A few months ago (see: last year) we bought a discount voucher for Ibunda, advertised as a Malay fine dining buffet. We sat on it for a few months thinking there was no rush to use it, and like typical Malaysians we ended up using it only on the last week of the deal. Thank goodness it didn't go to waste!
Ibunda is located along Jalan Bukit Bintang, just off Jalan Tun Razak and round the corner from Prince Court Medical Centre. It's one of the few remaining bungalow house-converted-to-restaurant with a huge front lawn, and that makes it very attractive from the outside while also distancing itself enough from the main road and all its noise.
The inside looks modern enough and not too traditional. Calling it "fine dining" might be stretching it a bit though; I'm sure the fine dining purists will thumb their noses at Ibunda. I thought the settings were nice and comfortable, but service was a bit slow at times even though business wasn't roaring. That might have been because of the food...
What follows is just going to be a series of pictures of the dishes available. There'll be some descriptions for those we thought worth mentioning.
A variety of starters save for the picture in the bottom right corner, which is some pumpkin dessert. Mainly cold dishes, so we didn't give all of them a try. Names are on the leaves =)
This was the Ikan Tenggiri Gulai Kampung. Nothing out of the ordinary.
The rarely replenished Betis Kambing Bakar - infused with a lovely citrusy undertone, but probably too overcooked.
One of the clear winners of the night, the Ayam Goreng Peha Kicap; fried with spices and very fragrant, evidently well marinated. These were definitely one of our favourites for the night - I think I ate 4 drumsticks alone! Was quite amazed at how many drumsticks they could bring out though. It felt like chickens were only wanted for their legs and I kept imagining leg-less chickens running around..=S
A slight fail here because we didn't get the name of this beef dish. Ironically this also happens to be our favourite dish of the night! We loved it because the beef was surprisingly extremely tender, and though it looks quite spicy, it was actually not hot at all. Presentation was an issue of course, because the whole bowl of meat looked like it had been out there since the morning. But after digging into it there was no going back!
Here we just had to show how tender the meat was! Perfectly pinky on the inside..what more could you ask for? =)
A snap of the remaining dishes. Top right is some mixed vegetables, or Sayur Campuran. That was really just bland in our opinion. Top left was Sotong Sambal Petai. Despite the name, there was no hint of petai taste. It was spicy though! I took a piece of squid to try and lit my mouth on fire, so that was the end of that. And in front are 2 pieces of stuffed tofu. Also quite bland.
Besides the food available inside, there were also a couple of things to pick from outside.
There was Grilled Fish wrapped in pandan leaf. This was okay, but again, nothing special. Each piece was very small, like 2 mouthfuls, but even for a big eater like me one piece was enough just to taste it. Wasn't worth going back for any more.
Laksa was also available, but we didn't give it a go. The bowls of ingredients were left sitting outside without any cover, so that put us off a bit.
One saving grace is there was Ice Kacang! There was icecream inside too with about 4 flavours to pick from (I remember durian and sweetcorn). The ice-cream on top is extra customization we did ourselves. Outside the waiter just shaves you the ice and makes you a typical bowl of ice kacang. Can't really go wrong with that to me. =)
There is a BIG bowl of Sirap Bandung! When we arrived at about 7pm the bowl was about full! I must have drank a quarter of it. Although it doesn't look very appealing, it was actually totally awesome! Ibunda gives quite big glasses for water and smaller ones for sirap, but I was innovative and used my to water glass to fill with bandung again and again. I definitely got my money's worth of bandung! I did think it was very unhygienic leaving it out in the open air like that though. But what the heck, it tasted great. One of the night's saving graces.
The only word I could use to describe the dessert? Disappointing.
So although we wanted very much to like Ibunda, we just couldn't find enough reasons to justify another trip back, let alone at normal price. Perhaps during this month of Ramadan there will be special buka puasa food being served. I sure hope so, because it would be sad to see Ibunda having to carry on the way it is doing now!
Ibunda Malay Fine Dining | Site
No. 251, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel : +603 2148 8488
Dining Reservation / Enquiry Email : firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat; 11:30am-2:30pm, 6:30pm-10:30pm. Closed on Sun & PH (except Group Bookings)