photo of Char Kuey Teow
UPDATE August 15, 2010: iPOH unfortunately has closed, and has not reopened. There are no Malaysian style restaurants in Nashville, that I know of at this time.
I have been hooked on a Malaysian Food Blog called Masak-Masak
, and one specific entry about Char Kuey Teow
. Char Kuey Teow is made from rice noodles and lots of other ingredients stir fried very hot, to the smoke point, in a wok, and then piled on a plate to enjoy. Up until now, there has not been a Malaysian restaurant in Nashville, and the next closest town is Atlanta, GA with a Malaysian restaurant. All I could do was look at Masak-Masak, and dream about Char Kuey Teow, until now. There is a Chinese Malaysian man in Nashville who owns Chinabell
in Madison (a Chinese restaurant), and now iPoh
(a Malaysian restaurant). When I first saw a flier for the FIRST Malaysian restaurant in ALL OF Tennessee, I high tailed it down Nolensville Rd to try some for myself.
The restaurant is in the back end of an old style Walmart shopping center. For those who knew where the old Savarino's Italian Bakery was, iPoh is right next door. The restaurant is beautifully decorated in airy, crisp and Asian-esque design. I would like to eat in there one day. I did some take-out of iPoh's version of Char Kuey Teow, and Chow Fun. It was ok, but missing that special Malaysian stall food something. It is the best I can get for over 200 miles around.
photo of chow fun with beef in brown gravy
I had a funny conversation with the iPoh greeter about the iPoh's food and East Asian food in Nashville in general. I was showing her a list of Chinese and Malaysian food that I would love to find in Nashville. She looked at my list, said she was Chinese, commented that she thought each item was good, seemingly complimented me on my choices, and even said she missed the taste of some. She then went on to say that I should know by now that it is impossible to get anything on my list in Nashville, and I would have to go to New York for those dishes. Every East Asian owned restaurant in Nashville, I ask for the same thing, at least one dish made the way that real East Asian food should be made. I get the same answer that it doesn't exist and I need to go to New York. These restaurant owners know exactly what I am talking about, and in fact, most grew up with excellent East Asian food, yet they do not offer real Asian food on their menus. Why is it that there is such a resignation to bad Americanized Asian food here, when there are obviously people (including restaurant owners), who know what the good stuff is, and who want the good stuff?