Need A Kick? Try Hunan Cuisine @ All In Restaurant, Ipoh Old TownSeptember 28, 2012 | 2,900 views
Hunan-Style Spicy Hotpot Fish (RM38/USD13)
Ever wondered why Chinese cuisine in Ipoh has been rather one-dimensional? Chinese food is strictly relegated to ‘dai chow’ stuff; whipped up by the diners such as Kok Thai, Mun Choong (Pusing Public), Oversea, East Ocean, etc or firm favourites like Sun Marpoh, Wong Koh Kee or Sin Hup Kee.
But wait, if you have been an ardent follower of my ramblings, you must have discovered the fascinating alternatives of different ethnic cuisines like Teochew restaurants, Hakka eateries, burning hot Szechuan delights or even fusion Cantonese cuisine in Ipoh!
Let’s add another one to the already impressive list; All In Restaurant (Yat Bun Woh in Cantonese) restaurant in old town of Ipoh specializing in Hunan cuisine. How to measure the authenticity? How about not one, but TWO chefs brought in from China, with adamant stand on using ONLY authentic methods and ingredients to cook up a (fiery) storm!
If the surroundings appear to be familiar, the new owners of the premise decided not to overdo the renovations and let Momo Steamboat‘s layout and furnitures to be retained. Yes, folks. Remember this aged post on Momo? They have since closed down after approximately 4 years in operation, leaving only Old Town White Coffee as the longest-standing survivor along the row of shops facing Padang Ipoh.
Spicy Braised Kampung Chicken (RM35/USD12)
All In Restaurant (not to be confused with All Inn Cafe; the other coffee shop in old town serving a variety of “tong sui”) had a soft launch and started serving meals for lunch and dinner not too long ago. However, their official launch is still tentatively set to be on 18th of October 2012.
The menu has nary a single English word in it though, but this will be altered soon enough in preparation for the official opening of their business. A quite alluring menu featuring mostly authentic Hunan cuisine with predominantly spicy dishes; with signatures highlighted in thumbnails to ease ordering.
Don’t worry, if all else fail …. ask for recommendations. And don’t forget to give indication on your tolerance level for chili though. They can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not careful, yet a notch below pure Szechuan cuisine with numbing peppercorns.
Shredded Yam with Ham, Minced Pork and Chillies (RM18/USD6)
Unlike the scarily drowned in a pot of chili oil “Sui Zhu Yue” (Water-Cooked Fish) that’s a primarily Szechuan classic, the Spicy Fish Hotpot here was so much more tolerable with sesame seeds-studded fillets of fish (partly deboned, hence be cautious) cooked in a piquant broth brimming with flavours of chili and spices, yet every spoonful of the broth led to little sighs of satisfaction instead of yelps for water. My brother and I enjoyed this dish the most, while my parents went gleefully gnawing on the Spicy Braised kampung chicken cooked in a slightly spicy gravy with potatoes and green chillies.
Stir Fried Long Beans with Brinjal (RM8/USD3)
The Shredded Yam dish with toppings of minced pork and ham was easily the mildest dish that evening, though still spiked with a faint hint of spiciness. The finely-julienned yam was soft, tender and soaked in the sauce really well. This is a definite must-order, especially if you love yams.
Spicy BBQ Prawns on Skewers (RM38/USD13)
The wait for the food was bearable, the last item to arrive being the skewered prawns barbecued to a crunchy perfection; where you can chew and swallow the prawns WHOLE without peeling off the shells! But most importantly, the abundance of minced garlic, dried chillies, chopped fresh red chillies and scallions tossed in a spicy sauce was most addictive.
And to cap that off … the prawns were really fresh and succulent beneath the crunchy shells; and the spiciness level was very much tolerable. Even for kids, seriously.
Prosperous Cakes (Kam Chin Peng) (RM15/USD5)
Finishing off the somewhat hotter than usual feast, we had a serving of desserts in the form of chewy glutinous rice cake served in a sweetish caramel sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. A befitting finale with a textural play on the palate, pampering the torched tongue (if you’re not one who loves chillies) with sweetened caramel sauce.
All in all, this was an enjoyable feast laden with more hits than misses, and dining in an environment that’s suitable for families, friends and even smaller parties of below 4 pax. Once they have revamped their menu, hopefully with English descriptions and more food shots to lead the ‘blind’ (like yours truly here) into ordering the desired items.
ALL IN RESTAURANT (non-Halal)
No 17, Jalan Tun Sambanthan,
30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Tel No : +6016-524 6642, +6012-568 1127
Business hours : 10am – 3pm, 5pm – 12am.
Opens daily. GPS Coordinates : 4.597822,101.076614
Directions : Same row as Old Town White Coffee, facing Padang Ipoh in old town. HSBC Bank is also on located on the same street.