Two years following our last visit, and now we’re back at Cafe Kleptokrat! This time around, we heard whispers of their revamped menu that is filled with even more flavours. So, of course we’ll drop by!
With memories of the cafe’s cozy ambiance and that iconic blue pool located in the middle of the cafe, the anticipation was next level. We couldn’t help but wonder: Would the new menu live up to the old magic?
Saturday at Kleptokrat, and we’ll be honest, we were bracing for the brunch rush. But lo and behold, the universe was on our side. The cafe was far from empty, but it’s definitely less busy than our last visit! There wasn’t a queue when we arrived, but the cafe did receive hungry customers non-stop after we were done. They didn’t arrive at the same time, though! So, don’t worry, the queue won’t make you wait for hours before you can get a table.
Parking at Cafe Kleptokrat
We learnt our lesson when he decided to drive here last time. So, we smartened up and took a Grab this time – zero parking stress, and no “melting-into-a-puddle” in the Malaysian sun. Rolling into the cafe, the staff greeted us warmly. They quickly showed us to our table for four.
If you need to drive and the nearest parking is located here on the screenshot from Google Maps below. Please note that the parking rate is very expensive at RM7 per hour!
For the menu, they provided a QR code to scan, which was convenient for viewing. However, you still need to walk over to the counter to place your order. This can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you’re seated upstairs. It would be more convenient if customers could order directly from the scanned QR code.
Last time, we delved into the rich flavors of daging salai masak lemak cili padi, soto ayam, and nasi lemak ayam berempah. This round, our palates were treated to a delightful array of offerings:
Nasi Kerabu Kleptokrat at RM28+ : 8/10
A fragrant ulam rice paired either with beef or chicken rendang, smoked beef or chicken, and ayam goreng berempah. Sides included crispy fish crackers, salted egg, bean sprouts, daun selom, and a kick of sambal belacan and budu.
Nasi Kerabu Kleptokrat offers a delightful twist on the classic. While it doesn’t strictly adhere to the authentic recipe, its unique flavour profile is undeniably tasty. The serving size was generous; those with modest appetites might even consider sharing. A standout in the dish was the roast beef – perfectly executed to a well-done finish
Lontong Kering Pakcik Alam at RM22-RM25: 8.5/10
A traditional Malay meal, available with choices of beef, chicken, or tofu rendang. Accompanied with sambal pengantin, kuah kacang, serunding kelapa, and other delightful treats.
The Lontong Kering offers a comforting taste of tradition. The lontong has a pleasant consistency that pairs well with the flavourful rendang, be it beef, chicken, or tofu. The sambal pengantin adds a bit of kick without being overpowering, and the kuah kacang introduces a nice crunch to the mix.
Topped off with serunding kelapa, the dish strikes a good balance between savory and a hint of sweetness. It’s a well-rounded meal that feels both familiar and satisfying
Nasi Ambeng at RM30: 7/10
This filling dish features rice complemented with either beef or chicken rendang, ayam goreng berempah, bergedil, sambal pengantin, sambal sotong, serunding kelapa, anchovies, and nuts.
As for the Nasi Ambeng, it presented a medley of tastes. Personally, we felt it could be slightly more flavourful to elevate the dish to perfection. However, it wasn’t underwhelming by any means.
In fact, we found ourselves scraping the plate clean by the end of the meal! The presentation was visually appealing, with an array of side dishes taking up almost the entire plate, as seen in the photos. It’s not just about quantity but also the variety and richness each side dish brought to the overall experience.
Asam Pedas Delights: 8/10
Dive into the Asam Pedas Fillet of Fish at RM29, a delightful preparation of Kuala Selangor Sea Bass (siakap) in a traditional Melaka style, served with white rice, ulam salad, and sambal belacan.
The Asam Pedas was truly a treat for the palate. The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked, letting the tangy and spicy flavors of the asam pedas shine through, especially when paired with piping hot rice. The accompanying ulam was fresh, adding a crunchy contrast to the dish. Not to mention, the portion size was quite generous.
The presentation of each dish was impeccable, yet understated, making them perfect for that casual Insta-snap.
For those of you born and raised in Johor Bahru with Javanese roots, encountering dishes like Nasi Ambeng, Lotong Kering and Soto Ayam at Kleptokrat Cafe will definitely evoke a sense of nostalgia. Their fusion twist on traditional favourites felt familiar, yet intriguing – reminiscent of classics, but with a modern flair.
Overall Drinks: 7/10
We couldn’t resist trying their whimsically named specialty, “You are The Lychee of My Eyes” (I mean, with a name like that, who could?). Initially, we were sceptical about the fusion of espresso and lychee.
But much to our delight, the bold bitterness of the coffee harmoniously intertwined with the subtle sweetness of lychee. Served chilled, it’s an unexpected palate pleaser and a must-try when you’re at Kleptokrat Cafe.
Next up was the “Passion of the Kleptokrat.” If you’re looking for a rejuvenating sip, this is it. Balancing both sweetness and a dash of tang, it’s a refreshing concoction that dances on the taste buds.
Last but not least, “The Thai Boy”! This effervescent blend of calamansi, salted dried plum, and soda, crowned with a sprig of mint, is perfect for those who love their coolers a little bit tangy. Heed our advice; it’s best to order this, especially during a hot sunny day!
Kleptokrat's Service: 8/10
The service at the cafe paints a picture of genuine hospitality. Upon entering, we were greeted warmly and promptly escorted to our table.
The process for placing orders was clearly explained, and one staff at the counter was kind enough to introduce us to their new menu, gently nudging us towards some delightful choices.
That said, a touch of synchronization in serving would be appreciated. It just makes the meal more enjoyable when everyone gets to start eating together.
Visiting the cafe for the second time was a treat, especially with their new menu on the table. A quick tip: the cafe’s breezy open-space can get a touch warm during the peak of the day. They’ve got ceiling fans doing their best, but with the classic Malaysian sun, you might catch a little glow.
If you’re looking for a cooler vibe (literally!), maybe swing by during the evening or nighttime. It’s a whole different mood – and a super fun one at that!
Cafe visited on 04/10/2023
Visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kafekleptokrat
Visit their Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/kafe_kleptokrat/
Credits: Photos and content written by Atiqah
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