Finally, I have managed to find a good deal in Groupon for The Limestone. I knew I would hardly visit such places unless there is really a special occasion or with that someone special. Most of my friends also agreed and we were delighted to grab this chance of paying RM33 to enjoy a 3 course European Fine Dining in Hotel Regalodge.
The interior is very cosy despite being quite small. It could hardly cater to 20 tables at the most and there are mostly table for 2 and table for 4. Being the first few who arrive at around 7pm+ on a Saturday evening, we were lucky to be given fullest attention of service by the crew, which comprised to 5 waiter/waitresses only.
My camera could not perform at its best in this lighting, so do bear with the slightly grainy and poorer quality pictures. And coincidently, my friend forgot to bring macro/wide angle lenses, only long focus as we went hunting for Hong Kong TVB artists. More on that later, I will upload a few photos of the cast of Triumph in The Skies, mainly my crush Fala Chen! ^^
Before we begin the dinner, we spent a few seconds observing and giving a few thoughts on the cutlery on the table, as there were 2 of each - fork, knife, spoon. And the order should be from the outer to the inner, so I guess we were right when the first item was served.
We were served with complimentary bread. It is served with a slice of salted cheese. The bread is some sort of sourdough bread I suppose, which has a texture of cream puff but with a crusty exterior. Excellent to be eaten on its on, the slice of cheese made this a great starter even the soup came AFTER the bread. We have 3 Groupon sets, so we managed to try all 3 items from the starters.
The first is Ceasar Salad - Fresh Romaine lettuce is tossed in a tangy and creamy Ceasar dressing with generous serving of croutons, beef bacons amd some baby tomatoes. The hardboiled egg at the centre added some weightage which nearly elevated this appetizer to be a main course but it was a bit out of place in terms of art of food presenation. I love the garnishing of Parmesan spinkles and olive slices around the salad. Overall, we agreed that the salad is refreshing and tasty, kicking start our engine for a heavy meal ahead.
The second appetizer was the Veloute Champignon Bois Le Duc, in simple wild mushroom and spring onion soup. I find the soup a bit salty and very overpowering for appetizer. It's slightly oily or rather too creamy to my liking. I would anytime go for a second serving of Ceasar salad than drink this. A few tablespoon is okay... but finishing the whole bowl is quite... dreadful.
The last item on the appetizer list is the Ratatouille Soup. If you were to search Wiki for the definition, please omit the link the film, Ratatouille is actually a French mixed vegetable stew. Here, the soup is made from a blend of paprika and tomato puree. Slightly better than the mushroom soup, I would prefer a slice of bread to go along with this. The best thing about eating in group is that you wont be too jelak if you encounter such type of soup. Yeah, although we have 3 Groupon vouchers, one person FFK "last minute" and two of us were trying our very best to finish 3 sets.
There are 5 main course to choose from - and we left out Chicken Cordon Blue (too stereotyped) and Spaghetti Scallopine Di Pollo (Nope, nothing to do with scallop but it is actually a breaded chicken chop with a huge serving of angel hair pasta in bolognese sauce. We picked a fish dish, a lamb dish and a pasta dish....
The Roast Scottish Lamb Leg Yorkshire (the dim warm yellow lighting is an enemy to digital compact cameras... and the slightly poor presentation of this dish made the lightings a good ally) looks like a familiar Chinese restaurant stew pork dish right? Hehehe... okok, lets not spoil the mood of dining like one of the upper strata of society. I try to mind my table manners by using just light strength to handle the lamb leg... Not very tender but thank goodness not much effort from the fork and knife were needed. The brown gravy was very hearty but nowhere near the brown sauce from the Lamb Stew I had in Oz Outback Roast Chicken (my previous review). The photo in Groupon was indeed for illustration purpose only. I do not find this dish very appealing, to be honest - quite sloppily done.
Alright, our next main course is Fettuccine Alfredo Con Scampi Mederitano which literally translated into marinated king prawns with fettuccine pasta served in creamy alfredo cheese sauce. Besides 2 pan-grilled huge and juicy prawns, there were also generous serving of boiled deshelled shrimps. Best for sharing, not because the portion is big, but the sauce is quite creamy if you were to wallop this whole plate on your own.
To our utter surprise, the third main course was not a fish dish but suitably classified under a pasta category. Although in the menu, the name given was Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Dill Hollandaise Sauce, the creamy pesto linguine seemed to be the "main tenant" of this plate. Perhaps its a Groupon set, so the Salmon was actually quite a small piece, in comparison with the GENEROUS serving of pasta. For RM60+ in the ala carte menu, perhaps you will get a bigger piece of salmon. Perhaps the second and third dish bear some resemblance, so we did not really enjoyed the main courses chosen.
For dessert, there is NO option at all. In the Groupon voucher, it was clearly stated CAKE OF THE DAY. At first I thought we can pick from the sliced cakes on display... but later on to be told it was only Fruit Crumble which is served. I requested takeway for 2 portions as we were quite full. The dessert missed in ending the meal on a relatively high note by delivering dry, overly sweet crispy crumbles.
In conclusion, the RM33 was worth paying for the food an a chance to embrace the classy and cosy dining setting since there are really limited "fine dining" choices in Ipoh, many of them abusing the term "FINE DINING". If you have yet to try Limestone, come here only if it's your girlfriend's birthday or anniversary, else... wait for a worthy Groupon deal. My humble opinion, that is.