LIPAO, Hang Kasturi Road
September 25, 2019
Classic Malaysian cendol, reintroduced to the bubble tea generation: LIPAO is on a mission to help preserve the popularity of time-honoured domestic desserts, beginning with cendol, by making them fashionably fabulous. In recent weeks, this charming shop near KL's Central Market has served hundreds of cups of cendol and other ultra-refreshing cool beverages that proudly showcase local fruits to Malaysians as well as tourists from Thailand to Taiwan to Tunisia, Azerbaijan to Bulgaria to Canada.
Each serving of cendol comes in a presentation that evokes bubble tea, striving to bring together the past and the present, keeping our culinary heritage relevant for the future. LIPAO founders Wei and Soo ensure this isn't merely a novelty - the signature cendol is completely satisfying, featuring a beautiful balance of top-drawer ingredients (RM12.50). The green rice flour jelly is sourced from an independent supplier who makes it in small batches, chilled and never frozen, relying on fresh pandan to make each bite fragrantly hit the spot. Equal attention is devoted to the gula Melaka as well as coconut milk that's freshly received every morning - there's plenty of red beans and other treasures too in each cup, yielding delightfully creamy-chewy textures. The cendol conveys impressively natural nuances, not too sweet, so it's an indulgence that won't feel guilty.
Seasonal specialities are available; we visited while the Musang King durian cendol was still being offered in mid-September, with the luscious fruit pairing potently with the santan-rich drink, as authentically, admirably Malaysian as any dessert out there.
Ultimately, there's a reviving beverage for everyone here, from other cendol drinks complemented by fruits like unmistakably vibrant dragonfruit, mango or papaya (RM14.50 each) to wholesome coolers to counter KL's eternal summer, such as tea with mixed fruits (RM12.50). We'd love to see LIPAO in more locations across the city in the months ahead; many thanks to LIPAO for this peek into its pleasures.
50, Jalan Hang Kasturi, 50050 Kuala Lumpur. Daily 1130am-630pm. Tel: 016-575-5286
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