KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — About a year ago, work started on a piece of land just off the Federal Highway... and a few metres from the popular Siu Siu Restaurant. Surrounded by greenery, the impressive building boasts of floor-to-ceiling glass walls that allow you 360-degree views of its surroundings.
Its raw brick walls and cement floors also make it the perfect backdrop for any event. Even the roof structure is see-through, allowing natural sunlight to pour in or give you a peek of twinkling stars at night. So, yes... the newly-opened Glasshouse at Seputeh is ideal for parties or corporate events.
And the building is also home to Delectable by Su’s central kitchen and cafe.
The driver for this project was Huen Su Yin, the owner of Delectable by Su and she worked together with her father, Huen Peng Fatt and her sister, Su San to create this unique space. “It is not from one single person but a group of good friends who gave us ideas and we put it together,” said Peng Fatt who built the structure. Previously a contractor for more than 30 years for government projects, the retiree and his wife prefer to play a supporting role these days in their two daughters’ ventures.
As Peng Fatt says,“We just cut a little slice (of the land) and put ourselves there.”
The main purpose of the Glasshouse was always to house Delectable by Su’s central kitchen and a cafe. In addition, they wanted the multi-storey building to have multiple uses. Once they put on their thinking caps, it was quickly decided that it would also be an event space, since they noticed there was a lack of interesting places in the city. Currently the top level remains untouched, as they have yet to decide on what to do with it.
“Nowadays it is back to Nature and green, but people do not want any inconvenience. They want to be in the city or not be subjected to harsh weather and the sun, so they will need a roof over their heads. Of course, everybody wants air-conditioning, so that is how Glasshouse became what it was,” said Su San.
As you arrive at Glasshouse, you walk up the stairs to the grand entrance which leads to the event space that is divided into three areas: the Lawn, Parlour and Grand Court. The focal point is the Lawn with its garden and its double volume height gives you a sense of spaciousness. It also has an elevated stage and lighted walkway. Inside, the Parlour and the Grand Court offer a view of the Lawn. The whole space can host up to 450 people (sitting) or 550 people (standing).
Versatility is the name of the game with this event space. As Su San who is in charge of managing the event space has discovered, the possibilities are endless. Since their November opening, Glasshouse has bookings almost every day. So far, they have hosted birthday parties, the Most Glam awards, an international fashion label’s event, plus the launches of a whisky label and the latest BMW 3 Series.
“I think people like it here as compared to a hotel. You go to a hotel, you can’t change anything. You come here, you can put up your tent, put your car in there and your lights. You can’t do that in the hotel... that’s the difference,” said Peng Fatt. Aside from events, Glasshouse has also been picked for advertisements. “People use the space for advertisements or movies, as it’s an open canvas. People will bring their things and set it up,” said Su San.
In terms of building the structure, one of their major challenges was the sloping land.“That is why you get the contour that feels nice,” explained Su San. Taking the advice of the landscape architect, the Lawn sits on another level, higher than the road. This means the drop off area is half a level higher and you have to walk up the steps to the grand entrance of the space.
Another challenge was the shape of the space as it’s a triangle. As Su San says, “it’s not often you get a triangle event space and for some, they think it is a waste, but in this layout, we utilise all the space with the central focal point there (at the garden). We use the triangle space and the slope quite well.”
The space also offers a small kitchen prep area for caterers. It’s up to the event planners to decide which caterer to use, but in terms of synergy, Delectable by Su also offers discounts if they are picked to cater any of the events held there. Glasshouse also offers tables and chairs to be rented for events. Other facilities like AV, sound and light systems are also made available.
Started in 2010, Delectable by Su is the go-to place for beautifully custom made wedding cakes and all kinds of desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. Su Yin holds the strong belief that the classics should be done well and not fancied up with all kinds of names.
“Everyone wants to go to a place where dessert is done well, like a lemon tart is done as a tart, a chocolate cake that is done correctly, or a cupcake that does what a cupcake does... it’s moist and it tastes good, flavours are balanced and looks neat.”
At Glasshouse, the cafe fits well with the event space; complementing its offerings. “The cafe will work very well, as people who view the place and discuss their wedding plans will want a place to sit down and they can look down and plan, rather than go away and think about what the space was like. It is a necessity. The event planners can also come up here to rest, drink and eat,” explained Peng Fatt.
You can also get to sample Delectable by Su’s desserts, like the unique Delectable Edible Terrarium. Similar to the real stuff, you find it’s a beautiful serene garden set within an open lid glass vase. The only difference is instead of admiring it and snapping countless Instagram shots to make your followers envious, you can also eat it!
Su Yin crafted these wonders since she personally likes real terrariums. When she was practising piping her buttercream cactuses for her edible flower cakes, she thought why don’t I make an edible terrarium. It would also be on trend, since everyone is crazy about moss terrariums. Always the first to introduce a new trend like cronuts or elaborate buttercream flower cakes, Su Yin was happy to discover when she Googled edible terrariums that no one else was making something similar in other parts of the world.
The terrarium is actually made from chocolate cake at the bottom with layers of chocolate mousse, dark chocolate ganache, hazelnut croquant and cocoa nibs. She adds a bit of vanilla cake to mimic the moss.
Completing the decoration, a family of fondant bunnies sit admist hand piped buttercream cacti and organic amaranth flowers. The choice for the bunnies is very much a personal thing for Su Yin. “I think Delectable has always been associated with bunnies. It’s actually the first white fondant thing I created.” That basic adorable bunny with no nose or hands, is a trademark of Su Yin’s that adorns her cupcakes and many of her cakes. Moreover, she believes bunnies fit the garden theme versus say a teddy bear.
Bring your friends or family, as the edible terrarium and the desserts here are meant to be shared with others. “A terrarium has that same feeling — everyone sits together and everyone has a spoonful at a time, like ice-cream sundae or a banana split.” Similarly, cookie monsters will have fun with the Cookie Play Board. It’s a collection of Delectable by Su’s cookies served with dips, sprinkles and even their homemade ice-cream for you to enjoy.
Another dessert, the Popcorn Brownie Avalanche, will have you digging under a mountain of their own made caramel popcorn with sticky salted caramel to hit soft warmed fudge brownie and homemade vanilla ice-cream. Even those watching their waistlines can enjoy their cheat day here, as Su Yin offers a Guilt Free Sundae — frozen Greek yoghurt layered with strawberry preserve, chia seeds, fresh fruits and sugar free agar-agar topped with toasted coconut and almond flakes. For solo diners or smaller groups, you also can order a slice of their cake, a tart or even a cookie to enjoy.
Here you will also find a compact menu of five savouries and snacks, as Su Yin prefers to allow the kitchen more time to concentrate on their offerings. It’s simple fare like grilled cheese sandwiches to be dipped into runny eggs to deep fried calamari rings. Most are plucked straight from her own family favourites.
Like the lasagna with bolognese, eggplant and spinach layers — part of Su Yin’s personal repertoire when she cooks – are a firm favourite of her sister’s. Even their chicken pie follows her mother’s recipe. The puff pastry pie shell is filled with chicken meat and cubed potatoes, topped with pea mash and fried egg with a drizzle of gravy. The only tweak she made was the fried egg, which she deems to be a necessity to complete its comforting taste.
Another item Su Yin believes is essential for a casual dining place is the classic shoestring fries. The golden crispy fries are sprinkled with garlic salt; this transforms the humble snack into something incredibly addictive. This is a nod towards Su-Yin’s best friend, Denise, as it’s a her favourite order whenever both of them chill out with a glass of wine. “Fried garlic chips... as it’s delicious and better than herb fries, as everyone has those.”
Wading into savouries is uncharted territory for Su-Yin, who admits she prefers desserts since the tastebuds for it tends to vary from person to person. “If you follow a recipe to a T, desserts will be nice. It is also less subjective compared to food as some people like their food to be hotter, cooler, saltier and so on.”
Currently Su Yin is also working on a range of their own made nougats, marshmallows, fudges and caramels that she hopes to release soon. Since it’s their headquarters, most of the items can be sampled here before it’s rolled out to her other cafe. She also hopes to start making ice-cream. Now it’s prepared on a small scale, mainly for this cafe as it’s used to complement the shared desserts. One delicious perk for diners at the cafe is the chance to sample Delectable by Su’s cookies hot from their central kitchen or even their freshly prepared caramel popcorn. “It’s supposed to be a place that they can experience what goes on behind Delectable and they can take a peek at the kitchen,” said Su Yin.
Next year, Su Yin plans to host workshops at the cafe, like water colouring or even terrarium-making with real moss. The young ones can also get their hands dirty at cake decorating workshops. “It will be good.. something for the children to be involved in and experience,” adds Peng Fatt.
Glasshouse at Seputeh
Lorong Syed Putra Kiri, Taman Seputeh, KL