Anson Town in Perak is just an hour’s drive from its more famous Perak town, Ipoh. And Anson Town Bistro serves Perak food. They have two outlets, one at 324P Changi Road, and the newer one at Ark@Gambas which is a 10 minutes’ bus from either Yishun or Sembawang.
The newer outlet at Ark@Gambas is located within an industrial park and not easy to find. If you’re taking bus, stop at bus stop 58309 or 58301 (the landmark is 3M building). Then cross the road to Ark@Gambas. There is a back gate. Enter it and turn right. Walk about 20-30m and you’ll see the restaurant.
The menu is simple with four main dishes: varieties of chee cheong fun (starting from $3.50), noodles (from $4.50), porridge (from $4.50), and nasi lemak (from $4.50). They also have side dishes such as yam cake ($3), chicken wings ($2/pc), yong tau foo ($1/pc). In addition, they also have Malaysian biscuits such as heong peah ($1.10) and kaya puff ($1.40).
There are many interesting options for chee cheong fun such as cheong fun with curry and beancurd roll ($5) and dry curry cheong fun ($5). The most famous food from Anson Town is their own style of chee cheong fun; Anson chee cheong fun ($4.50) is wrapped with turnip, dried prawns and minced pork. I can’t taste any of the ingredients in it. I thought the dark bits are fried shallots. It is eaten with pickled green chilli so the cheong fun tastes sourish. It’s nothing special. You can skip this.
In Malaysia, they eat cheong fun with curry pig skin ($5). But we only ordered the curry pig skin ($4) without the cheong fun. It’s like that. Nothing really special.
The noodles section also has some interesting options like Asam laksa ($6.50) and Ipoh hor fun ($5.50). But the most interesting is Ipoh dry curry mee ($6.10), which comes with char siew. I tried the famous one in Ipoh and Anson Town Bistro’s version tastes nothing like that. It is too salty. But my two Malaysian friends, who were eating with me, vouched feelingly that this curry mee reminded them of home: “it tastes like Malaysia.” It is very spicy and the flavours are deep and earthy.
Pro tip: don’t mix all the chilli in. The heat burns the throat. Mix bit by bit.
The menu states that their nasi lemak is their signature but it is just alright. The rice is not fragrant enough.
Our favourite dish is definitely the rojak ($5). It’s done in Malaysian style, no youtiao, no tau pok. It has cucumber, guava, crackers, and peanut bits. It’s quite refreshing.
One of Ipoh’s most famous food is its beverage: Ipoh white coffee (hot $2.10, iced $2.70). I tried the two famous white coffee in Ipoh, Nam Heong and Sin Yoon Loong, and Anson Town Bistro’s version tastes nothing like them. It is much better. Ipoh white coffee is diabetic inducing, but this version is just nicely sweet yet maintaining that “gao”-ness and fragrance of Ipoh white coffee.
We spent about $30 for 3 persons.
Price / value: 7/10
Decor / ambience: 6/10
Service: N.A. (Self service, order at the counter, get a beeper, collect food)
You may be interested in…
–The Coffeeshop by Yaowarat, Kovan: Bringing Malaysian and Thai Food to Singapore
–Ipoh Tuck Kee Son 怡保德记仔炒粉, Foch Road: Famous Ipoh Wan Tan Hor Makes Debut in Singapore (With 1.5-hour Queue!!!)
–Malaysian Hup Kee Fishball Noodle 合记鱼丸, AMK: I Hate Sick People’s Food But This Is Awesome
–GO Noodle House, 313@Somerset: Famous Malaysia noodle chain that has already sold ONE MILLION bowls comes to Singapore
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.