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by Huong Tran and Monica Tindall
My friends often joke, “It’s so kampong,” and that’s exactly the feeling I have at Green Tomato Café. This is not your standard café. From the moment of entry, I feel I am being welcomed to dine in the backyard of a friend’s home. There’s lush grass, frangipani trees, a giant rambutan tree that lends its shade and a wooden hut with a straw roof. Cozy. Al fresco. Easy.
After a hectic tiring working week this haven provides the ideal backdrop to unwind. I forget about parking, shopping malls and human traffic. Green Tomato Café reminds me to consider the slow paced lifestyle found outside of the city without having to clock the distance.
The bungalow is already home to a cultural batik centre, and the brave and busy owner, Emilia Tan, took over the corner garden space in 2014 (formerly That Latte Place) turning it into the Green Tomato Café. The philosophy is to offer a homey café concept where all feel welcome. As a mum to a young toddler, I especially appreciate the distance removed from the road and its spacious setting for kids to run around and burn energy.
Coffee is first on our agenda and Green Tomato Café custom sources their beans for a darker roast. Emilia shares with us that the older regulars especially think highly of the stronger flavours. Of course our coffees come with latte art and we learn that the production of such is even taught in workshops to interested guests. Bradly’s Teas [RM 10 per pot] are offered in a few varieties and we try the Moroccan Mint, which we find light and refreshing.
The garden setting is ideal for icy cold drinks too, and the Healthy Green Detox (RM 12), a mix of apple, celery and cucumber is hydrating and wholesome. Emilia is particularly proud of her own recipe for iced lemon tea which is full flavoured with no need to add any sugar – another worthwhile order.
Any café that serves all day breakfast earns my respect and why not, the flexibility should be there right? Breakfast is for champions: even those who sleep in. The Pancakes (RM 14) are served with kiwi and strawberries and some maple syrup and yoghurt on the side. It’s soft and fluffy with hints of sourness, which I guess are the magic of either buttermilk or yoghurt.
The Yoghurt Parfait (RM10) is made with homemade yoghurt and served with granola and seasonal fruit salad. There’s no doubt the yoghurt is homemade because it’s not so creamy and is very natural in taste, even a tad sour, but sweetness is given in the toasted grains and fruits.
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