antipodean cafe in bangsar

9:25 AM sians 2 Comments


defined as: 
o1. relating to new zealand or australia; or
o2. being on completely opposite ends or opposite sides of the earth.

defined by:
o1. its motto - coffee . cafe . culture
o2. it being shortlisted for time out kl food awards' best coffee 2011 and 2012 and in 2011 for best new restaurant

perhaps that's the reason behind the hype for this cafe.

my stumble upon this cafe was not intentional - sorta. the original plan to try a french patisserie in the area fell through when it declared its own public holiday last monday. plus, the crowd at antipodean cafe lured us closer, filling in as a substitute for our much anticipated brunch.

with the huge parties waiting ahead of us, i assumed it might be a rather long wait but surprisingly about 5 minutes after we put our names on the waiting list, we were seated in the petite cafe that was a borderline fire hazard as a result of it being overcrowded. proof: there were barely room to sit comfortably between tables. the decor was simple with the coffee bar lined with silver bags of fresh coffee beans against the bright hues of red and orange.

sunlight streamed in the wall lined with windows, highlighting the opposite wall painted as a blackboard where the menu was handwritten. loved the wall menu idea but it sorta irked me that they didn't have printed menus and instead had to strain our necks to read the cafe's one and only menu.

it was off to a bad start when one of the staff stood by the table instantly after we were seated and asked if we were ready. it's good to be enthusiastic but seriously, how can i be ready the minute i walk in and haven't even had the chance to glance at the rather extensive menu selections. i responded with a "i'm not ready yet" and off she went to attend to another diner. less than 2 minutes later, another wait staff paused at our table with a notepad and pencil out and before he could utter the words, i impatiently repeated "we're not ready to order yet". less than 2 minutes later, i gave up when another came to get our order and i ordered something even though it felt so rushed. it put a slight damper to the rest of the meal but i brushed it off.

drinks :: latte (rm 9)

appreciating the beautiful coffee foam art, i took a sip and was greeted by a good amount of bitterness from the espresso (although lacking that tart note in the end) mellowed by the creaminess of the milk that shone with a crown of foam. warm and satisfying. but if i had to compare to my favorite-st cuppa joe, it was missing the same smoothness and richness. however, overall a yummy mug of caffeine goodness.

breakfast :: smoked salmon omelet (rm 20)

a huge portion of omelet served with a side salad of greens and sweet cherry tomatoes tossed lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. when i picked out this dish, i expected the smoked salmon to be semi raw but was slightly disappointed when i noticed the salmon pieces were cooked completely after my first bite. the smoked salmon sprinkled saltiness in between each bite of the soft fluffy eggs which was otherwise slightly monotonous in flavor and lacked textural difference. the dish's saving grace was the crunchiness of the salad with occasional flavor injections of sweetness and tartness from the lovely tomatoes.

breakfast :: all day breakfast | toast, bacon/chicken/beef/pork sausage, baked beans, scrambled egg, grilled tomatoes (rm 20)

{hr} selected the chicken sausage from the list of proteins and also found out that any extras of mushrooms or hashbrown, to name a few, resulted to an additional rm 9 to the price tag. while {hr} was happy with the huge serving portion, he concluded that the food itself was lackluster. i had a bite of the 'grilled' tomatoes - if you can even call it that. the open-faced thick sliced tomatoes lacked grilled marks and caramelization that i was hoping from being grilled. it literally tasted like they seared one side of the tomatoes for 30 second.

a quick glance at the offerings of food on the adjacent table, i was appalled by the doneness of the bacon - it looked like the bacon could have spent more time in the pan to get it crispier >.<

i began to understand the reason behind the quick turnover of diners. as soon as we took the last bite of our food, they cleared the plates off the table. some might construe that as effective and efficient but it got out of hand that they wiped the table before we even asked for the bill - almost like they were hinting for us to leave.

oh, my suspicions were confirmed when the wait staff came by to ask (i suppose it was done politely) if he could bring us our bill so that they can accommodate the patrons on the waiting list. without even asking if we wanted more food or desserts.

i paused and thought. "wow. i think i was just 'kicked out' of the cafe" i don't think i've been ever asked at any restaurants or cafes to pay the bill and leave just minutes after i finish my meal, no matter how busy or popular the place is.

was the cafe worthy of all the hype?

my response: honestly, its popularity boggles my mind.

the food, in general, was mediocre at best. however, the combination of the overly effective service that annoyed rather than impressed me as well as my first time ever being "kicked out" from a cafe/restaurant (even though it was done in a polite manner) have left a bitter taste in my dining experience at antipodean cafe.

as i described my experience to {mw}, she captured it rather accurately - it sounds more like a stressful, brisk morning brunch. definitely opposite from how i'd imagine myself spending my free mornings.

antipodean cafe | locations
no 20, jalan telawi 2
59100 kuala lumpur
{yummy-ness | 2.5 forks out of 5 }
~ the rating is only taking food itself into account excluding 
any views i have about the lackluster service ~
{worth trying | latte }

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


Nic said...

I feel the same too. Was 'kicked out' by them a few times too and once they did bother asking if we want anything else, but it gave me an impression of "if you are done, please don't hog the seats"... Not going back again, I also find the food is only mediocre

Nic said...

I feel the same too. Was 'kicked out' by them a few times too and once they did bother asking if we want anything else, but it gave me an impression of "if you are done, please don't hog the seats"... Not going back again, I also agree that the food is only mediocre