Ipoh Hometown Restaurant – It’s Always A Fishy BusinessJanuary 14, 2012 | 4,551 views
A rather alarming trend with eateries in Ipoh is this prominent surge in the number of new ones opening; from cafes, fast food chains, bubble milk tea specialists (do you even need any more hints?), restaurants to the bistros, commercialized hawker stalls (imagine one notoriously famous 45 minutes Buntong Wat Tan Hor suddenly going upmarket and …. lost the charm) and whatever in-betweens.
Wishing you “Lin Lin Yau Yue” (An auspicious wish in Chinese for “Have Abundance Every Year” … but phonetically, sounds like “Every Year Got Fish”!) – Steamed Tilapia in Soy Sauce
But more tragically, the survival rate of the newbies in the Ipoh food scene is relatively low. Unless you’re one indomitable chain like McDonald’s, Old Town White Coffee, or even Starbucks, the rest just can’t come close. Just look at De Garden two years ago and now. I daresay, almost half of the original occupants have wrapped up and moved on to greener pastures, or maybe fed up with the picky eaters.
Yes, we Ipohans believe in quality food at reasonable prices, rather than unrealistic/over-promising diners charging triple for the same cup of coffee you can get at the neighbourhood kopitiam for mere RM1.20 or so.
Before this restaurant calls it a day (unlikely though, given the warm support from the crowd on certain evenings, and the soon-to-be very strategic location), let’s see what Ipoh Hometown Restaurant has to offer ……
I could barely recognized most of the fishes depicted here. You can see the famous TV hosts sharing the owner’s passion and burden of catching mammoth freshwater fishes; though some of the backgrounds did look ….. amended.
Talk about freshwater fishes, and instantly you’d relate to Sauk, Gerik and Lenggong. All smaller towns to the north of Ipoh in Perak state. But then again, in Ipoh itself there are a few serving freshwater species although usually at stroke-inducing prices.
There’s this famous restaurant in Pasir Putih (opposite of Shatin Court) that’s more of a hawker stall than a restaurant; but glance around and you’ll see BMW’s, Mercedes etc parked around here for dinner. In short, premium but not for the ambience.
Pai Kuat Wong – The Spare Ribs KING
Now, we were there on a Saturday afternoon for lunch; a short one almost immediately after I arrived in Ipoh, back from KL. The place was still pretty vacant; at about 12pm. They offer lunch sets for four, at a very reasonable RM42 nett (USD14) inclusive of rice and drinks.
*Not sure if they still do, since this was months ago. And I hope they’re still there.
Stir-fried Sweet Potato Leaves
We could have gone with any of their famous freshwater catches, but a tilapia was included in the set. Cooked in a manner that you wish. We opted for soy sauce steamed version; simply garnished with chopped ginger, black beans and heaps of coriander and scallions. Fresh indeed, and there was no nauseating muddy/earthy taste to the flesh. Firm yet tender to the bite; with a texture that’s almost raw but very much cooked. Clever way of controlling the heat, lest you prefer the flesh to be rubbery or worse …. coarse and hardened.
When you run out of idea to name your beancurd, call this House Special or Signature. Guaranteed ‘laku’ !!
The other dishes though did not blow my mind away (I was half asleep from the drive though … typical me), but I did remember the beancurd to be of above average quality; cooked in a braising sauce with bits of crabstick, snow peas, and finely-julienned ginger. The tarty Spare Ribs King came in cutlets of boneless ribs doused in a tomato-based sauce, but a bit off with a sour tinge that’s slightly overwhelming. And the sweet potato leaves? With cloves of garlic, plus fried garlic bits to avert the vampires.
(It was not time for Twilight Saga yet, in case you’re wondering)
Anyway, parking’s no brainer here. And at NO charge. Take advantage of this, if you’re seeking for a place for reunion dinner or even gatherings during the CNY.
Okay, next round will try one of the MANY types of freshwater fishes they offer. The trade-off? PRICE, of course. Let me get back to you after the next visit. For now … enjoy your precious weekend!
RESTORAN IPOH HOMETOWN (non-Halal)
No 19, 21, Jalan Medan Ipoh 1,
Bandar Baru Medan,
31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Tel No : 016-555 4276, 05-549 8218
GPS Coordinates : 4.61886,101.118866
*This restaurant is at the LAST row of shops in the area behind of Tesco/Jusco in Ipoh Garden East. Exactly at the back of Aberdeen Cafe and My Point Cafe. Facing an empty land soon to developed into another business centre or shopping mall, I believe.