Sunday, October 02, 2011

Ristretto Cafe @ Mont Kiara,KL

OK! I've been meaning to update this article on our taste visit to Ristretto in ages,well since we've been there last December. But have been really swamped with work though it's not a good enough reason to shirk on the job with my updates. What I really wanted to make a change was to submit artworks on the food I've cooked or tasted along my culinary journey but unfortunately the days don't stretch as far as I'd like to. Anyhoo, to both the owners of Ristretto who've been so kind enough to invite this 'noobie,sorry excuse of a food writer' to their cafe and in good faith,expected both me and Viv to do a write up of their new start up. That was end of last year,before their official soft launch in Febuary. Now it's Oct. Man, I have so much to make up for. So let's get right to it.

Me and Viv were invited to try out their drinks menu but was also offered a simple meal menu to see off any hunger for the patrons of this fine,quaint establishment. Above is my order of Hot Latte which came with a charming rose decor on the foam.
I can't quite remember what Viv ordered for her drink but I believe this was their Iced Honeydew.

We were definitely hungry for some chow and was swayed by the owner's recommendation of Provencale' Lambshank at RM 35 per serving. They had Chef Martin overseeing their kitchen at the time of our visit. I wonder how's everything coming along,whether or not the staff has grown or any distinct changes have been made. Anyways... The meal came out lovely piping hot which whetted our appetites even further.
A quote from one of the owners, Mr. Daniel Lee, who hosted us throughout most of the evening,as saying "Everything is fresh!" I found our order of Lamb shank had a very light flavor to it,not overwhelming or intense. Just very light and mild which was nice. The dish came with cotton soft mashed potatoes and we were informed that to cook the lamb shank,it would have to be boiled and roasted first for at least 6 hours for it to accentuate the smokiness in the flavor.

We were both very eager to try out their freshly baked cakes on display at the cake counter so ordered a slice each of their Vanilla Carrot Cake and Strawberry Sponge Cake at RM 8 each. We were told that everything but the chocolate cupcakes were home made.

Well,I found both of the cakes to be very decent and satisfied my sweet tooth for the night.
We were both treated to a little tour around the cafe whereby Julien Koh, the partner in this new set up,demonstrates and tells us about the process of how they come about making their coffee brew.
Here's Julien happily in his own element,brewing us a batch from their bean stock.

What remains from squeezing all of the moisture out of the beans is this hard coffee cake which though can't be eaten,we were told could be turned into a good source of compost for later use. Did I get that right? Someone plese correct me if I'm mistaken.
To know that the process has been followed through properly,the hard cake will have a crack like that when dropped.
And one way to know that the coffee brew has been made fresh, there should be the prerequisite golden foam on the top when served.

This charming cafe offers diners and patrons the option of dining indoors or el fresco in the open air seatings and tables set up in the front entrace of the cafe.

Displaying assorted goodies to tempt patrons with.
I love the simple rustic menu they have written on the blackboard above the kitchen mantle piece.

A small lounge as an option for caffeine addicts.
If anyone were curious as to how this little cafe venture came about,we were told by Mr. Lee that they were both keen to find a good spot for a coffee at an affordable rate ,where the price is right. A place that was comfortable with a leisure atmosphere about it. They had both decided that they wanted to start up something small at first, ergo smaller risks involved.
It was Julien who had come back from his travels 4 months later to help Daniel to set up their little cafe idea here and claims to be the only one place in Malaysia that boasts a naked-pointer filler extraction for coffee beans. Julien did note that while in Sydney, the Sydney 'ites had a sense of passion for their food,and the locals do know a thing or two about their coffee. Small cups of mocha with a glass of water... packets of fresh coffee beans dotting the was all in embedded in that culture.

Daniel noted that they weren't both exactly coffee junkies themselves. They just loved the idea of available good brew and good food within one's reach. They stated they weren't interested in making a profit from the venture, just the thought of enabling to cater to the locals in the neighborhood,be it for couples or family groups, is rewarding enough for the both of them. And the idea of branching out big one day is not an idea they're keen in.
A little take on the coffee I was served. Really wanted to do a caricature of both the owners as a nice momento to this article but sadly,my sketches didn't turn out well on the journal.

Here's a glimpse of the lil menu we were presented that night. They were really being careful with their choices to include in and am very very glad they were wise not to swamp patrons with a huge menu for the introduction of their young cafe. No waste,no fuss or muss....just simple and straightforward good comfort cooking to go with the beverages.
I thoroughly love the idea of them labelling the coffee menu according to how potent each coffee can be : 'Baby', 'Noob' and 'Pro'.

See how much I've shirked off??? Daniel and Julien even got a full cafe site up already even before my own snail-paced review came out. "Dang you,food writer!"

For 2 both very passionate,globe-trotting young individuals willing to make a go at fulfilling their dreams,hope that Ristretto will continue to flourish as an ideal caffeine oasis for the fortunate neighbors and visitors for years to come.

Ristretto Cafe
Unit 3A @ 10 Mont Kiara
JAlan Kiara 1
Mont Kiara 50480 KL

YOu can contact either Daniel Lee or Julien Koh @ 6012-5281679...if they haven't changed their number by the time this review is up already. *doh!*

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