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Monday March 17, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday March 17, 2014 MYT 9:04:57 AM
by priya menon
Kato Kanya and his wife, Kato Yuko, with the unique Coffee Siphon machine.
Haikara has a unique method of blending its coffees.
HAIKARA STYLE CAFE
E-Tiara Ground Floor
SS16/1 Subang Jaya
Tel: 03-5630 0743
Business hours: 11am-10pm (weekdays), 10am- 10pm (Sat and Sun); closed on Mondays
THE smell of aromatic coffee wafts through the air as the doors to the Haikara Style Cafe in Subang opens.
Drawn in by the strong, rich perfume, one is compelled to walk in and order a cup of the black brew.
One of a kind, this blend is a special recipe of owner Kato Kanya, who swears by its nutritious benefits.
“People drink coffee with sugar and milk but my blend does not need the added flavours. The sweetness of the beans take centre stage with a little help from another natural ingredient,” said Kato.
Eager to show off his special ingredient, he presents the unique Coffee Siphon machine, a popular gadget in Japan that was invented 160 years ago in France and Germany.
The siphon uses heat, vapour and gas to brew the coffee and filter the ground beans effectively.
Inside Kato’s Siphon is his little secret – pretty rose buds that add flavour and sweetness to the Ethiopian beans, the main coffee bean in this concoction. This tempting morning pick-me-up is priced at RM8.90.
“I want people to sample the coffee we have so we decided to add a breakfast promotion. Diners will get complimentary toast and scrambled eggs for any coffee purchased before noon,” he added.
He has coffee beans from Colombia, Brazil, Tanzawa, Costa Rica and Sumatra.
While many would question the quality of free bread and eggs, Kato’s gesture is foolproof.
The bread is home-made Japanese loaf that is soft, thick and takes some 20 hours to prepare. Perfect, fluffy scrambled eggs go really well with the buttered toast.
Kato has perfected each dish on his menu with great care after many trials.
It is easy to join Kato’s amiable chatter as he speaks about his dishes, including the Chicken Katsu Sandwich. Deliciously coated with breadcrumbs, the chicken fillet is seasoned and fried till its crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Served on the same Japanese bread, Kato includes Japanese barbecue sauce, which has a vegetable base as well as Japanese Mayonnaise.
Learning from other recipes has always been his passion and Kato was inspired to create his own black bun hotdog from one of his explorations.
Intrigued by the black charcoal buns that have become the rage here, he created the Black Chillie Dog, using bamboo charcoal to bake the bun.
Instead of using beef, he has used minced lamb for the mildly spicy chilli that also has all-time favourite ingredients such as onion garlic and tomato puree.
“I love using international and Japanese cuisines and making it Malaysian for everyone here to enjoy. Malaysians love the depth of flavours and spices in their meals,” he said about tweaking flavours.
One typically Japanese dish he has localised is the Spicy Seafood Curry Gratin.
The Japanese curry he said was different from the Indian favourites here. A traditional Japanese curry he said had some 13 to 14 spices in it.
“I saute butter and flour, set it aside, saute the spices, including fenugreek that has remedial properties and later, add in chicken sauce and a secret ingredient,” he said.
The results are amazing, the spices work well together and does not overwhelm the palate. The sweetness of the seafood in the platter, including mussels and squid, is more pronounced thanks to the spicy curry.
Desserts are a special adventure in Haikara Style Cafe. Take the Fujisan dessert, a classic bread pudding in Kato’s style.
Layers of texture, from his very own homemade cheesecake at the base and their own bread soaked in yolk, whipping cream and milk to ice cream topped with blueberry or banana and chocolate.
“Textures are important for me, I want to bite into layers of food because it is exciting. That is why everything from my cheesecakes to Fujisan has a lot of depth,” he added.
The cheesecakes he bakes uses a unique combination of sour cream and cheese strained from yogurt.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement of StarMetro.
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Family Community, haikara cafe, japanese style, subang, food
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