By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen
There are a few Asian dishes that I am always on the lookout for. One is a Laksa be it Siamese, Sarawakian, Singapore or from any state in Malaysia but must have coconut milk in it and the other is Chicken Rice. And here my tastebuds dictate that it must be white steamed chicken, well cooked through with no blood showing and the chilli sauce must not be sweet, and ginger paste must come with it.
Fussy tastebuds I may have but recently I found a cafe that suited me to a T. This was Chillax in Ipoh Garden East where I have been writing about a slew of other restaurants. Situated right beside Hao Xian Wei, behind Tesco, Chillax was started by Angela Ong two years ago. A quiet haven where one can chill and relax, this cafe is beautifully covered in wallpaper with nature scenes where one can imagine oneself in the midst of nature while surrounded by the concrete jungle all around.
Nobody rushes you as you take time to decide on what to order. Western dishes are on offer as well as popular Asian specialities as per the two items mentioned above. Prices are very reasonable and a snack or meal will certainly not burn a hole in one’s pocket.
Their Siamese Laksa is redolent of ‘bunga kantan’ (torch ginger), lemongrass and other herbs, generously brimming with fish chunks, pineapple, cucumber, onion slices and the gravy is enhanced with ‘santan’ or coconut milk; RM9.50 for a big bowl. Eat this with the Inche Kabin, RM17 for 6 pieces; you’ll be a very happy camper.
Angela’s Chicken Rice is well seasoned, the chicken nice and tender (not bloody) and the chilli sauce divine. Add the ginger paste and I can almost be back in Singapore! RM8.90.
And where can you get that nostalgic comfort food of yore, the Chicken Chop, done the way the Hainanese Chefs used to do . . . fried crispy on the edges, tender and succulent on the inside, smothered in a thick gravy and served with mixed vegetables. If you don’t want the chop to go soggy tell them to put the sauce on the side; RM15.90.
If it’s a soup and salad you’re hankering for, it’s here for RM6 each. Or a Spaghetti Bolognese for RM8.90; Nasi Ulam for RM8.90 and not forgetting their superlative Nasi Kunyit served with Curry Chicken; RM8.90.
But you must save some appetite for the dessert. The Bubur Cha Cha sweetened just right is a treat at any time RM2.20/RM4 (S/L) and the definitive Gula Melaka, Sago Pearl Pudding floating in a sea of coconut milk and gula Melaka (coconut palm sugar); RM1.80/RM3.50 (S/L); divine. Many other options are available but space limits me in describing them. Do check them out yourself.
JUN CHILLAX CAFE (Pork Free)9 Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, Bandar Baru Medan, Ipoh.Tel: Angela Ong 016 511 5441Business hours: 12.30-3.pm; 5.30-10pm. Closed TuesdaysEvent bookings for 40 pax available