Cheap & Cheerful at ‘family-run’ Kafe Sinar Baru
Sometimes it’s pretty hard to find new local places to eat in KK and I was in a bit of a pickle this morning about where we should go for lunch. Nonetheless, I drove out in search of new blood and found the striking yellow sign of this new Kafe Sinar Baru plenty inviting.
When I first entered the shop from the backdoor, the first thing that struck me was how organized and clean the kitchen was. (Can’t take pics of the kitchen as it would be rude, but here’s a shot of the inside). I made sure to choose a table that gave me full-view of everything that was happening in and around the joint.
Second thing I noticed was how clean and tidy the entire shop was! There were tissue dispensers on both sides of the wall, a trashbin next to each table, and from a distance I could also spot an insect zapper near the ceiling. So thoughtful!
Now, the moment of truth…
As this is a family-run cafe and not a full-service restaurant, I wasn’t really expecting a gourmet experience but some simple food done well. I ordered a konlaomein for RM5, and this was what it looked like.
There were slices of thin char siu, minced pork on a bed of instant noodles which were served with a bowl of wonton soup. As expected, it tasted like cafe food, like a gourmet Indomie with meat toppings and vegetables on the side. The mixing sauce was sweet and savory, decent by coffee shop standards but not as flavorful as noodles that have been tossed in pork lard of course (but less bad?!). Still, it was prepared with care and the entire mood of the shop was hygienic. In a dressed-down, escapist sort of way, I liked the total experience.
As a small cafe the selection of dim sum was limited, with only 5 types to choose from. They had these stuffed pork balls which were interesting in form but totally took me by surprise because they looked like bouncy stuff. But when you bite into it the texture changes from rubbery to mushy… so it was a bit bizarre. Perhaps if it were the other way around (mince outside/meatball inside) it would have been less of a shock. The steamed spare ribs had really big pieces of meat but they need some tenderizing and starch for texture as it was kind of dry. (P/S: We did tell the owner)
Honestly for only RM2.50 per plate, they’re probably operating at a loss so I can’t really complain. Sometimes it takes a bit of time for people to get over their teething stage and I believe this family has the right attitude to be successful so give them a bit of time to iron out the creases!
What I was really happy about was the HUGE pieces of siu mai for the same price. This is just perfect for those on a carb-restricted diet. Kafe Sinar Baru has only been open since May 2011, so it is unlikely they’ll be able to sustain the big portions at RM 2.50, but for now they’re BIG and meaty! For that price don’t expect it to be gourmet, but they do taste a lot better than most other siu mais in town.
The siu mai is highly recommended for those who love lots of meat but are also on a shoestring budget.
These folks make their own pastries from apple pies to curry puff, meat pies to soup pies.
Yes, you heard me. Soup pie. Not sure where this idea came from but I bought one, even dissected it for your viewing pleasure. I thought the onion soup pie was great for a 2 ringgit meal – it was warm and fills you up. But with KKMOI being KKMOI, I would love a gourmet version of fresh clam chowder soup in this preparation. Ahhh…
There are so many items to choose from their a la carte menu, and I can’t try them all. What I can say is, the prices are so cheap!
In summary, Kafe Sinar Baru offers simple food at great prices in a very clean and cared-for environment. This is a quaint little place to drop by for a quick, simple meal. The only caveat I’ll make is that the place can get a bit noisy after it has rained as the shop faces Jalan Damai. If budget is your concern, it’s fabulous, but if gourmet is what you’re looking for, head on to Royal China!
Where to go:-
View Coffee Shops in KK in a larger map
Kafe Sinar Baru
Same shoplot as Cosway at Jalan Damai.
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm daily