Showing posts with label Vietnamese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vietnamese. Show all posts

Thursday, January 14, 2021


An eye-catching showcase filled with rows of colourful thread spools serves as an interesting focal point inspiration at the threshold of the new Cong Caphe (pronounced curb cafe) at 1 Utama.

Opened in late December 2020, local Cong Caphe franchise holder Peter Tan reveals the second outlet ID is based on a textile factory from Vietnam’s bao cap or subsidy period. Hence the decorative elements feature multiple tiers of vintage sewing machines and glass-topped tables strewn with oversized thread spools.

Certain trademark touches such as military green uniforms of the frontline team, retro collectibles and household memorabilia, mismatched rustic and upcycled furniture, sepia snapshots and enamelware complete the charming vintage setting.

The current beverage & food menu is more expansive too. Right from the get-go, young green rice flakes imported from Vietnam make Cong’s Signature Ice Blended Coconut Green Rice Smoothie (RM17.90 tall) a hit with us. 

Flat and almost translucent, we were told those pearly-green rice ‘flakes’ had to be steamed before it’s blended with coconut milk to create the signature smoothie. Subtly sweet and creamy, the distinct drink has tiny chewy bits that are almost reminiscent of glutinous rice.

Two other non-coffee drinks worth slurping up include Fresh Lime Smoothie (RM13.90) and Passionfruit Smoothie (RM15.90). The former is zesty-fresh with the clean sourness and sharper lime zest discernible on the palate while the latter flaunts a fruitier finish.

For coffee lovers, we highly recommend Bac-Xiu, coffee with coconut milk (RM12.90 hot) and Hanoian Coffee (RM10.90 hot). Otherwise, there are neat juices such as tart and green Ambarella Juice (RM13.90) or refreshing Watermelon (RM10.90).

Simple, quick meals are available should you feel peckish. The Beef Ham Rice Noodle (RM16.90) and Chicken Ham Rice Noodle (RM14.90) are fuss-free, ‘meal in a bowl’ options. Think of it as Vietnam's answer to a pared-down poke bowl. 

A jumble of julienne carrot, cucumber, lettuce and pickles, sprigs of fresh coriander, crushed peanut alongside rice noodles and slices of beef ‘ham’ or peppery chicken ham accompanied by Vietnamese fish sauce dressing make this offering a major crowd-pleaser once everything is tossed up and thoroughly mixed. The flavours are vivid and pleasing with enough textural interest to stimulate the appetite. Personally I don't fancy the beefy version but to each his/her own.

An unexpectedly good choice turns out to be Instant Noodle with Tofu and Egg (RM9.90). The smoked beancurd cubes add extra appeal to the chewy Vietnamese Hao Hao instant noodles, with the eggy richness lending hearty substance to leave you replete.

To whet the appetite, consider the house Spring Rolls (RM8.90, 2 pcs). The pair can be a meal for light eaters or a precursor to subsequent choices if you’re dining in a group.

Sandwich enthusiasts may prefer to sample Chicken Ham Banh Mi (RM13.90)  ̶  crusty Vietnamese baguette stuffed with peppery chicken ham slices, chicken pate, fresh coriander, julienne carrot and radish pickles. Alternative versions available include Beef Ham Banh Mi (RM15.90) and Tofu Banh Mi (RM11.90).

Assuage your sweet spot with Cong’s mainstay of Croissant with Condensed Milk (RM6.90) or an assortment of pastries. Notable finds we readily vouch for: flaky Almond Bar (RM8.90) and Orange Poppy Seed Cake (RM8.90). 

Close contenders range from Earl Grey Cake (RM8.90) to Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Muffin, all old-school buttery cakes that aren’t overly rich or cloyingly sweet.

Cong Caphe is offering 50% off drinks from 11am to 2pm with any speciality food purchased for dining in (except on Sat, Sun & PH) from now until 31st March 2021. Enjoy RM5 off Takeaway and Delivery Orders amounting to RM20 - refer to the official website for more

Cong Caphe is located at G130A, Ground Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 03-7732 9280. Opening hours (non-MCO) 10am-10pm; Fri & Sat 10am-1030pm. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020


Just ‘pho’ for you – that’s the succinct message An Viet is sending out to its customers and ardent Vietnamese food lovers. The restaurant has recently unveiled its latest beefiest pho to much plaudits. Proof of the pho-nomenon lies in the eating. Laden with honeycomb tripe, meticulously handmade 100% pure beef balls, premium raw Aussie ribeye beef slices, tendon and beef brisket, the Vietnamese Beef Noodle Special (RM23.90 a la carte; RM28.90 set with 3 side dishes) gives great bang for every buck.

Served piping hot in super beefy, MSG-free broth simmered for hours with 18 secret ingredients, suffice to say the silky smooth rice noodles hit the spot with gusto. You can even customise the broth to your liking and preference with more fresh basil and accompanying condiments such as lime, coriander, beansprouts and housemade sriracha sauce from An Viet’s Basil & Condiment Bar (currently only available at The Gardens and Paradigm Mall PJ outlets).

Besides harvesting the desired amount of fresh basil from the Basil & Condiment Bar, you can also choose the amount (100g, 150g or 200g) of noodles and rice as An Viet encourages their customers to minimise food wastage. For each meal you finish, the restaurant donates 10 sen to Food Aid Foundation so be mindful when you eat at An Viet.

Should you eschew innards, Vietnamese Raw Beef & Beef Balls Noodle Soup (RM18.90 a la carte, RM23.90 set with 3 side dishes) is a viable alternative. The combo offers good textural contrasts as the handmade beef balls are scrumptiously bouncy with good ‘toothsome’ bite whilst the supremely tender beef literally melts in the mouth. Partial to just sliced beef? Then stake your bet on the Vietnamese Beef Noodle Special (RM23.90 a la carte, RM28.90 set with 3 side dishes).

As a precursor to your mains, the commendable Appetizer Platter (RM14.90) comprising fresh and fried Vietnamese spring rolls stuffed with rice vermicelli, lettuce, carrot julienne and tiger prawns, and a piece of sugar cane prawn is worth dawdling over.

Served with nước chấm (Vietnamese dipping sauce), I daresay the sugar cane prawn is the best in town as An Viet uses purely tiger prawn paste to wrap around the sugar cane skewer. The burst of sweet sugar cane juice proved nostalgic as we chewed on it amidst yummy mouthfuls of the springy prawn paste.

Finish your meal on a high with Vietffogato (RM9.90) – Coconut Ice Cream with Vietnamese Coffee. The smooth coffee melds wonderfully with the nutty ice cream, guaranteed to wrap up your visit on an exuberant note.

For more information, visit AN VIET:


Sunday, December 29, 2019


“Coffee and love are best when they’re hot” goes a German saying. The same holds true when you sip Nau-Da (RM10.90), a cup of hot Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk, lounging in cosy Cong Caphe in Nu Sentral.
Established in 2007 by enterprising singer Nguyen Ha Linh in Hanoi, Cong Caphe has 62 cafes throughout Vietnam, six in Seoul and one in Malaysia. Jaemie Lew and Peter Tan who became smitten with Cong Caphe on a visit to Hanoi brought Cong Caphe (pronounced kerb cafe) to Malaysia in November this year.
According to the partners, Cong Caphe caught the imagination of Vietnamese coffee drinkers with its retro-inspired ambience of old Vietnam harking back to their childhood. Cong Caphe artfully combines the vintage, homey charms of mismatched and upcycled furniture, and old-school memorabilia with comfy reading nooks. 
The Nu Sentral outlet stays true to the original concept with almost everything displayed and used at Cong Caphe: stools, tables and chairs, collectibles and the wall-to-wall shelves of books on the upper level, shipped in from Hanoi. A propeller plane suspended at the heart of the rustic, wood-accentuated cafe space serves as a focal point.
We stopped to smell and savour the selection of Vietnamese coffee recently and came away impressed by the smooth brew and distinct variations available. Brewed in traditional metal coffee pots with drip filter, the Phin Brew – Vietnamese black coffee forms the main base for Cong Caphe’s signature drinks.
Although the inclusion of condensed milk of the Nau-Da was some cause for concern, we were instantly won over aftter the first sip. The milky, mildly sweet coffee hit the spot, leaving us with a nice buzz.

The laidback atmosphere spurred us to sit back and nibble on Sunflower Kernels (RM4.90 per plate) while chatting leisurely over cups of creamy Bac-Xiu, coffee with coconut milk (RM12.90 hot, RM13.90 cold). We enjoyed every drop of the creamy-sweet coffee with its enticing nutty aroma.
We sampled it with buttery, airy light Croissant (RM6.90) which came with a saucer of condensed milk for dipping it in. It was delightful as the imported condensed milk lacks the cloying sweetness of our local version.
If you are partial to chilled coffee drinks, the Coconut Milk Coffee Smoothie (RM14.90-RM16.90) is worth slurping up. Rest assured the blend of coffee and coconut milk is on-point without being overly cloying. 

Cappucino, latte, Americano and espresso are also served with the Cong Caphe coffee beans giving them a distinctive taste.
Aimed at the busy mall’s constant stream of grab and go crowd, Cong Caphe also offers banh mi, Vietnamese baguette sandwiches and some cakes like Banana Cake and Brownie. Jaemie explained the Tofu Banh Mi (RM11.90) is something created for the Malaysian market, in response to increasing demand for vegetarian options. 

Marinated with soya sauce and sesame oil then panfried and sliced, the subtly smoky beancurd held its own nestled within the shatter-crisp baguette filled with fresh coriander, and  cucumber and carrot pickles.
Likewise, we found the Beef Ham Banh Mi (RM15.90) and Chicken Ham Banh Mi (RM13.90) decent enough. More of the pate spread would have ramped up the sandwiches' overall appeal.
Should you have friends in tow who prefer non-coffee drinks, Cong Caphe serves a tantalising Iced Honey Kumquat (RM14.90) and hot Peach Tea with Passionfruit (RM13.90). These drinks are refreshing in their own way and will leave no room for complaint.
For more information, call CONG CAPHE, tel: 03-2276 3135. Address: LG19, Nu Sentral, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.

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