Taking over the mantle from Uncle Don senior, the next generation of ‘Dons’ has fashioned a café that’s effortlessly cool and casual, with a considered selection of café favourites that all unerringly hit the spot. Of these, the Johor style nasi lemak with fried chicken deserves centre stage. A sweet sambal is perfectly juxtaposed by the spices of the fried chicken, but it’s the rice that deserves the most kudos. Fragrant and fluffy, it elevates the dish by lending it depth, complexity and flavour. Also meritorious, the burgers at Don are made with Australian beef, and the eponymous Don special comes with roast beef slices, brown sauce (a bizarre but not unpleasant ingredient), fried egg, caramelised onions and tomatoes. Casual setting aside, the burgers at Don’s could teach some of the ‘gourmet’ varieties that have flooded the market a thing, or 20, about taste and quality.
The menu also includes such coffee shop staples as kway teow soup with a feisty homemade broth, classic Malaysian snacks like half-boiled eggs, roti bakar with homemade Hainanese kaya, and even original Kemaman keropok lekor. Don’s lekor may not be as light as the ones sold by the lekor vendor at the Bangsar Sunday market but it compensates with a surfeit of subtly fishy flavour that is utterly pleasing.
Leave some room for dessert: the ais kacang that’s made using an original hand-operated ice shaving machine is visually stunning and packs a sugar punch that means business. With prices that are more than fair and service that is efficient and pleasant, this unpretentious café is perfect for punters who appreciate substance over style. If the team keeps up the good work, this Don, like its predecessor, is destined to become a hangout of choice for lounge lizards and food lovers alike. I, for one, am already hankering for more of that rice. Fay Khoo
|Venue name:||Don's Warong||Contact:|
60 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
|Opening hours:||Open daily, 11.30am-12.30am; public holidays, 4.30pm-12.30am|