"Ching Han Guan" (in Cantonese "Zhong Hon Yuen") is famous in Ipoh as a traditional biscuit shop. This is one of the shops that we faithfully go back to every time we are in Ipoh. Reason? The varieties of biscuits, with a mix of the old and new, taste fresher and better even though we're not big fans of traditional biscuits. The shop has a rich legacy behind the name, you will likely not able to find another traditional biscuit shop still doing the way they were more than 60 years ago.
The owner shared with us that the shop in Hugh Low Street had been established in 1949, when he was only 2 years old. The business was started by his father, a Teochew, and until today it's one of few shops still making authentic Teochew specialty biscuits. He took over the business when he was only 13 years old after the passing on of his father - starting off as a bicycle peddlar selling the biscuits to neighbouring shops. He has 4 children and currently only one of them is involved in the family business. A Teochew couple who was there claimed this is the only shop in Ipoh that makes the traditional and rare Teochew wedding biscuits.
The variety of biscuits here attracted many customers from outstation and neighbouring countries as well as migrated Ipoh people who come back to find their familiar tasty biscuits. On top of the variety of biscuits they sell on day-to-day basis, they also offer specialty products like wedding biscuits, Chinese New Year biscuits and mooncakes for Mid-Autumn festival . They even cater their biscuits to different clans, for example they have special wedding biscuits for Teochews, Cantonese and Hakka clans as well as traditional mooncakes for Teochew, Hokkiens and others.
Few workers were busy making the biscuits at the back of the shop. The recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and their philosophy is simple, "Use high quality ingredients and passionately craft them into delicious biscuits". You should not expect very low prices though but they are more reasonable than most commercialised brands. A plus point is the biscuits are sold promptly so you can be assured of their freshness.
Our boys love almost all the types of biscuits here but the popular biscuits here are meat floss lotus paste biscuit, Ipoh famous "heong peah", "hup tung so" walnut cookies, sesame/peanut/walnut candy, "sak kei ma", "kai zhai peng" Chicken biscuit, "Biskut Telinga", fish biscuit (popularised by my boys...) etc etc. It is commendable that they still persist in making the biscuits in the traditional way, and even become successful in their own right.
STILL selling like hot cakes!! The very first biscuit sold by the senior Ching peddling the Ipoh's famous tau sar pheah (mung bean pastry) on his bicycle, in exactly the same packaging!
A close rival of Ching Han Guan - read Ming Yue Confectionery, Pasir Pinji.