Ivins @ Binjai

Was taken there by sis Daffy n BIL last week. Quite a disaster at first as mum threw a tantrum over the noise level and almost bit off Siti’s head for trying to comfort her.

Ivins has seen better days, despite a recent renovation. Seemed to have lowered the ceiling and, which coupled with bare floors and mostly in-the-neighbourhood type of customers (who tend to speak in the same decibels they wld use in the comfort of their own home),  was guaranteed turn the whole place into an echo-chamber. Not the most conducive atmosphere to enjoy food.

And the fact was, the best thing abt Ivin’s food is the relatively low prices for almost everything. Tho this could be an illusion, since the quality of the meat, veggies, fish etc was more food court and hawker stall than restaurant.

BIL ordered up a storm: fish otak for everyone, chicken rendang, chicken buah kualak, chap chye, pomfret with chilli and sweet potato leaves and sweet potato in coconut gravy.

The pomfret was most expensive at $6.80, altho the fish was really no more than the size of an average human palm. The fish otak was the least expensive but at $1.60 per piece, that item was clearly the most ex, even tho it didn’t appear so. Two or three bites and the otak would be gone.

We had 6 dessert portions (chendol, tau suan, gula melaka and bo-bo cha-cha) at $1.20 a pop (actually less than 1/2 the size of what they serve in food courts and which cost anything from $1.50 to $2.50 a bowl.

The main courses were teeny too. Taste-wise: everything was abt food court standard. One plus point is that each dish came piping hot — so hot that if one touched the casserole clay dishes the food is served in, one is likely to get a scorched finger or two. The other plus is that food is brought to the table, with a paper napkin or two thrown in.

That lunch reminded me strongly why it has been at least a couple of years since I went to Ivins, tho it’s isn’t far from where I live. There’s no incenitve to dine there, really.

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2 thoughts on “Ivins @ Binjai

  1. I love peranakan food and I love otak otak. Can get such cheap food in Singapore? Always felt everything was so expensive there…even before conversion.

  2. Yes, you can get fairly “cheap” food in S’pore. But the trick is in the portion (Ivin’s portions are small) and the quality of the meat, vegetables etc. Otak-otak can be as cheap as 60 cts in some hawker centres or as expensive as $10 (or even more), but while the name’s the same, it is never like for like…

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