Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cafe Dola @ Changkat Thambi Dollah

Cafe Dola is the offspring of a random encounter - Jueliene, a local TV producer, contacted Alex, who manages Changkat Thambi Dollah's Ceria Hotel, to reserve some rooms last November. In subsequent conversations, Alex mentioned a space beside his hotel that he wanted to turn into a cafe. It was the right place & time for Jueliene & two of her friends, Izzat & Haziq, who recently founded a cafe consultancy & catering initiative called Projekt & Quick Brown Fox. The trio have since remade Alex's space, a former herbal tea shop, into Cafe Dola, a promising spot with nice people, honest cooking & wholesome vibes.

 Cafe Dola balances the familiar & the fresh for its look, from the choice of lights to the Peranakan-inflected flooring, the cement bar to the woodwork of Nolin Teh Carpentry. There's an attention to detail too for the menu; it's not a long list, but we found ourselves ordering more than expected - sandwiches stuffed with chicken luncheon ham & fried egg (RM10), pan-seared sole with veggies, potatoes & house-made dill cream sauce (RM18), spicy prawn sambal spaghetti (RM16) & oven-baked chicken roll with mozzarella-topped tomato, sauteed spinach, mushrooms & honey mustard sauce (RM20).

  Cafe Dola's recipes feel like a work in progress, with further fine-tuning forthcoming as the kitchen matures, but there's something to appreciate about each dish. More polish is needed to make these offering shine, but it's nonetheless easy to dig into & enjoy a hearty bowl of granola with fruits, yoghurt, milk & maple syrup (RM12), Nutella-filled French toast (RM12) & flambeed bananas with ice cream (RM11). Everything remains conveniently available all day long, afternoon through night.

 Izzat & Haziq may have earned their stripes in fields like advertising, but they've secured enough experience at a few cafes in recent months to make easy-to-endorse piccolo lattes, ristrettos (RM6) & flat whites (RM9) with a bankable blend of beans. Alternatively, the vanilla-flavoured Dola Soda (RM10) is a potent antidote for humid afternoons. Trivia: Cafe Dola's name is a play on the 'Dollah' in Changkat Thambi Dollah. And while Jueliene, Izzat & Haziq might not be the owners of this cafe, they have an emotional stake in it & consider it their first baby, so expect to see them both here & elsewhere in the months ahead.

While we're happy to welcome Cafe Dola to this street, we have to bid a heavy-hearted farewell to Chicco Di Caffe, another hotel-linked cafe at Changkat Thambi Dollah. We hadn't written about Chicco Di Caffe earlier, but it's now closed. The cafe's founder, Danny, created a lovely first-floor hideout - calm, charming & warm-hearted - serving sandwiches, cakes & coffee. We wish Danny, a genuinely friendly chap, luck in his future pursuits, & hope to bump into him in another place at another time.

Cafe Dola
270 Changkat Thambi Dollah, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 12pm-11pm

The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community.
Every restaurant on this app rewards users with a 6 percent discount, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long. 
In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers.
For every transaction, RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-March 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires April 25, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

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 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Eat Drink KL Official Mobile App For iOS & Android


It's here! By restaurant lovers, for restaurant lovers: The new Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available for iOS & Android, connecting restaurants with customers & promoting a positive spirit of community.




Starting 2 March 2015, every restaurant featured on this app will reward users with a 6 percent discount off their receipts, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long, with no advance bookings required. In return, users will share photos of their experiences at these restaurants, creating a new community of food fans across the Klang Valley.

For every transaction made through this app, 20 sen will be channelled to a charitable organisation every month. The funds will be completely contributed by the restaurants. 

Our first charity for March to May 2015 is the Dignity For Children foundation, which works to help underprivileged Malaysian children break the cycle of poverty through education. 

In March, we raised a total of RM158 for Dignity For Children through your transactions.

The app offers something for everyone who enjoys eating out. Besides a photo feed that's fully powered by users, it also provides a news feed of the latest promotions & highlights at your favourite restaurants.

From local fare to Japanese & Thai to French & Spanish, plus plenty of cafes & coffee bars, you'll find it all here.



The EDKL app is a self-funded, independent initiative by a tiny team of Malaysians. Users can now use the app at the following locations. We'll add many more venues in the weeks & months to come, & will continue updating this list on this page as well as on the mobile app:

BANGSAR
KGB Killer Gourmet Burgers
LA/PA
Mercat
Piggy Tail
Rendez-Vous

BANGSAR SOUTH
Nexo
Thirdwave

BUKIT BINTANG
Boat Noodle (Berjaya Times Square)
Kafe Vietnam Express (Berjaya Times Square)

CHERAS
Boat Noodle (Ikon Connaught)

CITY CENTRE
Cherry Bomb (Menara See Hoy Chan)
Drift Dining & Bar
Fatboy's The Burger Bar (Avenue K)
Hubba Hubba (Bukit Ceylon)
Tujo (Ascott, Jalan Pinang)

DAMANSARA PERDANA
Boat Noodle
Cat In The Box
Epique
Friendscino
Mosano Coffee
Sevencups
Talent Lounge

DAMANSARA UPTOWN
Ecole P
Epicuro
Lammeeya
Swich Cafe
Xiao Lao Wang

KLANG
Boat Noodle (Klang Parade)

KOTA DAMANSARA
3 Bags Full
Bmon Cafe
Burger Junkyard
Gyukingu Japanese BBQ

PETALING JAYA
Bangoya (Jaya One)
Boat Noodle (Jaya One)
Go Thai (SS2)
Kissaten (Jaya One)
Kitchen Creatures (Centrepoint, Bandar Utama)
Robata Monkey (Jaya One)
Strangers At 47 (Section 17)
The Bee (Jaya One)
The Humble Pie Co (Section 17)
Vvaffle (Jaya One)

PUBLIKA / SOLARIS DUTAMAS
Ante
Boat Noodle
Fatboy's The Burger Bar (Avenue K)
Swich Cafe
The Bee
The Red Beanbag

PUCHONG
Agape Love Your Food
CAFFEine
Kafe Vietnam
Porcupine Place
Ticket To Korea

SHAH ALAM
Boat Noodle (Gamuda Walk)

SRI HARTAMAS
Breadfruits

SOLARIS MONT KIARA
Wanderlust

SUBANG
AMPM Cafe
Brooklyn B Bagel Bakery & Cafe
Tryst

TAMAN DESA
Encore Patisserie

TAMAN TUN DR ISMAIL
Boathouse
Chequers
D Legends
Frisky Goat
Interlude
Meat Point

Pickle & Fig
Quar/Tet
Torii
Viv's

OTHER AREAS
Foodlogy (Viva Residency, Sentul)
Hubba Hubba (Menara CIMB, KL Sentral)
Kissaten (Setia City Mall)
Kissburger (Desa Park City)
Miss Ellie Tea House (Taman Melawati)

Thank you to all readers & restaurants for supporting us on this initiative. We hope you'll have fun exploring the app & its features, & enjoy exploring the featured restaurants.

Here are the THREE easy steps to redeem your discounts at restaurants. Simply (1) TAP, (2) SHOW, & (3) UPLOAD.

1. TAP on the "Activate Discount" button on the restaurant's app profile page, which will take you to a discount coupon page. No advance bookings are required; you only need to activate the discount when you are already physically at the restaurant.



2. SHOW the discount coupon page on your phone (example below) to your server or cashier, either when placing your order or requesting your receipt. The cashier will deduct a 6 percent discount off your receipt before payment. It's as simple as that!



3. On the discount coupon page, tap on the button to UPLOAD your own photo of the restaurant or the food/drinks that you ordered. This photo will be publicly viewable by other users. You must also upload a separate photo of your receipt for administrative purposes; your receipt photo will be private & not viewable by other users. Please complete this final step - otherwise, you cannot activate further discounts, & we cannot channel any contribution to charity for your transaction.

Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Saturday, April 18, 2015

2015 Skewer Menu: Hubba Hubba @ Lorong Ceylon

The heat is on at Hubba Hubba: Chef Izal & his team are fanning the embers of excitement at the city centre's party hub with their new menu of protein-powered, barbecued skewers with stirringly inventive sauces & stomach-pleasingly unlimited sides.

If meat & seafood are your thing, then Hubba Hubba might be your place; the skewer selection includes chunks of beef lightly marinated with garlic, basil, truffle oil & red wine vinegar, lamb with orange, sriracha sauce & parsley, seafood with lemon pepper, thyme & olive oil (RM90 each for those) & chicken with honey, sriracha sauce, soy sauce & calamansi juice (RM60). 

What makes the skewers extra-special is the complimentary spread of 12 complementary sauces, carefully created & curated by Hubba Hubba's expert tasters. You'll find an eclectic exhibit of influences from East & West - Nyonya Curry, Miso Butter, Air Asam, Sambal Penyet, Choron, Salsa Verde, Apple Mustard, Mango Serrano, Percik, Paprika, Black Pepper & Yoghurt Mint - each creamy & flavourful (pick your favourite! we love the rich, robust Malaysian-inflected ones), tuned to enhance every skewer, be it the beef or fish, prawns & squid. We'd happily eat the sauces on their own - the hallmark of an honourable sauce.

That's not all - the skewers also come with a free flow of well-prepared sweet potato fries & wedges, warm & fresh-tasting, & mango salsa. Each skewer, served in the evening on weekdays & 12pm-10pm on weekends, is enough for two customers.

The rest of the menu continues to evolve. We're fans of the deep-fried chicken skin, crunchy but not greasy, spicy with chillies & savoury with parmesan. For folks seeking hearty fare, options include tangy Portuguese-inspired rice with prawns, mussels, scallops, tomato & black olives (RM33), eye-catching lamb shank pie braised with rosemary, red wine & carrots (RM34) & very competently executed Hainanese chicken chop with authentic-in-flavour sweet-sour sauce, sweet potato fries & salad (RM24).

Desserts display creative sparks of distinctiveness too - alcohol lovers might want to check out the can't-find-elsewhere Bailey's Cendol (RM15), while Ferrero Rocher devotees may be tantalised by the pastry-wrapped chocolate balls with hazelnuts, served warm (RM15).

Did we drink this much? That's the thing about Hubba Hubba's cocktails - with so many intriguing potions, from ginger martinis to anise liquor shooters, peach margaritas to dragon fruit caipiroskas & blackcurrant brambles, one or two might not be enough & four or five won't seem like too many. Our thanks to Hubba Hubba's team for its warm hospitality on a cold evening.

We're happy to have Hubba Hubba as one of our partner restaurants on the new Eat Drink KL mobile app. App users enjoy a six percent discount off their bill at Hubba Hubba, everyday, all day long. For every transaction made through the app, RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month (the Sentul-based Dignity For Children foundation in March to May 2015).

Hubba Hubba
1, Lorong Ceylon, Bukit Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur. Same building as Invito Hotel Suites

The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community.
Every restaurant on this app rewards users with a 6 percent discount, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long. 
In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers.
For every transaction, RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-March 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires April 25, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

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 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my