Chocha Foodstore in the heart of kl is another addition to the retro hipster café trend that is good for a cultural fix. With the vintage ambiance and preserved architecture, the retro décor takes a journey of nostalgic trip back in time into this piece of local history. Every corner displays such amazing lighting that is absolutely perfect for photo taking; this once upon a time a hotel has quickly flood all social media platforms with shots of every corner of their beautiful spaces.
(Don’t miss your opportunity to pose ah lian-ish outside the vintage Mah-lian signage)- photo credits to John.L.
Their mash-up of Chinese and Western dishes inspired by local ingredients makes it unabashedly a fusion café eatery that cooks up brave and unconventional dishes. Although a letdown, their Cucumber Salad (RM 15) Kyuri cucumber, green apple, semi dried tomato and lettuce with cumin vinaigrette seemed to cool down the hot weather and serves as a great appetizer. Otherwise let their sharing snack that has been getting all rave impress you with that lovely coating evenly enveloping juicy bites of flavoursome shrimp sauce marinated chicken. Cincalok Fried Chicken with summer salsa (RM 25) is accompanied by tomato and pineapple salsa as well as the house tomato chutney.
Another highlight was a properly luxurious tea servings that came partnered with warm roasted chestnuts. Their tea is bucketloads of Chinese indulgence balanced with hippie and trendy pairing with their dishes. Not to worry if you are no tea connoisseur because menu displays description of their tea leaves. Shui Hsien tea (RM 18) meaning narcissus or water sprite is an Oolong tea from Mount Wuyi in Fujian Province, China with a heavy honey fragrance. Cheaper varieties are grown elsewhere in the province and have a burnt taste. Lapsang Souchong (RM 16), is the first black tea appeared in the tea history. This is also the original tea of Earl Grey. Tea is produced from Fujian Province of China. In addition to its smoky aroma, it gives a dried long aroma.
They are not pretentious with ingredients and uses some of the ingredients that represented the locals pretty well so you’d also see some familiar ingredients like kailan. Apart from slightly salty, what seemed to appear a little cloying looking is actually not at all a disaster; in contrary, this creamy stir fried kailan was uniquely enjoyable.
Then when you talk about unique, I have already attempted several times to remake the Ulam stew Barley rice (RM 28). The fresh aroma from the ulam pesto balanced the custardy flavour from the blanket of shaved salted egg on top of the bed of barley and sautéed fresh squid with crispy dried shrimp so well that this one is like nothing I’ve ever seen anywhere else. But, I would probably swap the squid with cod fish if I am making this again.
But then again, they are not all phenomenal when it comes to being authentic and ingenious. The Biang Biang inspired Noodle (RM 16) wasn’t impressive- not to me at least. Trying to challenge the taste bud with some sze chuan chili oil, the house made flat noodle is also tossed with toasted peanut and seasoned soy vinaigrette but it turned out rather boring actually.
Best to be pairing with some of their most outstanding dishes, the addition of wine on the menu worked out very well with these zingy Asian flavours. Helps to pace yourself for the ultimate dining experience. Otherwise, just enjoy the food and then order your cuppa joe while enjoying the semi open space with sunlight comes shinning through.
Chocha Foodstore is located at:
156, Jalan Petaling,
Kuala Lumpur 50000
Phone number: 03 20221100
Business Hour : 10am- 11pm daily (closed on Mondays)