Friday, August 31, 2012

Handmade Story Cafe

Handmade Story Cafe. I'm not sure what Handmade Story means exactly but it sounds like some signboard you'd read on a street in Taiwan or Japan so I guessed that HSC must be a Taiwanese or Japanese-style cafe and I think I'm right because HSC is quaint, cute even, and definitely young because the owners and chefs are people in their mid-twenties, and the menu offers simple western and Asian dishes.

 I have this soft spot for young people starting out and although the cafe's menu is very limited, I think you should give this place a shot because the owners are very open to suggestions and I always think that food business people should always have that attitude. You wouldn't believe how totally stubborn and defensive some restaurants and cafe owners are. One of the strange things about Sabahans is that they don't bother to give feedback because they are shy/indifferent/really taste dead/afraid of the saliva-in-my-food-next-visit counter action by the chefs. I just went to a kedai kopi today that serves great fish and pork noodles but the floor was littered with used tissues and everybody seemed happy and blind to the dirty floor. I gently told the lady in charge that the place was too dirty and she said they sweep before and after, like it's fine if the place is dirty during. I want to start a new blog called The Blog Of Grouses. It'll be all about the crazy things you see here, like people opening their car doors and spitting, people throwing rambutan skins out their car windows (because the skins are biodegradable/their parents have always done it) and people driving up the road dividers just because the car in front of them is trying to back out. Oh, and motorbikes parked right in the middle of 5 foot walkways on a busy weekday morning. Are we really in the year 2012? Is kk a city or a big kampung (village)?

Anyway, HSC. This review is based on the few dishes I tried a couple of weeks ago, before they officially opened.

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The baguette needed to be more toasted and we sent it back and it came back still barely toasted. Btw, Bread Boss next to Damai Community Center has reopened and they have little loaves of fruity bread which I think will go better with peanut butter and bananas. Baguette is too chewy and hard for this combo.

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A pretty good bowl of curry laksa but slightly mild in flavor. If I were serving this, I'd give more soup, a couple of good fishballs or fishcake slices, bean sprouts and half a kasturi lime with a small dollop of sambal chili sauce. Perfecto.

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Spicy noodles. This just tasted of bottled spicy hot sauce and the serving of mince can be larger rather than just cute. A dish that needs a lot of tweaking.

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A small circle of a pizza with a topping that tasted good but the soft, underbaked and floppy crust would be bane to the Italians. Or discerning Sabahans.

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If you haven't yet noticed it, the tables in HSC are very rustic and pretty. The tables are handmade from ordinary planks and given a glossy shine, making the place look casual and homey. The tables also give a nice warm backdrop for photography and I was about to offer to buy one when I realised that I should make my son make one for me. They also have the prettiest handmade menu booklets I've seen in KK and I wish I took a photo. 

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This was a very dry piece of brownie, so dry it broke up and scattered all over when cut with the fork. I have tasted the brownie at La Fetta and it was awesome and I expected HSC' brownie to be the same because the same people in HSC ran La Fetta.

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Better than the brownie but not exceptional.

I can't remember the prices but I think it was regular cafe prices, meaning more expensive than kedai kopi and cheaper than hotels. They may have opened officially by now so do drop by when you are in the area. I hope they have improved on the menu selection and dishes and added to their staff strength. The service was very slow. Parking is a bit of a problem but you can park at the hotel nearby.

Handmade Story Cafe,
behind Yoyo in Damai

7 comments:

laubao said...

Hi Terri!!
I always understand you about dirty places!! I wouldn't like eating in a dirty room...it would make my appetite disappear!
I love the tables, they look beautiful!
Ciao!
Laura

Anonymous said...

The cafe look good the tables and presentation also but not the food?

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri,

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog and finding out more about life in Borneo and your delicious and (to me) exotic recipes.

I live in London, UK, and came acrosss your blog by chance when I was doing an internet search for information about pandan leaves (and your delicious-looking green cake came up)!

Thank you,

Caroline

terri@adailyobsession said...

laubao: one of the things i dislike about asian cities is the filth :( yes, love those tables.

anon: i didnt try tt many items to write them off. also, they hadn't opened officially yet so maybe they have stepped up by now. i feel tt these young ppl will fine tune n get the restaurant right:)

caroline: good tt you found me! now we can be friends:) drop by again!

Yolly said...

Terri, I total agreed with you. Some of the kedai kopi are so dirty even the food is good, you do think twice. This people are dirty in their own home. I remembered when the food handlers need to renew their license, they need to do a stool test for parasite. Almost 100 percent had +++parasite in their stool.they pass it to us!
Will try one day. I sometimes wonder how the consumers rate the restaurants . Some food critic do not even know the cut of the meat or cook, yet can review the foods. They should called you sifu .

Fooman said...

Ate at Handmade Story last night.
Quaint, quirky, little place. The food isn't bad but needs refinement. Probably go by there again and check out the other food.

the lunch guy said...

peanut butter and banana s/w ... you're right, baguettes may be trendy, but not apropos for this combination ... a good sturdy raisin bread (which is totally in line with your choice of a bread) is what is needed here ... and then add a few pieces of crispy lean bacon ... and if you really want to go whole hog ... smear a bit of Marshmallow Fluff on them as well.

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