Strangers At 47 @ Section 17, Petaling Jaya

July 15, 2014

Here's one cafe that won't be a stranger to success, storming into PJ's Section 17 this week with a striking selection of fanciful & flamboyant crepes, some memorably savoury & others magically sweet. This is one of 2014's most enjoyable new eateries.

Strangers At 47 operates in the vein of home-grown independent eateries like MyBurgerLab, Awesome Canteen & Ecole P, which realise that in order to stand out & shine, it's worth working harder to give the people something special, like this whimsically named 'Shore To Please' (RM21.50), comprising Cajun-inspired tiger prawns, battered squid, salted egg yolk, spinach, caramelised onions & roasted cherry tomatoes.

It takes creative effort & consummate experimentation, plus a perceptive palate, to concoct 'A Hen's Crush' (RM17), featuring a chilli-flaked crepe bountifully stuffed with meaty pan-seared chicken, golden hash brown, capsicum & cucumber-&-onion salad, buoyantly complemented by a kitchen-made, mildly spicy-tangy sauce.

Strangers At 47's recipes are elegantly nuanced & textured; each ingredient feels like it belongs on the plate & contributes to the sum. The flavours are precise & pronounced, but not overpowering, in the 'Lethal Shrooms' (RM19.50), a lightly herbed crepe with portobello, shimeji & baby king oyster mushrooms, rounded out by a poached egg, tomato relish & reduced balsamic.

Breathing distinctively fresh life into Big Breakfasts, Strangers At 47 serves one with outstanding, fluffy-soft wholemeal crepes, with a lovely hash brown, caramelised onions mixed with baked beans, a sunny-side-up, chicken chorizo, smoked chicken ham, butter-sauteed portobello & lemon-laced rocket salad. RM23; even the ordinary-sounding components here are top-notch. The baked beans boast a fresh bite to them, while Strangers At 47's various sauces are lively & well-thought-out.

It's possible though that Strangers At 47's sweet crepes might be even more impressive than its savoury ones. At only RM9 (!!!), the 'Purple Rage,' an East-meets-West crepe with Japanese sweet potato, coconut sago & pandan-infused gula melaka seems destined to leave customers delightfully appeased, not angered.

This creperie's chef & co-owner Sean Ooi is only 24 years old; his youth belies the depth of his precociously well-honed capabilities, considering how lustrously tasty this 'It''s Kelapa' is _ an orange crepe with thick, pandan-infused coconut custard, shaved toasted coconut, almond flakes, orange caramel & vanilla ice cream. RM9 (how can this be, in this age of inflation).

Sean, his mom Susan, sister Xandria & girlfriend Sing Yi have brought together an also-young service team that's one of the friendliest & most welcoming we've met in recent months (we hope they're being paid well). It's easy to spend a happy hour here, merrily munching on this exceptional 'Adam's Sin' (RM11), with warm, juicy cinnamon-tinged apple, wholemeal crumble, blueberries & salted caramel blending beautifully with the vanilla ice cream.

'Spongebob's Crib,' with pineapple custard, meringue, caramel & crushed walnuts (RM8.50), another master class in the culinary arts. Strangers At 47's name is a nod to its ethos: While '47' refers to the shop-lot address, 'Strangers' illustrates the old saying, 'there are no strangers here, only friends you haven't met.'

It's impossible to save the best for last at Strangers At 47, since we have so many favourites on the menu. But this 'Dark Side,' a rich, compelling ensemble of a chocolate crepe with a dark, creamy chocolate spread plus white chocolate curls should make chocolate devotees swoon. Potentially the most rewarding dessert you could purchase for RM10.

Coffee (a mainly Brazilian blend), hot chocolate & smoothies are available too. Put Strangers At 47 at the top of your list of restaurants to visit soon, & expect to hear heaps about this place in the months ahead.

Strangers At Forty 7
47, Jalan 17/45, Section 17, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Open 11 am - 10 pm, Wednesdays to Mondays (Closed on Tuesdays)

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