Purple & Red Restaurants (紫红冰饮室) is a 7-month-old two-storey cafe in Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, just few steps away from Xuu Yau Wanton Noodle round a corner along Jalan Pahang. The new cafe has a cheery and colourful shopfront that stands out from surrounding shops.
The interior of Purple & Red Restaurants uses bold red paint for its walls and with colourful decorations.
A little stairway leads to the second floor.
And step into another world with very different decorations and bright colours.
Purple & Red is primarily an iced-beverage cafe serving their signature natural hand-crush lemon tea (手打.柠檬茶) along with other premium drinks: mint-flavoured mojito (薄荷.莫吉托) and natural aiyu jelly (手洗.爱玉冰). Other beverages include hot and iced hand-brew coffee and rose bandung. Orange-peel red bean soup (老陈皮.红豆汤) and sandwiches are available as light bites. A new item, called "Raindrop Cake", on the menu seems rather interesting.
Purple & Red's hand-brew coffee is brewed with AeroPress coffee maker. I brew my own coffee at home using percolation method and is interested to try the flavours of the immersion-type AeroPress-made coffee — not to mention that it is very rare to find a cafe that uses the AeroPress maker.
Using a special blend of four types of coffee beans, the use of AeroPress coffee maker brings out the natural sweetness of the coffee (no sugar added) with fuller body, no acidity and no bitterness. The hot coffee is very good! I will try the iced or iced mint coffee on subsequent visits.
The delicious old-orange-peel red bean soup (老陈皮.红豆汤) is a small bowl and should really try it when visiting the cafe. The red beans are fully-cooked and soft, but not mushy. It has a light pandan leaf aroma and not too sweet — no wonder it always run out fast.
During hot afternoons, Purple & Red's limey-lemony iced beverages are ultra-welcoming. The hand-washed natural aiyu jelly (手洗.爱玉冰) is served in a big plastic bag with paper straw and hanging from a "banana holder". The cold drink is added with some slices of lemon and lime with mint leaves that give some bright flavours to the refreshing aiyu jelly.
The fizzy, mint-flavoured mojito (薄荷.莫吉托) is also another refreshing drink to try. It is alcohol-free and with citrus flavours. These delightful thirst-quenching beverages are the best for hot days.
The hot-pressed banana-peanut sandwich (香蕉花生酱.热压三文治) comes with piping-hot banana slices and peanut-paste filling topped with dark chocolate sauce. I was worried that the combination of banana and chocolate might be too sweet, but they are not.
The raindrop cake (水信玄饼) is a Japanese-popular dessert made of water and agar and looks like a large transparent raindrop. The mildly-sweet raindrop jelly is accompanied by brown sugar syrup, red bean paste and roasted soybean flour. It is eaten by pouring some brown sugar syrup on the raindrop then topped with the soybean flour and red bean paste. It is an interesting dessert that is rare to be seen in Japanese restaurants the region.
Purple & Red is one nice place to get away from the hot sun with refreshing limey-lemony drinks and good coffee with some light bites.
Purple & Red Restaurants (紫红冰饮室)
8, Jalan Pahang, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
9am to 6pm | Closed on Wednesday