Bowled over by bread and ring cakes
One bite of the crusty, chewy and nutty multigrain bread at Komugi Café and we were sold. Covered with pumpkin and sesame seeds, we loved the texture and taste of it. The long stringy olive bread did not look like much but the moist, salty and tart bits of olives in the chewy bread made it stand out.
The cranberry and lemon bread was so good too. It was fragrant with lemon zest and sweet with cranberries. Again it had that European bread texture, which was quite unexpected in a Japanese bakery and café like Komugi at the Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya. This can only be achieved with a French oven which sprays steam on the loaves of bread as they are baking, said Datuk Liaw Choon Liang, President/CEO of the Focus Point Group which owns Komugi.
The bread, cakes and pastries are all made with flour and other premium ingredients from Japan, and there is a consultant Japanese chef to see that it’s all done right. No softeners, stabilisers nor preservatives are used in the baked goods.
We tasted a delicious Salmon Paneo, which had bits of fresh salmon in the bread, with a sticky glaze of teriyaki.
I have had the Juchheim Baumkuchen, the traditional German layered ring cake from Takashimaya in Singapore and I was pleased to find it at Komugi. (Karl Juchheim was the first German confectioner to bake this baumkuchen in Japan). It is made by brushing batter on a rotating spit and baking each layer before applying another – some 15 to 20 layers! A confectioner can only become a master pastry chef from his skill in making this complicated ring cake.
Komugi’s Baumkuchen was delightfully eggy and moist, better than the dry one I brought back from Takashimaya.
I’m also hooked on the Choco Berry Log Baum from Komugi, which I’m enjoying slice by slice at home, with coffee. It’s a surprisingly dry cake, very chocolatey and not very sweet. The shiny crispy crust gets me each time I take a bite. It must be the texture of almond meal combined with flour, the chocolate and the raspberry puree in it that make it so amazing.
At the café we picked out some excellent Banana Walnut and Apple Danish that were buttery, light and flaky. I have never liked cream horns, but the Coronet at Komugi simply melted at the bite, disgorging the deliciously light custard cream.
We also tried the Signature Hanjuku Cheese, which is a delicate half-baked cheesecake, with its centre oozing a creamy and sweet cheese mixture. The very soft FuWa custard bun is obviously meant for kids
There are also puddings with flavours of strawberry, mango, chocolate and green tea.
The pudding with the original flavour was rather nice. We dug in with a spoon and the caramel at the base floated up, covering the very smooth and soft pudding. The cream puffs tasted as good as the ones we used to get from Tokyo. Handmade chocolates, cakes, macaroons and cookies are also part of the wide selection of desserts at Komugi.
Komugi serves Japanese coffee made with a master brewer roast freshly ground every day.
You could also have a meal of soup, pasta, pizza, udon, burgers and sandwiches at Komugi Café. We shared two soups – a mushroom and a pumpkin, both presented in bread bowl. The mushroom soup passed muster but too much cream overwhelmed the flavour of the butternut pumpkin in the other soup.
The Wafu Mentai Spaghetti (with cod roe, RM22.90) and the Beef Burger with roast sirloin beef (RM18.90) are very popular here, and we made a mental note to have these on our next visit.
The soups are RM9.90 each; the bread costs from RM3.50 for the olive bread to RM4.90 for the multigrain and RM6 for the cranberry. The Baumkuchen is RM22 here, compared to S$20 for a similar size one in Singapore. - July 27, 2013.
* Komugi Café is at CF55, Concourse floor, Paradigm Mall, No 1 Jalan SS7/26A, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, tel: 03-7887 5530. It is also at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur (Tokyo Street), Lower Ground Floor, Mid Valley and at Sunway Pyramid. Two other cafés are opening in Sunway Giza and Subang Parade soon.