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Motormouth From Ipoh

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cafe Takahashi @ Jusco Kinta City, Ipoh

A new Japanese-style cafe (kissaten), named Cafe Takahashi has recently opened its door for business in Jusco Kinta City, here in Ipoh. So if you're one of the many whom had grown weary and sick of all the fast food outlets, sushi on kaiten belts, over-priced delicatessen, etc etc, then you may now jump for joy, at the welcoming sight of the sparkly new cafe located next to K-Box Karaoke on the same floor as the food court, on the level below TGV Cinema.

Trust me, it takes considerable effort for one to get lost in Jusco of Ipoh. Two floors, nothing more, nothing less.

Bright, cheery ambience with a subtle nuance of Japanese influences

Occupying the lot previously belonging to Moritomo Japanese Restaurant (which has since ventured out on their own, patterning itself to be a full-fledged Japanese restaurant by the name of Kizuna), Cafe Takahashi opened few days ago, and the lunch crowd on a Friday was an encouraging sign of Ipohans willing to try something (anything) new, for a change.

The interior of the cafe reminded one of Pasta de Gohan, or even Kissaten @ Jaya One.

The menu at Cafe Takahashi may take some time to browse through, and decipher accordingly. Given the fusion theme of their menu (pasta, pizza, burger and curry rice - Japanese style, anyone?), one may be forgiven if one's initial impression of the cafe was shattered, thinking that Cafe Takahashi serves sushi, sashimi, bento and the likes.

Covering various 'funky' items on the menu, such as unagi burger, banana & egg pizza, as well as baked rice with cheese and Japanese curry, Cafe Takahashi in fact, follows the trend of hip cafes in Japan, serving various light snacks such as sandwiches and pizza, and several mains NOT commonly found in Japanese restaurants, or sushi joints. (One fine example of a local Japanese cafe is the Haikara Style Cafe @ E-Tiara Apartments, Subang Jaya - here's masak-masak's review of the place, and here's epicurious girl's take)

The cafe occupies two lots, with ample seating area - Perfect for a meal, or even some light snacks at any time of the day

Since Friday lunch hours are longer (way longer) than the other days, we made our way to Jusco for lunch, and a leisurely session of get-together with colleagues from the other institution. And since Cafe Takahashi is having an opening promotion of 10% discount to all diners (ONLY K-Box Karaoke members get 10% discount on normal days, if you're wondering), we thought, hey! Why not?

Takahashi Chicken Chop with Wasabi Sauce @ RM12.90

KYT's chicken chop was served with the slightly spicy, and piquant black pepper sauce with streaks of wasabi mayonaise, and the end result was a pleasant robust combination of flavours, paired off perfectly with the grilled chicken thigh. The accompanying sides of potato wedges and fresh salad completed the ensemble.

Salmon Curry Baked Rice @ RM17.90

KCA opted for something more decadent, in the forms of baked rice with cheese, and salmon with Japanese curry. An odd combination, but had her singing praises nonetheless. A little heavy, and may be too rich for lunch, or if you're a light eater, hence order this if you're feeling famished. If not, then it's a good idea for this to be shared.

Chicken Katsu Curry Rice @ RM12.90

For those wondering, what's the difference between Japanese curry, and your usual dose of spicy, addictive Indian's/Mamak's version? Or the fiery Thai curries? The answer lies in the spices (or lack thereof) and the ingredients that made their way into the stock of the Japanese version; resulting in a generally sweeter, thicker gravy not unlike stews. And usually incorporates onions, potatoes and carrots into the mix.


Chicken Cutlet and Egg Spaghetti @ RM14.90

The spaghetti was drenched in the almost too sinful poached egg, with runny yolk dripping onto the noodles and crispy chicken cutlet. Not too bad, for the appearance may be deceiving one into thinking that the noodle + fried chicken cutlet seemed dry and unappetizing, but the runny eggs, and the sauce made up for the lack of colours, and flavours.

Wafu Hamburg Steak @ RM17.90

At a fraction of what the common Japanese restaurants charge for the beef hamburg steak, at Cafe Takahashi, their patty came sizzling hot, with wafu sauce, grated daikon (radish), grilled potatoes and greens. The patty was tender, and juicy, albeit the lack of sauce. The pan-grilled carrots and broccoli was slightly burnt though.

Takahashi Pizza - Banana and Tamago Pizza with Cream @ RM16.90

They offer about 8-10 types of pizzas, from the usual teriyaki chicken, to scallops & prawns, as well as beef pizza to the recommended Takahashi Pizza. An interesting mix of the sweet and the savoury, the cheesy pizza was topped with banana slices, and egg omelette. The thin crust was a little hard when cold, therefore highly recommended to savour the slices of pizza as soon as it's served on your table.

Cafe Takahashi's front facade. Seeking some R&R after a bout of manic shopping?

Service was good, the staff were attentive, accomodating and friendly all the time. Constantly refilling our green tea on own's initiative, without being intrusive. But the foods were served at a rather slow pace, and once the place was filled up with the lunch crowd, things got slightly out of hand, with our pizza arriving at the end of our meal. Probably minor teething problems with new outlets, and hopefully the management can amend this flaw, and improvise from there.

The meal came to RM112 for the 5 of us, including drinks, and 10% service charge, and 5% government tax. Notice that the 10% discount for all diners is valid for a limited time only.

Location : Cafe Takahashi @ Lot F55A, Jusco Kinta City Shopping Centre, No 2, Jalan Teh Lean Swee, 31400 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel/Fax No : +605-547 8004, or +6016-233 8344 (Kenny Tan).

31 comments:

fcoe said...

wow!lovely food..
i must give the pizza and salmon baked rice a try..have been up to guardian a couple of times but didn't even come across this cafe...

email2me said...

Wasabe on chicken chop sauce ..... looks got kick in it. XD

Selba said...

The pizza sounds interesting...

SimpleGirl said...

more like fusion food.....the chicken chop with wasabi sauce sounds interesting!

reanaclaire said...

aiyahhhh... just now went to sushi king wo.. my girl wanted to eat japanese food.. didnt know this new restaurant yet..should have came here earlier to look see look seeeee...

the prices seem reasonable..ok, will try the next round... thanks for sharing..

ahlock said...

The price is cheap!

Food look delicious!

Just weeks ago, a friend and I went for lunch at a Japs restaurant nearby and the bill for two was very near to RM100.00.

jason said...

Sobs. My fav Moritomo is no longer around! T_T

Ok lah, shall come here and try it out one fine day when I'm back. Your treat :P

kampungboycitygal said...

had a very very very bad experience there today. my hamburg steak never arrive to my table even after an hour wait! me n my sis were the first customer of the day sumore! grrrrrrrrrrrr

p/s sorry for my rantings. kenot tahan bad services

Susan Ho said...

I thought about going there jz now, but instead i ate in food and tea... hehe!!!

Anyway, can you give me your email address for your blog? I changing my blog to th3massiv3blogg3r.blogspot.com and i must type all the emails who are allowed to read my blog... in case you do wanna drop by one day...

and you know what? I going to Hong Kong on Thursday and I took down notes from your previous blog on Hong Kong. the 13 days one i think? I took a lot of notes... A lot of help!!! WOOHHH!!! Can't wait to blog about it when I get back...

New Kid on the Blog said...

It's been some time didn't step into Ipoh already ..... should make a trip there again. :)

J2Kfm said...

fcoe : it's new, that was the 1st day they started operations. 2nite we go ok? haha

email2me : yeah, slightly tinge of piquant wasabi.

selba : sweet, savoury and creamy, with cheese to boot.

simple girl : fusion, modern Japanese fare's more like it.a welcoming change nonetheless.

reana : you're welcomed.

ahlock : nearby? akamomiji? kizuna? tomi? waraku? :) there are several now, around the area.

jason : yeahloh, previously one of the best around town. why MY treat leh?

kampungboycitygal : oh you came back? aiya, why didnt ask me along one? hehe ... did u complain to the captain? service was indeed a bit slow. probably the new staff are getting used to the environment.

susan ho : messon2k(at)gmail.com.
wish u a safe and fulfilling journey to the Pearl of the Orient?

NKOTB : yeah, timely. :)

Sean said...

gosh, i haven't visited ipoh in about 8 years. i'm pretty sure i haven't set foot into this jusco, but this place looks like it could be a hit, if only because the food seems fun and different :D

Big Boys Oven said...

wow a new place in ipoh! hey shall we meet up for makan2 soon in ipoh! :)

Little Inbox said...

The price is reasonable.

550ml jar of faith said...

This looks absolutely WONDERFUL! Another place that has a similar concept is Kissaten in Jaya One. I am loving the look of the eggy chicken spaghetti!

Hulk said...

Wah...Ive been in out from Jusco almost every week yet didnt even notice of this outlet.
Hhhmm..will try out.

Simon Seow said...

There's one restaurant in Mid Valley run by Oh! Sushi serves pork curry rice. A bit pricey though.

worldwindows said...

Nice hamburger! Japanese and western fusion. Nice introduction to a staid and mundane Ipoh food scene.

thenomadGourmand said...

Ipoh is sure picking up in the food scene, otr than hawker's that is.
Its also good tht the local entrepreneurs are showing signs of confidence in the market, to open such outlets..
come to think abt it, there aren't any in Pg yet..rite?

ai wei said...

the food is looking good especially the pizza.

ahhh... sounds expensive on the total bill. >___<

J2Kfm said...

Sean : 8 yrs ...erm, Jusco opened in 97. you might've missed this place back then.
the ONLY worthy shopping complex. hehe, sad eh?

BBO : yeah, you guys coming over for some classes right?

Little Inbox : it all depends. for some, the price may be on the higher end, compared to fast food settlements, but of course, if compared head tohead with THAT other famous sushi chain, this is definitely more worthy of a visit.

550ml jar of faith : agreed. spaghettie with wafu sauce and egg spells YUMMY.

Hulk : pls do so. but if the service seems a bit slow, or disorganized, feel free to voice your opinion to Kenny, who's manning the outlet. he accepts suggestions well.

Simon Seow : got ah? midvalley got not many japanese restaurants, as far as i can rmbr.

worldwindows: not really mundane, just that the Ipoh people (me included) prefer cheap, and good food, rather than dining at the shopping centres. unlike in KL.

TNG : Penang ...erm, not yet. but the management is going to open several outlets by next year, all over.

ai wei : it all depends on what one orders. a meal for one shouldn't exceed RM20.

Life for Beginners said...

Awww... those Japanese dolls are too cute for words! :D

backStreetGluttons said...

Another supreme test of the Modern Cafe dipping its toes into the current economic malaise... in Perak !

They have to be really good in most aspects to grow , since nowadays most younger diners ( predictably their market segment ) and oldies ( cost conscious ) are wary of new fusion outlets that cost a bomb ( means anything more than RM10 a meal ! )

From your review the wow factor is not noticeable & their learning curve is still yet to rise...so we wait

J2Kfm said...

LFB : so long never seen you here! MIA ah?

BSG : yup, let's wait. and give em some time to flourish. but they're the same team who runs pasta de gohan, hence a little bit of exp is present.

Nic (KHKL) said...

chup chup chup. did i read K-box? karaoke+japanese food. woah, the ultimate. got 10% discount summore, right? hehehe.

allie said...

The Wafu Hamburg Steak looks great! Would like to try it out

J2Kfm said...

Nic : they're next to each other. but if you're a member, then ok. get 10% discount!

allie : indeed. go get one at any japanese restaurants in pg!

KL girl now in Ipoh said...

Thanks for highlighting this place. My kiddies really miss the Jap restaurants in KL, so they will be curious to try this one. Altho this sounds more like a mod-fusion-Jap restaurant.

J2Kfm said...

yup, it is indeed moderan Jap cafe-style cuisine.
keep in mind the wait can be rather tedious sometimes, as the staff are under-trained.

m.p.c.lean said...

new follower checking-in...
to be honest...a bit disappointed lor...
the first time i went i had sore throat and was coughing...so my choice was a little limited...
the cawamushi was good...
but the mushroom soup didn't work for me...
and my partner's unagi ramen has more skin and bones than flesh...
the price was more affordable than i expected...
now that my throat is good...and after reading this entry...will go back again for another try

Nivea Coupon said...

You really have knack for taking close up pictures. Keep up the good work.