Fans of Nyonya fare have a new cafe to colonise in their search for sambal prawns & kangkung belacan: Straits Food Company opened this month on Bangsar Utama's back lanes, operated by the fine folks who own Lorong Kurau's popular Baba Low's 486.
This pleasant, frills-free kopitiam with a leafy view makes for a sedate, nostalgia-imbued sanctuary on sunny weekday mornings (50 metres down the road from Fierce Curry House) with a few tables snapped up by pensioners from around the neighbourhood.
'Food For All,' reads Straits Food Company's tagline. 'Makan First, Talk Later,' it commands. We'll happily obey.
Straits Food Company's menu is nearly identical to Baba Low's, with starters that range from 'pai tee' (RM5.50), the 'top hat' snacks overflowing with egg strips, chopped veggies & fried shallots, served with house-made 'cili cuka' ...
... to Malacca-style popiah (RM4.50), soft spring rolls (the wrapping's made fresh everyday) stuffed with turnips, coriander, bean sprouts, cucumber & a dash of gula melaka sweet sauce, garlic & chilli. No crunchy pork lard though, since Straits Food Co is a hog-forbidden zone. Otak-otak (RM7) & tauhu sumbat (RM3) are also available.
Main meals are equally well-priced. The Mee Goreng Sejuk is served nice & hot, contrary to its name - flavoursome fried noodles with pineapple sambal belacan salad (RM5; add RM2 for an essential fried egg).
Nyonya laksa (RM7, prepared with a choice of mee hoon or kuey teow), comprising shrimp, fish balls, cockles & more in a light coconut milk gravy, blessedly not too spicy or oily. Other options here include mee siam & nasi lemak with ayam goreng kunyit.
Ayam pongteh (RM7), ikan gerang asam (RM7) & ayam masak o (RM7) round out Straits Food Co's soul-food selection. Everything's well-prepared, made with the benefit of experience. Excellent for a simple lunch.
Only one dessert is offered, but it's the crowd-pleasing choice: Cendol, smooth & milky. RM4.50 (or RM5 to take away).
Lime juice, cincau & barley beverages clock in at RM2 each, with Horlicks, Nescafe & Milo costing a ringgit more.
All in all, Straits Food Co is a nice new stop that should attract healthy business for lunch & dinner in the months ahead, so head here before the crowds come. Weekday parking in an open-air lot is available (RM5 per entry) barely a minute's walk away.
Straits Food Co by Baba Low
2 Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur. Open daily, 10am-10pm
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