I popped back to ipoh last 2 weekend agos, to do some "christian style" grave cleaning ( meaning no burning, no tossing of paper, just flowers and weeding ) and t visit my paternal and maternal grandmas. It was my late grand-dad's birthday and it coincided with easter as well as the week after ching ming. Most of the time, when we go back, we will make a visit to his grave, lay some flowers, scream at the sight of lizards ( that would be me ) but it is also a good time to catch up and sit down as a family for dinner with aunt and my grandma. ( And give my aunt any reason not too cook for a fussy lot like us )
This restaurant has been some time in ipoh since i can remember but only recently we have been going. Was one of my grand-dad's favorite restaurant ( where the restaurant is still open, his last favorite one closed down because the owner over gambled ) and since his death 4 years ago, we have been making some visits to this place. In most cases, i veto everyone else's choices so that i can come here. Dictatorship in the making. But this place, if you are looking for home cooked food at reasonable prices do drop by. The name, Sun Mar Poh. And the Mar must be said with a higher tone. My cantonese is left much to be desired at times causing insane fits of giggles to others... Mar Poh means "TWIN TREASURES" as dad says.
Now, firstly, come early ya. Dinner crowd in ipoh starts 6:30pm onwards, when i reached, the place was already quite full except for the larger tables they had. The place is also not very condusive for talking i found out except for the occasional shout over the table. But it is cool and clean without being too presumptious. And looking at the gaudy red cloth, you can tell this place is as simple as it gets. This place however, might be a place where people stare at you if you bring your big a** camera in. I know i got some of the wrong kind when i started flashing away... "Them bloody tourist"...
For the 6 of us, we had some greens, a fish ( grand ma's fav), pork ( ooh me and dad's fav not to mention bro and aunt - that proves we are COMPLETELY related ), egg and lala for din-din that night..
First up the greens, i think this is called young... french beans(?) i really dont like this vegetable because of the "rubbery" feel on my teeth but nevertheless i still eat as greens is good for you. Done up in what is known as sauteed with garlic, the veg was fresh but a bit tiny in my terms. The fried garlic with this was quite nice without being overpoweringly strong.
Now, everyone knows of my lack of affinity with shellfish. But since everyone else likes shellfish, i could only stop and stare at them eat this. However, i tried the sauce out for my rice, exceptionally good ;). Nice thick sauce, not too sweet, with a tang and a kick to boot. Presentation as you can see is not their top form here ( see dripping sauce on the side ) but everyone likes this sauce and done perfectly well here.
Since grandma can't really chew hard stuff, we ordered something easier on the teeth which is the 3 types of egg steamed - which is normal eggs, salted eggs and preserved eggs steamed together. Mixed with white rice, this is comfort food for the soul. Mom thinks this was not "salty" enough but i thought this was alright. There were bits of minced pork in it as well for added texture.
There was a fish but didnt make the pictures as it went by too fast. :(. Piece de resistance that night was the kau yoke. Or stewed pork with yam. Some how or rather one of my face book buddies thought it was "dog meat"..... obviously the tone was slightly different... Anyway, sun mar poh's version of this dish is quite nice. The meat was tender and no pork smell. Look at the many layers of fat. According to dad, this was a good piece for kau yoke. Only thing we found odd was the yam was a bit .. sour. I thought it was just my piece, but everyone complained of a similar taste. Despite that, the meat itself was good enough for us to give it a thumbs up. Aunty walloped the lettuce - saying that it was extremely yummy.
Now, after all that food, this only caused us RM89 dollars, that includes fish! Compared to KL, this probably will be a bit more closer to RM100+ or more for 6 persons. If you are not fussy about the locale and the noise factor here, this might be the place for you. Lots of KL people drop by to this shop as well. So, if you like to go for cheap eats in IPOH that tastes like good home cooking drop by to:
Restaurant Sun Mar Poh,
Jalan Dato Lau Pak Khuan,
Ipoh Gardens ( same row as KFC )
p/s: go early ya, this place can get really crowded.
View Ipoh-Sun Mar Poh in a larger map