Night before last, Da missus and I ventured a little outside of our usual dinner haunts in search of some out of the way gems and find one we did. Zar Zar Cafe is located among a row of newly built shophouses at Simpang 173 along Jalan Mulaut on the way to KL (Kuala Lurah).
It was a pleasant surprise to find the area quite happening when we turned into the simpang. It was bustling with activity and the carpark was quite full. Anyways, the interior decor of the cafe is classic kopitiam style with a modern touch. You can see paraphernalia lying around from the fifites and sixties including an old radio and a bicycle. There was even a huge poster of Jesselton which reminded me of my dad’s hometown.
The owner, Zainal, is a splendidly charming retired police officer who is realizing his long time dream of setting up an eatery together with his wonderful missus. He talked to us about the challenges he faced while starting up his business and how his special honeyed beverages have become quite a hit among the regulars. So da missus ordered a honey lemon tea and I ordered honey coffee, a first for me. Zainal explained that the honey he used is all natural and contains some extra herbs which give it an extra kick.
Foodwise, the specialty at Zar Zar Cafe is the Satay Alloha and the tumpi. We decided to try both. The tumpi was nice and crispy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. It is accompanied by chicken or beef curry. Da missus and I liked the chicken better. It was a nice appetizer to start with.
Next was the Satay Alloha. It comes in two preparations, the usual charcoal grilled, and the other, less commonly served at restaurants, pan-fried variety. I personally loved the pan-fried satay. Another difference to the satay is that it is served in “sets” rather than the usual dollar value worth of satays. So you would order small medium or large depending on the size of your group and appetite. The satay itself is just right with a perfect blend of spices, none over-powering the other in the final flavour. The gravy was peanuty rich and thick, just the way I like it. Thumbs up from me.
For mains, both of us ordered the black pepper beef with rice. Interesting preparation jua on this dish. It looks like thin slices of roast beef with black pepper sauce over it. It was delicious and the beef was succulent without the tenderizer taste of typical chinese stir-fries.
Overall, the portions were generous and the prices very reasonable. It was an enjoyable and satisfying meal washed down with the special honeyed beverages, the effects of which I shall not get into in this particular post 😉
If you’d like to try a slightly different dining experience away from the mainstream, give Zar Zar a try. Contact Zainal on 8881575 for reservations.
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