One of the current charms of visiting Ipoh might be café-hopping, checking out venues that have begun cropping up in captivating shop-houses & bungalows richly endowed with decades of history.
Patisserie Boutique is a fresh entry on the row that now contains what looks like the highest concentration of hipster cafés in Ipoh's Old Town; it tries to bring a feel of Paris to this former tin-mining city, with walls that bear meticulously created images of the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe.
The menu's not exactly a Francophile's fantasy though; lunch specials cross into the Italian border, comprising the likes of spaghetti tossed with raisins & pine nuts (RM16) ...
... & another with smoked duck (RM18) as well as minestrone soup & lasagna. Well-executed enough, though the setting might be the real star, not the cuisine.
True to the outlet's name, desserts & pastries are prominently showcased; the choc meringue cake is enjoyably light & airy ...
... while the crème brûlée is undistinguished. It's nevertheless fun to eat this here while instrumental versions of La Vie En Rose & La Mer play in the background.
What we've gleaned from our tour of Ipoh's new cafés is that the food isn't the reason for KL's inhabitants to make a two-hour drive here; from an outsider's point of view, very few menus here showcase distinctive fare. But Ipoh is still absolutely worth an overnight stay for its atmospheric allure.
103 Jalan Sultan Yussuf, Ipoh, Perak
Open 11am-6pm, except Tuesdays. Tel: 05-241-1385
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