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Tuesday April 1, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday April 1, 2014 MYT 11:59:21 AM
by vivienne wong
Apart from the smell of freshly brewed coffee to welcome you as you enter the Grumpy Cyclist, you'll also see bicycles parked inside. Yes, that's allowed here.
Coffee and cycling come together at this neighbourhood eatery in KL's Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
TO think that The Grumpy Cyclist was almost called The Grumpy Barista is just unimaginable, because it wouldn’t explain its concept as a cafe for cyclists, and the baristas there are anything but grumpy!
According to Alex Iskandar Liew, one of the founders of The Grumpy Cyclist, the cafe was inspired by the close relation between cycling and coffee in countries like America, Australia and Europe, where cyclists would meet at the cafes, hang out and go off for their rides.
“We built it for the community within Taman Tun Dr Ismail (in Kuala Lumpur) and the cycling community as a whole,” said Liew.
So, it’s not just a destination for cyclists to chill or congregate for their rides, but for runners running around Bukit Kiara and coffee, food and dessert lovers alike, too.
With bicycles parked at the cafe and a container that was fitted into the venue, which doubles as a space for events, such as club meetings and a bicycle workshop where people can work on their bikes or even have their bicycles assembled with a local mountain biker (by appointment only), 23-year-old Aaron Chan, The Grumpy Cyclist is no ordinary cafe.
“If you want to start cycling, I’m sure you’ll be overwhelmed if you enter a bike shop because you wouldn’t know where to start. So, the setting I’m trying to create here is that you come in, you see a young man fixing a bike, you can go up to him and ask him silly questions and you won’t get intimidated. You’ll start learning from there,” explained Liew.
As most of those who work at The Grumpy Cyclist are cycling enthusiasts themselves, they have social night rides on Thursdays at 8.30pm where newbies and bike enthusiasts are welcome to join in. They’ll cycle from the cafe to Bukit Kiara and Bukit Damansara before ending back at the cafe. There are even mountain biking expeditions on weekends!
The best part is, you don’t have to worry about smelling bad after that as they have a shower at the cafe. “If you want to take a shower, go ahead! You don’t have to be part of the cycling group to use it. We’re quite relaxed that way,” said Liew.
Cycling element aside, its aim is also to deliver good and affordable coffee, ranging from RM5 to RM13. Head barista Ryan Moon, 20, told us they experiment with different beans every once in a while, so customers get a different experience each time they come back.
In terms of food, there’s a wide selection – all day breakfast set, pancakes, spaghetti or the spiced chicken and beef bacon wrap that will cost you about RM12 to RM20. There’s also their weekend special of pasta, pancakes, onion rings and potato wedges from RM7 to RM15. Their kitchen opens from 9am onwards on weekdays and 8.30am on weekends till about 4pm or 4.30pm.
And be sure to try out the place’s famous desserts while you’re there, which cost RM8 to RM10. The red velvet cake, Rouge, is a popular choice.
Soon, The Grumpy Cyclist will have its very own mobile unit that will go to colleges, offices and events. Just call and a rep will show up! No, they won’t be on bicycles.
“It’ll be a van that is going to be quite different from what you see normally on the road. You’ll have to wait till probably end of June when we launch it to see!” said Liew.
For more information on The Grumpy Cyclist, head on over to thegrumpycyclist.com.
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