by See Foon Chan-Koppen
Escape the ordinary and embark on a culinary journey at 22 Grill in Greentown, where Tan Tai Hoong, an Ipoh virtuoso returning from China, has transformed barbecue dining into a scent-free symphony of style and flavour.
Bid farewell to the ubiquitous post-barbecue odours that cling to clothes and hair, for 22 Grill is a haven crafted by an Ipoh boy with a 30-year culinary odyssey working in 5-Star hotels and running restaurants in China. Tai Hoong’s vision brings you Chinese Barbecue without the unwelcome “aromatherapy.”
Picture this: tables adorned with built-in grill plates, the smoke and aromas sucked down under the table into a sophisticated exhaust system. Gone is the unsightly smoke and lingering smells. In this refined atmosphere, enjoy the quiet hum of conversation, uninterrupted by the usual culinary aftermath.
And oh, the food!
Tai Hoong’s dedication to quality radiates through his meticulously sourced ingredients, ensuring even those on a budget revel in top-notch meat cuts. This culinary prowess is presented with panache in an ambiance of understated elegance.
Prompt and efficient service, overseen by Tai Hoong and his wife, adds to the seamless dining experience. A reasonably priced wine list complements the food, an embodiment of the restaurant’s refreshing perspective: wines are for diners’ convenience, not profit.
Now, the menu—an opulent array that tantalizes even before you place your order. Begin with complimentary Amuse Bouche, a trio that evolves with Tai Hoong’s culinary experiments. My favourite : marinated cherry tomatoes burst with sweet, tart, and umami flavours, setting the stage for what’s to come.
Redefine your Salad Expectations
Salads like the Oriental, a Szechuan piquant dressing masterpiece, and the Qianlong, a fiery Wasabi-laden crunch tempered with mellow sesame paste, redefine your salad expectations. RM22 each. The Passion Fruit Chicken salad, a dance of spices and fresh passion fruit, promises a refreshing and zingy delight.RM26
The Main Event
For the main event, choose to grill at the table or let expert waiters take the reins at the back. Dive into the world of dips, with the Dry Dip stealing the spotlight—an irresistible melt-in-mouth powder enhancing flavour across meats, fish, and vegetables.
And now, the pièce de résistance: the Japanese Miyazaka A5 Sirloin, fragrant and melt-in-mouth tender at an almost unbelievably reasonable price of RM158 per piece. This is beef you can cut with a fork, so well marbled is the steak. But the feast doesn’t stop there. The corn-fed award-winning Angus, the Australian Wagyu MB8/9, and the thinly sliced Wagyu Karubi which is boneless short rib, quickly seared and eaten while hot, soon becomes addictive.
Iberico pork also steals the show, with the thinly sliced Pork Collar (RM52)and the succulent Pork Belly (RM42) showcasing Tai Hoong’s culinary finesse. Marinated local Pork Belly (RM32) is also available. For the adventurous, Ox Tongue (RM45) and braised Beef Tripe (28) in spicy sauce beckon with bold flavours.
The Fish department is a bounty of delights, from fresh Abalone to plaice, halibut, scallop, Tiger Prawns, Salmon, and more—all a’la carte or at an enticing RM125 for a combination platter.
In the midst of all this meat and fish abundance we can nibble on a mushroom, piece of Pumpkin or Bell Pepper from the Mixed Vegetable Platter at RM25
For those still hankering for something more substantial to round off their meal, there is a selection of other dishes on offer. For me the Wagyu Fried rice RM28 is the go-to starch of choice. Chunks of Wagyu beef and rice are fried with Wagyu beef tallow, and served surrounded by crispy fried garlic slices. This is one fried rice I will go back to 22 Grill repeatedly for, even if it is just to eat this dish. Dan Dan Mian, a favourite Szechuah noodle soup dish is another option to round off the savoury part of the meal. This noodle is not as spicy as some may fear, and is another dish on my favourites list. RM18
Dessert, a recent addition, brings forth the Woh Peng, a Chinese pancake stuffed with lotus paste, reigning supreme at RM22. Other desserts are being added to the menu as I write this, for that sweet closure to a delectable meal.
In the realm of barbecue brilliance, 22 Grill stands as a shining star, inviting you to a dining experience where style, flavour, and innovation converge. The temptation is real—make your reservation today and let your taste buds revel in the extraordinary at 22 Grill.
22 Grill is still quite new so go soon before inflation and the rising cost of food jack up the menu prices.
Address: 22, Persiaran Greentown 6, Pusat Perdagangan Greentown, 30450 Ipoh, Perak
Hours: 12 pm to 10 pm (Closed on Mondays)