Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pulp by Papa Palheta + Jump Cafe by Sarnies (Cafe Hopping KL)

Hello folks! The lions were away on a short hiatus across the causeway. It was their first virgin road trip in Peninsular Malaysia that took them from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Taiping to Penang to Ipoh to Bidor to Melaka and back to home sweet home. The lion was proud to have developed a stronger constitution for long haul drives and an iron-cast gut after that (Land of Tom Yum Gung next?). The main aim of the road trip was, of course, to hit the Penang Durian Festival. But that did not deter the group from making a few pitstops for great grub and cups of aromatic java along the way and back. And having four wheels was certainly helpful for scratching those hard to reach places.

The capital of Kuala Lumpur has seen an explosion of cafes around the city and in the outskirts in recent months. But the standard of coffee can be a little inconsistent and iffy according to a local java addict. Joints that take their java seriously have slowly emerged from the shadows of "cutsy" cafes that are huge on cosmetics aka decor but dismal on coffee quality. The lions caught wind that Singapore's highly regarded by her neighbour in the coffee and roasting scene; something that this mini red dot of a city can be proud of. It is no surprise then that the opening of two Lion City coffee imports would be meet with much fanfare and enthusiasm in the Malaysian capital.

After a disappointing sampling of the hyped Char Siew and Roast Pork at Choon Yien in Petaling Jaya, the lions and gang headed across the grass patch to a cosy homegrown PJ cafe.

Butter + Beans:
Uses a blend of Ugandan, Ethiopian, Sumatran and Brazilian beans from Aussie based Coffeex.  (

The Long Black was a nuanced and smoky affair but the milk-based coffee was decidedly weak. Luckily, sweets like the fig tart and strawberry coconut cake was saccharinely divine. Apparently, the Section 17 area where Butter + Beans is based houses some well-loved food outlets like Food Foundry ( known for their excellent mille crepes and My Elephant  (, a popular Thai joint amongst the office crowd. Just look out for an ironically named apartment block that has seen better years on an anonymous suburban street. 

Butter + Beans
Happy Mansion
BG - 1a, Jalan 17/13
Seksyen 17, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia 46400
Opens Mon - Sun: 9am to 6pm

Jump Cafe by Sarnie @ Jump Street Asia:
Prolly housed in one of the most interesting and invigorating venues. You will be literally bouncing for joy.  Jump Cafe by the Lion City's Sarnies is housed in the largest trampoline park in Asia that covers over 37,000 sqft of space. Hundreds of trampolines are interconnected into large courts, including dodge-balls and slam dunk courts, a foam pit and a high performance area. This is one big happy place dedicated to the art of jumping, tumbling, wall-walking, somersaulting and many other imaginable gravity-defying activities.
Sarnie’s house blend is featured at Jump Cafe - a dual mix of Costa Rican and Ethiopian beans (?). The coffee is, in the lions' and Mr Business Times' opinion, much better than that of her compatriot's (Pulp by Papa Palheta). Java is chocolatey and smooth with a hint of acidity. Highly Recommended: Grab the mood-boosting Orange Mocha that has to be specially made by the head barista. The Roast Beef sandwich with melted cheese is also a welcomed comfort snack.

The lions had the timely privilege of catching the playful in purple, Dolly the Cat, an Astro social media mascot who was in the midst of filming at Jump Street. After the great conversation, the good folks at Jump Cafe reminded the lions to visit Sarnies' newly minted 2nd outlet - The Lokal - back home.Waaaah so many things to do so little time, how?

Jump Cafe
Jump Street Asia,
Jalan 13/6, Section 13, Petaling Jaya,
Malaysia. Inside the Bosch factory compound.
Opens Mon - Sun: 10am to 9pm.

Publika is a shopping gallery with a creative and artsy vibe that houses quirky and independent boutiques, bistros, art galleries, vintage shops, and a plethora of cafes like Wondermilk ( Pause and take time to admire the sculptures that dot the mall. The lioness adores some of the stuff that the anchor tenant, Ben’s Independent Grocer (BIG), stocks that can't be found even back home. She went absolutely bonkers over a rare Nabulus soap. Goodness gracious. Definitely worth the trip down just to browse the hallowed lines of gourmet produce at this purveyor of fine goods ( A must for grocery shopping addicts. It offers a complete experience that ranges from wines, butchery, bakery, deli, organic produce, chocolatier, florist, and a section that features the best of local products. 

Another great buy at Publika: Cold pressed coconut oil from :) 

Jalan Dutamas 1
Solaris Dutamas, 50480
Kuala Lumpur

Don't think that The Lion City has an equivalent like this. Wondermama is a celebration of local flavours executed with a contemporary twist and cheeky flair in a casual setting reminiscent of a traditional canteen cross with a kopitiam. Someone dubbed the food "high class mamak". Prices and portions are decent as well. Enjoy a Special Kopi with Kopi Jelly served in an enamel mug in the shady al fresco area. And grab a stick of artisanal potong ( to ignite childhood memories.  

G6, Ground Floor,
Bangsar Village 1
Jalan Telawi Satu
Bangsar Baru
Kuala Lumpur 59100, Malaysia

Pulp by Papa Palheta:
Pulp by Papa Palheta occupies a site that was previously the paper-cutting space for the nearly 50 year old Art Printing Works, a commercial Bangsar-based printing house. Pulp is run, of course, by the same respected muscles behind Papa Palheta, the pioneer purveyor of specialty coffee and artisanal roasting in the city-state that birthed the hip Chye Seng Huat Hardware & Loysel's Toy. Seating is limited (aiyo) and the cafe section small. Most of the space is dedicated to "back-of-house" that includes the cupping room, the C-Platform training area, the warehouse and an office. The lions read that this was a deliberate move to create the atmosphere of a "support centre", showcasing coffee contraptions and equipments in their full glory. Education is of paramount importance here. Take a curious peek at the vintage cutting machine now repurposed into a coffee bar table, a nod to the place's past. The lioness noticed the display of chic print paraphernalia by The Royal Press. Upon probing, she gathered that TRP is currently one of the oldest surviving letterpress establishments in the world. (
Interesting story by The Star on The Royal Press here:

Birthing hiccups and teething issues are quite apparent here though. The gang was sorely disappointed by the lacklustre milk-based coffees (familiar blends like Nuts + Bolts & Throwback used). The staff was also fidgety unsure when quizzed on the blends and coffee. The lion even thought that the cold brew did not live up to the pristine standards back home. Time will improve... ...

Pulp by Papa Palheta
29-01, Jalan Riong, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Opens Tue to Fri: 9am-7pm
Sat to Sun: 9am-10pm
Mon closed

The coffee addicts in the group are all excited about the developments in the neighbouring coffee scene. Bah, they should have extended their stay a little longer.

Others on the lions' to-go list: Brewmen, Feeka, The Three Little Birds Coffee, Artisan Roast HQ, PCLO Cafe, VCR, The Mad Alchemy

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