Food Review: Craving For Good Aussie Coffee

At Crave Cafe, The Weekly samples a taste of what Australia is known for: hearty meals, delicious cakes – and superb coffee!

Tucked in the bustling commercial area of Oasis Square in Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, is a cosy little cafe that offers everything Australian street cafes are famous for.

Because it’s surrounded by office buildings, you can expect office folk to make up most of their lunch crowd. But while we were there, we also spotted some friends hanging out on comfy armchairs, having a quiet chat over a cup of coffee and cake.

On a feature wall you’ll spot a map of Australia creatively made up of nail and thread – it’s where patrons can pin their artworks or photos taken in the café, if they so wish. (We love this personal touch!)

A little corner set up specially with board games, picture books and ample colouring materials tells us they probably have their fair share of families with kids, swinging by on weekends too.

The walls are tastefully decorated with Australian-themed murals and artworks while potted plants dot the shelves along brick walls. You’ll feel right at home, burying yourself in a book while lounging on one of their comfy armchairs, sipping a cuppa on a lazy afternoon.

According to owner, David Varughese, Crave’s strength lies in their premium grade 100% Arabica coffee from Australia’s Toby’s Estate Coffee. It gets its supply from Toby’s Estate Singapore every month, where the coffee beans are roasted before being delivered to the cafe – ensuring its freshness.

Crave uses coffee of the Woolloomooloo blend (affectionately known as Woolly, for short), which is described by Toby’s Estate as a “big mouthful of body and flavour. Syrupy and round with notes of spice, earth, cocoa and caramel and a hint of brightness to keep it lively. Woolly has enormous presence in milk and makes a memorable and unique black coffee, at once bold and soft.”

You can purchase Toby’s Estate Coffee at Crave Cafe (RM45 for 250g).

We zoom in on the first drink on the menu that catches our eye – the Dirty Chai Latte. David describes it as “a shot of espresso ‘tainting’ the chai latte”. When it arrives, we are hit with a gorgeous, spicy aroma. It’s a definite winner and no – one cup isn’t enough!

Dirty Chai Latte (RM12).

David explains that to complement their coffee, the cafe also offers a wide array of western food, from Aussie breakfasts, sandwiches and pastas, to fusion meals and homemade cakes.

We order the Good Morning Australia, which comes with two slices of smoky grilled beef bacon and creamy avocado puree on toasted wholemeal artisan bread, topped with perfectly cooked poached eggs and feta cheese. The bread is dense with an intense nutty flavour and the outer crust is slightly crumbly, giving it a satisfying bite. A good choice for breakfast, and the good news is that it’s available all day.

Good Morning Australia (RM16).

We also try the BLAT (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato) Sandwich. The crisp beef bacon goes beautifully with the fresh avocado, while the mix of Sriracha sauce (a type of hot sauce) and mayo, spread on wholemeal bread, spices up the dish. The salad is lightly doused with homemade sweet basil dressing, giving it a zesty edge.

The Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato Sandwich (RM11). Just ask for the BLAT!

David tells us the Honey Glazed Roasted Chicken is a favourite among patrons. The dish is well-marinated with a hint of smokiness to it – and the skin is perfectly crisp! The delicious gravy on the side goes well with the thick hand-mashed potato.

Honey Glazed Roasted Chicken (RM15).

If you have a big appetite, Crave also offers dishes like Aussie Meat Pie, Lamb Shank, Chicken Parmigiana and Cheesy Baked Rice, to name a few.

Aussie Meat Pie (RM18).

We couldn’t leave without trying the cakes! So we ordered the Hazelnut Macaron Torte and Nutella Mille Crepe. Despite the layers of rich chocolate and cream, the torte is lovely and light. Crunchy chopped hazelnuts balance out the sweetness, making this divine.

As for the crepe, it’s a sure-winner. Hello? Nutella + Crepe = Perfect combo! The intoxicating hazelnut-infused chocolate and buttery vanilla-spiked crepe layers is a marriage made in confectionery heaven. But if you’re not a cake person, try the Strawberry Pancake instead.

At left, the Hazelnut Macaron Torte (RM10) and the Nutella Mille Crepe (RM10).

Strawberry Pancake (RM12).

CRAVE CAFE is located at BG-03, Oasis Square, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya. (Tel: 03-7734 3192) Opening hours: 8am to 8pm (Sunday to Thursday); 8am to 11pm (Friday & Saturday). Pork free.

Photography: Robin Yong