KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — My friend promised a surprise when I asked where we were headed to for breakfast.
This is what happens when you elect not to drive; car pooling and saving the environment seems such a worthy cause until you begin to fret whether you’d be getting any caffeine before noon.
It helps, of course, that my friend knows I’m a coffee addict. He wouldn’t bring me to a place where I can’t order a kopi O or a long black. (Right?)
Once we get off Jalan Sungai Besi and start weaving into the Chan Sow Lin area, I begin to relax and let go of any notion of guessing: I have no clue where we are going and that is fine.
Sometimes in life, you have to surrender and let life go however it wishes to go.
Literally letting go of the steering wheel thanks to my friend the volunteer chauffeur. Soon enough he stops and parks his car. We are standing in front of a large building with stark, alabaster curves and a well-maintained lawn greener than it has any right to be.
And at the end of our path, at the end of our journey (at least for this morning) is the distinctive walnut-panelled façade of Second Date Pâtisserie by Cubake.
It is a pâtisserie, yes, but also a café. (Which means coffee, hooray!)
The main draw, at least initially, is the instantly iconic revolving door. I mean, beyond a lovely architectural accent (and cause of confusion for those unsure about how it works), it’s simply a wonderful low-key flex.
How many cafés or pâtisseries have one?
Alabaster curves, green lawn and the iconic revolving door.
(How long before other shops decide they would install one too? This is how the highly competitive F&B industry sometimes operates after all; imitation is the sincerest form of flattery — or the quickest route to cash in on a new trend.)
I later find out that this very revolving door has made this pâtisserie a hot date for café hoppers, despite its location which doesn’t see much walk-in traffic.
I guess that is the definition of a destination: a place you make plans for or a place some influencer cajoles you into visiting. (My friend appears to be an entirely willing influen-cee, and me along for the ride. Ah well.)
The interior recreates the ambience of a Parisian café.
Inside, the interior recreates the ambience of a Parisian café. Wood panelling to just below shoulder height, cream-coloured walls, warm light from low-hanging ornate lamps.
The display promises all manner of freshly baked viennoiserie or breakfast pastries, from almond croissants and pistachio pain suisse.
Rich, buttery pastries loaded with raspberry cream cheese; savoury croissants topped with thin shavings of truffle; a now ubiquitous kouign-amann sweetened with honey.
'Viennoserie' or breakfast pastries such as almond croissants and pistachio 'pain suisse'.
We decide we want something more substantial for brekkie. My friend orders the awkward-sounding Eeguacado to enjoy his sourdough toast with mashed avocado and eggs Benedict.
I opt for Swim With Me (doesn’t that sound romantic?), which turns out to be a plain croissant stuffed with glazed unagi and scrambled eggs. I pair this with a strong flat white. Croissants and coffee: that’s fuel for the day ahead.
For those with a sweeter tooth, there are treats with witty names such as When Yuzu Met Matcha, a Japanese influenced dessert that harkens back to the era of Nora Ephron rom-coms of the 80s and 90s.
For something different, pair your unagi croissant with a strong flat white.
Expect a spectrum of sensations: The King of Rocher, dark as the deepest dreams of chocolate; Blossom Rose, pretty in pastel pink and creamy white, with flecks of tiny rose petals and gold flakes; and the Cédric Grolet inspired Yuzu Apple, all glossy and glamorous — not even Snow White could resist a bite.
There are seasonal delights too: from Summer Holiday, a Merdeka series of ondeh-ondeh cube cakes in August, to Fly Me To The Moon last month, a “tropical mooncake” to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, replete with cream cheese mousse, pabana cremeux and almond sponge.
Perhaps the most tempting (and the most twee) is the aptly named Cappuccino, cleverly shaped to mimic a cup of cappuccino, complete with the cocoa-dusted froth and the curvy cup handle.
Sweet treats with witty names such as When Yuzu Met Matcha.
Some might argue it doesn’t really matter how these taste given how comely they look. Perhaps.
Certainly the chill and cosy atmosphere has a lot to do with the eatery’s appeal, especially on a weekday morning when the weekend crowds have not landed yet.
Who needs Paris when we have this? Just don’t get giddy spinning around that revolving door...
Second Date Pâtisserie by Cubake
G-13, Residensi Trion, Chan Sow Lin, KL
Open daily (except Wed closed) 9am-6pm
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