Monday, April 12, 2010

Indochine Food @ IR1968, Terrace at Hock Choon, Off Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

Chinese plates

Last weekend, IR1968 seemed to be the highlight - firstly, for being featured in The Haven, The Edge's pullout magazine together with the other places at Terrace @ Hock Choon and secondly, in the Malaysian Insider's food blog. My interest was definitely piqued hence we decided to visit the place last week for a quick dinner.

the Chinoiserie, udang kuning goreng, perkedel jagung

I must admit I was fascinated when I read about this place that first started out in Hong Kong, where it has two branches. I loved the way it looked with the attractive red filligree lights matched with Chinese styled furniture given a lick of white paint that made it more mod vs fuddy duddy ancient.

gado gado

The menu is an interesting mix of Indonesian favourites like gado gado, perkedel and Chinese classics such as wontons, wonton noodles and even a double boiled shark's bone soup (one of my favourite all time soups for its abundant collagen).

the flat tauhu telur goreng, kambing bakar, refreshing ice lemongrass ginger drink

I left the ordering to Splashie Boy and he got really carried away with the number of dishes he ordered. I guess he just wanted me to eat since he knew I hadn't eaten any lunch that day. We absolutely loved the perkedel jagung (4 pieces for RM15) - fritters made with sweet tasting corn niblets and prawns chopped into pieces. Simply yummy stuff. We balanced out the sinful fritters with the healthy gado gado (RM18), a mix of long beans, bean sprouts, hard boiled eggs and potatoes topped with crackers. The most important part of this simple dish is the peanut sauce. While it had chunky peanuts and was aromatic, I felt it lacked an extra oomph that pushed it to greatness.

We had great expectations for the tahu goreng telur (RM18), probably because it is not easy to get great ones here. Most places have stopped serving them and at best they were mediocre. One of the best ones I have tasted has been at Sanur in Singapore - a column of eggy custard wrapped in a crispy fluffy deep fried golden brown strands. At IR1968, they do things differently as it's more like an omelette filled with chunks of tofu. While it was fried to golden crispy strands and topped with lots of julienned vegetables, I was very dissapointed since I missed the other version. Usually served with just a drizzle of the sweet and addictive kicap manis, this more sophisicated version came with a peanut sauce (the same one used for gado gado) and fried shallots.

Avoiding the ox tongue (a certain someone does not like to take ox tongue while I'm always game!), we ordered the safer dishes such as udang kuning goreng (RM42) - a type of prawns coated with a buttery sauce tinged with chillies. While the sauce was nice, I didn't like the mushy texture of the prawns that signaled only one thing - they're not fresh. Kambing bakar (RM32) was tender lamb cutlets served with a piquant sauce that didn't make out tastebuds burst out in song either.

Our overall impression of the place - not so hot for our tastebuds as the food didn't have the mouthwatering oomph-la-la we were looking for. I'm not sure if it's still opening jitters but I reckon it will be a long while before we return for seconds to this place, unless our friends request otherwise.

Terrace at Hock choon
241-N, Lorong Nibong
Off Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 017-2098477

(Halal. Place is right behind Hock Choon's supermarket and IR 1968 is on the first floor. More pictures can be found in the Flickr set.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

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Unknown said...

Is this place new? It looks good. I live really really close by and have never heard of it. I have been to the Victoria Station right next to it though, and Hock Choon itself rocks!

boo_licious said...

swai - it just opened a few months back, so give it a try. That night we were there, it was mostly expats dining here.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

still havent seen the place but from the edge pullout, the concept is really mouthwatering!

Ellen Whyte said...

Love gado gado as long as it's not SWEET!

I wanted to ask if you know where I can get "Babi panggan"? It's Dutch Indonesian roast pork.

KY said...

ox tong is so awesome! u should have just ordered it regardless!

Ciki said...

ox tongue.. i must try that oo yeah!
(we were here on the wkd;) - but not HERE per -se.. in the area :)

thule a.k.a leo said...

since it's rated so so from you... skip this for a while

qwazymonkey said...

I was there with LL yesterday too! Wat a coincidence. Pretty looking place eh?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

What a pity about the prawns. :-( The two times I was there, the prawns were fresh and crunchy. I really like the Terrace at Hock Choon; I reckon I'll be spending a lot of my time there. :-)

email2me said...

The food at Il Divo are great too for Italian .... They are from Hartamas previously

ukimi_ommiey said...

look really ur photo ^^

Hamba Ilahi said...

salam.. kenapa blog masak ni orang rajin masuk ek?
hairan-hairan (?)

Julian Si said...

Beautifully captured as always, DROOooooool ... Cheers from Abu Dhabi, Miss Masak2 :-)

eiling lim said...

Hope I can try this place soon. Nice pics as always!

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