Friday, July 25, 2014

BEAM @ Bandar Sri Damansara

Introducing our cafe recommendation for the long weekend: Off the beaten track, BEAM opened this week, offering stimulating new ideas in a manufacturing neighbourhood of Bandar Sri Damansara, scarcely a ten-minute drive from Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

First, the basics: BEAM is run by a team with years of experience in coffee, including members of the local Caroma company that's been involved in coffee production since the mid-1970s. This new cafe, located near Caroma's factory, marks a push by a diverse set of talents to invigorate the momentum of Malaysia's artisanal coffee movement.

Aesthetics matter. In that regard, BEAM is captivating; it seems set to become one of the most photographed cafes for this second half of 2014, capitalising on its size & space by creating corners galore worth exploring. The beauty rests in the details.

Much of the furnishing was painstakingly built by BEAM's own team. In recent months, some people have publicly & spitefully whined that many of KL's cafes look cookie-cutter because of faux-vintage & industrial touches. Those people disrespect the heart & work poured into these places; they dismiss these cafes, without even visiting them, out of ignorance & self-importance.

Elegant coffee-making equipment lines the shelves & tables at BEAM, where every cup is taken seriously; a poster provides potential tips on recognising the elaborate, sometimes-elusive nuances of coffee.

Here's what makes BEAM particularly notable: It imports & sells a convincing variety of speciality green beans, not yet roasted. Owners of other cafes can conveniently head here to select & purchase beans for their own use.

Roasting machines are available as well; BEAM is also likely to start hosting workshops & training sessions by September.

For casual customers, BEAM offers a rewarding experience too: Try the hand-brewed coffee, which comes in options of 'strong' (RM12, with 18 grams of coffee) or 'very strong' (RM16, with 25 grams), with current choices of Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica, Guatemala & Ethiopian beans. Baristas will try to chat with customers about the coffee.

Cherry Red Natural Yirgacheffe. Really enjoyable; light & easy to drink, but very much vibrant.

Espresso-based beverages, hot & cold, are also offered, as is iced sweetened coffee, plus Malaysian-style 'kopi-o' & 'teh.'

BEAM's food is the equal of its drinks, with wholesome recipes that feel fresh & flavoursome. The mixed seafood salad (RM18), which features Japanese-inspired flourishes, is satisfying from start to finish.

Warm roast chicken panini (RM19), also a very capably executed sandwich, hitting the right marks for taste & texture.

BEAM's desserts also range from local favourites to Western pleasures, with glutinous rice & kaya sharing a display counter with peanut butter, ice cream & chocolate.

Not officially for sale (we think), but maybe there might be a mooncake slice or two at hand here.

Parting shots: BEAM is an acronym for something that's kinda wordy. We'll just keep calling it BEAM, pure & simple; expect to hear this name many, many more times in the months ahead.

BEAM is now open 11am-8pm, Wednesdays through Mondays. If you're lost, call them at 03-6261-8255 for directions.

BEAM Cafe
25, Jalan Gangsa SD 5/3B, Bandar Sri Damansara, Kuala Lumpur
BEAM remains open during the Aidilfitri weekend except on Tuesday (its regular day off every week)

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24 comments:

  1. Pardon me...but cookie-cutter my ass! I find their brown, grey and black decor to be soothing...perfect for a cuppa =)

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    1. Ulric: heheh, true, all the cafes have different little personal touches. different quirks, different people :D i ended up spending four hours at BEAM, 3pm-7pm, escaping from the world outside, and it was very pleasant and soothing, like you said :)

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  2. It certainly looks very bright with all those lights! :)

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    1. Linda: the lighting was good, not glaring but ideal for indoors :)

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  3. Replies
    1. Siewlin: ya, they did a good job crafting this place :D

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  4. I wish I could see the details in that tongue poster. Nice design, the place. Wah....got red cloth over the entrance, very traditional. :)

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    1. Suituapui: ooo, the poster provides explanations for coffee appreciation based on aroma, acidity, body, balance and aftertaste, heh :)

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  5. beam cafe looks awesome! XD

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    Replies
    1. Happy Walker: i liked it! :D

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  6. the place is interesting, but somehow I cant accept the ice coffee put in the coffee cup instead of glass....hmmm

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    1. 小乱: heheh, i didn't mind it, though it wasn't my favourite among the drinks, since i'm generally not a fan of sweetened coffee beverages :)

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  7. I like the deco of this place! Nice.
    I think most probably I can only visit that during my next home trip.

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    Replies
    1. CK: ooo, hopefully your next trip back will be soon. i think you'd like this place :)

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  8. Replies
    1. Choi Yen: yay! hope you manage to check it out in the next few months :)

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  9. Cafes nowadays are so Instagram-worthy! The salad sure looks good, and so does the pulut tai tai :)

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    1. Baby sumo: heheh, true, it's like Instagram sometimes seems like the main motivator for the way many cafes look :) it was a very tasty salad, and we were surprised to see local kuih like the pulut served here :D

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  10. what's the working hours?

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    1. Ah hao: it's in the article, but no worries, it's 11am-8pm, closed Tuesdays :)

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  11. How's the nyonya kuih in terms of quality..good? :)

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    1. Ciki: i think i prefer the western cakes here. the glutinous rice was a bit too stuck-together for my preference, heh :)

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  12. What a beautiful find! Must try. Thanks Sean.

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    Replies
    1. Hsien: i hope you enjoy this place ... customer feedback has been encouragingly positive so far :)

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