1 STOP CAFE,
No. 2, Jalan Balam,
Batu 3 Jalan Ipoh, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Business hours: Daily, 11.00am to midnight.
FOR a cafe that started out 50 years ago, 1 Stop Cafe at Jalan Ipoh has expanded into a business that would have made its original founder proud.
From its early days of being a Hainanese cafe that serves the usual Hainanese fare of chicken chop, toast bread and eggs, the outlet now boasts a wider array of food on its menu with health juices and desserts on the side.
One of the outlet’s directors Heng Zee Soon said the cafe was previously located on the opposite side of the road from the current premises. His grandfather had started the cafe in 1961 under the name Chuan Lee Heng.
“The cafe was later moved to this spot in 1965 and has remained here since,” said Heng.
The cafe has grown from just one shoplot to occupy three lots now.
Heng said some of the things that had not changed for the outlet were its coffee which the supplier would roast with butter in keeping with the original recipe inherited 50 years ago. The toast bread and kaya rolls have not changed as the kaya was still homemade.
“The coffee powder is supplied fresh to us every week,” said Heng.
There is also the freshly-squeezed juices section called Jus Up which makes interesting and healthy beverage concoctions.
Heng said these tasty and refreshing juices were made fresh-to-order with no added preservatives and colouring.
“Whatever colour that you see, it’s all natural colouring. Our team has experimented with the various fruits to mix and match and the right portions to achieve the perfect taste!”
Besides health juices which are pure juice mixes, there is the option of the Jus-Smoothies which are ice-blended juices and Smoothies Up, which combines ice-blended juice and yogurt making it thick and creamy.
For the first dish, we were served the Hainanese 1 Stop Chicken Chop.
Executive chef and director C.T. Pang said this was something traditional where the sauce had been given a twist.
“In the past, we used mixed vegetables like green beans and carrots to make the sauce but over time, we changed it to brown onions and herbs. Also, fried potatoes are served as side dishes instead of french fries,” said Pang.
“We have to revise to stay relevant with the times.”
Next up was the Steamed Herbal Chicken Noodle, but diners can opt for the choice of rice. According to Pang, the chicken has to be double-boiled for three hours with Chinese herbs; and they serve the whole leg for every order.
We also enjoyed the house specialty 1 Stop Seafood Loh Mee, which is cooked with a splash of brandy. The stock, made of fish, has to be first double-boiled and the noodles are then braised until tender.
“The texture of the soup is similar to that of shark’s fin. The liquor enhances the flavour and cures any fishy taste,” Pang said. Seafood items are generously tossed into this claypot serving.
The Nasi Lemak Rendang Fish, is another dish that has been given a tweak from the common chicken rendang.
Pang said he used Spanish mackerel and the dish was is not available elsewhere.
“The key ingredient is the spices, of which we blend more than 10 types. You’ll find the taste a bit Nyonya-like.”
We also sampled the Tortilla, which consisted of Shanghainese-sauce braised chicken, cheddar cheese, spring onions and eggs wrapped inside. Pang said they mixed the six-inch tortilla flour on their own and called it a fusion between Western (Italian) and Chinese.
For desserts, there were tong shui (sweet treats) to order but try the deep-fried Pumpkin Pie. The filling is made of steamed pumpkin while the outer layer is also coated with pumpkin and flour for that extra crisp.
The outlet’s kaya roll is also hugely popular, and is available for take-away at 1 Stop’s little stall located on the five-foot walkway. Staff members were seen busy packing the desserts and scooping tong shui for customers.
Heng said the idea for 1 Stop was to serve good food at economical prices.
The outlet is also ‘green’ with the many potted plants surrounding it and even extends into the washroom which has been painstakingly decorated with a wall of ‘green’ as soon as you step in. Water features project a cooling feel to the place and further enhance the overall dining experience.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.