After conquering Jakarta, Antipodean has marched into Malaysia and invaded Bangsar, expanding the evil empire of coffee connoisseurs that's terrorizing the Klang Valley.
We were unexpectedly taken captive by this cafe on a recent evening, lured into its clutches by temptations including a chunky pumpkin-&-corn fritter _ subtly sweet but insidiously moreish, coupled with crisp, savory bacon.
Antipodean's food menu draws inspiration from recipes spanning Southeast Asia and Australia. Portions are filling, prices are fair and the ingredients taste fresh _ all of which apply to this beetroot, carrot & mixed nut salad with balsamic vinegar.
The Burmese shredded chicken salad is well worth trying, though its tart, almost acidic attribute might be an acquired taste. Most of the salads cost around 15 ringgit.
Salmon fishcake. Many of these items seem cooked-to-order, so the waiting time can be lengthy. But the results should pacify the fussiest of eaters, especially health-conscious ones who want less salt, oil & artificial flavoring in their meals.
Thai chicken satay. Business hours are brilliant: 8am through 10pm, ensuring that Antipodean will soon become a popular hangout for leisurely outings.
Breakfast dishes are available all day long, even till closing time. The banana & honey "porridge" is simple but satisfying _ warm comfort food underpinned by gooey oatmeal.
Desserts on the counter include this caramelized apple-&-raisin cake, as well as other treats such as flourless chocolate cakes and lemon meringue pies.
Of course, many customers will come for the coffee _ mainly Arabica blends from Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Bali, produced by Merdeka Coffee, an Indonesian-based franchise that runs cafes in Jakarta, Sydney and Auckland.
We're not crazy for caffeine, but the invigorating brews here hit the spot. Too bad booze isn't sold for now, except for a limited selection of beer.
Latte & doppio.
Babycino & mochachino.
Mango juice & ristretto.
Long black. Enough to keep us perky after we escaped for a midnight screening of 'True Grit' (my favorite current film, one of this year's few Oscar contenders that moved me to tears).
Service is stellar and the setting still sparkles like new.
20, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar.