Monday, October 21, 2013

Urbean Coffee + Witches & Brew @ Avenue K

Checking out two intriguing cafes that opened this week in Avenue K, the first fruits of this long-languishing mall's overhaul.

 Coffee aficionados will certainly be curious about the small but smartly outfitted Urbean ...

 ... especially since it currently brews blends by Singapore's Common Man Coffee Roasters.


Urbean's selection is stuffed with wholesome temptations like a salad of grilled chicken, pumpkin, dried cranberries, red onions & green leaves in a sweet vinaigrette dressing (RM18 before taxes) & another with quinoa, broccoli, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, feta & seeds in olive oil dressing (RM18).

Weekly specials might include the likes of a Mexican bean soup, perfectly fine for RM10.

The rest of the menu comprises sandwiches & pastas such as linguine with smoked salmon, tarragon & peas tossed in light creme fraiche & fresh lemon sauce (RM22).

Desserts in recent weeks comprised green tea mille crepe cakes ...

 ...  plus banana walnut & almond cakes that prove well-made, easily scoring a B+ for satisfaction. Dessert suppliers are expected to evolve in the weeks ahead.

The coffee meets the mark ...

... as do the chai tea & hot chocolate with marshmallows.

We love the cappuccino's complexities, though the latte tasted thin & off-balanced on our initial visit. We have no doubt it has improved since then.

 Relatively high acidity (which some will prefer) reveals itself in the espresso; for casual drinkers like us, a hazelnut-flavored iced latte is the easiest route.

Urbean Coffee
Lower Concourse, Avenue K, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

Urbean Coffee
Lower Concourse, Avenue K, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

 Also worth inspecting at Avenue K this month: Witches & Brew Sandwich Bar.

 Witches & Brew is a carb-lovers' cavern, but we have to quibble: the tables & chairs are basically awkwardly placed crates, making it a hassle for sitting & savoring one's meal. Many customers might feel compelled to take away the food instead.

Sandwiches are well-prepared with fresh bread (choose from ciabatta, focaccia, panini, sourdough, brioche or gipfel) & fulfilling fillings. They're pricier than expected though; here's the cheapest choice, with boiled egg, wasabi mayo & cucumbers, clocking in at RM12.80.

 Witches & Brew serves cakes supplied by home baker Multiply.F (follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Multiply.f), including one of the Klang Valley's best, creamiest carrot cakes, rich with bright root veggies & beautifully tinged with nutmeg.

 Chocolate pistachio cake laced with apricots, also available at Pudu's VCR Cafe, the only other eatery that currently carries Multiply.F (the cakes are also available for order through Facebook). These cakes are noticeably lower in sugar; not a bad thing.

 Sodas (which seem to come complimentary with the sandwich, come to think of it) & coffee are offered at Witches & Brew, which is located on Avenue K's lower concourse, as is Urbean. Key restaurants on the mall's higher levels are so far not launched.

 Where there's a mall, there's now also EspressoLab, situated unfortunately beside Urbean. Other familiar names on these lower levels include The Loaf, Krispy Kreme, Swensens, Old Town White Coffee, Cupcake Chic & Marutama Ramen.

Urbean Coffee + Witches & Brew Sandwich Bar,
Lower Concourse, Avenue K, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.


The Oct.-Dec. inaugural edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites is now available in an eBook for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. It comprises reviews & information for 100 pretty nice eateries that span various locations, cuisines & budgets.
Please click here: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Oct-Dec-2013
This link expires Dec. 31, 2013; see blog entries after that date for new link.

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

36 comments:

  1. That doughnut looks good, would love to try the carrot cake too :)

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    1. Ken: i didn't nibble on the doughnuts, but i was quite tempted (was also attracted to the croissants). and ya, the cake was delicious :D

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  2. Oooo happy news for me! I have more food and coffee options. And this is just smack opposite my office:D

    The coffee outlets also means I have more options to satisfy my caffeine cravings and fuel my runs. Yippeee!

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    1. Missyblurkit: yay, i totally empathize, since my current office is less than a 10-minute drive from Avenue K! i need more F&B options too! hope you enjoy both the coffee at Urbean & the sandwiches and cakes at Witches & Brew :D

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  3. The coffee looks so good, Sean. I love hazelnut cream coffee, but hot, not iced. The cakes here look unique and fresh.

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    1. Linda: ooo, i guess i like having hot coffee on cold days and cold coffee on hot days, hehe :D and yeah, the cakes at both cafes were quite interesting and worth having =)

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  4. Lovely places for a cuppa and a chat and bonding...

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    1. Suituapui: that all sounds good to me =)

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  5. I'd like to see a few more coffee specialists in the city centre. Hopefully they'll work the kinks out sooner rather than later.

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    1. The Yum List: u're right, it'd be very good to see some nice, calm coffee specialists thrive in the city together with the likes of RAW Coffee =)

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  6. Mr LFB loves high acidity espresso, but I will prefer that in my drip coffee. Hehehe

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    1. CK: heheh, i like some nice complexity, something more balanced and maybe medium-acidity =)

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  7. Coffee business is getting bigger in Malaysia. We are becoming a coffee city soon.

    Wilson

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    1. Wilson: heh, true, our population is becoming addicted to caffeine =)

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  8. I still have yet to visit VCR. Hope to do so this week, and eat the pistachio chocolate apricot cake. Love apricots!

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    1. Footfringe: hopefully they'll have a few fresh slices of that cake in stock! the apricot bits are quite understated, they add a subtle fruitiness to the cake =)

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  9. can't say I'm a fan of high acidity coffee,but some of the cakes look fantastic

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    1. KY: yeah, the sweet cakes can help to balance out the bitter coffee! :D

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  10. Ooo that's an expensive cucumber and egg sandwich. I can make you one for under RM5.

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    1. Baby Sumo: heh, but if you sell the sandwich to me, you might have to sell it at more than RM10 to make a sustainable profit! =)

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  11. Thank you for the review on Witches & Brew. Please do come back and taste the full range of our" sandwitches". We use good quality bread from Carpenter's Daughter. Their breads are gluten free & made from unbleached organic flour. We also combine local & imported herbs such as daun kesum, mint, dill, basil etc into our wicked sandwitches to give you a new sandwitch experience. Hope I have tempted you to come back again........

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    1. Jess: thanks for sharing the info about the bread and ingredients. i like the Carpenter's Daughter, and i didn't know your bread comes from that source. it all sounds good, and i'll aim to try some of your other sandwiches another time. the herbs definitely sound tempting =)

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    2. Please do, we aim to please. Ha! Ha! Ha! By the way we are doing deliveries too. You may call us at 0321818183.

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    3. Jess: that's great news for office workers like me who are relatively nearby! :D

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  12. Another now coffee house in town, and this is so near to my place, should have pay a visit someday soon^^

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    1. 比比: hope u enjoy urbean, and it's good that it's at a convenient location for you! =)

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  13. Being a coffee aficionado I'll be sure to keep an eye out for this place, but will wait until the brewing machines are broken into. Cheers!

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    1. Huai Bin: great, i didn't realize you're a coffee lover, but it's nice to know! there are lots of very good coffee places in the klang valley these days =)

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  14. Carpenter's Daughter is good. And the cakes came from a good source too - homely types yea? I'll definitely try the food here if I'm in KL area.

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    1. Rebecca: yeah, i have positive memories of the carpenter's daughter. and it's definitely worth keeping an eye on these cakes ... i think they might become available at more cafes eventually =)

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  15. Thanks for the comments on Urbean! Yes, you were right about the first day anxiety with the staff... but we hope that its much more relaxed atmosphere in Urbean now. And we've ramped up our coffee training with the help of great baristas so I hope we are closer to delivering the perfect cup of coffee! We've got some new cakes which are all made by Tokyo Pastry and are really amazing.
    Hope to see you again soon - next week when we should have our full menu up and running with sandwiches, salads and hot dishes.

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    1. Sher Lynn: thanks so much for responding to our first impression, and for the reassurance that you guys are working hard to be a great coffee bar. am definitely looking forward to returning. i have a feeling that we'll be hearing a lot of good things about urbean in the months to come =)

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  16. i am sold again sean.. am so taking my own lunchbox to 'tapau' the wickedly delicious looking carrot cake.. n i hopefully Urbean is not too strict on 'No outside food' allow when i pair up the cake with the coffee... can't wait.... :D

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    1. Whoisnell: ooo, good luck with that... could be tricky, since urbean also offers cakes. but yeah, that carrot cake was one of my dessert highlights of the week. it might even rank among my top three carrot cakes sold in KL :D

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  17. Hi Sean do you know who's the cake supplier for Urbean?

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    1. Kei Mui: my apologies, am not sure who they are right now.

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