My high school friend Wen Sze had messaged me to meet up over brunch and I definitely couldn’t say no because she is truly a good friend and one who is always ever so generous with her time and words of advice. The next lunch is on me by the way!
So we decided to check out Antipodean Café at Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar after hearing a lot about it. Being a breakfast and brunch person, I was game to try out this Australian inspired café which has been enjoying a steady stream of customers since its opening. From its website, it states that Antipodean is a Kiwi/Australian style of café serving the best quality coffee and food to the hungry and thirsty expats of Jakarta. Sounds like a infallible game plan and it really reminds me of my Uni days in Melbourne where I could easily walk into any café and enjoy a decent cup of café latte to warm me up.
We decided to meet at 9.30am and the place was already filled to the brim! Looks like a lot of people have been waking up early to have their meals here. Fortunately, I was able to find a table in seconds and I’m telling you, this restaurant sure knows how to maximize space. The space was tight and the table was small which made me fearful that my glass of water would topple at any moment over my lenses!
The first thing you will notice are the café’s brazenly red walls and black furniture. As you look over to your right, you will find the restaurant’s entire menu scrawled on the walls which is pretty charming. Somehow aesthetically wise, you can never go wrong with a menu written with chalk on a blackboard. It just adds to the restaurant’s casual and informal personality. Just be mindful though that if you are sitting next to the menu wall, you will have scores of indecisive people staring at your area from top to bottom as they scan the menu!
Antipodean Café has a lot of breakfast favourites such as Scrambled Eggs & Salmon on Toast, French Toast with Bacon & Maple Syrup, Croissant with Butter & Jam, Cheese Omelette and Banana Bread with Cream Cheese. We decided to order the Big Breakfast at RM19 which came with toast, chicken sausage, mushrooms, scrambled eggs and hash brown. This seemed to be the crowd pleaser as everybody was ordering it. The dish was simple, hearty and satisfying and easily shared by two. It came with a generous serving of creamy, buttery scrambled eggs and lightly grilled mushrooms. However, the hash brown was quite ordinary and bland, or maybe I’m just used to potatoes that are cubed finely and seasoned well.
To complement our savoury dish, we also ordered the Banana Pancake with Butterscotch at RM16. The pancakes were filled with warm bananas and made a sinful treat as we poured the sweet, butterscotch sauce over it. Slices of bananas, apples and honey dew were also served with the dish. This is the dish to lift up your spirits if you’re feeling gloomy on a weekend morning!
For beverages, Wen Sze ordered a delicious looking iced chocolate while I tried their Lawn Moa, although I’m still not quite sure why the drink has such a name. Lawn mower perhaps? It comprised of apple, celery, mint and cucumber. It was definitely refreshing and I wouldn’t mind having it again if I’m planning on a detox. Antipodean café’s signature drink is actually the Merdeka Coffee which is roasted by Indonesia’s top specialty roaster. It is purchased directly from the small holder growers and not through the brokerage system. Apart from this, the café has a host of other coffee selections to tempt any coffee lover.
Don’t expect to have a long conversation when you are dining here as people kept coming and waiting for diners to finish up. During our breakfast, I noticed that the table next to ours had changed hands 2-3 times! The tight corners further accentuated the frenzied pace as waiters kept running up and down to take orders. Also, I wish you luck if you’re here in a big group! Nevertheless, service is prompt and friendly which makes all the difference.
Its menu which is bursting with comfort food items merits a return and I’m sure I’ll be here again. Just make sure you’re here early! On a short note, Antipodean Café was shortlisted in the Best for Coffee and Best New Restaurant categories of the Time Out KL Food Awards 2011 as well.
20, Jalan Telawi 2
Tel: 03-2282 0411