Sometimes, certain restaurant locations change hands more times than Canuck goalies. It seems that after an initial visit, there isn't even a chance to return. This is the case with IPOH Asian House. Originally, it was Sun Yee Cafe, then Fung Sing Cafe. In a span of 3 years, it has been 3 different restaurants. Seeing how we play Sunday morning hockey at nearby Britannia, it offers up a chance to try something different each year! This time around, the new place specializes in all types of Asian cuisine, specifically Malaysian.
We decided to follow the theme of the place and ordered South Asian dishes. The first dish to arrive was the Hainanese Chicken which featured the usual suspects including carrot soup, chicken oil rice, condiments and of course, boneless poached chicken. By virtue of being deboned, the amount of chicken looked small. In actuality, it was a bit small, but the meat was fairly moist while the skin had a nice gelatin quality to it. I found the rice to be lacking in chicken oil and overall flavour. Next, we had the Singapore Laksa which was enormous. This was easily at least a half size bigger than anything else I've had in town. We found the broth to be rather thin and lacking in impact. Sure, there was some spice, but they didn't put enough coconut milk into the mixture. Therefore, the broth also lacked depth and aromatics. On the positive side of the ledger, there was a plethora of crunchy shrimp, sliced fish cake and tofu puffs.
We ended up taking the server's advice and ordered a large portion of the Sambal Beans with prawns. It was indeed a generous portion which featured plenty of the same crunchy shrimp. As for the beans, they were masterfully oil-blanched where they were fully cooked while maintaining a crunch. Furthermore, they were not shriveled up nor dry. The seasoning was more of a soy and dried shrimp concoction rather than actually sambal, but that didn't detract from it being flavourful and spicy. Our last dish, Sole Filet with Chili Paste on rice, was not a crowd-pleaser. Not that the fish wasn't any good, in fact, it was seared nicely while still being flaky and moist in the middle. For me, it strangely seemed like I was eating Basa rather than sole. The problem with the dish was the sauce as it was strange and really didn't go with the fish. It tasted like a combination of tamarind, ginger, onion, garlic and palm sugar. Although the dishes we tried were far from authentic, the portion size was good for the price.
- Large portions
- Food is average with a Chinese interpretation
- Service is sparse