These two rival traditional Hainanese-Chinese coffeeshops faced off each other right across the road in Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh Old Town, and purportedly served the *best* Ipoh white coffee (怡保白咖啡) between them.
Nam Heong, which opened just after WWII, was the younger of the two, but the more enterprising one - it had franchised its coffee business into the popular Old Town White Coffee chain throughout Malaysia and Singapore these days. I visited the original outlet on Sunday, where a 1940s atmosphere permeated through the air, as much as the smell of freshly-roasted coffee. The popular coffeeshop was packed as always, with nary a vacant seat to be had. The food stalls lining the periphery of Nam Heong sold a wide variety of Chinese eats, from the popular "char koay teow" (fried rice noodles) to egg tarts. We opted for the "sar kok liew", a typical Ipoh snack (you won't find this anywhere else in Malaysia) of shredded, seasoned turnips wrapped in bean-sheets then deep-fried, before being cut into discs, and served with chilli sauce.
Sin Yoon Loong (Est. 1937) also offered a plethora of traditional Ipoh street eats like steamed radish cakes topped with minced shrimps & salted radish.
Both places offered unmissable rich, thick coffee, sweetened with a mix of evaporated milk and sweet condensed milk.
2 Jalan Bandar Timah
Sin Yoon Loong
15A Jalan Bandar Timah
Tel: +605-2414 601