Friday, April 5, 2013

Purple Cane Tea House, Ipoh, Perak

This one-of-a-kind, tea house under the umbrella of the Purple Cane Group opened in 2010 and is located in Ipoh. It found its way into my food hunt list because of my friend's recommendation. From its exterior, one would never guess that it is an eatery. Upon opening its classic wooden sliding door, i was amazed by its interior and it transformed what i had earlier thought- an old 120-year old, white, heritage building to a zen-like garden ambiance.

Notice the Purple Cane Tea House sign on the sides. 

We were there on Friday for lunch and many tables were occupied by families, office groups and friends wanting to catch up. With these said, this eatery exudes a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere, a truly pleasant place for gatherings. The place was divided into three sections: air conditioned, open air on tables and chairs, or low tables with cushion on the floor. We decided to take the third option partly because there were no other tables and partly because we wanted to be different- to sit on the floor and dine.

 Me at the tea house.

Flipping through the colourful menu, it felt like a healthy restaurant because of the use of tea and herbs, and the variety of soups and vegetable-rich dishes. Not that i am complaining. And the photos of desserts looked irresistible. I knew then that i was in for a tea cuisine.

My Chicken Noodle in Herb Soup number 71 (RM11.90) was a delight. The handmade noodles tasted original and fresh, and with a nice texture to it. The chicken was simmered to tenderness; peeling the meat off easily to accompany the noodles. But the star of this bowl of wholesomeness was the soup itself. In my first sip, i could taste the strong flavours of herbs; a combination that's so unique, so difficult to put an adjective to describe. Since i enjoy herbal soups, i enjoyed my lunch tremendously. If herbal soup is not your liking, this is not recommended for you.

My friend's Black Sauce Mushroom Noodles number 76 (RM11.90). Much cannot be argued over the handmade noodles- its one to praise. I did not try but according to my friend, it was alright. Both our portions were rather big, enough to share if you are a small eater (or just to save your stomach for the creative and catchy desserts).

Iced Green Tea Latte (RM8.90) for the warm weather outside. Come layered, once stirred, the green tea flavour sort of hides behind the milk. There were many other cold beverages on the menu, tea or not, that will leave you choosing.

I decided to skip beverage and go for desserts instead- as i said, photos of the desserts were too tempting. I ordered their popular Rose Egg Custard (RM 4.90). It comes with a small cup of cold Jasmine tea to rinse away my strong flavours from lunch, taken before diving into this gentle, pretty custard. Sprinkled with green tea and rose petals, the best of this dessert is the presentation. The egg custard tasted like ordinary egg custard; so to be honest, i was not exactly blown away as i thought to. In my next visit, with more people, i am inclined to try the Four Seasons dessert- because of the creativity and because of the presentation.

Apart from the food theme, the concept of this eatery is compelling. My lunch was good and satisfying. I truly enjoyed the surrounding, zen-like feel and the idea of a tea house. Right next to where we sat were displays of various types of teas and tea pots on sale, and all things tea. Recommended.

What? Tea cuisine.
Where? Purple Cane Tea House. No 2, Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar (Osbourne Street), Ipoh, Perak.
How much? Above average, as of 29 March 2013.
Contact? 05-2533090

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