By Jo Lynn Chong
Wear your shoes and head to the new Butterbrew shop on Concubine Lane, Ipoh Old Town!
Newly-opened and located in one of the historical spots on the Ipoh Heritage Trail, for the first time ever, Platform 9 1/2 Cafe brings the renowned beverage from the Harry Potter series to life, in our very own Ipoh town.
Naming it slightly different on the menu than the original “Butterbeer” in the famous fantasy novel series, “Butterbrew”, as the cafe’s owners Lee Ming Zhe and his wife Giselle Low have renamed it, does not contain alcohol, and is served at RM10.90 for a small size and RM18.90 for a large size.
The couple cited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley theme park in Orlando, Florida as their inspiration. “We could not forget the taste of Butterbeer,” Low declared. “We also wanted to bring the Butterbeer back to Malaysia, so that those who cannot go to Harry Potter theme parks can also enjoy the same thing.” After experimenting with various ingredients and in different portions, Butterbrew, of their own creation, was born.
The perfected Butterbrew Float on sale is a homemade concoction of mainly Butterscotch syrup and also Sarsaparilla, topped with Butterscotch ice cream fresh flown in from New Zealand upon serving. “We mix the drink and then carbonate it using a machine, so every day, we have to make this drink before we go back, as we want it to be as fresh as possible, not like canned drinks,” Low elaborated.
A gigantic cup of large-sized Butterbrew Float contains one litre of drink and four scoops of Butterscotch ice cream. “We reduced the sweetness for the base so when you eat the ice cream on the top you won’t feel that it’s too sweet,” Low explained.
Also on the menu are Dried Fruit and Herb Teas, Butterscotch Chocolate, Coconut Coffee Frappé, Chocolate Cream Chip, Nutella Mocha and many other delicious drinks that will pleasantly keep you craving for more.
The dried fruit and herb teas, which are all-natural fruit teas, are each named after spells from the novel series. There are Reparo (kiwi, orange and lemon), Lumos (orange, lemon and red dragon fruit) and others. The cut fruits are baked in low heat before adding to water.
Dim sum and various special pao both catered from Jom Dim Sum and certified halal, are also on sale. Kimchi Pao, Cheese Salami Pao (many come back for more of this), Lava Pao and Black Sesame Lava Pao are some of the pao. Paos are sold at RM5 for two; dim sum are sold at RM10 for 8. Combos of dim sum and pao include six pieces of dim sum and one pao for RM10.
Besides Butterbrew, the interiors and exteriors of the cafe, furnished with antiques dating back to the 1950s and 1960s (one of them being a Toshiba black and white TV), are specially designed for Instagram-worthy photos. The focus is to mainly provide an airy, cool and comfortable atmosphere for customers, whereby they can take pictures and look out onto the busy Concubine Lane below. This cafe is pork-free and as all drinks are non-alcoholic, it invites people of all ages to come, relax and have a good time.
The couple is planning to introduce many more light food items, such as Beignets, Tornado Potato Skewers and other snacks. “We don’t want to sell heavy food as many tourists walk down here from Restaurant Ipoh Kong Heng and they have already started eating from there!” Low enthused. “We want to sell special things for tourists, and there’s already a lot of food in Ipoh that are very nice.”
They also intend to bring in a live band for entertainment at night, as well as to sell custom-made souvenirs, such as Harry Potter-related souvenirs, family T-shirts and other Ipoh souvenirs at a blue Owl Post Office, which is built like a miniature house.
In December, they will be open till 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Do anticipate a launch after Chinese New Year 2020!
They do not accept reservations and for more information, visit their Facebook page at Platform 9 & 1/2 Cafe-Ipoh and their Instagram page at Platform 9&half cafe Ipoh.