Thursday, December 6, 2012

Portico Na Loft By Simply Mel's @ Suasana Sentral Loft

One of the city's coolest condo cafes, thanks to its bright poolside breeziness & bountiful menu mapped out by one of the most committed chefs we've met.

Portico Na Loft at Suasana Sentral Loft is run by the daughters of Malaccan-born Melba Nunis, the kitchen maestro of Simply Mel's at Bangsar South; together, they ensure this spacious outpost retains a cheerfully casual family touch.

Portico's selection includes samplings from Simply Mel's, like the rightfully beloved Crab Stuffing (RM9.90, no taxes): crab meat, prawns, chicken, carrots, onions & turnips baked in a crab shell, with homemade chili sauce & pineapple-onion-cucumber salad.

Whether it be fish croquettes (six pieces of this shredded mackerel fried in egg-coated bread cost RM8.90), debel curry or chicken pong teh, rest assured everything tastes as satisfying here as it would at Simply Mel's.

Portico goes beyond Malaccan Portuguese & Peranakan fare though, whipping up Western & Asian specialties too. Its chicken burger (RM14.90) feels more wholesome than most fast food. Also available: chicken chop, fish & chips, angel hair pasta bolognese & fusilli with prawns.

Creamy-milky vegetarian Thai tom yam, packed to the brim with carrots & coconut slices. Mercifully for us, this is a little less spicy than feared.

Flavorful fried rice, RM5.90 for a basic set, RM8.90 with prawns. The food here's wallet-friendly. (Addendum, Dec. 12: Apologies to readers. The condo's management says walk-in customers are forbidden unless they're brought in by residents)

Breakfast, served 8am-6pm, features everything from roti prata with thick potato curry (RM2.90) to roti bakar with Mel's own kaya, scrambled eggs to Italian sausages.

Plenty of choices for dessert, including pulut hitam & cendol, but we can't resist this Malaysian-made Andy's Ice Cream. Excellent peanut butter & cookies-&-cream flavors (RM4.90).

Ice cream cupcakes, triple choc chip & mocha almond fudge (RM6.90). Try these with coffee; Portico's manager Stacey recently completed a barista course.

Making Portico perfect for a chilled-out, rainy evening after work: wine at RM75 a bottle.

Want to make Mel's specialties at home? Ready-to-eat sauces for her debel curry, serai chicken & baked seafood are now offered for RM18 at both Portico & Simply Mel's.

Portico Na Loft opens 8am-10pm, except Mondays. It's fairly busy here at mealtimes.

Portico Na Loft by Simply Mel's,
7th Floor, Suasana Sentral Loft Condominium,
Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur.
Important addendum, Dec. 12: Apologies to potential customers. The condo's management says walk-in customers are not allowed unless they can be brought in by residents

48 comments:

  1. How interesting that the tom yum's served in the coconut! I wonder what the juice is used for whenever someone orders one? ;P
    And that curry looks just right unlike some places that water them down when serving with roti canai!!! :D

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    1. Vien: good question! coconut juice is too good to be thrown away, for sure :D and yeah, while i prefer dahl to accompany my roti canai, the next best thing is definitely a creamy curry (with tons of potatoes!) =)

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    1. The Yum List: yeah, idling by the pool just makes feel a little more calm :D

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  3. Wow...quite an extensive menu in a cozy environment =)

    I eye-balling the Crab stuffing, the Chicken Burger and the Fish Croquettes...hehe =)

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    1. Ulric: yeah, crowd-pleasing favorites, simple & fuss-free here :D

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  4. Oh FAB! can't wait to try this out!!

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    1. Ciki (& missyblurkit & ulric): hope you all will enjoy your visit here! i think you will! :D

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  5. It's great to see the people at Simply Mel's expanding! I'd like to try their version of the crab shell. I always like the version with lots of baked cheese :D

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    1. Drops of Contentment: yeah, here's crossing our fingers that more folks will come to know mel's cooking! ooh, i must confess, i'm not a baked cheese recipe fan, so i do prefer the one here, since it's jam-packed with fresh seafood =)

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  6. it'll be perfect if they allow you to go for a swim between main course and dessert :D

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    1. KY: oooh, i wonder if that could be arranged somehow! heh :D

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  7. I have been craving for fried rice and the fried rice you posted sure looks good.

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    1. Smitten: yeah, having the fried rice here made me feel that i should have fried rice more often! :D

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  8. Wow really wallet-friendly prices! I can imagine the residents there would welcome this change, and there's no tax! love it already! :)

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    1. Iamthewitch: true, i think i spotted at least five or six tables on a weeknight evening here populated by residents. they must be quite pleased to have such a pleasant cafe in their condo, and one with such pleasant prices :D

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  9. Nice view, would like to try this out!
    Do they have the durian santan as well? :P

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    1. CK: yeah, i think it'll be a great place for photography during the daytime =) oooh, i didn't notice any durian santan on the menu. no buah keluak also, but maybe they can consider having those as weekly specials in the future :D

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  10. Surprisingly the prices seems affordable!
    Me like to dine next to the pool... ;-)
    Those ready to eat sauce are RM18 each or for 3?

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    1. Melissa: true, the prices here were a bit lower than i had expected. and ya, i don't get to dine by poolsides very often, so this was a nice evening. oh, the sauces are RM18 each =)

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  11. Peanut butter ice cream! And price looks good!

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    1. Missyblurkit: peanut butter ice cream turned out to be tasty! and definitely worth the RM5 =)

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  12. Sean, CIki, anyone else, I live here! If you coming to makan let me know I'll join you :) Great pics Sean...

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    1. Aly: thanks! we might take you up on that someday! =)

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  13. Condo restaurants are just getting cooler and cooler! Plus they are always a little cheaper too..and have lots of parking. What's not to love?!

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: you've listed really strong points! and it's true, there's loads of visitor parking available at this condo :D

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  14. How did you find all these places, never stop to amaze me ! You like like the encyclopedia of Makan Place in KL ! Now, whenever my wifr ask me where to eat, first thought is EatDrinkKL.blogspot.com !!!!! Cool!

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    1. Wong: thanks very much for your kind words :D

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  15. Oh prices here are really reasonable. Must be nice to enjoy a meal here by the pool.

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    1. Baby sumo: oh yeah, customers certainly can't complain about the prices here. And having a peaceful meal by the pool will probably put them in a nice, relaxed mood =)

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  16. Thanks for sharing, I think I am gonna go check it out. The prices are looking real good to me. And the pool....awesome. Any difficulty with the parking spaces?

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    1. Sycookies: hope you enjoy this place. There seemed to be plenty of basement parking available on a weekday evening, but you'll need to get past security first. Just register and let them know you're going to the cafe =)

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  17. Actually we attempted to try it during lunch today but the security guard refused us entry. Saying it is only for residents. Was quite disappointed as it is a change from the usual food in KL Sentral -_-

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    1. Nekohime: yikes, I'm really sorry to hear that. It's a long story, but the first guard I approached refused to let us in too (he was standing by the road). But then we approached the guard who was sitting inside the security counter, and he was happy to let us park inside without any hassle at all. I hope the condo management will implement a consistent policy that allows visitors to head to this cafe...

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    2. Yeah, hopefully... attempt #2 next week :D

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    3. Nekohime: good luck! i think it might work better to drive there and try to park at the basement and take the elevator from there directly to the 7th floor, instead of trying to walk in =)

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  18. ...and to think I could have had this as my very own condo cafe...

    oh, well, since I work right next door, will be easy enough to come for lunch!

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    1. Sozzld: heh, all condos should be so lucky =) but yeah, hope you won't have too much trouble getting to the cafe. it sounds like the condo security here can be a bit erratic, though i think customers who drive in and park in the visitors' basement lot have an easier time =)

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  19. I went on sat night and it was a mess, the security was totally rude and blocking my way go in. "Is either your frn is resident or myself was the resident, That's all." told by the securities there...Totally disappointed on thier rules.

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    1. Vic: I'm really sorry to hear about that. I'm not a resident, but the man who was sitting in the security booth that evening allowed me to park inside after I told him I was heading up to the cafe and I presented him with my driving license for registration. But it looks like several of you are now facing problems entering. I don't know whether this is because of different guards being given different instructions. I assume that at this point, you wouldn't want to go there anymore, and I'm really sorry your Saturday plans turned out this way.

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  20. and the food looks refreshing too with such an ambiance to match. The prices don't look too expensive either so it'll be quite a nice hang out place.

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    1. Eiling: yeah, i wish my apartment building served such food (i only have fried noodles and junk food at the cafeteria here). and true, the prices are really pleasant, can eat here regularly without breaking our budgets. and the atmosphere here is quite soothing throughout the day, i think :D

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  21. Tried to go today for lunch but like the others, security guards did not allow us in, claiming the restaurant is only for residents. Perhaps Portico could negotiate with security to allow those who made reservations into the building. =/

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    1. Vonney: that's a good idea, and i've passed your suggestion along to the owners of portico. i hope they'll be able to provide some good news soon. i'm really sorry you didn't manage to get inside today.

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  22. "no outsider" security told me just now. T-T

    sigh~ end up i went makan in KL sentral.

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    1. 女飞侠: oh no! =( sorry about that...

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