Sisu Pantry, Klang
December 24, 2020
In recent years, Nordic concepts like Sweden's fika and Denmark's hygge have been embedded in Malaysia's cafe culture, becoming buzzy catchphrases for the positive-vibes-only psyche that pervades KL's IG-filtered communities. While Sisu Pantry seems to ride that wave, borrowing one of Finland's most famous words, it's not a marketing strategy here: Chew Lian, the founder of this noteworthy new venue in Klang, says sisu - defined as extraordinary determination amid extreme adversity - describes how she feels about much of her life so far.
Chew Lian's perseverance has birthed a beautifully thoughtful restaurant. You'll find a mini-library of books that helped change her life. You'll savour produce cultivated with a conscience and cooked with care. You'll linger in a soothingly spacious setting where every furnishing is purposefully picked, where tall and wide windows offer a calm perspective on a chaotic world outside.
Sisu Panty's menu is compact, striving to curb food waste while customers remain scarce. But there's a brigade's worth of effort poured into the kitchen - everything merits an order, bringing together honourable ingredients with honest preparations.
The Mexican Chicken Bowl (RM18) is built with hormone-and-antibiotic-free fowl breast, tenderly marinated with fresh cilantro, smoked paprika, olive oil, sea salt, lime juice and ancho peppers, air-grilled and gracefully laid over zero-pesticides vegetables from sustainable farmers, tossed with kitchen-made cherry tomato salsa and lemon thyme vinaigrette.
Warm and wholesome, it's no commercialised salad bowl but a meticulous, mindful bounty of vibrant flavours and textures.
A vegetarian pasta may sound unappealing to meat devotees, but Sisu's is sensational, served steaming-hot and soulful (RM16) - pappardelle coated in a rich sauce of real, not-from-the-can tomatoes, house-roasted with carrots and oregano for tang and aromatic sweetness, bolstered with brinjals, zucchini, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes, scattered with grated grana padano.
Even a Big Breakfast takes on new dimensions, centred by Sisu's own chicken patty, a natural, full-fleshed alternative to supermarket sausages, encircled by soft scrambled eggs spiced up with a surprisingly fiery tomato chilli jam that's laced with organic apple cider, sautéed garlic butter mushrooms, quinoa and leaves dressed in carrot vinaigrette (RM18).
Desserts too are a joyous, gorgeous pleasure instead of a guilty indulgence, with flourless carrot cupcakes and rose sugar madeleines among the triumphantly baked temptations. Pair with a zesty citrus caffeine cooler that relies on Puchong-roasted coffee beans or kombucha brewed potently with Bentong ginger.
Supplier notes: The chicken is from Fresh Ayam King, the veggies from Cultiveat, coffee from The Crackpots Coffee Roastery and the kombucha by Boocha.
First Floor, 2A, Jalan Astaka, 5, KU/2, Bandar Bukit Raja, 41050 Klang, Selangor.
Open Sun-Mon, Wed-Thurs, 9am-6pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-9pm. Tel: 012-384-3174
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