2018 Menu: Ziffy Kitchen, Kota Damansara

September 17, 2018

By Aiman Azri

Ziffy is a restaurant that breeds ardent admirers: As we were enjoying our lunch here, a customer on the next table spotted us photographing our spread, then beckoned us closer. "I've been coming here for months," he eventually told us. "I like the menu, I like the service. Everything is good here."

Contented regulars are the pride of every respected eatery; the fact that Ziffy has earned raves is a testament to the tenacity of its founder Zai, who launched this cafe in early 2017, soon after returning to the Klang Valley from Melbourne. Like many other Malaysians who studied there, Zai was inspired by the thriving cafe culture in one of the world's top coffee capitals; still only in his mid-twenties, he has succeeded in crafting his own cafe that strives to reflect an Australian quality of food and hospitality, infused nevertheless with Malaysian panache.

Returning to Ziffy for the first time in 18 months, we found that the kitchen has both broadened and refined its menu. Portions prove princely and prices seem fair - a crowd-pleaser like the Ziffy Breakfast Feast is mighty hearty for RM29, emerging with a choice of black pepper beef meatloaf or chicken frankfurter, complemented with chicken slices, sauteed spinach, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, toast and eggs (scrambled or sunny side up).

The house-made meatloaf, thick and rustically textured, is an interesting option, setting this slightly apart from typical big breakfast platters.  Everything on the plate tastes fresh and nourishing, the hallmark of solid produce. We also like how Ziffy's breakfast fare is available throughout business hours, even at night; the selection also includes Mexican-inflected temptations like tacos, burritos and quesadillas.

Pasta with a purpose: It's always encouraging to see a cafe do justice to spaghetti specialities. Ziffy's top recommendations surface with seafood galore - I See-Food is an aglio olio classic that's packed with plump tiger prawns, blue mussels, butterfish and grilled calamari, dressed in extra virgin olive oil, buoyed by sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, spinach and parsley, impeccably representing both the ocean and the land in a harmonious medley of vibrant flavours (RM35).

On the creamier side of the spectrum, the Crabtain Buttermilk is crowned with meaty-crunchy soft-shell crab, the star of the plate, providing textural contrast to strands of spaghetti slicked up by a buttermilk sauce imbued with nuances of crab meat, garlic, cili padi, curry leaves and parsley (RM35).

Prefer meat? For something succulent to sink your teeth into, the Buttermilk B.A.E. has won many hearts, with a mammoth slab of juicy battered chicken at its core, showered with buttermilk sauce to make it even more decadent, with substantial onion rings on the side - this will vanquish hunger pangs with flavourful flair (RM26).

The beef is distinctive too - not many cafes tackle steaks, but Ziffy takes up the challenge with 200 grams' worth of Australian rib eye, served not only with a salad of roasted potatoes, cherry tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and spinach but also an entire grilled corn on the cob that ensures sweet satisfaction (RM60).

We only had space for one dessert by the end; the Death by Chocolate turned out to be a terrific bet, with nicely executed waffles loaded up with Kit Kat chocolate, chocolate crumbles and a chocolate drizzle, balanced by the uplift of fresh fruits, almond flakes and vanilla ice cream - if you like waffles, you might love this (RM21).

It's clear that Ziffy pours care and thought into its food; the beverages receive as much attention - remaining true to influences from Down Under, coffee beans come from Melbourne-based Cottle Coffee, with a current house blend that trends toward chocolaty nuttiness.

If you favour more unique drinks, the Boss Mojito is a non-alcoholic blend of carbonated coffee, lemon, lime and mint, furnishing a refreshing kick (RM15).

Other playful options include the Assam Kedondong Mojito, with dried plum, assam powder, ambarella concentrate, lime, mint and soda water (RM15); Hazel, You're Nuts, a smooth iced hazelnut latte with vanilla ice cream (RM16); and Cool Cucumber, a heat-buster made with cucumber extract, aloe vera juice, lime and mint (RM12).

If you're charmed by Ziffy, you can book the place for your next event - the venue comfortably holds up to 60 persons inside. Customised buffet menus are available for large groups.

Many thanks to Ziffy for a lunch that banished our weekday blues.

Ziffy Kitchen And Espresso Bar
Lot B-GF-09, Sunway Nexis Mall, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-9pm. Tel: 03-7621-1857

This feature first appeared on eatdrinkkl.com

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