Monday, June 09, 2008

Dining Out @ Indulgence Restaurant, Ipoh

indulgence1
Colonial bungalows have great atmosphere


Apologies for not blogging for some time, as usual I got too tired and lost the thread during the night. Continuing my trip in Ipoh today. I have been half a mind to not blog about this place as the experience was sadly lacking. However, strangely enough I got a recent email from a reader who asked if I usually blog about places, which served bad food hence I knew I had to blog about this place.

Indulgence2
Lovely carved chair with sheer curtains seperating dining area

I must admit that I have read quite a lot of good comments about this place. Hence, with this in mind, we made a detour to this place. Reminding me of Bonton, the original bungalow restaurant (which now seems to have ended up in Lot 10!), Indulgence is housed in a lovely colonial bungalow. Located in a large compound, next to it is a similar house, where the restaurant owner resides in.

indulgence4
The long bar and set tables

On the inside, you will be greeted by a showcase for the cakes and various sweets. Very tempting, once you cross that sugar high display, you will enter their dining room. A long bar dominates one side of the room with wooden tables and chairs. The middle section has colourful chairs and palms in big pots while the tables on the side, have comfy sofas with cushions.

rubies salad
Burst of rubies salad (RM36++) - a refreshing treat of crab and pomegranate with fine salad

The restaurant has an extremely extensive menu - so extensive, one has to take at least a few minutes to totally digest it. Plus, don't forget their blackboard specials, which the waitress will explain each one to you. What was interesting is, each item came with at least 3 types of different ingredients. Like we once said, either the combination works or it will taste so horrible, since they are extremely different and not complementary.

ocean trout
Ocean trout

Sadly it turned out to be latter.... a combination of weird tastes and strange presentations. For instance, I expected the Burst of Rubies Salad, to have some salad leaves, mixed with sweet and fresh crab meat paired with pomegranates. Instead, we got deep fried soft shell crabs, and the pomegranates mixed with croutons, wrapped up in a smoked salmon slice. No evidence of any salad leaves at sight, except a generous garnish of coriander leaves...kinda defeats the purpose of it being called a "salad". Maybe it was so "fine" that I couldn't locate any within my crouton and pomegranate salad.

duck tales
Duck Tales (RM30) - braised confit duck tarte tartin with Portobello Mushrooms and soft egg

I didn't manage to try much of the next dish - the Duck Tales but it also didn't meet my expectations as I kinda expect a tart topped with earthy Portobellos and a softly poached egg. Instead, it felt more like shredded duck on a pita bread, topped with a fried egg and garnished with teeny weeny fried anchovies, chopped onions and coriander.

angela pasta
Pasta Angela (RM28) - spinach agnoletti with sea urchin, shimeji mushrooms & crisp small anchovies in dry chilli coconut cream

The worst and most inedible item for me was the pasta. Being very adventurous we went for the "unusual" section versus the "traditional" one and we definitely got a big surprise. Basically spinach stuffed ravioli with shimeji mushrooms topped with loads of tobiko roe, I took one bite and had so much trouble shallowing it as I hated the taste of the dry chilli coconut cream - tasted kinda like very strong coconut oil, one smears on the hair to give it a shiny appearance. We fared better with the special from the board - the ocean trout served with creamy mushrooms. Although it didn't taste fantastic (the fish was a bit overcooked), it was ten times better than the inedible pasta.

black and white
Black and White

After the hopeless mains, we were feeling a bit scared of our dessert. We went for the black and white - a chocolate lava cake served with passionfruit sorbet. That turned out to be the best item of the dinner even though it lacked any chocolate taste and aroma. We also went for the fresh figs with cream and pistachio ice cream, which tasted really artificial.

Overall, it was an extremely dissapointing meal even though ambience was pretty good. I didn't like the fact, they use Ikea mugs though especially since we're paying premium prices for Ipoh standards. I reckon the menu needs a lot of trimming, as the flavour combinations don't seem to work - like I mentioned to a friend, it was kinda like a car crash (loads of stuff hanging around that didn't matter in life!) of flavours. Doubt I will return here in the near future. Give me Ipoh Sar Hor Fun or some white coffee instead....

Indulgence Restaurant
14, Jalan Raja DiHilir
Ipoh
Perak

Tel No: 05-2557051

(Pork free.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.
Other reviews:

17 comments:

sc said...

too bad the food turned out weird/ bad tasting *shudders at the bad pasta*.. i can almost imagine the coconut oil thing you experienced, obviously the sauce was not fresh.

ling239 said...

oh dear...>.<"

or better stick to chicken rice hor ?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Oboy...talk about a whole bunch of wrong things happening together. The chef must be a little over adventurous. I laughed when I saw the picture of the "salad". A pity seeing how the restaurant looks gorgeous. Ikea mugs for those kinda prices is shocking.

CUMI & CIKI said...

oh.. still not up to par huh.. :(

Lianne said...

the combination sure does sound a bit weird but what's more weird is, don't the chef taste them first? :-( guess a lot of cook nowdadays cook without tasting huh ...

Tummythoz said...

A choc lava cake that lacks of choc taste. Horrors!

Kaki Makan said...

Hello Boo_licious

I like your blog postings on food. Pity about Indulgence. M surprised cos I had read so many +ve reviews in d past n most recently on Sat. Was it all sheer hype?

Boobsy said...

Ah...I never liked Indulgence ever since my school girl days. I first dined there when I was 15 and had some pasta dish that escaped my mind. Kinda generic but back then there weren't many places that serves good pasta so it stands out a bit.

Recalled eating there last year..their pizza's taste alright but their lasagna was horrible. It was undercooked even though it was sent back to the kitchen twice and I was given a cake to compensate for their mistake. Seriously speaking, besides it being the hangout for the royalty and rich tai-tai's..there's nothing much to shout about the place.

You are better off going to the old Police station and eating their curry noodles there. Or even Thean Chun at Old Town, even if it's a little too commercialized nowadays.

wmw said...

Hmmm...I guess I should just stick to good 'ol hawker food in Ipoh then!

Julian Si said...

Eeeep! 'Atas' food in Ipoh!? Who would have thought ... I am impressed you gave it a try though!!

Ciao from BKK ... slurp slurp!

Lil' Ms Pinky said...

I took my mother to Indulgence last year on Mother's Day, and we were very, very disappointed with the food, and especially the service.

Since we didn't order from the Mother's Day set lunches, I had hoped that the food quality wouldn't be affected, but no...not only did the food suck, service was slow too.

I was particularly cheesed off with this waitress who was so rude to us.

I'm never going back to Indulgence again, even for drinks!

J2Kfm said...

I gave up on Indulgence the very first time I dined there with a fren. The chicken breast with etc etc (As you said, the combination is endless, and mind-numbing) was nicely presented, but too dry. Paying premium price for mediocre food is absurd.
then the previous visit with the FREE spread changed my mind, as the fresh oysters (how wrong can they get?), and various 'NORMAL' pasta were served. The desserts stole the limelight, and my faith was half-restored. but now, I guess my next visit wont be anytime soon .... hehe ...

do stick to typical Ipoh hawker and restaurant fare ya?

boo_licious said...

sc - well, imagine a taste of the type of oil you put on yr hair and you will have that urgh taste!

ling239 - yeah, hawker food is so much better.

LL - well, at the end of the day the price is justified since so "many ingredients" congregating on one plate mah.

cumi & ciki - LOL, well maybe I am too KL orientated but none of the mains passed...

lianne - could be these are fixed or they are used to it. For instance the bread was so yeasty and a bit stinky, even though the texture was nice.

tummythoz - too used to high end Valrhona already mah.

kaki makan - I think part hype and also the std has dropped a lot. I can't imagine what the food will taste like after the price hikes!


boobsy - ah, glad you concurred on Indulgence too. We did go eat curry noodles and Thean Chun also. Food was good even though the curry noodles people weren't too pleasant to deal with.

wmw - u have been forewarned!

julian - awww, you're at BKK. Yums, I can imagine what a feast you are having!

lil miss pinky - yup, do avoid at all costs. Really dissapointing since it has such a nice setting.

j2kfm - I reckon if they stick to normal stuff, it will be ok but the menu is too complicated.

Boobsy said...

Food was good even though the curry noodles people weren't too pleasant to deal with <- Yeah, that's very true. Downright rude for me, but I often try to ignore their attitude because I wanted a good meal..last time I brought a friend there and he was worried if he accidentally annoyed the curry noodles fella hahaha.

This time my bf's coming down so instead of taking him to the curry noodle place, gonna take him to the Pasir Pinji yong tau foo instead. Do try it out the next time you drop by Ipoh. While it may be operated at some run-down looking hut the YTF there tasted really good :P

Jason said...

I been to Indulgence twice; once before they shifted to the new place and 2nd time after they shifted.

The food were so much better at the old place. When I went there on my 2nd visit, I had the turkey spaghetti which was overloaded with garlic and some bland turkey ham slices. Ewww...

Paprika said...

I never understood what the big deal was about this place. I can't believe it even won an award for Best Restaurant last year at the HAPAs! Like you said, too many things on the menu and trying to be too clever, the result - a very hit and miss, confused, overpriced dining experience.

Save your money for KL and eat at all the wonderful stalls while in Ipoh.

FibroLady said...

Hi, I just found your site, and it's lovely. I am sorry that the food was so bad, but I must say that your pictures made it all look wonderful. It's sad that looks can be so deceiving. You are obviously a great photographer, and I still think the presentation of the meal, at least, looked good.

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