Feast Your Way Through Ipoh’s Halal Food Gems In 72 Hours


Winnie Chong •  Mar 18, 2019

While Kuala Lumpur is a popular destination for tourists visiting South East Asia, the capital of Malaysia’s Perak state, Ipoh, is often forgotten. This quaint city that was once bustling with tin-mining trade during the British colony slowly faded off the radar in the 1980s due to the collapse of tin prices. Fret not, though, as Ipoh is making a comeback as Malaysia’s food destination – foodies unite!

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Let us guide you on a fun-filled 3D2N getaway to Ipoh to fill your tummy (yes, we may have heard your stomach grumbling ?)!

Getting There

For the benefit of those who are unfamiliar, it is actually very easy to get to Ipoh. The best method we can suggest is to board the ETS (Electric Train Service) train to the iconic Ipoh railway station. The ETS connects most major cities in Peninsular Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur, making it an ideal choice for you to get to Ipoh conveniently.

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If you fancy a road trip, you can choose to drive to Ipoh. This is the perfect choice if you are travelling in a large group where it makes economic sense to drive. The journey only takes approximately 2 hours along the North-South Expressway from Kuala Lumpur. Another alternative is to travel by bus to Ipoh’s intercity bus station, Terminal Amanjaya.

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If you are pressed for time, you can fly into the Ipoh Sultan Azlan Shah Airport on one of the budget airlines. One way or the other, getting to Ipoh is a walk in the park!

Getting Around

Travelling around Ipoh is fairly easy. Destinations in and around the city are easily accessible. If you do not have your own transportation, you can get around the city via e-hailing services like Grab which offer rides at affordable prices.

For accommodation options in Ipoh, here's a trusty guide to help you make your choice!

Day 1: Glimpse the heritage of Ipoh old town

Ipoh is divided by the Kinta River – with the old town on the west of the river and the new town on the east. Start your trip by exploring Ipoh’s small but impressive old town. Featuring a number of heritage buildings and pre-war shophouses, this part of Ipoh boasts of colonial gems.

Fill your tummy with scrumptious nasi lemak at Nelli’s Deli

Before exploring the old town, stop by Nelli’s Deli for their signature nasi lemak. The dish may be on the pricier side (between 10 - 20 ringgit, depending on what dish you choose) but is well worth it ? The Nasi Lemak Full Plate is served with fried chicken, calamari sambal and prawn sambal!

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The Nasi Ulam at Nelli’s Deli is also a must-try. It is a bowl of white rice served with local herbs and topped with bean sprouts, spicy sambal and fried chicken. The restaurant also serves a wide selection of Western food, so there’s bound to be something for everyone!

Credit: @nellisdeli on Instagram

Address: No. 99 Jalan Sultan Yusof, 30000 Ipoh, Perak

Operating hours: Mon–Fri, 10AM–6PM; Sat–Sun, 10AM–9PM (closed on Tue)

Price range: Approximately RM50 for 2 people

Status: Muslim-owned

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Admire the architecture of the old town

After a hearty meal, spend some time exploring the old town on foot (don’t worry, it is very walkable!). One of the most prominent buildings in the old town is the Ipoh railway station, also known as the ‘Taj Mahal’ for its majestic white domes. It served as a hospital before the 20th century and was subsequently turned into a railway station. Fun fact: It was used as a shooting location for the film Anna and the King!

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Another beautiful colonial gem to note is the Birch Memorial Clock Tower. As its name suggests, the clock tower was built in memory of J.W.W. Birch who was the first British resident of Perak. This historical tower features a bell with a diameter of 1.95 meters and four pillars surrounding the centrepiece.

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Another must-see in the old town is the Concubine Lane, or better known as “Yee Lai Hong” by the Cantonese-speaking locals. During weekends and holidays, the lane comes to life with many pop-up stores lining the vibrant lane. Shophouses along the lane have been restored to their former glory and now house cafes, souvenir shops and eateries. Be transported back in time as you stroll along the lane!

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While exploring the old town, keep a lookout for murals drawn by Lithuanian street artist Ernest Zacharevic. To pinpoint the exact locations of all eight murals, you can refer to Google Maps ? These murals depict the heritage and culture of Ipoh, so they are really a sight to see!

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Cool down from the heat with ais kepal at Bits & Bobs

Time to sit down and relax after all the exploring! Head down to Bits & Bobs at Kong Heng Square for their nostalgic ais kepal. It is a ball of shaved ice flavoured with syrup, perfect to combat the heat outside. Does that remind you of your childhood?

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While you’re at it, be sure to check out the surrounding area of the square where you’ll find murals, a museum and a boutique accommodation, among others. If you visit during the weekends, you can catch the pop-up market at the square too! Not to mention, each corner of the square is oh-so-Instagrammable!

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Address: Kong Heng Square, 30000 Ipoh, Perak

Operating hours: Mon–Fri, 11AM–4PM; Sat–Sun, 10AM–5.30PM (closed on Tue)

Price range: Approximately RM10 for 2 people

Status: Halal ingredients used


Slurp down tasty noodles at Mee Kari Daud Mat Jasak

You can always count on Mee Kari Daud Mat Jasak to serve a satisfying meal on a sunny afternoon. The moment it opens, the locals would fill up the tables and order their famous specialities: mee curry and mee kicap (noodles drenched in soy sauce) and yong tau foo.

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Nudge the waiter with your order and you'll be sinking your teeth into your favourite dishes in no time. If you're craving for something else, this local stall also serves mee goreng, bihun goreng and char kuay teow. Since the seats are pretty limited, remember to come early or visit this Ipoh gem after lunch hours.

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Address: No 1 &, 2, Jalan Dato Onn Jaafar, Kampung Jawa, 30300 Ipoh, Perak

Operating hours: Mon-Sat, 3.30PM-10PM (Closed on Sun)

Status: Muslim-owned


Have a hearty dinner at Miker Food

After checking in to your accommodation and getting some rest, it’s time to head out again for dinner! With a variety of food choices from Malay to Western, Miker Food is your answer to an enjoyable dinner.

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A speciality at the restaurant is the delicious Tom Yum Nyor. It is a dish consisting of seafood served in a coconut shell! You can taste the perfect balance of sweet and spiciness of the dish, thanks to the coconut water itself that is used in the making of the delectable tom yum.

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Also not to be missed is the handmade stone oven pizza from the Chik Pizza Stall. With generous toppings packed within the thin crust, the pizza is sure to satiate your taste buds!

Address: Jalan Padang, 30020 Ipoh, Perak

Operating hours: Tue–Sun, 5PM–12AM (closed on Mon)

Price range: Approximately RM60 for 2 people

Status: Muslim-owned

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Day 2: Take in the beauty of nature

Eat like a champion for breakfast at New Hollywood

Rise and shine! To kickstart your second day in Ipoh, head to New Hollywood in Canning Garden for a hearty local Chinese breakfast.

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One of the best places to sample local hawker food, expect to savour halal Chinese food – chee cheong fun with prawn or chicken filling, char kuey teow with juicy prawns, fluffy cakoi – you name it, they have it! Are you salivating yet?

Address: Taman Canning, 31400 Ipoh, Perak

Operating hours: Tue–Sun, 7AM–4PM (closed on Mon)

Price range: Approximately RM20 for 2 people

Status: Halal-certified

Visit limestone caves

If there is something you have noticed after spending some time in Ipoh, it is the many limestone caves in sight. They can be found in abundance in Ipoh, dating over 250 million years. With unique formations of the limestone caves, many of these caves are used as places of refuge and prayer.

One of the most famous caves in Ipoh is Sam Poh Tong. It is a natural limestone hill used as a place for Buddhist worship. Situated along Gopeng Road, it is claimed to be the biggest cave temple in the country! Upon reaching, you will be greeted with a colourful entrance to the temple. There are statues of Buddha in various forms in the cave.

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You can also visit the Kek Lok Tong cave temple in Ipoh. It is a tourist attraction and is used as a place for worship. In addition to the many Buddha statues at the central altar, there is a great garden view for you to take in once you enter the cave. The beautiful landscape will leave you in awe!

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Get your hands (literally!) on the scrumptious nasi kandar at Yong Suan

Lo and behold, it’s lunchtime! This time around, head to Kedai Kopi Yong Suan for a treat – nasi kandar! The best nasi kandar in Ipoh is inarguably at Yong Suan.

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The delicious nasi kandar ayam merah served at the Indian Muslim stall in the shop is famously known at “Nasi Ganja” (loosely translated as “marijuana rice”). Don’t worry though, there is certainly no drugs or dangerous substances present in the nasi kandar. It is named as such because of how delicious (and hence addictive!) it is.

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The humble plate of nasi kandar is served with gravy, chicken, salted egg and coconut sambal. You can also choose to add on dishes on the side to your liking. The stall boasts of many customers as evidenced by the long line outside the shop, so there is no denying how delicious the nasi kandar is!

Address: 2 Jalan Yang Kalsom, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak

Operating hours: Mon–Sun, 9.30AM–6PM

Price range: Approximately RM20 for 2 people

Status: Halal ingredients used


Treat yourself to a bowl of tau fu fah at Funny Mountain Soya Bean

When in Ipoh, you must try the legendary tau fu fah (bean curd) at Funny Mountain Soya Bean. With a hilly landscape in Ipoh, access to a good water source is said to be the contributing factor to the delicious tau fu fah!

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With a soft and silky texture, the tau fu fah melts in your mouth and slides down your throat – what a treat to your soul! It is lightly sweetened with syrup made from ginger and sugar, definitely a well-deserved dessert during your trip to Ipoh!

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Address: 50 Jalan Mustapa Al-bakri, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak

Operating hours: Mon–Fri, 10AM– 7.30PM (closed on Tue)

Price range: Approximately RM5 for 2 people

Status: While the menu is pork/lard-free, kindly note that the shop is not halal-certified. We recommend you to dine at your own discretion


Take a stroll at the Gunung Lang Recreational Park

After all the eating, it is time to take a stroll (to digest all that food you’ve eaten)! Head to the Gunung Lang Recreational Park, a well-maintained 30.35-hectare park.

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The main attraction of Gunung Lang is no doubt the man-made cascading waterfall atop a limestone hill at the entrance of the park. You can take a boat ride across the lake to the park where you will be greeted with many old trees blanketing the vast park. Take in and appreciate the beauty of nature at the park!

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Address: Jalan Damai, 30100 Ipoh, Perak

Enjoy dinner at Ipoh Hainan Chicken Rice

Apart from white coffee, Ipoh is also synonymous with chicken rice. With that in mind, there is no way you can leave the city without eating chicken rice. Your answer to halal chicken rice – Ipoh Hainan Chicken Rice!

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Savour the natural flavour of poached chicken served with light soy sauce, coupled with smooth and fragrant rice. Remember to dip the chicken in the delicious chilli sauce for the best taste!

Address: 107 Jalan Raja Musa Aziz, Kampung Jawa, 30300 Ipoh, Perak

Operating hours: Mon–Sun, 10.30AM–10PM

Price range: Approximately RM50 for 2 people

Status: Halal-certified

Day 3: Experience the contemporary new town

Dim sum, lose some at Greentown Dim Sum Café

To satisfy that craving of yours for good dim sum, start your last day in Ipoh at Greentown Dim Sum Café. It is the only halal-certified dim sum restaurant in Ipoh, perfect for your dim sum fix!

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You can find the usual steamed Chinese dumplings at the café, from siew mai (meat and shrimp dumpling), har gao (shrimp dumpling) to barbecued chicken buns. Besides, meals like fried rice and wanton noodles are also served at the restaurant. You won’t want to miss their lo mai kai (chicken glutinous rice) and lor bak gou (fried raddish cake) too!

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Address: 10 Persiaran Greentown 4, Pusat Perdagangan Greentown, 30450 Menglembu, Perak

Operating hours: Mon–Sun, 9AM–9PM (closed on Tue)

Price range: Approximately RM50 for 2 people

Status: Halal-certified

Walk down memory lane at the Ipoh Flea Market

Every Sunday, the flea market at Memory Lane (also known as “Pasar Karat Memory Lane”) operates from as early as 6.30am. It covers a 2-kilometre stretch and sells all kinds of goods, especially antiques.

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Be mesmerized by the items on display, like old coins and currencies, vintage cameras, old books and vases… the list goes on. There are certainly no frills on the layout of the market, with peddlers exhibiting their items on mats on the sidewalk. It is definitely the place to go for rare and secondhand items at reasonable prices!

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Address: Jalan Horley, Kampung Jawa, 30300 Ipoh, Perak

Operating Hours: Every Sun, 6AM–12PM

Have a look at murals at the Mural Art’s Lane

The Mural Art’s Lane is a back lane in the new town of Ipoh, with murals all painted on walls along a single line. Unlike the street arts that you’ve seen your first day at the Ipoh old town, you do not need to search high and low for the murals as they are all situated along the lane.

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The pieces at the lane depict festivals and cultures of all races in Malaysia. You can also find murals painted to show family love and bonding. As it is a challenge for the murals on public walls to stand the test of time, nature and vandalism, be sure to capture them on camera before they become history!

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Address: Jalan Masjid, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak

Operating hours: 24 hours

Savour delicious Laksa Telur Goreng Bersarang at Kafe Setinggan

Before heading back home, make a pit stop Laksa at Kafe Setinggan for lunch to savour a piping hot bowl of Laksa Telur Goreng Bersarang! Although the restaurant is slightly out of town, it is a hit among foodies for its famous laksa.

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What makes the dish special? The bowl of laksa is served with a fried egg instead of the usual hard-boiled egg! Coupled with thick laksa broth cooked with fresh fish, this dish is the perfect meal for you to end your food trip in Ipoh!

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Address: Jalan Margosa D/8, 31350 Ipoh, Perak

Operating hours: Mon–Sun, 12PM–7PM (closed on Fri)

Price range: Approximately RM10 for 2 people

Status: Muslim-owned


P.S. Check this list out for an ultimate guide to halal food in Ipoh!

With that, you are good to go! As you head home with a heavy heart, know that you are always welcome to visit again in the near future! You should know by now that while Ipoh is home to culinary delights, the city also offers beautiful sights and scenery to best fill your 3D2N getaway. For those who have yet to take a trip to Ipoh, what are you waiting for?