Luscious by Lisa T – the new lepak place in Mont Kiara

A new cupcake joint had its first day of operation today in Mont Kiara today, and my colleagues and I went down to check it out.

We had a lovely time.

Luscious by Lisa T occupies the space in 1 Mont Kiara that used to house a German bakery – which did not do well (RM17 for a tiny takeaway sandwich, anyone?). It’s located on the ground floor, just in front of the florist and next to Pierre Cardin.

The interior spells new (duh) and it’s very Soho-esque, with dark walls and red chaise lounge chairs. There’s also a small private corner – perfect for a lazy Sunday gossip session. The drinks selection is very much standard cafe fare – latte, hot chocolate, caramel latte and such.

The floor lights up, which is pretty cool.

The very friendly and bubbly owner, from which the cafe got its name from, was there. We had a short conversation with Lisa and it was clear that she was very passionate in making cupcakes and sweet fares. And she’s a big fan of Fazura too! One of her cupcakes was named…Fazura.

Team #sayangidirimu lah ni.

The cupcakes are absolutely gorgeous, and the flavours are varied, from conventional (Rocher) to something more interesting (rose bandung and lychee, anyone?).

My colleagues and I got a few boxes (each holding six), and here’s what one of the boxes looks like:

The cupcake with the tall caramel popcorn and cream topping turned over (unfortunately, but never mind).

The cupcakes here are big; significantly bigger than those that you’d get from Wondermilk, and they cost about RM9-10 each.

Favourite:

George, the Rocher cupcake is absolutely delicious. The Rocher ball sits nicely on top of a bed of ground nuts and a generous dash of dark chocolate mousse.

The chocolate cake base is moist, with a very slight hint of cocoa bitterness – and not too sweet. This one melted in my mouth. Lovely.

Least favourite:

This one, called Scarlet Lady, looks absolutely gorgeous, but taste-wise it is slightly underwhelming. The mango cream has a very weak hint of mango taste, it tastes more like butter cream, and the base is quite dry. There’s a nice dash of passionfruit puree at the bottom. The soury goodness of the passionfruit puree saves the otherwise boring cupcake – allowing me to finish it. The maroon lips topping the cake is edible – it’s made of chocolate.

Luscious also sells gelato, which I didn’t get to try, and some savouries as well. I took out the salmon and squid pie called Finding Nemo.

The filling is very creamy, with the salmon very soft and nicely cooked. It’s a decent pie, ad quite delicious at that – not huge, but good enough for a light lunch.

Verdict

Well, this place is just downstairs from my office, and now I know that I need not leave the 1 Mont Kiara complex whenever I need some sugar rush.

Mont Kiara has a really awesome new lepak place, and that’s obviously good news.

Speak soon,
FH

60 Minutes in Old KL

Kuala Lumpur has got to be one of the most dynamic cities in Asia today. It is fast-paced, and with flurries of construction activities spread across its large urban expanse, exudes the appearance of a boom town preparing itself for the future. Malaysia has been experiencing rapid economic growth since 1980s (albeit at a slightly muted pace lately) and KL is the showcase city chronicling this phenomenal shift of the nation’s fortune. The rise of western-style consumerism has turned much of the city into a sprawling, featureless metropolis of hundreds of banal malls, gridlocked cloverleaf intersections, posh condominium blocks (with a lot of empty units, however), and many, many Starbucks, KFCs & McDonald’s outlets.

Pockets of Malaysia’s pre-boom past still exist, however, awkwardly amidst the city’s sea of skyscrapers. The old quarter of KL, the epicentre of which sits at the confluence of the Klang & Gombak river, is only 4 LRT stations’ away from KL’s modern, bordering on featureless downtown of huge malls & cookie cutter office blocks. While various efforts have been made to rejuvenate this much-blighted area of town, you may still witness the rustic elegance of near crumbling Chinese style shophouses interspersed with old temples and open air markets here.

Crumbling shoplot, Old KL
Crumbling shoplot, Old KL

Lebuh Pasar used to be the central business district of KL. The area is characterised by its grand shophouses & office buildings, some of them ornate, with neoclassical columns & accents. Many of these buildings were already crumbling until the recent effort of rejuvenation turned the square into a pleasant public space, with neat benches and fountains. The buildings surrounding the square have been repainted in some vibrant colours.

Shoplots facing Lebuh Pasar, a pedestrianised public square
Shoplots facing Lebuh Pasar, a pedestrianised public square
A Moorish inspired structure, KL
A Moorish inspired structure, KL

The area surrounding Lebuh Pasar is fairly pedestrian-friendly, but expect creaky pavements & broken traffic lights. There appears to be a large presence of Bangladeshi migrant workers who live and work in the area. Many of the local shops have Bengali, instead of Tamil, signboards/advertisements alongside English & Malay, a reflection of Malaysia’s constantly evolving demographics.

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An Indian flower shop, Old KL
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Lorong Bandar 1, KL

More random shots taken using my humble iPhone 5S camera:

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Street art carrying a rather sanitised message of patriotism, Old KL

Of course, every stroll in old KL has to end with some delicious food, and this time around I chowed down an amazing Chettinad meal at Betel Leaf, Lebuh Ampang.

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It was a great meal, I’ll probably talk more about the restaurant later.

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Exploring our own turfs can be an exciting experience; it opens our eyes to beautiful things that we might have overlooked all along. Next time, if you have the time, grab your backpack, bring a bottle of water, get on the LRT and stop at the Masjid Jamek/Pasar Seni station. You’ll find youself in a colourful part of town, pretty rugged & unpolished at that, but refreshingly vibrant & authentic.

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Speak soon,

Faizal Hamssin

Bean Brothers: Korean, Brooklyn & Hipster

Industrial design started making waves in the West in the last 10 years- disused warehouses & rundown structures in some blighted neighbourhoods turned into vibrant spots where hipsters & millennial yuppies congregated and would like to be seen.

This type of interior design, once viewed as radical & too rustic to be synchronised with Asian design sensibilities that prefer space to look new, polished & spic-and-span, has entered KL, brought in by cafes & restaurants, many of them opened by Malaysians returning from their long stints overseas. Acme Bar & Coffee in Troika is one of the earliest restaurants in KL that adopts industrial interior design.

Another one has popped up in a nondescript industrial corner of Sunway Damansara. Housed in a converted industrial building, Bean Brothers boasts a large, airy space, wood & steel industrial interior & decorative elements, and ample natural lighting.

Bean Brothers'ample, well lit interior space
Bean Brothers’ ample, well lit interior space wouldn’t look out of place in the gentrified corners of Brooklyn & Melbourne.

I was at the cafe for a late lunch, around 3pm. The crowd level was pleasant, it was already way past peak Sunday lunch period. My friends and I were greeted by a very warm & friendly cashier and barista. Their hot food menu was, however, quite small, especially compared with other brunch spots in PJ/KL. I was informed that the menu was going to be expanded in the near future. There was only one option for pasta (meatball bolognaise), roast chicken, and a couple of other items.

I had their baked eggs with bolognaise vegetables, served with slices of wholegrain bread. It was pretty delicious, but at RM28, quite steeply priced, considering the portion. Similar baked eggs & vegetables dish would cost you around RM18-20 at Yeast Telawi, for example. The coffee was good but not exceptional- I had their latte. I also tried one of their scones, which was tasty.

The whole spread cost me RM48.

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My late lunch

Amidst the industrial, hipster decoration, Bean Brothers is still essentially a Korean cafe/bakery. Korean music is played in the premises- if you absolutely hate K-pop music, this might be a turn-off. I didn’t mind the music, so I found the atmosphere to be highly pleasant.

The boys with yours truly
The boys with yours truly

The place wasn’t uncomfortably crowded & noisy, and unlike some of the more popular cafes in Telawi & Publika, you wouldn’t get the ‘stare’ for staying at your table for too long. This place is therefore excellent if you want to have a long catch up with your friends.

Address: Jalan PJU 3/50, Sunway Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Malaysia

 

Speak soon.
Faizal Hamssin