10 Persiaran SC1 2/1, Sunway City Ipoh (05 547 4007).
Italia Mia has been around for quite a while but, notwithstanding its name, it has metamorphosed beyond recognition since its advent more than five years ago. It has gone from serving exclusively Italian cuisine to offering a range of modern European dishes consisting of Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean food; a change brought about by new owners, a new chef and kitchen crew. Italia Mia now offers its idiosyncratic spin on Italian staples like the pizza and also signature dishes including Spanish paella, fish piccata and citrus lamb. Just as the old Italia Mia vitalised the dining scene in Ipoh when it opened, the new Italia Mia stands out just as well in its own right, as a unique fusion restaurant in Ipoh. Pork-free. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Free parking. Thu–Tue, 12noon–3pm; 6pm–10pm. $$$
The Limestone’s Fine Dining Restaurant Ground floor, Regal Lodge, 131 Jalan Raja Ekram, Ipoh (05 242 3241/www. regalodge.com.my/dining).
Limestone’s is one of Ipoh’s up-andcoming restaurants. A mere three years old, it has established itself amongst locals, being the first of its kind in Ipoh’s hitherto non-existent continental fine dining scene. Limestone’s recommends its roast lamb leg and grilled salmon but it’s just as wise ordering from their menu of monthly specials. Reservations aren’t merely recommended, but required, as it seats 44 at most; but it is its small size, coupled with the timber flooring and abundance of natural light, that affords it its intimate quality.
Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Free parking. Tue–Sun; 7am–10.30am; 11.30am–3.30pm; 4pm–5.30pm; 6pm–10.30pm; Mon, 7am–10.30am; 6pm–10.30pm. $$$
Indian Pakeeza Restaurant & Catering 15-17 Jalan Dato Seri Ahmad Said, Greentown, Ipoh (05 241 4243).
A restaurant specialising in Northern Indian cuisine, Pakeeza offers an alternative to your standard mamak fare. The place is often full, so we suggest you make a reservation beforehand. The place is known for their biryani with a choice of chicken or beef, and the naan – one of the best we’ve tasted. Order the garlic, Kashmiri, cheesy, or just plain naan. They offer a variety of fruit lassi as well. Halal. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am–3pm; 6pm–10pm. $$
NEW Tandoor Grill 9 Jalan Chin Choon Sam, Greentown, Ipoh (05 253 5995/05 255 5995/www. tandoorgrill.com.my).
Specialising in North Indian cuisines, Tandoor Grill offers a fine dining experience for an affordable price. Order their bread basket which comes with three types of naan (cheese, butter and garlic), chicken samosa with mint chutney, grilled fish tikka, mutton seekh kebab and tandoori chicken. Then, chase them all down with a glass of thick mango lassi.
Pork-free. Wed–Mon, 11am–11pm. $$
International Beacon Point 41 Lintasan Perajurit 6, Taman Perak, Ipoh (05 546 9916/www. beaconpoint.com.my).
Its signboard is utilitarian at best, but step into Beacon Point and you’ll be treated to homey local and Western food. Affordable set lunches targeted at families are available every weekday, with the all-time favourites on the menu like nasi ulam, laksa lemak, and lamb shank. The real highlights of the menu are the cakes and pies – the carrot walnut cake with chocolate ice cream is definitely worth a try. Mon–Thu, 11am–6pm; Fri–Sat, 11am–10.30pm. $$
Café Le Lac Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, Jalan Bukit Merah, Semanggol (05 897 8888/www.bukitmerahresort.com.my/ cafe-le-lac).
Located in a resort that is surrounded by lush greenery and one of Malaysia’s largest lakes, Café Le Lac dazzles with its 7,000 acre freshwater view. This café serves local and Western cuisine in à la carte and buffet style.
Pork-free. Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Free parking. Daily, 7am– 11pm. $$
Citrus Wine & Dine
38-46 Laluan Ipoh Perdana, Ipoh (05 545 1010/www.facebook.com/Citrus. Wine.and.Dine).
In consideration of Ipoh’s rather limited circle of more upscale restaurants serving Continental cuisine, Citrus presents itself as a viable choice for those seeking to take a hiatus from Ipoh’s much busier hawker food and Chinese cuisine scene. That said, Citrus is neither unreasonably expensive nor pretentious in their service and serving portions; the portions are generous and the staff has often been acknowledged as competent and attentive. It’s easy and casual. If you’re planning to drop by, remember to try the chefrecommended items. Pork-free. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Free parking. Tue–Sun, 11.30am– 3pm; 6.30pm–11pm. $$$
NEW Daddy’s Café
Teluk Nipah, Pulau Pangkor (013 208 0404).
Some restaurants leverage their survival on gorgeous sunset scenery rather than quality of food, and we’re glad to report that Daddy’s Café isn’t one of them. Sit right on the beach and admire the views while your order takes some time to arrive. The rendang comes with rave reviews, and their Western food is quite good too. It’s just a short walk away from Teluk Nipah. Sunset is the best time for this.
Daily, 11am–11pm. $$
Friend’s Café 28-30 Jalan Medan Ipoh 4, Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh (05 546 3667).
Perfect for private parties and casual dining, this café has separate space for private dining. If you are coming in with a group of friends, opt for the private room with an adjoining sofa area for cocktails or pre dinner drinks. The food menu includes dishes like spicy green curry spaghetti, hot basil spaghetti with turkey ham, balsamic duck breast salad, and lamb loin.
Credit cards accepted. Daily, 7pm–1am. $$$
The Garden Terrace Swiss-Garden Golf Resort & Spa Damai Laut, Jalan Damai Laut, Off Jalan Teluk Senangin, Lumut (05 618 3333/www.swissgarden.com).
Having recently undergone a refurbishment, this top-notch restaurant in Swiss-Garden Resort has glorious views of the Straits of Malacca. It serves buffet meals of Asian and Western influence and has an à la carte menu. Dine indoors or take your meal outside.
Daily, 6.30am–11pm. $$$$
NEW Jook Joint Bistro 4180 Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Lumut (05 683 6202/016 557 5611).
The newly renovated Jook Joint has a good selection of well-prepared Western dishes. Look out for the green sign board and you’ll find it. One of the more happening places in sleepy Lumut, Jook Joint is pretty much where the expats hang out. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 10am– 12midnight. $$
NEW Missing Marbles 99 Jalan Sultan Yussuf, Ipoh (05 241 1564).
From its knitted lampshades to its bicycle seat art, Missing Marbles is nothing if not quirky. Run by the same people as Burps and Giggles, this former optical shop oozes nostalgia and is sure to delight any diner’s inner child. On the menu is a filling mix of Asian dishes like mee siam and harajuku ramen, washed down with soy milk from Funny Mountain.
Pork-free. Wed–Mon, 10am–7.30pm. $
NEW Myth Eatery & Bar 2 Hala Datuk 5, Ipoh (05 255 5566/ www.mboutiquehotels.com/myth-eaterybar).
It’s beautiful. But does it have the culinary wits to match its looks? That is the question. The roof drips in chandeliers and every nook and cranny of the place seems to have something worth admiring but the menu itself is disappointing. There’s a range of pizzas, pastas, salads and meaty mains but the execution is not as competent as we’d like. We did, however, enjoy the smoky chicken wings.
Pork-free. Daily, 8am–12midnight. $$$
Palong Coffee House Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites, Jalan Lim Bo Seng, Ipoh (05 245 8888/ www.kintariverfront.com.my/dining/ palong).
Palong operates from day to night every day of the week, offering affordable buffet packages from breakfast to dinner. It serves international cuisine so expect a range of Western and local selections, including the nasi hujan panas, seafood au gratin and their roasted lamb with rosemary sauce. There are buffet packages for children as well, but kids can also choose from an exclusive kids’ à la carte menu.
Kids’ menu. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Daily. $$$
NEW Patisserie Boutique 103 Jalan Sultan Yusuff, Ipoh (05 241 1385).
This Parisian themed café serves simple pastas, sandwiches, and cakes. We like Granny’s Chicken Lasagna, a fantastically cheesy concoction of chunky minced chicken and red margherita sauce with a drizzle of cream to give the dish a salmon-pink hue. For dessert, you can’t go past the unique pumpkin chocolate cake but keep an eye on the ever changing roster of cakes.
Secret Garden @ TSG 42 Lorong Cheah Cheang Lim, Off Jalan Tambun (Jalan Raja Di Hilir), Ipoh (012 575 7584/05 241 0412/ www.secretgarden.my).
Secret Garden is one of the newer restaurants in Ipoh which have flocked to the trend of distinctive restaurant facades and interiors; Secret Garden is a restaurant in the disguise of a big, old English bungalow, much less inconspicuous than its name suggests. Diners can choose to sit at any of the tables in the two-storey establishment, including a few outside the bungalow, in a garden setting. Much care and effort has been put into the decorative process of the restaurant; its aesthetic is a harmonious hybrid of Gothic and Victorian architecture with a hint of contemporary and local influences. It’s rather odd too for a restaurant of its size to be offering an exclusive take-out service with its own take-out counter; but dining in or out, one should try the rib eye, the teriyaki chicken and the chicken parmigiana. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Free parking. Daily, 4pm–1am. $$$
Malaysian 1919 Restaurant and Gallery 1 Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, Bandar Baru Medan, Ipoh (05 547 7196).
Near Jusco and Tesco, 1919 is easy to locate in the small town of Ipoh. They have a friendly team at hand, and they mainly serve Nyonya influenced food. The pineapple fried rice served in a halved pineapple is heartily recommended as is the scrumptious king sauce chicken – deep-fried chicken pieces coated in honey sauce. The dishes served are very reasonably priced in this restaurant decorated with antiques and teak furniture. Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Free parking. Daily, 12noon–3pm; 6pm– 10.30pm. $$$
Samudera Raya Restaurant 39 Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Lumut (05 546 8912).
Make a quick pit stop here at Lumut before heading to Pangkor Island. This eatery is a well-known spot in the town. Serving everything Malay, Samudera Raya offers diners the opportunity to savour some authentic delights such as rendang and nasi lemak.
NEW Warung Manshor Lot 446, Teluk Nipah, Pulau Pangkor.
This no-frills Malay ‘warung’ (small stall or shop) serves the usual Malay
rice and soup dishes. Unexpectedly tasty, cheap prices, and friendly service; it doesn’t get more local than this. Child friendly. Daily, breakfast and lunch. $
NEW J.M. Seafood Restaurant 82 Jalan Bogak Permai, Pasir Bogak, Pulau Pangkor (016 563 1998/012 711 6932/www.jmseafood.blogspot.com).
Pangkor has no lack of seafood restaurants, but JM is one of the longer-lasting contenders around. Recommended items include chicken wings, seafood and sweet fresh steamed fish.
Daily, 5pm–11pm. $$
Loong Kee Seafood 230 Taman Jalong Baru, Sungai Siput (016 439 5551/05 597 1526).
This typical-looking Chinese eatery has a very cosy family-styled dining area. If you are looking for cheap Chinese dishes, this is the place to be. At a very reasonable price, enjoy the emerald fish, fried prawns, sweet and sour pork ribs and fried omelette with char siew.
Lung Seng Restaurant 10 Jalan Besar, Tanjung Tualang (05 360 0735).
Widely considered the Mecca for fresh water prawns in the region, visit this eatery for all things crustacean. In preparation before cooking, the chef submerges the prawns in ice cold water to retain their springy texture. You will also find live fish and crabs in the tanks of this restaurant. Other recommendations include the steamed frog’s legs with essence of chicken and the sang har mien.
Child friendly. Daily, 11.30am–9pm. $$$
Mun Cheong Seafood Restaurant 511-517 Jalan Pasir Puteh, Ipoh (05 321 0320).
Popular since 1978 in Ipoh, Mun Cheong is a synonym for Chinese wedding banquets. Dishes in Mun Cheong are generally crowd-pleasers. Pan-fried prawns with soy sauce is a favourite. Or opt for a platter of stuffed crab shells, assam-style stirfried vegetables with scallops, fish paste with sliced abalone, and crispy salad chicken if you’re starving. Make sure you save some room for the traditional Chinese dessert of sweet soup – chestnut with egg white and ginkgo nuts. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Free parking. Daily, lunch and dinner. $$$
Pusing Public Seafood Restaurant G57-65 Jalan Verasamy, Ipoh (05 241 9348).
The restaurant is aptly named after their first branch, which is located in a small town called Pusing in the state of Perak. The place is popular with wedding banquets as they offer top notch Chinese banquet style cuisine. Highlights include the black pepper and honey glazed fish, steamed kampung chicken with Hong Kong style kai lan, and their signature dish, the pan fried big-headed prawn. Dessert highlights include the dried longan and white fungus Chinese dessert and green kaya balls. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Daily, 11am– 2.30pm; 6pm–10pm. $$
NEW Yee Lin Restaurant 195 Jalan Pasir Bogak, Pulau Pangkor (05 685 1881/012 502 1881).
Located in rather dingy surroundings, Yee Lin seems to be more like a warehouse or a shed rather than a restaurant. Ignore the less than satisfactory venue and enjoy the fresh Chinese style seafood. More popular dishes at Yee Lin are the cili padi steamed fish, sambal fish, and soft shell crab. Pork-free. Mon–Sat, 11am–10.30pm. $$$