pulp by papa palheta

10:05 AM sians 0 Comments

cold brew coffee. 

not quite the new kid on the block but has only recently it has become so cool it could be the next hot thing!

its popularity so contagious that cold brew revolution seems to be catching on slowly but surely in the local coffee scene to stand out as the next possible trend to look out for.

pulp by papa palheta.

an independent coffee boutique, where their philosophy was simple - "focus on the coffee".

a cafe that has adopted micro-production methods which allow meticulous scrutiny in the brewing to tell the story each coffee bean has in its flavor profile and keeping up with the latest coffee extraction ways and apparatus.

i've never had cold brew but my reading has perked my intrigue and i was dying to try my first.

first things first, cold brew coffee isn't the same as iced cold coffee - iced cold coffee is hot coffee brew, chilled. if i had to keep to an espresso shot summary, it would probably be this:

source: http://www.joyridecoffeedistributors.com/blog/uncategorized/iced-coffee-vs-cold-brew 
the brewing techniques sway the nuances and taste into two different flavor profiles rooted from the difference in temperature and brew time.

the coffee boutique donned a minimalist industrial chic decor yet invoking a cozy sophistication with the wooden floors and rooms, with the addition of a hint of vintage flair. on top of that, there were many full length glass windows that allowed natural lighting into the space (but it could get pretty warm from the sun). the brewing stations starts off in the middle of the room, which is then moved with ease to the sides to open up the space in order to accommodate the crowd, trickling in as the hours turn to noon. soft, pop music plays in the background, creating a more fun atmosphere.

i loved the ambiance of pulp.

(well, minus the sound checks in the next door garage in preparation for an event that evening just for that weekend. - other than that, it was nice)

in fact, they have a couple of coffee samples for taste on display on their centerpiece. or if you are wondering what type of coffee beans they sell by the bags, you could preview, sniff and ask the friendly staff who was ever willing to impart their coffee knowledge.

i've always wondered if they served food besides desserts to which i received a resounding yes as i approached the counter to find the "food menu". as i quickly scanned through the options, i was briefly distracted by the word truffle for just a second.

i mean it had an eye-catching name: "OMG. truffle popcorn" but it just wasn't my pick as the brunch for champions.

balance breakfast ver 2.0* | 2 röstis topped with sour cream, lamb + cranberry sausage and beef + lamb merguez accompanied by rockets. (rm 24)

i wasn't even sure what some of the ingredients were on the plate but i was up for the adventure. röstis are very similar to potato letkas or hash browns with the addition of sliced onion. merguez on the other hand is a type of sausage heavily spiced with harissa & cumin to give it its red color.

the röstis cooked through with a light sweetness from the onions, seasoned with salt and pepper. although a little grease streaked across the plate, that somewhat worked in favor of the undressed arugula and cherry tomato salad, which could have used a light toss in olive oil and lemon juice to spruce up the flavors. i would have liked a these potato pancakes to spend a longer time on the pan to give a crunchier exterior and the sour cream was a needed flavor booster. the sour cream was light on the tartness (would have enjoyed the punch of lemon) and the julienned herb was too subtle.

the lamb and cranberry sausage, was gamey but perfectly seasoned - light on spices but highlighting the moist meat in a nice way. not sure if i tasted cranberry but it could have been that sliver of sweetness i could taste in the sausage.

on the flip side, the beef + lamb merguez had a hot note which was a stark difference from its counterpart. i was distracted by the heavy use of spice that led to a heat-on-the-tongue finish but you could still taste the lamb flavor in the merguez. i preferred the former but both paired wonderfully with the sour cream.

cheesy ham toast | turkey ham topped with melted cheddar cheese on toasted brioche (rm 12)

a thick cut toasted brioche topped generously with melted cheddar - served warm, it reminded me of hearty cheese pizza from the top. { mh } gave me a bite of her toast which had the sharpness of cheddar flavor against the turkey ham and for some reason i thought i tasted a hint of orange peel in the bread although { mh } didn't. in general, she thought the dish wasn't really special and it tasted alright.

for those hot days, cold coffee on tap! :: nitro black matter (rm 16)

just as how the barista described it, stout without the alcohol.

my first sip of cold brew.

it starts with a cool lightness, with a mere whisper of tartness - velvety yet clean notes and an almost malty finish. it ends with a light bitterness with every sip. mimicked a lighter version of the regular coffee but with more pronounced nuances of the characteristic of coffee bean combination.

something iced! brewed daily :: cold brew coffee (rm 12)

the regular cold brew coffee - a unique combination of coffee beans from different regions, brewed for about 10-12 hours. this blend had a different flavor profile from the first - a striking citrus taste intertwined with a light hint of tartness. the bitterness of coffee was reduced to a minimal, it has a sweeter and smoother fruity finish.

between the two, i have a softer spot for the latter because of the balance of the flavor distinctions. every sip is like taking a ride on the taste adventure. you can also request a side of milk if you like but after trying it out, it is probably best without.

while i barely feel the caffeine in hot brew coffee (i.e. latte,cappuccino), the cold brew's had a little more effect on me.

pulp by papa palheta takes their coffee very seriously but in a good way and it shows in their creations. their friendly staff are also eager to steep their caffeine knowledge by sharing with any coffee enthusiasts via tasting classes called the "cupping session" at rm 40 per person. the food has room for improvement and would fancy more options but the coffee is a joy. one biggest drawback of this cafe is the availability of the parking since spaces are limited. so get there early and have a lot of patience.

i'd love to try their hot brew coffee and their yummy looking desserts. if you'd like to get a breather from your regular hot brew coffee, pulp might be a great place to have your first cold brew experience.

pulp by papa palheta | location
29-01, jalan riong,
59100 kuala lumpur
{opens tues - fri: 9 am - 7 pm;
weekends: 9 am - 10 pm}

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


hanamaru udon {はなまるうどん}

11:20 AM sians 0 Comments

one of the most popular chain of restaurants in japan, hanamaru udon or sanuki udon hanamaru is a great addition to join its two counterparts in mid valley - manmaru udon and ori-udon.

specializing in sanuki udon, hanamaru udon shares its japanese-inspired dining space with yoshinoya japanese beef bowl rice, adopting a quick self-service concept. brightly lit in a dining space that is predominantly wood panels created a cozy-like ambiance with accent art pieces on the walls depicting udon noodles and rice bowls. think of a food court offering two japanese food chains. so it is best to get a table before buying your food at the counters.

their philosophy is simple. uncompromising with quality ingredients, the noodles are made fresh daily by using first-grade flour obtained only as much as 60% of finely selected flour, cooked with care and kept no longer than 30 minutes. the broth comes from dried kelp and sardines with an original blend of soy sauce and they understand the significance of water in the taste profile of their every bowl of udon.

sanuki udon hanamaru modus operandi: find an available table in this crowded dining space, have a friend reserve a table, get in line for the noodles, take a tray, choose your udon (from 5 standards, 3 chef specialties, 3 basics or 2 chicken soup based) and also for your friend who is sitting at the table waiting for you, pick favorite side dishes (tempuras & chawanmushi), add on oden or rice ball to your meal, pay at the counter. refillable green tea can be purchased for rm 1.50.

look out for the topping station for chunky bits of tempura batter and shaved carrots on the house. there is also where you will get utensils, shoyu and shichimi togarashi for noodle customization. there is also warm tempura broth, which is a light dashi flavored soup for tempura dipping in flasks.

i've been there thrice and my first time was about a month after its official opening. the tell tale of its popularity is when you find a lot of japanese in line for these freshly made udon.

while in line, you can appreciate the cooks constantly at work, churning out fresh batches of udon noodles. it was a beautiful sight indeed. quick but you'd have enough time to decide what your belly desires.

chicken soup :: spicy miso udon (rm 12.80 for reg)

a handful of freshly made and cooked noodles, served in warm chicken soup,  slightly cloudy. crowned with a halved ajitsuke tamago which is the foundation for both of the chicken soup based udon bowls. the element that differs is the addition of spicy miso with minced meat that becomes the soul of the soup, invoking a different profile from the initial clear and clean flavor of the soup. the spicy miso was sweet but savory and imparted a hint of umami and a mere whisper of spicy kick. mom thought it was more of an acquired taste while i enjoyed the flavor ride on the tastebuds.

the ajitsuke tamago, the soft-boiled egg was almost right but had some room for improvement. texturally, i'd have loved a slightly shorter cooking time for a runnier yolk and white

the noodles were excellent. smooth as i slurped up the noodles to chew onto the lovely textures - soft, chewy and still have the bite and body, cooked to perfection. they were indeed a delightful highlight of the meal.

chef's specialty :: beef udon (rm 12.80 for reg)

a cleaner and lighter broth to feature the thinly sliced beef and strips of abura-age or the deep fried tofu as the side to the udon. the slices of beef was overdone a tad in a lightly sweetened shoyu sauce. the broth could have used more seasoning since it tasted a little flat when i tried only the soup. (p.s. didn't taste the dish as a whole - this was my mom's order)

side dishes :: chicken karaage (rm 5.80)

a skewer of 3 pieces of chicken, it was moist, seasoned well with a tinge of garlic and deep-fried for the browned, cripsy exterior.

side dishes :: pumpkin tempura (rm 3.80)

i've grown to like pumpkin tempura for its natural sweetness and the almost caramelized softness of the cooked through thick slices of pumpkin against the crispy and seasoned tempura batter. unfortunately, hanamaru's tempura needs some extra work on it - the thick batter that coats the tempura seemed to be inconsistent and may or may not be crispy throughout.

for me, the biggest pet peeve is it being too greasy which could quickly impact the crunchiness of the tempura shell. feeling guilty, i stripped its tempura overcoat off the pumpkin so i could just eat the pumpkin only.

sanuki udon hanamaru takes pride in the udon noodles which can be tasted in the texture of the noodles itself. while there were some ups and downs in the consistency, flavor and execution of the broth and side dishes, i have found a mild affinity for the bowl of spicy miso udon.

hanamaru udon | location
t-015b, level 3,
mid  valley megamall,
mid valley city,
59200 kuala lumpur
{opens daily: 11 am - 10 pm}

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


madame waffle

10:57 AM sians 0 Comments

while i am on the topic of #iscreamforicecream, madame waffle was probably the last place i'd imagine finding yummy gelato.

it's rather surprising especially if their signature dish is waffles.

more specifically, belgian waffles.

located in midvalley in the new area on the 3rd floor, it is a petite shop with an "al fresco" dining concept within the mall. the seating is limited and with a huge following, it was almost always full (at least during the weekends) which means you could end up waiting for a table. inspired by its japanese roots, the brightly lit shop adopted a japanese simplistic decor with wooden panels as its main theme. the wood counter mimics the cafe's namesake - the waffles, where they were flaunted behind a glass display.

a japanese inspired cafe, expect matcha specialities but with predominantly waffle based dessert offerings using japanese ingredients.

aspiring to be a quick service cafe, madame waffle adopted mostly self service as its modus operandi. diners will decide on their picks from the menu board, order at the counter, pay and get a wooden table tent where the number will be called once ready for pick up at the counter.

there was a menu update and expansion since my last visit so the prices may vary from the photos.

waffle - dine in :: banana nutella | waffle, nutella, banana & double chocolate gelato, glazed with belgian chocolate (rm 16)

but first, the waffle. starting with the original waffle as the base, layered atop with a dollop of nutella, slices of fresh banana crowned with a generous amount of whip cream and drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce, sprinkled with cocoa powder.

the waffle was warm. but texturally it was a little off from what i'd expected. it didn't have a crispy exterior and it wasn't as soft and airy on the inside. on the contrary, it was of a dense consistency - one that was reminiscent of in between a pretzel + bread.

the whipped cream was a nice breather from all the sweetness and the richness of the dish.

the gelato - yummy!
a delicious double chocolate gelato that i even wanted to slurp up all the melted gelato off the plate. with a smooth creaminess, i loved the chocolate richness against the sweetness. i wished they wouldd have toasted the chopped hazelnuts to echo the nutella in the dish - which ended up negating some of the gelato awesomeness.

overall, a mixed review - this would be a dessert haven for chocolate lovers (need a textural fix on the waffle though) but it is borderline cloyingly sweet and really rich that it'd probably be best shared.

waffle - classic :: matcha | from kyoto (rm 6.50)

sourced from kyoto - probably more specifically the green tea itself.

textures - similarly missing that crispy against the soft and instead it was slightly dense.
taste-wise - it ends with a hint of the green tea fragrance. pity it wasn't stronger to accentuate that well loved japanese ingredient - matcha.  in fact, the waffle didn't scream any particular flavor.

waffle - classic :: honey (rm 6.50)

somewhat with the sweet stickiness and floral sweetness of honey drizzled on the warm belgian waffle, this somehow reminded me of a quick substitute as french toast on the go.  i liked it.

japanese green tea - hot :: azuki matcha latte (rm 11)

a signature beverage of madame waffle - the classic combo of the azuki and the green tea and you add warm creamy milk into the party.

served warm in a japanese cup, it featured the matcha in a lovely light - the smooth, strong and rich fragrance that added character to the creamy milk that each sip ends with a faint hint of sweet azuki beans aroma - highlighting the classic combo in the most complementary way. wso savor every sipful even though it is a bit sweeter than i'd like, where you'd find a pleasant surprise at the bottom of the glass - azuki beans!

coffee - hot :: latte (rm 9.50)

starting with 100% arabica beans, which is an exclusively roasted coffee beans by espresso sporting club coffee roasters, the latte was a tad over brewed which was portrayed in the bitterness of the espresso. but it was not bad. i'd still choose the matcha latte over the coffee.

madame waffle offers a selection of classic slightly dense belgian waffles, which was also the foundation for some signature creations plus a scoop of gelato. while there is room for improvement in the making of the waffles, the matcha azuki latte was done better than just right :)

madame waffle | location
t-045, level 3 mezzanine
mid  valley megamall,
mid valley city,
kuala lumpur
{opens daily: 10 am - 10 pm}

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