There are literally no reasons for me to go to Kepong.
It’s a long drive from where I live, and I have no idea what there is to do there (other than the Metropolitan Park). So when I got an invite to review a cafe there, I was hesitant to brave the weekend traffic (It may always be sunny in Philadelphia, but it’s always jammed in Puchong. Lol.)
Nevertheless, an hour later, I found myself parking at a commercial centre in Aman Puri, where Vergine Coffee is.
Opened two years ago, the space was converted from a former car workshop. Aside from coffee and cakes, they also serve lunch and dinner with dishes such as pasta, salads, chops and more.
Italian for ‘virgin’, Vergine Coffee’s owners had no experience in F&B – but they were driven by a common passion for good food. Taking the plunge, they opened their maiden cafe project, hence the name.
The fragrant aroma of coffee beans wafted into our nostrils as soon as we entered the cafe, which boasts a warm and enticing ambience. Glass windows allow for natural sunlight to filter in, and the high ceiling which opens up to a mezzanine floor creates a sense of space. The look is industrial yet chic: exposed brick walls paired with clean lines, dark walls and furniture.
Its the kind of place I wouldn’t mind lounging in for hours.
Outdoor smoking area.
Counter with a selection of pastries, desserts and juices.
An innovative condiments station fashioned out of two barrels. There’s also free water, but why have water when you can have coffee? 😀
Paying it forward is something that the owners take to heart. One thing you’ll notice once you enter the shop is the ‘Kindness Challenge’ wall, which lists 30 small things you can do to make someone’s day a better one. It can be as simple as ‘giving encouragement to someone who is working hard’, or ‘cover for a co-worker so they can leave work early’. In a world where we are becoming increasingly self-absorbed and disconnected, I think this is a great reminder to be kind and nice to others.
Enough talk though: time to dig in!
For appetisers, we had salad: but unlike the usual chicken/vinaigrette fare, the one we tried was sweet and full of texture – crisp fresh leaves, crunchy almonds, a hint of tanginess from pineapple cubes and juicy tangerines. Everyone knows I’m practically a carnivore, but this was so refreshing I kept going back for seconds.
Washed it down with some foamy peach tea ! 🙂
One of my favourites was their mushroom soup. The fact that it was actual mushroom soup (ie you can taste blended chunks and bits as opposed to the ‘powdered’ instant soup you find in many restos) gave it major brownie points. It wasn’t too salty and had just the right amount of creaminess. Garlic bread was a great accompaniment.
Moving on to the mains, we kicked off with the Lemon Thyme Chicken Chop. A sizable chunk of tender, grilled chicken thigh came drizzled over with brown sauce, which was infused with the flavours of lemon and thyme. I liked the sauce as it was tangy without overpowering the meat. On the side were thick-cut fries and salad, although these were rather ordinary for me.
The cheese-baked seafood rice was another winner. Best eaten hot, the gooey cheese formed a melted crust over fluffy, spicy rice which almost had the texture of risotto. Flavours were just right and not too salty, and there was a generous amount of seafood on the inside.
Our last main was the Chicken Pot Pie. The pillow-like golden, flaky puff pastry opened up to reveal a mix of goodies on the inside, which included chicken sausages and mushrooms in a creamy, buttery sauce. This was also served with a side of salad.
We were fully satisfied with all the dishes we had, but of course, there’s always room for dessert and coffee! To round off the meal, I had a cup of latte to go with a Tiramisu mille crepe.
The latte was very well done; rich and milky, not too bitter nor sweet, and with beautiful latte art done on top. Was told that the cafe takes in young baristas and train them with an expert so that they can learn skills – also part of their pay-it-forward philosophy.
The tiramisu mille crepe needed to be thawed a little more as it was quite solid, but the flavours were well balanced between the bitterness of the coffee and the light sweetness of vanilla.
The chocolate on the other hand was perfect. I liked that it wasn’t too sweet, and the layers of crepe were light and fluffy.
All in all I was very impressed with the quality of food, as they emphasised freshness and flavour. If you’re looking for a hearty meal paired with great coffee and dessert, then Vergine Coffee hits all the right notes. They’ve recently introduced new, heavier dishes to the menu such as steaks and fish to cater to customers looking for something more substantial.
VERGINE COFFEE AMAN PURI
**Erisgoesto was invited to Vergine Coffee in exchange for an honest food review. Views here are entirely my own.