Monday, April 28, 2014

IPOH Asian House

Driving down Hastings Street, BF noticed a new restaurant, IPOH Asian House. When he asked to try it out, I said no, thinking it would be a Hong Kong style cafe joint. However after taking a look at the menu outside, we went in because the restaurant serves Malaysian Cuisine and I am always looking for more Malay restaurants to be my regulars. 

IPOH Asian House is newly renovated, has spacious seating arrangements and the layout is setup with two sides, one for parties of more than five and the other, for less than four. The interior sticks to a lime green and neutral scheme with brown tables as well as taupe chairs. After self seating at a comfortable dining space due to the acknowledgement from a waitress, then having a look at the well presented Malaysian cuisine menu with a few unique items and a sheet of Chinese dishes, plus our friendly waiter, I was actually quite excited and could not wait to order. I had high hopes for the restaurant, possibly because of the alluring menu.

The tapas sampler costs $8.00 and I added the price for each individual order. Something worth mentioning is that the sampler comes with the same amount of food as what each individual order would have been, rather than a smaller portion which some places offer.

Starting with the chicken, the meat tastes tender but not moist or juicy and despite the browning, there is not even a slightest crisp or charred taste. Furthermore it is missing a brush of that nice curry taste and whatever the restaurant brushed it with, does not taste very good (although not salty) and we would have preferred a plain grilled satay. Next, the spicy thai BBQ pork belly tastes a bit better. The pork belly has a tastier marinade with a hint of sweetness rather than spiciness and a bit of a charred taste, however, the meat tastes too chewy, especially the lean portion. Ending the sampler is the roti which could have had a nice crispiness. The roti has plenty of layers but are not flaky, and tastes dense as well as flat. As for the sauces, the peanut has nice chunks which we love but tastes weak as well as light and there is not much taste, not even a plain rich peanut taste. Moving to the curry, the sauce tastes alright despite tasting bland. There is not much to complain about because the sauce does not taste horrible which has happened.

The tom yum kung comes with a generous amount of seafood, at least three times more compared to most Malaysian and Thai restaurants! However, we are here for the soup, not the seafood. The broth has an extremley very mild oily tomato taste with no hint of tanginess or spiciness. Is this tom yum kung? This is the most bland version of tom yum I ever had, despite the generous amount of fish and squid which do not taste overcooked.

For the first crepe, the only taste is pretty much green onion since there was not much duck skin and/or meat as well as hoisin. On the second crepe, *chomp* *chomp*, what the…? The rib cut is served and the restaurant did not even remove the cartilage! Good thing I do not have fake teeth. Moving to the third, I made sure to open up the crepe to see if there were any more cartilage which fortunately, was free of. Also, there was a slice of cucumber? Wish it was added to the other three crepes. What seems to be like a good deal, four crepes for $6.00 and the alluring photo on the menu, is not worth it. The peking duck crepes at the Richmond Night Market taste ten times better. As for the crepe, it tastes dry but is nothing to complain about.

Thankfully the lobster was the best dish, despite being slightly overcooked. The meat tastes sort of bouncy but not really because it is overcooked, however it is not that bad. As for the malay curry, the taste is very light and does not overwhelm the taste of the lobster, although I would have preferred a stronger curry taste. I do like how the dish can be eaten with or without rice though, and the tofu puffs have a pleasant burst of curry juices.

Trying to be more "adventerous", I chose the sambal seafood fried rice rather than the typical pineapple. But, is this sambal fried rice? No one was around for us to confirm (or even checked up on us throughout dinner) and we assume it is. The fried rice tastes generic and does not have one ounce of a sambal taste. Furthermore the rice tastes very soft, although not too mushy, and is missing that nice pan fried taste. If I wanted to be fussy, the menu pictured a small drop of hot sauce beside the sambal seafood fried rice which indicates the dish may be spicy, but there is not one hint of spiciness. The fried rice tastes bland, boring and generic, which is acceptable if I ordered a simple fried rice rather than "sambal".

TOTAL: $72.05 + TIP $5.95 = $76.00.

Overall I tipped 5% because there was no service and the food makes barely average. At the beginning before walking in, I had no expectations but after settling down, I had high hopes! Our waiter was friendly but after ordering, we never saw him again. And as the dishes came, no one spoke one word or even told us what the items were, which is fine, but for a newly opened restaurant? I expect some customer service or effort. As for the bill, I have mentioned on my blog to always double check and despite probably mentioning that at least three times, I am guilty of rarely doing so (I usually snap a photo of the receipt for the prices and take a look at the photo in the car LOL). Fortunately, this time I did take a look before paying and noticed we were charged for a hainan chicken that we never got. Furthermore, I had to go up to pay because in our case, the restaurant has no service? Empty plates were not removed nor were there any plate changes.

- Newly renovated restaurant
- The owner was friendly as well as welcoming to a few Chinese diners that were older, in their 40s, and frequently followed up

- Luke warm food asides from the fried rice (why? the restaurant was not even busy!)
- No service

- Look, if I am spending $70.00 at an average priced restaurant, do I care about a $1.00 pudding? No, it is the gesture when the restaurant offers it to everyone except for our table of two. No one even offered or asked. Business wise, it is a fail
- Canned pop costs $3.00 and for those who care (I would have!), pay an extra $1.00 for fresh coconut juice!
- IPOH Asian House also offers live seafood such as tilapia (unfortunately which was sold out so we could not order any), crab as well as lobster, and Chinese dishes such as beef with broccoli or bitter melon, sweet and sour pork, and a few hot plates

Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5

IPOH Asian House on Urbanspoon


  1. Q: Would you rate the restaurant differently if they were busy or provided A+ service?

    1. Of course! Knowing me, I'd probably say "despite the friendly owners and staff, the food wasn't so great but I would go back for lunch to try the hainan chicken" LOL.

      If the restaurant was busy, I'd understand cause they're new and still need to figure things out… but for an empty restaurant? The cooks have more than enough time to cook everything rather than rushing everything and we got all the dishes almost at once!

  2. lunch specials are only six bucks, cheap enough for mediocre food!

    1. Yeah I saw that! When we walked in, I was saying we have to come back for the lunch specials! Before we ate the food.

  3. a new review

    "Chicken was tough because it was overcooked. Service was decent. The place is newly renovated and clean. Good selection of Chinese / Malaysian food available. I will return to try something else on the menu, but the Hainanese chicken rice was disappointing despite the fact that it's listed as the first item on the menu."

    1. Wow thanks, yeah I won't even bother with this place. The Chinese food may be better though

  4. have you ever try burnaby crystal mall food court another malaysian food

    1. I think a long time ago but only their satays which were not very good. Do you recommend anything from there?

  5. yikes, the food sounds like shit. its stupid to tip on value because its only the TWO of u. i would leave no tip. check out another blogger, he got free red bean soup

  6. ipoh bean sprouts chicken on crystal mall

  7. The food here is completely crap. Not one dish is close to a decent Malaysian dish. They destroyed the good name of Ipoh as Ipoh food are supposed to be the best in Malaysian cuisine. Either this place is owned by a Hong Kong or China boss or owned by a totally lost Malaysian.



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