after black cafe

11:21 AM Sian Mei Yeoh 0 Comments

one of the best places to open cafes is near universities. 

in fact, the commercial row across from sunway university has had quite a change in cafe growth spurt since my last time i was around here trying out garage 51

wait a second... that means my last time here was almost 2 years ago....

well, okay. i have my reasons. 

if truth be told - there was not much of a compelling reason to return before, especially with the mandatory face-off against an almost impossible challenge every time i head there for food called "blank parking space".

the latter is reason enough. 

after black.

the typical industrial chic decor of black metal + wooden panels and furniture against the dark colored walls which was illuminated by the warm morning sun streaming through the window panels along the walls.

strings of bulbs of warm light were hung across the room and interjections of petite potted greens and art pieces against the wall added a little something to the decor. some vintage pieces found at the back of the cafe and rows of books breath personality and whimsy to the space.

one thing though, i'd imagine the room being rather dark after dark....

...which may be its intention after all, with its name and all... perhaps?

the menu was an interesting mix of asian fusion where the food seemed hearty and familiar. ultimate value set -- the pairing of selected mains with carbs (i.e. pasta or the black rice) were also up for the picking. most importantly.  i've read that coffee stands in the limelight at after black so it was a must for me to try.

coffee & chocolate // hot :: latte (rm 9.90)

i've read many good things about the rose latte at this cafe but i thought it was best to stick to the classics to really taste its coffee flavor notes - nutty notes, ending with a bitterness that was transient. the beans they picked didn't have that full bodied flavor profile i typically adore in my lattes but overall it was a decent cuppa.

coffee & chocolate // hot :: toffee nut chocolate (rm 11.90)

{mh} craves for this and had talked about this deliciousness a few times previously. so it wasn't a surprise when she knew what she was gonna order even before we got there. this cup of hot sweet beverage had all the flavor notes that the name promises - nutty within the chocolate-y goodness ending with an undertone of rounded sweetness of the toffee. not too cloyingly sweet and not as rich as i'd imagine - lighter flavor nuances but delightful and comforting.

ultimate value set :: garlic herbs roasted chicken whole leg + cheese baked black rice (rm18.90 + rm 1)

served with a generous scoop of potato salad, the grilled chicken with beautifully seared skin on the chicken rested upon a lettuce leaf, glistening slightly with the light drizzle of honey. the meat under the lovely crispy skin was moist and seasoned nicely with subtle garlic flavors while the occasional textural crunch of the skin and sweetness of the honey. the underside of the chicken leg offered an unexpected heat, which was a welcomed variation to the flavor profile. not sure if that was an intended but it certainly worked to their favor.

the potato salad was a chunky mashed potato dressed in a mix of mayo and a light sour cream but it was carb overload with the side of potato salad and the baked cheese rice. i would have very much preferred a vegetable sauté to balance out the meal. for the record i wasn't much of a fan of the potato salad mainly because it was strong on the mayo and lacking in seasoning.

the cheese baked charcoal colored (black) rice is a signature at after black, interestingly i'd probably call it as a dish mascot. the charcoal hue is attributed to the addition of squid ink that gave it a subtle seafood saltiness to the rice, mellowed by the gooey cheesy goodness baked atop. the rice was slightly underdone resulting to the bits of crunch and despite that it was pretty good.

ultimate value set ::  grilled chicken chop with sweet basil bbq sauce + cheese baked black rice (rm18.90 + rm 1)

{mh}'s pick was doused in a thickend sweet & sour like sauce with chunks of pineapple but i just didn't find nor taste the sweet basil. the grilled chicken chop rested on a pile of sautéed string beans and tomatoes. it was a pretty huge serving of food especially with the addition of the cheese baked black rice to which {mh} was munching it up happily.

dessert :: matcha chocolate mille crepe (rm 9.90)

although we were stuffed almost to the brim, but i guess the saying "there is always room for dessert" is true! plus we were sharing and i skipped the potato salad and didn't really finish the rice either. (why am i trying to justify here.. i don't know lol!).

anywhoooo, i took the first bite that had a strong green tea punch and soon realized it was because of the heavy sprinkling of the green tea powder on the top and eventually the chocolate took over as we ate our way through the cake. the mille crepe layers were lost in the midst of the cream which i thought was a pity especially after the work put into it. it didn't quite come close to our favorite mille crepe.

tldr // after black offers hearty meals with that familiar asian flavor profile at a reasonable price with their signature cheese baked black rice which is infused with squid ink. their latte was alright, while their stronger point was their toffee nut hot chocolate. overall, while the dishes offered was solid, it would have been nice if they had added special twists in their interpretation of the food as they do with their drinks.

after black cafe | location
23 jalan pjs 11/9
46150 petaling jaya
{opens weds - sundays: 11 am  - 11 pm
closed tuesdays}

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