After hearing so much rave reviews about Petaling Jaya’s latest eatery and the nation’s very first military-concept café, TOKB Café, I knew I really had to check them out…
TOKB, not Tok B like my daughter call it, is short for Taste of Kota Bharu, and with that, you should know by now that this cafe serves up delicious Kelantanese favorites prepared by the two head chefs, which is Kak Ma, or Puan Norma Binti Salleh from Kelantan, and Lucas Lee, one of the two founders of the café.
Ground Floor, Menara Inspiration (Avenue D’ Vogue),
No. 3A, Jalan 13/2, Section 13, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Why the military concept and designs? Ok…TOKB Café got its beginnings from real‘history’.
It reminds visitors and diners of that fateful day on 8 December 1941, when Kota Bharu was invaded by the Japanese. This was just barely 70 minutes before the infamous attack on Pearl Harbour and World War II was declared.
TOKB Café is part café and part viewing gallery with various wartime memorabilia lovingly curated over the years. When it comes to food, TOKB Café serves some of the most authentic Kelantanese fare such as Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Dagang, Laksam, Nasi Rocket (Nasi Tumpang), and Teh Atom (Teh Tarik Madu) and even some Japanese and Western tidbits like Edamame and Smoked Salmon canapes.
Kak Ma, one of the head chefs has been proudly preparing her traditional recipes which has been passed down over the generations from her ancestors in a small ‘warung’ (stall) for over 30 years in Kota Bharu before she joined TOKB Cafe. Many of the ingredients used at TOKB Café are sourced directly from Kota Bharu to ensure authenticity of flavors….
I had the opportunity to try some of their best dishes which were:-
We had the Roti C4 (RM7.90) which is actually Roti Bakar / Toast Bread with half boiled eggs and a few dollops of kaya. It does sound like a strange concoction and I kind of dread trying it but when I did.. I was pleasantly surprised.. it really taste pretty good… somewhat like popcorn flavoured…
Pretty authentic East Coast Keropok Lekor (RM4.90). This is one of Kak Ma’s special, which has been painstakingly hand prepared, rolled and cooked in TOKB’s own kitchen with the freshest fish for the perfect crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside texture…..
For drinks, we had both the Teh Atom with Ice(RM9.50), a pretty super frothy teh tarik with honey.. and I also ordered the Yamashitomojito (RM12.50) a concoction of lime, lemon grass, mint and some syrup… pretty refreshing!!!
For more solid food / main courses, there is the choice of having the Nasi Kerabu Signature (RM23.00) which is fragrant blue rice served with some delicious fried chicken, kerisik sambal ikan, solok lada, half a salted duck egg and served with ulam, budu and sambal belacan….
Nasi Rocket with Fish serunding/floss (RM19.90) Also known as nasi tumpang, this is another Kelantanese must try delicacy where you get fragrant white rice wrapped in banana leaves in different laers of gulai ikan tongkol, gulai udang with a choice of Fish or Beef serunding/floss. It comes served with a generous portion of fried chicken, fish crackers and some acar…
Laksam (RM13.90) is flat rice noodle rolls served with creamy white fish and coconut milk gravy served with aromatic herbs , vegetables and sambal…very satisfying…
We also indulged in some fusion food which came in the form of the Soldier Teriyaki Burger(RM21.00) You get a generous teriyaki burger patty, served with a sunny side up, pineapple slices, cheese, gherkins, tomatoes, lettuce and tomato relish served with some potato wedges….
And while I very rarely eat catfish, I can never resist the Ikan Keli Padprik (RM12.00) from Kelantan. The Kelantanese has a way to clean the fresh water fish so that it does not have any muddy or grainy taste but instead bring out the delicate flavors of the fish….and this one is just as good served with nasi kukus, traditionally cooked via steaming the white rice in individual aluminium bowls in a tiered steamer…the verdict? Yummilicious, in my opinion….!!
Spanning over 6000 sq ft, the café has a semi-outdoor area for alfresco dining, an indoor air-conditioned area and a cosy mezzanine floor, all in all seating around 100 diners comfortably. And for private functions, the area can be further extended to accommodate up to 300 pax!
My thoughts? Loved the food.. definitely authentic Kelantanese food at its best… and the interior of this cafe is cosy and nice as well, despite the military austere looking style… and yes, I’d love to dine here again for sure
Fans of the café can join the Loyalty programme which will see them accorded with their very own engraved military ‘dog tag’ bearing their key personal details and ranking from Sergeant to General, depicting their discount entitlement beginning from 8% all the way up to 22%!
For your information,the café is open for dining from 12 pm to 9 pm from Sunday to Thursday and 12 pm to 12 am from Friday to Saturday. Delivery services are said to be in the planning in the near future.
Thanks to TOKB Cafe for having me over….