Ipoh Thean Chun Coffee Shop Restaurant

Is Thean Chun Coffee Shop a must-go in Ipoh? Regardless, its location in Ipoh Old Town makes it a common stop for tourists wandering the area.

Why is it so famous and what are you missing out on if you don’t check this place out?

As Ipoh residents, we’ve been here many times and here is our take on Thean Chun Restaurant.

Table Of Contents:

History Of Thean Chun Coffee Shop

Both Thean Chun Coffee Shop and next-door neighbor, Restoran Kong Heng have been around for decades (since the 1950s).

Front View Of Ipoh Thean Chun Coffee Shop
Front View Of Ipoh Thean Chun Coffee Shop

Restoran Kong Heng is famous for fried kuey teow with duck egg, popiah, and Wuyi tea egg. While Thean Chun Coffee Shop’s success can mainly be attributed to its gai se hor fun stall. Although, the pork satay and caramel custard are also crowd favorites.

PS: Kong Heng also has gai se hor fun and it’s a decent alternative if Thean Chun Coffee Shop happens to be closed.

Ease Of Parking At Thean Chun Restaurant

This is one of the most difficult areas in Ipoh to find parking. Count yourself lucky if it takes you less than 5 minutes to find a parking spot close to the restaurant.

Sometimes, we’ve parked as far as the Ipoh Town Hall and walked down past the Birch Memorial Clock Tower.

The reason for the lack of parking is the fact that Thean Chun Coffee Shop is walking distance from Concubine Lane in Ipoh.

However, since the coffee shop opens at 8am, you might have better luck if you go before the crowd starts thickening after 11am.

Ambiance At Thean Chun Coffee Shop

Thean Chun Coffee Shop lacks space and air conditioning, but patrons are willing to put up with a little discomfort for the food.

Ipoh Thean Chun Coffee Shop
Ipoh Thean Chun Coffee Shop – Photo by Travelswithsun

3 rows of classic kopitiam tables line the restaurant from the front and right to the back. When it’s full-house, expect to share tables with strangers.

Note: There used to be a sink at the side wall for patrons to wash their mouths but it has since been removed to make way for another table.

Since Thean Chun is right next to Restoran Kong Heng (and Kong Heng Square), it’s not uncommon to see waiters and hawkers going to and from both coffee shops to serve customers.

Interior Of Ipoh Thean Chun Coffee Shop
Interior Of Ipoh Thean Chun Coffee Shop

Thean Chun’s new neighboar, Lam Fong Biscuit Shop has a few tables inside (and air conditioning too) and they do allow customers to order food from Thean Chun as long as you order drinks from them.

Service At Thean Chun Restaurant

The star at Thean Chun Coffee Shop is the gai se hor fun stall at the front.If you order a bowl of noodles from here, expect to wait awhile for it to come if you’re here during peak hours.

1-hour waits are not unheard of. Drinks can somehow take 15 minutes too.

On the other hand, the curry noodles stall beside the gai se hor fun stall is not as happening so if you’re really hungry, you can order from them instead.

Curry Mee At Thean Chun Restaurant In Ipoh
Curry Mee At Thean Chun Restaurant In Ipoh

Tip: Tide your hunger by ordering some caramel custard or some satay.

Overall, staff at Thean Chun Coffee Shop is very busy especially during lunch time (12pm to 1pm) as tables fill up immediately once vacated.

Don’t expect them to have time for chit chat and occasionally, they can miss out on orders. However, this can all be avoided if you just go early before the crowd packs in.

Food At Thean Chun Coffee Shop

Our go-to orders at Thean Chun Coffee Shop are a mix of chicken and pork satay and gai se hor fun. The well-marinated and lightly charred satay with the peanut-dipping sauce is arguably more delicious than the noodles.

Gai Se Hor Fun From Thean Chun Coffee Shop In Ipoh
Gai Se Hor Fun From Thean Chun Coffee Shop In Ipoh – Photo by Travelswithsun
Pork Satay And Peanut Dipping Sauce At Ipoh Thean Chun Restaurant
Pork Satay And Peanut Dipping Sauce At Ipoh Thean Chun Restaurant

But they pair very nicely together.

Throughout the years we’ve been to Thean Chun Coffee Shop, the taste has been consistent.

But if you order the noodles later in the day, the broth starts thinning out so we really advise going here earlier than 12pm (maybe even earlier than 11am) if you can help it.

Another dish that’s well worth ordering here is the curry chee cheong fun! The stall is at the back of Thean Chun Coffee Shop.

Curry Chee Cheong Fun At Thean Chun Coffee Shop In Ipoh
Curry Chee Cheong Fun At Thean Chun Coffee Shop In Ipoh

For drinks, there are local variations of coffee and tea, barley water, as well as a blend of soya milk with cincau.

Many like the caramel egg custard too but we reserve our opinions on it since we don’t like caramel egg custard to begin with. The custard tends to sell out by 10am on weekends and exceptionally busy days.

Caramel Custard At Thean Chun Coffee Shop In Ipoh
Caramel Custard At Thean Chun Coffee Shop In Ipoh

Pricing At Thean Chun Coffee Shop

Prices have gradually been increasing – the change is more noticeable for the staple stalls like the gai se hor fun stall. A bowl now costs roughly RM10.

Thus, Thean Chun Coffee Shop is notably more expensive than kopitiams in other areas of Ipoh.

Conclusion

With all the fuss that surrounds Thean Chun Coffee Shop, we don’t think it’s worth going here during a weekend or public holiday. If you can’t help it, then try to go before 11am before the tasty gai se hor fun broth runs out.

Ipoh has too many good food haunts to just settle for Thean Chun Coffee Shop. But if you don’t mind the long waits for parking, seats and the food, then you can give it a go!

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