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Review: Luckee Canteen, Puchong

One thing about living in Puchong? The food scene is never dull – and even as a Puchong-ite I’m always finding new spots to discover. In fact, if it wasn’t for a lifestyle article I read recently, I wouldn’t even have known about Luckee Canteen.

Opened earlier this year, this charming fusion cafe is tucked in a relatively quiet corner of Pusat Bandar Puchong (behind Lotus hypermarket) – which is probably why it doesn’t get as much traffic as the more commercial areas of Bandar Puteri and Puchong Jaya.

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The cafe isn’t difficult to spot: just look for a bright red food stand outside, where one of the chefs serves up toasty ciabattas.

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The outdoor seating area is cosy, and accommodates six to eight people. Bikes seem to be a theme here, as there’s one on the wall outside, and one inside. There are also a couple of mannequins and some skeleton(s) that make up part of the decor – it may sound odd, but the overall aesthetics go pretty well together.

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A vintage 1970s bike
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On the outside, the cafe looks like a single-storey building, but it actually slants to the back, so you get a very lofty ceiling. They’ve designed it in such a way to allow for plenty of natural sunlight to filter in, making the place bright and cheerful looking.

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Feeling ravenous? Luckee Canteen offers a brunch buffet for RM88 per pax, where you can get free flow of items such as salad, ciabatta sandwiches, meat and dessert.

Luckee Canteen offers a modest selection of fusion cuisine, including Asian-style rice bowls (like Minced Pork in Tomato Sauce rice, Teriyaki Salmon Rice), ciabatta sandwiches, and pastas. There’s also coffee and tea from Harney & Sons to go along with your meal.

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Iced lemon tea and Matcha Latte
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The rice bowl portions here are very generous. Moo ordered the Luncheon Meat with egg rice bowl, which came with a side of sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes and pickled cucumber, as well as a fluffy omelette atop a bed of rice. If you’re a small eater, I think this can even be shared among two people.

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Pops had one of the cafe’s signatures, namely the fried chicken rice bowl. The sides were similar to Moo’s order, except that the main protein was tender, juicy pieces of deep fried chicken. They were very flavourful, although Moo and Pops felt like it was a tad too salty for them.

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I had the Fish Ciabbata, which was served with a side of chips. Again, the portion was quite generous; the fish fillet was sizable and cooked perfectly, the vegetables were fresh, and the melted cheese complemented the natural sweetness of the seafood well. The fish was moist enough on its own that no sauces were needed, and the ciabatta was soft and fluffy, with a crisp shell. Solid dish!

Our meal for three came up to about RM70. Most of the regular mains go for about RM18 – RM20++, but they also have pricier dishes like lamb and what not.

Luckee Canteen has pretty limited seating (about 30). I think it’s still relatively ‘hidden’ for now, but you might have to queue up if the place gets busier. Service is friendly.

LUCKEE CANTEEN

6, Jalan Bandar 13, Pusat Bandar Puchong, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 11AM – 10PM (closed Mondays)

https://www.facebook.com/luckeecanteen

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Irresistibly Fluffy Bomboloni — Sugar and I, Subang Jaya

To the uninitiated, bombolonis are Italian stuffed doughnuts, bursting with filling and fried to golden perfection. The outside is usually dusted with granulated sugar, giving them the appearance of a soft, powdery ball. It may sound simple, but I can assure you that they taste absolutely divine — at least to anyone with a sweet tooth.

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Sugar and I was founded by a pair of siblings, who started baking as a hobby before pursuing it full time. Bombolonis are their signature, but they carry all sorts of desserts, from swirly cinnamon rolls and mouthwatering cakes, to airy Japanese cream puffs.

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Cakes in a myriad of flavours, including Vanilla Burnt Cheesecake, Ferrero Roche, Walnut Carrot and Salted Caramel Burnt Cheesecake. Each slice goes for between RM10 to RM14.90.
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Sugar and I boasts a brightly lit space with a cheerful, whimsical interior. I especially like the floor tiles!

At the moment, Sugar and I only does takeaways and delivery.

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Moo loves cinnamon rolls, so I got one for her and stole a bite. The texture is a bit firmer than the ones you get from Cinnabon, but it tastes good all the same.

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Of course, the stars of the show were the bombolonis. They’re fluffy, and when you press them they kind of ‘bounce’ back like a baby’s cheek. Cue cute aggression!

I got a box of 10 — six which I gave to my aunt, and four we kept for ourselves. The doughnuts come in five flavours: Nutella, Niko Neko Matcha, Cookie Monster, Lotus Biscoff and Strawberry Custard. The Nutella is their signature, but I didn’t get that for my own box because I’m not a big fan of Nutella (blasphemy, I know!)

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If you don’t pinch your bomboloni, are you even eating it right? jk.

I ended up trying two flavours; the Cookie Monster and the Strawberry Custard. If you like gooey, chocolatey goodness, I recommend the former. I was surprised at the sheer amount of filling in the doughnut. I come from the JCo / Big Apple doughnut generation (back in the late 2000s to early 2010s, when there was a doughnut craze in Malaysia), and I’ve seen how the fillings became less and less through the years — so it was nice to finally sink my teeth into a real stuffed doughnut that isn’t 3/4 bread.

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Oozy
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I made the mistake of putting the bombolonis in the fridge for after-dinner dessert. The Strawberry Custard hardened a little lol. The taste was still superb though — not too sweet, with just the right amount of milky and eggy — and again, lots and lots of filling. Since the pastries are freshly baked, I think it’s best if they’re enjoyed on the day itself (easy to do coz you won’t be able to stop at just one. lol).

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Got coffee as well. I like the glass bottle, very decanter-esque.

Overall, I was thrilled with my bombolonis — and will definitely make a return visit when I’m able to (Subang isn’t that far from Puchong, but yours truly is an old lady and doesn’t have much energy to travel these days). If you want to get them delivered, they’re available on beepit. Prices are reasonable.

SUGAR AND I

110, Jalan SS14/1, Ss 14, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

Open Tuesdays to Sundays, 11AM – 7PM. Closed Mondays.

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Tau Foo Fah & Soyamilk @ Dao, Puchong Jaya

Back when I was still working at the newspaper, I did a business story on the gentrification of street food; ie, well-loved local hawker favourites such as popiah, oh-chien and nasi lemak being repackaged and sold in a ‘nicer’ setting (comfortable, with air conditioning), to serve a younger crowd. This was back in 2014, when the trend was just starting to emerge.

Fast forward seven years later, and such establishments are now the norm rather than the exception. Some of these, like Dao, are generational businesses, updated to suit modern times and palates. Founded by three siblings from Ipoh (their father is the owner of Woong Kee Dessert, a famous traditional tau foo fah shop in Ipoh), Dao draws from the siblings’ family recipes to bring soymilk-based desserts — with a twist — to KL’s urban folk.

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The Puchong branch is not their first; they also have outlets in SS15 Subang, Damansara Jaya and Kuchai Lama. S and I were in the neighbourhood recently when we walked past so we got some items to go.

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Of course, given the setting, the prices are slightly higher than what you get from the usual roadside stalls/ tau foo fah vans. A regular bowl of tao foo fah (Dao spells it as ‘dao fu fah‘) will set you back RM4.20, with a choice of ginger, brown or white sugar syrup. Aside from beancurd and soymilk, they also serve dao bing (shaved ice) and soymilk-based ice cream.

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Ready-to-eat gelato tubs.
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Dao uses Canadian soybeans, which are sourced locally from wholesalers, according to an article by Discover KL.
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The cafe’s interior features nostalgic elements and murals, with a modern touch.
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S got the tau foo fah. I was still feeling full from our yumcha session, so I bought a 500ml bottle of soymilk with white sugar. It comes in a slim bottle with minimal packaging. At RM5.30, it’s almost double of what you can get from roadside stalls, but this is to be expected. Tastewise, it was good — not too sweet, and the ground soybeans had a great fragrance — but I probably won’t get it to go next time. If I’m paying a premium, I want to enjoy the environment as much as the food.

DAO DESSERTS (PUCHONG)

4-G, Jalan Kenari 18, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47170 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM (closed Wednesdays)

facebook.com/dao.desserts/

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C’est La Vie – CLV Cafe Puchong

One of the newer kids on the block, C’est La Vie in Bandar Puchong Jaya is the latest to join Puchong’s list of Instagrammable cafes. It’s also pet-friendly, so patrons can enjoy good food and the cafe’s relaxing ambience with their fur babies.

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Polished concrete seems to be the in-thing these days, as can be seen from C’est La Vie’s statement wall, which is accentuated by warm yellow lights. There is a small open kitchen where diners can watch the chefs in action, as well as a bar area with elevated stools.

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The plants are a nice touch, giving the space a cooling pop of green
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An Instagrammable corner
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You can buy handmade accessories and other trinkets at the counter as well

The menu offers typical cafe fare, the likes of burgers and pasta. A signature here is the Dutch Baby, which has a big breakfast vibe: featuring beans, sausage, mushrooms and bacon.

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S and I were here for a tea break, so we only got drinks and snacks to share. I recommend the Lavender Milk, which is served warm. Frothy, light and just slightly sweet with a heady lavender fragrance, it’s perfect for afternoon tea. Better yet, pair it with cake and scones for the ultimate afternoon tea indulgence.

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S had the Rose Mocha (RM14 – iced)
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The Owls Cafe is my usual go-to place for waffle fries, but C’est La Vie’s version is a good alternative (RM10). Fried to golden brown perfection with nice crispy edges, the fries come in generous portions, with chilli and tomato dip. You can add on other sauces too, like cheese, Mongolian and black pepper.

Service is fast and friendly. Just a personal observation on something that happened while we were at the cafe: some patrons brought their dog, which is fine since the place is pet-friendly. The problem was that the dog ran to the middle of the cafe and did a no.1 on the floor. Then he circled around and did a No.2 — in full view of S who promptly lost his appetite lol. Pet owners were not apologetic and all and did not offer to clean up the mess, so the staff members were left having to clean the pee and poop after.

Usually, when my friend C brings her pet chihuahua Genie out, she’d put diapers on Genie. So perhaps this is something that the cafe can implement? Like have a ‘booth’ where they sell diapers for dogs at the entrance. That way you won’t have to turn away customers who don’t wear diapers for their dogs, and your staff won’t have to clean up the mess + it provides a more comfortable dining environment for other customers.

C’EST LA VIE PUCHONG

9-1, Jalan Kenari 17F, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: Thurs (12pm-10pm), Fri-Sun (10am – 10pm), Mon-Tues (12pm -10pm). Closed Wednesdays

clvcafebar.wordpress.com

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*This is not a paid review. Views here are entirely my own.

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Botanica Deli, The Vertical Bangsar South

Taking up a corner space on the ground floor of The Vertical in Bangsar South, Botanica Deli is as chic as cafes come. Spacious, bright and cheerful, tall glass windows allow plenty of natural sunlight to filter in, while the earth hues and wood interiors are accentuated by touches of green, to fit the deli’s greenhouse theme. Part of the Botanica + Co brand (you might have dined at the renowned Alila Bangsar outlet), the deli specialises in light meals and fuss-free meals with a gourmet twist, the likes of sandwiches, salads, soups, pastries, and of course, coffee and kombucha. Just across the shop is the Bangsar South branch of Bo+Co.

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Orders are made at the counter, where there is a selection of sandwiches/cakes/breads on display.
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You can purchase Botanica Deli’s house-made specialties, which include items such as olive oil infusions (red chilli, green chilli, Pahang Vanilla), spice condiments like garam masala and Togarashi, as well as fresh pestos and pastes.
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The deli also stocks ready-to-drink kombuchas and kombucha brewing kits from homegrown artisanal brand Wild.

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Went for a quick pick-me-up while waiting for the Moomins to finish her surgery: comprising a hot cup of cappucino (RM12) and salmon gravlax bagel (RM18). The coffee was a solid cup of joe; perfect ratio of milk vs coffee, frothy, not too bitter or strong.

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You can request for the staff to heat up your breads/pastries. I had my salmon gravlax bagel cold. The bagel was chock full of ingredients; featuring cucumber slices on one side and salmon gravlax on the other, a generous cream cheese spread, and capers to add a salty/tangy dimension. The bagel had a good texture as well. For small eaters, I think this is good enough as a light brunch/lunch meal.

Botanica Deli caters mostly to the office lunch crowd. Prices range average around RM15-RM20++ for most of the mains.

BOTANICA DELI

No, 8, GA3 Podium, The Vertical, Bangsar South City, Jalan Kerinchi, Bangsar South, 59200 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 8AM – 9PM (Mon-Fri), 8AM – 3PM (Sat), closed on Sundays

botanica.com.my

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Review: Shin Class Cafe, Puchong Utama

It’s been awhile since the fam and I were able to dine out together (due to the 2-per-car restriction), but since this was lifted recently, we went to check out a place near my old high school called Shin Class Cafe. it’s a fitting name, since the cafe is within a kindergarten/daycare centre. The owner, Sarah, decided to convert the space upstairs into a dining/ chill out spot, since there aren’t as many students at the kindie these days.

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We had the whole place to ourselves, and sat in the front room which had low, round tables made from used tyres, cosy pillows and bar stools. The Christmas decorations were simple but cheerful. Service is friendly and attentive here – the staff who attended to us actually works as one of the teachers at the kindie.

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The menu offers fusion fare. Aside from the usual cafe-style drinks like coffee, ice lemon tea, ice-blended beverages and the like, you can also expect rice and pasta dishes. Prices are very reasonable.

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(Above) Ice-blended chocolate topped with whipped cream. The drink was not too sweet, and was creamy without being cloying.

I like the fact that this is a small, family-run business. Sarah’s daughter makes the drinks, while she cooks. She shares that she learned how to cook from her parents, who used to run a food business in Port Dickson.

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Moo’s Lemon Chicken with Rice (RM8.90), which was served with a sunny side up. Portions are generous, and the rice is fragrant as it incorporates butterfly pea flower.

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Pops had the Butter Cheese Chicken With Rice (RM8.90).

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Felt like having noodles, so I ordered the Creamy Pasta (RM9.90). Aside from the egg, it also came with some cocktail sausages, and loads of ham in the pasta. The pasta was cooked al dente, and the cream was not overpowering. It’s nothing super fancy, but tasty nonetheless – just comforting, home cooked food.

For vegetarians, Shin Class Cafe makes meatless dishes as well.

While it’s definitely not a high-end ‘Instagrammable’ cafe, Shin Class Cafe is a charming little nook where you can enjoy a coffee and a hot meal in a cosy, quiet environment. What makes it such a nice place is the hospitality, though – the owner and staff are warm and friendly, and do their best to make you feel welcome. Prices are very reasonable, so come visit and you’ll be supporting a small local business with your patronage! 🙂

They also do delivery and take-aways. For orders, Whatsapp 012 218 7350, or contact Tony (011 36981071)

SHIN CLASS CAFE

1, Jalan PU 10/8, Taman Puchong Utama, 47140 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 11AM – 7PM (closed every second Wednesday of the month)

facebook.com/SHINCLASSCAFE

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Sipping Corner @ Plant & Pot Studio Puchong

Hidden at the back of a plant shop in Bandar Puteri Puchong, Sipping Corner by Plant & Pot Studio might just be the greenest cafe in the city. Opened last year, the place has already gained a loyal following – and because of its small capacity (the place seats about 15 at most), reservations are encouraged to avoid disappointment.

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If you do manage to get a seat, you’ll be well rewarded with a cool and relaxing spot to chill and sip on a drink, surrounded by foliage. The Cafe offers a selection of coffees (espresso, long black, honey americano, latte, cappucino) and teas (blue mint honey, red roselle honey), as well as signature beverages (Matcha, Salted Gula Melaka Latte, Matcha/Hojicha Latte). Baristas are very friendly and accommodating.

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Grab a sweet slice to go with your drink. Cakes range from RM13 to RM15 per slice.

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I didn’t dine-in coz the Moo finished her shopping and we had to make a move – but I got one of their signature drinks, the Salted Gula Melaka Latte, to go. The palm sugar was creamy and sweet, but it was well balanced thanks to the hint of saltiness.

If you’re looking for a quick green respite, drop by for tea time – but make sure to call in advance.

SIPPING CORNER @ PLANT & POT STUDIO

 78G, Jalan Puteri 5/5, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 9AM – 6PM (daily)

Phone: 018-578 6311

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Brunch & Japanese Fare @ Buranchi, Bandar Puteri Puchong

I’ve driven past Buranchi a couple of times before, but never tried it until recently. Suprisingly, it was the Moo who suggested we grab lunch there (she isn’t keen on dining out because of the high number of coronavirus cases here in Selangor).

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Buranchi is Japanese for brunch, a fitting name for a cafe that specialises in all-day breakfasts and Japanese and Western fusion cuisine. Expect items such as sausage puffs, omu curry rice, yakiniku don, potato salad, ramen and udon. They also offer a selection of coffee and cakes.

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The interior is bright and cheerful, and you’ll find cute touches like these Japanese daruma dolls all around the premises.

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Honey Coffee (RM9) for a caffeine boost.

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Moo’s Chazuke (RM13) had exquisite presentation.

Chazuke comes from the Japanese ocha (tea) and zuke (to submerge), and usually comprises rice topped with various condiments such as pickled vegetables and wasabi, and a dashi/tea/broth that is poured over the rice. The one at Buranchi is served with a side of grilled saba (mackerel). It’s a simple meal that is not too heavy, which is probably why it’s popular with the ladies.

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I prefer robust flavours, so I got the Tonkatsu Ramen (RM17), which is one of the cafe’s specialties.

I was very impressed with the quality of the ramen. The noodles were al dente, and it was served with slices of crunchy bamboo shoots, ajitsuke tamago (half-boiled egg) and nori (seaweed). The star was definitely the pork bone soup, which was rich, savoury and full of porky goodness (I emptied the bowl, lol). While I remain devoted to Menya Shishi Do, I think Buranchi’s version is not bad at all for its price, especially if you’re stuck in Puchong and can’t drive all the way to PJ to have your ramen fix.

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To round off the meal, the Moo and I shared a Sea salt Chocolate Mousse (RM10). It was smooth, creamy and luscious; the chocolate was not too sweet and still had a hint of the astringency you get from dark cocoa, while the slight amount of sea salt helped to balance out everything – sort of like the principle of salted caramel.

Buranchi certainly impressed me with its service, quality and price, which is reasonable for the setting. Will be making a return visit to try out other dishes!

BURANCHI

72A-G, Jalan Puteri 5/5, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 830AM – 4PM (closed Mondays)

non-halal