Monday, July 20, 2015

Charlie's @ Taman Bukit Desa

Charlie's is a cheerfully likeable neighbourhood eatery with a social conscience, opened by Malaysian couple Sonny & Debra with a view to benefiting indigenous workers from Sabah & Sarawak as well as people who might not be able to afford a meal.

There are two components of Charlie's mission. Behind the scenes in the kitchen, the Borneo-born Sonny & Debra employ mainly folks from East Malaysia & try to use a fair bit of indigenous produce for their menu. Secondly, for customers who want to help out, a pay-it-forward sponsored-meals system is available: Give the cashier RM5, take a receipt & post it on the board; other people who come in can claim a free meal using your receipt if they're short of cash or struggling to make ends meet.

Encouragingly, it turns out that Charlie's food is easy to endorse; the curry laksa (RM8.90) comprises mee or bee hoon with chicken, shrimp & fish balls in kitchen-made curry that's thick, spicy & robust - the sort of broth you slurp to the final spoonful - & super-punchy sambal. Most of the frills-free menu is Asian, with basic nasi lemak (RM5.90), dry chicken noodles (RM7.90) & tom yum noodles (RM8.90), though there are also crispy chicken or streaky beef ciabatta sandwiches (RM9.90-RM11.90).

Home-made cakes are  worth indulging in: Now in season, Debra's Musang King Durian Cheesecake (RM15.90), creamy but not cloying, with a pleasantly mellow but distinct flavour. Alternatively, try the cheaper Durian Sponge Cake (RM9.90) or a scone with cream & strawberry jam (RM4.90), croissant with coffee caramel dip (RM6.90) or even Pisang Goreng Cheese (RM6.90). A bit of trivia: There isn't actually a Charlie here - it's simply a catchy name that sounded right to Sonny & Debra.

Charlie's Cafe @ Taman Desa
29 Jalan Bukit Desa 5, Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur. Mon-Sat, 730am-930pm. Tel: 03-7988-0247 or 012-8160-003

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18 comments:

  1. That's a nice system, hope ppl do not abuse it and the underprivileged can truly benefit from it.

    The cheesecake looks good :)

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    1. Baby Sumo: yeah, i think the restaurant trusts that most people who use it will be the people who need it :) and i enjoyed the cheesecake :)

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  2. I love the "pay it forward" concept, Sean, and what a lovely place! The cheesecake looks amazing! :)

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    1. Linda: it's a heart-warming and thoughtful gesture ... and that cheesecake was worth devouring! :)

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  3. I'll be avoiding that durian cheesecake, but will make a visit to this cafe. I have great admiration for those trying to make a positive difference in our world. Wishing them great success.

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    1. The Yum List: you put it in a beautiful way, and i'm sure they'll appreciate that :)

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  4. "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

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    1. Suituapui: i know several people who like that verse :)

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  5. Durian cheese cake? Count me in!

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    1. Ken: made with real durians! :)

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  6. It's a noble concept....but not sure if it'll "succeed" here.

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    Replies
    1. Contact.ewew: cross our fingers and hope for the best, heheh :)

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  7. Hehehe, this one really nearby, we tried few times. :P

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    1. CK: ooo, hope you liked it! ya, quite near your home :D

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  8. Durian cake for me! Both sponge and cheese please :P

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    1. Rebecca: heheh, i couldn't decide which one to have either, so i had both! :D

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  9. The laksa broth looks slightly deeper in colour, did it?

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    1. Choi Yen: ya, it's quite deep and dark :)

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