SeeFoon Goes To H(e)aven
Monday 16 Jan 2017 12:01 AM
Well it feels a bit like going to heaven (not that I have ever been and chances are, I may not make it!) what with the guard at the gate acting like St Peter (who, in the Christian tradition, guards the pearly gates to Heaven) but the fact is that you cannot get into The Haven unless you’re a resident, a guest in their Suites or a friend who is resident or one of the staff has invited you. So tight is their security that eating at their Cuisines Poolside Restaurant can be a tad challenging.
But it’ll be all worth the effort especially in the evening when you can sit under the stars by the poolside; gaze at the majestic 280 million-year-old rock, from the Palaeozoic period, before the time of the dinosaurs, soaring 14 storeys high and rising mysteriously from the depths of the natural lake surrounded by pristine virgin jungle; sip your glass of red or white (outside on the terrace only as inside is strictly Halal) and enjoy your meal one dish at a time.
Such is the ambiance of the Haven that it might even be worth spending a night or two to enjoy all the facilities that this resort has to offer. Make it an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life (which is actually not so far away as Ipoh town is but a 10- minute drive).
The Haven has managed to create a cocoon of serenity far from the madding crowd and Chairman Peter Chan has worked incessantly hard at bringing the menu at Cuisines Restaurant to a level of quality worthy of praise.
There is only one word to describe the menu at Cuisines: and that is eclectic, which the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as: selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods or styles.
The Cuisines menu is eclectic in that it has selected items to suit every taste, palate and fancy, from Western to Chinese to Indian and local. And the Chefs (each ethnic cuisine having its own chef) have worked very hard to achieve standards comparable to some of the better versions outside, in some cases even topping those considered top of the heap.
A case in point is their Hainanese Chicken Rice which on their menu is called the Haven Chicken Rice. The chicken used here is no ordinary chicken but a ‘woo so’ chicken which is known for having firm tastier meat served with plump crunchy bean sprouts and a delectable double boiled chicken soup which was umami and fragrant. I normally never touch the soup when I eat chicken rice for fear of the usual MSG reaction to which I’m highly prone, but in this case because Cuisines Restaurant has a strict no MSG policy I could finish all of the soup with carefree impunity. And because chicken rice for me is mainly about the chilli sauce and the ginger sauce, the serving with both sauces done the way I’m partial to was h(e)avenly – RM24.
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