Rasa Lain in Ipoh (怡保味不同) serves as one of my earliest food memories. In fact, I’ve eaten at Rasa Lain before it was even called Rasa Lain and before its present location in Bercham. It was called “Gao Xiung Seafood” (高雄海鲜) back then and located at today’s Soho area not too far away from Ipoh Parade. My family was always going to Gao Xiung Seafood with their friends and the two distinctive dishes that were imprinted in my memories since 20 years ago were the crab tungfun (glass noodles) and fish porridge.
On our recent visit to Rasa Lain , the crab tungfun was sold out by 8 pm – can you believe that? So we settled for the next in line, the prawn tungfun. If you don’t specify how you want your tungfun, the default is tungfun soup – splendid with prawn flavors infused into the soup and superbly aromatic with spices like ginger and scallions.
The fishballs are Rasa Lain’s signature dish. If you shake the plate, the bouncy fishballs are like dancing on the plate. I am not sure if it would bounce high if I throw one of these on the floor – but that would be a wasteful way to find out.
Both the squid stir fry and the intestine stir fry had a similar flavor inspired by Thai cuisine – with onions, lemongrass, chili and plenty of dried shrimps. The squid was thick, crunchy and full excitement. The crisp intestines were exceptionally refreshing, especially when it was Thai-inspired.
Feeling somewhat unfulfilled because the crab tunfun was sold out, we went back again a second time for stir-fry crab tungfun – though I must say I was a bit disappointed because it was too far off from my childhood edition. It wasn’t that this version was terrible or anything; the crab was juicy which was the essence of the whole dish but the tungfun was liveless. The version that I remember vividly from my childhood was much more stunning – where the crab was accompanied by tungfun that was thoroughly stir-fried and lightly charred . I think perhaps the bald-headed boss is no longer doing the cooking himself and hence the difference. You might be better off with the soup version of crab tungfun.
Anyhow, Rasa Lain will always be one of Ipoh’s restaurant, but note some amount of MSG was most likely used.
Address: 69, Persiaran Medan Bercham 2, Pusat Bandar Baru Bercham, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.