[This restaurant is an honourable mention on our NINE Favourite Meals of 2020 list. See the post here]
[UPDATED 16 March 2021: Opening hours were updated as well as link to our second visit here]
[Pork-free, Muslim-friendly] Sarawak Laksa or Laksa Malaysia, anyone?
We really enjoyed the laksa dishes here! In fact, Max thinks this is the best Muslim-friendly Sarawak laksa he has ever had! (Disclaimer: he hasn’t tried Salted).
Charlie’s Cafe was recommended by a friend who loves the Sarawak Laksa here. For RM13.90, the bowl comes with oodles of noodles in a robust and flavourful broth, topped with a huge tiger prawn.
According to the owner, Sonny – he personally sources these big tiger prawns at the market daily. It is also only served for dine-in customers at the moment, so he advises people to come early as supply is limited. And yes – the prawns were so fresh and succulent.
As for the broth – it was robust and aromatic! Flavour-wise, it comes closest to our favourite laksa by Aunty Christina’s (see our post here). It is thick and rich with spices – albeit slightly on the spicy side as sambal belacan is added to the bowl.
Noodles had the authentic “al-dente” bite. The laksa comes with tau pok, shredded chicken, egg strips and fish balls. A squeeze of lime completes the dish. This is definitely a laksa we recommend to our Muslim friends!
However, what surprised us was the Laksa Malaysia (RM14.90) – Charlie’s recipe of combining both curry laksa and Sarawak laksa broth.
The result is a surprisingly rich and delectable broth – with hints of spices from the Sarawak laksa paste and richness of the curry spices.
This laksa packs extra heat – as cili kering sambal is added along the sambal belacan. Beside the tiger prawn and fish balls, fried ikan bilis and kacang are also added. Max loves this as he really loves ikan bilis!
Charlie’s Cafe is also known for their Chicken Chop (which looks great!) but our focus was laksa that day. [EDIT: We did come back to try their Chicken Chop. Check out our post here!]
We tapau-ed UFO tart (RM3), French Butter Cake and Banana Cake with choc chips (RM5 each).
A delicacy from Sonny’s hometown Sandakan, UFO Tart is essentially a meringue-encased custard on a sponge cake base. It’s mildly sweet with a soft tang from the meringue.
However, the standouts were the two cakes. Baked daily by Sonny’s wife, Debra – the butter cake was soft, with rich buttery taste, as only genuine French butter is used.
Max adores the banana cake – it was soft and moist, with rich banana flavour and gooey choc bits. Both cakes were a hit with our family! We wanna come back and try their scones next.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! The Kadazan duo may hail from Sabah – but they sure know how to make a delicious bowl of Sarawak laksa! We really loved the cakes too.
Opened in 2015, Charlie’s Cafe started as a social enterprise and even implemented a “Pay-it-Forward” system years ago where customers can pay for the next person’s meal, whoever they may be.
The place is cozy, unpretentious with great SOP to ensure everyone’s safety. It is well-ventilated for those seeking an “open-space” setting during the pandemic.
Charlie’s Cafe & Bakery
Address: 29, Jalan Bukit Desa 5, Taman Bukit Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Hours: 11am-4pm for dine-in (Daily except Sundays)
11am-7.30pm for take-away and deliveries (Daily except Sundays)
Phone: 012-816 0003