Scotch Pub & Thum’s Western Food – Taste of the Yesteryear’sJuly 23, 2010 | 11,970 views
Words can’t express how much I would love to divulge the history/legacy behind Scotch Pub, a classic Western diner that has been around for ages in Ipoh Garden South. 20 years? Or maybe more? I can’t be sure, but this perennial classic had been battling out with the newer, funkier generations and yet still standing strong.
The legendary FMS in Ipoh’s old town was closed back in late 2007, for renovations that lasted to this very day. Miner’s Arms (also in old town) on the other hand, was shut down for business sometime last year, though the charming, once the MOST prestigious Western diner in town was not doing so well in the past few years. First Coffee House on Cockman Street (Jalan Dato Onn Jaafar) recently underwent a major facelift, sporting a lime green exterior but I have not visited the cafe since my secondary school days. Rendezvous Cafe at the corner of Cockman Street and Brewster Road (Jalan Sultan Idris Shah) ceased operations few years ago, giving way to some dodgy cafe … followed suit by Blue Window Cafe located further down the road.
Do you think that Scotch Pub is in serious threat of losing out to the freshly-conceptualized fusion cafes, fine diners, and bistros? Or can they beat the odds; maybe creating history as THE longest running coffee house in Ipoh? Read on to find out …..
Scotch Pub – Owning possibly the darkest ambience one can ever find in Ipoh
Walking in into Scotch Pub brought back memories from the days of yore. Maybe not so much for the teenagers of today, but definitely something special for the 80’s babies, or prior to that. Miner’s Arms was deemed to be THE Indulgence back when I was a kid. A feast at the former was usually met with rounds of applause and gleeful cheer, a once in a blue moon celebratory outing.
And so we resorted to the slightly more affordable lunch sets at Rendezvous, First or Scotch Pub.
Surprise, surprise! Scotch Pub is STILL offering value for money sets (RM11.50/USD3.50) on a daily basis (not sure about weekends though, anyone?). The mains are rotated from day to day, hence you won’t get the same lamb chop set if you’re visiting on different days of the week.
Lamb Chop – Set Lunch of the Day for Fridays (correct me if I’m wrong)
A set comes with a soup of the day (it was a tangy, mixed vegetable soup in a tomato base, almost like a Borsch), butter and roll, a choice of tea or coffee, and a slice of fresh fruit.
But if you’re not keen on the full set, you can always order the other items on the menu, and for an additional RM1/USD0.30, you can opt to upgrade the main dish into a set with the same complementary items.
Chicken Chop in a thick batter, with the same boiled peas and carrots and crinkle-cut fries
I set my eyes on the pork chop almost instantaneously. Seldom can one find a good, traditional, no-frills pork chop in Western diners these days. I just knew that Scotch Pub would not screw the simple dish with excessive ‘flower power’ and fusion madness.
True to its theme of staying to its most original roots, the lamb, pork and chicken were exactly how they were done back in the days. Nothing fancy, and nothing ground-breaking. Just down-to-earth Western cuisine with a beautifully nostalgic Hainanese (Midas?) touch. Wait, I can’t even be sure if the restaurant is operated by Hainanese now …… Pardon my ignorance.
And to complete your set lunch – The coffee/tea plus a slice of watermelon.
Truthfully, Scotch Pub has never been one of my family’s favourite coffee house. We preferred Rendezvous Cafe back in the 90’s, for we felt that Scotch served rather measly portions in comparison.
Fast forward 20 years or so; and Scotch’s portions are deemed reasonably generous – given the easy on the eyes prices. After all, not many outlets can boast of serving lunch sets for less than RM15 each, and still manage to attract a familiar crowd on a daily basis for the quality of their food.
Scotch Pub also serves Asian cuisine like fried noodles, fried rice, inchi kabin chicken (a Nyonya style of crispy fried chicken), and many more.
Thum’s Western Food – This photo did not do justice to the immensely humongous portion of Chicken Maryland placed on our table !!!
On a completely different scale (more or less), Thum’s Western Food – a kiosk parked within New Weng Fatt Cafe & Restaurant in Ipoh Garden South still serves up some mean, huge portions of Western fares to the dinner crowd.
Don’t rule this out just yet. The sumptuous onion gravy is their killer creation, paired so marvelously with ANY of their mains, or even sides.
I wrote about them TWICE back in 2008 (Read HERE and HERE for the full stories). You may think this was just another one of those Western cuisine maestro wannabe, starting out from a pathetic stall in a coffee shop.
But you are SO WRONG. For years now, Thum’s Western Food has been a favourite with the local folks, a closely-guarded secret even. Although not everything’s splendid (some like the Fish & Chips are deep-fried until way too crispy; sometimes a little dry from the loss of moisture), you can’t go wrong with the pork chop, bacon sandwich, and onion rings. LOTS and LOTS of onion rings. Unlike the conventional frozen ones (Burger King‘s come to mind, naturally) with nary a touch of personalization, Thum’s version of the crispy snacks is top notch. You can really taste the sweet onions coated within the crunchy batter. And they serve onion rings AND fries together with the main of your choice.
The Fish & Chips comes with a dollop of mayo on the side, and a side saucer plate of orange sauce
Their Chicken Maryland is one of their forte. At any one time, you can see the other patrons digging into the large slab of fried chicken chop, a slice of ham and a sausage, but sans the banana. Though I don’t like everything to be deep-fried and piled together on the same plate, I still have to agree that their Maryland is one of the better ones in Ipoh. Maybe the onion sauce served together with the deep-fried items tamper the intense dryness of the dish. Or the killer onion rings once again ………
The Bacon Sandwich, Chicken Burger, and platter of Fried Mussels with Onion Rings are safe choices in case you’re seeking for a ‘lighter’ meal. Everything’s priced reasonably, with most items priced around RM9-RM15 (USD2.70-USD4.50) each.
You have to bear the wait on packed days. They may be well-staffed but not as efficient in terms of service. Oh, you have to walk over and make your orders, obviously.
There is a fried rice/noodles stall, another pan mee stall, and the rather famous capati/Indian curry rice stall in case anyone in your group is not fond of Western cuisine.
The purpose I included Thum’s Western Food together in this Scotch Pub post is because these two outlets are situated rather close to one another in Ipoh Garden South, and the fact that both of them are considered comfort (Western) food that I used to grow up with.
SO, WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE CLASSIC WESTERN DINER?
Scotch Restaurant & Pub
No 22, Tingkat Taman Ipoh 6,
Ipoh Garden South,
31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Business hours – 12.00pm – 12.00am (unconfirmed)