League of Captains by Pestle & Mortar @ The Row, Doraisamy

June 3, 2015

For 14 years, we worked in the office block that faces Jalan Doraisamy - we watched the street turn into Asian Heritage Row; we had countless happy lunches & dinners at Mezza Notte, Tokyo Tei, Cochine, Kristao, Palacio, Senja, The Ivy, Vanilla Box, That Indian Thing & Atrium. We grieved as the row self-destructed; then we too left, together with everybody else. But recently, The Row has been flickering back to life, beckoning the fickle crowds to return. First came Nyonya eatery Limapulo, & now, League of Captains, a cafe with a dramatic name, spearheaded by the folks behind local clothing label Pestle & Mortar.

League of Captains heralds an exciting new partnership between P&M & Danial Naim, a well-liked & respected barista whom many might recognise from Podgy & The Banker. The outlet's name is an homage to two of Danial's favourite Melbourne cafes - The League Of Honest Coffee & Captains Of Industry - though it also reflects Danial's ethos & aspirations for this venue.

League of Captains occupies two floors; order at the street-level counter & seize a stool across the road from Faber Imperial Court, or better still, head upstairs & take a table in between a retail section that showcases P&M's T-shirts & ties & an alfresco balcony with a bird's-eye view. As Danial puts it, LoC offers a brief, cosy escape from the traffic & claustrophobia of the city.

Warm, welcoming vibes make LoC a real feel-good cafe; Danial, Hugh & Farah, the current league of extraordinary gentlemen & a lady, serve with genuine heart & humour, making observant efforts to take care of customers. Expect to leave with a smile.

The menu is poised to evolve further, but there's enough offered now to schedule a lunch or light dinner here. Go green with a moist spinach omelette or a dense lemon-&-sweet-pea cake (the latter's a unique creation with interesting nuances from the ceaselessly inventive ovens of The Accidental Bakers). We'd happily endorse the rum-&-raisin cake (really satisfying, ravishingly textured & rewardingly flavoured); there's also a salted gula melaka cake, though it's a bit gelatinous-tasting for us.

Crzypuff pastries are available too - delicious empanadas stuffed with minced beef & mash in oat dough, pulled five-hour-braised lamb in oregano dough, or Grandma's rendang chicken in turmeric dough. Carefully crafted pastas, wraps & sandwiches should surface eventually. And of course, there's coffee that's as fulfilling as any cafe's in KL. Many thanks to League of Captains (& its neighbour Limapulo) for bringing back the charm to a street that has a special place in our hearts; we're looking forward to the future of The Row.

League Of Captains
The Row, Jalan Doraisamy, Off Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Beside Sheraton Imperial Hotel. Daily, 8am-11pm

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