Posts tagged breakfast

The Bread Shop

With a recent office relocation came the need to search for good, quick and nearby food. One thing about Kay-El is that you normally don’t find good bread. We did go to LeVain Boulangerie Patisserie a while back and the only problem with LeVain was distance and besides the atmosphere, the food is just above average. Coffee was also down to the individual barista. On two occasions that I was there, the coffee was noticeably worse than the previous visit a week earlier. Their breads, well, pretty great but it must depend on your basis for comparison. If I would prefer a more Asian twist to my breads, LeVain would meet that criteria. If you’re going for the European flavor, LeVain does disappoint somewhat.

So, it was a pleasure to find a little bakery and cafe tucked into the quiet nestles of Bukit Damansara (Damansara Hill) and within five minutes drive from my office. The coffee is consistently good (ten visits in three weeks) and their breads and pastries are simply up to mark. Of course not everything will satisfy everyone but to me, their white bread is simply the best. The cranberry walnut loaf is also good enough to eat it on it’s own… to paraphrase another bread maker’s slogan but this one is really special. I’d rate Bread shop a notch above LeVain. The modernistic concrete styling just complements the aroma and luscious softness of their breads and pastries. I’m a fan for sure!

The prices are also quite fair. It’s no more expensive than LeVain, Bread Story or Delifrance. The only pity is that they close on public holidays and Sundays but I really love it when I can pop in at 8am for a delicious croissant and latte before getting into the office!

The Bread Shop
11, Jalan Setiakasih 5,
Bukit Damansara,
50490 Kuala Lumpur

The Bee, Jaya One

One early Saturday morning, we found ourselves near the vicinity of Jalan University. Needing breakfast, we made our decision to head to Jaya One. We arrived at the Bee about 9:45am in the morning. It seems that on weekends, they only have their brunch menu which excludes their burgers. So much for that. The Kitchen is also not open till 10am.

Oh, well, it’s only another fifteen minutes. Ordered a latte which came in decent time. The latte was done reasonably well. Probably the beans weren’t as fresh but still pretty decent. Starbucks can pull a decent latte too but their beans are weeks to a month old. Would I expect a cafe like the Bee to have fresher beans? Possibly, but I don’t know the traffic pattern or output to judge.

The waitstaff seem to be rather disorganized and are unable to keep up with even four tables occupied. Our food arrived after a fairly long while – like twenty-five minutes. It’s not like they were full but I’d hate to be sitting there when the place is overflowing with people. Taste wise, nothing to shout about but overall good filling meals. The banana-peanut butter toast was pretty unique and flavorful.

Done with our breakfast (or brunch), we called for the bill. That took another ten minutes and we decided to put it on the card. The nice thing about my Citibank Visa is that the points can be used to buy anything. Of course, the rate isn’t fantastic — they’re a bank and they’re out to make money from you but if you gotta use the money anyway, might as well build up the points to get something… like a new lens or refrigerator, etc. Back to the Bee. The credit slip took them another fifteen minutes to produce for us to sign. Overall, waiting for service, waiting for food and waiting to sign the credit card slip took longer than our entire meal.

Bottom line (NPS-like) is I don’t think I’d recommend friends to the Bee, or at least I’d be neutral which means “negative” in NPS-speak. Food-wise ok but I’d need to try the burgers so means I’d be going back, at least one more time. If the service-delays persist, it’ll be my last.

A delightful bakery in KL

LeVain Boulangerie Patisserie… yup. Even Google translator stumbled. Google says “Levain Bakery & Patisserie” while Babelfish gives me “Leaven Bakery & Pastry making” and Paralink gives me “Sourdough Bakery and Patisserie“. Whatever it is in English, they sure know their pastry and baking! I’m rather fond of breads and am not really a “rice” kind of person although rice has been in my diet since, well, as far back as I can remember.

Interestingly, I stumbled upon this place while doing a recce for a wedding shoot. The dinner location was nearby and I decided to drive around to check for ideal outdoor locations a minute or two away. This old part of KL has a lot of charming old bungalows that have been converted to commercial premises and the old rain trees form a lovely backdrop. Some time later, my wife told me about an unpronounceable bakery and immediately I know where and what she was trying to tell me.

The place gets really packed right till about 2pm when the crowd seems to taper down. For such a classy looking place, you’d expect two things: it’ll be filled with expats, especially the Europeans who probably can’t get used to our local breads (I sympathize cos our local bread, well, enough said) and secondly, pricing that only the rather well heeled can afford. Surprisingly, this assumption is proved false which is good. There are some expats buying bread but up to 90% of the people eating and dining were local Chinese! Whoever said that the Chinese need to eat their rice need to be brought here. I mean people were having breakfast, brunch, lunch, whatever with nary a bowl of rice or noodles (unless pasta counts) in sight. The prices were very reasonable, in fact, some items were priced almost the same as some local chain bakeries. This is amazing value considering these items are made with quality ingredients and hence, taste better and are invariably fresher which I’ll explain later. For brunch, we had a couple of pastry items, soup and pizzas which totaled up to only RM29 without drinks. Drinks range from about RM6 onwards but looking at the way they hand-crafted my latte and the use of quality Australian (farm house) milk, I’d say the price is still good.

The breakfast items are nice, especially the pancake stack. I think we’ve tasted most of the pastry items and considering that we kept reloading our table with items meant that they were good. The only thing about being in such a full place is that the top pastry items such as their mashed potato bun, chocolate coronet, pizzas, etc get depleted quickly. Not to worry though as the kitchen is in full production and they get replenished quickly. This high turnover rate means that what you get is as close as you can to baking them yourselves!

There’s free wi-fi available, making it a good place to meet but parking can be difficult if you have a 5-meter long truck and your other vehicle is a CR-V. That said, we’ll be back again as I love their sweet desserts and lovely breads — especially their maple log loaf! So time to stop talking and let the photos do you in!

Levain Boulangerie & Patisserie
No 7, Jalan Delima,
Off Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.

Ipoh Wedding – The day after…

What do you do when you just finished a late night wedding shoot the day before and you awake in a hotel in Ipoh? Go for dim sum breakfast that’s what! And followed by sweet tau-foo-far dessert after that!

A Big Breakfast

A wonderful way to start the morning: eggs, milk, tomatoes, cured ham, a bit of onion and garlic. Serve with a side of cucumber and olive oil pan-fried toast! Delicious!

Monday AM Breakkie

Early start

Poppy seed and banana walnut cake along with (banana walnut cake in the tupperware) hot hazelnut coffee and this morning’s email!