Tuesday, October 17, 2023

103 Coffee

My first taste of the coffee from this famous establishment was immediately after I returned from Sydney in 2017. I ordered my then favourite drink, a mocha. Disappointed was an understatement. I was extremely disappointed. Due to the hype, I expected it to be at par with what I was used to in Sydney. Very wrong.

Fast forward to now, 6 years later, I was encouraged by a high school classmate and the bff to give them another chance. Does help that we know one of the two latte art world champions here, as she used to be the bff's barista when she was operating her cafe.


They have expanded from just using the ground floor to also using the first floor. More room upstairs and another coffee bar, which means shorter waiting time. For those who are susceptible to cold like me, I would advice to opt to be seated downstairs or to prepare a cardigan or jacket of some sort because it is freezing upstairs.

There are way more seats upstairs compared to downstairs, too. It stretches right up to the back of the shop, where you could even look out to the back lane.

I suppose with the refurbishment of the shop comes renewal in the menu offerings, too.

It is hard to browse the menu and not order their Parmesan Truffle Fries (RM26.90). The aromatic smell of freshly fried rosemary salt steak fries topped with grated parmesan cheese, drizzles of truffle oil, sprinkles of truffle salt and a dollop of truffle mayo could be whiffed from afar.

I was really intrigued by the Unagi Pizza (RM29.90) - because I love eating unagi - but was hesitant to order every time. I did not think I could finish the whole pizza on my own. Thanks to one of my high school classmates who assured me that it is a portion for one, I ordered it and oh yes, I finished it alright. Described as a crispy tortilla pizza, it had a thin base and was generously topped with button mushrooms, mozarella and cheddar cheese, unagi bits, Japanese seaweed, citrus teriyaki sauce, fresh parsley and chervil.

The Shiitake Risotto (RM29.90) is a chef's special and it is easy to see why. It is a good serving of Japanese short grain sake risotto with shiitake and portobello mushrooms topped with shaved parmesan cheese, and infused with truffle salsa and oil.

Judging from how the Samurai Don (RM25.90) is ordered each time I visit with different groups of people, I am guessing that this is one of their more popular dishes. Perhaps everyone is familiar with the flavours of this dish - teriyaki sauce, pan-seared chicken chop, onsen egg, pickled cucumber, fresh chives and Japanese seaweed. Simple, familiar, satisfying.

Two dishes that I found had refreshing flavours are the Spicy Tuna Tartar Don (RM32.90) and the Salmon Ikura Don (RM32.90). The Salmon Ikura Don is simple a bowl of rice served with with salmon flakes with wasabi mayo, fresh avocado, ikura and tamago slices.

The Spicy Tuna Tartar Don, as its name suggests, is rice with tuna. Specifically, it is a bowl of rice served with spicy tuna tartare with mayo, fresh avocado, ikura and tamago slices.

There is a variety of cakes to select from the cake display and prices vary accordingly. Those that are alcoholic would be pricier.

As the place is home to latte art world champions, it would more or less be a training ground for the coming generations of latte art enthusiasts. Although the taste of the coffee is so-so for me, the art never fail to impress.

They have expanded their coffee menu to include a selection of creative coffee. More than one person I visited with gave the thumbs up for the Strawberry Latte (RM18.90), an experimental milk-based coffee they curated for the 2016 Barista Competition. It was simply strawberry ice balls that you pour fresh milk and espresso over.

For a pretty looking drink, the Beach Runner is not bad choice. It is a coconutty symphony of cold brew, coconut, pineapple and lychee. It even has coconut shavings on the outside of the glass.

Cola No Cola (RM18.90) is a refreshing cold brew of calamansi, lemongrass, cinammon and tonic water. It even sounds healthy.

For non-coffee drinkers, there is a selection of soda pop (RM16.90) to choose from.

Passionfruit mint

Glad that I gave them another chance. Now, they have branched out to outlets in Chow Kit and Bangsar. However, I still reckon that their food trumps their drinks despite their reputation as a coffee place.

If you are familiar with Sri Petaling, you would know that street parking is limited and double parking is rife. I would say just pay for the parking using your TnG at the parking complex across the road and not worry about being blocked by some random person who may not leave their contact number on their dashboard.

103 Coffee
103-G Jalan Radin Bagus, Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
M: +6012-519 7103; E: help@103coffee.com
Daily 8:15am to 9:30pm

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant

It was the bff's birthday, and we chose to celebrate over a Japanese lunch at Yuzu. Although it has been open since 2007, it was my first and my only visit to date.

Yuzu is literally a citrus fruit and is widely used in Japanese cuisine. While the fruit is not normally eaten fresh, its juice is commonly used in the cooking process, much in the same manner as lemons are used.

We were at a loss when deciding what to order due to their extensive menu. We wanted too many dishes, and had to use the elimination method to choose what we really wanted to have.

We all concurred that we must have at least one "healthful" dish and chose a salmon salad (RM44). While we could taste the mayonnaise, we were unsure what was the special dressing mentioned in the menu.

I have the habit of including sushi when having Japanese, and opted for Ebi Avocado Maki (RM42), reason being the bff really likes avocado.

The bff is also a steamboat fanatic, and so is the other bff. They shared a Kimuchi Hokkai Nabe (RM88) amongst themselves. There was so much salmon, prawn, scallop, squid and vegetables in that bean paste soup that also had kimchi. It smelled tempting but I gently declined, as I am not a fan of the entire combo of seafood, kimchi and steamboat.

Another dish that I did not taste and had an enjoyable smelling was the beef that came on a sizzling hot plate. I swear I still smelled like it even after the meal.

For those who prefer to not share their food, there is a selection of bento sets on the menu.

They also accept reservations for groups, as we caught glimpse of private rooms further in. Although I personally feel that I have had better Japanese elsewhere, I would give a thumbs up for service and ambience. Oh, and location-wise, conveniently inside one of the most popular malls in the country.

T236, Third Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
T: +60 3 2284 7663, +60 3 2284 7763; E: yuzujapgmail.com
Daily 11:30am to 10:00pm