Thursday, July 3, 2014

Spacebar Coffee @ Awesome Canteen & The Roast Things @ Aman Suria

They can't stay still in one place, but they sure can make a mean cup of coffee: Two of Malaysia's pivotal cafe-hoppers have reinvented themselves to become roving baristas, launching a pop-up brew bar that'll perk up the Klang Valley's cafe experience. Summon them if your friendly neighbourhood cafe needs an invigorating shot of top-flight caffeine & has a corner to spare.

The Spacebar Coffee enterprise marks the latest twist in the tale of bean-whisperers Joachim Leong & Tze Shean Tan, the life force of the Cafe Hop KL community. The two might also be familiar faces for fans of VCR, having formed part of that cafe's earliest team of baristas. This year, they bade farewell to VCR & sought adventures abroad, criss-crossing multiple continents & taking inspiration from cafes & fellow coffee-lovers from as far as Mexico, the UK, Taiwan & Japan.

 Now that Jo & Shean are back in business, Taman Paramount's Awesome Canteen is hosting their work with Spacebar Coffee this week & next week, only on Thursdays & Fridays, 12pm-4pm (that's every afternoon on July 4, 10 & 11). Stafford, UK-based roaster Has Bean Coffee provides the poison, served black, hot or cold, for filter coffee hand-crafted on AeroPress or Chemex.

Nicaragua Finca Limoncello, pretty light, with toasty, nutty (walnuts? peanuts? pecans?) riffs. A real palate-cleanser for everyone who feels they've been plagued by bad coffee everywhere they turn (it's true, the Curse of Cruddy Cappuccino is real).

Ready for a refill? Bolivian Cascara coffee cherry tea, another bona fide antidote for coffee-weariness, casting aside acidic tropes to flirt with plummy flavours. Not exactly bold, but enjoyably & elegantly resonant.

Spacebar Coffee furnishes a compelling purpose for customers to return to Awesome Canteen this month, but there's a whole swathe of reasons why this cafe has blossomed so unstoppably into one of PJ's most beloved; it's one of our best bets for food prepared with wit & wisdom.
Earlier entry on Awesome Canteen: November 2013.

Awesome Canteen's pioneering Paleo selection has become one of its star attractions; even those of us not on the hunter-gatherer diet can appreciate the distinctive deliciousness of something like this 'Paleo Egg Plant Niku Stack' (RM27.90), a sterling substitute for regular burgers, constructed with a 130-gram beef or chicken patty & sunny-side-up, wedged between thick, juicy slices of eggplant & paired with chunky sweet potato fries.

 Paleo Smoothies? Bananas blended with steamed broccoli & a raw egg might not be for everyone, but it's a memorable choice.

Awesome Canteen is also supporting independent F&B entrepreneurs; Mangolicious chutney & Michelle's Artisan Fruit Spread can be purchased here. It's worth noting too that the cafe has ambitious plans afoot; within a month or two, expect the shop-lot next door to become 'A' Gallery (the name's subject to change), a venue for artistic expression.

Spacebar Coffee is a possible clue for the shape of things to come in the Klang Valley's latte-or-not landscape. There's another part-time brew bar that's nearly ready for lift-off: The Roast Things, a Kelana Jaya-based micro-roaster that's strictly not a cafe, spearheaded by Chiam Tow Jin, another relative veteran in the scene despite his still-not-30-yet age.

The Roast Things occupies a SoHo suite on the ninth floor of The Tube complex in the Prima Avenue of Dataran Prima. On weekdays, it's mostly shut (hence, this illicit, ant's-view panorama from beneath a closed door); on some Saturdays (such as July 12), it might host coffee workshops. But this Sunday, July 6 (& potentially most Sundays from then on), walk-in customers are welcome to come here & enjoy coffee (black) brewed with various speciality beans. For an exploration into the unknown, this could be where coffee risk-takers might be found this Sunday.

Spacebar Coffee
At Awesome Canteen on the afternoons of July 4, 10 & 11.

The Roast Things
Unit 12, Level 9, Block A, The Tube, Prima Avenue, Jalan PJU 1/39, Dataran Prima, Aman Suria, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 012-389-6391

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17 comments:

  1. more and more cafe around the town and i can't catch up anymore! anyway, the eggplant stack so special! it's like eggplant burger or sth, will want to try that!

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    1. Jean: ya, it'll be interesting to see if more part-time brew bars appear in the next several months :) and ya, an eggplant burger is a nice way to describe it! :D

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  2. This looks like quite a fascinating place, Sean!!!

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    1. Linda: it's a fun concept that could and should take off nicely :)

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  3. Cosy places. Food looks good at Spacebar. I wish they would not use those metal stools though - I am not sure if they can take my weight. :(

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    1. Suituapui: heheh, i kinda prefer chairs that i can lean back on too, but these metal stools keep us from getting TOO lazy :D

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  4. Oooh, more spots to find great coffee! Happy ;-)

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    1. The Yum List: yeah, coffee lovers are truly spoilt for choice right now! :D

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  5. I can't believe I didn't leave a comment on ur earlier Awesome Canteen post on the burgers on offer...must have been busy in Colombo ><

    Anyways the Paleo Egg Plant Niku Stack looks interesting with the beckoning runny egg...but without the buns I need to at least chomp down on 2 before I m satisfied...lolz! =)

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    1. Ulric: ooo, gosh, colombo feels like it was not that long ago ... or maybe it was, haha :D i must say, eggplants can be as filling as bread buns (maybe cos eggplants are full of fibre too?). heh. but ya, awesome canteen has an extensive menu of all sorts of comfort food, but even if you go there just for the burgers, i feel pretty confident you'll enjoy them :)

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  6. I'm really intrigued by the Paleo eggplant burgers! :)

    That sounds like something I can really sink my teeth into (pun intended).

    What are those seeds scattered during the plating? Chia seeds?

    I used to like in Aman Suria, looks like a trip back is in order.

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    1. Huai Bin: there are other Paleo burger patties served here in different ways too, such as a mega 240-gram beef patty with sauteed broccoli, cauliflower, leek & basil rosemary infused balsamic sauce :)
      gosh, but you've stumped me there, i have no idea what those seeds are :)
      yeah, if you're ever near aman suria on a sunday afternoon, can go check out The Roast Things :)

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  7. OK I really need to have that eggplant thingy! Coffee would wash it down beautifully.

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    1. KY: i like eggplant better than portobello mushrooms, so i'm glad the 'burgers' here use it :D and yeah, the coffee here is naiisssss :D

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  8. Aubergines for burger buns! Genius idea! The humble aubergine is so versatile.

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: i love aubergines especially in Chinese yong tau foo :D

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  9. Coffee drinkers who are exhausted in the morning without their coffee have likely altered their circadian rhythm in such a way that they need the caffeine boost in order to reach the level of wakefulness they used to achieve without it. Visit a coffee bar to drink a great flavor of coffee beans.

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