Single-Concept Cafés: Because Specialisation Is Delicious
Specialisation is nothing new in F&B. Pizzerias, poké bowl cafés, juice bars, ice cream parlours, and fish and chippies have long existed, after all. Having said that, Kuala Lumpur is taking a page from New York City and expanding the peripheries of single-concept eateries.
Q: So what exactly is a single-concept eatery?
A: One that specialises in a single dish, oftentimes with variations. Also one that serves dishes revolving around a single ingredient.The following cafés are testament to the belief that less is more (delicious).
Hokkaido Japanese Curry @ Cureé
The world largely thinks of Japanese curry as sweet, gloopy stuff, but that’s like grouping Asam Laksa, Laksa Johor, and Curry Laksa together. Far from one-dimensional, Japanese curries vary from region to region. Hokkaido-style curry, for instance, is watery and has a piquant kick to it. Try it for yourself at Cureé, a quiet place for contemplation in the hullabaloo of Bukit Bintang.
Cureé | 38, Jalan 1/77A Off Jalan Imbi, Jalan Changkat Thambi Dollah, Kuala Lumpur | 011 2020 9080
Croissants @ Honzu
At Honzu, the world's most famous viennoiserie is given very unlikely spins — some so eye-browing raising as to make any Frenchman exclaim, "Sacré bleu!" Choose from the Milo, the Salted Mentaiko, or the Garlic Cream... or just roll with a good ol' classic croissant.
Honzu | 1 Utama, 2nd Floor Promenade, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya | Nu Sentral, Level 4, 201, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur | AEON Big Subang, 3, Jalan SS16/1, Subang Jaya, Selangor
Soy Desserts @ Soylab
Soylab's ambition is twofold: 1) to create top-notch, non-GMO soy milk and 2) to apply their product to trending treats; think bubble milk 'tea', shaved ice concoctions, and 'soyfle' pancakes (as opposed to soufflé pancakes). "Our production process begins with washing the beans before 4am," reveals co-owner and health nut Henry Lu. "This allows us to begin with a fresh product every morning." Coming soon: Soy-based cendol, soft serve, and other sweet surprises.
Soylab | SS21/39, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya | 03 7731 6099 | email@example.com
Molten Lava Cakes @ Softcore
A happy kitchen accident can be credited to the invention of the molten lava cake; Jean-Georges Vongerichten claims that underbaking his dessert drove customers wild with delight. Softcore breaks the mold when it comes to molten lava cakes by bringing Asian flavours to the mix; think salted duck egg, matcha green tea, and purple sweet potato.
Softcore | 56, Jalan PJS 11/7, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya | 03 5613 7273 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Avocado Dishes & Desserts @ Avocatier
Bread, dairy, and potatoes are swapped for avocados in burgers, cheesecakes, and ‘fries’ at Avocatier, which has barely been open for half a year. Binge your heart out in the name of good cholesterol.
Avocatier | 10-1, Level 1, Jalan 27/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, KL | 03 2856 8342 | email@example.com
Crêpes @ Strangers At 47
Traditional? Not particularly. Tasty? Terrifically so. The sweet and savoury crêpes here include the 'Kayaman' (pandan coconut crêpes served with pisang goreng), 'Shore to Please' (stuffed with Cajun-spiced tiger prawns and battered squid), and 'Purple Rage' (sweet potato crêpe with Japanese sweet potato and coconut sago).
Strangers at 47 | 47, Jalan 17/45, Petaling Jaya | 03 7498 1034 | firstname.lastname@example.org