Sunday, June 9, 2013

Secret 009 Kalacs @ Publika

Hungarian "chimney cakes," a traditional pastry born in Transylvannia & known in the Slavic languages as "kurtos kalacs," is the carb-heavy highlight of this new little cafe in Publika, headed by a Hungarian baker.

Kalacs are made fresh here; many businesses in Hungary supposedly have their own secret recipes to make theirs better than their rivals' renditions. That holds true for this KL outlet too, which explains the name "Secret 009 Kalacs."

Roll, roll, roll your dough: These might be called cakes, but they're more like tubular loaves. Thick, yeasty ribbons are wound around metal rods before the baking begins.

Takes little time to make (a matter of minutes); the golden-brown, straight-from-the-special-oven results seem worth the wait.

Once ready, the kalacs are flavored with choices that range from cinnamon to coconut flakes.

Try the original first, sprinkled with sugar on the crisp kalac crust that protects a soft interior. Kinda like a cross between pretzels & doughnuts.

Kalacs coated with walnuts, cashews or peanuts are also available, for a better crunch.

Each kalac costs roughly RM6; two people can easily share one for a simple snack.

Let's hope the owners of Secret 009 Kalacs harbor secret ambitions of opening a full-fledged Hungarian restaurant in KL someday, one that serves hearty Goulash stews, Dobos cakes & Palinka fruit brandies.

Passion fruit jam, for customers who consider the kalacs too bland. Surprisingly luscious & tangy-not-tart, an amazing accompaniment for the hot pastries.

Bonus Publika pit stop for fun European fare: Shucked in Ben's Independent Grocer.

Shucked recently began serving smorrebrod, the famed Danish open sandwich. A deluxe one costs RM75++, piling smoked ocean trout, Atlantic prawns, Irish oysters, fish roe & lemon aioli on rye bread. No worries, there are cheaper smorrebrod varieties here too.

Main entry on Shucked: November 14, 2012.

Secret 009 Kalacs,
UG-26, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.
Outside the EAT Food Village.

Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

35 comments:

  1. Tried the peanut kalac (not sure what's the official name) last week. Found it pretty alright, not overly sweet and great as a snack. It definitely reminded me of pretzels... in unusual shape. Haha.

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    1. Chong: yeah, it definitely wasn't as sugary as i thought it would be. and not salty either, heheh. i hope they do well. i'm not sure enough customers would be willing to fork out RM5 or RM6 for these. certainly worth a try though =)

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  2. Wow Sean, you sure get to try out some amazing places and different and unique foods! I am not sure I would try anything in this menu, but I really love the decor and your review!

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    1. Linda: thanks! yeah, this seems to be the first time anyone's selling 'kalacs' here. i hope it won't be the last! =)

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  3. Love doughy stuffs! I was there last week and it was fully boarded up. Now it's open!

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    1. TNG: yaa, they actually opened ahead of schedule (they had previously planned to open on june 15)! it'll be interesting to see whether the public response/feedback to the 'kalacs' is positive =)

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  4. Suddenly the kurtos are everywhere! I first saw this at my Sydney foodie friends' Instagram, then Penant, then here! Good thing it's nice and close so I will get some to satisfy my curiousity!

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    1. Kelly: ooh, could kurtos kalacs be this year's doughnuts, in terms of being a food fad, heh. i think they have potential, and i like their texture, though i'm not sure they're distinctively tasty enough to leave a lasting impression. but hopefully a lot of people will enjoy them =)

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  5. Interesting, those kalacs. First time seeing or hearing about them. Sure would love to try. Love your roll, roll, roll your dough... Good one there! LOL!!!

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    1. Suituapui: heh, thanks. yeah, there's a whole world of interesting food out there. here's hoping that more of it comes to KL soon! :D

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  6. a deluxe cost RM75~ G.G~

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    1. Mr Lonely: i guess cos there's a lot of imported premium seafood on that sandwich =)

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  7. I only been Budapest once, but I quite like Hungarian food. Ya hope they will open a full-fledged restaurant!

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    1. CK: oh ya, it'd be very nice to have a Hungarian dinner on a cold, rainy evening. i'm hungry for Hungarian food! heheh =)

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  8. My boss is a hungarian, I think she'll be really happy...

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    1. Sycookies: ooo, this could be a nice treat for her :D

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  9. I think I saw these kalacs on an Australian blog before, they look interesting.Would certainly like to try one.

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    1. Baby sumo: ya, I think the kids would quite enjoy munching on them, especially with the passion fruit jam. Maybe can buy one the next time u're at publika. I guess this would be slightly more difficult to make at home =)

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  10. Industrial engineering has its place in such food production restaurant chains !

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    1. Wong: heh, modern techniques to produce traditional delicacies =)

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  11. Hey Sean, those kalacs look amazing! Will definitely give it a try on our next trip to Publika. Seriously, Publika is like a foodie heaven to both of us :) Trying out one restaurant at a time whenever budget permits.

    Thanks for sharing Sean :D

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    1. Jimmy: that's true, there seem to be nearly a hundred eateries in publika and solaris dutamas now! or maybe it just feels that way, heh. and a lot of them are pretty good. i quite like the traditional beef burger at the red beanbag =)

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  12. Googled The Red Beanbag :) Looks pretty awesome. Will definitely check them out soon. Dropped by Peruvie Chicken today at TTDI after reading about them in your blog recently. Awesome grilled chicken, loved their spicy gravy to bits :p

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    1. Jimmy: glad you enjoyed Peruvie! yeah, it's a nice bet for fans of chicken. flavorful stuff! thanks for letting me know your feedback =)

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  13. I was first read about Kalacs in a Penangite's blog and pretty attracted by it, & now it has came to KL and it is so near me!

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    1. Choi Yen: ooh, i didn't realize Kalacs are available in Penang also. ya, i hope you enjoy the ones here at Publika =)

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  14. Hungarian! Something rare in KL...definitely worth a trip for some carbo loading. Breads look prettily irresistible too:D

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    1. Missyblurkit: yeah, i'd like to see more varieties of european fare here in KL. and hungarian is a good start, even if it's just bread for now, hehehe :D

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  15. Zsolt very clever!Home is always fine to bake!I miss my brother!Way to go!Although no damage to bake a delicious cake for me now than it used to!

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  16. Hi! Ps miss you bake a lot of cakes at home. When I go out I'm going to help you bake the cakes, because I already I also am catering manager. ;)

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  17. King of the chimney cakes Psalm, let alone the habrolód!
    It is no coincidence that you Psalm confectioner - chef, Julia catering technician. They inherited it as my job is hospitality and tourism.


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  18. King of the chimney cakes Psalm, let alone the habrolód!
    It is no coincidence that you Psalm confectioner - chef, Julia catering technician. They inherited it as my job is hospitality and tourism.

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  19. Hi! Let's just put certain things right. As you may know, Transylvania is today part of Romania and formerly it belonged to the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. There is large ethnic Hungarian minority living here even today and they speak Hungarian which is notably not a Slavic language. Even the Romanian language is not a Slavic language. Secondly Goulash is not a stew but a soup.

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  21. Hello Sean,

    This Friday(6th June) will be 1st year Anniversary of Secret 009 Kalacs.

    we will give 30% Discount on this Day.

    Regards

    May

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