Li Garden Restaurant @ Ipoh – The One Near to the AirportSeptember 14, 2010 | 6,432 views
And yes, we DO have an airport here in Ipoh. Surprise, surprise!!!! Much like how the old Subang airport has (had?) their famous Lala Chong Seafood Restaurant (read Precious Pea’s review here), Sultan Azlan Shah airport of Ipoh is commonly referred to as the landmark when one is trying to seek for Li Garden Restaurant; a Chinese seafood restaurant (‘dai chow’) on Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah Selatan.
* On a side note, read about how they are toying with the idea of moving the airport to Seri Iskandar in the future, instead of expanding the current one.
Claypot Tilapia Fish (Kam Foong Yue) @ RM27/USD8.50 – You can also choose to have the “Pak Sook Gung” (a type of catfish) to be cooked this way instead
I read about Li Garden a few months ago from Ipoh Echo. Previously, I barely knew about this restaurant near to the airport in Pasir Puteh from my father who travels along the route on a daily basis. But of course, being a little out of the way, I have never thought much about having dinner here. (They’re only opened from evening until midnight).
But of course, resistance is futile. Especially when one’s clouded by the thought of having lamb/beef briskets, curry chicken in bread, and claypot tilapia fish …….
“Chi Hoong Pai Kuat” – A dish of stewed spare ribs in a delicious gravy (RM20/USD6.30)
And so we were there one fine evening, after calling in advance to reserve a table. Just in case. After all, I would not want to risk having to go home empty-handed or a detour to a random restaurant around Pasir Puteh for dinner.
Good to see that the place was almost 80% occupied. And a quick glance around the other tables revealed that most of them ordered a claypot dish each. Needless to say; “When you’re in Rome, do what the Romans do.”
Translation : “Masuk kandang kambing mengembek, Masuk kandang lembu menguak”. Hehe, my Malay not bad eh?
Kam Heong La La – A stir-fried clam dish in a spice-infused gravy; redolent of curry powder flavour. RM15/USD4.70
Let’s talk about the FOOD now. The Claypot Tilapia Fish was a smart move; a sizzling piece de resistance of a freshwater specimen, seated in a huge claypot with aromatic soy sauce beneath. The skin has been carefully removed so you can tuck into the flaky flesh underneath. The slight muddy taste notwithstanding, the tilapia fish was served with garnishing of simple chopped scallions, and this was a crowd pleaser alright. You can also choose to have other fishes; like Pak Sook Gong (catfish) instead.
But do NOT miss their Braised Spare Ribs. Braised until so tender and the meat almost falling off the bone (really fork-tender, no joke!), you can even bring your grandpa with dentures or without and he’ll be sure to lick the bones clean. The gravy had this very aromatic fragrant of five-spice powder, and Nam Yee (fermented bean paste).
Sam Dan Yuen Choy (Three Eggs Spinach) – RM10/USD3
The clams (la la) were sweet and juicy, as well as very toothsome. But the Kam Heong way of stir-frying the clams was not the best method of dishing out the clams, we felt. The overpowering curry powder taste somewhat offset the freshness of the “la la”. Should have gone with the steamed version instead.
The Yuen Choy (spinach) can be cooked in a myriad of ways. You can have them stir-fried with garlic, served in a superior stock (Siong Tong Yuen Choy), or even in their signature starchy gravy with an eggy finish; from the use of century eggs, salted eggs, and chicken eggs. The Sam Dan Yuen Choy had me scooping the delicious gravy onto my rice, and reminded me of eating Wat Tan Fan/Wui Fan (Braised Gravy with Rice).
Kon Chin Tau Foo (Fried Beancurd with Gravy) RM12/USD3.80
The beancurd was but another one of the generic “Chiu Pai Tau Foo” (signature beancurd) of a block of beancurd pan-fried till it’s crispy on the outside and still velvety smooth on the inside. Followed by a generous ladle or two of the sauce with toppings of minced pork, shrimps and chopped scallions. Nothing too fancy, but who doesn’t love beancurd right?
See the crowd seated by the sidewalk of the restaurant @ Li Garden.
While not all of the dishes were hits, we certainly will not mind returning for the other specialties like braised beef briskets, curry chicken bread, a snacky “Char Fah Lam” or crispy baked-fried pork brisket, and even a must-order-in-advanced Braised Leg of Lamb.
The meal for six came to about RM92/USD29.
* I heard that the chef/owner of Li Garden used to work at the Lei Yuen (also Li Garden?) at the premise currently occupied by Hee Lai Ton Restaurant. Is this true?
LI GARDEN RESTAURANT
No 57, Laluan Pinji Seni 4,
Taman Pinji Seni,
31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : Mr Chan (6012-500 2135), Mr Liew (6012-518 3370)
Business Hours : 5pm – 12am (taken from Ipoh Echo’s)
GPS Coordinates : E101 5′ 51.2″ N4 34′ 38.0″
Google Map to Li Garden Restaurant