Saturday, April 29, 2017

Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, De Garden, Ipoh

After hesitating for almost half a year, I decided to give a try to their first outlet outside Klang Valley. The outlet in Three Little Pigs and a Big Bad Wolf is currently their 4th outlet under the iconic brand name which has other outlets in Bangsar Village, Tropicanna Mall and Pavillion (under a different branding - Pigs and Wolf). The lot in De Garden is strategically facing Kinta City and you would be blind to miss it, especially with few new bill board posters which will get your taste buds salivating when you are waiting at the traffic lights. Zoom in closer and you will notice that the word "Pig" has been replaced with the letter "P", no thanks to our over-sensitive local authorities and regulators which sometimes trespass and act as censorship board. The outlet here only opens till 10pm (weird right, especially when you serve good food to go along with beer, damn potong stim weh) and closes on Monday

Their maiden branch out of Klang Valley does not field the full menu. Initially planning to try the Mac and Cheese Burger, I am further left with have limited options after knowing they do not have "pulled pork", thus all items having pull pork are also not available. So, this is my second try on the Piggy Aglio Olio angel hair (RM29) after trying this dish in their first branch in Bangsar. Served with strips of ham, bacon bits, roast pork belly (siu yoke) and a pork meatball, this is the next best option if could not withstand the runny egg yolk and cream from the Cabonara. Lightly tosses in garlic infused olive oil, they do not really hold back with the chilli flakes. Not that it is tongue-numbing, but it does not look as innocent as it is. Portion of meat is quite generous, and the same problem with the pork belly - the skin is no longer crackling.

Since pulled pork is not available, I decided to try out their Big Bad Ribs since pork chops is a bit too mainstream. By looking at the price tag of RM85, I expected the portion of the pork ribs to be huge but it could be barely enough to be shared by 2 people. And for a person with a carnivorous appetite, he could probably finish this all by himself. There is 6 pieces of rib bones for you to imagine the portion. They have a smaller portion at RM49 (2 pieces of bones only, goodness!)

Taste-wise, the meat was a fry-cry from what it claims to be one of its forte dishes. To do justice, the meat was indeed tender with almost fall off the bone meat evidence of slow-cooking it for a long period. But on the contrary, the taste fail to deliver the “oomph” factor from the few pork ribs/pork knuckle dishes I tried. Perhaps the BBQ sauce was just spread over the ribs and it was just mildly reheated prior to serving. Unlike some other versions which I prefer, after coating it with the basting/marinade/sauce, it will be then grilled to have the coating caramelized with some charred bit. The portion of onion rings, criss cut fries and salad does not speak for the dish to be convincingly enough for sharing. For RM89, I could've nearly ordered almost the 3 different pork ribs and pork belly dishes in Doma already which I enjoyed the taste more. Else, I can't wait for Morganfield's to open this week whereby their half ribs portion is RM50+ only

I regret ordering the Classic Eggs Benedict (RM25) as there were no elements of surprise in ingredients used and also presentation. I was expecting some sourdough bread or muffin rather than genetic toast from baguette slices. The poached egg was done to the right degree but no longer hot when I took the bite. Hollandaise sauce was lacklustre and the whole dish could be easily replicated by a novice cook at home. Wanted to order some unique burger but as mentioned earlier, they do not have the full menu as the KL outlets.

The only thing reasonably priced here are the beers which has a Buy 1 Free 1 promotion. Example, the Somersby is selling at RM23+ (which makes it RM12+ per bottle after buy 1 free 1) and the Corona was averaged to be RM14 per bottle. Which is quite a steal if you ask my opinion. Illy espresso based beverages and some canned soft drinks are also subjected to the Buy 1 Free 1 tag. Kudos to this place for serving complimentary plain drinking water which many places should emulate, especially if you are already slapping the 10% Service Charge multiplier on us. 

After a horrifying RM180+ bill, I was unamused when they launched the daily weekday set lunch the following week! If they would've launched this earlier, it would be a much cheaper proxy to bring my family to try this place. Since its quite inconvenient to do so as the promotion is only available on weekdays, I will just have to squeeze a longer lunch break to dine with a friend nearby

Perhaps it was a Friday, coupled with the fact it was the eve towards a long weekend, surprisingly the place was more than 3/4 full when I arrived at 1pm. Orders and serving were fast though with reasonable waiting time but kudos again to the team for providing drinking water regardless the diners are ordering from the ala carte or the set menu. Without long, the drinks and soup arrived. You are only given the option of having your beverage hot or cold as green tea is the only drink offered. For the soup of the day, I got Cream of Potato. We spotted some pinkish bits within and that would probably be bacon bits? Portion is just right to warm the stomach (and minimize the agony of waiting) as the soup was indeed thick. Nothing really special but it was indeed good to take a break from generic cream of mushroom right?

Having need to order the Aglio Olio as my parents do not fancy creamy and cheese cooking, I am with liberty to pick the Bacon Cabonara this time around. This is a toned down version of their signature The Wolf's Favourite (both in portions and ingredients) with missing poached egg and also a long piece of crispy streaky bacon. The portion of angel hair would not be enough for most guys... and some girls as well. But considering the price tag, the portion is well justifiable with reasonable amount of meat and mushrooms. Tastewise, it is super creamy and a bit too heavy for my liking.

Pork Meat Balls with Potatoes seems not bad upon arriving. This works out to be an appetizer to me rather than a main course but it seems enough for my friend. If I return, I would probably try this myself with the condition I have a proper breakfast before that. The meal ended with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Though I would still prefer Berlin's set for value for money (RM16.90++ which comes to almost RM20 and without a scoop of ice cream) - Berlin Bier Haus offer more choices and bigger portion when it comes to meat. Nevertheless if you want a cheaper ticket to try out this place, you can order one set lunch each then top up a main course from their ala carte menu. Till then, yours truly is counting down the hours to try out Morganfield's later :)

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