29 November 2012

A Secret Garden in Ipoh

I have always lamented the lack of good quality western food in Ipoh. Although there are more choices in this category now, they still lacked the touch, taste and look we were looking for.

Until we tried the Secret Garden.

The Place

It is located in an old refurbished bungalow that has been allowed to retain its original appearance and architecture more or less intact. Many people love these restorations to old structures rather than extensive renovations, and so do I.

The bungalow is charming inside and pleasing to the eye. It is located on Lorong Cheah Cheng Lim, on the same road as Qdees Kindergarten and the newish Banyan Spa. There is ample parking space, and this road is usually quiet, which makes the place even more appealing.

We learned that the Secret Garden has been in operation for more than 2 years now, and offers dining as well as hotel services, although we did not inquire about the latter.I heard about this place over a year ago but between husband, kids, routine chores, dogs, house and garden, I didn't get the chance to try it out until recently.

Our food

My little girl had the Cappuccino of Mushroom (RM13.90), which was served in a cup on a ceramic tray accompanied by a bread stick. The soup was thick and rich, and had a nice fresh mushroom taste to it.

Hubby had the confit of salmon dusted with coriander powder (RM25.90), which surprised even him in terms of the serving size - 2 thick slices of lightly smoked salmon. I had a small piece to taste and it was perfectly acceptable, bearing in mind that I do not generally like smoked salmon

The Secret Garden salad (RM20.90): fresh greens tossed in tangy dressing, accompanied by thin slices of bacon and hard boiled egg on the side made for my healthy appetizer.

Both my children requested steak, so it was chargrilled sirloin steak (RM40.90) for my boy and chargrilled rib eye steak (RM45.90) for my girl and me to share; done medium and medium-well respectively. Although, we suspect they got the cooking directions mixed up for the 2 pieces of steak. Small matter. Both steaks were sufficient in size, flavourful and fragrant. Delicious down to the last bite. Hubby had spaghetti with grilled bacon (RM24.90) for his main, and was satisfied with his choice.

By this time we had to leave for an appointment and had no time to sample their desserts. The dining area in the right wing of the bungalow now hosted 5 tables, at 1.45pm, which was reaching full capacity. There are more tables in the left wing of the house, as well as al fresco dining if one is so inclined, preferably at night.

We enjoyed our lunch. The ambience was  pleasant and relaxing, the service professional and the food good. The prices are also not exorbitant. We will definitely return to try out the rest of the menu.

(pictures courtesy of http://reiko67.blogspot.com)

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