By Shahida Sakeri on March 8, 2017
“All sorrows are less with bread” – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
For a person who loves pastry so much, it frustrates me to see the lack of bakeries or cafes serving real delicious baked goods in Malaysia. Though it is understandably not an originally Malaysian culture, eating properly baked pastries can be intensely comforting, satisfying and uplifting (and let’s just not talk about guilt here) – at the very least, it is the best way to start the day. For that reason, I am always on the lookout for great places that offer marvellously baked fares. My search eventually led me to Huckleberry, Damansara Heights.
Interestingly, Huckleberry possesses two different identities: Huckleberry Food & Fare during the day and Huckleberry After Dark during the night (think French flair at daytime and American swag come night).
The establishment initially started off with Food & Fare in July 2015, focusing on spoiling customers with classic baked fares made using time-honoured recipes with authentic ingredients and techniques, resulting in food that was visually appealing and delicious. There are over 20 varieties of hand-crafted gourmet breads baked in the bakery every day – as early as 4:00 a.m. – spear-headed by their resident French Master Baker, who brings to the table over 22 years of experience in classic French breads and pastries.
Coming from a family of bakers, their resident Master Baker’s work has always been designed to capture a delicious range of flavours, textures and aromas, and his passion for breads has taken him around the world. Those who are interested to see him working his magic can always pop by the bakery early in the morning and stand behind the glass wall to see him baking pastries in a one-of-a-kind 120 square feet Bongard Omega2 artisanal oven.
I, however, reached the cafe cum bakery already quite late in the evening, thus missed the whole baking magic session by the Master Baker. But I certainly didn’t miss the wide range of delicious smelling artisanal baked goods, from light flaky Danishes, fluffy croissants and rich moist cakes to beautifully decadent pastries and even classic sandwiches. In fact, the entire space was still replete with the scents of butter, chocolate and coffee – if I were to imagine the cake and cookies cottage in the Hansel & Gretel story, it would probably smell like this.
As a starter, I ordered a caramelised Apple Turn-over, a sinful Vanilla Slice and my personal favourite, the croissants (original and almond flavoured). One bite into Huckleberry’s eponymous croissants is all it takes to understand the hype that I’ve been hearing about the cafe – they are une tuerie (absolutely fantastic)! The croissants are nice golden coloured, lightly buttery, slightly flaky with delicate, cottony interior. It actually takes the team three days to prepare this refined pastry: first you make the dough and chill it for a day; on the next day add butter, do the feuilletage (laminating), spread and stretch it further before rolling it again, let it rest so that it rises slowly; and on day three you finally bake it!
Huckleberry Food & Fare also collaborates closely with Executive Head Group Chef Yves Renou in bringing consistently high standard and ever-changing menu. Besides the bakery goodness, patrons of Huckleberry should consider trying other delicious choices available here, with menus suitable for breakfast, brunch, lunch and teatime. The general crowd pleasers are Chilli Cheese Toast with Fried Egg packed with Asian flavours, Superfood Salad and Portobello Benedict, and my favourite the House-made Salt Beef Sandwich made from 170gm of perfectly brined, slow-cooked beef brisket, house-baked rye caraway bread, pickled gherkins and English mustard. I was told this dish was inspired by the popular Selfridges’s Salt Beef Sandwich.
Lovers of coffee will be interested to know that Huckleberry Food & Fare takes a ‘tree-to-cup’ approach, dealing directly with plantation owners to produce its signature Sumatran Gayo Coffee. The baristas are skilled in crafting a variety of beverages using the award-winning Synesso Cyncra coffee machine, hand-crafted in Seattle. Not fond of coffee? Then try the aromatic organic loose–leaf teas from Roleaf Tea, slow pressed juices or all natural smoothies and lassi, all equally good and satisfying.
As the day was turning to night, I noticed that the space was morphing into something sexier, mystifying and certainly livelier. Even the servers began donning black uniforms, as opposed to the white ones that I saw when I first came in. People started to flock in after work, and I realised it was time for Huckleberry After Dark to come to life. I asked for the menu, curious on whether the establishment changes the offerings to suit the different theme. And believe it or not, it does.
Menus for Huckleberry After Dark consists of classic American and Mexican comfort food with cheeky names, a killer line of cocktails and mocktails, Spiked Milkshakes (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), craft beers and fine liquors.
But since my stomach was already full with buttery goodness, I decided to try something savoury and light for the evening, which was the lip-smacking Chuck Norris: beef Barbacoa tacos served with BBQ-root beer sauce, pico de gallo, fresh coriander and sour cream. Honestly, this dish was truly delicious that I immediately put it into my ‘Last Meals before Death’ list.
Huckleberry After Dark’s sourdough pizza selections also looked tempting, but I was too full to try that I had to give them up with a heavy heart – but of course, not without promising to myself that I would come again next time to try them!
With that, I went home with a happy tummy and a happy me – Huckleberry has easily made it into one of my favourite places to eat in Klang Valley. On a side note, Huckleberry-made breads, cakes and pastries are also delivered to other restaurants and food stores around the Klang Valley.
Address : 2G & 4G, Jalan Medan Setia 2, Plaza Damansara, Damansara Heights 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6 03 2098 7933