Platform 39 Cafe

Special thanks to Platform 39 Cafe for extending this food review invitation.

Platform 39 Cafe is a new restaurant near Sunway Carnival Mall. This eatery just opened its doors 2 weeks ago without a grand ceremony. The lack of fanfare is deliberate so that the management team can immediately hit the ground running.
The concept of Platform 39 Cafe is in the form of a train station platform, although its theme is not as obvious as Victoria Station. The number "39" is not arbitrary; it refers to the address of this one-unit shop.
While the premise was inherited from a previous café business, the interior design has been significantly renovated. For example, the wall motif and lighting color reflect the warm mood of an English tea room. Many fixtures, ornaments and tabletop utensils are specially ordered to provide a welcoming atmosphere.

The proprietor of this restaurant is John, whose childhood ambition is to open his own café one day. As a food enthusiast himself, most dishes at Platform 39 Cafe are based on John's home recipes. He has also hired a couple of experienced chefs and fine-tuned their cooking styles to meet his quality expectations.
The food menu of Platform 39 Cafe is extensive. There is good variety of chicken, fish, pasta, all-day breakfast, soup and salad choices. Most food is Western-style, but there are also a handful of local delicacies based on rice or noodle. I find it amazing to have so many items on the menu for a restaurant which just opened, especially by a proprietor who has no prior restaurant experience.

To start off, the Egg Benedict (RM13.90) is one of the restaurant's bestseller for the past fortnight. A piece of white bun is topped with scrumptious goodies such as ham, chicken bacon, poached eggs and most importantly, Hollandaise sauce.
The sides of the plate are garnished with kiwi, grapes and cherry tomatoes. For future orders, this dish includes a choice of green salad or fruits.

The Hollandaise sauce is certainly well-prepared. The thick yellowish emulsion is richly flavored with egg yolks, giving a different kind of taste to the plainer white bread buns below. As for the poached eggs, I find them quite watery; I personally prefer them to be more cooked. But the eggs still need to be yolky, not to the extent that the eggs solidify like boiled eggs.
As unassuming as it looks, the Golden Buns (RM4.90) are not something to be toyed with. Three pieces of pumpkin buns are fried to produce a layer of golden crisp. These pumpkin buns are specially sourced from a home-based bakery for its unique pastry texture. No sugar is added, yet the buns are delectable due to natural sweetness from pumpkins.
Although being deep-fried, the buns do not appear saturated with oil. In fact, there is no oily sensation whatsoever. I believe the secret is to use very hot oil and keep the frying brief enough so that the buns do not absorb much oil.

According to John, the Salmon Mango (RM18.90) is another crowd favorite since the restaurant's opening. A respectfully large piece of salmon fillet is pan-fried with olive oil to seal the natural salmon goodness, then covered with signature sauce made from diced mango. The savory salmon flesh integrates harmoniously with tangy-sweet feeling of ripe mango.
Hidden at the bottom of the salmon steak is a serving of mashed potato. The mashed potato is made in-house from boiled potatoes, not from dehydrated form which Colonel Sanders is so fond of.

On the side are four pieces of fried potato wedges. These are quite crispy indeed.
For the quality and quantity of food, this Salmon Mango is surprisingly affordable. Where else can you find such a large slab of salmon fillet with abundant toppings and sides at a comparable price?

The Aglio Olio Spaghetti (RM14.90) is served with fresh ingredients such as shrimp, fish fillet and mushroom. Truthful with authentic Italian tradition, the pasta is prepared with olive oil for an aromatic opening. The flavor of this dish is further enhanced by garlic and dried chili peppers. The overall taste is mildly spicy, which is quite appetizing to my palate.
Moving on to something locally inspired, the P39 Signature Fried Bee Hoon (RM8.90) is based on seafood ingredients such as shrimp and squid. As the restaurant's signature dish, the rice noodle repulses every angle of nitpicking. The portion is also substantially more than an average plate elsewhere.
Chopped cabbage and carrots serve to provide certain degree of crunchiness within each bite. This dish also enjoys liberal amount of onion and garlic. As John points out, he does not want his chefs to compromise of quality ingredients. Onion and garlic are good for flavor and good for health, he has no qualms to go heavy on these ingredients so that his customers get nothing but the very finest.

As for drinks, Platform 39 Cafe offers a variety of beverages such as coffee, milk tea, flower tea and fruit juice. The idea is to allow customers to treat this eatery as a hangout spot where they feel comfortable to socialize at a leisurely pace.
Starting with Hong Kong Milk Tea (RM7.90), this is not your regular milk tea from OldTown White Coffee. Within the ice-cold drink are substantial cubes of vanilla-based pudding. These lovely jelly-soft pudding gives a different level of enjoyment alongside the milky beverage. The actual serving of this drink is much larger than this; this glass is just for sampling purpose.
The White Coffee (RM4.50) is prepared from 3-in-1 sachet, albeit specially sourced one. The aroma is decent but the coffee flavor is quite rich. The drink is slightly excessive in sugar, but otherwise I find it reasonable. There are currently no artisan coffee such Latte or Cappuccino here at Platform 39 Cafe, but a barista may be hired in the figure if there is such demand.
For something non-caffeinated, the hot version of Pumpkin Barley (RM6.90) is a good choice. This barley drink is boiled together with chunks of pumpkin. However during the boiling process, the pumpkin chunks inevitably become mashed up. Nevertheless, pumpkin lends its sweetness to the drink, so no sugar needs to be added. The actual serving size is actually slightly larger than this sample.
Pure Orange Juice (RM7.90) is literally what it is supposed to be made of: 100% pure freshly squeezed oranges. Neither sugar nor water is added; otherwise it defeats the spirit of the word "pure". Other available flavors are honeydew and watermelon. If you are up for the challenge, fruit juice is also available in jumbo size for only RM10.90. The jumbo glass is sufficient for 2 or 3 persons.
Last but not least, P39 Boomboom (RM7.90) is Platform 39 Cafe's unique creation. The base of this drink is fizzy soda, but it is the frozen sphere of watermelon juice which is truly special. Similar to Shunka's Magic Matcha, the P39 Boomboom becomes fruitier as the ice melts, giving a delightful one-of-a-kind enjoyment. Besides watermelon, other fruit choices are pineapple, orange and honeydew.
All food at Platform 39 Cafe is pork free. Healthy cooking is emphasized, so sugar, oil and MSG contents are kept minimal. Despite the wide variety of menu choices, John revealed that there are more upcoming dishes on the kitchen's roadmap.
Customer satisfaction is obviously the mantra at Platform 39 Cafe. Although the café is barely 2 weeks old, the staff is well-organized and appear professional.

Putting himself in customers' shoes, John strives to satisfy customers' needs ahead of time. For example, Wi-Fi availability, power banks and power supplies are available to tech-savvy customers. Customers who prefer more social interaction can take advantage of free board games here.
Customers of Platform 39 Cafe enjoy 1 hour of free parking. As for others cannot travel for any reason, the café provides free delivery service to the immediate vicinity of Sunway Carnival Mall.

Until the end of October 2014, there is 10% discount off the tab. After that, returning customers still enjoy 10% discount if the subsequent visit is within a certain number of days. To this end, a "train ticket" is issued, where a ticket punch is used to indicate the date for the "return trip".
Name: Platform 39 Cafe
Address: 39, Jalan Todak 2, Pusat Bandar Seberang Jaya, 13700 Prai, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-383-8506
Business hours: 9:00am-11:00pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Platform-39-Cafe/1517414781807953
Coordinates: 5.39649 N, 100.39885 E
Directions: From Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (North-South Expressway), take the Seberang Jaya exit and head west. After the Petronas gas station on the left, turn left where you will see Sunway Carnival Mall and Billion Supermarket on your left. Turn left immediately after Billion Supermarket and drive till the end of this road. Platform 39 Cafe is located at the row of shops ahead, but you need to make a left turn and find the next right turn. Street parking is available in front of this row of shops, but vacant spaces may be scarce on weekdays.

2 comments:

  1. Looks really NICE! Must go and try! :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the choices, variety and pricing are very attractive! :-)

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