Why Cafe if it is not about the coffee?

The photo shows the cafe setting in Piazza San Marco, where I visited in 2007. But no, this is not the reason why I started visiting cafe back in 2006, when I started working as a fresh grad in Tokyo. Actually I did not even really visit any cafe to be remembered when I was in Itally. And I believe that is not what a cafe lover will miss if he/she goes to Itally. However I had a purpose when I visit Venice, Florence and Rome back then. It is to not visiting any specific museums or cafe, but instead to feel & learn the culture deep inside the heart of the cities & people.

I am not sure but probably it was the same reason that kept me going to cafe in Tokyo years ago. When I was living in Nakameguro, I took on my bike and went to cafe in Shibuya, Omotesando, Ginza, etc districts in the metropolitan; searching for new and interesting cafe had became a routine on weekends. And it was not only the exploring that was fun, but all the little trips to here and there were so enriching. Life was much much more exciting when connecting the dots on map while discovering the culture via cafe.

Of course, going to cafe alone is itself a form of culture discovering. But it becomes a place of culture sharing when we have conversation with friends and people in cafe. I think it is the sharing that captured my interest to cafe all this time. And the sharing grows even bigger now, going beyond the boundary of a cafe.

When we talk about cafe (an Italian "bar" to be exact) in Italy, we usually talk about coffee culture there. But whenever I thought about my visits to Italy, to San Marco or Florence, I remember it as a holistic culture sharing through the experience at cafe.

That is why my "cafe" is not about the coffee. And that is why I talk about cafe in terms of culture discovering & sharing.


the apartment

Located in the Curve, actually the apartment is more a restaurant & bar than a cafe. But to me, it has the ambient feeling that I am seeking for a cafe. And I like their effort in building a very nice place with their appreciation for urban culture. Besides that, their food is nice too. Well, this is the holistic approach that I believe a cafe should have. Why? Because they are not just modern kopitiam. And personally I do not like the way our society to create "Old Taste", "Home Town", etc. out of the famous "Old Town". The mindset of replicating successful stories not necessary bring us the wealth our society need. But kindly note that I am not against any genuine efforts or the existing of kopitiam. I like kopitiam, and I go to one all the times. And at the same time I also believe we deserve alternative places like cafe, just like what the apartment said, "alternative spaces to inhabit".

You might feel that I am more in the architectural part than the food. Yes, I did not study architecture for 7 years for nothing (haha). And no, I did not forget about the food and also the overall business environment. There are more about the apartment that we can explore, but one thing for sure is I prefer to have places like this in our usual surrounding. Places like a cafe should not be something that you have to raise your level of lifestyle to access it. It would be a waste for the people. And that is one of our society problem I see after few months of exploring cafe around KL/PJ, the heart of Malaysia.


le passionne

We went to this cafe in Hartamas Shopping Center today. We were told that the barista is a foreigner and the coffee is good because westerner is more serious about espresso. Well, we did not find out about the real coffee because we just had a simple meal with a affogato, and a scoop of homemade ice cream. We wanted to try more but too bad we had too much espresso and cappuccino in the morning...

Maybe, our choice was not a good one. The food is ok but not as what we have had expected. However, one thing I am grateful is we can have the choices such as affogato, baked potato (oh I wanted to have it...), Swiss chocolate, etc here in this tropical city. Maybe the reason it is hard to really have the true taste is because of the hot weather here, or the culture here in Malaysia.

This country is still on a learning path, so as we do:)
I believe we will have more and more great stuff coming if we have faith in us, while always seeking for the best of all.