Monday, June 30, 2014

The Coffee Club (Australia) @ Subang Parade

The Coffee Club, reputedly Australia's biggest home-grown chain of cafes, unveiled its first Malaysian offshoot at Subang Parade this month, bolstering a cross-border network that encompasses more than 300 branches Down Under (including New Zealand), plus Thailand, New Caledonia & China.

Subang now has no lack of two-storey cafes, a trend that began earlier this year at Empire Subang; the sensibly spacious Coffee Club is striking in its own right, destined to draw crowds seeking another attractive hotspot to tout on social media.

Graffiti outside adds character to the setting. From inside The Coffee Club, this looks little like what folks expect of Subang.

The Coffee Club's menu hits the expected notes, with breakfast platters aplenty. The preparation might be a bit erratic though; these two poached eggs on toasted ciabatta with guacamole, beef bacon, roasted tomato, rocket leaves & pistachio crumbs (RM22.90 before taxes) were hamstrung by exceedingly overdone yolks ...

... but the egg turned out fine for the combination with pan-fried potato hash & sliced lamb chorizos (RM22.90).

Omelette stuffed with feta cheese & mushrooms (RM17.90). On the plus side, portions are reasonably hearty here.

Granola with yoghurt & honey, alongside skimmed milk (RM15.90), enjoyable enough. Besides these all-day breakfasts (which include Eggs Benedict & pancakes too), The Coffee Club also serves standard-sounding burgers, pastas & many main courses.

 Cakes showcased here look potentially worthwhile. Chocolate coffee, hazelnut praline, orange mousse & more.

The Coffee Club relies on beans that are UTZ-certified, promoting fair & sustainable coffee production. Its espresso (RM7.80) is definitely drinkable, as much as what folks would anticipate of a mass-market franchise.

Mellocino. Kinda fun, with two marshmallows floating in the froth & supplying sufficient sugar to sweeten this coffee. 

Iced chai latte & cookies-&-cream frappe, to help beat the heat; the abundance of natural sunlight can be a double-aged sword, since the air-conditioning needs to labour extraordinarily hard to cool the interior.

The service team tries to keep things moving, but it seems short-handed, notably on weekends. Patient patrons only, please.


The Coffee Club Malaysia
Subang Parade, Subang Jaya, Selangor. Outdoors, near the Dome end of the parking lot


Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/2014C 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
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Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses

Sunday, June 29, 2014

TBC Cafe & Le Rozell French Creperie @ Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam

Two engaging new cafes have opened in Kota Kemuning this month, both worth the drive to this leafy neighbourhood, little more than a 10-minute trip from Subang via the Kesas highway & 20 minutes from Bukit Jalil.

 Let's start with TBC, a niftily designed hangout opened by three church buddies, Nat, Daniel & Julian. The cafe's name is meant to be an acronym that's left open to interpretation; it could mean anything from 'The Brunch Company' to "Truly Brilliant Coffee.'

The menu's now in its soft-launch stage; come for the well-prepared Big Breakfast (RM18), a bountiful platter of both streaky & back bacon, smoky Hungarian sausage, sourdough toast, tomato, mushrooms & scrambled eggs. The pork's the highlight here; wonderfully flavourful & juicy. Basic pastas & sandwiches are also available.

 TBC obtains its coffee beans from PULP by Papa Palheta; the current blend is the Brazilian-Indonesian Throwback.

Cakes come from the Suchan bakery (expect everything from pavlovas to mille-crepes), plus chocolate brownies by a home baker. All in all, TBC feels like a friendly place that's keen to please; it's a nice addition not only to Kota Kemuning but to the Klang Valley in general. Customers who enjoy supporting independent cafes will probably like TBC.

 Also well worth a visit: Le Rozell, a charming spot with scrumptious surprises that opened in Kota Kemuning in recent weeks. The restaurant's name is a clue to what it serves: 'Rozell' is a batter ladle for preparing crepes.

 A creperie run by a true-blue Frenchwoman in Kota Kemuning? Maryam lived in Brittany, the region most linked to crepes, for part of her life, so she knows these traditional thin pancakes well. She's very hands-on in the kitchen but also takes the time to chat with customers, making sure they enjoy the crepes.

Savoury crepes are made here with buckwheat flour imported from France; we loved taste & texture of this one, simultaneously crisp, light & fluffy. Fully loaded with a warm, creamy stuffing of shredded duck confit, pan-seared mushrooms & honey. RM24. 

Other options include crepes with egg, ratatouille, smoked salmon, goat's cheese & more (mostly costing RM21-RM28). The lunch & dinner selections are different, with slightly wider choices in the evening.

 Don't skip the sweet, wheat-flour crepes: This one, topped & stuffed with warm, luscious chestnut cream (RM12.50), is addicting, with beautifully fresh flavours. Might not look like much, but it tastes marvellous. Dessert crepes cost a more affordable RM11-RM14.

Le Rozell is a cafe that serves more than crepes: there's the traditional 'king cake' (puff pastry filled with frangipane), meringue tarts, baguettes, croissants, fruit preserves & more.

 TBC Cafe
. 2-39-1, Persiaran Anggerik Vanilla Sinaran Kota 1, Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam
Monday-Saturday, 11am-10pm

Le Rozell French Cafe Creperie
35-1, 8 Jalan Anggerik Vanilla BE, 31/BE Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam
Wednesday-Monday, lunch & dinner

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/2014C 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Furry Tales Pet Salon & Cafe @ Telawi, Bangsar

Coffee hounds pursuing their paw-fect cafe should stop chasing their tails & barking up the wrong tree; sniff out the scent of Furry Tails, where puppy love has been unleashed recently on a Bangsar backstreet.

 Furry Tales is a pet salon with an in-house cafe, located in a house converted into a striking business venue.

Don't let the dogs out: Furry Tails' front section is where four-legged friends scamper (including current resident poodle Coffee, Pomeranian Maggie & Maltese Candy, owned by the staff members), some of them waiting to be groomed. Baths, blow-drying & brushing are among Furry Tails' services. 

With so much canine cuddling happening here, Furry Tales is one of the closest things to a dog cafe in KL right now.

 The cafe is at the back of the building, separated from the main salon. We visited a few weeks ago before the kitchen began operating, but basic pastas & coffee are available for human customers by now. Note though that the cafe only opens Saturday & Sunday, 12pm-10pm.

 Plenty of potentially tasty treats for your furkids at this cheerfully bright place (as well as pet toys).


Furry Tales
83, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Cafe opens Sat-Sun, 12pm-10pm. Salon opens Tues-Sun.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This is a catalogue of insights into what inspires our contemporary culinary craftspeople, from Elsie & her sister Jennifer's experiments with tong yuen at home to Eugene & Emrys' escapades with hand-crafted sodas in Tokyo.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings, so bookmark the following permanent link & check back regularly to find out what's fresh: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses

Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).

Friday, June 27, 2014

Grinder @ Damansara Kim

Our longer-than-expected wait for Grinder to open finally grinds to a halt; it's another suburban spot with a measure of promise on the Damansara Kim shophouse street that's home to Kompassion & The Kitchen Table.

Grinder's appearance fits what cafe-hoppers have come to expect from residential neighbourhood nooks, professionally put together to straddle the line between casual & chic. As a bonus, local artists can have their work exhibited for free on the walls. Service is efficient without being effusive, but there's an easygoing vibe that could make this place a favourite for many patrons.

Grinder's kitchen opens for lunch & dinner; the menu takes the 'less is more' route in terms of diversity but it's encouragingly distinctive, steering clear of the Klang Valley's current cafe cliches with an unexpectedly French-influenced repertoire, which includes this enjoyable traditional onion soup (RM10).

The food here makes for a pleasant lunch, particularly since prices fall within a reasonable range. We'd have liked a more convincing dressing for this salad & a less barely-there rationing of toasted walnuts, but the choice of leaves was a nice one & the crunchy croutons topped with creamy brie & honey were tasty. RM14.

Love Grinder's take on the croque monsieur (RM17); perfect to curb carb cravings, thanks to thick, fluffy slices of grilled bread made flavourful with tender chicken & cheese. But the roast potatoes on the side tasted like limp leftovers, even if they weren't.

Duck confit plays a significant role at Grinder; you'll see it in a salad & sometimes with pasta here, but the more unusual preparation might be these wonton-like crispy dumplings stuffed with duck & served with a choice of orange reduction sauce, sour cream with chives, or sweet chilli (customers can only have one sauce with each order). RM7.

Plenty of escargots in this linguine with crushed cashew-broccoli pesto sauce (RM23, or RM17 without the canned snails). It's a recipe with a rustic, nearly home-made feel. Sauces are made from scratch at Grinder, which emphasises healthier ingredients.

Penne arrabiata with prawns in a well-balanced, lightly spicy sauce made with San Marzano plum tomatoes, chilli peppers & garlic (RM26, or RM17 without the five-or-so prawns). Decent bet for a light lunch.

Desserts are obtained from other suppliers; we liked the moist chocolate cake with a hint of Earl Grey & a raspberry coulis topping, while the salted caramel macaron was worthwhile too.

For now, Grinder's food is better than its beverages (unexpectedly so, since the cafe's name is meant to evoke coffee beans); the latte (RM10) needs work, the presence of the milk steamer with dark chocolate pieces (RM12) could be reconsidered & the pink grapefruit soda might not warrant forking out RM9. But we're optimistic that everything will improve in the months to come. 

Grinder Cafe
45, SS20/11, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Open Tues-Sun, 10am-10pm (with kitchen closed between lunch & dinner). Tel: 03-7732-4689

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/2014C 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses