Ipoh 2012 - Indulgence Restaurant
I've read quite a bit about Indulgence Restaurant and was really looking forward to my dinner there. To make sure I get a table, I booked about 2 days ahead. When I arrived the place was quite empty, but it slowly filled up with a few more tables.
Indulgence Restaurant is in a beautiful old Colonial house about 20 min drive from Ipoh town centre. The house has been beautifully restored and now accommodates boutique hotel-style rooms on the 1st floor. Please pardon the quality of the exterior shot as it was almost pitch dark when I took the photo and didn't have my trusty SLR with me.
The Menu can be very confusing for a first-timer like me. The names do not reflect the dishes - rather they are names chosen for a whimsical effect. Imagine names like Chatter, Lambchetta, Chinni, Nina, and Smug for salads? I went for the most recognizable one - Tropicana. It was a salad of prawns, pomelo, mango, passionfruit, and coriander in a lime dressing. It was a good portion, but the prawns were farmed prawns and frankly, I had an aversion to them as they do not taste very natural. Besides that, the dressing was also a bit one-dimensional, lacking in taste.
Thankfully there were only 2 choices for soup - Soup of the Day, or McKay. I chose the latter - which was a chicken soup with Mediterranean vegetables, rolls of spinach and jicama, and foie gras mousse. It looked very nice, but unfortunately a bit lukewarm. The vegetables were undercooked, and the broth was under-seasoned.
For the main course, I decided to go for seafood. I went for Native - smoked salmon with poached oysters, salmon roe, and nori. The dish came beautifully presented, with the strips of black nori looking like piano keys on the white plate. This was easily the best dish of the night - the smoked salmon was very good and well paired with the ingredients, the oyster was perfectly cooked.
For dessert, I went for the oddly named Biao'. It was layers of flower and berry coulis, ice cream, and Kataifi.
Indulgence is considered a fine dining restaurant, but frankly, the service and the quality of the food would not hold up in a place like KL. It must be quite challenging to start and maintain a venture like this in Ipoh - getting the ingredients would be a logistical nightmare, not to mention the necessary manpower. It is great to see people willing to take the plunge, but hopefully put more attention to the taste of the food and quality of service.