I found you…

I’ve been here…

Ipoh Town Kopitiam, Sibu 1

…a few times before like when it first opened, for instance, and then, I went with my missus to let her give it a try and another time with my lawyer-friend/ex-student…and I remember I did go once again with my missus and with Melissa as well and another time to meet an ex-classmate to discuss our plans for our class reunion last year…

Ipoh Town Kopitiam, Sibu 2

There were some hits and misses, some that were very nice, others just so-so and I do recall that initially, we had to wait a long time to be served and we were quite put off by that. Anyway, somehow or other, for whatever reason, we did not go back there again. I guess most everybody would know by now that I am not a fan of franchises as I find that usually, they are generally quite good but definitely not great, not too expensive but not cheap either.

Ipoh Town Kopitiam, Sibu 3

Incidentally, I read on one of the displays at the outlet here that this is actually a Sarawak franchise – started in Miri and after doing pretty well there and in Kuching and also in Sabah, it branched out to the peninsula…and eventually, we got one of our own right here in Sibu as well. Golly gee! And all this time, I thought it  was a West Malaysian franchise!

So what brought me back here again? My friend, Philip, who was still around at the time, home from the US, is very much into our own local coffee which he feels is far superior to those “branded” gourmet ones but this trip home, he was rather disappointed with the used-to-be-good ones here. He also mentioned to me that he was quite put off as well by the fact that he went to one place for white coffee and got one made using one of those sachets that are widely available in the supermarkets so I told him about this place and he went to give it a try…

Ipoh Town Kopitiam white coffee 1

Finally, he found something that he thought was really good and in fact, he loved it so much that when we got back to town from Kanowit that day, he took me there for lunch and the coffee…

Ipoh Town Kopitiam white coffee 2

I did try it before and since coffee with milk or creamer makes me sleepy, I can’t say that I am a fan but yes, it was very good and no, I have not changed my mind – I still prefer my coffee black.

However, what caught my attention that day was that they now have set meals with a free drink – a choice between white coffee, iced lemon tea. 100 Plus or Coke for only RM9.90+ and that day, with the white coffee, Philip had their chicken hor fun

Ipoh Town Kopitiam chicken hor fun 1

He said it was so good that he finished all of it…

Ipoh Town Kopitiam chicken hor fun 2

…even though he was still quite full from the kampua noodles we had in Kanowit.

I had their ayam penyet, also RM9.90+ with a free drink…

Ipoh Town Kopitiam ayam penyet

…and it was really good as well. I loved the sambal which was extra spicy, just the way I like it.

No, we did not have this. I saw it on a table as we were going to settle the bill and I snapped a photograph of it…

Not a set meal

Hehehehehehe!!!! This looked like sweet and sour fish fillet and I thought it looked pretty good but no, it’s not one of those choices in the set meal menu, unfortunately.

Well, since I thought that was quite good and reasonably priced, I took my missus and Melissa there for lunch the very next day. Melissa had the chicken hor fun, of course…

Ipoh Town Kopitiam chciken hor fun, Day 2

– she had always enjoyed that in one other franchise place when she was in the peninsula. She thought this one was not as nice but it was all right and she particularly liked the soup. Well, I guess it must have been the texture of the hor fun – ours here is actually kway teow, not as smooth, soft, thin and translucent.

My missus, against my good advice, insisted on having the ayam pongteh

Ipoh Town Kopitiam ayam pongteh

It turned out to be just chicken cooked in soy sauce and I would say that she could do a very much better job cooking that herself at home and it was nothing like that celebrated nyonya specialty. There! I was very sure she would love the ayam penyet as she would definitely enjoy the very spicy sambal but no, she just turned a deaf ear and did not bother to order that.

I decided to try the nasi lemak

Ipoh Town Kopitiam nasi lemak 1

…which had the usual condiments…

Ipoh Town Kopitiam nasi lemak 2

…plus one curry chicken drumstick…

Ipoh Town kopitiam nasi lemak 3

It was, at best, all right but there was something not quite right with the chicken – the meat was not firm nor was it nice and tender. The one I had for the ayam penyet the previous day was perfectly all right so I wouldn’t know if this was an isolated case or it would be best to avoid their chicken cooked in curry.

Now, this is something that is worthy of praise and special mention. Melissa wanted 100 Plus but I noticed that it was not in the list of drinks for the noodles sets, just white coffee and iced lemon tea. My missus wanted iced lemon tea with her order and I asked for the white coffee. I asked the girl if Melissa could have the drink she wanted and we could pay the extra accordingly but the nice sweet girl who was taking our orders said it did not matter and they would adjust accordingly. When I paid for the bill, I found that we were charged RM9.90+ for the three sets, nothing more and nothing less. What they did was they keyed in my nasi lemak order with a complimentary 100 Plus and Melissa’s hor fun with one white coffee just so we would be entitled to our set orders at the stated price and still have the drinks we wanted. I thought that was very nice of them and I do wish there are more like her/them around here. Little things do mean a lot and it would be these little things that would bring the customers back again…and again…and again.

Well, like I said earlier, there have been hits and misses and it certainly looks like this same thing applies to their set meals as well…but for RM9.90+, I would say that was reasonably-priced and I would not mind going back to try the rest to see what else are good and would be worth having. Philip said he had the char kway teow and it was not bad. Perhaps I can try that next time…

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

29 thoughts on “I found you…”

  1. Looks like old town-wannabe?

    Not too crazy about that one – blogged about the disappointments a few times already. The trouble with franchises. They would need to pull up their socks and have some quality control. I hear their outlets in Oz are closing down, after the rich papa came over.

  2. Agree with Ken. Old town has this food and drink combo too.

    But I like the girl who took your order. She’s flexible unlike many robots out there who insist doing things the way they are told/trained and not use their head to think a way to go around it.

    I always thought both were West Malaysian franchises and people always said the other one’s better. I liked when I first tried in Sg Petani…but subsequent visits at their outlets here, there and everywhere had been going downhill all the way. I’ve blogged about all of them. Really sad that there is such poor quality control – still doing ok in Malaysia though.

    Ya, I truly was impressed by the girl. She could easily have charged the hor fun and the 100 Plus according to their normal prices on the menu and be done with it. Really sweet of her.

  3. “work for tomorrow, coffee for today” … interesting tagline, though i’m not sure whether it makes sense, heheh 😀 the ayam penyet is really reasonably priced 😀

    Hahhhh!!! I was waiting for someone to bring that up. It is a mystery to me too. 😀 Indeed! I thought the ayam penyet was really cheap too, RM9.90 only with a drink.

  4. Same like Ken, looks like Old Town or PappaRich kinda food.. Common food like nasi lemak, chicken hor fun, kaya+butter toasts, those sorts.. Oohh that chicken hor fun looks nice, I can slurp all the soup too.. I usually order chicken hor fun for the kids.. And like you, I will have the nasi lemak..

    You have the same thing at that other franchise and your hor fun there is nicer, or at least, I think so – can always have it anytime. Certainly looked better (the one at SP) than the one in Kuching…and the curry puff at the latter was a disgrace. I thought the things were very pricey and not all that great when I was here…and the service was so very slow…and the eggs here were a total disaster. Don’t think I am in a hurry to drop by one of their outlets ever again.

  5. Is it? A Sarawak franchise? I didnt know that. They have an outlet in Kuching, tasted its nasi lemak special before. It was good. Never been to Sibu outlet yet. Maybe I give that ayam penyet a try.

    I was surprised too! Seems the guy who started it is from Ipoh but he started it in Miri:
    http://clementhii.com/making-an-investment-in-ipoh-white-coffee/
    The penyet’s good…especially at THAT price. Nice place too, nicer than at a kopitiam…

  6. I don’t think I have seen Ipoh Town Coffee outlets before in Penang or KL. I might give them a go since I am pretty disappointed with Papparich (better food but exorbitant price) and Old Town (cheaper price but lousy food) lately.
    If any shop comes with waitress like the one that served you, that shop is guaranteed my periodic patronage until they closed down or I moved elsewhere, whichever comes first.

    Exactly. I thought that was really good of her to do that. Dunno Penang or KL but I saw this on the one in Puchong:
    http://www.myimart.com/deal/%5Bpuchong%5D-brand-new-ipoh-town-experience-local-delights-mycpn2503v
    My sentiments exactly…regarding the two franchises you mentioned though I would not think the 2nd one is cheap, cheaper than the former maybe…but not cheap.

  7. Among all, I go for the hor fun & ayam penyet. Curry chicken drumstick???… Not too appropriate with nasi lemak as far as I am concerned. So kind of the girl to adjust accordingly without extra charges, that a plus point.

    If you go for nasi lemak at the famous places in KL, they have all kinds of things that you can pick and choose to go with it – you pay, of course. Had one like that in Miri that day. Of course they say it is so nice, absolutely the best – with all those things to go with it, how can anything be not nice? Even with plain rice, it will be nice.

  8. ahh, Ipoh Town experience – work for tomorrow, coffee for today, haha.. looking at the menu, i wonder why they specially highlighted the three letters IPO and put the trademark logo there?? any special meaning with that IPO??

    I haven’t the slightest idea… I also noticed that – maybe to highlight the difference, not originally from there, or probably one of those new-style graphic designs?

  9. I don’t like hot and spicy foods…but I love chicken legs, and these look so good! 🙂

    Only the dip for the ayam penyet was spicy, not the rest. You can;t go out dining with my missus then – she likes everything spicy. That is why she is not into western so much, nor Japanese.

  10. The curry chicken looks overcooked and the gravy is diluted. The Ayam Penyet looks good but I guess your missus having already eaten Ayam Penyet wanted something different. Probably she was curious if the Ayam Pongteh tastes as good as hers.

    I would agree about the chicken – I had their roti canai with chicken curry once and it was very nice and I had it again the following visit. Nope, she did not have the penyet, I did and I kept telling her she would love the extra spicy sambal but she chose to order something else. 😦

  11. Yeah , I thought it was old town too initially but they do offer more food than old town. Never seen this franchise yet so far .

    Don’t think they have in JB. Can go Kuching…or Sibu, direct flight every two days from JB.

  12. I always get confused with this ‘town’ franchises. Hehe…

    Shouldn’t be. “Ipoh” and “Old” are quite different and I don’t think they have exactly the same things though some are. So now you know – one is a Sarawak franchise and the other isn’t.

  13. Finally Ipo-h has reached Sibu! Hor Fun soup is missing something there.. some “orangey” oil splashed here and there will be splendid… haahaha… But for RM9.90 plus a drink, well, a bit overpriced.. Nasi lemak will be a better choice, at least got drumstick, ikan bilis, sambal, kacang… well, I guess I am too calculative! 🙂

    Overpriced? If follow the original prices on their menu, I would not bother to go – same as the other franchise place. But just consider this – ayam penyet at the coffee shops already RM6-8, plus the white coffee some more, kopi susu at the coffee shops over RM2, I think – so how can it possibly be expensive? Other than that, the place is a lot nicer than at the coffee shops. The hor fun…and perhaps the other noodle sets as well, maybe lah…not that cheap.

    Incidentally, only the name is Ipoh, nothing to do with where you’re from, it seems – just like Penang Cafe in yesterday’s post on Kanowit. Sarawak franchise, owned by some Tan Sri Dato’, I gather.

  14. Had coffee at Toast Box and three Old Town outlets the last few days and I must say the coffee at this place is still far superior.

    It is? Oooooo….that sure is nice to hear! Sibu for the win! 😀 Probably it’s the special local Sibu butter-roasted coffee that makes the difference, anytime better than dry roast or any elsewhere, even the branded ones. 😉

    Guess you’re back in the states now, rest well, take care there…see you again sometime.

  15. The food looks really good and how nice that the young lady that waited on you was so flexible. It makes the experience even more enjoyable when the staff is willing to accommodate their customers.

  16. Talking about hor fun makes me think of the same thing which is too available at Old Town.I think the dish is more elaborate on the latter? o.0

    Presentation’s better…and hor fun over the other side is thinner, finer, more translucent and I prefer that.

  17. Next time come to Ipoh instead, I am sure Claire won’t mind to become the ‘tour guide’ and bring you go makan besar! =)

    She did that before and I am sure she would do that again, she’s so nice.

  18. Wow you are going places indeed from breakfast in Antarctic, lunch in Penang, dinner in Japan & now supper in Ipoh

    No Japan, Sakura Hotel no longer there. Dunno if it has moved to another block, did not take note.

  19. This is the one at Pahlwan? I think i saw it few times, but don’t bother to go and try, not bad, still staying strong.

    That ayam penyet looks very good!!

    Yup, the one near where you collect The Kitchen instant kampua, Sibu bus terminal area. I did not think it would last very long but it looks like it is doing very well. A lot of people everytime.

  20. As long as not Ipoh Old Town..LOL! Only certain places have good food and service. This Ipoh Town food certainly looks awesome to have good food and drinks. I want the kopi..so kao!

    You can give this place a try the next time you come to Sibu and yes, I think it is nicer than that other franchise – that one was quite nice long ago, seems to be getting from bad to worse.

  21. “I did try it before and since coffee with milk or creamer makes me sleepy”

    It seems like the milk or creamer cancels the effect of caffeine in coffee.

    Probably psychological as whenever I cannot sleep I would make myself a glass of warm milk, best with honey. Works everytime.

  22. Yes, the price is reasonable. The ayam penyet thigh looked nicely done but the drumstick on the nasi lemak looked pathetic 😦
    Kopi O for you, kopi with milk for me ( but no creamer) 😉

    Like my friend, Philip…and he would insist on condensed milk with his coffee, nothing else.

  23. That is really interesting! I’ve always thought it was a franchise from KL.

    I guess they had to go to the bigger markets first to get a large enough customer base before they try it back home.

    Me too. Just found out when I went there that day and I saw its history on the wall. Googled and confirmed – yes, it is a Sarawak franchise – belongs to the SEGI Dato’, I’ve been told.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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