Away from the Crowd @ Tray Cafe, Plaza Damas, KLJanuary 18, 2014 | 2,264 views
Tray Cafe @ Plaza Damas (Facebook page) was but one of the dozen or so interesting new cafes that have been shortlisted in most top cafes picks around Klang Valley; but the relatively obscure location had been losing out when jostling for our attention to more accessible choices in Publika, PJ or Bangsar area.
And I guess it’s a calling of some sorts. After a good many runs of bingeing on sinful fares no thanks to that extended year end break; Motormouth was seeking for something slightly healthier. And thus, a quick search led us to Tray Cafe; started by 3 passionate entrepreneurs; Victor, Dinesh and Allison.
This was my first visit to Plaza Damas actually. I was half expecting another mall like Hartamas Shopping Centre (which is adjacent to this business centre anyway) or Publika but was pleasantly surprised by the layout. 8 sections coded from A to H, with each block housing everything from F&B outlets to furniture shops and offices on the higher floors.
Tray Cafe is situated at Block H, so when you park on the basement carpark look for pillars indicating the block. I skipped my homework and ended up walking the entire stretch from Block C to H. Slightly exaggerated, mind you. It took me a barely few minutes stroll, really.
Anyway, Tray Cafe is located on the ground level with a few tables lined on the outside for those who smoke and those who love their sunshine. We chose to be seated on the inside with air-conditioning and a good view of the cakes and pastries on display. And in spite of the wholesome, healthy claims, the sweets will tempt you like no other and blow your diet to smithereens.
Just practise self-control. Like how I did. Until … after the mains, at least.
Serving fresh and hearty sandwiches and salads, Tray Cafe extends their daily selection with Specials on the board; noteworthy for marrying creative elements and fresh ingredients; like in our case the Beef Lasagne (RM18/USD6) was excellent with a plentiful of minced beef layered between the cheese and Keralan Beef Skewers with Wild Rice Salad (RM25/USD8) deserves the merits.
The latter was one rather filling affair, the skewers of chunky beef marinated with an abundant of spices; lending the tender cuts with an aromatic, slightly spicy and sweetish nuance. Intermittent with zucchini, bell peppers and onions, the skewered beef was grilled to perfection and served atop a bed of wild rice with raisins, apricot and sunflower seeds.
I was hoping to hold back the desserts temptation however to no avail. The Very Cherry Cheesecake (RM13/USD4) came in a slice that’s heftier than your Secret Recipe’s, though the dense cheesecake faltered slightly as the texture fell apart upon being pierced with my fork. The dried cherries lent a tarty finish to the rich confection though, thus this reduced the guilt meter. But just slightly.
The coffee here was noteworthy, and the latte did not come in a small cup fit for two sips. Priced around the range of RM9/USD3 for the beverages. The Tray’s Lemonade (RM9/USD3) was refreshing though was not worth the price if you ask me.
Service was so-so, surprisingly. For a homely cafe manned by more than a few capable hands. We waited for our cakes for a bit, and even then it was served without the cutlery. Ordering is done at the counter if you wish to have a better look at their specials which is hung on the wall, but somehow the lower part of the Specials board was blocked by the customer.
Nevertheless, this will be a cafe that I won’t mind returning to again; for the imaginative salads and quiches, and of course… the cakes and cookies.
TRAY CAFE (pork-free)
H-0-2, Block H, Plaza Damas
60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opens daily from 10am – 5pm, closed on Tuesdays
Tel No: 03-2303 1742
Google Map, GPS : 3.163773,101.656837