It’s Probably Time to “Take A Break”October 5, 2011 | 10,045 views
Sweet Temptations – Tiers of colourful macarons for picking @ Take A Break (RM3.50 per piece)
No, not from blogging. So stop preparing that cardio-resuscitation device for fear of an impending heart attack. Although I can’t deny that I’m tempted to, especially in trying times like now.
The past few weeks have been challenging; both mentally and to some extent …. physically. Difficult decisions were made, and I spent more time thinking than eating.
Anyway, was back in my hometown for a good portion of last week, and needless to say, the eating sessions got more interesting as time goes by. If you’re wondering why wasn’t I covering all these stories back when I had all the time in the world (when I was based in old town of Ipoh), beats me. Maybe distance DOES make the heart grow fonder. Or in this case, the craving grows wilder.
Take A Break is a café that has been silently operating for a good 4 months now, in Ipoh Garden South. But is this another run-of-the-mill, flash in the pan wonder? Read on to find out.
Not your average neighbourhood cafe, yet can’t help but felt right at home here.
Anna prides on her wholesome meals; being light and natural using only the freshest produce, mildest flavours and soon going to tread on the organic route.
Her specialty? ONA Laksa. A clear broth infused with the unmistakably aroma and robust combustion of flavours like the real deal; Assam Laksa. Why ONA? It’s a clever play of the words Ong (her husband) and Anna (herself), and she mentioned something about the word ‘ona’ may take on the meaning of a small, quaint café in one of the foreign countries.
This amnesiac Motormouth has completely forgotten where.
A creamy avocado smoothie that begs to be placed in the spotlight
Comparison of an imported avocado from Australia, and the local variety in the background
Anyway, we settled for something much lighter for this meal, since we had a pretty heavy lunch earlier and stuffed ourselves silly with cakes from JJ Cakes and Nancy Chong’s for tea time. It’s a wonder if I don’t put on weight had I spent another week at home.
Dad had the Beef Curry Rice (RM7.90/USD2.70); very subtle flavours with a slight tinge of spiciness accompanying the tender slices of beef cooked within. The rice was of the unpolished variety, topped with fried shallots. Mum suffered repercussions to some degree from the snacking and went for a lighter option; wild pumpkin soup (RM6.90/USD2.30) that’s made entirely of wild pumpkin picked by Anna’s daughter from a trekking route in Cameron Highlands.
The texture was of a much thicker consistency, with a pleasant sweetness that reminded her of sweet potatoes more than the usual pumpkins sold in the market.
Back to the good old days of Root Beer Float from A&W?
A Wild Pumpkin Soup with toast that’s more than the average pumpkin soup.
I initially wanted to try her other signature; a hidden gem of a coriander chicken noodle that was raved upon by a few die-hard fans of hers (including this Bunny). But they have sold off the portions for the day. The inspiration came from eating an extremely spicy version of the coriander chicken in Taiwan (either that or in mainland China); that was ‘unbelievably fiery it was almost impossible to swallow’!
But you know, we Malaysians being the gluttons that we are, have always loved to torture our tastebuds with foods from the extremes.
Beef Curry Rice was a pleasantly substantial meal for one; without the usual guilt of bingeing on sinful curries
Italian Meatballs Spaghetti that was not my cup of tea; but the beef balls were good
For example, chili pan mee that’s all the rage a few years ago STILL manages to arrest any foodie’s attention even now. Super Kitchen and Kin Kin are the brands we have grown familiar with in the Klang Valley, though there are a few more gems undiscovered by myself tucked hidden in nooks and corners. Let’s not digress. I am already wetting my keyboard here.
The Spaghetti with Meatballs (chicken or beef) (RM7.90/USD2.70) came in a slurry of uninviting, diluted tomato sauce … almost soup-like, if you will. Usually, we are accustomed to Bolognese sauces with chunky minced meat, or at least a marinara sauce with a fuller texture; infused with reasonably generous amount of tomatoes, basil, garlic and various herbs. No doubt the beef balls were as wholesome as they could be, being bouncy unlike the generic minced beef version.
For the High Tea Sets, I assume?
But let’s concentrate on the highlight of the meal. An avocado smoothie (RM7.90/USD2.70) that was out-of-this-world creamy, buttery and hearty without compromising on the quality of the ingredient used (a whole imported avocado from Australia).
Anna added; “If you’ve torched your palate with the coriander chicken noodle, try an extremely effective antidote … this avocado smoothie!”
Well said. If you’re guilty of downing a smoothie that’s ridden with calories more than your plate of salad or sandwich, try a combination of avocado + passion fruit to lessen the guilt.
She makes macarons in a variety of flavours; from blueberry to banana, orange to strawberry and then some. We chose three flavours; and I picked the banana. The confection crumbled at first bite, though far from being melt-in-mouth texture. A compromise though, since her macarons are definitely agreeable to those without a sweet tooth. (RM3.50/USD1.20 per piece)
The concept of Take A Break VIP Lounge Café (don’t ask why, but there’s a reason behind the VIP Lounge moniker) took on the idea of eating at a traveller’s lodge; a backpackers joint like those on Khao San road in Bangkok. The decorations, the magazines on the rack, the laid-back aura, the selection of sandwiches, salads and light meals with an equally impressive repertoire of juices and smoothies.
“We love to travel, and incorporate various elements brought home from memories of our journeys to the other countries.”
Everything’s priced below RM10/USD3.40, so you won’t break your budget by eating here anytime of the day. Another plus point is that they are opened even during the odd hours (in-between meals); operating from 10am until 9pm daily. Try the High Tea Set (RM22 for two pax), or the breakfast sets tailored to local flavours (even tea, coffee, Nissin noodles, etc), or even her signature scones and tea set at RM6.90/USD2.30 each.
TAKE A BREAK VIP LOUNGE (pork-free)
16, Tingkat Taman Ipoh 11,
Ipoh Garden South,
31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Tel No : Anna Ong (6012-451 8992), Gillian Chin (6012-515 8973)
GPS Coordinates : 4.608436,101.119419
Google Map to Take A Break
*Same row as Bee Gaik Nyonya Restaurant and a few doors away Tai Woo Hong Kong Dim Sum