Who would have thought? All these while, I thought the only decent Malaysian food available in Hong Kong can be sampled only at Sabah Malaysian Restaurant. But within a week, a friend recommended me to go Good Satay at Tsim Sha Tsui (which I must try soon!), and yet another brought me to Ipoh Malaysian Restaurant.
A restaurant named after my hometown – how could I possibly missed this?! I must have passed by the shop along Johnston Road plenty of time, yet I have never realised the existence of this shop. Let it be a lesson to all; have a bright, outstanding signage promoting your shop, or Ipohites like me will never notice it!
I was there one Sunday afternoon; the place wasn’t crowded, save for a large table of youngsters whom I suspect must have been Malaysians. It’s the language lah, you can’t miss it. So we ordered three of the many available set lunch options.
Bak Kut Teh
I loved bak kut teh, but to my dismay the soup is way too watery for my liking. The herbal soup is supposed to be rich in taste and heavy with herbs. Two stale, miserable-looking yao ja guai didn’t really help matter. But I had to commend the pork ribs; well choosen, cooked to tender perfection and deceivingly easy to bite off the bones. If only the soup could do it justice…
Hakka Pan Mee
In my experience, the traditional flat broad egg noodle is home-made from flour dough pressed using a special roller machine, and then cut into strands with a knife. This one looked factory-made, which is quite a bummer. But the soup was tasty, and the mixed of minced meat and crispy anchovies reminded me so much of the pan mee from home. Thumbs up! Apparently the accompanying chili sauce was terrific too, if a bit over-the-top spicy.
Malaysian Curry Chicken
Easily the star of the day. The curry was to-die-for; thick luxurious curry rich simmered with coconut milk, cooked with tender pieces of chicken and golden fried potatoes. It would have been a sin not to try the curry with white rice; the contrast in flavour and texture are not something you could find easily even in some of the best restaurants. Okay, so there were too few pieces of chickens to be truly wow-ed about, but the cubed potatoes were stellar.
Verdict? Probably still a far cry from the real thing, but good enough to remind us how good Ipoh food can be.
Ipoh Malaysian Restaurant
197 Johnston Road