Evolution of Motormouth? Nah … Just the Same Old, Same Old (Dinner @ 1919 Restaurant, Ipoh)December 5, 2010 | 8,995 views
This is officially my first post from the land down south. Not that I am in a land far, far away from my beloved hometown of Ipoh. But still, the thought of NOT being able to relish in the thought of dunking cups after cups of white coffee in old town in the mornings, then leisurely taking up 1-2 hour of lunch without being caught in massive congestion on the roads, and finally reaching home at 5.30pm SHARP (of course, usually 5-10 minutes earlier!) ….. it’s already killing me.
This plate of batter-coated fried eggplants drizzled with a sweet and spicy Thai chili sauce is one of 1919’s signature dishes. Very famous, until you can see almost every table ordering a plate!
And so, for the very last meal while I was still based in Ipoh, I chose 1919 Restaurant & Gallery in Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh. Not that this restaurant holds any significance in my life as a foodie in Ipoh, nor this eatery epitomizes what the culinary scene in Ipoh’s all about. (And you just know that it’s the street food that wins them all!)
More to because I was craving for a decent meal in a pleasant environment; a feast that won’t break a hole in the pocket yet offering dishes that are suitably more robust in flavours and a deviation from the normal ‘dai chow’ restaurants. And of course, for that bite of a tempura-like batter-coated eggplants …..
A simple stir fried combination of bean sprouts, ‘dai wong mew’ (sorry lazy to find the translation, but the greens resembled ‘sawi’ or mustard greens, and salted fish.
Way back in 2008 (two years ago, somewhat exactly) I wrote a piece on 1919. With my ever trustworthy Nokia 5610 (now handed down … or rather up, to the next owner – Mum!), I snapped photos with gusto back then, taking up ample time to even set the auto-focus function, and wasting precious time before a shot get saved, and the next could be taken.
Talk about resilience, that camera phone was used for a good one whole year! Before the inevitable … not that I donated the phone to the sewers, or some lucky chap picked up my 5610 accidentally. But the hassle of borrowing a camera from friends while on the roads, or the fact that under very low light condition the pictures all turned out grainy and not salvageable, changed my ever stubborn stand on the unnecessary need for a fully functional digital camera. Or even a DSLR. But I was not up to the challenge yet.
A cross between your Lemon Chicken, Honey Chicken and Marmite Chicken, you can almost imagine the taste of the crunchy, boneless chicken fried then coated in a glistening, caramelized ‘King’ sauce.
To which my current LX3 (see the photo from my Profile page) was bought and lasted me for almost two years, until this very day. And the shots displayed in every post after February 2009. Not a bad investment really, for the time and effort saved (as well as many curse words deleted from my vocab) was well worth the money spent.
Anyway, this post was never meant to be about my shooting equipments, or even skills (or the lack thereof). But I just am at lost for words here, trying to find back the groove ….. desperately seeking for descriptive, beautiful words to project that exact dining experience at 1919.
Far from opulence, yet the service was attentive, fast and efficient. They even separated the Signatures or famous dishes from the main menu, hence it was miles easier to browse through the simpler list. And the captain that day threw many good recommendations, instead of the routine : ‘Die-Die recommend an Expensive Fish so that your meal won’t be a cheapskate affair’ …. he actually took the time to suggest dishes based on our preference.
Grouper Fish Fillets in a Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
As Grandma was tagging along (albeit in her dire condition to even ambulate around like times before), he combined the subtler dishes with the robust ones, and the portions came out suitably impressive; not too much and not too little.
Well, except for the grouper fillets, maybe. But that plate of fish infused with the aroma of Chinese cooking wine was cookedd really well, amidst the fact that each of us only had 2 slices or so.
The rest of the dishes were okay, nothing that jumped at us nor commanding to be ordered on a repeated basis. Yet the Philippines eggplants this time around was not as memorable as the last. A few bites of the fried eggplants and the stinging/burning sensation arose; successfully marring the tastebud.
A Jolly Little Christmas, everyone?
Anyway, 1919 has always been one of my top recommendations to the locals, or even outsiders seeking for a proper meal. Especially of the Pork-Free category. Yes, they do serve liquor, hence the inability to get this restaurant certified as Halal. But I did see a few Muslims dining there on that evening.
Maybe, just maybe … the allure of good, Nyonya/Thai/Chinese fusion style of cooking was too much to resist?
Happy Monday People! Let’s hope that Motormouth here can get back into his rhythm, and start writing properly already ….. !!!
1919 Restaurant & Gallery Sdn Bhd
No 1, Jalan Medan Ipoh 6,
Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh,
31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 605-547 7196.
Opens for lunch and dinner.
GPS Coordinates : 4.615794,101.119332
Google Map to 1919 Restaurant & Gallery