With the rising popularity of retreat alternatives like Maxwell Hill as well as the town’s rich heritage, Taiping food has been steadily gaining fame in recent years. From braised Char Kuey Teow to Cendol with glutinous rice, the highly delicious and localised renditions of food staples found here are sure to exceed any foodie’s expectations. Authentic eats like Hainanese fare and Nasi Talam also do not disappoint. Check out our curated list of must-try foods in this understated town.
Roti Bakar Arang Fadzil House (Halal)
Start the day with a balanced breakfast sampling the eatery’s famous charcoal toast bread. Crunchy on the outside and fluffy within, the hint of charcoal adds a depth of flavour to the breakfast favourite. Aside from the usual half-boiled eggs on the bread, this toast house adds baked beans to the ensemble – elevating it to a more complete meal. Should you still feel hungry, you can feast on other Malaysian classics like Nasi Lemak Rendang or Bihun Sup.
Operating Hours: 6.30AM – 12.45PM
Tucked in the heart of Taiping on Jalan Pasar, this quaint little Chinese coffee shop serves honest Chinese food like steaming bowls of Hor Fun Soup as well as braised chicken feet in soy sauce. A renowned breakfast spot in Taiping even the locals flock to, you can enjoy a hot serving of clear or dry Hor Fun which comes with a generous helping of shredded chicken, sliced spring onions, and crispy fried shallots. Add a spoonful or two of their homemade belacan sambal to liven up your meal.
Wash down the spicy goodness with an icy cold serving of Kakak Peng, a chilled and unique brew of local coffee, milk, and barley. Foodies will appreciate how the barley slightly mutes the bitter notes in the coffee, giving the drink an overall natural sweetness.
Operating Hours: 5.30AM – 1.00PM
Yut Sun Restaurant (Halal)
Housed in a pre-war shop lot, the coffee shop exudes a colonial Kopitiam charm with mosaic tiled floors, small round marble tables, and old-school styled plates. Early risers can enjoy a filling and honest Hainanese breakfast of crunchy toast and half-boiled eggs over an authentic cup of steaming hot Hainanese coffee. Brunch sees more hearty food being served like the signature Hainanese Chicken Chop, fish & chips, as well as a variety of rice and noodle dishes. The authenticity in the food here is superb, although not surprising, as the restaurant has been operating for close to a hundred years.
Operating Hours: 8.00 AM – 7.00PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
LUNCH IN TAIPING
Larut Matang Hawker Centre
A 5-minute drive from Tune Hotels, this bustling Taiping food court treats you to a feast of localised versions of well-known dishes from over a hundred food stalls.
Start your feast with Stall 1’s Popiah Basah by Jaffran Popiah Taiping. Staple popiah ingredients like sliced turnip and dried shrimp are rolled up in delicate homemade spring roll skins and finished with a rich dark sauce. Head onto Stall 78’s Char Koay Teow to sample a slightly braised rendition of the Penang dish. In place of prawns which the Penang version is known for, the Taiping fix comes with juicy fish balls and sliced char siew whilst featuring a fragrant gravy which emanates a respectable amount of “Wok Hei”. Complete your feasts with Hor Ka Sai, a concoction of black coffee and Milo that is unique to the town. Dessert lovers can also find their fill here from the decadent selection of ice kacang and Chinese sweet soup stalls.
Operating Hours: 5.00AM – 9.00PM
Rumah Makan Nasi Talam (Halal)
How about a mini lunch banquet of classic Malay Kampung dishes served on huge enamel trays? Literally meaning “rice try” in Bahasa Malaysia, Nasi Talam in Rumah Makan presents your order of authentic Malay mains and sides on big and colourful trays. Choose from a menu of sambal Udang Petai, Ikan Pekesam, and many other genuine Malay dishes to go with your basket of steamed white rice. For those who grew up in Kampungs, the feast is sure to evoke nostalgia. For first-time feasters, the communal setting of Nasi Talam will guarantee a memorable and Instagram-worthy experience.
Operating Hours: 10.30AM – 5.30PM (Closed on Fridays)
Laksa Telur Goreng
Keeping the Taiping promise of tasty food twists is the Laksa Telur Goreng. Instead of the more common version which comes with hardboiled egg slices, Laksa in Taiping is served with a crispy and golden fried omelette which adds an interesting depth of flavour and texture to the tangy bowl of noodles.
The dish is also known as “Laksa Telur Bersarang” or Egg Nest Laksa at certain food stalls, as the omelette has a crumpled surface resembling a bird’s nest, having been fried at high heat. Who knew that merely cooking the egg differently could elevate the classic soup noodles to a whole new experience? Head onto the stall in front of the Kamunting Petron station to get your epic Laksa Telur Goreng fix.
Operating Hours: 12 PM – 6.30 PM (Closed on Fridays)
Aside from the standard bowl of chilled coconut milk, bright green jelly strips, and red beans, Taiping Cendol comes with an addition of fragrant glutinous rice. Begin your quest at Ansari Famous Cendol on Jalan Barrack, where the stall has been delighting locals and tourists with the refreshingly sweet dessert since the 1940s. Ansari’s signature lies in the slightly charred glutinous rice which the cendol-makers cook in a banana leaf before adding it to the bowl. The mildly crunchy Pulut adds texture to the chilled dessert.
Equally famous is Bismillah Cendol which, albeit not as historic in origins as Ansari, rivals it well. Seated a mere 500 metres away from Ansari, Bismillah also serves its Cendol with glutinous rice. Whichever stall you favour, be prepared to queue up as both cendol-makers attract volumes of locals and tourists.
- Ansari Famous Cendol: 10.00AM – 6.00PM
- Bismillah Cendol: 8.00AM – 6.00PM
Yong Tau Foo, Bomba Food Court
The Yong Tau Foo that Taiping is known for is the Malay version instead of the Chinese rendition more well known in other parts of Malaysia. A gathering place for Taiping Yong Tau Foo, Bomba Food Court houses several Yong Tau Foo vendors. While the sauces and selections differ across stalls, most of the Yong Tau Foo served here are decent in taste. We recommend that you try out the Sotong Kangkung which is essentially a platter of marinated squid and Kankung covered in a rich sauce and crushed nuts. Do not hesitate to pile up another plate full of the usual Yong Tau Foo staples like stuffed okra and fried fish cakes.
Operating Hours: 5.00PM – 12.00AM
LA Burger Kukus Taiping (Halal)
A minute’s drive from the historic Taiping Railway Station, LA Burger Kukus is your standard budget-burger-supper paradise. The burgers served here are deliciously messy, with thick and juicy homemade patties and sliced vegetables clasped between bright green pandan buns or charcoal black sesame bread. A generous drizzle of gravy completes the perfection.
Should you be visiting on your birthday or just feeling like feasting with your pals, you can order the Burger Cake – a gigantic and no less irresistible version of the standard burger which feeds up to 6 pax. If burgers aren’t really your thing, you can opt from a selection of classic Western grub like fish & chips, Swedish meatballs covered in a cheesy gravy, as well as grilled lamb and pasta.
Operating Hours: 5.00PM – 11.00PM (Closed on Thursdays)
Restoran Mee Udang Mak Jah, Kuala Sepetang
Aside from the historically rich Port Weld and the sprawling mangrove forest lining the shores, Kuala Sepetang boasts superiorly fresh seafood cooked in humble food shacks. Chief among them is the Mee Udang Mak Jah, which serves up steaming bowls of noodles in a rich savoury broth and heavily laden with huge fresh prawns and crispy fried shallots. Enjoy this aromatic bowl of prawny goodness after a long day of touring the fishing village.
Operating Hours: 12.00PM – 10.00PM