Preview: POKC - People of Kheng Chew @ Damansara Uptown

August 26, 2014

People of Kick-Ass Cafes, unite! POKC - which stands for People of Kheng Chew - will start serving customers this week, bringing a fresh take on cafe fare in Damansara Utama.

 Many thanks to POKC's co-founders Karen & Sheena for this sneak peek into their new venue, which takes up four floors of a Damansara Uptown shop-lot. Karen's talent & experience in design arts are on ravishing display at POKC, which showcases a thoughtful mix of charming furnishing - some custom-built, others salvaged from kopitiams & repainted - & Italian-made tables.

Only the first two lower levels are open for customers (the top two comprise the administrative offices & worker accommodation), but both are beautiful. Everything from the floors to the cushions will be feverishly & deservedly photographed in the near future.

 As its name indicates, People of Kheng Chew - which hopes to become a vibrant community hub for fellowship - is a tribute to Hainanese heritage (hurray for us!), with a nod especially to Karen's late grandfather. Expect time-honoured comfort cooking with contemporary twists.

 Buffalo shooters of chicken wings on glasses of a sweet-savoury, secret-recipe sauce with hints of BBQ & tabasco condiments could prove compulsively edible; creatively composed, these are destined to show up on your social media feed sooner or later. Almost every angle seems like a terrifically engaging one.

 Our top tip here: When it pops up on the menu, order POKC's interpretation of 'roti babi' - bountifully meaty, flourishing with flavour & juices, with the minced pork encased in soft, fluffy bread. A deep-fried delight with added heat from chillies, it's one of the best versions of 'roti babi' in the Klang Valley, sinfully oily but a stand-out that makes us happy that POKC serves pork.

 POKC is proud of its chicken curry & lamb stew too - both are comfortingly creamy & satisfyingly balanced in taste, brimming with tender chunks of meat, evoking a warm sense of nostalgia. Customers from the ages of three to 103 would likely enjoy this.

Good gravy! Served with soft, fluffy Hainan bread purchased from Kepong, this is stress-banishing soul food to soothe the spirit. 

 POKC has got the chops - pork, lamb & chicken (the third's our choice), nicely seasoned & ideal for protein-lusting carnivores. 

 Hailam Mee with sambal, not something we often order, but we slurped up nearly every strand of this too. POKC hadn't finalised its menu at the time of this preview, so we have no prices, but they should be in line with expectations in this neighbourhood.

 Prefer Western-type noodles? Spaghetti aglio olio with bacon, perennially crowd-pleasing, should be available by September.

 Rounding up with chicken: POKC takes the classic Hainanese chicken chop & folds it into a pleasurable modern burger.

 Chicken cordon bleu is a recipe we fell in love with two decades ago but haven't eaten in a long time now. POKC's nicely battered interpretation is excellent, accentuating everything we've ever liked about this dish. It tastes fresher & 'realer' than most of its counterparts.

 Coffee lovers, have no fear: POKC is serious about its caffeine too. Expect fulfilling cups that pretty much meet the mark.

 All in all, a cafe well worth checking out, offering fun feasts & an eclectically cool vibe; bookmark POKC for a visit soon.

POKC Cafe @ Damansara Utama
12 Jalan SS21/35, Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Open Wednesday-Monday, 1130am-1030pm (closed Tuesdays). Tel: 03-7732-6080

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