cafe komugi { こむぎ }

9:11 AM sians 2 Comments

i have a new dessert obsession. 

my first taste was about three months ago when they opened their third franchise at paradigm. and i've been more there than just a handful of times.

a couple of signs that it's turning into an addiction :
o1. when your sister tells you that you're obsessed or...
o2. when you're there almost weekly or....
o3. when the staff at the cafe begins to recognize who you are ><

okay, i have to confess. i've once been there three days in a row before. lol

a japanese patisserie that is baking up a storm in malaysia, cafe komugi {こむぎ} is quickly becoming my tasty obsession - i wanted to try most of what they can offer. 

komugi simply means "wheat" in japanese. just like its name, the decor of the cafe leans towards minimalist - no flairs, just clean simplicity with an injection of japanese influence. the two decor pieces that caught my attention were the artistic chairs and multicolored tiled floor.

there are three franchises in kl - midvalley, pavilion and paradigm. the one that makes paradigm's cafe komugi different from its sister cafes is the fact that they have a kitchen that serves freshly cooked food. the variety of desserts and pastries are displayed proudly on the other side of the cafe. 

the menu ranges from sandwiches, salads, pizzas to noodles. 

let's start with their freshly prepared dishes straight from the kitchen.

komugi pasta {こむぎパスタ} ::  wafu mentai spaghetti (rm 22.90)

served in a asymmetrical bowl, it was as what the staff has described it to me - spaghetti coated in a cream sauce with salmon roe, served with shrimp and topped with nori. what they failed to tell me was that it was going to be too creamy - too being the understatement. 

the pasta was cooked slightly overdone but it was seasoned well. however, the monotonous flavor on top it being too creamy (yes, i've mentioned it twice already) without anything to cut through the richness was just too much. to the point that when {wy} had a bite, she joked that perhaps the chef had a lot of heavy cream lying around about to expire that they've decided to use it all in this dish which i was progressively inclined to agree... lol. 

the shrimp were too few and due to the richness, i was done after a few bites and was wishing for something tart or herbaceous to bring the dish together. okay to be fair, i am not a huge fan of anything too creamy either.

udon {うどん} :: chicken katsu curry udon (rm 18.90)

{wy} decided to go for something more japanese with this selection. she graciously offered me a slice of her chicken katsu which turned out to be pretty tasty with the crispy shell of thinly encasing the moist chicken albeit slightly greasy.

{wy} preferred the noodles to be cooked a tad longer which contrasted with my opinion, i thought was a good amount of doneness. the meat filled thick curry sauce did remind me a lot of the flavors of the filling of a curry puff type of curry - distinct flavor of curry powder with a subtle heat. {wy}'s verdict for the dish : mediocre. i second that.

sandwich {サンドイッチ} :: smoked salmon open face (rm 22.90)

after what i might have called a disappointing choice with the spaghetti, i had set my eyes on their sandwiches and the smoked salmon caught my eye. i figured i would have better luck with a sandwich since they were a cafe and japanese at that - so raw salmon should be great too. my assumptions had some truth in it - it sorta fell short of my expectations. 

two slices of smoked and cured salmon lies on a bed of lettuce that rests on a crusty bread which was too lightly toasted (almost tasted like they didn't). a squeeze of lemon resonated with the briny burst of tartness from the capers which are paired classically with smoked salmon. however, the salmon itself was not the freshest confirmed by the lackluster color of the fish - the fishiness was echoed in each bite. the dressing on the salad was surprisingly yummy with a sweet tangy-ness to it yet creamy - actually come to think of of it..tasted a lot like thousand island dressing. 

omelette {オムレツ} :: omelette with sausage (rm 13.90)

omelette was probably one of the more successful savory entrees they serve. {cyh} offered a taste from his plate and from the sneak peek i had from that bite was fluffy, wonderfully seasoned omelette. it wasn't outstanding but it was an enjoyable meal for {cyh} although the serving size could have been a lot bigger since it barely filled him up.

let's switch gears and move over to my favorites here - pastries and cakes {ペストリー & ケーキ} but first : bread/pastries

in the case of the franchise at paradigm, ordering bread/desserts meant going to the display cases and picking out the sweet treats of your desire and paying at the counter while drinks are ordered at the table. let's pick out some i'd like to highlight or some, which i thought were rather intriguing.

bread :: tomato & olives {トマトとオリーブのパン} | wrapped in tomato paste with olives and cheese (rm 3)

shaped as a crescent, i knew tomato and olives are classic italian pairings but i've never imagined it taking the form of a bread. i love olives as i do tomatoes hence i was very intrigued to try. the bread was soft, slightly greased my fingers as i break the bread into half. i was pleasantly surprised to find whole pitted green olives - four of them in each of these baked treats.

the bread itself barely whispered the tomato tart sweetness which was overshadowed by the briny olive-y flavor. ideal for olive fans such as my mom and myself but could have improved with a bit more balance in flavors.

bread :: mini choc croissant | (rm 1.20)

probably one of my favorite breads they have from their many selections. a lovely petite bite size treat, i feel slightly less guilty since the size is somewhat miniature. the flaky, slightly sweetened caramelized crust of the croissant protects the layers of soft, buttery, doughy inside wrapping around the dark chocolate center. just a nice sweetness with occasional dark chocolate burst of flavors. ideal for a quick chocolate and buttery bread fix.

pastry :: creamy custard krone {クローネ} | komugi coronet baked to crisp perfection with creamy custard piped inside just before it’s packed (rm 4.80)

chef kato yasunobu and chef miyata megumi. the two pastry artists behind the komugi krone. what i first thought the pastry to have mimicked the italian cannoli, the komugi krone turned out to be inspired by its italian counterpart - the coronet / cornet. just as the creators have aptly described it, the exterior was not cookie-like as as it would have been as a cannoli but more of a twirled tube of crispy shell yet airy and soft towards the inner diameter.

the custard was sweet - almost like a thin pudding with a vanilla punch. lots of napkins are required to tackle this messy delight since the custard oozes while the "cone" untangles as you take a bite on either ends of the cornet. i liked the textural differences this one single pastry represent from the shell, to the inner bread and finally the smooth and soft custard all combined in a single bite.

slice cakes :: tofu cheesecake {豆腐チーズ }| (rm 11)

i've moved on to the cakes and decided to start with something a little less ordinary. yup, it wasn't a typo - tofu cheesecake.  a guilt-free alternative for the health conscious. definitely skeptical and a lil afraid of the outcome, i took a first bite and was taken aback for a quick moment, not quite knowing how to describe the taste.

the crust was a buttery, almost shortbread cookie-like crust, slightly sweetened. the layer of "cheesecake" was airier with the taste of cream cheese but texturally it was almost a cross between a firm cheesecake and a marshmallow and topped with a layer of airy whipped cream. overall, considering one of the ingredients masked in the dessert is tofu, it was an enjoyable success.

successful enough for me to choose this over a regular cheesecake? not quite. {wy} and i agreed while this was a healthier variation of the cheesecake, it isn't something we would end up be craving for.

slice cakes :: mille crepe {ミルクレープ} | (rm 7.50)

this was my introduction to komugi pastries and cakes for the first visit to the cafe - a momentous point to my quick attraction to komugi's sweet creations. the expertly made thin layers of crepe were soft while holding its integrity with the evenly balanced amount of the sweet cream in between each layers.

surprisingly though, the bottom layer is a soft vanilla sponge cake layer to offer some textural difference and intensity in flavors. one pet peeve though was my subsequent tries of this dessert has yet to shine as my first and often find the cake slightly dry towards the evening.

slice cake :: marble cheesecake {マーブルチーズ} | (rm 12.50)

this was truly a classically made marble cheesecake with a buttery graham cookie crust of the perfect thickness with the swirls of dark chocolate that intensified the sweetness from the cheesecake itself. this is a dense cheesecake where its richness might prove too much for me - i can only manage a couple of bites but sharing is caring so word of advise is to share the rest with others. tad too sweet for me.

tart :: hokkaido cheese tart {北海道チーズ}  | (rm 6.90)

mixed reviews for this cheese dessert variation. i am for the dessert while {chy} thought otherwise. if i were to describe the dessert by virtue of other desserts -

the crust  was of the shortbread cookie buttery and crumbly sweetness and the filling reminded me of a key lime pie but mellowed by the sweetness and creaminess of the cheese. definite a significant punch of acidity of the lemon zestiness from the smooth cheese filling, sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with a fresh raspberry. hidden between the cheese filling and the crust was a thin layer of reduced raspberry sauce lining the inner pie tart crust but it didn't do much for the tart.

on the flip side, {cyh} reckoned that the tartness was a bit much and the raspberry sauce reduction tasted a wee bit artificial. so it was a cross in his books.

cake :: hanjuku cheese {半熟チーズ} | this delicious masterpiece is made with select cream cheese, eggs and other surprisingly simple ingredients brought together by a secret recipe (rm 3.50)

i've save the best for last - this is the one thing that keeps me coming back to cafe komugi. my message to the brilliant mind who created the komugi signature hanjuku cheese : chef furuta yoshikatsu {古田 圭克} - thank you. this pastry can be interchangeably called half baked cheese because half baked in japanese is hanjuku. there are two variation - the original and the chocolate counterpart.

the original hanjuku cheese has ranked on my all time favorite dessert list - a signature dessert by komugi for the right reasons. what makes it so special is the fact of the lightness and airiness that results to a creamy, lightly cheesy, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth experience with the lovely amount of sweetness that leaves a honey end note on your tongue. to give it a minor textural difference is a layer of vanilla sponge cake that echoed the softness of cheese itself. simplicity as its best and i could eat a couple of these if not for my guilty conscience. lol

non the other hand, the chocolate half baked cheese pales in comparison. the balance of the sweetness is slightly off and it was more of a dark chocolate pudding like consistency. don't get me wrong, it tastes alright but just not the same caliber as its original counterpart.

if you happened to be in paradigm on a weekday for lunch, they have the komugi set lunch special with appetizer and an entree with a cup of coffee/tea for rm 18.90 + . also, they offer three mini croissants and a cup of coffee for rm 8.00 throughout the day on weekdays.

one thing i've established over my multiple visits to cafe komugi is my personalized menu for a light high tea session. a pot of dilmah tea (wild berries/english breakfast tea/ earl grey) for rm 8 with my favorite selections of pastries of bread and cakes. delightful way to spend an afternoon with family or friends for a chat.

cafe komugi has excelled in some of their baked goods but have a lot of room for improvement for their entree dishes. between their pastries, cakes and breads, their sweet treats outshine the breads. i've yet to try all they have to offer but cafe komugi is something worth to be on your to try list if you are in the vicinity of  any of their locations. start with my favorites and i hope you'd be happily satisfied as i have. :)

cafe komugi | locations
lot cf 55, level cc
paradigm mall
no1, jalan ss7/26a,
kelana jaya, 47301 
petaling jaya.

{yummy-ness | 3.5 forks out of 5 }
{worth trying | hanjuku cheese, mini chocolate croissant, tomato&olive }

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


Pancake said...

I was just dropping by as I saw you're the winner of the Best Writer's Award from OpenRice. I just wanna say congratulations and I do love the way you describe on your review. Keep it up!

sians said...

@pancake chin :
Thanks for your kind words :) and i am glad you enjoyed the write up! ^^