Happy 8 Retreat Café
Located in the middle of Old Town, the Happy 8 Retreat Café is a little piece of serenity amongst the hustle and bustle of the urban sprawl. The café is naturethemed, using wood, water, plants and tree murals to create a magical place. The café is divided into different sections, each of which is dedicated to an element of nature, and the different atmospheres complement one another incredibly well. One section reminds me of Chinese gardens with the clever use of bamboo walls to enclose a room with running water underneath; another is painted with enchanting trees; while the alley adjacent to the café, decorated with burgeoning greens, is the perfect place for alfresco dining. The chicken burger is a sumptuous delight with a wellmarinated chicken patty and cheesy egg. The carrot cake that satisfied my sweet tooth is easily one of the best of its kind in town with plenty of visible carrot shreds adorned with walnut crumbs. It’s also one of the priciest cakes, costing even more than some of the main courses on the menu. The café serves mostly Western cuisine with some choices of Chinese noodles. RM30 per person is probably sufficient at this café, but the price could go up to RM60 and above if you choose some of the gourmet items such as steak and salmon. 46 Jalan Market, Ipoh (05 243 8388/www.thehappy8.com.my).