Purple Cane Tea House @ Osborne Street, Ipoh – Where the old Foh San wasAugust 29, 2010 | 22,157 views
Purple Cane Tea House @ Ipoh – Their maiden branch in Ipoh; a solely Tea House concept unlike the other Purple Cane restaurants that emphasize on tea-infused dishes instead.
So you might have heard about what that legendary premise on Osborne Street (Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar) previously occupied by Foh San Dim Sum has been renovated, and transformed into. If you have not, then it’s fine time you revisit that charming, beloved structure now with a fresh coat of white paint, yet nary a demolishing thought put into action; maintaining the iconic facade we have all grown up with.
The people at Purple Cane must be commended for putting deep thoughts into turning this Tea House into something fresh and chic yet retaining that old school charm of the beautiful interior.
The publicity has been minimal until now, with no brochures reaching my hands, nor large advertisements splashed out in the papers. (Maybe there WERE, but I don’t read the Chinese dailies) Heck, if not for the photos posted by fans of the All About Ipoh page, a post from Simple Girl, and a mail from a reader, I would not have known about this quaint gem (ironically, this term was used sparingly by a restaurant down south).
Read on to find out about the cuisine they serve, the products they sell (the tea house is adjacent to a retail area), their location and business hours, as well as how you can get a membership card by dining at the eatery ……
A serving of Pu-Erh tea @ RM1.80/USD0.50 per person. Other hot brews include Oolong, Jasmine and such. Of course you can also go for the premium tea leaves like Antique Pu-Erh and Long Jeng (Dragonwell) @ RM13.80/USD4.20 per pax each.
If you are familiar with the Purple Cane Tea House concept, then you would have understood that their motto is to live healthy, eat healthy and drink more tea. Okay, I made that up, but you can’t go wrong with having more healthy brews with anti-oxidant properties, as well as tea-infused foods right?
With three Tea Restaurants under the Purple Cane banner in Klang Valley (one in Shaw Parade, one in The Gardens Midvalley, and another at Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur) as well as various Tea Art Centres (selling the myriad of tea products) in KL, Selangor, Penang and the other states, this branch in Perak happens to be the ONLY premise that capitalize on the Tea House concept; serving light bites, a few individual meals, and lots of teas and beverages.
Cha Yip Dan aka Tea Egg in Black Tea (RM1.80/USD0.50 for a set of two eggs) – You can choose to have the eggs in the usual manner, or with a slight kick; an added tinge of spiciness.
Making my way into the tea house, I could not help but get the feeling of a special tea ceremony or tea-tasting fest, passing by the retail segment housing various tea products, utensils, ornaments and even several wooden tables with equally-matching wooden stools for you to really appreciate the tea-brewing processes; sipping on your prized tea without a care in the world.
Until you catch a glimpse of their menu. And your eyes start to wander, tummies a-growling, and salivary gland working into overdrive. Why shouldn’t you relent?
A savoury soup made with tea leaves, this one being the ultra-healthy Lei Cha Tea Soup/Green Tea Soup (RM6.80/USD2.00)served with two fingers of Rice & Grains Crisps.
You get a beautifully-laid menu that is bound and another with visuals; albeit the latter only with Chinese characters. The various style of beverages (including Green Tea Latte, and a margarita-like drink named Good Old Days; complete with a salt-laced glass!) at Purple Cane may take sometime to go through, but if you’re eating at a tea house and NOT ordering their teas, then something must be wrong somewhere.
To be safe, take the familiar choices of Chinese tea brewed in pots, from RM1.80 per person. The Pu-Erh might not be your idea of a premium/extravagant choice of tea leaf, but the dark-coloured tea is perfect to complement fried/fatty foods, or meat dishes.
Their signature Sweet Potato Balls with a tangy mayonnaise-based Green Tea Dipping sauce (RM5.80/USD1.80 for eight pieces)
The Tea Eggs came in two varieties (you must ask for them to be served as such); the spicy version, and the normal one. The difference was not instantaneously discernible, but the slight tinge of spiciness kicked in as you chew on the spiced hard-boiled egg.
The savoury Lei Cha Soup might take some time to get used to, however. Unless you’re a fan of Lui Cha Fan (or Thunder Tea Rice; but actually the Lui refers to the act of grinding/pounding the greens together), then you had better start off with something not as strong; say the Oolong tea soup with chicken, etc.
My grandma has always said, eat too many sweet potatoes and someday all your friends will run away from you. Why? Because sweet potatoes may cause you flatulence (air in stomach) ……. so don’t go releasing poisonous gases when you’re out eating with your comrades.
No fear. The almighty wall of charcoal is HERE !!!
Thank goodness at Purple Cane, you can tuck in into your balls of deep fried mashed sweet potatoes with gusto. Why? Because the tonnes of charcoal blocks locked into place; separated by the steel cage are meant to purify the air, and absorb any stagnant stench, unpleasant odour, etc from the surroundings.
Though I wouldn’t want to think about a fire breaking out.(Choi!!!)
But let’s not digress. The Sweet Potato Balls came piping hot scalding hot, hence bite with caution. The tangy dipping sauce combined mayo with a light green hue from the green tea essence. Though I could not taste the green tea at all. Maybe I was not supposed to …. ?
A MUST-TRY; the Fried Handmade Noodle with Lei Cha (RM12.80/USD3.90) may not be as healthy as the steamed/boiled/blanched counterparts, but the noodles was excellent.
For the MAINS, you can go for the Purple Cane’s Set Meals (RM16.80/USD5.00 each) usually consisting of a main, a dessert and a drink. Some sets include a main like Salad with your choice of dressing, but with a cooling Iced Green Tea Latte, hence no dessert is served. So choose wisely.
They even have Bak Kut Teh, Curry Chicken and Braised Beef Briskets with black tea, green tea or Oolong tea leaves being used in the cooking.
Since we were there mainly for a simple tea break, I picked the recommended Fried Noodles (you can choose to have rice vermicelli noodles instead) with a slightly intimidating greenish tinge, thanks to the addition of green tea/lei cha. For the normal version, shrimps will be served, but in case you’re a vegetarian, you can opt to have a vegetarian version of the same dish.
The noodles tasted fantastic. Fried with much skills, the noodles stayed strands-apart without clumping in a mess; yet the ensemble of handmade noodles, mustard greens (choy fah), julienned carrots, egg omelette, shrimps, and crunchy pine nuts was not too greasy nor overwhelmingly filling. Definitely a dish worth trying at Purple Cane Tea House if you’re seeking for something substantial rather than light bites.
Not in the menu; the chilled Caramel Pudding (RM3.80/USD1.20) was suggested by the lady manager herself; a refreshing dessert that combines the nectar-ish gula melaka caramel syrup, a velvety smooth egg custard and a faint floral scent.
Rose Egg Custard (RM3.80/USD1.20) – This was served warm instead, with a small cup of white tea (I think it was Long Jeng or Dragonwell, but I was not sure)
The desserts at Purple Cane Tea House consist of a few items only, unlike its Tea Restaurants counterpart in Klang Valley. You can have the Sweet Shui Xian Tea with Egg, or the Rose Egg Custard. The smooth, creamy egg custard can be served warm (as in the rose egg custard version in the menu) or chilled (a special not in the menu, yet).
Both versions were good, the Rose Egg Custard came with a small serving of clear, fragrant white tea. This acts to enhance the clear, aromatic and floral taste of the rose-scented egg custard. The Caramel Pudding came across as being a tad too sweet, yet subtly enhanced by the aromatic palm sugar syrup.
The special VIP Rooms at your perusal; but if only you’re in a large group of 10 pax or more.
At the back of the tea house, the garden-like environment was further put to good use with the addition of two VIP rooms; perfect for a private gathering with friends. Minimal spending of more than RM150/USD45 is all that is required to book a room.
Various utensils, cups and teapots, and dried tea leaves in canisters for sale at the retail segment.
The lady manager named Madam Hew, or affectionately known as ‘Chooi Foong’ (aka Wind Blowing?) as she wanted herself to be called.
A hilarious note here; while I was putting my inquisitive nature to good use, the manager and I engaged in a slightly funny banter –
Motormouth : So, why isn’t Purple Cane Tea House aggressively involved in promotions/publicity works to get the word out to the streets yet? (I was told that this place has been operating since two months ago)
Lady Manager : Aiya, you see today also many customers already right? If Purple Cane gets any new customers, we are afraid that we can’t handle lah …… (somewhat true, for the place can seat a crowd of 30-40 at best, and it was packed). Most of them said they knew from Facebook. 😉
Motormouth : (while still in his snapping frenzy) Thanks Madam Hew for the recommendations, and bringing me to see the VIP rooms and the place.
Lady Manager : Hey, don’t call me Madam lah! Call me “Chooi Foong” enough, as in Blowing Wind !!!! Everyone calls me that.
Kedai Teh Purple Cane (Purple Cane Tea House) – Would you have thought about walking in to have a full meal here?
Lady Manager : Hehe … you took so many photos. Remember to post them to Facebook and share with your friends okay?
Motormouth : (with an ever charming snigger …) Okay. Will try my best.
By the way, she did not know that I am a blogger. Hence no preferential treatment or bias from the management. She must have thought that this guy was another random/pesky customer with a penchant for asking tonnes of questions and taking lots of photos.
PURPLE CANE TEA HOUSE
No 2, Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar (Osborne Street)
30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 605-253 3090/6012-668 3090.
Business hours :Opens from 9am until 10pm daily.
Website : www.purplecane.my
GPS Coordinates : E 101 5′ 3.5″ N 4 35′ 43.0″
GOOGLE MAP to Purple Cane Tea House
# 10% discount with any credit card payment, J-card holders or Purple Cane members.
# Collect your receipts and an accumulated amount of RM300 will net you a FREE membership card.