sweet, crunchy goodness under a big shady tree.
there’s yong tau foo and when in ipoh, there’s big tree yong tau foo. a pasir pinji stalwart and a local institution since the 1970s, its easy-to-remember moniker is also a great visual marker when you’re in the area. just look for the big, tall, shady tree with a cluster of zinc-roofed food stalls underneath it. big tree’s neighbouring stalls sell a variety of local favourites such as rojak (we love it for the super crunchy kyuri that takes the place of the usual local cucumber), popiah, satay and iced desserts.
still, it’s big big tree’s deep-fried, pork and fish paste-filled delights (locals call them kap liew) that draw the hungriest crowds and what a spread they get to choose from: beancurd skin, brinjal, bitter gourd, tofu, chilli, long beans, okra, yow char kuai (dough cruellers)...
the one that you must not miss is the flat disc-shaped sar kot liew, slabs of chopped jicama or yam bean with a thin beancurd skin. fried to a golden brown, you can enjoy it on its own or accompanied by noodles that you can order from the same stall. we usually skip the noodles and ask for a big bowl of their steaming, aromatic curry broth to dunk our favourite treat into. the combination of the sweet and crunchy sar kot liew with the unctuous, santan-rich spicy soup is just heavenly.
652 jalan king, pasir pinji, ipoh opens 8.30am-5.30pm daily