Given that we treat Ipoh as our tiny haven, we thought it'd be a nice treat to spend a night there at a small, boutique hotel - M Hotel. There had been so many glowing reviews about it so I was really keen on having a retreat there and yes, it sure did live up to our expectations.
From the moment we stepped into the lobby, our jaws dropped. Snowy white blooms nestled in tall vases, Hacks sweets offered in gigantic glass jars, stacks of vintage suitcases; it was decadently luxe. During our stay, we counted at least two wedding couples having their wedding photos taken there.
Taking advantage of the many photographic opportunities at M Hotel.
The room was a little on the small side but nicely done up with an exposed brick wall on one side, a cement finishing on the other complete with paintings. Bubs was delighted to find a missing number from the framed number prints and then made himself comfy in front of the TV.
The little spice jars of muruku was a welcome treat to sit in bed and munch on while watching (what else) Superman Returns.
Dinner this time was at the Bougainvillea City Cafe where prices range on average at RM24 or below for a fusion twist on favourites like pasta. The quality of the dishes plus the creativity that goes into it surpassed our expectations and we bookmarked as it as a must-return to place for future Ipoh trips.
Duck lovers will love the smoked duck wrap, which reminded me of an Asian-Mexican twist with generous strips of gamey, rich duck, mixed salad leaves, basil leaves and sliced onions. The mixture of textures and flavours was intense and this was my favourite.
Home made ravioli? Why yes please! These delectable squares of chicken filled pasta dumplings came with a serving of two sauces: cream and tomato. The ravioli was beautifully done, soft with a slight resistance. I felt that the chicken filling could have done with more spices, or maybe with a different filling like sun dried tomatoes to add a little kick to it. Hubs, on the other hand, thought that this dish was stellar and proceeded to polish this one off.
The bacon wrapped chicken meatballs was highly anticipated - adding the slice of bacon was a genius idea, though the meatballs were a little on the salty side for us. It was nice but after being wow-ed by the previous dishes, we thought it didn't stand out.
Bougainvillea City Cafe
21, Jalan Lau Ek Ching, 31300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Tel: +605-241 3782
Opens from 12 pm – 10 pm, closed on Tuesdays
Headed off to Plan B for dessert and we were surprised how quiet that area is on a weekday night. The dessert bar looked a little empty and we settled on a giant slice of Blackforest to share. Bubs loved the meringue shards that accompanied the chocolate-y and cherry filled cake.
Complimentary breakfast at M Hotel is hosted at either at Myth or Old Town. Again, both options looked equally fabulous but since we wanted to try somewhere new ...
That's right, we went to Allegra at the KPJ Hospital for breakfast. I know, we actually went to a hospital for a culinary adventure ;) The people behind Allegra are also the geniuses behind Burps & Giggles, Missing Marbles and Buku Tiga Lima. On that morning, we even spotted owner Julie Song having a cuppa there. Allegra's cosy little nook adds a touch of whimsical cheer and colour to the hospital, not to mention its wide range of mouth watering croissants, bagels, desserts, good coffees and a fun range of hard to find nibbles (Dill Pickle Pringles, anyone?)
The chicken curry pie was a fiery hit with Hubs and me; there wasn't anything mild or bland about it even though it was served in a hospital and the strong spice was a very welcome wake-me-up breakfast. Bubs thoroughly enjoyed his strawberry pastry, needless to say.
KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital, 26, Jalan Tambun/Raja Di Hilir,
30350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Opens daily from 8.30am – 6.00pm, half day on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
Before driving back to Penang, we had to sneak in another quick bite - if that was even possible - at Burps and Giggles with a couple of burgers. The strawberry crepe filled with tangy hibiscus curd and topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream was the highlight and a must order.
Can't wait for our next trip back! :)