Restoran Waritha @ Jalan Gopeng, IpohFebruary 1, 2010 | 7,436 views
Guess the rarity of reviews on “Halal food” in Ipoh got some people all worked up. Or worse; disappointed, fuming mad, furious, fingers-a-pointing, mouth-a-cursing and even kerosene+lighter in hand. But I digressed. Seriously, I ain’t a hater of Malay food, or any other halal version of Western, or even Chinese food for that matter. I love my satays, nasi lemak, nasi kandar, and tempoyak all the same. Really, if you’re one who knows me personally, you’d appreciate the fact that I put almost all types of edible (and to some extent …. some INedible!) food into my mouth.
Which makes things so much easier eh? Especially when my working environment constantly calls for halal meals in and out of the office.
Possibly one of the most famous Malay restaurant (or Thai-Malay?) in Ipoh – Restoran Waritha opens only for dinner
But why the dearth in blogposts about Malay food in Ipoh? For one, I am at lost on where to search for GOOD Malay food, and not the average ‘Warung Nasi Berlauk‘ (though Restoran Tasek Raban opposite of Medan Seleran Stadium Ipoh is a fine choice for lunch, with their astonishing array of Malay style dishes, ‘ikan bakar’ and fantastic condiments – even TEMPOYAK, yeah!).
Piping hot, yet without the pleasant ‘sting’ of its fiery counterpart in southern Thailand ….
If you’re wondering where to go for FINE-DINING Malay food in Ipoh, I have absolutely NO idea. Laksamana Cheng Ho (both the original corner lot behind of Yeolde English in Greentown Business centre AND the bungalow lot located a stone’s throw away from MP Steamboat and Restaurant) is a definitely NO-NO for me, for I’ve eaten at the more posh establishment (the bungalow one) twice, and came out disappointed on both occasions.
Which prompt the question; Okay, so let’s not think about the lower end of the dining scale, nor the higher end. Somewhere in the middle perhaps? How about the abundance of Thai-Malay restaurants (you know, those TOM YAM outlets everywhere?) in Ipoh? There’s a stretch of stalls at night in front of Medan Gopeng bus station, which prides on a strong following, for their late night fix – from dinner until supper only.
Then there’s the Wai Sei Kai (Food Street in Cantonese) for the Malay crowd near to Ipoh Parade shopping complex, consisting of a whole row of hawker stalls plying the closed-to-traffic road in front of the Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh building come night time. A plethora of street food to ignite the senses, for a little bit of everything – from Rice to Noodles, and satay to snacks and beverages.
But one of the more prominent outlet (at least, to a majority of my Malay colleagues) happens to be Restoran Waritha on Jalan Gopeng (or Jalan Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah), on the way to Simpang Pulai. The restaurant is brightly lit at night, and easily visible when one’s passing by the road at night.
The waitresses were dressed to the nines, in pretty floral-printed baju kebaya‘s, though the restaurant is not exactly your modern, fine-dining establishment with air-conditioning. Resembles more of a typical Malay style Warung Tom Yam (there is an al fresco/open dining area adjacent to the restaurant) but on a bigger scale.
The signatures are all displayed on the neon-lighted boards surrounding the perimeters of the restaurant, to ease the ordering process. Of course, one can already anticipate the same old, same old dishes at a Malay restaurant serving Thai-Malay cuisine. At Waritha, it’s no difference except for a few twists and surprises, ie : Burung puyoh (quail) cooked in a variety of ways.
All of the dishes we ordered that evening were not blazing hot, nor entirely mild. Some with a little kick, but none that would make you reach out and grab for that glass of water in a jiffy. Probably toned down for the local palates, or maybe they were considerate enough seeing that we were the only Chinese patrons amongst the hordes of Malay customers.
Comparatively speaking, the dishes at Restoran Waritha were far from mind-blowing nor of gourmet extraordinaires. Some hits, some misses. But a notch above the average Thai-Malay restaurants. Many tables ordered the prawn fritters (Udang Goreng Tepung), so that should have been ordered, instead of the dry, almost tasteless quails that were deep-fried then served with a turmeric-based sauce (Puyoh Masak Kunyit). The Tom Yam Campur (Mixed Seafood Tom Yum) was passable, but Khun Tai and even Restoran Tomyam Hasnah at Venice of Perak (glamourous eh?) does it better.
The meal for two came to about RM30/USD8.50 or so. A little pricey, but judging from the amount of dishes ordered, the price paid was justified, somehow.
I am in desperate need of recommendations for GOOD MALAY FOOD IN IPOH. Help, anyone?
Address & Contact Number :
Lot 40395-A, Jalan Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah (formerly Jalan Gopeng)
Telephone : 016-516 9442
Opens daily from 5pm until 2am.
Closed for business once every 2 months.