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.