By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen
Ipoh is now HOT. I am not referring to the weather. Thanks to Lonely Planet’s accolade placing it as 6th best place in the world to visit in 2016 and the efforts made by Perak Tourism in this year’s Visit Perak Year 2017, Ipoh is being “re-discovered” as “THE” place to visit, explore and eat.
Today, Ipoh’s old town has been transformed. The plethora of cafes, boutique hotels and restaurants abound, side by side with the ‘Lo Chiew Pai’ coffee shops and up market restaurants. Which makes me avoid Old Town on weekends….packed with hordes of tourists, all agog with what to buy, where to go, what to see and where to eat.
Wonderful for the proprietors I say but I prefer the relative quiet of a weekday to explore and enjoy Old Town and to discover some of the new places that have sprung up. One of these is Belfield Road.
Opened since 2016, Belfield Road is the third of Kenneth Lee’s Food and Beverage ventures in Ipoh. Having successfully operated Patisserie Boutique across the road and Milk Cow next door, Kenneth admits to Belfield Road being an opportunity to cater to pork lovers.
Here the menu is hearty, from all-day brunch to appetizing appetizers; hunks of meat, be it lamb, pork, chicken or fish and voluptuous desserts served in irresistible ways that tempt even a non-dessert eater like me.
1980s Benedict, with back bacon, homemade hollandaise on English muffin was a treat reminiscent of the good ole’ days when one threw caution to the wind, and weight was never an issue – RM19. The same goes for their signature Belfield Big B’fast, an over-the-top offering consisting of scrambled egg, streaky bacon, back bacon, Belfield sausage (imported pork banger) baked beans, sauteed mushrooms, coconut croissant, chips and lavender honey creme brulee. Now if that isn’t a mouthful of a description, try eating it! I would safely say that this is a portion meant for two, if you have an average appetite like me. Very tasty though, the combination of sweet melding well with the savoury – RM30. For those looking for a lighter bite, I’d recommend the signature Smashing Avocado, honey glazed bacon on a bed of mashed avocado and feta cheese served on a sourdough toast and topped with a poached egg – RM19.
One appetizer that caught my eye was the Burgundy Escargot, another of their signature dishes which I have not seen on any other menu in Ipoh. Escargot, or snails, are a real delicacy and the ones served at Belfield Road are as delicious as any I’ve eaten especially in France where they are popular. These are also prepared in the French fashion, with herb garlic butter, a touch of cream and blue cheese and served with herby, crusty breadsticks – RM18.
The ‘Sheep In The House’, a 270g NZ lamb steak, marinated overnight in the Belfield signature rub, charred on the grill and served with mint sauce, Thai salad and fries was fragrant and juicily tender, grilled medium rare (you can choose) – RM65.
The 200g Iberico Pork Steak pan-seared and fork-tender, was served with a curried pumpkin mash (yummilicious), a soya reduction and Thai mango salad. The curation, with the soya reduction which accentuated the already umami flavour of this Spanish pork combined with the curried pumpkin mash offset by the tartness of the Thai mango salad was perfect – RM58.
The Paulaner Pork Rib, a sharing for three to four people was way over the top for our small group but we soldiered on. A whole rib of pork, marinated overnight in Paulaner wheat beer and spices, grilled and basted with Belfield’s special smoke-infused sparkling wine sauce arrived fall-off-the-bone-tender and it was such a pity we couldn’t do justice to this delectable hunk of grilled goodness – RM77.
And then it was dessert time! Thank goodness Kenneth only ordered one for us and this was not only a sweet mouthful but a spectacle in itself. A chocolate brownie topped with one scoop of gelato, it arrived on a sizzling pan and a shot of peanut butter cream was poured in. The resultant sizzle and smoke created when cream hit pan resulted in an indescribable gooey crust at the bottom of the pan which we all tucked into with gusto. Unforgettable.Belfield RoadNo. 3 Jalan Panglima, 30000 Ipoh.Tel: 017 558 8897Business hours: Mon-Fri 11am-10pm;Sat-Sun 10am-10pmClosed Tuesdaysfacebook.com/Belfield Rd.