Olfactory Bulb @ Kota Damansara

April 23, 2015

Coffee cocktails conceived by a top Malaysian mixologist, coupled with complex, liquor-laced waffle recipes? Olfactory Bulb knows how to stimulate our pleasure centre. Opening this week in Kota Damansara, this lounge-cafe - which operates only in the evening - is one of this month's most intriguing new outlets, created by Chris, Kane & Shawn.

Chris & Kane, who hail from arts-&-design roots, are Olfactory Bulb's main founders, but Shawn, one of the main men behind KL's Omakase + Appreciate bar, is lending his skills to craft coffee, tea & chocolate-based cocktails. Shawn's expertise is well-known, so expect your senses of smell & taste to be engaged by the Black Soul Gem (JW Black Label, espresso, hazelnut), It's Berry Dark Here (Sailor Jerry Caribbean Rum, chocolate, blackberry), Poison Apple (JW Black Label, Earl Grey Tea, Apple Juice, Passion Fruit) & Bluto's Nut (Sailor Jerry, Nutella Milk, Kapiti Spicy Apple Crumble ice cream), each costing RM30.

Olfactory Bulb's beverages are nuanced in their subtleties, with an emphasis on well-thought-out components. The team here specialises in signature ingredients like a carefully balanced blend of Nutella & milk that's used for Nutella lattes & smoothies - Potion 9, for example, features Nutella milk with espresso (single-origin Bali Kintamani Arabica beans), maple syrup, cream & New Zealand's Kapiti Vintage Strawberry ice cream (RM16).

Drinking does take precedence over dining at OFB - you'll find 'Cool Quenchers' that combine tea with sorbet, plus offerings by British brewer Joe's Tea Co, like the Chocca-Roo-Brew (organic rooibos, natural chocolate pieces, vanilla pads). If Shawn is around & he's not too busy, you could try asking him to surprise you with something off-menu - an alcoholic affogato maybe?

OFB's food is nonetheless also distinctive, comprising waffles torn into shreds & tossed in a bowl in unique medleys  - our favourite's the Tropical Island waffle (RM16) with pineapple, mango, coconut palm sugar & lemongrass-ginger ice cream. There's one savoury waffle, the JRJLG with Scottish John Ross Jr smoked salmon, lemon cream & lemongrass ice cream.

We also like the Whiskied & Whipped waffle with JW Black Label cream, dark chocolate, marshmallow & vanilla bean ice cream (RM20), which has a smoky flavour to complement the waffles (simultaneously crisp & fluffy). Even the 'Basic' waffle here is a bit more textured than the norm, with butterscotch chips, peanut chunks & croquantine (RM14). There's a selection of enjoyable desserts from independent suppliers too - familiar fare like popcorn macarons & salted caramel cakes.

Olfactory Bulb
15-2, Jalan PJU 5/13, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, Selangor. 
Open Tues-Fri, 5pm-12am; Sat-Sun, 3pm-1am. Tel: 03-6151-1108

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