** This blog post was originally posted at ‘Sinfully Delicious Malaysia’ blog on March 28th, 2015

Last weekend, my friend and her family came to Ipoh and stayed at The Haven Ipoh. I think it’s been more than half a year or so since I last visited The Haven Resort. Quite a few things have changed, especially when it comes to security. It was very difficult for me to get past a few security guards that night that barely understood me. Nonetheless, I was quite happy to be invited for late dinner (as they arrived at 10 pm) with my friend’s family.

Another major change that I’ve noticed is the restaurant. If you’ve read my earlier breakfast review post, the restaurant used to be called ‘Kembali Kitchen‘.

READ: Night Sky Gourmet Halal Poon Choi Dinner @ The Haven Ipoh
READ: Breakfast @ The Haven Lakeside Residences Ipoh
RECOMMENDED READ: Christmas Buffet Food Tasting @ Cuisines, The Haven Ipoh

I didn’t find out till later that the restaurant’s name has been changed to ‘Cuisines‘ and the interior layout has changed from the last time I was there. Since it was late, and I didn’t notice the changes right away, unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the interior.

Another thing I’ve noticed, they’ve added a new menu as well for example Mediterranean & middle eastern cuisines, while still retaining the old menu that I remember.

The room at The Haven Ipoh is still as cozy as I’d remember. I didn’t stay there because I was sick. I’ve wanted to do a review of the hotel (or condotel as they call it) for a long time but never got around to do it. I’ll try to get my lazy ass up to do the review soon in my other blog. I’ll update this post with the link when I’ve done so.

But right now, let’s look at the newly rebranded restaurant, ‘CUISINES‘.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve reviewed the old restaurant when I had breakfast there about a year ago. Shortly after I had my first breakfast there, I revisited the place and had breakfast again, which didn’t live up to the expectation compared to my initial time, and also had lunch there. I got so busy that I’ve never done the lunch review.

Since I had the same thing for dinner that I had ordered for lunch last year, so I’m going to do a little bit of comparison here. I’m going to post a picture of the food that I had last year and how it has changed this year.

My friend’s family ordered mushroom soup, which was completely different than the one I had last year. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture. According to my friend’s father, the soup was too salty for him, so they replaced the soup with a new, less-saltier mushroom soup.

Haven Catch of the Day – RM32+

The first food that came to our table was Haven Catch of the Day (RM32+).
Pan-seared boneless fish fillet seasoned with jerk spice in tomato sauce served with potato and fresh vegetables. I heard the fish is a grouper. I’m not a huge fan of fish but surprisingly, the fish didn’t taste like fish at all. It actually tasted similar to chicken and we were quite surprised.

The sauce is like Neapolitan tomato-based sauce – spicy, slightly sour, and tangy which is really nice. It went well with the fish.

This was the grilled lamb dish that my friend had for lunch last year. As you can see, the lamb portion isn’t that huge. Only two pieces of grilled lamb, but served with really good mashed potato and a tiny amount of veggies. The veggies were well… disappointing. It only came with one broccoli, a couple of slices of I forgot what (maybe carrot?), one button mushroom, and one cauliflower. It didn’t come with any gravy surprisingly, so I felt the dish looked very dry.

I didn’t taste the dish so I couldn’t comment on the taste, except for the mashed potato, which was really, really good.

Grilled New Zealand Lamb Rack – RM48+

This is the Grilled New Zealand Lamb Rack (RM48+) that my friend had for dinner last week. Pan grilled lamb rack with herbs in paprika gravy served with slices of potato and fresh vegetables. Compared to the lunch she had last year, there’s a huge difference.

The portion is bigger now, as it came with 3 pieces of lamb instead of 2 small ones. The lambs were perfectly cooked and very delicious. The gravy was delicious as well, with a hint of spicy peppery taste. Just thinking and looking at the picture is making me drool. This is the kind of torture I have to endure while writing a review post – when reviewing a good dish and wishing you could have it right now.

Now for my dish.

This is what I had last year for lunch – steak. I’m a huge fan of steak. The dish was SO GOOD, and I couldn’t emphasize that enough. The steak was perfectly cooked to medium-well and the gravy had the spicy peppery taste which was an absolute delight.

Unlike my friend’s plate which came with mashed potato, mine came with potato wedges. I was very disappointed though. The mashed potato was extremely good, perfectly seasoned, and creamy but I only had wedges. The vegetables also came in tiny portions – just a piece of carrot, a piece of cauliflower, broccoli, and one button mushroom. I wished it had more, but the steak made up for the lack of & disappointing sides.

Grilled New Zealand Tenderloin Steak – RM48+

And for dinner last week, I had the steak again. I chose Grilled New Zealand Tenderloin Steak (RM48+) – 180gm of grilled beef tenderloin in black pepper gravy, a few slices of potato, and fresh vegetables. My food, along with others, took quite a while to arrive at our table.

For my meat, I chose to have them ‘medium rare‘, which is supposed to be tender, juicy, and pink in the middle. My plate came with medium-done to well-done steaks instead. I was quite disappointed because the meat seemed tough, not juicy like it’s supposed to be cooked to my liking. But the portion is good enough for one. Not too filling for my stomach though. I’m not sure if it was because I had a very empty stomach, having only eaten a small bowl of plain soup early that morning due to my sickness and nothing else during the day.

The potatoes – eh. They were very thinly sliced that they just kind of melted in my mouth. At least potato wedges were better previously. The vegetables were great, however. Some carrots, broccoli, capsicum, and baby corns were perfectly seasoned and added a nice touch to the overall flavor of the dish.

As for the gravy, I’m a huge fan of black pepper (or mushroom) sauce but that black pepper sauce was slightly too salty to my liking. I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more if it’s a bit less salty. It would’ve been a heavenly dish had it not been for the slightly salty gravy and tough, overcooked meat.

Watermelon Juice – RM12

As for the drink, I chose fresh watermelon juice (I think RM12). It was okay, refreshing & not overly sweet but when the ice melted, the drink became tasteless plain water in light red.

Since the meal was ala-carte, it didn’t come with anything else compared to my set lunch last year which came with a bowl of mushroom soup, the main dish – steak, and dessert – a slice of apple pie which tasted okay.

The waiter was nice enough to wait for us instead of shoo’ing us out as we had stayed way past their closing time (they closed at 10.30 pm but we stayed until 11-something). Most of the staff members there were nice and friendly, except for maybe a one or two.

Overall, it was still a great meal at the ‘Cuisines‘ restaurant and of course, the scenery is to die for if you happen to have a meal at the restaurant during the day. Since I was there late at night, there was no view. It would’ve been nicer to have a meal there when you could see the swimming pool overlooking the lake, surrounded by greens and the condo buildings. The Haven Ipoh is a really lovely, tranquil, peaceful place to de-stress yourself from all your problems. A getaway from the busy city where you can relax your mind.

I’m craving for the steaks again now 🙁

PREVIOUS VISIT: Breakfast @ The Haven Lakeside Residences Ipoh
READ: Christmas Buffet Food Tasting @ Cuisines, The Haven Ipoh
READ: Night Sky Gourmet Halal Poon Choi Dinner @ The Haven Ipoh

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