Over the past few years, Malaysians, who are generally avid drinkers of local coffee, are now elevating their experience in enjoying coffee by patronising hip and trendy coffee shops that are now sprouting throughout the country. But these coffee shops are not only about offering ambient drinking atmosphere but they are more about educating the Malaysian public about what constitutes excellent coffee. One such coffee shop is Garage 51, which has been opened since 2013 by brothers Choong Kar Wai and Choong Kar Heng.
A perfect spot for dining with family and friends in a hidden alley surrounded by auto workshops in Sunway area, Garage 51 intends to bring the Melbourne vibe and coffee experience to the city, and the strong crowd thronging the coffee shop indicates that the locals welcome it with open arms.
Garage 51 proves that a risky choice does actually pay off. It offers specialty coffee and a menu of distinct gourmet dishes. Kar Heng has taken his experience in the design field and applied it when transforming the used-to-be garage to a rustic-industrial aesthetic – seemingly unfinished room outfitted with a rustic communal table made from age-old sampan (small boat commonly found throughout South East Asia), colourful tank chairs, high ceiling, full glass window that lets in ample natural light, dangling light bulb and a custom-made container that serves as the kitchen. The space is cosy for sipping a cup of freshly-brewed coffee and indulge in comfort food with good company. The young service staff are also attentive and helpful.
Garage 51 serves ‘The Société Blend’, which uses beans sourced from Ethiopia, Sumatera and Brazil, said to be mild to medium bodied. And since the whole idea of Café Société is to bring the Melbourne café experience to Klang Valley, the coffee shop also serve Flat White Coffee which is considered as a very ‘Australian thing’, among others.
The Doppio (RM6.90) is weighty in flavour but not too heavy in the mouth, with an immediate piquant note upon sipping. But should you prefer milder and creamier coffee profile, do have a cup of the well-rounded Latte (RM8.90) which my companion said has a nice balance of sweet milk and coffee. For Nutella lovers, be sure to savour the divine concoction called ‘Mochatella’ (RM16.90) that is bound to tempt you to come back for more.
In terms of the menu, it is lined with Melbourne-inspired brunch staples including ‘Eggs Atlantic’, ‘Roll-with-a-hole’, ‘Media Lunas’ and the regulars’ favourite called ‘Awesome Garage Breakfast’. For dinner, dishes such as ‘Olive Aglio Olio with Smoked Salmon’, ‘Grilled Chicken with Homemade Croquette Potatoes’ and ‘Grilled Lamb Shoulder with Mashed Potatoes’ come highly recommended.
Above all of this, my personal favourite from the menu would be the ‘Baked Eggs with Splash of Cream’ (RM17), made of sliced chipolata (fresh sausage), capsicum, zucchini and a rich pot of parmesan and mozzarella cheese, served along with two slices of toasted sesame bread on a chopping board for a more rustic feel. As for dessert, the ‘Blueberry Cheese Cake’ (RM9.90) is simply a slice of decadent heaven. The attention to detail in Garage 51’s food presentation is also worthy of mention, making the servings some of the most Instagram-friendly in town.
So next time when you need to get a caffeine fix or to fulfil your strong urge in enriching your Instagram account with beautiful #instacoffee and #foodgasm photos, do head straight to Garage 51, Bandar Sunway, which is a chic establishment that transports patrons to a place like Melbourne, favoured by the young, urbane and professional.
Opening hours: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
(Closed on Monday)
51, Jalan PJS 11/9, Bandar Sunway
Tel: +6 03 5612 5618
FB: Garage 51