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The Hot Chocolate Cafe,
25, Lorong Setiabistari 2,
Medan Damansara, Damansara Heights,
50490, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2093 9133
Business hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm
(open daily except on Sunday)
email: quahjim@yahoo.com. .

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QUIETLY nestled within the confines of the affluent neighbourhood of Bukit Damansara is a homely cafe that has been around for the past 12 years.

The Hot Chocolate Cafe is charming and elegant which serves reasonably priced food. You do not have to worry about parking either, as there are plenty of parking bays.

5E7144FB71DD4E0EB5842B10343592F6Master at work: Quah has been at the helm of The Hot Chocolate Cafe in Damansara Heights for the past 12 years.

Being somewhat familiar with the Bukit Damansara area, I, however, never knew this place existed until now. As I drove up Lorong Setiabistari 2 in Medan Damansara, I could not help but think, how could there be a restaurant here among all the houses? After passing through about 200 metres, I finally saw the glimmer of light coming from the candle-lit tables of the Hot Chocolate Cafe on my right.

The cafe is helmed by owner and chef Jim Quah, who hails from Penang. As this particular evening was a bit chilly from the after-effects of rain, I was banking on the fact that this place served up some good hot chocolate.

“Of course we do. Our hot chocolate and chocolate cake are favourites among customers,” beamed Quah.

A generous-sized mug of hot chocolate (RM8) arrived at my table. I was told the chocolate is imported from Australia.

While the cafe is located in one of Kuala Lumpur’s most prestigious neighbourhoods, it is neither pretentious nor yuppified.

I would describe it as cosy with a hint of elegance from the red-and-white tablecloth and gold upholstered chairs.

1DA3CB892EB648648AD6B0C5FE300B51Sweet: Melting Hot Chocolate Cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

From the day of inception, the menu comprised Italian food including soups, pasta, pizza as well as main dishes of meat, poultry and fish.

“Of late, there have been many requests by customers asking me to include Asian food in the menu. Now we have a menu consisting of Asian food plus the original items at lower prices. For example, pasta which used to cost RM20 is now RM12 and pizzas are now reduced to RM15 from the previous RM20,” he added.

Quah learnt his culinary skills in Australia where he was trained under the watchful eye of an Italian chef.

“I remember being scolded constantly,” he joked, “but I learned a lot about food preparation and presentation. The Italians are very particular about that.”

Having survived 12 years as a restaurant owner in KL is an accomplishment, he revealed.

“I have always been passionate about food and serving good and tasty food is important.”

Quah then recommended the Indian Mee Goreng (RM8) for me to try. What I liked about Quah’s take on this was that the noodles were not oily and had just the right amount of heat from the chillies.

With a generous squeeze of lime, the noodles tasted like my mum’s home-cooked mee goreng. I would highly recommend this dish.

Other Asian dishes available here are Beef in Black Bean sauce (RM8.90), Fish Fillet with Vegetables (RM8.90), Belacan Fried Rice with Chicken (RM7) and Lemongrass Basil Chicken Rice (RM10).

We also had the Pizza Tropicale (RM15), Pollo Ripeno (RM18), which is chicken breast stuffed with sausage, breadcrumbs, nutmeg and pepper seasoning, the Salmon Steak with Olive Herb topping (RM20) and Mushroom Soup in a Big Bun (RM10).

The chicken and fish were accompanied by pasta and salad. I particularly liked the fish but be careful with the tiny bones. Quah even makes the pizza dough from scratch. I liked that the crust had a crispy texture with the chicken, pineapple and cheese topping.

As for desserts, Quah bakes his Tiramisu (RM12.50) and Melting Hot Chocolate Cake (RM7.90). The Tiramisu has a delicate coffee sponge in the middle instead of the savoiardi biscuits. Both were decadent and simple without being too sweet.

The poster on the wall which has the words “Chocolate is Sweet, Life is Beautiful” really adds to the warmth of this neighbourhood cafe.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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