Monday, March 22, 2010

Indulgence

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Being from Ipoh, I have been to Indulgence a lot, both the old place since 1996 I think. The first few years were splendid, maybe the menu was not as extensive. The owner chef Julie Song works with passion, and never shies away from meshing different ingredients to heighten the senses. It literally was like dining at a close friend's home. Somehow, the menu got a bit adventurous and for a few years it was always a hit and miss with some of the dishes. I have been reading plenty of food bloggers on Indulgence, most were not positive. You's have to wonder at the power of the food bloggers, if they were, Indulgence would have closed shop years ago!

Too many will always say how expensive it was in the end - just because its in Ipoh does not mean everything will be cheap people, that is such a stupid line of thought. We all know that there are great hawker food in Ipoh, Indulgence is gourmet food. I think its time to set things right.

Indulgence is defined both as the act of gratifying desire and as foolish or senseless behaviour. There is a little of each when we pamper ourselves with food. Food indulgence is a form of sensual pleasure. For a moment we break out of our imposed rules of eating to measure and give in to gut desire. Anything forbidden or restricted, anything considered unhealthy, anything costly and rarely available - too much of a good thing is an indulgence.

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People who travel from KL, Singapore and Penang to Indulgence arrive with heightened expectations. I have to say not all dishes work perfectly, but over the last two years, I have been back a lot more often as the standards are being maintained very well. There is more cohesion and the service staff were excellent. I always check out the board special as Julie has set great standards in getting in some great imports - the oysters (esp the Kumamotos) and trout were top notch.

Ipoh is a small town but the last dozen of times I was back at Indulgence, it was always nearly full - good crowds for breakfasts, lunches, tea time and of course, dinners. I suspect most of the crowd are from Ipoh. After a while, we all came to an understanding of the good food being served, but more importantly, we know how to order. The food is basically Italian and very modern Australian - yea, not many would agree that there is a modern Australian cuisine but its basically fresh produce from the Asian Pacific region and not being shy to incorporate Asian spices and herbs, coupled with the Aussie penchant for grilling and salads with a zing.

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Ok, here is what you should consider ordering:

- the complimentary bread with the salted Bridel butter, always amazing

- the Belgian mussels with white wine

- the smoked duck

- the ahi tuna on brioche

- the baked cheese and mushroom bruschetta

- any of the salads with smoke duck

- the Oba pasta

- SILK (order and be surprised)

- the chicken lasagne

- the mango and passion fruit trifle

- the strawberries with chocolate

- the black and white (go order and be amazed)

- the rhubarb cheese cake

- the Granny apple cheesecake

- the fudgy brownie

Always get the ice lemon tea (its a simple thing yet done refreshingly well) or coffee, or their ice coffee, its done with Farm House milk, cannot get any better.

From a small cafe, the present location brings back old world charm. Every section of the restaurant is a sight to behold. The interior design, furniture and colour schemes work very well. Its not the 5-star every piece of cutlery being expensive kind of setting. Its a lot of wood, a very warm home setting and the lighting is very inviting. Needless to say that Indulgence is a favourite place now for wedding couples to hold photo shoots (yes, ask them first for permission).

The wine list is not extensive but superb selections - yes, here is where you can get the Dona Bernarda 2006 for RM189.

A lot of food bloggers complain about the service. I must say it was bad a few years back but I have noticed a marked improvement over the last year and a half. As in any establishments, things always click better once you know one or two of the wait staff, or the chef. I think Julie knows and have read many of the negative comments - but hey, its always nearly packed - so somebody is doing something right which outweighs the negatives, I mean its been going for more than 14 years!!! Its not for a lack of choice, there's Citrus and Brewster. Its never going to be a cheap place to dine. So go with an open mind and RM100 pp, and judge for yourselves. It seems there are two types of people after they dined there, they either love it or hate it. I love the place.

Indulgence Restaurant
14, Jalan Raja DiHilir
Ipoh
Tel No: 05-2557051
(Pork free.)

http://www.indulgencerestaurant.com/



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Kuala Lumpur


4th April 2010,
(Dinner 8.00pm Concert 9.30pm)
El Meson

Address: 61-63 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru,
59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Phone: +603 2282 8290

Petaling Jaya, Selangor

6th April 2010, 8.30pm
Bentley Auditorium, Mutiara Damansara
Address: Wisma Bentley Music, 3, Jalan PJU 7/2,
Mutiara Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Phone: +6017 3643202 or +6016 630 4967 or +016 337 4565

Ipoh

11th April 2010,
(Dinner 8.00pm Concert 9.30pm)
Indulgence
Address: 14 Jalan Raja Hilir, 30350, Ipoh.
Phone: +605 255 7051
11th April / RM240 (with dinner)

Kuching, Sarawak

16th April 2010, 7.00pm
The Hornbill Restaurant, Kuching
Address: The Sarawak Club, Jalan Taman Budaya,
93000 Kuching, Sarawak.
Phone: +6017 886 6811

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

18th April 2010, 3.00pm
Beverly Hotel, Raya Ballroom, Kota Kinabalu
Address: Beverly Hotel, Lorong Kemajuan, 88000, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Phone: +6 012 828 5111 or +6012 828 0655 or +6016 822 1822

2 comments:

我的未来不是梦 said...

Its the first time I heard about Indulgence.

I will pay a visit to enjoy your 'pick' ^__^

Thanks a lot for sharing.

J2Kfm said...

Hi there, Julie read your post as well, trust me. :)

Anyway, Indulgence did justice to Ipoh's culinary scene, that's for sure. I went for repeated visits, though not all of those were positive, but I did enjoy my outings for the ambience is almost perfect for such, even outstanding.

Think it should be a timely REvisit, to justify the improved service, and for another dose of their desserts.