According to Always Travelicious, there are 81 cafes in Ipoh. Of course, I couldn’t visit all 81 on my short trip there, but I’ve spent hours reading on them, shortlisted those with favorable reviews from the public, and paid these cafes a visit.
Mr Fitness, one of my contributors, is an Ipoh native so he helped me scout out the cafes before we went. I gave him a list but ultimately he the Ipohian decided for me what was worth going and planned the journey.
In alphabetical order…
Ben and Lynette Maison Patisserie
42 Lorong Cheah Cheang Lim, Ipoh 30350, Perak
T: +60 5 2423777
Ben & Lynette cafe is in a black-and-white colonial house, which is flanked by two life-sized horse sculptures at the entrance. The cafe would look splendidly retro in the day but our itinerary only allowed us to be there at night. Their specially, cheesecake (RM13.90), is a rustic, crumbly version with a unique smelly cheese scent. But the other pistachio and blueberry cake (RM12.90) tastes something like a bad neighborhood bakery below hbd flat would churn out.
Price: RM25 for a cake and drink
Burps and Giggles
95 Jalan Sultan Yussuff, 31650 Ipoh, Perak
T: +60 5 2426188
Weekdays 10am-7pm, weekends 8.30am-8.30pm, closed Tue
Julie Song is a big name in Ipoh. She owns the first fine dining restaurant in Ipoh, Indulgence, and she is the consultant chef for Malaysian Airlines’ food. Dexter Song, her son, opens Burps and Giggles. Burps is actually a 3-in-1 cafe; it houses two other cafes, Missing Marbles and Buka Tiga Lima. All 3 cafes serve the same food.
Burps positions itself as an Australian-inspired cafe because Dexter studied there. But I don’t get the Australian vibe. It is still very lovely: destroyed peeling walls, eclectic lamp shades on walls, and rattan chairs.
The burgers are the specialty here but I didn’t feel like having burgers. So I went for Groovy (RM19), which is described as 16-hour slow cooked lamb with bread. From the description, I thought it’s a Western dish but in reality, it’s the Chinese braised lamb in sweet, teriyaki-like sauce. The Chinese lamb is blanketed by an omelette, like gift wrapping.
105, Jalan Canning Estate, Ipoh Garden, 31400 Ipoh
T: +60 5 5466648
Sun-Th 10am-7pm, F&Sat 10am-10pm
Espresso Lab is known for having one of the best coffee in Ipoh. It is acidic, thick, and has a burnt chocolatey finish.
Price: RM11 for coffee
The Happy 8 Cafe
46 Market Street, 30000 Ipoh
T: +60 5 2438388/ 2438188
Despite the initial misgiving that the prices at Happy 8 are high, the food turns out to be delicious. You can tell the fish from fish and chips (RM28) is sliced from fresh fish, and not frozen dory fillet. Thin batter, not oily.
But the main draw here is the jungle-themed decor. Everywhere is clattered with fauna and flora. It’s different but claustrophobic for me.
Price: RM46 per pax
Old Town White Coffee
2 Hala Datuk 5, M Boutique Hotel, 316500 Ipoh
T: +60 16 5266897
“I think you shouldn’t include Old Town. Readers will scold you. It’s a chain, it’s the same everywhere,” Mr Fitness warned.
I replied, “I write for my own memory and passion, not for others. Besides, Old Town originates from Ipoh. If you go to Seattle, you must visit the first Starbucks outlet. Same theory here.”
Furthermore, Old Town at M Boutique Hotel is very different from other outlets. M Boutique Hotel is known for its eclectic and classy decor, and so this particular outlet looks upscale, like a first rate restaurant. Excellent service too.
This is the first time ever I’m in an Old Town. The white coffee (RM4.50) is the most fragrant among all cafes, and is my favorite cup. It starts off with a caramel sweetness with a long, burnt chocolatey finish.
Mr Fitness highly recommends the nasi lemak (RM16), claiming all items on the plate are delicious. He’s right. What I like about the food is that what needs to be hot is hot but the cucumber and tomato are cool, so there is a titillating contrast in tastes, textures, AND temperatures.
Price: RM25 per pax
103 Jalan Sultan Yusoff, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
T: +60 5 2411385
11am-6pm, closed W
When I asked the server what the specialty is, she said white forest cake (RM12), so I ordered that. It was OK, not terrible but not exciting.
Later, I found out the specialty here is the pancake souffle (above). It looks gorgeous and I wonder if it tastes as good. Oh well, I think it’s a miscommunication between the server and me.
I think having an Eiffel tower on the mural is kinda cheesy?
Petit Mary Patisserie
83 Jalan Langsat, Taman Teh Teng Seng, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
T: +60 5 5471328
A fairy tale setting with pastel blue as a dominant color and a cartoon drawing of a girl as a motif. The moment you step in, a visual orgasm of pastries and breads greets you. There are so many things to eat here and they serve hot mains too.
The belgium chocolate bear (RM12) is as gorgeous as it is tasty: smooth, rich, with a crunchy praline. Although the matcha doesn’t come on strongly in matcha azuki (RM12), the chocolate pairs well with the matcha.
The only fault is this is the only cafe that doesn’t provide Wi-Fi. But if you only have time to visit one cafe, this is it.
Price: A drink and a cake, RM20 (didn’t try the mains here)
75 Jalan Panglima, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
T: +60 5 2498286
S-Th 9am-10pm, F&Sat 9am-midnight
The music here is topnotch, a beach-like feel, which goes well with the classy, chic, clean decor. Although Plan B is a chain from KL, it is still worth visiting. The surroundings are a tourist attraction, the service is excellent, and food delicious. My burger (RM$33) is juicy, earthly, spicy with mustard, with a crunchy deep fried onion rings.
Price: About RM$44 per pax
The Roquette Cafe
101 Jalan Sultan Yussuf, 30000 Ipoh
T: +60 5 2412616
10am-6pm, closed Mon
This is something only a local such as Mr Fitness would know. He informed me that the Roquette Cafe (pronounced as “rocket”) uses a rocket sign because it is the sign for the opposition party. True enough, when we stepped into the bright cafe, the walls are donned with photos of Ipoh’s minister, who is from the opposition. Marrying politics and cafe… A worthy but dangerous game although the cause is just.
And the cafe isn’t just riding on anti-UMNO sentiments; it’s a sincere and classy cafe. The lime cheese cake (RM13) is delicate and complex.
Price: Cake and drink, RM20 per pax.
STG Boutique Cafe
18-20 Jalan Tun Sambanthan 30000 Ipoh
T: +60 5 2433116
STG stands for “Sabah Tea Garden.” Although there are a few couches lying around, and although they have an attractive high tea set, this seems to be a restaurant to me, with proper and delicious food. The venetian duck angel hair pasta (RM25) tastes like the refined version of Singapore’s Yu Kee duck noodles, which is nothing to be ashamed of. It is sambal spicy, and tasty.
Price: RM32 per pax
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.