European flavours in cosy setting

Yap says finding a cafe that does food, coffee and desserts well is a little tough, so Tray Cafe takes pride in doing these things well. — Photos: CHAN TAK KONG/The Star

A small yet cosy neighbourhood cafe in Plaza Damas, Kuala Lumpur has been serving up European-inspired cuisine for more than seven years.

Founded by three friends — Victor Yap, Dinesh Rao and Allison Wong — Tray Cafe started out as a place that served food that the trio simply wanted to eat.

None of the friends had been in the food and beverage industry but their cafe was influenced by their life experiences and journey.

“Over the years, we had a slight change in direction which resulted in us adapting the food we served to suit local taste buds, ” said Yap.

The cafe has a wide selection of food and maintains an array of quality coffees, teas and desserts.

“Finding a cafe that does food, coffee and desserts well is a little tough but we take pride in saying we do that well, ” said Yap, adding that it is an all-day breakfast type of cafe as well.

The all-day breakfast here comes in the form of Farmers Skillet (RM17) which has sauteed beef bacon, baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes, poached egg and toast with a slab of butter.

The yolk oozes out to provide a creamy touch with seasoned potatoes giving the dish a hearty and comforting feel while fresh, juicy tomatoes add sweetness.

Another noteworthy dish is the Australian Roast Rib-eye Sandwich (RM25) with basil pesto, caramelised onions and toasted multigrain bread along with a side salad – egg optional.

The tender rib-eye goes well with the pesto-soaked bread and sweetness of the caramelised onions.

Also worth a try is the Hainanese Chicken Chop (RM24) with onion gravy, peas and fried potato wedges.

The tomato-based gravy, prepared with onions and Worcestershire sauce, contrasts well against the appetising and zesty chicken chop.

“The Hainanese chicken chop is a local dish we added to the menu. We gave it our own twist to make it different, ” said Yap.

Other dishes available here include Citrus Salad (RM25), Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Penne Pasta (RM23), Fresh Chickpea Falafel Flatbread (RM19) and Homemade Lamb Kofte Burger (RM28).

Tray has more than 27 cakes on its menu, with a selection of its repertoire of baked goodness offered daily.

The Orange Clementine cake is a flourless orange flavour that is both dense and fluffy.

Another dessert that was part of Tray’s special selection was the elegant Pavlova, which had jam and mixed berries along with cream.

Also enjoyable was the Belgian Chocolate Truffle Torte.

The Pavlova was crunchy and sweet, with a unique hint of cocoa added when folding the meringue.

The owners have no plans to branch out as they are content with Tray being a neighbourhood cafe.

“We just want people to know where we are because we are small in nature and happy with the concept.

“We want to keep doing what we do out of passion, ” added Yap.

Yap said the restaurant was observing the necessary social distancing measures during the restricted movement control order.

“The tables are placed at a distance from one another and we have more seating outside so customers can dine here without having to worry, ” he said.

TRAY CAFE H-0-2 Block H, Plaza Damas, 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel:03-2303 1742). Business hours: 10am to 8pm (weekdays) and 10am to 5pm (weekends). Opens daily.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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