Pakeeza’s North Indian Cuisine @ IpohNovember 11, 2010 | 19,723 views
Still in the spirits of Deepavali (What? Cannot syok sendiri ah?), I’ll continue writing on Indian eateries in Ipoh. Kalai Curry House did not manage to sustain their top notch quality from back then, lacking in the public relations department (customer service, naturally) and a generally lackadaisical attitude towards pleasing the customers.
Especially those not of the same ethnic group. A big no-no, sorry …
The newly reopened Pakeeza, after some major refurbishing works. Very classy now, though the place actually seats less patrons than before.
Thankfully, one old-timer named Pakeeza Restaurant manages to maintain the influx of customers after so many years. I remember vividly how we first dined here back in the 90’s. Or maybe late 80’s, can’t be sure. But I was head over heels in love with their Palak paneer, a North Indian delight mixing mashed spinach and cottage cheese. And boy oh boy …. I STILL am.
Recently Pakeeza underwent a major renovation, and they reopened not too long ago. Since we were seeking for a Halal (or at least, pork free) restaurant for lunch, we chose Pakeeza today ….
Palak Paneer (RM6/USD2) – A classic Indian dish of spinach and cheese.
Stepping into the restaurant took a considerable amount of effort. Or at least, a slap back to reality. So different is Pakeeza now from its original self (you can read about my review of the restaurant back in 2008) that we waltzed in with a sense of awe, admiring the intricate design of the interior; assuring the diners of a comfortable, bright yet not too cramped ambience. But take note that the restaurant is not as spacious as before, and we even encountered some problems being ushered to another table at the end of our meal; just so that the larger group of customers could sit together.
Garlic Naan (RM4.20/USD1.40) – One of Pakeeza’s forte happens to be their naan. Fluffy flatbread baked in oven, with different fillings/toppings.
And here we had THREE more varieties of Naan/Roti from Pakeeza. Better to be shared, do not go for more than one piece each! Small as the 8″ bread might be, but very filling when eaten with the side dishes.
Service was prompt, pleasant and without a hitch. We were ushered to a table for 6 (there were six of us) and given the menus to ponder upon. And surprise, surprise! The prices of the food are still maintained even after the recent facelift.
Pakeeza’s famous for their breads; the Naan to be exact. Priced at about RM4-5 (USD1.30-1.60) each, each bread is sliced into fours, and highly advisable that you’re sharing yours with the other companions. So that you can taste different varieties and won’t get bored of having to finish one type on your own. The Garlic and Kashmiri still remain as my favourites, while the Cheese was a little too greasy.
Buttered Boneless Chicken (RM9.50/USD3 per portion, in this picture we had two)
You can either choose to have their Biryani Rice with a choice of meat (about RM10/USD3.20 per portion) or you can opt for the Naans and various dishes. Amongst the six of us, we had four dishes and four Naans, with one portion of plain Biryani Rice (RM3.90/USD1.30).
Mutton Vindaloo (RM8/USD2.60 per portion, here we had two as well)
The food arrived after about 10 minutes of wait, considerably rapid seeing that the place was not exactly empty. And while we were busy tucking in, the restaurant was filled to the brim in mere minutes! So better to reserve a table if you’re coming in a larger group.
They have smaller tables (for 4-6 pax) and larger ones for 10 pax and above.
Aloo Gobi Masala (RM5.50/USD1.80) – A curry of potatoes and cauliflowers.
The Buttered Chicken was punchy, owing to the pungent flavour from the black pepper and a creamy gravy of piquant curry and cream/butter. The deboned chicken thigh was marinated and grilled prior to the cooking, a Tandoori style chicken in fact. Hence the already tasty meat before being doused in the creamy gravy. Almond flakes were strewn on top as garnishing, while the addition of tangy tomatoes added some zest to foil the richness of the dish.
Mutton Vindaloo is a type of dry curry mutton, with a distinctive taste from the spices like turmeric and cardamom, though Pakeeza’s version was slightly oily. And some lamented about the cuts of fatty mutton, though some might argue that the fats give the mutton the characteristic gamey taste.
Aloo Gobi Masala was a mild dish, with cauliflower and potatoes cooked in a thick, dhall-based sauce. The Palak Paneer once again, was ordered as that’s the dish I can relate to time and again …. when it comes to North Indian cuisines. Not as sinfully creamy nor decadent as I had fond memories of, but still good enough to warrant a portion or two.
Plain Biryani Rice – Notice that the grains of rice look much longer than the usual? Is this the superior Basmati rice?
Various juices and lassi (yoghurt drinks) @ Pakeeza
Kashmiri Tea (RM4.50/USD1.50) – Their signature blend of spiced tea with milk, and almonds.
Needless to say, the feast was well-received. Positive comments from all corners, even the picky eater in the group (hehe) attested to this. The meal came to about RM16/USD5.20 per person. We definitely ordered more than enough for six, but at least I made my rounds there before embarking on my journey away from good old Ipoh.
“These, would be the Sweeter Times in our Working Lives …”
PAKEEZA RESTAURANT & CATERING (HALAL)
15-17, Jalan Dato Seri Ahmad Said,
30450 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 605-241 4243.
E-mail : pakeeza(at)streamyx.com
Business hours : 11am – 3pm, 6pm-10pm.
GPS Coordinates : E101 5′ 13.9″ N4 35′ 59.9″
Google Map to Pakeeza