Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Preview: POKC - People of Kheng Chew @ Damansara Uptown

People of Kick-Ass Cafes, unite! POKC - which stands for People of Kheng Chew - will start serving customers this week, bringing a fresh take on cafe fare in Damansara Utama.

 Many thanks to POKC's co-founders Karen & Sheena for this sneak peek into their new venue, which takes up four floors of a Damansara Uptown shop-lot. Karen's talent & experience in design arts are on ravishing display at POKC, which showcases a thoughtful mix of charming furnishing - some custom-built, others salvaged from kopitiams & repainted - & Italian-made tables.

Only the first two lower levels are open for customers (the top two comprise the administrative offices & worker accommodation), but both are beautiful. Everything from the floors to the cushions will be feverishly & deservedly photographed in the near future.

 As its name indicates, People of Kheng Chew - which hopes to become a vibrant community hub for fellowship - is a tribute to Hainanese heritage (hurray for us!), with a nod especially to Karen's late grandfather. Expect time-honoured comfort cooking with contemporary twists.

 Buffalo shooters of chicken wings on glasses of a sweet-savoury, secret-recipe sauce with hints of BBQ & tabasco condiments could prove compulsively edible; creatively composed, these are destined to show up on your social media feed sooner or later. Almost every angle seems like a terrifically engaging one.

 Our top tip here: When it pops up on the menu, order POKC's interpretation of 'roti babi' - bountifully meaty, flourishing with flavour & juices, with the minced pork encased in soft, fluffy bread. A deep-fried delight with added heat from chillies, it's one of the best versions of 'roti babi' in the Klang Valley, sinfully oily but a stand-out that makes us happy that POKC serves pork.

 POKC is proud of its chicken curry & lamb stew too - both are comfortingly creamy & satisfyingly balanced in taste, brimming with tender chunks of meat, evoking a warm sense of nostalgia. Customers from the ages of three to 103 would likely enjoy this.

Good gravy! Served with soft, fluffy Hainan bread purchased from Kepong, this is stress-banishing soul food to soothe the spirit. 

 POKC has got the chops - pork, lamb & chicken (the third's our choice), nicely seasoned & ideal for protein-lusting carnivores. 

 Hailam Mee with sambal, not something we often order, but we slurped up nearly every strand of this too. POKC hadn't finalised its menu at the time of this preview, so we have no prices, but they should be in line with expectations in this neighbourhood.

 Prefer Western-type noodles? Spaghetti aglio olio with bacon, perennially crowd-pleasing, should be available by September.

 Rounding up with chicken: POKC takes the classic Hainanese chicken chop & folds it into a pleasurable modern burger.

 Chicken cordon bleu is a recipe we fell in love with two decades ago but haven't eaten in a long time now. POKC's nicely battered interpretation is excellent, accentuating everything we've ever liked about this dish. It tastes fresher & 'realer' than most of its counterparts.

 Coffee lovers, have no fear: POKC is serious about its caffeine too. Expect fulfilling cups that pretty much meet the mark.

 All in all, a cafe well worth checking out, offering fun feasts & an eclectically cool vibe; bookmark POKC for a visit soon.

POKC Cafe @ Damansara Utama
12 Jalan SS21/35, Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Open Wednesday-Monday, 1130am-1030pm (closed Tuesdays). Tel: 03-7732-6080

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24 comments:

  1. aglio olio with bacon and oh..those comforting breads to go with curry...certainly some good crowd please menu!

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    1. Missyblurkit: love the curries and stews with bread ... i bet they'd go quite well with rice too! :)

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  2. Good to know. Will wait until the kinks are worked out..

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    1. SC: oh ya, this place is quite close to your 'hood in pj, rite. yeah, maybe try to visit during the first or second week of september :)

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    2. Ya, not too far away. Am always on the lookout for (halfway) decent stew :)

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    3. SC: good news ... the stew here is more than three-quarters decent! :D

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  3. Gotta practice to get the chops, the lamb stew and the Hainanese chicken chop burger...to name a few! :D

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    1. Ulric: all those, plus a pork stew, some more noodle dishes (maybe something like wan tan hor, but with crispy noodles), and a few more surprises expected to be on the menu next month :)

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    2. Next month it is! =)

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    3. Ulric: am optimistic you'll enjoy POKC :D

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  4. Very pretty! And the food looks good too, I want to try that roti babi, hehehe.

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    1. CK: ya, this is a photogenic cafe! :) and the roti babi is one of my favourite things that i ate this month, heheh :)

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  5. When I first saw your link in Baby Sumo's blog, I thought I saw PORK!!! LOL!!! Funny how the mind pre-registers things! Now, I am pretty sure I would love the food here - the curry and the stew especially look like to die for! With bread sounds great, nice change from rice.

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    1. Suituapui: heheh, POKC = pork, as far as much as the menu is concerned! but ya, cute :) and yeah, this was comfort food for a week night :)

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  6. white bread dipping with the stew gravy, absolutely comfort food!

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    1. Choi Yen: ya, excellent combination! :D

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  7. Looks like it's going to be a fun place to be!

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    1. The Yum List: the crowd around damansara utama will appreciate this place! :)

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  8. Thanks for the good comments. Looking forward to D-Day. :D

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    1. Karen: good luck! so far, so good! :D

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  9. Ahaa...something to look forward to, around my workplace neighbourhood. Most of the dishes look like comfort-food to me, familiar ones we cook at home :-)

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    1. Pureglutton: ooo, yeah, this could be a decent destination for a friday lunch. you might be pleasantly surprised by the specialities :)

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  10. Wohoo! I can comment again. Ok im not sure wats happpening but past week its been annoying. Anyways I'm cookin so much now that I hardly dine out, but this looks like it's worth a trip! :D

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    1. Rebecca: yay, you're back! hope the home-cooking experiments are producing delicious results. but ya, pokc is kinda near your area, so it could be worth a weekend lunch or dinner :D

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