By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen
Maria’s is a long established restaurant in Greentown and has garnered a following and a reputation for being one of the best steakhouses in Ipoh.
One has a choice of sitting outside on the pavement and watch the world go by or inside in cool comfort where the steak aficionados come. Here you can mull over the signboard that lists the various types of steak available. And there is a tempting choice available too, one to suit most palates and pockets.
One can order a chilled Australian Ribeye Steak (about 200g) for RM48 or pay more for the Angus at RM44 per 100g. Then the tastier selections come in (not that Angus is not tasty but there is a difference) and with it the price. Wagyu Beef (an Australian version of the Japanese Kobe) comes in 3 grades, 5, 7 and 9 with incremental prices per 100g as the numbers go up (see prices below). Of course at the top of the list is the quintessential steak, the Kobe and here at Maria’s it’s a grade number 6.
Maria showed me the Kobe Steak before whisking it away to be grilled and it was pink and completely well marbled. This is one time to throw caution to the wind and forget about clogged arteries and cholesterol, I said to myself. And what a treat it was and am I glad I decided to indulge.
The Kobe Steak weighing in at around 200g arrived on the table with simple steamed vegetables, carrots, broccoli and pan-fried potatoes. Maria recommends in the menu itself not to have sauces with the steak but of course will comply and provide on request. Also she recommends eating the steak either medium rare and best rare. Well my steak was a trip to paradise. Served rare, I could almost cut it with a fork, being so tender. The meat was succulent, fragrant and the mouth feel, velvety smooth.
To be fair, I was so carried away by my Kobe Steak, that I forgot to mention that Maria’s is not ONLY a steakhouse. They do have an extensive menu that includes the usual pastas, soups, lamb, chicken and fish dishes. The pies at Maria’s are particularly well known and popular, all homemade by self taught chef Maria Tan. I particularly like her Beef Pies which are juicy inside, with a crust that is crumbly and flaky at the same time.
We started with an Oxtail Soup, thick and robust with two pieces of oxtail whose meat fell from the bone effortlessly. This was served with a slice of garlic bread and followed with a Caesar Salad, creamy dressing with chopped walnuts, beef bacon bits and croutons.
The fish dish came next, a Grilled Salmon Steak topped with Bonito flakes (dried skipjack tuna) and served with an interesting citrus sauce of orange, soya and zest. Unusual flavours.
The finale came with the Tiramisu, this one with strong hints of brandy and Tia Maria liqueur smothering the sponge finger base and infusing the mascarpone cheese filling with its fragrance. Chocolate shavings sprinkled on top finished the presentation which was wolfed down in a jiffy. I almost regretted agreeing to share one portion between two people.
All in all, Maria’s is a well-rounded restaurant that is strong on steaks but non beef eaters will also get a good meal and those with belly room left over can look forward to the choice of desserts and cakes that Maria’s is famous for.
Kobe RM185 per 100g
Wagyu # 9 RM115 per 100g
Wagyu # 7 RM85 per 100g
Wagyu # 5 RM70 per 100g
Angus RM44 per 100g
Oxtail Soup RM 19.50
Caesar Salad RM14.00
Seafood Spaghetti RM 23.50
Maria’s Restaurant and Cafe (Pork Free)
60 Persiaran Greentown 1
Pusat Perdagangan Greentown, 30450 Ipoh
Tel: 05-242 4233
Business Hours: 4pm-11.30pm daily. GPS: 4º 36.942’N, 101º 7.365’E