It was by a funny stroke of luck that we stumbled upon Thumb’s Cafe in Ipoh.
We were not in Ipoh for a food excursion. It was in fact a photography skewed trip, with a trunkload of clothes in the boot of the Volkswagen Passat, heading to north for landscape inspiration shoot.
We were driving in our Passat, heading to our next location when Joanna exclaimed excited “It that a Volkswagen??”
I looked up from my phone and said “No, that’s not Volkswagen“; staring at disbelief at a Suzuki.
“No!” she exclaimed. “This one!”. She quickly steered to the left so the vehicle behind us could overtake us; and there is was, a cute little vintage Beetle ambled pass.
Trailing behind the little car, we honked til the owner stopped his Beetle. 🙂
Ezzad; owner of the Beetle was nice enough to agree to a photoshoot with our Passat. In the conversation (yes we are in the habit of flagging down random strangers asking them to join us for our photoshoots. Nah, just joking) we found out that he runs Thumb’s Cafe in Greentown Ipoh.
A quick google revealed a very rustic, almost container-like “outlet”.
This sits cosily within the large compound of Kompleks Badan Khidmat Islam Perak (Bakip) in Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil in Greentown.
Parking is aplenty, and free too in the large compound just besides the cafe. The area could easily fit 50 cars!
Walking into the “container“/outlet I was surprised at the spacious seating. And almost every table is unique, so for each visit you might be seated at a makeshift crate table with metal stools or a wooden table with cushioned armchairs.
You can even choose to seat at the bar (sans alcohol of course) and watch the “barmen” blend, squeeze and mix the drinks for the packed cafe.
If an explain-it-all phase can be used, I’ll choose to go with “It is a very Instagram-able cafe“. Eccentric with whimsical vintage decor, the cafe exudes charm and coziness.
I thought the pretty spherical hanging lamps a nice touch. The cafe is kept cool with one air con and fans. Since it is only operational in the evenings, the temperature is bearable.
Food options are as extensive as a one A4 pager could allow.
Malay favourites are Chicken Rice, Fried Rice, Kanji (porridge), noodles (RM5- RM8) and for the western options the popular orders (observation based on 2 separate visits) are Chicken Chop and their signature Meatballs (beef); RM8 for 6 pieces and RM11 for 10 pieces.
According to Ezzad, the meatballs are housemade and baked which resulted in a nice crispy crust and tender centres. I couldn’t agree enough, and was personally rather pleased as that meant less grease since it wasn’t deep fried.
The same meatballs are available with pasta too.
Or you could opt for simple Chicken Pasta. Prices for mains ranges from RM8 to RM14. The popular Lamb and Chicken Chop comes with 3 options for the sauce; Mushroom, Black Pepper or Brown Sauce, all in-house recipes.
As evident from the photographs the food here is unpretentious and homely. Portions are hearty and prices are reasonable.
This plate of Fish & Chips is RM8, adeptly fried to ensure crisp batter and fries.
Sandwiches and burgers are available too.
Tortilla wraps are RM6 – RM8; depending on the fillings of chicken, crab/squid.
Beverages are between RM1 – RM5 while fruits juices are RM2.50 to RM4. Fancy drinks in bottles (think Esprit, Bickforrds) will cost RM8 – RM9.
Desserts are promising as well. Joanna thoroughly enjoyed the Creme Brulee (RM5.50) while I was more attracted to the Rainbow Cake (RM9/slice).
It is so pretty right? 🙂
Pavlova (RM6) and Tiramisu.
Many may wonder about the name “thumbs”. Well I found out why. Ezzad’s dad is Mr Alias, also known as “Pak Tam” and thus the “Tam” was made commercial with just “Thumb’s “. 🙂
With such reasonable prices, homely food and wonderful ambiance, Thumb’s Cafe is certainly worth a visit, for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
For my Muslim readers and friends, fret not now. There’s more to Ipoh than just eating at mamak, mall F & B outlets and nasi kandar now!
THUMB’S CAFE (HALAL)
No. 133, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil,
30450 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Business Hours : 6pm – 1am.
Closed on Mondays.
GPS: N04° 35′ 54.7′ E101° 5′ 49.8′