Ipoh Garden was one of Perth’s first regional Malaysian restaurants. Owners Alice and Richard Thum opened its original outpost in Applecross (now closed) in 2001 after migrating to Perth from Ipoh, the capital of the west Malaysian state of Perak. They gained a loyal following for their char kway teow, Ipoh-style hor fun (chicken and prawn rice noodle soup) and wat tan hor, rice noodles coated in a thick egg gravy. And, in 2008, they opened Ipoh Restaurant in Myaree’s Hulme Court, one of Perth’s best destinations for Asian eating. One ownership and name change later, Ipoh Garden 2.0 is as good as ever.
The menu features about a dozen dishes, but the kitchen makes each one count. All the elements of the chicken rice – the tender poached chook; the fluffy, deeply flavoured rice; the bright, sweet and vinegary chilli – are spot-on. The prawn and chicken broth of the Ipoh hor fun is super focused, while the savour of the chicken curry – light on the coconut cream, as is customary in Muslim-Indian cookery – is remarkable. Other regional specialties include a Penang-style white curry laksa (sweeter than the region’s more familiar assam laksa) and Hokkien lam mee, egg noodles served in a gravy made with prawns and chicken.
One side of the menu is dedicated to vegan riffs on Malaysian dishes, including barbeque pork and rice and assam pedas (“hot and sour”) fish. Plus, the restaurant also serves house-made chrysanthemum tea and loh han ko – monk fruit tea.
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