Coffee Ritual @ Section 14, PJ

On 12/17/2010 01:35:00 AM
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Coffee Ritual is a big refreshing change from the countless international coffee chains like Starbucks that dotted across the Klang Valley. Coffee Ritual is located at a corner lot in Section 14, Petaling Jaya and was initially moved from Phileo Damansara. Realising that Section 14 is a parking nightmare, Coffee Ritual offers an hour of free parking at the multi-level parking complex for those who spend RM 30 and above on a single receipt.

The decors here are simple yet functional with free WiFi and power supplies. Like most Malaysians, I grew up thinking of coffee with the traditional kopitiam culture of what a cup of coffee should be: thick, black, and cheap. This mindset was changed thanks to an encounter with Coffee Ritual.

The cold brew coffee tower looked rather astonishing with a drip chamber that almost resembles an hourglass. Ice and water are placed in the tower's top chamber and a valve regulates the water which releases slowly into the tower's carafe. Cold brewing takes about 6 hours just to make only 4 cups of coffee! The end-result is a remarkably smooth rich, low in acids and strong beverage with a hint of nutty bitterness of the coffee.

Like myself, you may have never heard of siphon coffee making. Siphon brewers consist of 2 stacked glass chambers held together with a rubber gasket and separated by a tube containing a filter. Heat is applied to the lower container and as it heats up, some of the water is converted to vapour gas. The vapour gas continues to expand and it pushes the brewing water up the siphon tube. The brewing water in the top vessel is maintained at a near-ideal coffee brewing temperature of 90 - 95 Celcius.

The siphon brewing process makes for great theatre, but it's not all for appearance sake. At the end of all those ministrations what you are left with is coffee that boasts an incomparable clean flavor that often difficult to detect in coffee brewed with other methods. This siphon coffee maker has a patent heritage that harks back to 1830s. Now, you can brew like a pro at home for only RM 297 - Coffee Ritual sells the Hario Syphon Tech 3 which is manufactured from Japan.

My perfect cup of Sumatra Mandheling (RM 6) with a clean rich heavy-bodied texture, mild earthy notes and an intense syrupy aftertaste. Always have a taste of the coffee first without adding any sugar or milk to experience its flavor at its purest. Sip a little, roll it around the mouth, swallow, and wait for notes like sourness and sweetness, and an ever-so-slight effervescence on the tongue to appear.

Other choices of single-origin gourmet coffees specialties include the Colombian Special, Brazil Fancy Santos and Java Arabica Jampit — all brewed using the siphon vacuum pot. These single origins are rare and priced as premium coffee as it is not easy to preserve coffee due to its short shelf life. After it is roasted, it takes about 2 days for it to develop into full-body flavours and is best consumed within 2 - 3 weeks. Aside from the siphon brew coffee, Coffee Ritual sets apart from others by offering Italian espresso-based coffee instead of the usual American Seattle-styled.

Coffee Ritual serves not only specially-brewed coffee, but also a large selection of food from savoury and sweet crêpes, to salads, meat and fish, rice, pasta and various desserts. The mushroom and turkey toast crêpe (RM 10.40) with sautéed mushrooms, shredded turkey toast, mozzarella cheese, fresh salad on the side and cream sauce. I was partly disappointed with the turkey toast which was more like turkey ham. Nevertheless, it was still nice except for the price and portions.

Nasi lemak with curry chicken (RM 8.40), fried egg, cucumber, ikan bilis, sambal, peanuts, curry chicken drumstick, potatoes and curry gravy.

The rice wasn't fragrant enough but it wasn't actually too bad. Most of the condiments were served fresh and unlike some nasi lemak with super hard ikan bilis that can break your teeth.

Fish and chips (RM 13.40), with crinkle fries, tar-tar sauce and a lemon wedge. It was decent, but I thought the portions were small for the price.

Café de Paris grilled lamb (RM 16.80), with choices of butter rice or baked potato and stir-fried vegetables. The lamb was fresh; hardly had any lamb smell in it and with a dollop of herbal butter melting on top. Personally, it was too bland and I don't find Café de Paris sauce suits me since I'm the type that prefers strong lamby taste with mint sauce.

Caesar salad (RM 9.60) with hard boiled egg wedges (RM 1.20), romaine lettuce, black olives, croutons, grated parmesan cheese and Caesar salad dressing. Caesar salad without any bacon and had a slight overdose of mayo in it. However, you can add black pepper chicken strips or sliced turkey toast strips for an extra RM 3.60 - at the end, it isn't going to be worthwhile paying for a complete Caesar salad.

Verdict: I'll probably just stick to their coffee which is what they do best. For coffee connoisseur who want a taste of real gourmet coffee, Coffee Ritual is definitely worth a try. Food wise, they are pretty expensive for decent portion and taste.

25/11/2011: It was sad to see Coffee Ritual closed down and no longer operates in Section 14, PJ. I live nearby and sometimes I just want a cup of good coffee (not Starbucks!). Hopefully they're not closed down for good. Follow their Facebook page for their latest updates.

No. 35, Jalan 14/20,
46100 Petaling Jaya,
Tel: 03-7956 1080
Business Hours: Opens daily from 10am - 10pm
Pork Free: Yes
GPS: 3.1104022, 101.635690

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