Set against the backdrop of Menara Symphony Square’s grey steel-and-glass structure, Therefore Cafe’s (@therefore.cafe) iconic pink hue was a welcome reprieve from the drab and rainy Grab ride we had just endured. Well-known for its almost entirely pink-and-gold accented colour palette, Therefore Cafe has been featured in many Subang-ites Instagram feeds… but aesthetics aside, will it be MONCH-worthy? 👀
The moment we passed through the brass-gilded doorway, we presented our vaccination status before being shown to our seats (we had booked a table in advance for fear of not being able to find a spot if we had merely walked-in). The layout of the restaurant is simple enough, familiar to any regular cafe hopper, with three main seating areas: comfortable U-shaped couches on the left, a long, almost family-style dining table that spanned the middle of the room and individually separated tables on the right.
As we settled in, we quickly perused their e-menu, which features a range of trendy brunch items, pastas, main dishes and desserts. Like most cafes in PJ, their menu does lean towards more Western options, however there are a few which have been given a local twist to cater for a wider range of customers.
There is nothing heartier nor more comforting on a cold rainy day than a bowl of warm soup which was one of the first things we ordered.
Rapa-pump-pump (RM18) is a smooth roasted butternut squash soup, dotted with onion confit, chantilly cream and adorned with a small pink edible flower. Although soup is often thought of as just a starter and quickly dismissed once the main meal arrives, this was definitely not the case. Light, subtly sweet, with gentle, savoury flavours of roasted garlic and just creamy enough so that one does not feel too satiated, it took us less than five minutes to annihilate the entire bowl. Easily one of the best things we had the entire time.
Sunbathing Scallops (RM32) was a simple appetiser of four lightly seared scallops on a spoonful of roasted cauliflower mousse and encircled by drizzles of herbed butter and a seafood emulsion. Visually, this dish is a wonderful mix of warm reddish, orange and light yellow tones, nicely complimented by the pink backdrop of the plate. The taste itself is reminiscent of an ocean breeze however, the texture of the scallops left a bit something to be desired as it was overcooked and on the chewy side, without the supple softness that usually comes to mind when we think of perfectly cooked scallops. Coupled with the hefty price tag of RM32, this dish may not be the most bang for your buck.
Seeing as the brunch options were available all the way till 4pm, we jumped at the chance to order It’s A Big Day (RM42) which is Therefore Cafe’s rendition of the classic “Western” breakfast that we often see on kopitiam menus, elevated to PJ cafe levels. The dish consisted of beet-cured salmon gravlax, haricot beans, sauteed wild mushrooms, a petite salad, roasted potatoes with herbs, pomegranate seeds, fig slices, grilled chicken cheese sausages, an english muffin, fruit preserves and a choice between scrambled eggs or an omelette of which we chose the former. Although on paper it may seem like a lot of food, the dish was of average breakfast plate size, with a pool of creamy scrambled eggs taking up most of the plate. Other than the slightly watered down mushrooms, the rest of the components of the dish were relatively up to par. The salmon was laid on top of the english muffin that had been slathered with fruit preserves, cutting through the earthy flavour of the beets with a tinge of sweetness. The roasted potatoes and chicken sausage were the stars of the show as there was a sense of comfort to their heartiness that rounded off the breakfast nicely.
Our next brunch item of the day was the Shalala Lamb (RM 33). Brought to the table in a cast iron serving dish, this oven-baked shakshuka contained Australian minced lamb, organic eggs, ricotta cheese, pesto kale herbs and two buttered and toasted slices of sourdough bread. Two delightful egg yolks oozed through the sea of red tomato sauce, providing a nice creamy reprieve from the acidity of the sauce and slight gaminess of the minced lamb. The crumbled ricotta cheese and pesto kale added another caveat of complexity to the dish, providing a saltiness and herbiness that would have caused the flavour itself to be far too monotonous without it.
The final and second favourite dish of the day was Pesto Memento (RM28), a short grained arborio rice risotto, with kale herb pesto, sauteed wild mushrooms, tomato confit, fontina cheese and fresh leaves (this sounded slightly sus to me when we ordered it but it’s all good guys). This dish is one of their few vegetarian options. Now, I am personally in awe of vegetarians because I’m very much a carnivore at heart (GIVE ASHLEY HER KBBQ!!) and often grow hungry when I eat just vegetarian meals, but this risotto was a pleasant surprise both flavour-wise and “filling-up-my-tummy-wise”. Often, risotto uses bases such as chicken or beef stock to bring out the starch in risotto resulting in the creamy, rich texture and taste that we know and love. However, this risotto was able to achieve the very same satisfying mouthful, made even better with the herbaceous flavour of the pesto. The shavings of cheese gave a sharp tang, sour-sweet bursts of tomato and earthy mushrooms rounded off the dish nicely and we will definitely be coming back for more of it.
Unfortunately, we were far too full to order any desserts however we were able to wash down all of our food with a medley of drinks consisting of:
Hojicha Latte (RM15) which to my disappointment, was lost in the sea of milk and sweetener, lacking the nutty taste that I love so much.
Sunkissed Violet (RM15) was a visual stunner as the butterfly pea tea lent its signature dark blue-purple hue to the drink, accompanied by grapefruit puree, mint, lime, orchid syrup and sparkling water. The taste of the drink transported me to a serene garden in the spring countryside, however do make sure you stir it up first to allow the flavours to mingle with each other or else you’ll end up with a mouthful of drab, blue-tinted tea.
Passionate Pair (RM15) was a cold-brewed lemongrass tea, accented with pear puree, passion fruit and boosted with a refreshing zing of sparkling water. Overall, it was refreshing but forgettable as I was unable to taste the fruit that had been advertised in the menu.
And finally the most basic thing anyone can order in a cafe: two iced lattes. Pretty much a staple at any cafe, this was another drink that went down without much fuss but nothing too spectacular either.
With that, this Head Writer’s very first MONCH in two years comes to an end :( Being a bit of a cafe hopper myself during the weekends, the dishes at Therefore Cafe, with their cute names and of course notable ambience was a good addition to my cafe rotary list and all of their dishes, despite their flaws are still most assuredly MONCH-approved!
- Food: 6.5/10 (note: if you go PLEASE ORDER THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP)
- Ambience: 7/10
- Price: 6/10
- Accessibility: 8/10
- Service: 8.5/10 (the servers really dealt with all our shenanigans and were incredibly nice about it)
Address: Lot 02-G, Menara Symphony, 5, Jalan Professor Khoo Kay Kim, Seksyen 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Article by Ashley Lim; Photos by Tsheten Yangden Bhutia