It's finally happened: The long-ignored neighbourhood of Sri Petaling rolls out the caffeinated carpet this month for the speciality coffee bar it's never had, welcoming 103 Coffee Workshop on a shop-house street that's better known for steamboat restaurants.
103 Coffee Workshop has the makings of an instant hit, capable of luring customers who hail from outside Sri Petaling.
The look is shrewdly slick; right off the bat, this cafe nails the cool factor. The team here works hard to serve the crowds in a fashion that's professional, polite & efficient. But 103 Coffee Workshop turns out to be more of a mass-market business where genuine human warmth & the desire to extend personal courtesies feel elusive.
Still, it's easy to fall in love with some of the food here: 103 Coffee Workshop offers Japanese-inspired creations like this excellent onigiri, which emerged in a hearty portion for RM13.90. The furikake-seasoned sticky rice proves flavoursome & perfectly prepared, stuffed with plenty of moist salmon, wrapped in fresh, crisp seaweed strips.
Accompanied by Japanese omelette & pickles, it's a platter that makes us believe everything else on the soft-launch menu may be worth sampling, especially the chicken teriyaki rice bowl with onsen egg (RM14.90).
For mindless munching: Ultra-crunchy fried pasta with house-made seasoning (RM3.90), something that many tables ordered.
103 Coffee Workshop serves everything from double-shot flat whites (RM10), made with a Brazil-Colombia-Guatemala blend by Johor's well-respected 'M' Espresso Sporting Club, to hand-brewed coffee that relies on Kenyan & Ethiopian single-origin beans.
Other temptations comprise rose-flavoured ice lattes (pleasantly subtle) & cold brews (RM12). A sweeping range of milk teas will be available soon, including Okinawan matcha milk tea with azuki beans (RM9) & Fuji apple red tea with konnyaku jelly (RM8).
Bonus stop: Here's another new cafe being billed a 'workshop' - Work 31 Shop in Kepong, the other end of the Klang Valley.
Work 31 Shop is a little less distinctive, with a something-for-everyone menu. A sliced bagel with runny fried eggs, potatoes, beef bacon & salad clocks in at a fair RM13.90; other potential orders include basic burgers, hot dogs & pastas & pancakes.
The coffee is agreeably priced too, with a hot latte topping out at RM7.90 (add a ringgit for the iced interpretation).
103 Coffee Workshop
103 Jalan Radin Bagus, Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur. Next to 7-Eleven. Open Tues-Sun, 11am-11pm
Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 2, Kepong
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