The Peace Hotel in Taiping is actually a traditional Chinese coffeeshop on the ground floor, and a (somewhat sleazy) motel upstairs on the second floor. Built around 1901, the design of the building followed the Straits Eclectic style of architecture very popular around the late 19th- to early-20th century.
The Peace Hotel is a landmark of sorts in Taiping for its Hainanese chicken rice stall. One needs to come pretty early for this one - around 11am, as it’s so popular, a queue usually forms at lunch-time and, on good days, it sells out by 2pm.
We placed an order for two: poached chicken, plus a plate of poached chicken livers, gizzards and chicken intestines. Both were drizzled with a mixture of light and dark soy sauces, sesame oil, and chicken fat, served on a bed of cut, raw cucumbers and sprinkled with chopped scallions.
The chicken rice here, whilst not as good as those one gets in Singapore, is flavorsome and aromatic. Chicken rice is usually cooked by frying rice grains in chicken fat, before chicken stock is added and brought to boil, together with ginger, scallions and garlic. Aromatic pandanus leaves are added for its scent.
Diners here liked to also order the lor bak from a neighboring stall inside Peace Hotel" this is a platter of ngoh hiang (deep-fried rolls of marinated pork strips wrapped in beancurd sheet), heh chee (prawn fritters), fried tofu, century egg with pickled ginger, hard-boiled egg which is soy-braised, and fish cake. Saucers of dipping sauce, consisting of an unctuous “lor” (5-spice, soy and oyster sauce blend) sauce, and spicy chili sauce, topped with crushed peanuts, are provided on the side.
At one point, we weren’t too sure if we’d over-ordered, but everything tasted so good, the two of us actually finished off every morsel on the table.
By the time we left the coffeeshop at 2pm, the stallholder was already wiping down the stall - everything having been sold out half an hour earlier.
Peace Hotel & Restaurant - Taiping
32, Jalan Iskandar, 34000 Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Tel: +605-808 2171
Opening hours: 9.30am to 3pm.