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.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).