September 18, 2018
Six months ago, the Phua family that runs Bandar Sri Damansara's Thirty Seconds embarked on the ketogenic diet, the high-fat, low-carb regime that has become increasingly popular this year in the Klang Valley. The results for their health have proven encouraging enough that the cafe has now introduced a Ketogenic Food Menu as well as a Low-Carb Menu, both crafted to satisfy the taste buds without sacrificing flavours or textures.
You'll find a full section dedicated to keto dieters: Our favourite might be the surprisingly hearty Keto Baked Eggs, showcasing luscious eggs over a creamy, curry-laced medley of sliced chicken, bell peppers, mushrooms and chilli flakes, rounded out with mozzarella cheese - it's absolutely addictive, steaming-hot comfort fare that's worth returning repeatedly for (RM28).
The ketogenic diet prescribes adequate protein, fulfilled by the Keto Pesto Fish (RM28; pan-fried tilapia blanketed in a nourishing sauce with fresh basil and cashew nuts), and the Keto Curry Chicken Chop (RM26; tender chicken with curry sauce that packs plenty of heat). Family matriarch Sharon, who helms the kitchen, makes all the sauces in-house, preparing these recipes exactly as she would for her husband and children; since March, she has lost 15 kilograms and her diabetic condition has also improved significantly.
The Ketogenic Food Menu meals come with Bulletproof Coffee or Tea; Thirty Seconds' Bulletproof Coffee uses butter and coconut oil to create its version of a keto-friendly latte, with the earthiness of the butter beautifully balancing the bitterness of the coffee.
For customers who are not on the keto diet but also prefer a low-carb lunch or dinner, Thirty Seconds also offers a low-carb menu with highlights such as the Fatty Cauli Rice, a reinterpretation of nasi lemak that relies on cauliflower 'rice' (RM18), and the Mitsubishi Cauli Rice, a Japanese-inflected concoction with hints of seaweed and sesame seeds in the fried cauliflower bits (RM20). Both are aromatic enough that they're delicious substitutes for actual nasi lemak and fried rice - for those of us who fondly remember food made by our moms, it's heartening to realise that Thirty Seconds' creations genuinely are cooked by a real-life mom, evoking the soulfulness of home.
If you prefer regular versions of these dishes, no fear: Thirty Seconds still maintains a comprehensive menu for devotees of rice and other carbs.
Speaking of nasi lemak, Thirty Second was a pioneer of savoury nasi lemak cakes way back in 2016; the cafe has since also introduced a low-carb variation with cauliflower rice, mingled with scrambled eggs, completed with all the essentials of crunchy cucumbers, peanuts, ikan bilis and sambal, for a charming temptation that'll make your meal feel extra-celebratory (RM18).
Other health-conscious options include Low-Carb Bread in possibilities like Mozzarella Cheese Bread and Chocolate Bread. These convey a pleasantly mellow flavour and intriguing texture that resembles a hybrid of cake and bread (RM5 per slice, RM35 for a loaf). Low-Carb Cakes are also available, made with almond flour, in flavours such as Chocolate Cheese and Mixed Berry Cheese, as well as Keto Buns and Keto Crackers - Thirty Seconds is clearly serious about its Keto and Low-Carb menus, pouring plenty of thought and effort into them.
And speaking of pours, Thirty Seconds was first born in 2014 as a coffee-centred cafe (its name, after all, refers to an ideal measure of time for extracting an espresso), and while it has evolved into a full-fledged restaurant, its coffee remains an unmistakable highlight. The cafe has organised the Free Pour Latte Art Championship (FLC 2016, 2017, 2018) in the past, and Aaron, one of Sharon and Richard's sons, won third place in the Malaysia Barista Championship 2018.
Aaron's deft touch makes for confidently balanced cappuccinos and flat whites that utilise Degayo coffee beans (RM10.40 each) and a lovely, ultra-refreshing Crazy Cascara, the perfect cool-me-down, a coffee cherry tea mixed with soda, cinnamon and a lemon twist, served with a slow-melting ice cube that ensures the beverage remains full-bodied even after 10 minutes of leisurely sips (RM10).
For a final drink or dessert, check out Thirty Seconds' Affogato and the Matchagato (RM11.30 each), which showcase a special surprise, constructed with coconut ice cream instead of the typical vanilla. The Affogato comprises a coffee base, while the Matchagato comes with premium green tea, both harmonising nicely with the mild-mannered coconut ice cream, embedded with ripe coconut flesh.
Many thanks to the Thirty Seconds team for having us here; it was lovely to be back and to see the cafe going from strength to strength.
7, Jalan Margosa SD 10/4a, Bandar Sri Damansara, 52200 Kuala Lumpur.
Open weekdays except Wednesday, 8am-9pm; weekends 8am-10pm.
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