Thursday, 18 June 2015

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Awesome Canteen

Awesome Canteen


Words by Dominique Montiel
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)

When a restaurant’s name starts with the word ‘awesome’, it’s safe to say that you develop a sort of straightforward expectation of not only amazing food, but also service and atmosphere. I found myself thinking about this word and with it encompassed exactly while driving up to Petaling Jaya; ‘awesome’ means different things to different people, so I questioned whether the founding entrepreneurs would cater to the immense variety of palates that composed their clientele. It was as I witnessed and savoured the restaurant’s nutritious and flavourful meals that I agreed: ‘awesome’ truly is the right word.

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
An Artwork on Every Table
Awesome Canteen
Awesome Canteen
Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Awesome Canteen
Greeted by the warm undertones of soft, yellow lighting, I proceeded deeper into the spacious venue; it possessed simplistic white and dark green walls and an array of aged wooden stools paired with metallic tables- a perfectly cool marriage. Quirky adornments like impromptu Coca-Cola flower vases and an all green plant wall in the far back of the room contributed greatly to the restaurant’s hipster fresh feel. Perhaps the surprisingly chill tunes bouncing around the venue non-stop also helped on that aspect. I was completely sold. Immersed in a relaxed environment that was simultaneously lively and full of character, all we could do was think about how sophisticated and innovative the food and drinks were going to be.

First up was the Flat White Coffee (RM 9) - a much needed pick-me-up. Considering that I’m a fussy coffee drinker, this cup of hot goodness faired very well. Sporting the ideal temperature in a cup with a pretty leaf design, this drink deserved to be drunk and is perfect for an afternoon cake and coffee date.

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Coffee
Following this caffeinated delight was a refreshing alternative, the Paleo Banana-Broccoli Smoothie (RM 8.90). This healthy concoction is based on the rules of the Paleo diet, which follows the ancient diet of Paleolithic humans and is hence a very natural, energizing, and refurbishing option. The combination, although appearing funky and unpleasant, is surprisingly yummy and invigorating, its overall flavour being soft and easy to drink. 

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Banana Broccoli Paleo Smoothie
After trying some acclaimed choices from the drinks menu, we switched gears into food processing velocity and got down to business. The first dish we snuck our forks into was the delicious Paleo Beef Burger (RM 22.90), a healthy spin-off of a classic burger that employed a large, juicy Portobello mushroom to substitute a regular burger bun, and sides of baked pumpkin and a generous portion of scrambled eggs. Packed with protein and intensely savoury components, this meal truly set the standards high for the rest of the upcoming food; the patty’s organic taste paired with the juiciness and tenderness of the mushroom made me wish all hamburgers were made like that.

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Paleo Beef Burger
The succeeding course was the Sambal Chicken Burger (RM17.90), a localized treat that became talked about because of its succulently cooked chicken patty and rich spiciness. Opposite the Paleo Beef Patty, this order included the classic bread burger bun, a side of crispy French fries, and creamy coleslaw. The aroma seeping from it was nothing short of hypnotizing, and the sambal topping was a spicy reminder of where this recipe came from. 

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Sambal Chicken Burger
Following the strain of burgers sampled was the Roast Chicken Pesto with Melted Cheese Sandwich (RM18.90) the only chosen of its kind. Now, imagine this: an endless variety of grilled-to-perfection veggies, toasted bread, zesty homemade pesto sauce, nuts and grapes, and melted cheese; hungry? Well, I got to taste this heavenly outcome, and it tasted ‘awesome’. The sauce was especially remarkable given that because of its homemade nature its consistency was thicker and tastier than the bottled product.

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Roast Chicken Pesto Toasted Sandwich
The Garden Salad (RM16.90) came out looking like edible art. Sincerely, if there was such a thing, it’d be this restaurant’s Garden Salad. Forest green, dark purple, fiery orange, and soothing red were just a few of the colours this beautiful dish presented, and not surprisingly when looking at the generous portions of lettuce, cranberry, avocado, roasted pine nuts, and tomato that were in it. With a fresh and cooling effect, this salad became a favourite for the category of quick bites - oh and before I forget, the lemony vinaigrette was overwhelmingly good.

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Garden Salad
What came next was the Paleo Butterfish (RM26.90), a masterfully presented dish of butterfish with honey dill sauce and a side of shrimp. The highlight of the dish: the butterfish itself; its incredibly moist and tender body melted inside our mouths with an easiness never seen before. In addition, its honey dill sauce danced perfectly with the flavour of the fish and created a mentionable pairing. The Paleo diet never looked or tasted so good.

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Paleo Butterfish
Our last non-dessert dish of the day was the Sweet Potato Fries (RM8.90). While most restaurants choose to use the orange version of the sweet potato to make the now trending sweet potato fries, Awesome Canteen swims against the current and uses the purple kind, which although tasting similar to the orange strain, gives an unexpected touch to the ensemble. These fries specifically were loved by all of us, their large size and crispy outside soft inside rendered to be their most adored qualities. Coupled with the house made sauce, it was almost impossible not to order a second serving.

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Japanese Sweet Potato Fries
At last the time of desserts had arrived, the growing expectation of sweet treats to come had reached its peak. The first delight we had the pleasure of sampling was the Pineapple Cheesecake (RM12.90), a gelatin-based, not baked cheesecake. With slender pieces of pineapple in it, this treat tasted like tropical paradise, all that was missing was a bikini and a piña colada to go with it. The other dessert we gorged on was the Paleo Banana Bread (RM12.90), which was a gluten-free version of the original. Warm and silky in texture, this dish’s flavour had cocoa-undertones (YUM!) and a rich banana taste. And best of all, it didn’t make us feel guilty when we finished!

Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Pineapple Cheesecake
Awesome Canteen, Petaling Jaya
Paleo Gluten-Free Banana Cake

So the conclusion is: visit Awesome Canteen, it’s awesome. This food trip showed me, very eloquently, that when restaurants dedicate enough time to be great, to be exemplar - they can indeed live up to such a name. This café is living proof!

Reasons to visit: good number of Paleo and gluten-free menu items; juicy burgers; excellent coffee using beans from local roasters; Sweet Potato Fries.

Awesome Canteen
19, Jalan 20/13
Taman Paramount
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
www.facebook.com/awesomecanteen





14 comments:

  1. Monica!

    Of all the food outlets in KL you have to feature this one!
    The name - "AWESOME" - is one word I detest - hijacked by the
    Yank TV scene to cover every description possible!

    When I went to school the word meant and was in the English Oxford
    dictionary as: Large horrible thing - a la a monster.

    Now courtesy of the Yanks it covers all descriptions.
    Probably came into vogue in a Big Mac's when some junior in the
    eating joint put a double burger on a plate, covered it in syrup and
    ice-cream and a customer bellowed out - "God that is AWESOME!!"

    Sorry I just couldn't and wouldn't go anywhere near that place.
    Cheers
    Colin
    (7.30 am - weather: As bad as an extremely foggy day in London town.
    And I am not joking - can barely see across the street and no further!
    The Pacific Ocean has a lot to answer for but a heavy fog when and IF it
    lifts means a bright sunny day)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The soup fog lifted in less than 20 minutes to now be a perfect cloudless
      warm sunny day!
      According to friends who have lived here in Brisbane all their lives, they have never
      witnessed a fog so dense!

      Now to matters - Wine - a previous blog report.
      Today with the assistance of a Bottle shop Manager in the CBD,
      I noted the following Chilean wines. One which I think was available in
      KL as reported.
      Casillero del Diablo - a Sauv. Blanc: Cost $17.00
      Frontera - a Sauv.Blanc: Cost $14.00.
      Both of which sell very well.

      Now for our Tasmanian friend, Margaret Davis, who reads blog reports
      and the comments very carefully.

      A Hardys HRB/D653 Riesling costs $40 a bottle.
      The interesting aspect of this 2013 vintage which is bottled
      by chief wine maker, Paul Lapsely, is that it is a combination of
      Clare Valley,SA grapes and the spice and minerality of Tasmania!

      Also at $22.00 per bottle a "Devil's Corner" 2014 Pinot Noir
      from the Tamar Valley region of Tasmania which according to the
      bottle has a "cheery spice aroma".
      I will purchase a bottle of the Pinot Noir as I quite enjoy this wine variety.

      Cheers
      Colin

      Delete
  2. There's a restaurant with similar name just opened in Penang i heard...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ken !
      I do hope you heard wrong. One such "AWESOME" restaurant is one too many!
      Colin

      Delete
    2. Ken, yes you are right! Awesome Canteen has recently just branched up to North of Penisular Malaysia. It is known as "Awesome Canteen @ Sekeping Victoria", below is the exact location:

      164-A & 164-B, Lebuh Victoria, 10300 George Town, Malaysia

      Delete
  3. Sounds pretty awesome...the butterfish caught my eye!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great name (sorry Colin) :)
    A small piece of Cheese cake wouldn't go amiss - but must refrain.
    The interior looks good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret!!!!

      Go sit in the corner for one hour for penance!
      No cheese cake for you, Madame, I've eaten the lot!
      It was DELICIOUS - the adjective that best describes it.
      Colin

      Delete
  5. The food looks wonderful enough, and I have to commend the owner(s) for being brave enough to use such a cocky name for their restaurant. I'm not against anyone naming their restaurant Awesome of Marvelous or Great or something, if you look at how some of those Chinese food courts' names, they are even more conceited.

    I guess, well, keep up the good work and maintain your good quality, because if you don't, the social media is a cruel world, especially more so with awesome sounding restaurant name. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Looks like a nice place, and I love the presentations. I would love the beef patty plate, but wouldn't want the beef....just everything else, and the garden salad and roast chicken pesto toasted sandwich look divine! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It felt like a second home for me. Whenever I pay my visit there, I will have my comfort food - Baked Japanese Curry Rice :D

      Delete
  7. I actually quite like their deco!
    So 1970s, my era! He he...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome and canteen sure seem conflicting but yes, I would say the Roast Chicken Pesto Toasted Sandwich sure looks awesome, bet it tastes awesome too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suituapui !!!!

      Tut tut - beware of thin ice - ha ha.
      Now that could result in an "AWESOME" accident!
      Cheers
      Colin ( Keeper of the flame for the proper use of descriptive adjectives!)

      Delete