Bidor, Malaysia - Cantonese duck drumstick noodles from Pun Chun
This iconic 75-year-old Bidor eatery is famous for its duck drumstick noodles, where pre-roasted duck drumsticks are then cooked in a herbal broth till they are fall-off-the-bone tender and totally infused with the Chinese herbal taste. Watched over by the 90-something-year-old matriarch (who hailed from Pingyuan county, Guangdong), the Khong family still runs this 24-hour eatery with clockwork precision.
I find their herbal soup very tasty, but the noodles were blandish, without the eggy aroma or flavour. Ditto their much-touted wanton noodles, which came tossed in dark soysauce and oil. The pork-and-shrimp-filled wanton dumplings were plump and delicious, but the BBQ char-siu was nothing worth writing home about.
The frothy iced coffee is the standout for me here - thick, sweet, delicious.
The restaurant also does a roaring business with their "sha kei ma" (a sweet molasses-covered egg-flour pastry of Manchu origins) and "kai chai paeng" (chicken biscuits).
Pun Chun Restaurant
40 Jalan Besar
35500 Bidor, Perak
Tel: +605-4341 554
Bidor, like many towns in Perak, are people mainly by Cantonese and Hakka migrants from southern China since the mid- to late-19th century, brought in as indentured labourers when the British wanted to exploit the large deposits of tin there. Subsequently, each town has its own clutch of old eateries, offering traditional foods from the old hometowns of the migrants - making Chowhounding in this region an exciting prospect.
Bidor is 1.5 hours' drive north of KL, a bit under 100 miles.