Portico Na Loft By Simply Mel's @ Suasana Sentral Loft

December 6, 2012

One of the city's coolest condo cafes, thanks to its bright poolside breeziness & bountiful menu mapped out by one of the most committed chefs we've met.

Portico Na Loft at Suasana Sentral Loft is run by the daughters of Malaccan-born Melba Nunis, the kitchen maestro of Simply Mel's at Bangsar South; together, they ensure this spacious outpost retains a cheerfully casual family touch.

Portico's selection includes samplings from Simply Mel's, like the rightfully beloved Crab Stuffing (RM9.90, no taxes): crab meat, prawns, chicken, carrots, onions & turnips baked in a crab shell, with homemade chili sauce & pineapple-onion-cucumber salad.

Whether it be fish croquettes (six pieces of this shredded mackerel fried in egg-coated bread cost RM8.90), debel curry or chicken pong teh, rest assured everything tastes as satisfying here as it would at Simply Mel's.

Portico goes beyond Malaccan Portuguese & Peranakan fare though, whipping up Western & Asian specialties too. Its chicken burger (RM14.90) feels more wholesome than most fast food. Also available: chicken chop, fish & chips, angel hair pasta bolognese & fusilli with prawns.

Creamy-milky vegetarian Thai tom yam, packed to the brim with carrots & coconut slices. Mercifully for us, this is a little less spicy than feared.

Flavorful fried rice, RM5.90 for a basic set, RM8.90 with prawns. The food here's wallet-friendly. (Addendum, Dec. 12: Apologies to readers. The condo's management says walk-in customers are forbidden unless they're brought in by residents)

Breakfast, served 8am-6pm, features everything from roti prata with thick potato curry (RM2.90) to roti bakar with Mel's own kaya, scrambled eggs to Italian sausages.

Plenty of choices for dessert, including pulut hitam & cendol, but we can't resist this Malaysian-made Andy's Ice Cream. Excellent peanut butter & cookies-&-cream flavors (RM4.90).

Ice cream cupcakes, triple choc chip & mocha almond fudge (RM6.90). Try these with coffee; Portico's manager Stacey recently completed a barista course.

Making Portico perfect for a chilled-out, rainy evening after work: wine at RM75 a bottle.

Want to make Mel's specialties at home? Ready-to-eat sauces for her debel curry, serai chicken & baked seafood are now offered for RM18 at both Portico & Simply Mel's.

Portico Na Loft opens 8am-10pm, except Mondays. It's fairly busy here at mealtimes.

Portico Na Loft by Simply Mel's,
7th Floor, Suasana Sentral Loft Condominium,
Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur.
Important addendum, Dec. 12: Apologies to potential customers. The condo's management says walk-in customers are not allowed unless they can be brought in by residents