Had dinner at this new place last night, and DH and I are quite pleased. They still have the big "Soft Opening" sign, and one should temper one's expectations as far as speed and service go. But the food is very promising indeed!
Since there were just 2 of us, we only had the roti canai, satay (2 beef, 2 chicken), Malaysian dry curry (lamb), and blachan string beans. The string beans arrived first, followed at length by the roti, then the lamb curry and lastly, the satay. To his credit the manager/headwaiter warned us when we first sat down that the kitchen was swamped and the food would be slow. Since we weren't in a hurry, it wasn't an issue with us.
And the meal was worth the wait. The green beans with blachan were full-flavored, the real, pungent, fermented shrimp deal. This cook was not dumbing down his flavors. And the roti was probably the best I've had in the Bay Area, the rolled, multi-layered, fluffed up kind served with a fairly thin curry sauce. The lamb, sliced thin, was coated with a thick, cumin-accented curry, lots of different aromas and flavors in this dish. The satay was decent, but the least impressive of the lot, the chicken being better flavored than the beef.
Ipoh Garden is definitely a welcome addition to the mid-Peninsula area. No longer do I need to drive down to Layang Layang in Cupertino for my Singaporean or Malaysian food fix. But lots of other people seem to think the same thing because Ipoh Garden was very busy, and despite the soft opening sign, the place and the clientele seem to have an air of assurance that Ipoh Garden is likely to be around a while. If the cook, who hails predictably from Ipoh, stays true to his roots, we chowhounds are likely to enjoy many very good meals at this place.
Ipoh Garden--100 El Camino Real, Millbrae, near the corner of ELC and Millbrae Ave.