By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen
The sign Butcher’s Table intrigued me. I made a mental note to check it out but my friend William Balasingam beat me to it and so a subsequent invitation to lunch was accepted gratefully.
The name Butcher’s Table has a homey ring to it, akin to a Chef’s Table where you get to taste the Chef’s special dishes. And here at Butcher’s Table, the same applies. All the charcuterie and meats are here minus perhaps the liver pate and the air-dried items like salami, prosciutto and jambon. And all items are homemade.
This is a carnivore or meat eater’s paradise. And the perfect venue for those on a Keto Diet. There are concessions for the carb lover though, albeit small ones like three pasta offerings, mashed potatoes, crispy fries and garlic rice.
But you don’t come to the Butcher’s Table looking for carbs. You come here to gorge on meat in all its glory, from Wagyu steaks (and giant tomahawks) to pork in its multiple incarnations, lamb and the one chicken concession for those who eschew red meat.
I have heard of Mr Ho, who used to garner rave reviews from KL-ites who loved his roast pork with its famed crispy skin when he had a stall in the lobby of the Bangsar Shopping Centre since 1992. Alas, probably due to escalating rents he has since moved to Petaling Jaya and now recently has opened a Butcher’s Table in Ipoh; adding another dimension to Ipoh’s food scene.
And am I happy to welcome him to Ipoh.
Mind you, serving Siew Yoke (Chinese style roast pork) in Ipoh is like ‘bringing coals to Newcastle’ as the English expression goes but Butcher’s Table’s Siew Yoke holds its own against the best of them here. I don’t know what their secret is (according to Kent, Mr Ho’s son who manages the restaurant, it’s the combi oven) but the skin is extra crisp and stays crisp even till the end of the meal. For those who dislike 5-spice powder, you’ll be happy to know that they don’t use this to marinate the meat but instead use their own spice blend.
And that is just one of the dishes I like to order as a starter! RM12 per portion. You can also choose to have this as a topping to pasta Aglio Olio with mushrooms as a complete meal; RM21.
Having been there a few times, my favourite item on the menu is their Signature Salted Beef. This is beef brisket, brined for 10 days, cooked sous vide for 24 hours and boiled. Not overly salty and absolutely tender. Served with sauerkraut imported from Germany, gherkins and mustard, it always puts me in Teutonic heaven; RM34.
Iberico Shoulder Collar
Next came the Iberico Shoulder Collar, a juicy piece of fairly fatty Iberico pork grilled to perfection and served with mashed potatoes which were yummilicious; RM30.
A few words must be said about the sausages served here. All homemade without preservatives and stuffed into hog casings, these sausages are what I’ve been looking and searching for, for ages. You see, in case some of my readers don’t know, most sausages contain preservatives (nitrates or nitrites) and contain a great deal of fillers which help to increase weight and bulk. Also, a lot of commercial sausages use artificial casings. Here at Butcher’s Table, these sausages are fresh made, with no fillers and are chilled, not frozen. Of course, you may buy them home and freeze them but here when you’re served, they are all fresh.
My favourite is the deluxe cheese ring sausage, a round of 20% fat and 80% meat with no fillers, oozing cheese as you cut into it. Served with sweet mustard; RM25. They also have Nuernberger, Bratwurst, Oxford, Garlic, Italian, Cumberland, Mushroom and even a Currywurst! All regular sausages are RM9 each and eaten with a side order of anything from fries, mash, sauerkraut or rice, becomes a meal in itself.
Smoked Pork Knuckle
Keeping the best for last, we then had to try the Smoked Pork Knuckle, a 1kg whole front knuckle (more tender than the hind one) again brined for 10 days and slow smoked with beechwood chips. The meat was fall-off-the-bone-tender and so well infused with both the marinade and smoky flavour that we had to tuck in despite the fact that we were totally full. RM65 which can easily feed four people.
Butcher’s Table serves beer and cider and till they get their liquor license, BYO is free.
Reservations are advised as they are very popular.Butcher’s Table#18 Tingkat Taman Ipoh 6Ipoh Garden South, 31400 Ipoh.Tel: 605 210 7088Business hours: 12 noon -3pm; 6pm-11pmClosed Wednesdays.