Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Standing Theory & Rekindle @ SS2 PJ Petaling Jaya

Standing Theory could be the coffee bar that sets the bar formidably high; this is one of 2013's most outstanding new cafes, sitting pretty on a relatively less-traversed commercial row in SS2.

What sets Standing Theory apart is the sum of its parts: It's built by people for whom passion, creativity & craftsmanship represent the beating heart of their business, not mere catchphrases.

They include Perng, a Malaysian who came home after five years in Melbourne & founded the Flightless Mule coffee roasters. His collaborators at Standing Theory comprise two partners, plus at least two of the Klang Valley's most respected baristas, one recognizable by his penchant for bandanas & the other perhaps known for his scientific perspective on coffee.

Standing Theory takes a risk, being the rare coffee specialist that serves pork; it pays off _ the current house specialty's a "V.D. Roll" sandwich evocative of banh mi, with a house-made pork patty tinged with cili padi (the meat hails from a butcher down the road), pork liver pate & fresh, crisp veggies in even-fresher, crunchy bread.

The soft-launch menu is compact; tantalizing prospects for future months include painstakingly cured bacon partnered with Belgian waffles & Fatbaby cornflakes ice cream, or potentially with sweet potato croquettes & feta cheese.

For now, seekers of soul food can rest easy here & relish hot, hearty bowls of chili con carne with corn bread.  Standing Theory opens 11am-9pm, except Mondays, but note that this week, it remains shut Wednesday, Nov. 6, & will resume operations Thursday.

Food prices are kept low, with nothing breaching the RM20 mark.

March 2014 Update: Popular additions to the menu include the tasty BBC Waffle (made with Standing Theory's own batter), featuring crispy house-cured bacon, bananas & cornflake ice cream by Fatbaby. 

A lunch special this year: Bovril noodles with meatloaf. Simple but satisfying, in a home-cooked fashion.

Next, the coffee: The cafe's name underscores an ambition to challenge the standing theories on how coffee can be roasted, brewed & served for maximum satisfaction, exploring everything from temperatures to methodologies & more.

It's a basic setup right now; what's to come includes nitrogen-imbued cold brew coffee, reputedly smoother & maltier. For more fun facts, try interrogating Standing Theory's owner or baristas about why the beverage you're sipping might have been enhanced with a tiny drop of magnesium.

Like an increasing number of coffee bars, Standing Theory is ecologically & ethically conscious, sourcing beans _ such as West Javan organic arabica _ through channels that benefit indigenous farming communities.

The ristretto? Enjoyably deep yet clean-tasting.

Can't fault the flat white either, creamy & not-too-steamy (won't scorch our tongues!).

March 2014 Update: Cold brew on the rocks.

And of course, there are cakes, colossally big ones baked by the ironically named Little Tee Cakes, a Shah Alam-based two-sister enterprise.

Peanut butter chocolate is the most popular bet, satisfyingly rich. Carrot walnut & choc hazelnut look insanely tempting too, but try ordering only one first to share.

The friendly vibe at Standing Theory extends to an effort to foster positive ties with various cafes; soon, coffee fans can obtain loyalty cards to use collectively at outlets such as Standing Theory, The Brew Culture, Butter + Beans, Epiphany & Rekindle Cafe.

And here's Rekindle, another lovely new SS2 cafe nearby with quirky touches.

Rekindle serves a soy latte that's worth trying, even if you're not lactose intolerant.

The coffee's also enjoyable, as deep in flavor as it's dark in color.

Love the peanut butter chocolate cake here, thanks to its creamy layers filled with bits of real nuts.


Standing Theory
Jalan SS2/103, Petaling Jaya
Tues-Sun, 11am-11pm

Rekindle
25, Jalan SS2/64, Petaling Jaya
Tues-Sun, 1030am-1130pm

The Oct.-Dec. edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites is now available in an eBook for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. It comprises reviews of 100 eateries that span various locations, cuisines & budgets: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Oct-Dec-2013 (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

35 comments:

  1. For a while I thought you would have to stand while drinking and dining at that place - like at those bars in clubs. Cakes look good - I think I can spot a Red Velvet...I love that!

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    1. Suituapui: heheh, no, customers are most welcome to sit ... though there's still a lot of space for them to stand too, if they prefer! :D and yeah, you're observant, that's a red velvet in the collage! =)

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  2. I don't mind small and compact menus, as well as they are done right ;)

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    1. Baby Sumo: ooo, you might love this place then, there's an appreciable focus on quality over quantity. they're planning to have only about five food dishes available at any given time, to be rotated and changed regularly :D

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  3. wow! another cafe to visit...soon! how nice!

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    1. 女飞侠: oh yeah, hope you'll enjoy this SS2 coffee crawl! :D

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  4. Interesting stuff on offer at Standing Theory...love the looks of the flat white...hopefully they have piccolo latte...my new addiction!...hehe =)

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    1. Ulric: yeah, the food here definitely experiments with something different from the eggs-benedict-etc menu at nearly every other cafe, phew! and you're in luck, they have a RM9 piccolo latte here! :D

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  5. I like their interior decor. Its ashamed that Banh Mi is still no where to be found in penang although there are several worth-visiting vietnamese eateries but they are not offering.

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    1. Ken: oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the decor here is still a work in progress, and they're still getting more furnishings, so it'll get even better =) and I'm betting that banh mi will invade Penang within a year or two, just as it's done in Petaling jaya!

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  6. Belgian waffles? Did I read belgium waffles?? :D

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    1. Rebecca: oh yes, you read right! looking forward to them! :D

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  7. Just came back from BKK cafe hopping, and now more to go! Hehehe.

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    1. CK: can keep on cafe-hopping, next round in PJ! heheh :D

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  8. I love the vintage coffee signs...and the coffee looks so nice, Sean! The chili con carne with corn bread looks very satisfying and the desserts look very good!

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    1. Linda: ooo, you spotted the vintage signs. yeah, everything from the hot dishes to the cakes and the coffee here made for a nice sunday afternoon =)

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  9. Wow. Love the whole simple aura. The sandwich buns look delicious. Thanks for the review. Would check it out one of these days. :)

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    1. Jessy: ya, there's a very laid-back feel here that works well in this neighborhood. thanks for reading, and i hope you enjoy the food and coffee here (maybe the sandwich will still be available when you visit) =)

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  10. Perng has an excellent taste for good beans and is very passionate about his coffee! Congratulations on your opening!

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    1. Unkaleong: i only met him for the first time at this cafe, but i gotta agree with you! =)

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  11. they have loyalty card in butter + beans ? :O

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    1. Siew Ling: they will soon, it seems! and you can use the card to accumulate stamps at five different outlets to start with, and claim a complimentary coffee at any of those five, if i understood correctly =)

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  12. Wahhh....I saw cakes! Looks moist and yummy!
    Hmm....they display those cakes openly without covering it?

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    1. Melissa: yeah, those cakes are worth the calories! heh, i'm not sure how they usually display the cakes. it seemed ok though, it was in the cafe and there didn't seem to be any insects flying around, heh =)

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  13. Peanut butter chocolate and a flat white is a perfect combi for the rainy afternoons these few days!!!

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    1. Missyblurkit: fresh cake and some hot coffee! It's a bit chilly where I am now, so I could use that too :D

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  14. the coffee is FANTASTIC. one of the best Ive tried so far. and yeah, the bandana barista gives very good explanation on the beans, the espression, the tastes, the flavour notes etc etc.
    Bravo !!! Now I have a place to enjoy truly authentic Melbourne worthy coffee in a cafe that is really passionate to their coffee without all the hype of coolness wannabes that we see so much of lately.

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    1. Yvonne: glad you enjoyed the experience :)

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  15. I wonder if Rekindle is a pet friendly cafe?

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    1. Gabby: interesting question. apologies though, i don't know.

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