Eat Drink KL: BEAM @ Bandar Sri Damansara

Friday, July 25, 2014

BEAM @ Bandar Sri Damansara

Introducing our cafe recommendation for the long weekend: Off the beaten track, BEAM opened this week, offering stimulating new ideas in a manufacturing neighbourhood of Bandar Sri Damansara, scarcely a ten-minute drive from Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

First, the basics: BEAM is run by a team with years of experience in coffee, including members of the local Caroma company that's been involved in coffee production since the mid-1970s. This new cafe, located near Caroma's factory, marks a push by a diverse set of talents to invigorate the momentum of Malaysia's artisanal coffee movement.

Aesthetics matter. In that regard, BEAM is captivating; it seems set to become one of the most photographed cafes for this second half of 2014, capitalising on its size & space by creating corners galore worth exploring. The beauty rests in the details.

Much of the furnishing was painstakingly built by BEAM's own team. In recent months, some people have publicly & spitefully whined that many of KL's cafes look cookie-cutter because of faux-vintage & industrial touches. Those people disrespect the heart & work poured into these places; they dismiss these cafes, without even visiting them, out of ignorance & self-importance.

Elegant coffee-making equipment lines the shelves & tables at BEAM, where every cup is taken seriously; a poster provides potential tips on recognising the elaborate, sometimes-elusive nuances of coffee.

Here's what makes BEAM particularly notable: It imports & sells a convincing variety of speciality green beans, not yet roasted. Owners of other cafes can conveniently head here to select & purchase beans for their own use.

Roasting machines are available as well; BEAM is also likely to start hosting workshops & training sessions by September.

For casual customers, BEAM offers a rewarding experience too: Try the hand-brewed coffee, which comes in options of 'strong' (RM12, with 18 grams of coffee) or 'very strong' (RM16, with 25 grams), with current choices of Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica, Guatemala & Ethiopian beans. Baristas will try to chat with customers about the coffee.

Cherry Red Natural Yirgacheffe. Really enjoyable; light & easy to drink, but very much vibrant.

Espresso-based beverages, hot & cold, are also offered, as is iced sweetened coffee, plus Malaysian-style 'kopi-o' & 'teh.'

BEAM's food is the equal of its drinks, with wholesome recipes that feel fresh & flavoursome. The mixed seafood salad (RM18), which features Japanese-inspired flourishes, is satisfying from start to finish.

Warm roast chicken panini (RM19), also a very capably executed sandwich, hitting the right marks for taste & texture.

BEAM's desserts also range from local favourites to Western pleasures, with glutinous rice & kaya sharing a display counter with peanut butter, ice cream & chocolate.

Not officially for sale (we think), but maybe there might be a mooncake slice or two at hand here.

Parting shots: BEAM is an acronym for something that's kinda wordy. We'll just keep calling it BEAM, pure & simple; expect to hear this name many, many more times in the months ahead.

BEAM is now open 11am-8pm, Wednesdays through Mondays. If you're lost, call them at 03-6261-8255 for directions.

25, Jalan Gangsa SD 5/3B, Bandar Sri Damansara, Kuala Lumpur
BEAM remains open during the Aidilfitri weekend except on Tuesday (its regular day off every week)

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: