Promoting a laid back lifestyle and providing an informal platform to socialise, Cafe dé Rasta in Ipoh, which opened for business on Feb 6, 2016, is the new place to be seen.
No doubt, it is a café as its name suggests but food is secondary here because the multiracialism is what makes Cafe dé Rasta stands apart from the other hipster cafés that are mushrooming in town.
The Dutch or those who have visited the Netherlands before could mistake the green, yellow and red colours on the logo of Cafe dé Rasta as a Holland coffeeshop (or koffieshop) but no, weed is not on the menu as drugs are illegal in Malaysia.
While Rastafarianism and these Rasta colours denote an entirely different definition altogether in Africa and the rest of the world, here in Ipoh, it is a social community that celebrates life and love for all people.
When I was there a couple of days ago, it was as though I walked into the General Assembly of the United Nations. Yup, the people came from so many different countries, I couldn’t count them on all my fingers.
As you could imagine, Cafe dé Rasta is a place for cultural exchange among the different nationalities and in general, a starting point for visitors to get to know about Ipoh.
Although I have said that food plays a secondary role at Cafe dé Rasta, which is owned by three friends, there is no denying that food keeps people together. Adhering to its Rasta theme, the dishes served here distinctly feature all three colours of green, yellow and red.
One of the partners, Mac, is the head chef who displays a deep passion for serving healthy food. Upon his return from the United States after living there for twelve years, this is his third café business in Ipoh, so, he is no novice when it comes to whipping up dishes that suit both local and Western palate.
Mac’s girlfriend, Hannah, is in charge of the desserts. They are to die for, as you can see from these photos.
Besides the regular menu, both Mac and Hannah rotate different items either as sets or specials. Moreover, they cater to private functions as well, even food and wine pairings. Obviously, for these, prior reservation has to be made.
Basically, what Cafe dé Rasta offers is premium food at affordable prices. You’d be glad to know that there’s no service charge or GST (Goods and Services Tax), which means more bang for your buck.
One of the partners, Eva, manages the hostel, Eloft, above the café. Opened in July 2015, it is an air-conditioned one-room hostel that has seven double-decker beds, so it can accommodate fourteen guests concurrently.
The rate per bed per night is just RM30 (regular) or RM35 (peak). Guests enjoy the use of a personal locker, free drinking water, WiFi internet. As a safety precaution, access to the hostel is through electronic key card.
As Eloft Hostel is centrally located in the heart of Ipoh (opposite the seven rainbow-coloured shop houses), this youth hostel is extremely popular among backpackers, hence the United Nations General Assembly scenario at the café which I described earlier.
Guests can also rent a bicycle to cycle around town. It’s only RM8 for 6 hours or RM20 for 24 hours.
Cafe dé Rasta
Business hours: 12pm – 12am daily
Business hours: 10am – 10pm
Add: 115, Jalan Sultan Iskandar (formerly Hugh Low Street), 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Contact / reservation: +6017-3365592 (Eva)
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