Sunday, July 31, 2016

Chocha Foodstore @ Petaling Street

Welcome to the neighbourhood: Petaling Street's latest destination is an ambitious amalgam of a tranquil restaurant called Chocha Foodstore & an upcoming wine lounge, coffee bar, co-working space, newsagent & bicycle rental shop, initiated by the MentahMatter design firm, with a raw, almost unvarnished authenticity shored up by charming embellishments (check out the lovely, leafy courtyard), squeezed into yet another former brothel on the same street as smash hits Merchant's Lane & PS150.

 Chocha's affable creators, Shin Chang & his team, put their own personal spin on regional comfort cooking, promising capably executed platters of soul food that speak of Asian inspirations & ingredients; commence with this comfortingly nourishing bowl of steamed barley & rice, topped with tender pan-seared duck breast & flavoured with duck fat, respectably complemented by nitamago, crispy dried shrimp & local ulam cultivated in Chocha's sun-soaked courtyard (RM25).

Can't stop snacking: Cincalok fried chicken, its savoury succulence, complete with the unmistakable flavour of fermented shrimp sauce, balanced by a fresh summer salsa of tomatoes & pineapples, plus thick, kitchen-made tomato chutney (RM25).

 Chocha produces its own hand-pulled flat noodles, meant to evoke pan mee, for several pasta-like permutations with a twist, such as this one blanketed with rich ulam pesto, charred capsicums, semi-dried tomatoes, peanuts & sesame seeds (RM20).

Fans of vegetables will have a field day with this trio of tasty salads: 'Curryflower,' comprising crumbed cauliflowers with curry leaves, kesom & shallots; Indonesian-style terong belado, with eggplant & Thai basil in a suitably spicy sambal; & cucumber in an aromatic cumin vinaigrette (RM15 each).

There's only one dessert in Chocha's soft-launch selection, but it leaves an impression: A green-hued reinterpretation of creme brulee, tinged gently with ulam raja & Thai basil, sprinkled with honeycomb candy that simulates the brulee's crunch (RM15).

 Chocha is Hakka for sit & drink - the tea culture is alive & well here, with steaming-hot pots of Aged Fujian Shui Hsien from Mount Wuyi (RM18; served with chestnuts) & other representatives of the dark or scented classifications. You'll also find cold-brewed tea - Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong & Yunnan Black Tea with osmanthus flowers & star anise (RM16 per bottle).

Chocha Foodstore
156, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur. Tues-Sun, 11am-9pm.

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22 comments:

  1. Beautiful space. And i love such old buildings. Where did u park Sean?

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    1. Rebecca: yeah, this is a really nice way to make use of a shop-lot that had been abandoned for years apparently. There's an open-air parking lot across the road from this row, I think (tbh, I Ubered) ;)

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    2. LOL. Uber is a good idea.

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    3. Rebecca: heh, i tend to just leave my car behind nowadays ;)

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  2. Love all that greenery all around, like our Payung Cafe here. Looks like a lot of them are herbs that they can use in their cooking.

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    1. Suituapui: yeah, it feels like a little oasis here, with a bit of nature inside the building. And yup, it's cool how they do nurture some herbs and veggies here, heh ;)

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  3. Beautiful and cool place, love it!.
    And you have a model this time, hahaha.

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    1. CK: ya, you'd be able to take a lot of good photos here! ;) what model ... haha ;)

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  4. Replies
    1. ;): it's not halal-certified, but muslim patrons are welcome - there is no pork served on the menu, and there appear to be muslim staff members at the cafe ;)

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  5. Another brothel-turned-cafe that's rather similar to Merchant Lane...but this one looks more "untouched or unchanged"! ;) Cold brewed teas seem like a nice change for once. Those chestnuts...I thought they were tea eggs at first :D

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    1. Contact.ewew: yeah, i like how both Merchant's Lane and Chocha have their own personalities and characters - they're both worth visiting on this street :) yep, i definitely don't mind having more tea as a change from coffee - and i was surprised to see those chestnuts! :D

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  6. Nice concept and I love the greenery. The food looks pretty good too!

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    1. Phong Hong: yeah, gorgeous courtyard - a nice spot to linger over the food here ;)

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  7. Looks like a very welcoming space. Can't wait until the wine bar opens.

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    1. The Yum List: yep, the wine bar will be upstairs on the first floor, hopefully in a couple of months! :)

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  8. Love these sort of concepts, awesome deco & unique food

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    1. KY: ya, kudos to the team here for bringing us something with a fascinating character ;)

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  9. mind sharing what photo device you used for the photos? :)

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    1. Oswin: sure - i usually use either a fuji x100t or panasonic lx100 for my pics - both are simple point-&-shoot cameras. for this review, i used the x100t ;)

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  10. Hello Sean!

    I actually visited this place last week and I wanted to write an article about it, unfortunately I wasn't able to take many photos. Do you mind if I 'borrow' some of your photos from this page for my article? I would definitely credit you of course!

    Thanks in advance!

    Marsh

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    Replies
    1. Hi Marsh, thanks for asking, and yes, that's fine, go ahead :)

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