Watching the busy traffic at Medan Gopeng, the M Makan Kaki’s stomach is growling in anticipation of our approaching dinner at De Bois Cafe. Mundane roads turn into eclectic terrace houses, highlighted by the bright sparkling yellow rooftop ‘De Bois’ signboard with spacious parking. Furthermore with a slogan like, “It’s more than just a cafe, it’s home”, it does feel homely, duh. But wait! Doesn’t their slogan sound a bit too familiar??? Unfortunately, as I push open the doors, sour faced family members greeted me – all had arrived 30 minutes prior. Well, it basically proves that I am a true blue Malaysian who is always on the way!
The Boss? De Boys what? It’s Woody!
We can safely say that De Bois as a name got everyone confused with regards to the pronunciation. Not only did it raise a ruckus with our members guessing, ‘it’s The Boss lah’, ‘eh…The Boys..’ but also raised ceaseless arguments amidst our rumbling tummies. In order to clear the air, we asked their staff a bit about the origins of De Bois.
How should we explain the cafe’s name? The friendly crew said that is from the French word “bois” meaning wood. Yay! After some practice, we now know the right way to pronounce – “de bwa“. Let’s all enunciate it together like we are French language experts. Well, it became apparent that all of us pronounced it wrong in the first place. LOL!
With the mystery solved, we now know that De Bois literally means The Wood…(no wonder the cafe features loads of wood everywhere!). Needless to say, like it’s namesake, emphasises the use of wood intermingled with bricks, in this splendid cafe. The wooden feature wall and yellowish De Bois sign in the center as a feature wall, left a good impression on me. I was grateful for our table was put right smack in this section, as it was a sight to behold. In addition, in keeping with the woody concept, the interior is laden with, what else? Wooden tables and chairs. Furthermore it seems like they did think of everything with a spacious place outside as well. Indoor or outdoor? Your choice.
A little bit more about De Bois
History time! Starting out as a domestic Terrace House, De Bois was eventually purchased by the current owner and had it renovated into a cafe the year 2017. With this in mind, they have actually been operating for 2 years now … only problem is, how come I never noticed this cafe before?. You guessed it, this is a family operated cafe, by a father and son team with relatives in tow namely as the floor crew.
I can say that the service here is top-notch as many of their crew had impeccable manners. For one thing, the menu was on the table together. Secondly, the friendly De Bois crew smiles patiently waiting, on our arrival. Once we finished seating, the order sheet and wireless waiter call device was given to us. This is in comparison to the ordering chaos from our previous review at Miker Pizza. We’ll give good marks for efficiency to De Bois! Keep it up!
On to the menu. What’s interesting is that the proprietors’ son is during his studies in the USA, he was inspired by the American palatte. As a result he injected these flavours with our Asian elements, giving it the De Bois’s twist, upon returning home. Consequently, they did not forget their Malaysian roots; there is also a menu for those who enjoy the typical Nasi Lemak, Mee Goreng and more. However, we were in our ‘Mat Saleh Celup’ mode, so we’re going to try their western food (kacang lupakan kulit ya!).
Herculean Garlic Bread with Diluted Mushroom Soup
On to the review! The square plates serves up a bowl of hot mushroom soup with two pieces of garlic bread thats surely gonna excite you. Spurred on, I took a bite of garlic bread but instead of crunch … it feels like I’m about to lose my front teeth. I know De Bois means wood, however, the bread is also as hard as the wood! Can you imagine our struggle? Only those with herculean teeth can enjoy munching this bread. The worst part is that the bread is not buttery and garlicky enough. What a shame! We are not really enjoying this bread.
Enough with the bread, it’s Mushroom Soup time. The soup is creamy with pieces of mushrooms and has a funky odour but it a little runny. In contrast, you can dip your unbreakable garlic bread in the mushroom soup to soften it up. Thank goodness! However, to our picky eater, this mushroom soup needs to be consumed hot to maintain it’s taste (I think he’s the only one who enjoys this dish).
We’ve been DUCKed!
Oh my duck! This dish is delicious and we can’t stop ourselves from complementing it. Not only is the meat texture very soft but also makes it easy to be chew. Slices of smoked duck notably sits on top mashed potatoes, along with wedges and salad as sides is a real good combination (no wonder this is the best selling dish here!).
Aside the scrumptious smoked duck, the salad is also quite good, a point often overlooked. Since our picky eater does not even touch veggies, I cannot help but ask for his portion because the vegetables is fresh and crunchy with a tasty dressing. Sadly, the mashed potatoes bland in taste, but fear not as black pepper sauce comes to rescue! (Don’t forget to pour the sauce okay?) Oh what a lucky day in De Bois. Most noteworthy, this dish is a crowd-puller, we’ve now have been ducked!
Pasta La Vista
This pasta made with garlic olive oil gives a whole taste of strong garlicky. Accompanied with minced parsley and a little heat from the sprinkle of red chili flakes (do not worry, it is not spicy). The pasta is ‘al-dente’ and really firm to the bite (this is the state of pasta that I like, give a round of applause to De Bois!) Arguably, the highlight in this dish would be the delectable smoked duck! Having a slice of duck along with a long strand of pasta assuredly melts in one’s mouth (that is why one of our members hastily finishes the pasta leaving traces of some oil on his chin).
To compare, we tried the Butter and Milk Kari Pasta. It comes with an orange coloured sauce and spicy fried chicken. Curiously, it was something new as compared to what your regular bolognese or carbonara. Cooked with creamy butter and curry spices along with chili flakes makes it rich and creamy but not too thick as a carbonara sauce. Additionally, our gourmand said that this dish has its own ‘special’ buttermilk taste. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a strong curry aroma, so we don’t really taste the curry-ness of this dish. Comparatively, the golden fried chicken served atop of pasta is crunchy and has a strong taste of spices that blend well with the pasta!
Commander – In – Chief
Next is for burger lovers out there. You can check out De Bois heavyweight contender – Commander Burger. Surely it is bound to fill your tummies with its huge portion. This burger stuffed with spicy fried chicken, fresh tomatoes, green coral lettuce, pickles, mozzarella cheese and brown sauce in a sesame buns. You can savour the spices from the fried chicken batter and F.Y.I, it actually has the same taste as the spicy fried chicken in the Butter and Milk Kari Pasta. In addition, there are also some members who complain that the taste of the fried chicken is quite salty since they are eating the chicken separately.
‘So Not’ De Bois Hasselback Style
While most people dislike chicken breast, saying it’s unappetizing, a fan of chicken breast surely couldn’t stand a sight of it! Here comes Hasselback Chicken…baked chicken breast with sautéed spinach, cream cheese, thick cut of mixed veggie, fries and white sauce. Usually, potatoes are the main ingredients used in Hasselback, but De Bois ditched the potato and use chicken instead. As far as I know, Hasselback is a dish that cook by slicing almost all the way through and then baking them with a tasty filling but not for De Bois’s Hasselback where there is no slices and ingredients stuffed in the chicken.
Since the chicken breasts are really thick, it happens to be under cooked that gives a tough texture for cutting and consume it. The scrupulous member said the chicken has a woody taste that might because the chicken is marinated or grill for too long (only his own personal assumption, he might be wrong). The white sauce is thick but the taste is not too bad and goes well with the chicken. All I can say there is nothing to be shout out about this dish.
OMG! I’ts a Bizarre Grill Platter!
Our lovebirds would like to have their fantasize candlelight dinner with a great portion of a dish that they can share together. For this reason, they choose to try Oh My Grill! Platter – an enormous dish consists of Grilled Lamb, Chicken Chop, Beef Bacons, Fries, Wedges, Coleslaw and Butter Rice (What a plate right?). Even though they are having a time of their lives, their fussy sides keep on judging the dish like they were an expert in food (actually they are suckers!)
Grilled lamb is quite gamy but luckily, it is tender as it was well done cooked as requested by our lovely duo (they gripe about only De Bois cook the lamb as what they want, not like the day we went to Thumbs Cafe). “If it is spicier, it will be tastier”, that is what our spicy lover wishing for the chicken chop in this platter. However, nothing ordinary about the chicken tastes which it also have the same taste as other cafes. To sum up, their butter rice is nicely cooked fluffy white rice with perfect texture and buttery. To add on some flavor, there is black pepper sauce along in this platter. The sauce aren’t very thick and less peppery taste (so, you don’t have to worry about having a stomachache).
It Was Just Too Corny
We are thrilled to try De Bois Cheezy Corndog with Fries as none of us have tried it before. For this reason, we had high hopes for this dish to be as what we had expected – crunchy, cheesy and crispy…but what a bummer! It disappoints us. The batter is hard that will make you feel so resentful and don’t want to continue for the next bite. Besides that, it is also not cheesy at all. The sausage also taste so corny (our particular member said it could be they are using cheap sausage…). Frankly speaking, this dish is the worst of all…you can just give this a miss…(hurry, cross it from the order).
Feeling Downie, Eat A Brownie
Feeling so down with the Corndog, this time we want to overcome our disappointment with some sweetness of Caramel Brownies. The entire plate covered with a golden and spreading mess of caramel sauce with dark, sinful homemade fudge squares of chocolate brownies atop with a scoop of melted vanilla ice cream. But what a shame, this brownie also a bit of a let-down. It is intensely rich in chocolate flavor but it is not super moist, less dense and not chewy. Even though the brownie is not that great but in a short while, it disappear in a blink of eyes.
Fry Me To The Moon and Never Want To Come Back
Perusing the menu, there is one dish that awestruck us with a catchy name which is Fry Me To The Moon. All of us keep on wondering what kind of dish that will be served on our table. However, the moment it arrives on our table, it completely ruins our imagination where it is actually only a plate full of fries top with tasteless bolognese sauce and drizzle of mustard. Again and again…another disappointment hunting us. There is nothing more I can say, we are totally have been deceived by its’ appealing name (this is what we call indah khabar daripada rupa).
Rejoice The Juices of De Bois
What a chaotic moment when our drinks arrive on the table but our lovebirds Lemon-Need and Orange Juice are not there. Therefore, everyone blames innocent epicure for her careless mistake in writing orders (or maybe the staff cannot understand her bad handwriting). Because of this, we have to wait for another round (we cannot even have a sip of our drink because we need to gather all the drinks for a picture).
Okay, let me start with the fruit fizzy drinks – Lemon-Need, Kiwi-Licious, Green Apple Campagna and Tropical Passionfruit. All four of these beverages is a glass of sparkling water with a lemonade, kiwi, green apple and passion fruit cordial at the bottom. Friendly reminder, this drink need to be well stirred. The drinks are refreshing and you can savor a kind of fruit juice taste.
Let’s move on to the juice beverages which are Orange and Honeydew Juice. Both of these drinks are freshly blended with a very juicy taste. Trust me on their heavenly Honeydew Juice as it was really, really good. Our loquacious member says his Orange Juice is not as powerful as Mamak’s orange juice. Last but not least, Honey Lemon is nice and has a soothing taste.
It’s A Wrap!
The overall meal was quite disappointing, but how thankful we are for the smoked duck that really turn back our disappointment and winning our heart. The total amount that we have spend on the gluttonous 7 on the table is RM204.90. It is quite pricey, but I think it is reasonable for those menus. Ratings? We would give it 6/10 in part due to our dissatisfaction with several dishes…(you know what’s in the list).
201, Jalan Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah, 31350 Ipoh, Negeri Perak
Phone No : +6 05-311 1307
Opens daily from 4:00 PM – 12:00 PM
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