With Good Food For A Good Cause
With Good Food For A Good Cause
The newly opened Charlie's Cafe is the brainchild of Desonny Tuzan, a Kadazan and his wife, Debra Leong, the husband and wife team who hailed from Sabah. The couple is on a mission of compassion, are spurred by their passion to serve the communities, the less fortunate, homeless and especially the indigenous people.
Charlie's Cafe, A Social Enterprise
Wanting to make a difference in people lives, they started Charlie's Cafe as a social enterprise, an enterprise with a heart. He purchases fresh produce direct from the Orang Asli communities in Malaysia for his dishes. Basically, it's a win-win situation for both sides as they are no middlemen involved and Desonny gets to deal directly with the leaders of the indigenous people.
Focusing on serving the best of the best cuisines from their homeland in East Malaysia, Desonny (a Kadazan) and his lovely wife (a Sino-Kadazan) offers diners simple but delicious and top quality Malaysian food such as Sarawak Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Curry Noodles, Chicken Chop and not forgetting the delightful sinful desserts too.
Clean & Comfortable Settings
Located in a mature neighbourhood housing area at Taman Bukit Desa, Charlie's Cafe is fast becoming a popular cafe frequented by many for its good food at affordable and budget-friendly prices. The cafe's set up is simple, plain and clean with white tables and recognisable the IKEA's white chairs. Totally a no-frills cafe keeping up with their wholesome and simple menu of Malaysian food.
PAY IT FORWARD CONCEPT
'Good Food For A Good Cause' - that is what Desonny and Debra strive for when the husband and wife team first started Charlie's Cafe. They approach their mission of compassion through social service-and-community-first standpoint.
The 'Pay-It-Forward' Wall
The 'Pay-It-Forward' concept that unique and different where diners can pay RM5 as a donation in form of a receipt where they can stick on the cafe's Pay-It-Forward wall; each receipt is a voucher for a free meal the poor, less fortunate, and disadvantaged communities can claim. A good system in which cafe's diners would bless the poor with free meals by contributing RM5 for each person.
As you can see the response has been overwhelming and with the money raised, Desonny has invited orphaned kids, drug rehabilitation patients, and refugee children to dine in Charlie’s Cafe.
Next, let's check out what Charlie's has to offer ......
( RM 17.90 ~ Sarawak Black Pepper or Cheesy Mushroom Sauce)
RM 14.90 ~( Mushroom Sauce)
This is my personal favourite and tops the list of Must-Eat Food Items in Charlie's Cafe if you are visiting them for the first time. A deep-fried wonder of juicy chicken thigh meat, with their crusts giving way to the succulent and tender flesh within. I just love the crispiness, nicely seasoned, with a tender and juicy interior that was oozing with flavour.
Deep-Fried Wonder of Juicy Chicken
To take things a notch higher, all its sauces are housemade. Charlie's created three choices of sensational sauces - Sarawak Black Pepper, Cheesy Mushroom Sauce and Mushroom Sauce. They take pride in the food they serve, stressing that only fresh ingredients are used and made from scratch if possible.
Sarawak Black Pepper, Mushroom, Cheesy Mushroom
(Clockwise from Top)
In fact, fresh shiitake mushroom are used for the base sauce; sauteed and cooked with garlic, blended and flavoured with rest of the ingredients such the original Sarawak Black Pepper while mixed cheese of Romano and Cheddar are used for the Cheesy Mushroom sauce.
Intensely Flavoured With Sarawak Black Pepper
Lovely Shot With The BOKEH Effect
Picture Credits www.carmenhong.com
I favoured the Sarawak Black Pepper sauce for its richness, infused with Sarawak spices; tasted splendid and complimented the chicken chop perfectly. Truly a sinful indulgence of perfectly fried chicken marinated in brine seasoned with herbs and spices to enhance the flavour. Thumbs up for that!
Coming up second in my list, it's the authentic Sarawak Laksa. With recipe perfected from a Sarawakian friend and special soup paste brought in from Sarawak, lots of work goes into this flavourful seafood based soup. An intense broth of prawn, flower crabs, and chicken, seafood-laden reddish broth simmered for several hours of intensification of flavours.
What's makes it special is that you can taste the crab-licious seafood goodness in the broth. Choose your favourite type of noodles from mee hoon, yellow noodles, rice pin noodles (Loh Shee Fun), and Kuey Teow too. Enjoy the dish with generous toppings of prawn, fish balls, slices of chicken breast, taupok, taugeh and omelette cooked with sambal oil to give the red hue. For enhanced flavours, add-in spoonsful of fresh sambal belacan with lime, at the side.
Moving on, here's another spicy offering - Charlie's Curry Laksa. Extremely spicy, the humble curry laksa noodle is laden with succulent slices of deep-fried chicken breast, taupok, shrimps, fish balls, long beans, house made spicy sambal and lime over a generous bowl of noodles.
Living up to his expertise in noodle preparation, I find both the Sarawak Laksa and the Curry Laksa equally delicious and unique in its own way. These are quite different in taste and flavour from the usual ones we have in Klang Valley, rich and creamy ones with coconut milk.
My food-tasting session getting not only spicier but more sourish in taste. We were served with last noodles dish - Tom Yam. Comes loaded with an assortment of condiments of fresh mushroom, chicken breast, fish balls and shrimps.Charlie's own in-house recipe, a typical Malaysian Tom Yam which is too sour for me. I like my Thai version of Tom Yam especially the clear ones rich in spices and fresh herbs of kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, fresh lime juice, fresh chillies among others.
Charlie's Cafe also have an interesting selection of desserts, such as their signature D24 Soft Serve, Musang King Durian Cheesecake, butter cake and scones, all which are freshly baked daily by Debra herself.
Musang King Durian Cheesecake
Moments of indulgence have arrived.... a decadent Musang King Durian Cheesecake made with premium cream cheese from France with the fresh Musang King durian pulp incorporated into the batter to create a rich, creamy and pungent flavours. Paying attention to fine details, Debra used almond shortcrust for the base which goes hand-in-hand with the cheese. Packed with durian goodness, this is definitely a match made in heaven!
D24 Durian Soft Serve
Another not-to-be-missed durian dessert is Charlie's D24 Soft Serve. A refreshing change from the spicy dishes, now you can complete your meal with a rich and smooth, amazingly delicious new D24 Durian Soft Serve. The secret lies in the ingredients, made with fresh durian pulp, for maximum richness and distinct taste of durian. Beware, this ice cream can be quite addictive and strictly no sharing too!
Scones With Butter & Jam
Charlie's other sweet snacks include their buttery Scones, a really yummy teatime treats served with butter and strawberry jam at a value-for-money price of RM 4.90 only.
Whether you are a fan of chicken chop, Sarawak Laksa, Durian cheesecake, D24 Soft Serve or the whole works, Charlie's Cafe wholesome and good food offerings will find its way to your heart. Overall, what I like about the cafe and the dishes served are their pure simplicity, original flavours and family recipes of Desonny. For me, dining here was an enjoyable experience, listening to Desonny's story of compassion and social cause, it was indeed an eye-opening experience for me, truly heartwarming.
If you are looking forward to home-cooked style Malaysian cuisine, round up your family and friends to savour the great variety of hearty and mouth-watering food at the Charlie's Cafe.
Charlie's Cafe & Bakery
29 Jalan Bukit Desa 5
Taman Bukit Desa
58100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 012 - 816 0003
Mon-Sat: 8am - 9:30pm
Closed on Sundays
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