The Laksa broth is hearty and there are a ton of things going on in the broth.
In recent years, there’s been this buzzword in the marketplace; social entrepreneurs. They’re basically entrepreneurs that start businesses or movements that benefit society as a whole, rather than just generating profit.
Charlie’s Café is one such project, and its boss and founder Desonny Tuzan (or Sonny, as many know him) have been getting a lot of buzz. He’s been covered by many media outlets because his café has been organizing a ‘pay it forward’ system. Basically, customers can buy an extra meal for a needy person, and the receipt will be posted on a wall in the shop.
Those who can’t afford a meal can come in and take the receipt off the wall and claim a free meal for themselves. Every alternate Mondays, Sonny and his staff prepare a batch of food too, and these will be picked up by a team called the ‘Robin Hood Army’ who will distribute the meals to the homeless in downtown KL.
I often drop by Charlie’s to ‘tapau’ their UFO tarts. Before going any further, you should know that Charlie’s Café serves food from East Malaysia. If you’re wondering what a UFO tart is, it’s a soft pastry, almost like a cream puff, with a thick layer of cream in between two pieces, and custard on top.
Many diners come here for their awesome cakes and scones too, but you have to be early as these desserts tend to finish by 6 or 7pm. Each piece of dessert if pretty affordable, and UFO tarts themselves cost RM 3 per piece. I really love these tarts and will try and get them whenever I’m in the area. They’re like a really soft version of crunchy butter cookies, and way less sweet.
Apart from desserts, Charlie’s serves up a mean dish of Sarawak Laksa. Unlike the laksa you usually get here in KL, Sarawak Laksa isn’t that sour and comes with two pieces of large, fresh prawns. The Laksa broth is hearty and there are a ton of things going on in the broth, including fishballs, shredded chicken, tofu puffs and others. Suffice to say, it wasn’t boring.
I was in the mood for some nasi lemak that day, so I ordered nasi lemak with Pandan chicken. The rice was fragrant and evenly cooked, and the sambal was adequately spicy. Apart from local fare, the menu here also features many western dishes. Their fried chicken chop has been a crowd favourite, and I’ve tried it on my previous visit. It has quite a homemade taste to it, and comes with some really delicious brown sauce.
This time, I opted for some beef balls and was not disappointed. It came with the same sauce that they serve with the chicken chop. There’s also some mashed potato to go with it. All main dishes are priced between RM 12.00 to RM18.00
After my meal, I took the opportunity to add some more receipts to the ‘pay it forward’ project, where each meal contribution is RM5. You can buy as many meals as you want. Once you get your receipts, you can paste it on the wall yourself, as a symbol of your contribution to Charlie’s ongoing dedication to the community.Charlies Cafe
- 29, Jalan Bukit Desa 5, Taman Bukit desa 58100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Phone: +60 12-816 0003
- Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 12:00 - 21:30, Saturday 11:00 - 22:00 & Sunday Closed