Founded in 1906 by a Hainanese immigrant, Cheam Tin Suan that had talent in cooking English meals. The restaurant located opposite of Ipoh Padang and athletes dropped at the bar as resting place and for unofficial activities clubs. “The F.M.S”- an acronym for the Federated Malay States was the archetypal European miners and planters’ bar.
The FMS Bar in Ipoh, which had been run by the same family for three generations, was unlike any other in Malaya. Not far from the station, a firm favourite with the planters and miners, it had the swing doors of a Western movie, an L-shaped bar with a big fridge behind it, a Victorian pendulum clock on the wall, and an abacus rattling at one end of the bar. At the far end of the room, three curtained cubicles awaited those who wanted dinner.
-Noel Barber, The War of the Running Dogs *
Located at the junction of Jalan Sultan Yusuf with Jalan Sultan Idris Shah Reputed to be the oldest restaurant in Malaysia, it has occupied the present premises since 1923, with a hotel upstairs. Today, it is operated by fourth generation proprietor pang Chee Ein, “Nephew” of the late “Uncle” Cheam Yew Toon, as they are known to a regular clientele. A new heritage cafe serving Hainanese food has replaced the hotel above the bar.
It is the only privately owned pre-war shophouse in the city gazetted as a heritage building by the Ipoh City Council. The restaurant has been closed for business since March 2008. It is currently undergoing renovations. The old-world charm of the FMS Bar and Restaurant will be retained when it reopens for business after a facelift
1906; 112 years ago
2, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, 30000 Ipoh, Negeri Perak
Bar & Restaurant
Take A Street view Tour.
Available along Jalan Sultan Yusof, but limited. Alternative car Park along Jalan Tun Sambanthan
The Federated Malay States (FMS) has a historic building design as it is the oldest bar building in Malaysia. This 19th-century Chinese architecture was built by Hainan immigrants and became a leading meeting point for European visitors as well as favourite places for cricket players, rugby and football after playing in Ipoh Padang.
In the early 1900s, the Colonial style was a popular architectural form found in the town of Ipoh which had the basic features of two to three storeys, glass windows, symmetrical front facades, columns and columns with Art Deco, and symbolize the Classic and Gothic revival.
Among the oldest buildings in the city of Ipoh, FMS is seen as an Old-To-Old Architecture architecture known as Exchange and Provost between 1800 and 1900 representing the best of Malaya’s colonial-style architecture. The building saw a ‘period of prosperity of Ipoh’, inspired by culture in Malaya at that time, this can be seen as a combination of building structures that use the roof of a Malay house which can be seen on the edges of the building.
Although F.M.S Bar and Restaurant is an iconic building in town, many people have forgotten that F.M.S actually stands for Federated Malay States. It was founded by a Hainanese immigrant in 1906 along Belfield Street (Jalan Sultan Yusof). F.M.S Bar, as it was fondly known, was said to be the oldest bar-cum-restaurant in the country.
It moved to this building only in 1923. It was the favourite haunt of colonial planters and tin miners, and later attracted other expatriates, too. This 19th century Chinese-style shop was also popular watering hole among the many sportsmen who played at the field opposite. The F.M.S Bar closed in March 2008 for what was supposed to be a three-month long restoration programme. Unfortunately, till today, it has not been reopened.