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In the last few years, coffee culture in Malaysia experience quite a significant growth.

As I recalled, even just five years ago when I had to go to Le Passione Cafe at Hartamas for a cup of decent (and non-starbucks, non-coffeebeans) coffee. But now, we have plenty, and it’s great!

Cosans Coffee at Subang Jaya SS15
Cosans Coffee at Subang Jaya SS15

One of the many home brewed cafe chains that sprung up in recent years is Cosans Coffee, and my brother’s friend happened to be one of the persons behind it, which is why you’re reading this today.

I met my brother and a few others at the branch of Cosans Coffee at Subang Jaya a few weeks ago. The cafe is situated at a corner lot with tasteful design that took cues from English architecture, and a chilly air conditioning fitting for hot drinks. I remember when I studied at this part of the world over 1.5 decades ago, the most glamorous shops weren’t a quarter as neat as this one.

love the latte, with my brother Win Sern
love the latte, with my brother Win Sern who’s a medical doctor

Cosans apparently take pride in their process of making coffee (you can find out more details in their website), but what I do know is that their latte tastes as good as anywhere I’ve tried. The milk silky smooth, and the coffee positively strong and aromatic. That’s all I ask for in a cup of coffee, and I like their version here.

In addition to latte, they serve a full range of espresso based drinks, including macchiato, espresso, flat white, cappuccino,  mocha, and so forth. Prices of these drinks RM 7 to RM 14. Oh, they have affogato too.

sandwiches at Cosans, they pack a punch
sandwiches at Cosans, they pack a punch

Additionally, what sets Cosans apart from many other cafes is the sandwiches and salad they serve. The sandwiches are priced at RM 18-20 but they are absolutely loaded. I tried the blackcurrant smoked duck and would not hesitate to order again, the New Zealand beef steak sandwich too is something to reckon with. Two sandwiches here is probably enough for 3 person with average appetite.

Salad starts from RM 10 to RM 15, and there’s a selection of cakes to go with your caffeine. I haven’t tried these so to be honest, I wouldn’t be able to comment.

So if you’re around Subang looking for a place to chill out and possibly have a meal with some good coffee, Cosans is worth stopping by.

Address:
Cosans Coffee
30, Jalan SS 15/4,
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.075284, 101.5875
Web: http://cosans.com
Tel
03-5612 9600

-advert-

with Transitions lens on a cloudy day
with Transitions lens on a cloudy day, while walking back from LRT station after work

A note to those who may wonder why Transitions lenses, including this pair of Transitions® Signature™ lenses in this picture has a tint when it is cloudy, this is due to the fact that UV light penetrate clouds, and hence activating the lenses. This way I’m still protected against the harmful rays even on a cloudy day.

Fifth review on this buka puasa buffet 2014 series is the Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet dinner at Empire Hotel’s Kitchen Art Brasserie.

Located at Subang Jaya right next to the iconic Subang Parade, the hotel can be access directly via Empire Mall with the two sharing the same parking arrangements. Not having to pay more just because you’re in a hotel instead of the mall is surely a minor bonus.

Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet at Empire Hotel
Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet at Empire Hotel

Kitchen Art Brasserie is located at hotel’s level 2, which somehow translate to just a floor above the top floor of Empire Mall.

I like the whole set up, with a glass walls by two sides overseeing the ever busy Federal Highway and tastefully done interior decoration.

ulam, cold seafood, fruits, salad, salted duck egg
ulam, cold seafood, fruits, salad, salted duck egg

The Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet dinner is priced at RM 108++ for adults, RM 88++ for children and senior citizens. The buffet is available from 28th June to 29th July, 2014.

Interestingly, diners will also standa a chance to win a Hermes watch worth about RM 12k by taking part in a contest during this ramadan period.

traditional main dishes from different states in Malaysia
traditional main dishes from different states in Malaysia

The buffet spread at Empire Hotel celebrates each of the 13 states in Malaysia and features more than 60 different main dishes in addition to starters such as ulam, prawns, mussels, salted duck egg, clams, salads, and even cendol and rojak.

There’s also a Ghazal band performing nightly, in line with the whole local theme.

cucur udang, ikan bakar, nangka, and of course - roast lamb
cucur udang, ikan bakar, nangka, and of course – roast lamb

To make things simple, here are the list of 13 traditional flavors from the different states:

  • sup gear box (beef shank broth with spices) – Utara Kedah
  • briyani ayam dengan kismis (braised chicken with golden raisin – Johor
  • daging masak lemak dengan nangka muda (beef cooked in turmeric gravey with young jackfruit) – Negeri Sembilan
  • terong goreng berlada dengan ikan bilis (fried eggplant with chilli and anchovies) – Selangor
  • ikan masak asam pedas bunga kantan (braised fish in tamarind gravy with ginger flower) – Melaka
  • gulai kawah Terengganu dengan kantang (beef curry with potato) – Terengganu
  • ikan patin masak lemak tempoyak (fish cooked with spicy durian gravy) – Pahang
  • ayam bakar berempah (roasted chicken with Malay spices) – Kelantan
  • briyani kambing (mutton cooked in local spices) – Pulau Pinang
  • hivana roe fish – Sabah
  • braised chicken in bamboo – Sarawak
  • bubur gandum – Perlis
  • rendang tok – Perak

Pinky and I absolutely loved the sup gearbox, check out how huge it is
Pinky and I absolutely loved the sup gearbox, check out how huge it is

Of the various offerings, I particularly enjoy the sup gear box the most. The serving was huge, with the bone neatly saw off at one end and a straw provided so that you can suck out the marrow, absolutely fantastic!

The roast lamb here, as with the other buffet spread I tried so far, did not disappoint. I also really enjoyed the fish gravey with bunga kantan and of course, ulam with intoxicating sambal.

selection of western desserts and traditional kuih, including tapai
selection of western desserts and traditional kuih, including tapai

As for desserts, there’s a rather wide selection of local kuih as well as a selection of Western desserts. I picked tapai ubi and was obviously not disappointed. For those who fancy the traditional sweet drinks popular during Ramadan, there’s more than half a dozen colorful cold drinks to choose from, as well as teh tarik, of course.

Empire Mall map

Address:
Kitchen Art Brasserie, Level 2,
Empire Hotel, Jalan SS16/1,
Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
GPS: 3.082109, 101.582716
Tel03-5565 1228

I’m pretty happy that there are more and more decent coffee places that sprung up in Klang Valley lately. Gone were the days when Starbucks and Coffeebeans being the only go-to chains when caffein addiction hits.

Coffea Coffee is the latest coffee chain I had the pleasure of visiting recently.

Coffea Coffee at Subang Jaya SS 15
Coffea Coffee at Subang Jaya SS 15

Originally from Korea, the chain now boosts four outlets in Klang Valley, we visited the branch at SS 15 Subang Jaya, a place where I spent my college years over a decade ago when Starbucks wasn’t even in Malaysia. (no prize for calculating my age)

Interior decoration of the shop is tastefully done and seemingly sparing no expenses – textured walls, quaint furnitures, beautifully crafted furnitures and so forth. There’s even a smallish alfresco area upstairs for those who indulge in satisfying their nicotine addiction with some coffee.

red velvet cake, cheese cake, scones, latte
red velvet cake, cheese cake, scones, latte

Coffea Coffee offers a wide variety of espresso based beverages – the latte I tried was silky smooth and rather strong, just the way I like it.

There are two different beans to choose from. “Maestro” for those who like strong full-bodied blend, or “Madonna” for those who prefer it aromatic with slight acidity. I had the former.

You can also find a selection of cakes, scones, bagel, sandwich, and other light foods. The cakes were decent, and scones were reported to be rather delicious.

iced chocolate, smoothie, iced latte
iced chocolate, smoothie (kiwi I believe), iced latte

For those who wants their drinks cold, there’s smoothies, iced espresso based drinks, and iced chocolate. The selection is rather big, even those who doesn’t indulge in caffein should have no problem finding a beverage they like.

Horng, Yuki, KY, Joyce, Suan, and the coffee guy
Horng, Yuki, KY, Joyce, Suan, and the coffee guy

Price wise they are comparable with the other bigger chains. Drinks are priced at below RM 10 to RM 13, and cakes at around RM 10-12.

This is definitely an outlet that I would go again, and hopefully they open a branch closer to where I stay or work, that’ll be perfect.

map to coffea coffee at Subang Jaya SS 15

Address:
Coffea Coffee
A-10, SS 15/4D
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor
GPS3.074564, 101.586408
Tel03-2201 3338 (main branch at Bangsar)

A couple days ago we were invited to The Saujana Kuala Lumpur to sample the food that they have for Penang Food Festival. – a little thing that this classy hotel near the old Subang Airport is having from 1 – 14 March, 2012.

It was the first time I find myself at Saujana, the traffic heading there was rather agreeable, and parking is ample and free, what a refreshing idea right? It baffles me why most hotels that aren’t located in the city centre still charges exuberant parking fees that pisses many potential guests. Saujana, you are doing it right.

Penang food festival at The Saujana KL
Penang food festival at The Saujana KL

Overseeing a huge lake and lush green golf course, Suria Cafe surely have one of the best ambiance around town, especially if you are the sort that loves alfresco dining.

For the two week period that Penang Food Festival is running at the restaurant, three chefs from my home town (yes, I hail from Penang) are flown here to prepare many traditional Penang hawker delights to be served right along the usual array of buffet dishes. For those who loves to sample different Penang foods all at one go, this is a perfect chance.

Chef Desmond's char kuih teow, original Penang style
Chef Desmond’s char kuih teow, original Penang style

I got the chance to speak with Chef Desmond, who specializes the fine art of Chinese cuisine but at the same time is also well known for his char kuih teow. Of course, we spoke in Hokkien, as this is almost always my litmus test for anyone who claimed to know the art of Penang food, he did not disappoint.

The char kuih teow that he prepared too, was a plate of mean hawker dish that ranks right up there with some of the bests. No small feat considering this is a pork-free version, I finished the whole plate, every single bit.

char kuih teow, poh piah, apom with banana
char kuih teow, poh piah, apom with banana

Together with Chef Badrol and Chef Wafi, who are also from Penang, these three gentlemen oversees these live cooking stalls at Suria Terrace –

  • Char Kiuh Teow
  • Oh Chien (fried oyster)
  • Sar Hor Fun
  • Ee Fu Mee
  • Chee Cheong Fun
  • Lam Mee
  • Prawn Mee
  • Char Kuih Kak
  • ais kacang (ABC)
  • masalah and ginger tea
Of course, all these dishes are of Penang variety, and in most instances, stays pretty true to the style you get off any streets in Penang, tho some of them are a bit too dressed up.

Haze loves the asam laksa, mee goreng, fried oyster and char kuih kak
Haze loves the asam laksa, mee goreng, fried oyster and char kuih kak

I’ll be lying if I said I tried everything, I don’t have a huge stomach and at this .. ahem.. age, I don’t exactly eat like a teenager anymore lest the circumference of my waist be overtaking my manly butt.

Anyway! As mentioned, the char kuih teow was very good. The mee goreng stayed true to Penang style, and while slightly dry for my liking, was pretty decent. Char kuih kak too was again a little dry, but the fried oyster was very agreeable with my taste buds. I really liked the blend of spiciness to the point that I was enjoy the egg even after I’d finished the oysters.

Haze had two bowls of asam laksa, that’s cos she is now a bit of an authoritative figure in asam laksa, being a fanatic and all. She proclaimed that it did not disappoint.

chee cheong fun, ais kacang, kopi tarik
chee cheong fun, ais kacang, kopi tarik

I was also happy that they serve Penang style chee cheong fun at the festival, and got the chef to cut me a portion. I always like my chee cheong fun still wrapped, and with all the accompanying sauces, I was happy.

The ais kacang was pretty decent, but perhaps with slightly too much ingredients? Then again I’m sure you can always ask for less during the preparation stage.

appetizers and desserts on the buffet lines
appetizers and desserts on the buffet lines

Other than those live cooking stalls, there are also prepared Penang food, these includes sotong kankung, pasembur, chicken loh bak, Penang rojak, pohpiah, and so forth.

Then there’s the buffet lines where you find the usual suspects – croutons, turkey bacon, tomatoes with herbs, olive, tomato, cold cuts, various types of cheese, fruits, salad, soup, kuih, and way too many type of cute little cakes and such. Heaven for those who love it sweet.

some of the other dishes - the lamb cutlet was outta this world
some of the other dishes – the lamb cutlet was outta this world

Oh, and how can I forget the lamb cutlets?

The lamb cutlets with herbs and cheese was so tender and awesome that I ate two whole pieces, that is almost a cardinal sin of buffet dining where I usually try to sample as many dishes possible, but the cutlet was worth it, and deserves its own paragraph right here!

Fresh, Lainey, Haze, KY
Fresh, Lainey, Haze, KY

The Penang Food Fest at Saujana runs from 1 – 14 March, 2012 and are priced at RM 68++ for lunch and RM 84++ for dinner.

Bon Appetit!

map to Saujana Kuala Lumpur

Address:
Suria Cafe
Saujana Resort, Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,
40150 Selangor
GPS: 3.108849, 101.578474
Tel: 03-7843 1234
email: info@thesaujana.com

SS15 in Subang is seriously shaping up as the premier one stop center for Japanese food. Years ago, there was Rakuzen, and now, the number of restaurants at this little area has blossomed to double digit. One of the latest installment being Yamada.

Having blogged about Rakuzen, Hyotan, Jyu Raku, and Sumi Ka, I guess it make sense to pay a visit to Yamada as well.

Yamada Japanese restuarant at Subang SS15
Yamada Japanese restuarant at Subang SS15

Yamada is located right across the road from SJMC, just a few doors down from Jyu Raku and Rakuzen. Whenever a restaurant opens among the more established and still able to attract customers, you know they must be at least decent.

The crowd at weekend night when we were there mainly consists of Japanese expats, and the chef himself is an old Japanese guy, that’s always a good start.

Yamada Bento
Yamada Bento – fried chicken, sashimi, tempura, unagi, and more

I went for Yamada Bento (RM 60) that came with quite a lot of stuff, chicken karaage (fried chicken), tempura, sashimi, unagi, potato salad, saba, and miso soup.

The sashimi tasted pretty awesome, with hotate (scallop), salmon, surf clam, yellow tail, and one of the better cuts of tuna. Chicken was pretty good if not slightly oily. I don’t have any negative feedbacks for the tempura, unagi, or potato salad, but I thought the saba (i think it was saba fish) was a little over cooked to be honest.

potato salad, california handroll, saba, torikara bento
potato salad, california handroll, saba, torikara bento

Haze ordered a serving of potato salad (RM 12), a california handroll (RM 8), and the saba, torikara bento (RM 48). That was of course, a bit too much food. The bento came with saba that tasted nicer than mine, the same chicken, and a bowl of ramen that I thought tasted rather good. Instead of avocado, the california roll curiously had mango in it, a little strange but it worked.

map to Yamada Japanese restaurant

Compared to some the competitors, the price at Yamada seems a bit steeper. As for food wise, the quality is there but I didn’t think it was always spot on. Next time I’m gonna spy on the Japanese customers to see what they order. I suspect most of their raw stuff must be very good, as I can attest with the serving of sashimi in my bento.

There’re still a handful of Japanese restaurants at the area I haven’t been too, next time then!

Address:
Yamada Japanese Restaurant
No. 5, Jalan SS15/5A,
47500 Subang Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan

GPS: 3.078895, 101.592711
Tel: 03-5635-2574