5 Jalan Sultan Idris Shah
30000 Ipoh Perak
Food type: Gastro-pub/ Bistro
Food rating: 0/10
Nearest tube: –
(Editor’s note: Please note that the scoring of food in Malaysia is based on a linear scale)
As I have read about Brewster’s from other blogs, I decided that it was worth giving the place a try. Mysteriously though, those blogs did not give a rating of the food here.. hmmm…. Still, I will venture to wherever Pork is put on the menu!
I visited Brewster’s for lunch with my parents. They do a reasonably priced set lunch at RM18 (£3). Brewster’s is located near the banking area of Ipoh town, where parking is at a premium especially at Lunch time. Fortunately, I have the benefits of a driver to get around the parking problem. One thing that did catch my eye when browsing through the menu was beef imported from China which was described in the menu to ‘taste like pork‘.
Liver Mushroom Pate
I started off lunch with some Liver Mushroom Pate which was served with Rosemary Bread. The bread was actually pretty decent although I personally felt that there was a tad too much rosemary for my liking. The same could not be said about the pate which had a mousse-like texture. Additionally, the pate had a floury aftertaste. No doubt this could be down to the lack of aspic (gelatine-like) layer resulting in oxidation of the mousse… I mean pate hence a grainy texture. More importantly, the pate did not deliver where it mattered most – in terms of flavour. It was sadly lacking in taste, without much of a livery flavour which is to be expected. Even my subtle tastebuds could not pick up on the use of ‘cognac’ described in the menu. (1/10 but only for the semi-decent bread)
Roast Shoulder of Pork
Next up was Roast Shoulder of Pork which was the day’s special. I think the picture above speaks a thousand words. Along with the pork, my plate was filled with Pineapple (of the canned variety no less), potato salad, a side salad dressed with Marie-Rose (thousand Island sauce), Mushroom gravy AND a sweet vinegratte. Oh dear! Forgoing all the confusion on the plate, the pork was bland, tasteless and terribly underseasoned. The crackling was very good in terms of texture but again lacked anything resembling flavour. But then, I do have to talk about everything else on the plate. First of all, what is cold pineapple doing my plate. I can appreciate what the cook is trying to get at (perhaps a Hawaiian theme of some sorts) but given that we are in a tropical country like Malaysia where fresh pineapple is in abundance throughout the year, the use of canned pineapple is inexcusable as is the decision to serve it cold. At least some effort should have been made to caramelise it – there is no reason why a fruit salad should be on the plate. But if you think the pineapple was bad, the potato salad was sour and well past it’s best. Oh wait, I still have yet to talk about the salad which seemed more as an afterthought and the vinegratte which seemed to serve no other purpose than to be used as decoration. Before I forget, the chef seems to have some fetish on liberal sprinklings of dried herbs for presentation purposes. Personally, there are only one situation when I would use dried herbs – never. In short this dish was a COMPLETE disaster from start to end and it isn’t a wonder even a glutton like me left half the plate untouched. (0/10)
Brewster’s Ham Soup
My mom opted for a set lunch which consisted of a Ham soup, fruit salad (this time canned lychee and pineapple), the same side salad of raw peppers and lettuce with Marie-rose and Garlic bread. First of all, if you are going to serve soup (especially as your main course) do NOT use stock cubes. My many years living as a student has made me pretty familiar with the taste of stock cubes and instant pasta sauces… (0/10)
For dessert, I pinched my mom’s chocolate brownie. The brownie was rich, moist but way too sweet. Without anything (like ice cream for example) to cut through the richness, the sweetness was sickening. (1/10)
I finished off lunch with some coffee which was decidedly weak. Unfortunately at the not so bargain price of RM 5 that is simply unacceptable. Other major nitpicks include my glass of house wine which was served too warm and was slightly off.
Lunch for 3 cost RM155 (£25) which is on the high end for dining out in Ipoh. The quality of food leaves a LOT to be desired and many a time I do wonder whether I should have just stepped into the kitchen and sorted things out.