Einstein Cafe @ Chinatown & Midsummer Night @ OUG

October 19, 2014

Two educators teach us how it's done, opening hidden cafes with a unique charm: Einstein Cafe, run by maths tutor Tan ...

... & Midsummer Night, the dawn of a new initiative by a college lecturer who's fascinated with film & television.

First up, Einstein Cafe, tucked on the first floor of a shop-house on Jalan Sultan in Chinatown. The cafe has no signboard, so look for Sinn Optical & the little red door beside that store. 

Take the stairs up to enter this very welcoming cafe, which is filled with friendly, positive vibes. Business hours are a convenient 1030am-930pm daily; it's worth noting that this is now Jalan Sultan's third cafe, joining the ranks of Coffee Amo & The Front Door.

Einstein Cafe is gorgeously atmospheric; come here on a weekday afternoon & you might find its founder chilling out with his family & friends in a setting where abstract paintings by a local artist hang on the walls.

The reasons for the cafe's name are a pleasure to discover: Einstein was vegetarian toward the end of his life, & this cafe's owner is vegetarian himself, serving strictly meat-free fare. Also, the cafe is expected to house a section by next year where students in need can receive informal maths classes.

Einstein Cafe's food is prepared with a lot of heart - it's surprisingly delicious. Don't skip the "Four Seasons Pizza' (RM14.80), with a wonderfully crispy-fluffy 'roti canai' crust crowned with mock meat sourced from a family friend, green peppers, black olives & mushrooms.

Single-plate meals can be savoured for south of RM10, from spaghetti (creamy but not cloying) to rice with spicy mutton curry that comprises mock meat made with mushrooms (fleshy & possibly even better-tasting than the real thing). Note: This photo does not reflect the actual serving; the owner & his friends were kind enough to share what they were eating themselves.

Hot or cold? Einstein's lattes are made with blends by the team that ran Kota Damansara's now-closed Coffee Famille, while its banana milkshakes are constructed with fresh fruit & milk, with no sugar, syrup or preservatives added.

Next up, Midsummer Night in OUG; hundreds of potential customers have driven past this street in recent weeks, since it's where MyBurgerLab is located, but Midsummer Night is on the first floor farther up the road, concealed without a signboard above an auto workshop, so it's still been an oasis of crowd-free calm so far.

True to its name, Midsummer Night's hours are mostly after sunset - 7pm-midnight, Tuesdays-Fridays, & 3pm-midnight on weekends - since its owner still has a full-time college day-job.

Midsummer Night - which is also run by genuinely warm & hospitable people - is a true cave for movie geeks, filled with posters & postcards for some of Hollywood & Hong Kong's best-known extravaganzas.

Love the focus on the nineties; we remember Meet Joe Black, Tin Cup, Heat & even The Arrival (Charlie Sheen!) very well.

Simple & satisfying home-made desserts are available here, from rum-&-raisin cakes to chocolate cheesecakes. 

 The coffee blends are supplied by Artisan Roast; there are cold brews & also special creations like the 'Trouble White' (featuring single origin coffee with milk, named because it takes more effort than the norm to prepare).

We really like Einstein Cafe & Midsummer Night; we think others will do. Expect to hear more about both in the months ahead.

 Einstein Cafe @ Jalan Sultan
58 Jalan Sultan, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 1030am-930pm

Midsummer Night 
36A, Jalan Awan Hijau, Oversea Union Garden, Kuala Lumpur. Tues-Fri, 7pm-12am; Sat-Sun, 3pm-12am

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