Nestled within a residential area in Bandar Sri Damansara, this humble family-run café finds home towards the end of a row of shops, next to the corner lot kopitiam. You can hardly miss the name ‘Thirty Seconds’ done in huge cursive font above the entrance.
Outside, a watercolour mural and two recycled oil drums that act as tables, each with a pair of sturdy wooden crates for seats, beckon. Inside, you will find the familiar trappings of simple, rustic decor; from the bare, industrial look of the cement floor and minimally adorned walls to the wood and steel furniture – half of which were handcrafted by the father, Richard Phua.
The name of the café refers to the ideal length of time to pull a normal shot of espresso. This nugget of inspiration came from Aaron, the son and also barista, who was previously a bartender before discovering an affinity for coffee and making it. He has created two drinks for the menu, cryptically titled as chemical formulas: C2M6 (RM10), a bottled hot latte that is chilled before serving, and C.O2 (RM10), which involves pouring espresso into a glass of soda and watching it foam until the drink resembles a beer.
Comfort food is the rule here. The mother, Sharon, comes up with dishes such as the Sodium Oatmeal (RM8), a piping hot homey meal of oatmeal, cooked to the consistency of a congee, with chicken and mushroom thrown in and topped with sesame oil and a dash of pepper. There is also the Fatty Rice (RM9) which is, in their own words, ‘a cross between a nasi lemak and ayam penyet' and accompanied by their special chilli sambal. Others include the 30 Sec. Breakfast (RM12), spicy duck aglio olio (RM15), chicken pesto pasta (RM13), salads and snacks.
After you have dug into your main course, finish off with an ice cream sandwich (RM8). It is a semi-cold treat born of the collaboration between the café and Shaun Liew, an artisanal ice cream maker behind the brand Shamaziin. You can choose either the Horlicks Maltesers or Peanut Butter Milo ice cream to go with the bun (charcoal buns are only available depending on supply). It also comes with French fries on the side. The cake options are pretty limited at the moment but Sharon hopes to introduce some of her own in the near future. For now, think back-to-basics flavours like plain butter cake, banana chiffon and orange chiffon.
So drop by for the food and stay for quiet, cosy ambience.