Friday, July 15, 2016

Good Friends Cafe @ SS15 Subang

As a restaurant, Good Friends Cafe illustrates many of the characteristics of a good friend - warm & reliable, genuine & fun, this feels like an easy choice for a pleasant meal in Subang. Chef-owner BH Lee & his team take real pride in their work, eager to ensure that customers enjoy thoughtfully executed comfort food in a feel-great setting.

The extensive menu runs the gamut from East to West, an impressive accomplishment for accountant-turned-chef BH, who initially learned to cook from his mom. One of the most popular dishes is the Premium Good Nasi (RM24), a wholesome reinterpretation of nasi lemak, without coconut milk, combining pandan-infused brown rice with grilled ayam berempah, poached egg, sweet potatoes, cashew nuts, house-made sambal & caramelised onions. The rice itself may be a little less flavoursome than regular nasi lemak, but consumed with everything else, it remains a worthwhile experience that conveys many of the pleasures of a nasi lemak platter, but notably with Good Friends' own distinctive ingredients, heartily portioned.

Rice enthusiasts can also check out Mom's Ginger Chicken (RM22), inspired by a family recipe - the fluffy brown rice is partnered with produce that exhibits how Good Friends makes the extra effort in sourcing its food, particularly from local suppliers - this free-range chicken is pasture-raised in a Raub farm, braised with ginger from Bentong & organic soy sauce.

Another recommended creation that attests to honest, home-cooked traditions: Clear fish soup glass noodles, filled with the sweetness of sea bass chunks in a light broth constructed with sea bass bones, complemented with celery & egg (RM22). 

Moving on to a different side of the menu: For customers who relish playing with their food, try the bruschetta platter (RM32), empowering you to assemble your own antipasto, with toppings of smoked duck & salmon (pretty good-quality fowl & fish) to pair with sauteed mushrooms, tomato chermoula & balsamic vinegar with olive oil on grilled bread for punchy combinations.

Salads & sandwiches are above-average too: The grilled chicken & cashew nut salad is enlivened by a house-made tangy lemongrass sauce (RM21), while sandwiches like the classic club with sesame mayo (RM23.90) showcase Good Friends' own-baked bread - foccacia, brioches & whole bread, hand-made with ingredients like unbleached flour, black olives, fresh rosemary, real butter, garlic & extra virgin olive oil.

 Other temptations include the PET 2.0, an attractive melange of potatoes, egg & tomatoes (RM19), respectable pastas like spaghetti with a robust kitchen-made pesto sauce (RM15.90; add on smoked salmon & mixed vegetables for even more texture & taste for RM14); & addictive side orders like roasted organic sweet potatoes (RM7, cultivated in a Klang micro-lot).

For steak devotees, it may be challenging to resist the Aussie rib-eye (RM59), offered in tender slabs totalling 280 grammes, in a few-frills presentation that puts the spotlight on the beef, with a bit of help from pan-fried potatoes, Bario salt & mustard.

Back in 2013, when Good Friends was in its original location in Ara Damansara, we had a memorable encounter with its French Toast - the cafe's hefty version today is stronger than ever, showered with fruits & nuts, flavoured with natural vanilla & a sauce laced with orange juice (RM22 with ice cream), but what we love even more now is the Gula Melaka creme brulee, beautifully straddling the balance between soft & thick, compellingly rich, crowned with a ripe banana & Gula Melaka brulee - easily one of the most delectable creme brulees we've had this year (RM12). 

The beverage selection is wide-ranging as well, ranging from salted caramel milk to cranberry fruit vinegar to a Bentong old ginger honey drink. Coffee fans are more than taken care of; besides all the espresso-based & hand-drip variants, one of the interesting enticements is coffee tinged lusciously with Malacca-origin rice wine (RM16.90). Craft beer pairings are also available for many of Good Friends' offerings; the cafe's knowledgeable staff is easily approachable for recommendations. Many thanks to the Good Friends team for having us here.

Good Friends Cafe
15 & 17, Jalan SS15/8A, Subang Jaya, Selangor. Mon-Sat, 830am-10pm; Sun, 830am-6pm. Tel: 03-5613-1415

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  1. You've finally covered Good Friends Cafe, Sean! It's still on the same row as Starbucks, opposite Asia Cafe and within walking distance from Taylor's, right?

    I've been here once during my matriculation days in the aforementioned college and the cafe actually serves really good desserts. I remember having a plate of fudge brownies and a cup of chamomile (with the infuser) and my college bestie ordered a plate of waffles. It's a beautiful place for friends to catch up with each other (away from the college campuses) and what's good is that it's a quiet environment. =)

    1. Ciana: ya, the location is the same, but they've done some recent refurbishment, so you might find it looking somewhat different if you ever return ;) it was bustling and not too quiet when we were there on a Friday night, but that was also cos a big birthday party seemed to be happening there. But yeah, it feels like a nice hangout for the college crowd as well as for families ... And you have a very good memory about what you ate and drank there! ;)

    2. This was, if I'm not mistaken, in March 2014 - and it's because I posted it on my Instagram and my college bestie tagged me on Facebook, lol. Without the photographs, I don't think I'll be able to remember much from that outing. =) It's much quieter during the weekday afternoons, though.

    3. Ciana: yeah, i need my own photos to jog my memory too - but that's because i'm old! :D true, i can imagine that at 3pm on a tuesday, it'd be more chilled out ;)

  2. Oh.. I see that you are having Old Engine Stout.. Love the taste :) had it in Great Beer Bar! By the way, they have changed the kitchen offering pork.. You might want to check it out!

    1. Leo: they recommended pairing that beer with the steak - and it was a great pairing, since the beer stood up well to the beef! ;) ya. I've been meaning to check out the great beer bar's current kitchen, but they've asked me to wait first until they've finished fine-tuning the recipes and unveiled their complete range ;)

  3. Nice name, nice concept - "a family-oriented place" - wish I could say the same about the prices. Wow! So many people! Food must be really good.

    1. Suituapui: oh yes, good friends would work for a family gathering too ;) i think they've managed to nurture a solid reputation for tasty dishes :)

  4. The kid's corner attract me the most LOL

    1. Choi Yen: heheh, yep, you can definitely bring your kid here! :D