KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 – A satisfying, yet affordable, meal is hard to come by. Especially in Bangsar.
Enter For Goodness Cakes. Look for the teal signboard, next to Maybank and walk up the stairs to discover this cosy spot.
The eatery recently relocated from Desa Sri Hartamas. After five years of operating there, owners Sheila Philip and Subashree Vairamuthu decided on a change of scene.
For this place which just opened in May, they have partnered with Mr Shiva who runs Indian Kitchen and Idly Cafe downstairs.
In an announcement on The Republic of Bangsar's Facebook page, Sheila fired her first shot. To celebrate their fifth anniversary and move, they offered up a menu (till end of June) featuring jaw-dropping prices.
Think RM6 for a plate of nasi lemak with sambal, hard boiled egg, ikan bilis and peanuts. It's not regular rice either but fluffier Basmati rice. If you add a protein, from choices like chicken rendang, lamb curry or prawn rendang, it goes up to RM10 to RM14.
From July onwards, the prices have been revised slightly. That same plate of nasi lemak with prawn rendang clocks in at RM16, just RM2 more than their introductory price.
Sure, you can pick up a packet of nasi lemak at cheaper prices from the gerai but here you can enjoy it in air-conditioned comfort.
What Sheila promises is their prices will be way lower than typical Bangsar prices. From Sheila's own personal experience, she noticed that ordering a meal with cake and a drink in Bangsar can easily set you back by RM40 to RM50.
She stressed, "We want to be affordable to everyone rather than just a few. It's for the community rather than just a privileged few."
Many walk-ins are welcoming their approach. "The upside is people do like the food we make and the prices."
Sheila recalls how one woman stormed up the stairs during their first week of business to declare that she couldn't believe their prices.
Once she tried their food, she came back several times in a week, bringing more friends. Some concerned diners have even asked them to increase their prices.
You won't go wrong with their nasi lemak. The Basmati rice has a fluffy texture and a light fragrance of coconut milk.
One customer even declared that their tender and aromatic chicken rendang is the best she has had. Their sambal also packs a spicy punch. Vegetarians can opt for a meat-free nasi lemak where a sambal made with mushrooms is served. You can also add a tempeh rendang too.
Other good things here include laksa Johor, ayam penyet, nasi goreng and spicy red curry prawn. The laksa with its homemade fish gravy is cooked according to their ex-partner's mother's recipe.
Mix the spaghetti with the creamy gravy, chopped vegetables and the super spicy sambal for a satisfying meal.
There is also a pasta goreng, their version of mee goreng, using a choice of spaghetti or linguini. This is served with garlicky prawns, fried egg and sambal.
If you prefer something less spicy, the pasta (spaghetti or linguine) dishes with various sauces will be up your alley. There's the classic tomato sauce or aglio olio served with sun dried tomatoes or prawns.
Sheila tells us that one of their regulars from Desa Sri Hartamas orders the aglio olio pasta all the time as it's their son's favourite. They also serve a comforting bolognese sauce with chicken. If you like a spicier taste, there's a fiery pasta with smoked duck. There is also a vegetarian lasagne.
For a supremely satisfying meal, hit up their classic roast chicken (RM18). We love the fork tender chicken served with mashed potatoes, salad and chicken jus.
Enhancing each bite of that juicy meat is the juices from the roasting tin. You get a hint of orange and lemon, used to stuff the chicken with spices and herbs. Delicious!
Of course, no meal is complete here without a slice of their cakes. You can even see the owners baking up various cakes. The taste reminds one of home....just like how your mother would bake a simple cake for an afternoon treat.
Previously, Sheila took a baking course at the Academy of Pastry Arts in Malaysia. Throughout the years, she has been experimenting and tweaking various recipes to suit her tastebuds.
One cake they serve here is the result of a happy accident. One time when Sheila was preparing for Christmas, she forgot to add the eggs to a chocolate cake.
When it came out from the oven, it tasted better than the original, hence she now uses that 'accidental' recipe.
If you're worried about sugar levels, you will be happy to know that most of their cakes are reduced sugar. Sheila tells us, "We have cut out at least 40 per cent of sugar. Generally, this means you can taste the ingredients in the cakes."
Like their zero sugar fruitcake, which came about one day after an unintended omission of sugar. After Sheila tasted the cake, she realised it tasted fine since it was packed with fruits.
The only visible difference was the height of the cake since it doesn't rise as much.
However, for some items like brownies, Sheila explained that it's not possible to reduce the sugar since it affects the texture so they use healthier alternatives.
Popular choices are their tiramisu, sugee and lemon drizzle cake. Chocolate is an all-time favourite, especially with the younger crowd. My personal favourite is the sticky date cake with its warm, moist crumb and decadent sauce. Divine!
The cakes can also be ordered for special occasions. Just give them at least one to two days notice. Sheila hopes to introduce more things soon, like croissants, pavlovas, profiteroles and crème brûlée.
So next time you visit Bangsar, pop over to For Goodness Cakes and hit them up for a great meal and a slice of cake that won't cost you an arm and a leg.
You'll feel incredibly welcomed as Sheila stresses, "It is not community service but I want to create a community. That's what For Goodness Cakes is all about... it's all about family and friends."
For Goodness Cakes is located at 64-1 (First Floor), Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, KL. Open daily: 10.30am to 10pm. https://www.facebook.com/forgoodnesscakeshartamas/ You can also find them on FoodPanda. Check their Facebook for updates on other food delivery options.