It’s been about seven years since I dined at Ipoh Town on York. Since my last meal, the restaurant has shuffled a few doors down the street and converted from a subterranean white-walled basement to a very similar street-level affair with outdoor tables under shaded arches.
The new interior has kept the same cafeteria-feel with an almost brutally fast service system designed around serving many people quickly. While it’s clearly geared at CBD lunch hours where people require a fast feed, it’s actually an all-day affair, open from 10am to 8pm, making it good for those days when something urgent keeps you at your desk beyond the designated cafe/restaurant lunch hour.
On my first visit I hit up the prawn Kway Teow Siram ($14) that takes flat rice noodles and tosses them in a smoking wok with soy sauce, bean sprouts, shallots and egg to make them a bit silky.
Sprinkled with crisp fried onions and presented in a mini wok balanced in a woven basket, I found this dish a bit bland, and found it needed two (plastic) containers of their fruity chilli to give it enough kick to make me want to continue my way through the decently-sized lunch serve.
Made from giant tins of Milo, tea, coffee and condensed milk, the house-made range of drinks here are all served in clear plastic, whether you choose to eat-in or leave. Teh-O-Limau ($3.50), a lemon tea made using black tea is good, with the citrus saving it from being too sweet. On a repeat visit, hoping for salvation in their signature Laksa ($14) I opted to drink their refreshing lemon-lime Limau ($3.50), which I enjoyed despite the unsustainable packaging.
The chicken laksa on the other hand arrived looking quite split with a sea of red oil floating on the creamy coconut milk below. Topped with a reasonable amount of plain chicken breast, two pieces of fried tofu, bean sprouts and a pinch of crisp fried onions, it has very little vegetable, no green herbs, and lacks any middle from the shrimp paste until I throw in a couple of containers of sambal. The bulk of the bowl space is taken up with fine rice noodles, topped with a tiny twist of thicker egg noodles.
There are plenty of better laksas available in Sydney.
NOTE: You can see a previous review for Ipoh Town on York back HERE.
Ipoh Town on York
83 York Street, Sydney
Ph: none supplied