When art and food come together.
Nestled in the quiet neighbourhood of Desa Sri Hartamas, The Prep Room is not one of the typical ‘minimalistic’ or ‘hipster’ restaurants blooming in other parts KL. Instead, it has its own personality, with the charm and character the founders wanted it to have. Helmed by the founders of Penang’s Coffee Elements – Akmal Zaki, Toh Kuan Ling, and Toh Peng Chung – The Prep Room’s culinary repertoire and interior design is indeed far-reaching.
What makes the Prep Room stand out from its peers is that the interior was beautifully designed by Akmal himself. A warm and friendly guy, Akmal gladly shared with us his journey of triumphs and trials with running a restaurant.
“When I started to design, I didn’t have any particular thing in my mind. I just wanted to fill in the blank – and make it look decent,” Said Akmal when asked about the interior design concept of the restaurant.
Albeit my efforts to reassure him that he was, Akmal doesn’t consider himself as an artist. In terms of inspiration, he gets it mostly from his hobby of reading manga and cartoon magazines during his younger days. ” I like to look at drawings. So, maybe when I draw, there’s a subconscious inspiration, I suppose”, he further elaborated.
But at the Prep Room, the artistry transcends beyond the decor. The founders’ labour of love for food and its quality is evident first and foremost in the recent menu – the summation of more than two years of constant improvements.
Boasting a selection of Western-Thai-Local fusion dishes, the Prep Room offers a tantalising and authentic dining experience for the patrons. Most of the dishes served here are the products of Akmal and his wife, Kuan Ling’s creativity – based on their comfort home-cook fares and experience of living in Bangkok.
Selections aren’t extensive, but sufficient to keep your stomach satisfied – be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Most dishes are priced below RM20 which is considered cheap – considering the fact that almost every dish here is prepared from scratch and every ingredient ensured fresh!
Of course, Basil Chicken immediately came to my mind for Thai cuisine. Akmal tries his best to keep it authentic, though there are a few complaints from the customers about the chicken being a bit dry.
Our recommendation is definitely the Spicy Thai Spaghetti. Living up to its name, the flavourful spaghetti kicks you in the nuts with its spiciness laced over each strand, tossed with Thai pepper and basil for extra exotic taste, along with seafood like prawns and squid. After a while, you’ll feel the burning hot spiciness but fret not, it’s still manageable.
If you are not a fan of spicy dishes, you can opt to try their Honey Mustard Chicken. Coated with Nestum cereal before being deep-fried, for a crisp, gentle sweetness that complements the meat, this is definitely another must-try here!
After the success of its elder sibling in Penang – Coffee Elements, Zaki and his wife bring the magical here in KL. We tried their signature Cafe Mocha and Macchiato and found both to be tasty and well-balanced. Definitely recommended.
5, Jalan Sri Hartamas 7, Sri Hartamas,
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Everyday 8 am – 9.30 pm
Tel: +603 6211 0468
More eateries here.
*All images by UPPRE.