Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Tranquility (And Other Deliciousness) In Petaling Jaya

I'd planned to have a shorter title and reveal the name of the place only at the very end. And someone pointed out that there's no clear indication that "Melody" and my makan kaki were one and the same - duly noted.

The Augmented: Serving up tranquility (and other deliciousness) in Petaling Jaya

first published in The Malay Mail Online, 02 February 2016

Well-lit spaces. Soft music. A comfy chair. The promise of a good meal.

Lulled by the latter, I slumped further into my seat, melting into a mellow, contented blob. It'd been a long day, one of many, and the ambience hit the spot.

Months ago, Melody's little godbrother and his girlfriend brought Melody to this tiny place in SS2, Petaling Jaya. They were all blown away by its pasta dishes, and Melody became enamoured with something called a BCGT.

Tucked away from the main roads in SS2, The Augmented café is the
perfect spot to relax after a long day.

Last week, the makan kaki dragged me to an out-of-the-way bakery in Damansara Perdana, where this BCGT - a Belgian chocolate ganache tart - was made. For her, it had been a religious pilgrimage, after having stalked this bakery's social media feed for so long.

This evening, at this place, I experienced a bit of what she'd felt. Tucked away from the main roads in SS2, this café was how I'd imagine King Arthur's Avalon to be: bright, balmy, beatific, aired with angelic voices and soft lilting melodies.

At the back, a dining area and a reading nook, complete with bookshelves, a sofa and a cushioned, high-backed chair, added a homey albeit less Arthurian touch. Crowds, stay away.

The hearty Met Lambeef Pasta in creamy Lescure sauce. Don't let
the plating fool you - it can be filling.

Picking a dish to wind the day down with was hard, because the menu only sported less than 10 items, including several breakfasts and a few pasta dishes. I eventually settled on one, and earmarked another for my return.

Some time later, a savoury note perfumed the air in front of my nose, followed by the warmth and colours emanating from the plate on my table. There it was, my "Met Lambeef pasta" in Lescure cream sauce. I straightened up.

I loved how the sauce seasoned the chunks of lamb-and-beef mince so well, though it could use less salt. I wasn't prepared for the diced onions, which crackled as I chewed - was it part of the sauce or the meat?

The roasted garlic shiitake Poachero spaghetti (partaken during
another visit) is light on the gut and a delight to the taste buds

Despite the pasta being so rich and delicious, and me being famished, I slowed down. I had no other plans for the evening.

Of course, slices of BCGT were in the chilled display case, adorned with a coat of cocoa powder on top. Unfortunately, I'd already had a slice at the Damansara Perdana bakery; weeks would pass before I'd even think of another taste of what's just a wedge of smooth, rich chocolate. And it was too late for coffee.

Passing the time here at an empty table, however, seemed inappropriate. But my gut didn't fancy any more things with cream. Thank goodness for the banana and walnut slice, which the lady boss warmed up in a toaster oven. I believe it's the only cake here that's baked in-house.

Banana and walnut slice: eat one and gift your friends another.

Surprisingly crumbly. Subtly fragrant with banana. No discernible hunks of walnut anywhere.

Belly full, I melted back into my seat, swathed in contentment.

Dare I tell the makan kaki where I was now? If I did, I would risk a scolding for not bringing her here. "You've been here already!" I'd protest, which she would ignore.

And she did say she was unwell...

So I ordered another banana and walnut slice as a peace offering. She was in no condition to stomach anything rich and creamy, either.

When you're in SS2, Petaling Jaya, look out for this sign.
Step inside and get away from it all.

I informed the lady boss of my intentions with the bagged banana slice, triggering a flood of questions.

"Has she been here before? What's her name? Maybe she's one of our regulars. Can you describe her?"

When I did and no bells rang, she asked for my name. Caught off guard, I froze. Few café proprietors endeavour to learn about their clientele. I wasn't ready to open up, though, not this evening. It was late, and I had something to do.

I sped into the night with a slice of Avalon in a brown paper bag for Melody, hoping it would help get her back on her feet. As a fellow foodie, I know the agony of having your movements and diet limited by illness.

And there's so much she's missing out on.

The Augmented has changed hands and now serves cakes, pastries and beverages. Most of the food described here is no longer available.

The Augmented
149, Jalan SS 2/6
47300 Petaling Jaya

Mon-Wed, Sat-Sun: 11:30am-10pm
Fri: 2:30pm-10pm

Closed on Thursdays

+603-7865 0728

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/theaugmentedcafe


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