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Motormouth From Ipoh

Friday, November 21, 2008

1919 Restaurant & Gallery - Travelling Back in Time for Some Nyonya Cuisine

1919 Restaurant & Gallery had been on my to-eat list for quite some time. But somehow the thought of dining here escaped us on most occasions. The last visit was years ago, probably in my secondary school days. And wasn't exactly a pleasurable experience, marred by the rather exorbitant prices (back then).

But this time around, I was determined, and seeing that there was a special occasion in our family, we picked 1919 as THE place for our dinner.

Fully air-conditioned, and spacious, the place is decorated with various wooden ornaments, and antique-like structures. Collectors are free to enquire about purchasing, btw.

Situated behind Jusco, and facing Tesco in Ipoh Garden East, the location of this restaurant couldn't be anymore strategic. Which kind of explains the human traffic on most nights, especially weekends and public holidays.

Philippines Deep-fried Eggplants

One of my most treasured memories of this place is their signature appetizer of Philippines Eggplants (Brinjals, or Aubergines, as some might recognize them). Not sure what's so "Filipino" about the dish, but damn ... they're good.
Deep-fried with batter, kinda like tempura but not, the brinjals are served with a sweet and spicy sauce and garnished with scallions. Mouth-watering stuff, perfect as snacks, or a surefire way to get the young ones to eat their greens. Or in this case, as green as a purple brinjal can be.

Nyonya Sliced Fish

Popular for their Peranakan cuisine, they offer a myriad of ways to cook the fish. The waitress (who happened to be a friend of my family's) recommended the Nyonya-style Fish Fillets. Thick slices of grouper (I presumed) cooked in a tangy, and piquant Nyonya sauce, partnered with crunchy long beans. Very appetizing, yet not overly spicy.

Antique Tofu

Yup, you read that right; Antique Tofu (beancurd). Treasure trove of bouncy shrimps, mushrooms and vegetables hidden within the hollow cavity of the homemade, silky-smooth tofu.
The gravy made a perfect accompaniment for the rice, and the soft, and egg-y beancurd had us throwing praises. Definitely meant for sharing, if you're going alone or with one partner, refrain from ordering this.

Sambal Mix Vege

Nyonya food's well-known for their spicy and sour dishes. Thus, we ordered our greens cooked with sambal sauce, a mix of ladies' fingers, petai (stinkbeans), long beans and kangkung (water convolvulus). Surprisingly, NOT spicy at all, making the dish rather suitable for the elderly and a stepping stone for the young ones, before they try the fiery stuff later in life.
One minor gripe though, the gravy leaned towards the oily side, and this may not be everyone's cup of tea.

Herbal Chicken

The last dish was recommended by the waitress again, not in the menu yet, it seemed. Herbal Chicken, cooked in a delectable and rich broth, with lots of 'tanghoon' (glass noodles) to soak up the yummy gravy. Evident in the pic above, the chicken was fresh, of the 'kampung' species, with tender meat and glistening yellow skin. One for the grandmas. :)

The meal did not come cheap. Yet rather reasonable. Total for 6, including rice and tea = RM99.25, including 5% gov tax. We'll definitely return for more ....

Location : 1919 Restaurant & Gallery @ No. 1 Jalan Medan Ipoh 6,31400 Ipoh, Perak. Tel: 605-547 7196


Anonymous said...

Herbal Chicken might sound normal but with tanghoon, it is definitely a new way of serving this dish...looks good :)

CRIZ LAI said...

I won't say the pricing is expensive, considering the amount served and the food quality that you all had enjoyed. I'll sure drop by there when I'm in Ipoh. :)

mycroft said...

uh, dun really fancy 1919 though, find their taste lack the authencity, but stil nice anyway

n hey, bump into some ppl who may know u in person, by any chance u know wei kin n pui kuan who is workin in ipoh?

minchow said...

That tofu makes me swoon! I'm ordering this if I'm ever in the vicinity, alone or otherwise!

J2Kfm said...

ck lam : yeah. absorbing all the gravy, the glass noodles gave the dish a whole new dimension.

criz lai : yeah. more or less same price as most 'dai chow' in restaurants.

mycroft : lack authenticity? but Ipoh only assam house, yum yum, bee gaik and 1919 serving more or less the same category of food. so few eh? and yeah, i know them. whoops. you're working in the same hosp as them?

550ml jar of faith : yeah, the aroma of the slightly smoky skin of the tofu, and and the velvety smooth tofu ... wow.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a place to go to when im back in ipoh, IF i have more days and stomach space for all the goodies in that town! i like the look of the sliced fish with long beans and of coz, must have the tofu too!

cariso said...

The antique tofu looks good! I have ordered before at penang here more or less the same, but called "crystal tofu".

J2Kfm said...

Pureglutton : stay a week here. sure finish all the goodies. :)

cariso : oh guess since 1919 sells antique, might as well name their signature tofu as Antique Tofu? :)

soo sean said...

I used to visit 1919 quite often, and the deep fried eggplant was the must order dish. Then, I tried to make this dish at home and I never visit 1919 again. Sounds auntie, right? :p
But their service and food are not bad.

J2Kfm said...

soo sean : haha, easily made ah? the sauce very nice lah. a bit sweet, a bit spicy. slurp !!!

Anonymous said...

That aubergine! Yes, miss that a lot, very addictive stuff.

J2Kfm said...

yeahloh jason. i tot of ordering a few servings of that. but din. haha ... wasted.

jasmine said...

i really like the sound of this place... but once again, dunno how to get there :S

J2Kfm said...

jasmine : it's right in between of Jusco and Tesco. to put it mildly. :) like sandwiched in between.

Anonymous said...

hello sir,

thank you very much.
18/1/09 4am i started searching www and found ur site. Super good. I will be in Ipoh and make use of these places for makan.
thank you for making things happen for others

Anonymous said...

Sir, Thank you very much for this website.

J2Kfm said...

Anonymous : you're most welcomed! that really means a lot. :)
kindly leave comment if you've been to any good eateries around Ipoh. or KL, for that matter.

Bushido said...

You missed their best;

Chicken fried in salted egg batter.

Teds Woodworking Plans said...

Chicken fried in salted egg batter sounds delicious@!

Colgate coupon said...

I've had deep fried eggplants and they are great.

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Sambal Mix vege is awesome.

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