Featuring Cream by The Roast Things, UROKO Japanese Cuisine, Classic Rebel, Baba Kuat Cafe, Nicsmann 1940s by Lewré (The Starling Mall)
Trisha Toh
Trisha Toh

In essence, a cheese-wheel pasta is a style of pasta made by tossing freshly cooked pasta into a hollowed cheese wheel. There are two very common kinds of cheese used in making this dish, 1) the Parmigiano Reggiano, 2) Grana Padano. A layer of cheese will then be scraped off inside the wheel and melt together with the hot pasta. At Neroteca, the hallowed cheese part of the Parmigiano Reggiano is lit with fire, giving it a slight edgy burnt taste. Super good.
Being a big fan of Neroteca's, I had similar hopes with Nicsmann. The promise of delicious pasta tossed in a giant wheel of Parmesan seemed enticing coming from the banner in front of the restaurant. Sad to say I was disappointed. The topped parmesan was served slightly room temperature, tasted musty and strands of pasta could be found clinging together like a clumpy, gummy mush. It tasted a little too bland after a while — the flavour was just lacking depth. Hate to compare, but this dish totally lacked in that mouth-filling wonderfulness I had at Neroteca. Decor-wise, it's simple and contemporary, lots of pub vibes, more of a salaryman's weeknight spot than a sunday dinner with the parents.


Grilled salmon with sweet soya sauce, served with chawanmushi, adegashi tofu, potato salad, pickles and miso soup.

Uroko have got all the Japanese staples like sushi, yakitori and bento sets covered on their menu. My choice of the lunch set was not mind-blowing but definitely filling and well-worth the affordable price tag. The staff are friendly and the space, sleek and stylish yet untimidating, making Uroko ideal for lunch and dinner without worrying about dressing up too much.


Any newbie that serves recipes inspired by familial traditions gets my tick of approval. For its location, lunch is affordable with nothing going beyond the RM20 mark. We had no complaints on the food here — fork-tender protein with flavours that hit all the right spots. Service is friendly but the space is tiny. So go early before the office crowd flock over.

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Good coffee, pared down aesthetics, dapper baristas are the name of the game at this beautiful locale. I enjoyed my cup of filter Costa Rica coffee (RM18) with sweet naval orange, macadamia nuts and caramel notes (their coffee bean profiles, meticulously printed and cut, sure come in handy for situations like this)... served hot and also with ice on the side for tasting comparison. Appreciated the gesture but completely redundant unless it's called for. Come here when you need a solitary me-time, but be warned: parking can be a hassle on weekdays. You'd feel more zen with free parking and lesser people on Saturdays. Or you know, Uber.


The Classic Rebel runs on the spirit of communal eating with a menu that boasts many shareable servings so everyone can try each dish as part of a full tasting experience. Standouts include the owner’s recommendation of Guacamole, well-seasoned and mysteriously addictive, served with corn chips (RM18), Burnt Grilled Leek doused in kickass seaweed butter that would leave anyone scooping remnants with their fingers (RM25), and the divine and tender Lamb Shoulder (500g, RM85). A beautiful low-key space that makes for a sure-fire winner for intimate dinners with friends and family... this place just ticks all the right boxes!

Big thanks to Esqanita for having the team over!


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