CHUMS in Taman Cheras is an unassuming neighbourhood eatery from the skin. Strolling into their house, you’d anticipate the usual cafe fare too.
Suppose pastas (the purple and cream sauce sorts), some toasties, some meat or egg-based dishes, and a menu of 5 primary coffees ( what they’re).
So why did I discover myself needing to return time and time once more, after my first-ever chew of their choices?
That’s as a result of I realised that what CHUMS provides really betrays its homey and humble look.
To not be a fangirl, however I feel the primary few phrases I had used to explain CHUMS’ meals had been “advanced”, “masterful”, and “completely scrumptious”.
From flavour execution to presentation, you would simply inform that the cooks behind this eatery had been professionally skilled to a point.
Sarah, my boss, who has dined with me at CHUMS a number of instances, had even questioned aloud whether or not CHUMS was owned and operated by a group that already had different established F&B companies, as a result of they appeared to know what they had been doing.
In an interview with CHUMS’ chef and co-owner, Lee Cheng, we’d discover our solutions.
A chummy & cosy spot
In keeping with Lee Cheng, CHUMS is managed full-time by him and two different founders, all with totally different skilled backgrounds in F&B.
Elizabeth Koh is an skilled barista, and Mak Chee Weng is a pastry chef who used to work in inns like Shangri-La Lodge, Hilton, Grand Hyatt, and 4 Seasons KL. Elizabeth is Lee Cheng’s accomplice, and the couple has been buddies with Mak for a few years.
In the meantime, Lee Cheng himself was skilled professionally by a Michelin-starred chef, and has a number of years of expertise in hatted eating places that had been awarded by the Australian Good Meals Information.
On how these three people got here collectively to open CHUMS, Lee Cheng stated that that they had a need to open a spot that served good espresso and, on the similar time, “good high quality and never peculiar cafe meals and muffins”.
As talked about in my intro, the extent of experience proven in how their meals is cooked and their drinks are crafted appeared ranges above what you’d get from only a “neighbourhood eatery”, as CHUMS describes itself.
The primary few dishes I had there have been Duck Ragout cannelloni, Mac & Cheese Croquettes, and Housemade Hen Liver Pâté, and I had tried their Mango Sago Einspänner and Cloudy Bay drinks in addition to a pavlova-based dessert that now not appears to be on the menu.
These had been positively elevated choices in comparison with what I’ve ever had from another cafe (although I admittedly am no cafe connoisseur).
However Lee Cheng shared, “We attempt to not make it something fancy, or we don’t do it fancy. We all the time need prospects to return as much as our place very casually to hangout with their buddies and households to take pleasure in their meal.”
They’ve definitely appeared to attain that, if the crowds every time I go to are of something to go by. Pal teams and even households with kids are widespread sights at CHUMS, and I received’t be stunned if it makes a great place for enterprise conferences and even office celebrations.
Australian-inspired meals with a neighborhood aptitude
I’m not essentially the most acquainted with the Taman Cheras space, however from a fast scan each time I visited CHUMS, I’d primarily see a bunch of kopitiams and Chinese language eating places.
Western-leaning institutions like CHUMS appeared tougher to return throughout there, and Lee Cheng agreed.
On why they opened in that location, he stated, “Cheras is an space that we really feel is homey, full of the ‘smells’ of the neighbourhood, and we additionally really feel comfy on this space.”
“Another excuse is that we need to introduce extra Western flavours to our Cheras neighborhood.”
The Western flavours they’re impressed by principally come from Australia, with a Malaysian twist.
Elizabeth and Lee had been skilled in Melbourne for a few years, and the affect that the expertise had on them is clearly seen by way of CHUMS’ choices.
For instance, they use espresso beans that are flown in from Code Black Espresso Roaster in Melbourne. The beans had been chosen as a result of Elizabeth was skilled by, and used to work for them.
An instance of how their meals combines Western and native parts is one in every of their bestsellers, Lee Cheng stated.
Their Crimson Prawn Risotto contains purple mizuna, jicama, prawn inventory created from prawn shells, and bunga kantan confit.
“As we all know, bunga kantan is utilized in asam laksa. From right here, we are able to see that bunga kantan goes properly with seafood,” Lee Cheng defined their recipe. Utilizing native substances additionally ensures that they will simply supply them recent from markets.
Letting the flavours sing
On the finish of the day, it appears as if the group behind CHUMS prefers to let their meals, drinks, and desserts converse for themselves.
The group was fairly reserved in our interview, and I felt that maybe they didn’t need to make CHUMS all about themselves. In spite of everything, it wasn’t their standing that they had been bringing to the desk—it was their experience.
From my perspective, that makes the shock of excellent meals all of the sweeter.
Just a bit over its first-year anniversary, CHUMS had already expanded to take over the subsequent shoplot. For now, Lee Cheng stated that they aren’t planning to open one other department within the short-term interval.
That can are available in the long term, once they have a extra strong coaching system.
And with intentions of staying in Cheras, CHUMS’ future branches will doubtless pop up within the neighbourhood too.
No matter the place they’ll go although, I stay up for seeing what the CHUMS group will push out as they develop.
- Be taught extra about CHUMS right here.
- Learn extra tales about Malaysian startups right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: CHUMS
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