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

Alicia Keys’ Here

Four years after Girl on Fire, Alicia Keys returned with her sixth album Here, a departure from the romantic theme that dominated much of her earlier records. Social messages dominate the album, from its second track The Gospel where Keys rapped about life in an inner city ghetto (the track is devoid of a conventional chorus Keys’ songs are known for) to the 5-minute long Illusion of Bliss that covers the issue of drug addiction. Bliss ends with Keys’ signature moan as she pleads not to be a “fallen angel”.

Emeli Sande co-wrote Kill Your Mama, a song about the rape of Mother Nature. “Shame on us, on your sons and your daughters, dig all your gold and we poisoned all your waters”, Keys lamented. Girl Can’t Be Herself is the song of Keys’ controversial “no make-up” movement. “Who says I must conceal what I’m made of? Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem”, Keys complained, to the magnetic reggae beat. Easily one of the most summer-ready tracks on the otherwise dark album, Girl Can’t Be Herself shines as an anthem of woman empowerment in the age of photoshop and unrealistic mainstream expectations of beauty. She Don’t Really Care/1 Luv, with its slinky 90s beats, is the the song for the resurgence of black identity and racial consciousness in the pop culture during the era of Black Lives Matter.

Glimpses of Alicia Keys’ earlier sounds, married with Pharrell Williams’ slick production created Work on It, with its irresistible chorus that reminds listeners of No One, one of Keys’ most prolific hits. More Than We Know is an ode to self-empowerment, with Keys reminding the listeners that “there’s no fate that you can’t create”. The track is the closest it gets to a self-help midtempo ballad on the album; a forgettable one at that, considering the depth of other songs in the album. Blended Family is based on Keys’ experience of co-parenting her husband’s children in a blended household, it is a song about familial love and responsibilities.

In Common, one of the most experimental tracks on Here, while relegated to the Deluxe version of the album (a common practice among bigshot record artists when their first single underperformed on the charts), shows the more current side of Keys. It is Keys’ excellent foray into tropical music, and with the beats also infused with electronic collage, In Common is hands-down the most alluring dancehall track in the album.

Holy War, the most political track in Keys’ most political album to date, is the song for the post-election America. As Americans reel from the rise of Donald Trump and right-wing politics in the country, Keys asked “What if sex was holy and war was obscene, and it wasn’t twisted, what a wonderful dream”. The song’s powerful call of action “We can break these walls between each other”, a not-so-subtle reference to Trump’s proposal to “build the wall”, is a powerful close to the album. If anything, Here is Keys’ low-profile version of Rhythm Nation, released 25 years after the latter, but with an equally powerful message: That the world, after all this while, is still a mess.

3.5/5

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.

IMG_6556
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