Chemistry Cafe + Lab, The Sumbs & Small Gas Cafe @ Shah Alam

June 16, 2014

Novelty cafes are sweeping across Shah Alam, experimenting with eccentric concepts & eclectic menus. Our research puts three of these conversation-starter outlets under the microscope, beginning with successful guinea-pig Chemistry Cafe + Lab.

A magnet for weekend crowds, this scarcely week-old place buzzes with positive vibes, electrified by a bubbly team of staff members in lab coats. Sure, it's gimmicky, but we won't need a rocket scientist to tell us that wackiness can prove explosive.

Caffeinated beverages with names like Bomb Chiller that come in lab flasks? Yep. Syringes filled with sugar syrup? OK.

Beef pies & basic pastas are currently available, as are all manner of confections, from Victoria sandwiches to blondies.

Next up: The Sumbs, a cafe whose offerings include creations by Celebrity MasterChef winner Fazley Yaakob.

The Sumbs' gourmet pasta comes with a slice of baby seven-star grouper fillet, lots of veggies, olives & capers, but not a whiff of the truffle oil that it's supposed to be infused with. Still, it's only RM19.

Desserts here seem indecently garish, but they're indisputably unique. 'Milo Dinosaur' macarons & 'kekonuts' (billed as moist cakes wrapped in crispy donuts) could be the closest things to a Frankenstein's monster that a sweets specialist could create.

Our final stop on this expedition: Small Gas Cafe, the calmest of these venues; it shares a shop-lot's first floor with a hair salon.

Small Gas' signature beverage _ made striking with cotton candy _ might seem reminiscent of a certain Subang cafe's, though this one is constructed with hot oat-filled milk instead of coffee.

Entertaining & reasonably enjoyable, especially since the cotton candy isn't weirdly flavoured. At RM5.90, the price is right.

If you're not currently enlisted in the War On Sugar, then this fizzy drink with colourful ice cubes made from various carbonated beverages might satisfy your sweet tooth.

Your perspective on Small Gas Cafe's menu will hinge on your tolerance for processed food. Waffle 'burgers' with (probably) chicken patties & fried rice wrapped in omelette with sausage & sauce-smothered salad.

Chemistry Cafe+Lab
Jalan Kristal J7/J 26 Section 7, Shah Alam
Open 3pm-midnight, closed Mondays

Chemistry Cafe+Lab
Jalan Kristal J7/J 26 Section 7, Shah Alam
Open 3pm-midnight, closed Mondays

The Sumbs (For Foodie By Foodie)
Block 7 Persiaran Alami Section 13, Shah Alam
Open Sat-Wed, 12pm-11pm, Thurs 12pm-7pm

Small Gas Cafe
1-2-1, Jalan Setia Prima D U13/D, Setia Alam, Section U 13, Shah Alam
Daily, 730am-10pm

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