Abdullah.
A stark contrast compared to Liew Kee’s, San Siew Yeah occupies a fully air-conditioned corner outlet serving their version of Teluk Intan CCF with a variety of sauces; either plain with soy sauce and shallot oil, chilli and sweet sauce or even with curry.
If you fancy a plate of the chee cheong fun for breakfast instead, hop over to Keng Heng Coffee Shop at the corner of Jalan Raja and Jalan Ah Cheong in the town centre.
I crossed paths with Teluk Intan once again about five years ago when I was working in the government sector. This time around, the field visits were more for work than play; hence searching for halal food outlets became second nature to us.
Gulam Rasul opens 24 hours and is really famous for their nasi kandar and fresh deep fried chicken with curry leaves. And if rice is not what you’re seeking, they sell various rotis and fried mamak noodles as well.
Furthermore, Gulam Rasul is situated at a very strategic location, along the main road of Jalan Changkat Jong before you reach town.
Although Gulam Rasul draws the lion share of the nasi kandar loving crowd, Nasi Kandar Changkat Jong holds a much closer place in the hearts of the local folks when it comes to the most popular nasi kandar joint. The drawback? They only open for lunch, and their signature fried chicken served with a handful of fritters finishes relatively early. This restaurant is more inconspicuous, hence you really need to keep your eyes peeled to your left after passing by Gulam Rasul before you reach town.
Rice a bit too heavy for the food hunting glutton in you? Don’t throw tantrums. Abdullah Mastan Ghani’s mee rojak will hit the spot perfectly; a matrimony of mee rebus and rojak on a plate. Sinfully addictive.
They operate from a few outlets around Teluk Intan so you don’t have to deal with the disappointment of finding the original place along Jalan Ah Cheong closed or too crowded. But do come for breakfast-lunch, as they close rather early in the afternoon.
Enough of the heavy meals and ready for a stroll? Then park your car around the Leaning Tower town square and go for a walk. You can also climb the tower for free and enjoy the 360 degree view from above.
On the ground level, walk around and admire the beautifully-preserved colonial buildings around town.
Then, for something to take home and give to your friends or family members, try Teluk Intan’s famous “heong peng” or “tau sar pneah” biscuits from Sin Joo Heong (Tiger head brand) or Ta Sin Guan Tin (Butterfly); these two are renowned family-run enterprises in town.
For something refreshing, take a break at Gerai Makanan Jalan Maharani; it’s a stretch of food stalls housed under zinc roofs near The Store. The soya bean drink and ’tau foo far’ are nice. An alternative would be the desserts truck named Hawaii Ice Stall along Jalan Sekolah that opens in the afternoons only. They are famous for the “Loh Han Guo” dessert served in a bowl, or the signature “Hawaii” with lots of of fresh fruits and jelly on shaved ice, with a squeeze of calamansi lime to perk things up.
Now, don’t you agree that Teluk Intan is more a gastronomic pitstop than a mere political battleground?
ABDULLAH MASTAN GHANI MEE & ROJAK
7 & 8, Jalan Ah Cheong (opposite The Store) Teluk Intan, Perak.
Opens from 8.30am-6.00pm. Closed on Fridays.
NASI KANDAR CHANGKAT JONG
Along Jalan Changkat Jong, on the left when you are coming towards town’s direction.
Opposite a Dunlop tyre shop.
M. GULAM RASUL
Jalan Changkat Jong, Teluk Intan, Perak
Opens 24 hours
Can’t miss this on your left if you’re coming from Bidor/Kampar way towards town.
TA SIN GUAN TIN FOOD INDUSTRIES
No 110, Jalan Pasar, 36000 Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 605-621 5110, 605-622 9390, 6012-313 6883
NO.1 LOH HAN KUO/HAWAII ICE STALL
Jalan Sekolah, Teluk Intan
Opens 12pm – 6.30pm.
Next to Anson Hotel
LIEW KEE TELUK INTAN CHEE CHEONG FUN
No. 752, Jalan Hill,
Teluk Intan, Perak.
Opens from 5.30pm onwards, until 8.30am on weekends.
ANSON SAN SIEW YEAH CHEE CHEONG FUN
No. 1, Lorong 1, Taman Hong Kong, Jalan Sultan Abdullah, 36000 Teluk Intan, Perak
Tel No : +605-621 9550, +6012-460 1776
Opens from 6.30pm – 11pm. Closed Tuesdays.
KENG HENG COFFEE SHOP
No. 42, Jalan Raja, Teluk Intan, Perak
*Corner of Jalan Raja and Jalan Ah Cheong
Opens all day. Chee Cheong Fun for breakfast until lunch only.
GERAI MAKANAN JALAN MAHARANI
Along Jalan Maharani, Teluk Intan, Perak
Opens for breakfast only. Some until lunch, while the soya bean stall opens until late afternoon.
James Tan loves good food and blogs at Motormouth From Ipoh (www.j2kfm.com)