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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

Hello!

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2D Cafe @ Sunway Geo, Bandar Sunway

Hey guys!

I was reading an article recently about how ‘selfie culture’ has changed the landscape of travel and lifestyle offerings. Now, it’s no longer about travel for the sake of experiencing things, but documenting and snapping photos of ourselves all along the way; a journey of narcissism and self-validation through likes and follows. Perhaps that sounds cynical, but its the nature of how things are today.

One of these purpose-built places is 2D Cafe @ Sunway Ge. Modeled after the 2D-cafe trend in South Korea and Japan, the cafe’s entire interior has been designed to look like the pages of a black and white comic book, with bold black lines creating an illusion of ‘flatness’ against the all-white furnishings. The result is eye-catching and certainly unique, as subjects pop against the backdrop.

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The cafe itself is a bit hard to find, as it is located on the 3rd floor, away from all the other restos and cafes clustered on the ground floor. Once you get there, the entrance is a little confusing as well. The seating area is shielded from sight, and patrons enter through a narrow corridor. The theme for the cafe is European x Japanese, and you see the European portion of it at this section which features famous works of art such as the Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, Edward Munch’s Scream and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, cheekily holding up bubble teas (the shop’s specialty).

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Once inside, the Japanese elements are apparent, with geishas, darumas, maneki nekos and vending machine murals aplenty – and even a drawing of the Great Wave of Kanagawa adorning one side of the wall. All of the furniture and deco is handpainted and took the artist (who is also a share holder) two months to complete.

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Me taking photo of a dood taking a photo of me #photoception

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A section of the cafe made to look like a classroom.

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Another section with a bath ‘tub’ / ball pit (not pictured), made to look like a traditional Japanese public bath.

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Counter where they take your orders. You will find about five different types of bubble tea here, although prices are above average (RM14.90). To match the cafe’s aesthetics, the bottles are also packaged in the same ‘comic’ art vein.

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Picture courtesy of 2D Cafe. 

I did not try their drinks because I thought they were too pricey, but there have been reviews on Google which are less than stellar. Let me know what you think if you’ve tried it!

Only time will tell if these Instagram ‘concept’ cafes will last, because personally, no matter how attractive you spruce a place up, if the food/drinks aren’t great and the price point is expensive, most people will probably only go once. That being said, from an arts perspective, I think it’s pretty creative, even if it’s not original.

2D CAFE 

F-03, 10, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, SUNWAY GEO AVENUE, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 12PM – 9PM (Closed on Wednesday).

 

Cafes in Kepong: @ Vergine Coffee, Aman Puri

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 

25, Jalan Desa 2/4, Desa Aman Puri
Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opening hours: 
11:00AM – 11:00PM (closed Tuesdays)
Phone:  03-6263 4719

 

**Erisgoesto was invited to Vergine Coffee in exchange for an honest food review. Views here are entirely my own.

Fresh Goods and Hearty Homemade Meals @ Mansfield Produce Store, Mansfield Victoria, Australia

Hey guys! So this is my last entry for the Victoria, Australia blog series. Sorry it took so long in between posts; I kind of forgot this was still lying in drafts. ._.

My last stop on the Victoria Food and Wine Trail across parts of southeastern Australia was to a quaint little tourist town called Mansfield, about 180km from Melbourne. Like many settlements across Aus, it was founded in the 1800s and was named after an English town of the same name. Formerly dependent on farming and logging, it now acts as the support town for the popular ski resort, Mount Buller.

One of the town’s main ‘attractions’ is the Mansfield Regional Produce Store – or simply the Produce Store as it is known to locals. Built in 1895, the place retains a charming, vintage vine with high rafters and wooden beams. Decor is given a modern touch with paintings by local artists adorning its walls. The owner, Dean, is very supportive of the local arts and culture scene. Aside from the paintings, which are for sale, there are various knickknacks, local handicrafts and items such as handmade soap at the back of the store, and the outlet also hosts events like open mic /jam sessions on weekends.

Visitors will be greeted by a warm and cosy scene (a little cluttered, but charming all the same) once they enter the shop. One side is lined with shelves of local produce and goods, from sauces and nuts to candy and snacks. Staff bustle about behind the counter, where the day’s specials are written on blackboard menus. Chairs and tables don’t match; there are some old looking cupboards and a mishmash of deco that includes lanterns and a bicycle hanging from the ceiling. The vibe is more eclectic-home-space than an actual store.

Paintings for sale, done by local artists.

Was very tempted to get this lol.

More shelves of neatly packed goods  – perfect as gifts or souvenirs.

Further back is where they stock a variety of wines from the King Valley region, including some brands that we tried on the Food and Wine Trail, namely Pizzini Wines and the Ladies who Shoot Their Lunch series.

Foodstuff isn’t the only thing they have in store: there are also quirky little items like bags, shawls, accessories, handmade soaps and the like.

The less explored back of the store, filled with vintage treasures. Fancy a feathered lamp?

Bought some soap and scented candles to take home as souvenirs.

It was high time for brunch, so I ordered a dish of sausages with a slice of baguette and perfectly poached eggs, served with a tomato relish. The sausages were really juicy and flavourful, while the eggs were perfectly done and the relish gave the dish a tangy, appetisingly sweet/sour kick. Everything was fresh and tasty – no frozen food stuff here.

Food: 8/10

Ambience: 8/10

Service: 8/10 (be prepared to wait on busy days like weekends)

MANSFIELD PRODUCE STORE 

68 High St, Mansfield VIC 3722, Australia

Business hours: 8.30AM – 5 PM