Taking a Sunday drive from Subang Jaya to Mahkota Cheras took about an hour. But knowing that my wife and I will be sampling food made with passion that won’t cost much, made me forget the distance to travel all the way to the other side of the city. Good thing it was on a Sunday. Less traffic and less headache. Only thing I have to worry about are those drivers who took Sunday drive as literally a Sunday drive.
As we cruise along the highway, the sky was getting dark. It was only 5pm. Signs of heavy rain is everywhere. I stepped on the gas to reach my destination early before the downpour. And I had to rely on Waze as it was the first time we’re visiting a little known cafe called, Kantin & Co, situated in Seksyen 9 Bandar Mahkota Cheras.
Rain started pouring. Thank God we were almost at our destination. The rain doesn’t bother us. But I had my (almost) full camera gears with me and it would be a headache to just get everything out of the car. With luck, heavy rain turned to drizzle as I parked my car not far from Kantin & Co. And immediately we were greeted with familiar faces.
Kantin & Co is an establishment by our friend, Jaz, and also greeted by Niena and Achik whom we called as “siblings” from another parents. We were honoured to be invited to sample the meal served at Kantin & Co, and for me to do some “studio” type of shots for the food. Best thing about it was that we get to eat the subjects, which were 4 types of dishes, 2 types of drinks and a dessert. We wouldn’t say no to that now would we?
As soon after we said our hello, I quickly set up my gears. Tripod, flash gun, flash stand and also setting up my camera. I do want to make this look like it was being shot in a studio. Not only for this food review but also for Jaz to use as his marketing materials especially in social media. Doesn’t matter to me, I just want to make the pictures look good. At the same time, the chef were preparing our sample dishes. Not long after that, it was all ready to be photographed (and eaten).
We were served their in-house favourites and signature dishes. In the favourites list there were – Spaghettini in Kantin & Co Sauce and Spaghetti Carbonara. While in the signature dishes we were served – Nasi Daging Dendeng (beef slices in chili paste) and Nasi Ayam Cabai (stir-fried chicken with home-made fresh chili paste). For dessert we had – Kantin & Co Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice-Cream. Finally for the drinks – Mango Crush and Barley Kundur Crush (signature drink).
And this is what I think about each and every one of the dishes as my review…
Spaghettini in Kantin & Co Sauce
What I like about the sauce was that it’s a mixture of two spaghetti sauces, carbonara and bolognaise. I can taste the creaminess of the carbonara and the sourness of the bolognaise. I would say that if anyone is contemplating to choose what sauce they want between carbonara or bolognaise, they can have this instead. The spaghetti is nicely done at el-dente. Sauce is definitely good. I loved the creaminess and sourness taste in one bite. Slightly more cheese would be nice. And the chicken bits in my pasta was a little too hard. Probably boiled a few hours beforehand. Other than it…delicious!
Spaghetti Carbonara (Beef)
I know that this is a common sauce ordered by many pasta lovers. But I couldn’t resist nodding my head when we were recommended this dish. I always prefer mine with beef. Better if it comes with beef bacon and turkey ham. But the carbonara from Kantin & Co is actually not bad. Probably one of the tastiest I’ve had. Cooked in the simplest way and ready in less than 5 minutes. What I would like to comment is to not be greedy with the cheese when it comes to carbonara sauce. It kicks but not an accurate kick on the butt kinda taste. Just a little bit more would be nice, just to give that final “oomph!”. Otherwise, not bad.
Be mindful that the pasta dishes are made and served in small portions. Following the food truck concept, the pastas are made to order and comes in small(er) portions than usual. Hence why the price for this pasta dish is only RM6. Of course, you can add more but naturally you will have to pay more too. But it’s a good concept if you want a quick meal and not wanting to spend too much.
Now we move on to Kantin & Co’s signature dishes.
Nasi Daging Dendeng (Beef slices in chili paste served with rice)
Now this is something special. Usually when someone tell me about daging dendeng, in my mind I know that the meat will be as hard as the dinding (wall). The Javanese would cook it that way whereby the beef is thinly sliced and fried until it hardens. I thought this dish will be the same. But I was wrong. The meat is so tender and tasty. Maybe a tad too sweet for my taste but it’s forgivable. I know that some people may like it this way and some may like it less sweet. But I like the dish. It is something different to have as a meal. It is also quite filling. Beef lovers would love this one.
Nasi Ayam Cabai (Stir-fried chicken with home-made fresh chili paste)
I love this one. The cabai (chili) was really spicy. Maybe need a little bit more spicy to my taste, but yes, it is spicy. Awesome blend of home-made fresh chili paste goes well with the chicken. The chili paste and the chicken compliments each other. For my next visit, I will order this one. Just a little suggestion that has been playing on my mind about this. It needs more gravy. To be exact, the gravy from the chili paste. The chili paste taste so good, it would be awesome to mix it in with the rice too. After that, I’d give two thumbs up!
The signature dishes comes with rice and clear soup. The price for Nasi Daging Dendeng is RM10 while the price for Nasi Ayam Cabai is only RM8. More preparation comes when making the daging dendeng because the meat are marinated for 24 hours, that’s why it’s tender and yummy.
On with the dessert!
Kantin & Co Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice-Cream
My review for this dessert is very short and simple. I will only say 3 words, “Nak lagi please”.
Done. I will let the picture do all the talking. On the side note, I will reveal this – That is home-made banana bread.
Drinks – Mango Crush and Barley Kundur Crush
Absolutely love the Mango Crush. But the unique taste of the Barley Kundur Crush is super delicious. These two are the must have drinks when you dine at Kantin & Co.
Now here’s a little something that you can have too. If you love the Daging Dendeng, you can also buy them in 1kg containers which is frozen and can last a very long time. All you have to do is simply heat it up and it’s ready to eat. Much like most frozen foods that are sold in supermarkets.
Buying the frozen daging dendeng can save you time and money especially if you’re a working adult who has no time to cook at home. Plus, it still taste just as good.
Kantin & Co is keeping it simple by serving simple and affordable meals. They didn’t go overboard by serving fancy foods that are expensive or too complicated. They serve simple local Malay dishes and quick pasta dishes. I love the pastas. RM6 per serving is reasonable and quite filling. If I’m still hungry, I can order another one and that would only cost me RM12 in total. And I will definitely be full after the second serving.
When you travel to Mahkota Cheras or Kajang area, do drop by Kantin & Co if you’re longing for simple and affordable meals. I can guarantee you this…you will LOVE the bread pudding.
Address and other info
No 42A, Jalan Temenggung 15/9, Seksyen 9
Bandar Mahkota Cheras, 43200 Cheras, Selangor
Tel: 03-9280 4077
Waze Direct Link: https://www.waze.com/livemap?zoom=17&lat=3.05275&lon=101.79014