Friday, June 27, 2014

Tong Sui HSBC Jalan Ipoh

Update: February 2016
The stall is now managed by a new owner who took over the business from the uncle. All the regular tong sui are still on the menu. The owner has maintained the uncle's rotation system for the tong sui, with a banner now displaying the daily special.

Something never change. Like the taste of tong sui (sweet broth) made by this elderly uncle.


I remembered this uncle from my childhood days. A familiar face in this area, he probably has been selling at this spot in front of HSBC Jalan Ipoh for more than 30 years.

I had my favourite peanut flavour. Creamy, thick and flavourful, it was not cloyingly sweet or watered down, like those served in many places. No doubt, it's still the best for me.

As I savoured my peanut broth, I looked at the customers queuing up at his stall. Some stopped by on their motorcycles while other walked from nearby houses, offices or shops while some came from the bank. There was a lady who was ordering from a list of paper for her colleagues. A young man who looked like he’s working in a car workshop with his grease stained t-shirt, waiting patiently at one side for his turn. An Indian man just parked his motorbike and joined the queue. There was another elderly man enjoying his bowl next to me. 

It was a hot day, which was why most of his customers ordered his signature luk mei, a sweet broth with six ingredients such as gingko, barley and nuts. It's an refreshing drink when served cold. His other signature is the herbal tea broth that come with a hard-boiled egg. The herbal concoction may not everyone's favourite but for those who enjoy it, they will find his version packed with flavour, an assurance that he did not skim on his ingredients. The two signatures are available daily while other flavours such as peanut, red bean, green bean, black glutinous rice, gingko barley, wheat and black-eyed pea are rotated daily.

He also sells food like curry puff and bak chang (rice dumpling); I love the nyonya bak chang with its shrimp chilli paste.


Something that is rarely seen these days - using charcoal fire for the stove to keep the tong sui warm!

He is practically an institution here. If there come a day he is no longer selling here, the spot would look empty.