eating > ipoh garden, millbrae

This Malaysian food has received the stamp of approval from 5 ex-Singapore expats. [mic drop]


I’m lucky enough that a few times a year I’m able to reconnect with the old friends I made during my 2 year stint in Singapore. What results in meeting up with them is always fun, often loud, and sometimes delicious. For this round us Bay Area peeps (your faithful narrator, Jek, and Jeanie) were joined by Therese (from NYC via Manila) and Pat (from Tokyo via Bangkok).

Going to a Southeast Asian restaurant is always tricky since we’re a tough crowd! Luckily Ipoh Garden delivered on our nostalgic craving.

Here’s what we ordered:

char kway teow (above, foreground): Legit! It’s sans cockles but those are a bit weird anyway.

chicken and beef satay (above, middle): I didn’t have this since I’m not a huge satay fan but given here were a few bites left it was probably just so-so.

fried calamari (above, background): Very yummy. Super crisp on the outside and tender on the inside with lots of salt and pepper.

nasi lemak (below): Such a pretty plate. Chicken curry was meh, everyone inhaled the peanuts, the wings met their demise, but the other veggie sides were barely nibbled.

roti canai (not pictured): Bomb. I wanted an extra order of this but refrained from going overboard.

Hainese chicken rice (not pictured): Pretty good, very gingery. Wish they had the thick soy sauce though. I can’t have my chicken rice without ALLLLL of the dipping sauces available.

kangkung belachan: SO GOOD. You can really taste the smoky flavor from the wok and the salty funk of the belachan. We were all raving about this one: “SO GOOD LAH!” “QUITE TASTY AH!” You know it’s real when we all start sounding like we’re back in Singapore again.


The service is typical for Asian restaurants – a bit rushed, requires some proactiveness on your part, but generally nice. Parking is horrific (aka street parking only) and the place was super busy on a Friday night at 7pm so make a reservation if you go.

Ipoh Garden: 100 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030


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