Opened only 3 months ago in Empire Damansara, White Sand Cafe occupies the same premises where Tous Le Jous used to be. Clearly demarcated into two distinct sections: the cafe flaunts a pristine white scheme with French glass doors on one side while the other incorporates a warm enclave with exposed brick and burnished wood and metal.
According to White Sand's representative Michelle Loh, the idea behind White Sand is to create a breezy beach-house type oasis in the city hence the airy, laidback space that opens out to a shaded, outdoorsy patio and water feature. "The cosier brown stone and wood-finished reading lounge is meant to be homey and inviting, an intimate venue which can be reserved for small events and launches."
A selection of freshly baked goods and bistro-style dishes are served at White Sand. We feel relaxed and right at home, sipping its Specialty Mocktails (RM13.90 each) such as Rosemary Whisper, Coconut on White Sand and Spiced Mojito. I can vouch for the chilled grapefruit juice and rosemary infused syrup as the cook drink revived my flagging spirit after the long drive.
A good go-to brunch spot, you can enjoy freshly baked Croissants (from RM4.90 upwards) or tuck into cooked dishes such as Grilled Mushroom Tartine with Egg & Avocado (RM22.90). We love the custard-soft wobbly poached egg atop sliced avo and sliced toasted sourdough. Textural contrasts came from juicy grilled cherry tomatoes and mushroom, with a splash of balsamic sauce giving the indulgent ensemble a perky tang.
Tummy fillers to nibble on should you prefer something light will include Fried Lemongrass Wings (RM15.90, 3pcs) and Hot Hot Chicken Boxing (RM15.90, 5pcs). The former is kid-friendly enough as the fried chicken wings were marinated in pounded lemongrass and spices so they were aromatic to the bite minus any fiery hotness. I prefer the latter though as the Korean style sauce pushed the hot quotient to sweat-inducing levels.
Knowing Malaysians still hanker for local fare in such surroundings, White Sand offers the unassuming Stone Pot Shrimp (RM26.90) to tickle their fancy. Select your choice of noodles: yee mee, vermicelli or glass noodles and it'll come piping hot in Hot & Spicy or Tom Yum soup. Brimming with shrimps, baby corn, mushroom, broccoli and fried foochuk (fried soybean sheets), we were instantly converted as fans after the first sip of the piquant tom yum.
Since Butter Rice with Ayam Percik is already a crowd fave, we decided to sample the Pandan Satay Chicken with Nasi Himpit (RM19.90). We were stoked to discover the whole pandan-wrapped chicken leg was on-point; deliciously redolent with the house lemongrass and spice marinade, it was a match made in culinary heaven with the cubes of pressed rice, satay peanut sauce and 'salsa'.
Pasta options such as the timeless Aglio Olio and Carbonara keep the general populace happy but we decided the more piquant variations such as Ginger & Spice or Tom Yum worthy of attention. Fettuccine, fusilli or linguini are available - do remind the cafe team about wanting your pasta al dente as most Malaysians prefer their pasta overcooked.
Out of the two we sampled, I prefer the lush sweetish hotness of Tom Yum although another friend balked at it. Never mind, I'd let you be the best judge of this. The fusilli with minced garlic, pressed ginger and chilli flakes failed to impress me, unfortunately.
Another signature dish I felt ambivalent towards was the Grilled Salmon Steak (RM26.90) with French Beans and Lemon Cream Sauce. Sadly, the salmon was thoroughly cooked as how the locals expect it...the saving grace for me was the French beans which were irresistible thanks to the tangy, creamy dressing.
Although the Peanut Torte (RM12.90) didn't look too impressive, we went nuts over its scrumptious salty-sweet taste and cottony texture. This along with a wedge of Oreo Crêpe Cake (RM12.90) and Caramel Crêpe Cake (RM12.90) wrapped up our outing to White Sand before we bid adieu. Both crêpe cakes were delightful and would have paired well with coffee if we had room to spare.
The coffee at White Sand is deftly made so give the baristas here a chance to entice you with a good cuppa.
For reservations at White Sand, call tel: 03-7611 0975. Address: Heritage Lane, Unit 13A Empire Damansara, Jalan PJU 8/8A, Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya.