Written by @Lan. Edited by @joehairie (Photos by @joehairie unless stated otherwise)
“Elegance is achieved when all that is superfluous has been discarded and the human being discovers simplicity and concentration: the simpler and more sober the posture, the more beautiful it will be.” – Paulo Coelho
A great cafe does not necessarily need the most up to date interior and exterior features. At times, simplicity is needed in order to align the owner’s products and the expected crowd. Less is more, well, sometimes this philosophy works depending on the ability of the cafe’s owner to keep the customers happy and ably to understand their needs. Customers tend to look at the features of the cafe over the products, if it is best suited to their ‘soul’, they will sure to come in. Nowadays, cafe business is quite challenging, it’s so hard to determine the exact desire(s) of patrons. So, does simplicity actually work for certain cafes? There is one, right here in the city center, a cafe full of simplicity.
Welcome to another new cafe in Kota Kinabalu. It might be small in size but it has the biggest statement in its name, KuehKueh_my. The name clearly indicates the main concentration of this cafe. It is about some amazing local delicacies, perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch and even afternoon tea. Located in the city center, not far from the famous Gaya Street, it is actually a straight forward cafe, full of simplicity and for that reason we chose to come and try out their amazing food and beverages.
Kueh is a word that was used in the older version of Malay Language. The current standard word and spelling is Kuih. Kueh or kuih refer to items such as cakes, cookies, dumplings, pudding, biscuit or pastries in English and are usually made from rice or glutinous rice. Kuih are normally steamed than baked, and are thus very different in texture, flavor and appearance from Western cakes or puff pastries. Most kuih are sweet, but some are savory. Simply put, kueh refer to sweet or savory desserts. In the context of KuehKueh_My, literally it is referring to ‘many’ kuih, in proper English language, a plural noun. Using KuehKueh is definitely a brilliant idea of the owner to create that sentimental value.
The owner, Ms. Nik Nurul Huda started the cafe business in June 2016. Preferring a casual setting and putting forward the simplicity in the interior design of the cafe, she concentrates on Malaysian and Nusantara dishes such as Nasi Lemak and Nasi Ayam Balado. The Kueh are all of Malaysian and Indonesian typical servings as well such as Pulut Panggang, Penjaram, Bingka Labu, Kueh Angku Merah, Kuih Bom, Kuih Keria, Kuih Lenggang, Apam and many more. There are some modern pastries such as Curry Puffs and Popiah as well as western influence Steamed Chocolate Brownies.
Nasi Ayam Balado and Nasi Lemak
Operation Hours Mondays-Fridays : 0730 Hrs -1630 Hrs Saturdays : 0800 Hrs - 1200 Hrs Sundays : Closed/Off Day
Being a new cafe and tucked away in a place that goes unnoticed by those not living or working in the adjacent area, we took the initiative and prepared a simple map to show the exact location of KuehKueh_My cafe. The landmark is Wisma IntiUtama. Locate this building and you are almost near to KuehKueh_My.
Take note the neighbors of this cafe: Excellence Eco Tours and The Likuit Shop.
Interior & Exterior
The cafe’s interior and exterior are of modern but simple design. Let’s take a brief tour at this cafe, shall we?
The Issue & Our Hope
Yes, we love the simplicity of the cafe’s design. It has that modern feel, so relaxing and soothing when we casually dined here recently. There was one issue though but the cafe is not at fault, parking issue. It was pretty hard to get a parking slot nearby that we had to parked somewhere else and walked to this cafe. Again, not the cafe’s fault. It so happened that the location is at the narrowest alley and small road actually. For the combined score of X factor, the accessibility actually scored 2.8 and for layout, 5 out of 5 thus making the average as 3.9 out of possible 5.
If things are better in the future for the owner, we do hope that the cafe is relocated to a better accessible area without even have to walk for quite some time. The cafe has everything in it and we sensed that big potential in the future but that will much depend on the owner’s ability to sustain in long run, which we hope so as we kind of ‘agree’ with the price tags of the products. Also, a big sign board might help the cafe to be noticed by passers by.
Our Experience: Food & Beverages
The taste was all right, a combination of sweet and sour. Thick tomato gravy but a little bit oily. It will be great if it is less oily. The Chicken was delicious, marinated perfectly before being fried and mixed up with the gravy. We had better Nasi Ayam Balado before somewhere else BUT for the price of RM5.50, it is indeed a truly bargain, quite large portion for such price! Had it been less oily, we will score the dish 5 out of 5 instead of 4.5.
We can’t help noticing the size of that boiled egg, it’s half in size where in other cafes you might be getting quarter or even half of that said quarter. The Sambal was extremely delicious. Anchovies were semi crunchy, we prefer crunchier Anchovies but the ground peanuts were fried perfectly. For the amazing cheap price of RM2.50 and looking at its portion plus the delicious sambal, we rated this dish, 4.9 out of 5.
Overall, we rated all the kuih that we tasted, 4.2 out of 5. All except that Brownies were tender, delicious and went well with the beverages. The Brownies had one issue, it was pretty tough to bite let alone trying to break it with the fork. It was a tremendous effort in getting that Brownies break to 2 pieces. Perhaps it was late afternoon already and being quite some time on display since morning, the texture changed.
Average score of 4.37 for all three bottled beverages. The Kopi O was the best one, followed by the Teh O and the Green Tea perhaps need a little bit more Green Tea taste, it’s there but not that obvious when we tasted it. The Green Tea is priced at RM3.00 so we were expecting stronger Green Tea taste. Both Kopi O and Teh O are priced at RM2.50, reasonable price, we must say.
Important Note: For cycle 2, we will be using new rating system for all Cafes/Bars/Restaurants /Lounges. We will use a straight forward indication as shown below. 5.00-4.00 Excellent - Highly Recommended/Must Visit 3.99-3.00 Good - Recommended 2.99-2.50 Average - You may skip if you want 2.49-1.50 Bad - Please Skip! 1.49-0.00 Worst - Avoid at all costs!
Scores tabulated by @joehairie
Category: Modern Cafe/Restaurant (Stand Alone)
Dining Theme/Category: Asian/Malaysian-Nusantara
Date Of Visit: Thursday, August 12, 2016
Food-Presentation & Taste Nasi Ayam Balado: 4.5/5 Nasi Lemak: 4.9/5 Kuih-Muih: 4.2/5 SUB AVERAGE SCORE: 4.53
Beverages-Presentation & Taste Bottled Kopi O: 4.8/5 Bottled Teh O: 4.5/5 Bottled Green Tea: 3.8/5 SUB AVERAGE SCORE: 4.37
X-FACTOR Overall Layout/Accessibility: 3.9/5 Service by Front Staffs: 5/5 SUB AVERAGE SCORE: 4.45
Tabulated Score Food + Beverages + X Factor : 13.35/3 Overall Average Score: 4.45 We rated our experience as: Excellent Indication: Highly Recommended
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