acme bar & coffee

9:40 AM sians 1 Comments

"its decor captures the style of rustic industrial that is accentuated with vintage chic."

that is one of the ways i would describe acme bar & coffee

that of its cozy, lovely ambience from the decor and a particular special cup of tea that blew my mind. 

located in troika, acme bar & coffee (abbreviated to abc) is just a couple of blocks away from ampang park lrt station. as i entered the cafe (which btw has a splendid outdoor patio - sadly, not ideal with the noise and dust from the kl traffic), i was awed by the high ceiling, the essence of a rustic industrial decor approach peppered with vintage chic accents. to top it off, ceiling high windows all around the cafe where the natural lighting filled the room entirely in a grandoise manner.

utterly and completely right up my alley...

needless to say, i fell in love with the place.

i also love their attention to little details with the embossed alphabets of a, b and c on the serving dishware which you will notice throughout the entry.

i've been meaning to come here since i first heard about the cafe like months ago. i was so excited that i did some research on what the other foodies had to say about their food - i even had a dish in mind before i even entered the cafe. 

as luck would have it, the dish that i wanted was no longer offered on the menu. 


it then took me twice as long to order since i was still trying getting over my disappointment of my disappearing dish from the menu that i had to triple check to make sure i was certain that i didn't miss it.

finally, {mw} and i decided to share an appetizer and a main so we can enjoy a slice of dessert without guilt.

tea :: honey yuzu | natural renewal green tea. bright, exotic citron flavor of yuzu and special reserve green tea sweetened with full blossom bee pollen (rm 15)

as the menu aptly described it, the tea was light with a mild citrus flavor which was sweetened slightly from the honey. my first whiff of the tea highlighted the yuzu in a gentle manner and it was a refreshing warm tea, perfect for a rainy afternoon. 

but was this the tea that earned the special mention at the beginning of this entry? 
nope...actually, that is about to come next!

tea :: coco truffle | a deeply rich chocolate brew, airy with fennel, licorice and cardamom to produce a soothing, guilt-free indulgence. seductively delicious that delights the palate and treats the soul (rm 17)

one phrase: 
"double secret agent tea whose undercover role is hot cocoa."

basically - tea that taste like light hot chocolate. what surprised me was this tea forte creation captured the flavors of chocolate in a lovely manner in addition to a balanced mix of warm spices to make it such a comforting treat.

i definitely had tea envy and vowed to get this brew for my next visit to acme. a steep price for a cuppa tea but it's just so yummy! (yes, the pun was intended.. hehe ;) )

pots & pans :: root vegetable truffled fries | mix of sweet potato, lotus root & yam fries lightly drizzled with truffle oil (rm 13)

truffle i have sorely missed since my chicago restaurant days although in this dish, its source was truffle oil (much to the horror and dismay of most food network's chopped judges and with good reason), we agreed to order it.

it is because i missed truffle so much i was willing to try my luck with this one. a colorful mix of thick cut starches with the offerings of purple and regular yam in addition to slices of lotus roots and sweet potato. it was so greasy that even the bowl was coated in oil. and unfortunately, they weren't crispy as i would have expected BUT it was completely cooked through. on another positive note, the touch of truffle flavor was sufficient to affirm its presence but not overwhelmingly so.

my favorite was the lotus root which was crispier than the rest followed by the purple yam with its natural sweetness that contrasted the sprinkle of salt in a very delicious way.

main :: mushroom pot quiche | vegetarian - creamy mushroom chunks, leek in semolina crust pot (rm 27)

served with a side salad of mixed greens and red & yellow bell peppers slices tossed in a light and citrus-y vinaigrette, topped with fried little drops of dough spiced with cumin for textural difference but the spice threw the flavor combinations a little off balance.

the pot quiche in general was disappointing. the bottom crust which was nutty and crumbly was alright but the top crust with cheese baked on the quiche was slightly off putting texturally and in taste. the generous serving of mushrooms were cooked and seasoned beautifully, weaved in the egg "filling" but the quiche as a whole was not agreeable with me. just not a fan.

we saved room for dessert from the beginning and despite their tantalizing selection of cakes, our final pick was acme's signature cake which was given the thumbs up by a couple of food bloggers. 

desserts :: jackfruit cake | depends on availability (rm 15)

a signature creation of the cafe, probably because of its novel and interesting choice of flavor of jackfruit. crusted with chopped pistachios on the sides, the sponge cake was layered with this local tropical fruit frosting.

perhaps it was an off day for the pastry chef, but while the cake was airy, it definitely required the frosting to compensate for the slightly dry texture of the cake. the cake tasted vanilla and the jackfruit flavor was too mild that it lacked that floral fruity sweetness you'd expect. to top it off, it was too sweet for my liking. this spelled a second strike for acme :/

acme bar & coffee's ambiance and decor and its amazing selection of tea is sufficient to entice me to return for a second time, perhaps with an interesting story book in hand. its lackluster food, however cannot justify the price it asks for although it could be the choice of dishes i picked may not have worked for my taste. 

but i believe in second chances and the other selections acme has to offer since i wanna love this place not just for the ambiance but for its food as well. and after all, acme is defined "the point at which someone or something is best, perfect, or most successful" and i hope it lives up to its name.

acme bar & coffee | location
unit g1, the troika
19 persiaran klcc
5o45o kuala lumpur

{yummy-ness | 3 forks out of 5 }
{worth trying | coco truffle tea }

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.


the kitchen table supper club and bakery

10:42 AM sians 0 Comments

it's always a joy to find someone who has a huge passion for food like i do.

it's even better and doubly awesome when you find two of that someone, expertly translating their love for flavors while highlighting their food philosophy - wholesome and well balanced comfort food with finesse. all this in their very own kitchen.

hence,  the kitchen table supper club and bakery is born :)

it was fate when i found their facebook page by chance just days before it first stepped into the local food scene in june 2o13. i fell in love with the idea of a kitchen supper club: an avenue for foodies to get together and plan for a world foodination to be acquainted over a meal in a casual setting. 

being the curious cat that i am, i was eager to find out more about their interpretation of a kitchen supper club,  a novel yet increasingly popular concept.  it led me to my first conversation with the 'sweets' of the cooking duo, mei wan all the way back in june when they opened their cozy and comfy homes to enthusiastic foodies. fast forward five months later, i finally made my way to my first official kitchen table supper club and the pleasure to meet her in person and her 'savory' partner in crime, marcus low.

interestingly, mei wan and marcus had similar beginnings and a rather unexpected journey to reach where they are now - mechanical engineer and business major by education but...the hearts want what the tummies want.....

the pair quickly found their calling in the world of culinary as they start from the bottom in the kitchens of well known restaurants/bakeries, interning for free under the mentorship of renowned or three star michelin chefs.

three hours into the meal and dialogues later, i felt that i've forged a quick friendship with the humble and friendly self-taught cooks who shared their appreciation (and relief!) for the love they've received for their saturday dinner parties from the growing local foodie community. in fact, they are completely booked till mid-january of next year.

the TKT supper club brief:
the idea is a prix fixe menu of 4-5 course meal at rm 88 on a monthly rotation, an experimental platform for their favorite recipes to gauge the likes/dislikes of the crowd towards their fusion approach of different cuisines ranging from french, new american to mediterranean and italian.

to describe their type of food simply - casual, fine dining. 
to top it off, we were seated by the kitchen counter (much to our delight and possibly to their exhaustion from the non-stop bombardment of questions from us), allowing us to have the best seats in the house to watch them at work while conversing with them.

while not in the menu, we were first greeted with a glass of carbonated roselle with lime bitters.

{refreshing, appetite-whetting, a welcoming start}
taste | tart . sweet . floral . carbonated

we were excited to finally get started as we sat down at a tastefully decorated dining setting.

p.s. there is a tldr version summarized on their menu at the bottom of the post ;)

chilled soup :: cucumber | corn, greek yoghurt, chilli oil


{ surprisingly different with every spoonful }
taste | refreshing . sherry vinegar tartness . grilled corn sweetness & smokiness . yoghurt creaminess . herbacious microgreens and purple basil . spicy end note .

i was contemplating whether to lick the bowl after the last spoonful. it was a symphony for the palate with every spoonful where the different flavors serenades your taste buds at different proportions, left me wondering what the next delectable combination may bring as a surprise. "yummylicious" doesn't begin to describe the soup and instantly made it on my top ten dishes of 2o13 and it's only one of the two that made the cut, thus far.

breakfast for dinner :: bacon & eggs | soft quail eggs, tomato jam, grilled sourdough


the beginning and the ending of a "mini open face sandwich". some self assembly required :)
i love the interactive aspect where we could customize the dish to our liking!

{ epitome of brunch made from scratch }
taste | sweet . ending notes of slight heat . smokey . savory saltiness . buttery & soft egg yolk richness .

the two noteworthy elements for me were the ones made from scratch - the sourdough bread and tomato jam. 

the tomato jam reminded me of sweet, chunky sun dried tomato chutney concluded with mere whispers of heat. on the other hand, the story behind the sourdough bread and mei wan's secret ingredient is the 200-year old leaven as the base of this freshly baked pastry. unlike the counterpart from boudin in sf, united states, i could barely taste the sour in the sourdough bread and the crustiness from the grilled bread was lost slightly over time. however, the soft quail egg richness rounded the textural and flavor combinations, making these lovely petite bites of brunch.

farm to table  :: pan seared tilapia fillets | romesco sauce, leeks, roasted cauliflower

 { ode to individuals behind the farm of the farm-to-table }
taste | light bell pepper sweetness . succulent & juicy . hint of nuttiness . crisp freshness . radish bite . 

we dove into the entree with these freshly filleted tilapia (which was done in the morning) that boasts the origins of a fish farm in sungai bahau using spring water meant that the fish was as fresh as one can get. however, i thought the fish could have used an extra sprinkle of salt and pepper and while one was seared to perfection, the other slightly missed the mark. its highlight was the roasted cauliflower that paired beautifully with the romesco sauce but this dish was overshadowed by the simple yet complex flavors achieved in the prior dishes.

tea & biscuits :: earl grey tea creme brulee | short bread fingers

{ familiar english afternoon tea classics with a twist }
taste | spicy citrus . floral . creamy . distinctly earl grey . overwhelmingly sweet . crunchy caramelized sugar . occasional burst of tartness . crumbly butteriness.

an inventive idea to capture the typical british tea time classics in a consolidated dessert. i loved the authoritative punch of the earl grey in this french custard. while i adore the creativity in this 4th course, there were some room for improvement in the execution - it was too sweet for my liking and the consistency of the custard mimicked that of melted ice cream which meant it could have been set a little longer. on the flip side, the bruleed sugar crust was done perfectly as i used my dessert spoon to crack it with a contented smile.

as a cherry on top, mei wan graciously allowed us to brulee our own creme although we could potentially be fire hazards considering this would be our first time handling the torch. so exciting!  even more proud of myself for doing it right :) AND not setting her kitchen on fire.

thanks, mei wan! :D

from the bakery :: small & sweet treats | coffee & tea

{ encore with infused tea and petit twos }
taste | aromatic . fragrant . relaxing, mild tea . melt-in-your-mouth sweetness . passion fruit tartness . mild lemon-y butteriness .

no matter how stuffed one can get, there is always room for tea and second desserts. the sweets from the bakery that night consisted of buttery and slightly lemon-y madeleines and melt-on-your-tongue sweet meringues counterbalanced by the passion fruit custard.

the perfect ending to the night was the warm tea infused with a fragrant mix of dried herbs comprising of aromatic pandan and lemongrass that imparted a soft lemon-like flavor. i absolutely loved the comfort and satisfaction the tea offered that it almost made me take a deep relaxing breath with each sip. *sighing a sigh of contend*

tldr version: my notes on its prix fixe menu:

my conversations with mei wan and marcus gravitated towards great food, which we heartily concur that, it is best enjoyed in the company of loved ones in a cozy setting. their plans of realizing their dreams of opening their own restaurant by mid-year of 2o14 is built on their food philosophy - made to order, affordable fine dining, served in a casual, family style manner to be shared among friends and family. admittedly, there were minor kinks in the execution for some of the 5 course meal that night but nothing of which that are not easy fixes.

what's important is they've established a strong flavor foundation built on personal experiences via interpretation of classics mixed with bold creativity in food expression to spread the notion that appreciation for food and flavors are to be shared and savored slowly with every bite.

even more than that, they put their heart on each plateful of their yummy creations and it shows. :)