Thursday, February 5, 2015

Houshuen @ Gasing, Petaling Jaya

Seeking an outdoor cafe for cakes & coffee? Houshuen - which translates from Chinese into 'Good Choice,' more or less - might fit the bill, run by one-woman-show Jeannie Tee with a little help from her grandniece & relatives at a rented bungalow.

It's easy to drive past without noticing Houshuen, which opened this month on a slope opposite the Bible College of Malaysia at Jalan Gasing in Petaling Jaya. Note that there's limited parking within the cafe's compound, sufficient for 10 cars or fewer.

Hang loose in the shade of the backyard; on a breezy morning, Houshuen makes for a relaxing hideout from the big bad world.

No fear if the weather's intolerably humid: There's also an air-conditioned area inside that looks like the polar opposite of the Klang Valley's contemporary cafes. No exposed brick walls, no low-hanging naked light bulbs - only furniture that you might find in some family's house. That - coupled with Jeannie's matronly friendliness - could well help customers feel at home here.

The menu's extremely limited - when we visited, only one savoury dish was available: Jeannie's personal recipe of noodles that she made by hand herself, fried with pork, petai & chillies & Chinese cabbage, topped with crunchy lard. RM10; tastes like something that mom might make. On other occasions, visitors might find the likes of chicken rice or spinach pan mee.

Houshuen secures its sweets supply from the excellent California Cookie Company, whose rich salted caramel brownies are well worth sinking one's teeth into. RM8; you can also find CCC's baked treats at Plaza Mont Kiara's Thursday evening market.

Iced latte (RM8) & iced americano (RM6), both enjoyable enough for what they are. Beans come from Artisan Roast.

Deeper inside the bungalow, there's even a Chinese tea retail section, with a private room or two for sipping & sampling. And this seems remarkably random, but a men's shoes sale is also being held here daily, all the way through the Lunar New Year.

Hou Shuen Coffee & Tea
122, Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Currently open daily, around 11am-8pm

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22 comments:

  1. Petai noodles? Now, that I would love to try. A friend gave me one of those tea cakes, all the way from China. Very nice...but so hard. I did not know how to make it come apart to brew the tea. Managed by trimming the edges with my kitchen shears. I really wonder how they do it.

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    1. Suituapui: petai power! :D heh, yeah, i'm also quite blur when it comes to chinese tea in its raw form :D

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  2. What a quaint little place, Sean! I love the presentations and the decor and views are lovely. :)

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    1. Linda: you're right, there's a charming, easy-going quaintness about this place :)

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  3. this place looks like a vacation spot isn't it? I'll be down for anything petai!

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    1. KY: ya hor, can think of it as a brief getaway from the city, just a five-minute drive from mid valley :) and yup, more petai, please! :)

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  4. So lovely. Just reading this, I get good vibes about this place!

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    1. Footfringe: i had a semi-friendly, semi-business teatime meeting here with someone, and it turned out to be a conducive place for both scenarios :)

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  5. The brownies look moist and fudgy... yum!

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    1. Baby Sumo: yeah, california cookie company does brilliant brownies :D

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  6. wallet-friendly prices, i'd like to try their home-made noodles

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    1. Ken: quite unique, those noodles :D

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  7. I do like the open airy feel of a place like this. Usually best visiting earlier in the morning though.

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    1. The Yum List: that's true, we were here in the afternoon, so we retreated into the air-conditioning :D

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  8. It really is very random! Food, coffee, tea leaves and even shoes! One of its kind indeed! :)

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    1. Iamthewitch: yeah, a delicious hodgepodge! the shoes were a surprise! :D

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  9. Wow, interesting place. Cafe which sell chinese tea and men's shoes.
    Petai fried noodles sound good to me! :D

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    1. CK: heheh, ya, i almost bought a pair of shoes, since i need shoes :D i love, love petai too :)

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  10. This place looks like a funny mix of everything. shoes? Tea?
    LOL

    But its totally my kind of place Sean! OMG.. it's like designed for me - vast outdoor space for me to sit and write the day away!
    Plus I need solace from the big bad world.... !

    Damn.. let me guess.. no WIFI ? :P

    and pork lard and petai - i must say hi to Jeannie soon!

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    1. Rebecca: heh, yeah, it's a multi-purpose bungalow ... but i think it needs to be, since rental is apparently rather high :D oops ... i'm not sure about wi-fi .... hmmm, maybe don't have ... but hopefully you can persuade Jeannie to install it! :)

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  11. Food + drinks + tea leaves + men's shoes = ? LOL

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    1. Choi Yen: it's like a mini shopping mall, haha :D

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