By Balqis Jazimah Zahari
Photos and Videos by Balqis Jazimah Zahari
SERI ISKANDAR: Having its own unique Little Ipoh Cafe in Bandar Universiti Lakeville here, brings the ‘vibes’ of the iconic city of Ipoh to attract visitors.
Starting from the decoration to the menu that the cafe offers, the vintage-style concept of Ipoh’s Old Town comes alive.
Located on the strategic route of the Ipoh-Lumut highway,visitors must stop by this cafe to feel the relaxing experience while enjoying the cafe’s artistic aesthetics.
The owner of the cafe, Nurul Amalina Anwar, 30, said Little Ipoh was initially opened by her parents as a small kiosk inside a nearby Petronas petrol station.
“Looking at the atmosphere in the town of Seri Iskandar ten years back, there really weren’t many choices of local food places or cafes.
“That’s why we chose this city to start a business and at least people including students at two institutions nearby have the option to relax and eat with their families,” she said.
According to her, they finally opened the first cafe at a different location which is not far from the petrol station and the business is now run by the two of them together with her younger sister Nurul Afiqah, 28.
“Before this I was working elsewhere and my younger sister was studying. After we both had time, the business grew and various types of food were also brought in.
“So, we finally decided to open a cafe in the current new location. We opened the first cafe branch in Seri Iskandar before opening the second branch in Ipoh itself during the last pandemic season,” she said.
However they had to close the branch in Ipoh last year.
Nurul Amalina said, they chose the name Little Ipoh Cafe because they want to take the Ipoh name further and everywhere in the future.
“Although the business started in Seri Iskandar but we are all from Ipoh, so we do go back and forth from Ipoh to Seri Iskandar every day to make this cafe a success.
“We have variety on the menu, but what we try to do is match the Ipoh products. We have menu items for Malay, Chinese and Indian. If there is a possibility to expand the business in the future to open a franchise and so on, we want to bring the name of Ipoh and highlight the special heritage of the Old Town even further.
“In addition, we also want to highlight the old culture to the new generation. For example, most of them only know term Tiffin and do not recognize what ‘siya’ (old malay slang for Tiffin) is,” she said.
Open from 7 am to 5 pm, the cafe currently offers more than 15 menus items for customers to enjoy.
“As we know, Ipoh is famous for its ‘roti goyang’ menu and coffee, so here we have both.
“Among the signature foods here are Kopi Susu, Nasi Nenda and chicken rice, we maintain the original menu but still bring our own ‘style’ which is also a family recipe, so we actually brew the coffee and all kinds of sambal are also homemade,” she said.
Apart from Little Ipoh Cafe, they also have Little Ipoh Deco which provides decoration services.
Regarding future plans, she said they want to re-open a branch in Ipoh at a new site.
“Some want to franchise with us, but for now we decided to strengthen the management first.
“So far we have not opened catering, but we take private event bookings. For example last year we catered for Mercedes for 100 to 200 guests with decorations by Little Ipoh itself,” she said.
She added that for the beginning of this year’s Ramadhan, they plan to open a stall in the bazaar and the cafe is also open from 3pm to 11pm.