D’ North Star
By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen
Want a quick and satisfying meal? Something ‘downhome’ and tasty? In a venue that is air-conditioned, presentable, with a wide choice?
Then D’North Star is the place to head for.
The menu is extensive and when you come with the family or a group of friends, there is something for every palate and every taste.
Fancy a quick bite? Order a fried Beef Kueh Teow. Or have it fried with smoked duck, if beef is not your thing. The “Wok Hei” is there. At RM13 per plate, it will definitely not make a hole in your pocket.
But I always have an ‘agenda’ when I go. My favourite goodies are here and I want to eat them all but having a limited appetite, I need to eat with friends to share so I can order a larger variety for my inner glutton.
I have always loved Fish and Chips and the one served here at D’North can pass muster with some of the best in the UK. I have given up eating this in Ipoh as hitherto, all the fish on offer is inevitably Dory fish from Vietnam and having watched a few horrific videos of fish processing in Vietnam I have been influenced negatively and generally avoid Dory.
However, we now have new choices. Imported New Zealand Perch for example and our local Toman which has firmer flesh than the Perch. My personal choice is the NZ perch believing (perhaps erroneously ) that their water is cleaner. Someone please feel free to correct me on this!
The English Fish & Chips at D’North is crispy, retaining its crunchiness as we worked our way through a few other dishes. As are their chips, not the frozen, throw-in-oil and serve variety. These chips are hand cut and made in-house to the Chef’s secret recipe. RM26: optional: mushroom soup + toast add RM7.50.
The other dish to make me drool in anticipation is their Siamese Laksa. This was yummilicious, gently spiced with a very robust gravy and smothered with cucumber julienne. The gravy was very ‘lemak’ rich in santan (coconut milk) and well blended spices.
At RM12 per generous portion, my suggestion is to share this dish and make room for other dishes.
Our group next tucked into their Hainan Chicken Chop, a boneless chicken leg, battered, breaded and deep fried and topped with a balanced sauce that was not overly sweet as happens in other establishments. What was important to me was the sides of the chop which were still crisp. This brings back memories of a Hainanese cook I once had in Singapore whose signature dish this was. RM22
The Nasi Ulam (Mixed local fresh chopped herbs with rice) was a picture perfect presentation. Fiery, (perhaps if you’re not into spice, ask them if possible to tone down) herb-fragrant, it is served with papadam, petai and ladies fingers. The sambal on the side is a must as it lends the umami lift to the whole dish. I had to ask for a second dish! RM12.90
Kopitiam Chicken Curry was the perfect accompaniment to the Nasi Ulam, tender juicy chunks of chicken cooked in a typical Malaysian curry gravy, just a tad on the sweet side. The spicing was balanced, mild and perfect for timid palates RM35 (Big) / RM22 (Small)
Nyonya Sambal Stuffed Fish hit all the right notes. The Cencaru fish, firm fleshed and briny, takes well to aggressive seasoning in which the sambal leaves a bold, pleasant zing on the tongue, but it is not the kind of sharp or angry spicy that makes your eyes water or your nose run. For my taste I found I found the Sambal Belacan a tad sweet so ask for some lime or lemon to even it out RM26 (2 fish) Add: RM3 (2 plates white rice)
Or RM15 (single fish)Add: RM1.5 (1 plate white rice)
We were really stuffed to the gills by now but gracious proprietor Angela June insisted we savour their Beef Kuey Teow + Sambal Belacan as this too was a favourite amongst her customers.
I was not disappointed as the dish had good “wok hei” ( ‘breath of the wok’) coming from a very hot wok and skilled hands with all preparations ready in advance. The beef was tender, the broad rice noodles, velvety and well coated and the sambal belacan served on the side an optional taste element. RM13
For Dessert, try the Sago Gula Melaka (available everyday) and the Bubur Cha Cha – Fri, Sat, Sun, each at RM3 which given today’s prices, a steal.
All in all, this is a great venue for a reasonably priced and well prepared meal. Great for casual lunch meetings or family dinners. And need I add, the food is good?
Angela June : 016 511 5441
108, Jalan Canning Estate, Ipoh Garden, 31400, Ipoh, Perak
Business HOURS: 11am to 3pm / 5pm to 9pm (closed on Wednesday)
Note: D’North Star is pork free.