Monday, July 8, 2013

Lim Kopi, Hugh Low Street, Ipoh Old Town

In the recent years, the "kopitiam" setting has taken the food and beverage industry by storm and a similar contagious effect can be seen through the Char Chan Teng concept too. the "kopitiam" setting provides a cosier environment and probably service which is less hostile compared to uncle and aunty hawkers who will yell at you if you make a small request to your order. It has got its foothold in urban area and the target market from every level of society is willing to pay a bit more to enjoy local cuisine in cleaner and proper environment. Younger ones might consider these places as dating spots as Starbucks might burn a hole in your pocket while mamak stall is not proper if you take a girl out on a date right?

Heeding this call, Mr Lim kick start this business with the help a few relatives and workers and it seems to stand tall among the giants. LIM KOPI is located along a strategic end of Hugh Low Street, one need to ensure the food is top notch as long standing big names like Nam Chau (curry noodles), Nam Heong (white coffee) and the perenial kopitiam chain nearby (can't mention name here although its just for informative purposes, due to Company's Social Media Policy. Bah!) Opened in the second half of 2011, it has been almost 2 years and I finally stopped for a visit.

I was initially planning to make a trip to Burps and Giggles (reluctantly as my friend wished to experience the ambiance... and for me, I don't mind being a sucker to pay RM18 for a burger, at least for once). Due to some unforeseen last minute cancellation by another friend, we are down to 2 person and we decided to try LIM KOPI instead...

It turns out that they have many daily specials, a good marketing strategy to get customers returning for more. The Sunday special is the Nasi Lemak (RM7.50 with chicken) but I skipped that as I just had a small packet of nasi lemak after church before heading here. I wanted to try the yam cake instead but it was sold out although its just 11am! Prior to the meal here, I read another blogger's review that to ensure freshness, all food are cooked in limited amount, so do ensure that you come here for breakfast or brunch instead of LUNCH although official business hours is until 3pm daily.

Besides rice, I do not feel like taking a bowl of noodles either so I settled for lighter bites. This is the Wholemeal Savoury Mantou (RM2.10) served with a small bowl of curry for dipping. It is not cotton soft like the pau skin, but it give slight tensile mouth feel. A healthier option perhaps from the frozen ones?

The egg tart (RM2, available on weekends only) is a bit of a disappointment. The pastry is not those flaky ones you normally have but the ones here share the same type as those cheese tart pastry. I still stay put with the flaky ones compared to the crumbly tart skin. The custard is smooth but lack the "eggy" fragrance. They do have cheese tarts at RM0.80 for mini ones and RM2.50 for the big ones, which should be the size of the egg tart. Do ask for their daily availability of hand made paus.

This is a single serving of Kaya and Butter Hainan toast (RM1.30 for this single portion shown above). The bread is good but the kaya and butter was a bit below the mark. The butter gave an artificial taste in the mouth and did not work out any chemistry with the coconut egg jam. But considering the price, perhaps they have to avoid premium butter like SCS. Well, they have an option to "upgrade" the butter to Australian butter at a small fee.

For drinks, we had the Momo Chacha (RM2.50) and the Mak Zuk (Wheat Barley Dessert) which is priced at RM2. They also serve various dessert like red bean, barley ginkgo, white fungus with longan, sweet potato but on specific days. Again as mentioned, a good marketing strategy even for the specialty "tong shui". Not the best I've tasted but it's above average.

Special 5 Noodles (RM7.50) - Chicken Feet, Prawn, Shredded Chicken Meat, Pork Skin and BBQ Pork (Char Siew). You can have the dry version or the soup version with a combination of different type of noodles but in my opinion, BeeHoon-Mee is the best combination for curry. The curry soup is a bit watery compared to versions in Nam Chau or Dung Gu Teng. It is not very spicy as expected but that does not mean it lacked taste. The fragrance is there although some might prefer "more potent" version. Perhaps I will make a second visit to try their dry curry version.

The Hot White Coffee (RM2.30) here comes with half a stick of yao tiao, iced one at RM2.50 but without the fried crullers. Creamy and frothy, this famous Ipoh beverage left a strong aftertaste and full body aroma. It was very "gao" indeed till the last drop and I feel this certainly give the other famous coffee shops nearby a run for their money

Egg Custard (RM3) which I think paled in comparison from the famous coffee shops in Ipoh Old Town area, notably the famous version in Thean Chun. Yes, the egg is near velvet smooth level but what was lacking is the CARAMEL SYRUP! The missing burnt sugar aroma from the sugar caramel deducted a lot of marks from my personal score card.

A snapshot of a "semi-alfresco" for those who prefer natural lighting a natural breeze.

Another insight photo of the interior. During my visit here few weekends ago, there was an art gallery exhibition taking place upstairs. Do check it out  if the gallery is making a permanent spot upstairs.

What are you waiting for? Make a visit here any weekend and experience a steaming cuppa in a traditional yet cosy environment. They are closed on Monday though, be informed! Till then, cheers to gastronomic journey in Ipoh :)

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