Monday, 4 July 2016

Burps & Giggles @ Ipoh

After our breakfast on Day 3, it was time to bid farewell to a fun motor treasure hunt, a leisure and enjoyable stay (with friends rather than flies) and a gratifying food hunt in Sitiawan.  We checked out of our hotel at around 11am with the intention of having lunch in Ipoh en route back to KL.

We reached Ipoh one and a half hours later....just in time for lunch, toilet break and to stretch our legs. That's why we targeted one of Julie Song's restaurants along Jalan Sultan Yussuf, Burps & Giggles @ Ipoh.

I was first introduced to Julie Song through the Discover Perak series (hosted by Xandria Ooi) on Astro's AFC. Julie is a well-known chef and restauranteur in Ipoh (think Indulgence Restaurant).  She then embarked on opening a series of smaller, quirky cafes, Burps & Giggles followed by Buku Tiga Lima and Missing Marbles.

I have read blogs reviewing all her three restaurants (which are interlinked) and was privy to the fact that cross ordering was allowed.  Burps & Giggles offers more hearty fare like burgers and mains whilst Buku Tiga Lima dabbles in sweet and savoury crepes and Missing Marbles tantalises with an Asian menu.  But, to my surprise, when I stepped into Burps & Giggles, the server told me that they share one and the same menu.  But that was before I realised why.
Crepes are no longer on the menu of Buku Tiga Lima nor in Burps & Giggles (if you want those, you have to visit Indulgence instead).  I'm not sure if Buku Tiga Lima is even around they seem to be (at least) partially closed.  Taking its place is a little shop selling knick-knacks.

Only remnants are the 555 booklets that still hang in its 'semi-closed' premises.

Also missing is......Missing Marbles.  Now this one is certainly not there anymore (only the sign is still there)! >_<

Taking over is a new place called Nellis (when we walked past)!

Coming back to Burps & Giggles, the cafe's menu is no longer what it used to be (as opposed to the extensive offerings I saw on blogs previously) and seems to cater generally to sandwiches, burgers and pastas now.  As we were still reeling from a rather full breakfast at Swiss-Garden Resort Damai Laut before we checked out, we decided to order just two dishes for sharing....the first of which was the Whacky Prawns Pasta @ RM19.

It's linguine filled with garlic butter prawns, red capsicum, cherry tomatoes and green peas in a light pesto sauce.  It was an ok pasta dish, nothing out of the ordinary.  There are two other pasta dishes on the menu, one with smoked chicken slices and the other with mushrooms and turkey ham.

Our next order was the Jammy Burger also @ RM19 which featured an Angus patty, gorgonzola spread (which I asked to omit), cheddar cheese, onions, tomatoes and egg.  Everything was held together with a steak knife stabbed through the middle.

The sesame crusted bun was soft but the Angus patty was barely was neither thick nor juicy! :(  And you can see that the egg is one with a fully cooked yolk.

Finally, it was topped merely with thick slices of raw onions and tomatoes.  You can't help but think you can pretty much whip something similar at home (effortlessly).  There are just three other options for burgers here (with chicken, lamb or kimchi).

Luckily, the coffees were at least satisfying.  I had an Iced Latte @ RM12.

My friend had a Hot Cappuccino @ RM10...cute plate :)

Another had the Go Green @ RM14, a detox drink of cucumber, lemon, ginger and whatnot, the combo of which didn't taste all that good...maybe she felt the need to detox after a gruelling 3 days/2 nights...kekeke! :D

My Personal Opinion

You can't deny that the cafe has a rustic and quirky charm about it but it's a place you'd probably end up liking because of the decor and ambience more than the food.  When we were there on a (school holiday) Monday at peak lunch time, the place was pretty empty with just one other table occupied.  This is probably a far cry from its manic days when they first opened and were blazing through social media.  But still a decent place to hang out over a cuppa (and soak in the quirky interior) or to rest your legs (for north or southbound travellers) ^_*

I can't help but wonder why only Burps & Giggles remain to this day....I can only guess that having three cafes in the same row is stretching it a bit, especially so when customers dwindle down after the initial hoo-ha.

I suppose that charm and arty ambience can only get you so far but when all is done and dusted, it's the (consistently good) food that will keep you in the game in the long haul! ;)

Burps & Giggles
93 & 95 Jalan Sultan Yussuf
30000 Ipoh
Tel: 05-242 6188


  1. It's been such a long time since my last visit to Ipoh. Sad to hear the sister cafes have closed.

    1. It's sad to see any cafe close for that matter coz that would mean certain losses to the founders/owners and the employees too.

  2. I've seen the episode with Julie Song before when I was flipping between AFC, TLC and Food Network the last time I was back home (or was it last last time). She brought Xandria around Ipoh and introduced her to here and there, then closed with a food sampling at her own restaurant isn't it?

    I just thought that, "Dei! This auntie, I don't think she knows what she's doing or saying!" and made a mental note to not accidentally go to her restaurants.

    I'm glad to read a piece that validates my suspicion. Thanks. :/

    1. I won't go so far as to say she doesn't know what she's doing but just that she didn't quite have the personality for TV (neither did her host, Xandria whom I think would do better as a host of some fashion segment rather than a food show)...and yes, she closed the show with food from her restaurants.

      She's probably a good chef (I can't say for sure since I didn't really get to try her cooking) as she did have four restaurants and a boutique hotel under her belt. Maybe she was stretched by the management of one too many cafes and some had to give way.

  3. What a cute name! You are right, at the end of the day it is the food that draws repeat customers.

    1. Cute and quirky will draw the initial crowd...after that it's the food and service that will ensure your longevity.

  4. ooo ... didn't know that missing marbles & buku tiga lima have both vanished ... i thought i was there just a couple of years ago, but when i just checked, my visit to burps & giggles, etc, was actually in 2012! gosh, time flies! and things have really changed ... all three outlets were packed when we visited! sigh!

    1. That's because you usually visit these cafes when they're newly opened and bustling on social media. When all the euphoria has subsided, this is the real truth, I guess.

  5. Yes I am all about the food too so I don't get hipsters cafes where most food are so so only with high price. I have stood outside this cafe a few times during my visit to Ipoh but since I ate Ipoh coffee shops food the food in this cafe just didn't interest me as there are many similar cafes in kl. I guess this cafe is for local young people who want to chill qnd hang out in a different setting than coffee shops and malls.

    1. The young crowd would still embrace hipster cafes coz of the cool vibe (to be seen and heard) and instagram-worthy photos they can upload on social media....for them, food comes second. I'm ok with trying out these type of cafes just once but if the food is not up to mark, there won't be a second trip. And that's probably why some of these cafes don't only need one visit to get all the photos you need! ;)

  6. Cafe options at Ipoh are aplenty, us the "tourist" will be spoilt with choice >_<


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