If you think that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, think again.
For 15 years, Regalodge Hotel has been enduring the many stalwarts of hoteliers with impressive tenacity; albeit the emergence of one VERY strong contender by the name of Tower Regency situated at … erm, almost next door.
Then, sometime last year, the 3-star hotel underwent a major refurbishment ordeal; painted with a fresh coat of beige and purple paint and the addition of a foot reflexology centre. But what’s most enticing is this 4 months-old fine dining restaurant named The Limestone’s
Seafood Paella (RM68.50 for a portion to be shared; Dinner Menu, or RM28.50 for an individual portion; Lunch Menu)
I admit that I was well surprised by the choice of location; a fine dining restaurant not within its own compound or in a refurbished mansion, or even nestled within some glittering high class resorts by the hills or in the midst of any of the business centres.
Here’s a story on the latest fine dining establishment in town; helmed by Chef Erwin from Europe with an interesting penchant for firing up a culinary storm not only in Malaysia; but in Ipoh of all the other towns …..
One glance and you’d be hard-pressed not to dismiss this as just another coffee house at the lobby of any hotel. But …. The Limestone’s is more than just that.
Now, before that detour to Secret Garden for high-tea
, we actually visited The Limestone’s since I have heard and read much about this but have yet to step foot into this fine dining restaurant. However, they close for lunch/tea time on Mondays. And it WAS a Monday …. Tough luck.
King Prawns Set On Special Spicy Mango Medley (Part of Valentine’s Day Set Menu)
This was partly a review of their upcoming Valentine’s Day 5 Course Dinner Menu, and certain signatures of The Limestone’s thrown in for good measure. Oh boy …. and I was not prepared for the humongous portions served!
To perk up the jaded tastebuds (I mean, after days of serial bingeing and mindless stuffing our faces), the medley of succulent prawns seated atop a bed of spiced mangoes was indeed kicking things up a few notches. This dish was a creation of Mdm Mahani; the sous chef at The Limestone’s with 8 years of experience at another hotel on Pangkor Island. A refreshing fusion of sweet and spicy, balancing the rich, firm flesh of the crustaceans, this was a really good starter to the ensuing feast.
Salad Millionaire Ala Limestone (Market Price) – Fresh lettuce with Italian dressing, half a lobster, scallops and shrimps topped with mayonnaise-based dressing
Their signature cold appetizer in their Dinner Menu (they have separate Lunch and Dinner Menus) is the lobster salad peppered with additional bites of scallops and shrimps.
“To make up for the one-dimensional texture of the lobster, so to speak …”
Comparing this to the first appetizer, my vote goes to the king prawns on a bed of spicy mangoes though. This cold appetizer had all the bells and whistles; yet failing to capture the essence of the prized crustacean; freshness and natural sweetness of the flesh.
Left to Right : Clam Chowder with Green Atlantic Mussels (RM12.50/USD4), Portuguese Spicy Fish Soup (RM13.50/USD4.50) and Minestrone Alla Milanese (Part of the V-Day Set)
Now where the cold appetizers failed to captivate your tastebud, their heartwarming soups sure make up for whatever that was lost in translation. The soups came in pretty sizeable portions; hefty enough to warrant stomach space or a substantial light meal in itself. The Portuguese Fish Soup in particular, was an interesting blend of tarty tomato-based broth, with chunks of salmon and marlin, scallops and even topped with some caviar.
Scottish Lamb Leg Roast Yorkshire Style (RM48.50/USD16) – A sweet gravy coating the extremely tender (only fork and spoon necessary) chunks of meat with a subtle gamey taste, and a whole Yorkshire pudding served as complement to the roast meat.
Yorkshire pudding is seldom seen served in restaurants anymore; aside from being featured in some Christmas menus.
Now, by the second course, we were already gasping for air. Oh did I mention that they actually served toasted garlic bread with Italian herbs to start off with?
And hence, let the onslaught of MAINS begin. Or rather, let unleashed the CARNIVORE in you!
Hawaiian Style Surf Board (Part of V-Day 5 Course Set) – Grilled New York Strip Loin Steak with Tiger Prawn and Shrimp Gravy, accompanied by Fresh Pineapple Slices
The Paella (Spanish style baked rice served in a pan with a multitude of seafood!), roast leg of lamb and Surf N Turf variant (they do have the original one with lobster in the Dinner Menu) came in succession.
The presentation of each was pleasant with ample emphasis given on the execution of the dish paired with flawless aesthetics. The Hawaiian Style Surf Board for one (in the first picture), was a winner in plating. Though we did find the strip loin steak a tad too well done to our liking. The Seafood Paella (first we had in Ipoh, and I believe you cannot find this anywhere else in town … do correct me if I am wrong) came loaded with a plethora of seafood; from mussels to prawns and scallops, and even chunks of fish.
I enjoyed the Scottish Roast Lamb Leg the most, with meat that was so well done .. little effort was necessary to detach the meats into bite-sized chunks.
Crepe Suzette (in the Dinner Menu), and English Trifle (part of V-Day 5 Course Set) finished off the meal on a sweeter note.
Fresh orange rinds in a zesty, caramelized sauce complemented the pancake enveloping vanilla ice-cream; complemented by fresh strawberries and whipped cream. The stark cold combination was a change from the usually prepared on-the-spot warm dessert highlighted by the addition of a hard liqueur to flame the pancakes. The English trifle came layered with custard and fresh fruits, then liberally covered with whipped cream and a cherry.
The Limestone’s Fine Dining Restaurant – Valentine’s Day 5 Course Dinner Menu @ RM149++ per person
The ambience make for a casual dining affair during the day, but transformed into a romantic setting with fresh roses and lit candles come sundown. A relatively smallish space; well-fitted for a crowd of less than 30 pax, The Limestone’s is one of those rare establishments with different Lunch and Dinner menus to cater to the varied appetites.
The Lunch Menu (including Fresh Breakfast items) contains a myriad of choices; mostly within the range of less than RM20/USD7 per portion. Pretty reasonable, and lighter servings to cater to the lunch crowd.
The Dinner Menu
on the other hand, is more extensive with carefully thought-about selection of items best to be savoured in a sparingly relaxed seating. No rush, as you would not want to fork out a decent sum of money
(mains around RM50 each) and yet not relishing in every bite and embrace the suited ambience.
“Come Dine With Me”
THE LIMESTONE’S FINE DINING RESTAURANT
@ Regalodge Hotel Ipoh
131, Jalan Raja Ekram,
30450 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Tel No : +605-242 3241
Hours : Breakfast (7.00am – 10.30am), Lunch (11.30am – 2.30pm), Hi-Tea (Cake + Coffee/Tea) (3.30pm – 5.30pm), Dinner (6.30pm – 10.30pm). Closed for lunch and hi-tea on Mondays.
More information from their Facebook page
*This Valentine’s Day 5 Course Dinner Menu preview was an invitation extended by the management of The Limestone’s and Regalodge Hotel.