Ipoh’s cafe scene has been blooming for the past few years without signs of slowing down as we noticed that more trendy cafes owned by Muslims increasing the number of “Halal” hang outs apart from the typical McD, KFC or Mamak Stall. All these cafes share one similarity (at this point in time) they only open for dinner. Perhaps it is because of Ipoh’s famous night breeze that equates to natural air cooling, thus air conditioning is not needed.
Let us come to another unique cafe; nestled between the row of old colonial shop lots along Jalan Sultan Iskandar, Cakchibow Cafe has retained the original building structure that was originally built in 1931, giving the cafe a unique edge amongst the other hipster cafe’s in Ipoh specializing in Western Meals. Opened in 18th December 2015 by Mr. Adriz Farik Bin Abdul Halim, Cakchibow Cafe has made up a name for themselves serving hefty meals and drinks at an affordable price.
Offering a wide selection of western meals including Spiral Bolognese with Homemade Beef Meatball, Breaded Chicken Chop, Grilled Chicken Chop, Big Combo Set, and many other more housemade meals, combining a healthy eating concept of fresh ingredients with creativity. According to Mr. Adriz, their menu’s is inspired by diners varied taste requirements combines with his own twist from his trips overseas.
Spiral Pasta Bolognese Beef Meatball (RM13.90)
Chicken Chop Burger (RM13.00)
Love Birds Set for 2 (RM35.00)
Spiral Pasta Carbonara Chicken Grill (RM13.90)
Cheese Nachos Beef Meatball (RM8.00)
Grilled Lamb Shoulder Black-Pepper (RM18.90)
Pesto Dory Fish Breaded (RM14.90)
Standing in front of the cafe at 7.30pm, we were taken in by the wooden tables made from the recycled wood pallets. Yes, it can be considered an Instagram-able spot as well. Ok, so it looks a little like M Boutique Ipoh, a hodge podge of decorative items from across the ages …… but the cafe exudes warmth and coziness. According to Mr. Adriz, the exact shop where Cakchibow is situated was a former Chinese Medical Hall that was quite famous back in the 70’s and 80’s selling Chinese Medicine and Herbs and it is where they came to the idea to name some of their special drinks with the name of medicine such as Paracetamol (no worries, no medicine was used in this drink!)
Cakchibow Cafe serves up a menu that features western favourites (and a little fusion involved) and some interesting beverages. The former features Grilled Chicken with Black pepper, Spiral Pasta with Beef Meatball, Chicken Chop Burger and Combo Sets while the latter comprises some homemade special drinks such as (Carbomer/Paracetamol/Ambroxol/Fluticasone) and a variety of desserts to offer such as Big Donut Ice Cream and Pudding Sagu Gula Melaka Ice Cream.
As we flip and flip, there were just so many things we wanted to order, a little too much of a variety to choose from. After 10 minutes of struggling with what to order, we decided on – Spiral Pasta Carbonara Chicken Grill, Cheese Nachos with Beef Meatball, Love Birds Set for 2, Chicken Chop Burger, Spiral Pasta Bolognese with Beef Meatball, Grill Lamb Shoulder Black pepper, and a Pesto Dory Fish Breaded. “We twisted recipes to come up with own version of western with a little bit of fusion, including our Beef Meatball. Our goal is to serve something me and my team make totally from scratch, for example, our spiral potato fries that is served on a stick,” quipped Adriz Farik Bin Abdul Halim, the owner of Cakchibow Cafe.
Artistic Ladder to Level 2 Dining Area
Our Colourful Drinks (RM4.90-RM8.00)
Cakchibow Cafe Level 2 Dining Area
Big Donut Ice Cream (RM8.00)
The M Makan Kakis
As part of our usual ‘pattern’, we can’t help taking selfies whenever we visit any cafe (oops!). Moreover, one of our family member had just recently change to a super selfie camera (Yes! I am referring to Huawei P20 Pro!) which allows users to easily take some incredibly pretty and detailed selfies! Snapping away, some of our family members suddenly put down their phone and it is where we know our appetizer – Cheese Nachos with Beef Meatball is served. It was fully glazed with the cheese on top covering the meatballs and a stack of nachos as you can see in the pictures. As we munch on the beef meatball with the cheese sauce, the texture of the meatball was rather dry compared to the one we ordered in Konda Kondi Cafe. Their Spiral Pasta Carbonara was one of the main reason that attracted me personally. Unlike the usual version of Carbonara, their version was infused with spices that made the pasta taste a little bit spicy with slight-creamy texture and yet very tempting to eat. (I personally love it!!!). Next was the Chicken Chop Burger – it was juicy, tender with some cheesy sauce on top oozing with deliciousness. Spiral Pasta with Bolognese Meatball, on the other hand, was pretty ordinary to us, and the meatball was like the meatballs on the nachos. When we thought everything was rather nice to eat and affordable, the major drawback came to the table – Grilled Lamb Shoulder with Blackpepper Sauce. The texture of the lamb meat was rather chewy and it was hard to cut. Perhaps it was the cut of meat (Shoulder) but we had a tough time sawing the lamb. The sauce, however, was quite tasty, not too spicy nor too tasteless. Their Pesto Dory Fish Breaded was nothing to shout about …… and we’ll leave it as such.
For beverages wise, we ordered some of their custom-made drinks including Carbomer, Fluticasone, and Paracetamol. Long story cut short, Carbomer – a mixture of apple, salt, lemon, basil, lychee, and ice cream soda; Fluticasone – a mixture of pandan, grass jelly, basil, evaporated milk, lychee, and ice cream soda; last but not least, Paracetamol – a mixture of asam boi, salt, lemon, mint, jelly with ice cream soda and the best taste goes to…. “drum roll please” – Paracetamol! It was generally agreed by all after all of us tasted each and every custom-made drink by them. “Desserts please!” one of our family requested and we have ordered The Big Donut with Ice Cream and well, it’s just a donut with ice cream.. so we found difficulty describing more here.
Did I mention this cafe is two levels? There is this small yellow ladder that leads to their second floor and so we went up! When we got up, there is a small stage with a P.A. system (sound system) suitable to stream songs for special events like birthday party and surprise party. As we walk further indepth, there is a balcony with some green plants suitable for those who enjoy a clean air with nature environment.
The overall meal was satisfying but still a little of a let down (Editors note: The M Boutique Family were still arguing in the office on how to write this review for a duration of a week after their initial sampling, and boy was the office noisy!) with a total of RM171.50 for 7 of us on the table with drinks, say about RM24.50 per person including mains, drinks, and desserts which were considered slightly high at price. Ratings? we would give it a 7/10 for the under-cooked lamb shoulder.