You know, when you’re in a group and someone farts and no one owns up, there is usually no solution.. until one of my friends came up with a solution – “It’s you! I recognize the smell of your fart!”, while pointing to any one person. I mean, how do you even have a come back?
Anyway, the relevance of this story is that .. personally, I will have more air expulsion from my body via the rear end whenever too much milk is consumed, like some over 70% Asians, I suffer from lactose intolerance, thankfully a mild-ish version.
To avoid surprised nostril invasion to the unsuspecting parties, I do try to limit my consumption of milk, and one such solution is by having milk substitutes for latte.
Many cafes do offer such alternative in the form of soy or almond milk, but I often find them too sweet, or diluted, or just straight out tasting terrible. The solution – homemade almond milk, and this is how you do it:
homemade almond milk latte, with a single shot of espresso
raw almond – 1 cup (around 110 grams)
500 ml water
a pinch of salt
soak almond in warm water for 1-2 hours, or cold water overnight in fridge
remove the water, blend the almond with 500 ml clean water for at least 2-3 mintues
sieve the almond milk using sieve (or even better, cheese cloth)
blend or a good 2-3 minutes, sieve out the pulp
You’ll end up with a little more than 500 ml of almond milk at around 10-15% almond in weight instead of the 2-3% you get from store bought variety. A shot of espresso and there you have it – homemade almond milk latte.
P/S: you can use the same method for many other nuts, my favorite is actually with raw cashew nuts, doesn’t even need to be sieved and it’ll be so creamy and flavorful. Try it!
My traveling buddy while at Macao is someone whose diet consists of a heavy dosage of avocado, so after a great many days of subjecting herself to the local diet which has none of this “butter fruit” (as locals call it), we embarked in a mission to find one.
Which is how I ended up at Cafe TOFF.
TOFF is situated just a stone’s throw away from Lou Lim Ioc Garden, a public garden with a beautiful lotus lake that’s worthy of visit. If you’re there and have visited enough churches, why not?
The restaurant, like many other in Macau, is pretty diminutive in size, capable of serving perhaps two dozen customers snugly at any one time. Lucky for us, it was quite empty at 1pm or so on a Monday.
cozy interior inside TOFF
The menu though, is rather comprehensive (see below). They have a decent selection of espresso based coffee from latte, long black, to mocha, and even Marnier mocha, which comes with alcohol. Each cup costs between 28 to 50 MOP.
There’s also a selection of tea if that’s what you fancy.
breakfasts with coffee
As for food, there’s a dozen different types of salad and sandwiches, some with interesting ingredients like parma ham, squid and shrimp, Okinawa pork slices, or even shrimps and avocado. They’re priced between 50 to 68 MOP.
For our brunch, we went with the Big Breakfast (118 MOP) and Toff Veggie Breakfast (108 MOP), each comes with a black coffee or latte, and a selection of different ingredients to choose from.
TOFF Veggie Breakfast & TOFF All Day Breakfast
Overall the food were pretty competent, and coffee did tastes like any good coffee would. It is a Western breakfast that would make it pretty much anywhere, except when it’s in Macau, you do pay Macau prices. Cute place though, certainly would not mind visiting again
Continuing with our food exploit at Avenue K, the mall that’s connected by KLCC via underground LRT station, we sampled the food offered by Tokyo Pastry, a Japanese themed restaurant that offers mostly Western menu inspired by Japanese style cooking, or is it?
Update 11/12/2018 – This place has since closed down
Tokyo Pastry, Avenue K
Situated at the mezzanine floor, the restaurant got its cue from European style bakeries in Japan, with the menu that has very little resemblance to traditional Japanese cuisine that we are familiar with.
The restaurant is often quite busy over lunch time on working days, but if you want to enjoy a quiet meal here, the best time is during dinner or over the weekends, when the mall isn’t swarmed by office crowd.
salmon salad, spicy mushroom spaghetti, Tokyo burger, pan seared chicken
We started with their salmon salad (RM 22), pretty generous amount of gravlax wrapping chopped mango & greens make for a rather healthy start of a meal, or a meal in itself if you want something light. This is probably the go-to healthy choice for the dieting hipsters, but I do quite like it.
Spicy mushroom spaghetti (RM 19) is a pretty straight forward pasta dish with a few types of mushroom in a spaghetti that comes with a bit of a kick, mainly for the pepper used.
Tokyo burger (RM 20) comes with that green tea infused bun that looks a bit radio active but tasted rather good with its generous slab of chicken cooked with teriyaki sauce. There’s a small side of salad and fries too.
If you want more protein in your meal, the pan seared chicken (RM 23) may just do the trick. A big slab of chicken seared with chef’s homemade sauce, plus some vegetable and potato. Simple and pretty satisfying.
matcha mitsu, Japanese cheese cake, tiramisu crepe
Granted, I didn’t have the chance to to try the pastries above, however, as the name suggests, Tokyo pastry pride themselves in their cakes and crepe, the matcha mitsu (RM 16), Japanese cheese cake (RM 13.95), and tiramisu crepe (RM 14.95) all looked the part and I trust that they are up to the challenge in taste department.
raspberry lychee soda, latte, espresso & milk
Tokyo pastry also serve up more than competent coffee. The latte and espresso with a side of milk that I tried were as good as any. For a bit more refreshing taste, the raspberry lychee soda should suffice as well.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not exactly the go-to person you’d expect when it comes to the latest reviews of the hottest or the most hipster-ish cafe. In fact, I almost actively not review cafes, mostly because every other bloggers do it, and I’m more the bak kut teh and street food kinda guy.
Seraph Awaken, Klang
Well, sometimes those paths crossed, like how we ended up at one of the more interesting cafes in all of Klang Valley, right here at bak kut teh country, by the name of Seraph Awaken.
Seraph Awaken is located right across from Teck Teh, the oldest bkt joint in all of Malaysia. Like most shops around the old Klang train station area, this place has an ambiance that takes you back to the 80s, I was trying to find a radiofusion box on the wall, but alas, there wasn’t one.
ice drip coffee
What they have though, is a good selection of hand brew coffee with a good selection of beans sourced from around the globe. There are beans from Honduras, Ethiopia, India, El Savador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Columbia priced at RM 12-18 per cup.
Alternatively, there’s machine brew coffee like where you’d find anywhere – espresso, latte, americano, cappuccino, etc from RM 7-11.
coffee cube latte
The most popular choices here are those from their signature series – hibiscus coffee, Roselle coffee, coffee cube latte, and ice drip coffee.
For the afternoon, I tried their coffee cube latte, a glass of ice cubes made from coffee with a serving of chilled milk. The result is a an iced latte experience that can only be enjoyed slowly, which is quite fitting for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
hand brewed Columbian
If you’re looking for an afternoon of coffee that’s not of your usual espresso variety, head over to Klang and give this place a visit.
A couple years ago when the topic of coffee came up, I believe it was probably David, an avid coffee drinker of mine who mentioned the name Podgy and the Banker as one of his favorite places for a good cuppa, and thanks to that rather unique name for a cafe, it stuck to me.
Fast forward to last week, we decided to give it a try. If a cafe manage to stay in business more than a couple years, it is usually at least more than decent.
Update 2019: Podgy & the Banker is no longer operating here
podgy and the banker, sri hartamas
Podgy and the Banker is located at Sri Hartamas, the opposite side across from the much busier Desa Sri Hartamas. As a result, parking never takes more than 10 seconds to locate, and therefore the morning is never ruined from having to go round & round for 10 minutes prior to getting a spot (I’m looking at you, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar)
The cafe itself can be a bit tricky to locate though, from the front it looks almost like an office (or bank?), but if you were to look from the side you won’t miss it.
Haze & I both really enjoyed the latte here
First up, the coffee.
We both had latte and agreed that they were absolutely on point. Strong aroma, and really smooth steamed milk, no super fancy presentation or anything as such but such a really well prepared cup of coffee. Really one of the better latte I’ve tried.
poached egg with beef bacon
My choice of brunch was poached egg with bacon (RM 16). Presentation was quite minimalist but the two eggs were perfectly poached, only proper bacon would elevate this dish but the beef version did its job just fine here.
scrambled eggs with salmon, lemon meringue cake
The wife went for scrambled eggs with smoked salmon (RM 15), another simple yet properly prepared dish that received no complain from her. We complete the brunch by sharing a lemon meringue cake (RM 14) together, which turned out to be quite a lovely dessert.
I foresee us going back there again one of these days.
Address: Podgy and the Banker 2, Jalan Sri Hartamas 8, Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.157306, 101.650839 Hours: 9am to 11pm, closed on Tuesday Web: www.podgyandthebanker.com