Playground Coffeery, Taman Melawati

November 18, 2020

Playground Coffeery's cheerful yellow entrance has become a familiar sight to Melawati's residents for five years now, beckoning customers for coffee and more. Inside, the space lives up to its name, with swings hanging by the window and bicycles in the back. This colourful cafe is even a playground for the mind, with Stack'em games and Tom Clancy novels available in a mini library. With a founder who also lives in Melawati, it's clear that this neighbourhood hangout has its community in mind.

Now, Playground Coffeery is broadening its menu of hot meals, with a charming selection that spans burgers that swap out buns for hash browns and crispy waffles that come crowned with grilled cheese, chicken ham and pineapples.

If you have constant cravings for chicken, your best bet for poultry pleasure here is the Skillet Chicken, comprising three forms of fowl fulfillment: A crisply tender chicken roulade intriguingly topped with aromatically creamy feta cheese sauce that Playground Coffeery makes itself, plus two slices of chicken ham, plus two chicken sausages. Rounded out with an egg, waffle segment, garden salad and mushrooms for good measure, this is a fun, protein-packed alternative to regular Big Breakfast platters (RM25.80).

If Seoul specialised in waffles, its top temptation might be Playground Coffeery's Red Peacock (RM16.50), a newly launched waffle blanketed with kimchi and black sesame seeds, topped off with a fried egg. It might seem outlandishly off-limits, but this is pulled off masterfully, with the crunch of the waffle being a brilliant base for the unmistakable sour-spicy notes of the fermented cabbage. A cool choice for a meat-free meal.

Moving on from South Korea to Mexico, customers hunting for cross-border inspirations can check out the Tomato Quesadillla (RM13.80), another vegetarian-friendly, salad-on-the-side effort that should satisfy as a light lunch, stuffed with tomato, egg and gooey cheese in soft, comfortingly warm tortillas.

If you just want an even simpler snack, Playground Coffeery boasts baked treats galore. From flaky croissants (RM3) to firecracker sausage rolls (RM7.50), fresh chicken curry puffs (RM3.20) to plump chicken mushroom pies (RM8.90), nectarous kaya danishes (RM2.20) to fragrant and fruity apple strudels (RM2.60), there's something for everyone out of the oven.

Desserts promise a dash of decadence and delight. In particular, the Double Deck Choco French Toast (RM18.50) is irresistibly indulgent, with buttery-eggy brioche coated in dark, dense chocolate, completed with bananas and almonds for textural contrasts. On the other hand, the Cream Puffs (RM3.70) might seem less sinful, but their crusty-crackly exterior conceal a filling that's at least 90% rich, luscious cream, the home-sourced recipe of an Iranian-born independent baker.

Beverages throw a few imaginative new contenders into the ring too, refusing to be boxed in by conventional expectations. The Preschool Drinks of mocktails make their debut this month: The Frozen Lychee Limonana (RM13.60) is as revivingly zesty as it sounds, a chilled refreshment of frozen lychee juice blended with lemon and burnished with mint. The Salty Dog (RM13.60) is inspired by its cocktail namesake, but this gin-free reinterpretation only channels grapefruit, lime and soda, served nonetheless with a salted rim, perfect for preschoolers (and the young at heart, before happy hours).

True to its name, Playground Coffeery is cherished for coffee. The Rose Latte (RM12.50) is one of its most enduring signatures, florally evocative, tasting as delectable as it looks, with an easy-drinking, elegantly balanced foundation of Sumatra Mandheling beans. 

But if you're in the mood for a cool caffeinated quencher, try the Dirty Mojito (RM13.80), also liquor-free), which takes the same Sumatran beans and brews them with lemon, adding in lime juice, soda and lemon slices to serve up a perk-me-up with plenty of tang.

All in all, Playground Coffeery’s wider menu makes it more of an all-rounder cafe, for customers seeking more than a jolt of java. It's now planning to expand its physical horizons too, with a second location expected next year.

Many thanks to Playground Coffeery for having us.

Playground Coffeery
19, Jalan E 1, Taman Melawati, 53100 Kuala Lumpur. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-11pm. Closed Tuesdays. Tel: 03-4821-4522