September 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm
Coffee certainly has come a long way in Malaysia. It wasn’t too long ago that the varieties of coffee available were black or with milk, hot or cold. And let us not forget the best choice of all, kopi or nescafe. These days coffee comes in a variety of flavors, and served in almost as many ways. The thing that hasn’t changed is how good coffee tastes. And you haven’t tasted good coffee if you haven’t tried coffee at Lavinier Coffee @ Publika.
I dropped by Lavinier Coffee for coffee and a late lunch one Friday recently, as part of the Dining with Moola experience. Along with Kelly Chin of Miss Sunshine, we sat down with Anoo for a brief chat to learn more about what Lavinier has to offer coffee enthusiasts. Anoo regaled us with several interesting anecdotes about Lavinier’s coffee, including the effect it had on some of his customers. Suffice to say that Lavinier prides itself in its coffee, and for good reason – it is quite possibly the strongest coffee in the nation.
We sampled two offerings that day, the Caramel Latte and a single shot of Macchiato. The latte is recommended for those who prefer something mild, and the Macchiato is a good introduction to the strong coffees available at Lavinier Coffee. The Caramel Latte in this instance, is a lovely balance of flavors, sweet, strong and smooth, while the Macchiato was strong and bold, but not overwhelming on the senses.
We had a nice chat while we waited for Chef Sammy’s arrival. Chef Sammy, being a Muslim, was away performing Friday prayers. It was not that long a wait, and sure enough, we were soon all seated around the table marvelling at Chef Sammy’s delectable delights. Chef Sammy hails from Montenegro, a former state of Yugoslavia. Central Europe has always been a fascinating place, due to its location as a meeting point of cultures. The result is a culture and cuisine that incorporates the best elements of both traditional European and Asian traits.
So what did Chef Sammy serve up? He began with an Italian favorite, the Bruschetta, as an appetiser. Dubbed Bruschetta a lia Italian, the simple ingredients are mixed superbly and presented deftly, exemplifying the strengths of Italian cuisine, great complex taste that comes from freshness and simplicity.
Next is another Italian mainstay, the pizza. Chef Sammy chose to showcase the Tramuntana Pizza, a unique pizza with two different toppings, onions and tomatoes on one half, and chicken sausage and olives on the other. A sunny side up egg sits right at the center of this pizza, the yolk waiting to be mixed with the toppings.
Then it was on to the main courses. We had a Central European favorite, the Burek. A local delicacy in the Balkans, the Burek is not your ordinary beef pie. Chef Sammy’s version purportedly uses local ‘popiah’ skin instead of filo pastry for his burek, but the rest of the ingredients remain the same. Minced beef, onions and spices all mixed together and wrapped up and then baked. The Burek is served with a lovely special sauce and a salad that complements the rich taste of the meat.
Finally, the highlight of the day, the Cevapi Sarajevo. Not to be confused with the American all time favorite burger, the Cevapi Sarajevo packs 7 pieces of tasty beef between a generous flat bread that really looks like a burger bun, some chopped onions, and is served with an interesting red sauce called ajvar. No, it’s not chilli sauce nor sambal belacan, but a traditional sauce made with peppers, and packs a bit of a kick. The dish is served with a side of fries and salad.
We were so stuffed that we didn’t bother with dessert, but Lavinier Coffee does offer a fine selection of sweet delights to bring your dining experience to a close. A variety of cakes, pies, and pastries are readily available at a lovely counter for those looking for a sweet close. Lavinier Coffee is not strictly a coffee only outlet, and serves beer and a multitude of cocktails if you’re up for something stronger.
And don’t forget to check out Kelly Chin’s experience at Lavinier Coffee. She wrote all about it at her blog!
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