It’s very difficult to find a decent breakfast place in KL that serves good food and is clean, halal and affordable all at the same time. But with the combined efforts of my picky eater dad and me as his sidekick, we bring you Seri Talam Cat Cafe in Setapak!
To those who have allergies to cats, fear not! While the owner is definitely a cat crazy person, the cats are placed in a different building just next door. If like me, your mom never allowed you to have cats because she doesn’t trust you to look after them, you can pay RM10 per hour and play with them for as long as your wallet allows!
Now on to the food. Seri Talam took root as a humble business selling traditional Malay kuihs. As the business grew, heavier food has been added into the menu like nasi lemak, ketupat and rendang and mee kari.
As usual, I will only review the food we actually tried.
1. Lempeng (Pancakes)
If you’re wondering why my hand is in the picture, I just wanted to show the size of the pancakes. They are quite wide, about the size of a medium-sized plate and quite filling for a 5’5 girl who constantly overestimates her appetite.
This morning, there were three different kinds of pancakes. Coconut pancake, banana pancake and plain pancakes.
1.1 Coconut pancake
Thick, soft, fluffy and very mildly sweet, which makes it a flexible dish. You can actually taste the small coconut pieces in the pancake. You can eat it with sugar or honey or you can eat it with sambal ikan bilis (fried anchovies swimming in a sinfully heavenly mixture of chilli and oil), depending on how nice or naughty you feel on any particular day.
And I totally just created a new oxymoron with ‘sinfully heavenly’ which I think applies to most Malaysian food.
My dad is extremely picky about his food. He is also crazy about anything coconut, so if the man says this coconut-derived food is good, you better believe it.
Also, coconut pancake isn’t exactly a common dish in Malay-themed restaurants and stalls, so if you think you can waltz into one to order this food, it’s not gonna happen. Lucky for us, Seri Talam has it and it’s good.
Verdict: Highly recommended for people who like coconut.
1.2 Banana pancake
If my dad is crazy about anything coconut, I go bananas over anything… banana.
It’s not as thick and fluffy as a coconut pancake because bananas are much heavier. Tasted almost like cekodok but less oily.
Verdict: I love it! It’s not too sweet but tasty enough to actually eat it on its own (not like Gardenia) which was what I did.
1.3 Plain pancake
My sister took this one. It’s literally plain pancake, rather thin but not as thin as crepes. You can choose to go sweet or savoury. My sister took it with sambal ikan bilis.
Verdict: OK lo. Got nothing special to say. I just put it here to let you know you have options.
2. Rendang daging (Beef rendang)
Okay, this one I like a lot. We even packed some to bring home.
If you don’t know what a rendang is, you can check the definition here.
They also sell some ketupat which is a perfect accompaniment to rendang but unfortunately we were too full to try it.
Verdict: Highly recommended! I think it has a really perfect balance of salty, a little bit of sweetness and a bunch of other tastes that comes with the crazy amount of spices needed to cook this complex dish. I like it so much I would definitely order it for Eid. The problem is, they might not have time for you because too many people want their food. Seriously.
3. Nasi lemak
My mom ordered this one and she said it was, “OK only lah. The sambal could be better.”
Verdict: I thought it was quite nice actually and would order it again. There are loads better nasi lemak out there, but I would give this one a solid decent.
4. Murtabak daging (Beef murtabak)
You know how most murtabaks are just full of flour? They can call it chicken murtabak or beef murtabak or cat murtabak if they want but everything tastes literally the same?
Well not this one. You can actually see pieces of beef in the murtabak.
They have chicken murtabak as well but it’s sold out. The also sell frozen murtabak for you to bring home. Sounds like a popular dish. Next time I will buy both.
Verdict: I like it very, very much. Perhaps my horrible experience with sub-par murtabaks in the past added to how much I appreciate seeing actual beef in this one. But hey, highly recommended. Get it!
On to dessert (even though we kinda had the cakes first before eating everything else)!
Now I’m not a huge red velvet cake person because I hate the use of food colouring and the cream cheese is usually too sickly sweet for my liking.
But this red velvet cake? I’m making an exception. It’s not too sweet (sensing a theme here?), the cream cheese is light and basically it doesn’t feel like I’m swallowing diabetes as it travels down my esophagus.
Same can be said for the moist chocolate cake although the smell of sweetened condensed milk is quite strong in this one. The clear winner is the red velvet cake, I’m surprised to say.
Verdict: Definitely try the red velvet cake. The moist chocolate cake has nothing extra special. I give it a ‘mm okay’ mostly because it’s not too sweet. But there aren’t too many red velvet cakes out there that is light and yummy like this one. Props to the baker. I would order it again.
6. Tepung Bungkus
Tepung means flour and bungkus means to envelope. So tepung bungkus means to envelope with flour. The whole thing is then wrapped in banana leaves before being cooked for the aroma.
We only tried one and it’s a good thing because it was a miss. The coconut filling was dry and the flour + coconut milk which envelopes the filling was not rich enough.
Verdict: Below average. I could probably understand a not-so-rich tepung bungkus as some people might prefer it that way, but nobody likes dry coconut filling. Not recommended.
7. Kuih Talam
There are many types of kuih talam for you to try and true to their business name, kuih talam is their specialty. My dad has tried most of them and he gave all of them decisive thumbs up.
Here are some pictures of most of the kuihs on display.
Verdict: Seeing that it’s their specialty, you may try any kuih talams with confidence.
8. Teh Tarik
Okay I know this is so random but it’s so hard to find a restaurant that takes a ‘kurang manis‘ (less sweet) instruction seriously. My teh tarik tasted good and not so sweet, just the way I like it. I think it warrants a picture…
…but because I am the world’s worst food blogger, my teh tarik was almost finished before I snapped a picture. But seriously, it’s not like you guys can taste it right? How many ways can you photograph a teh tarik in a mug anyway?
My dad ordered orange juice and he said it’s actually made from fresh oranges. He could taste the pulp and everything with just enough sugar to make it taste good. None of those fruit juice from a box nonsense. This is a huge plus methinks.
Verdict: Very happy with my teh tarik kurang manis. Next time I will order one of their genuine fruit juices!
9. Other food I didn’t try
I’m just putting these here so you know what else they offer.
My mom wasn’t impressed with the sambal ikan bilis but I think she was just looking for something special. If you’re looking for, “Hey this is rather nice,” I assure you the sambal ikan bilis meets the mark. The rendang daging was good. The two pictures at the bottom… I have no idea what they are but they look good 😀 More oily, chilli goodness.
These are ingredients for rice porridge, laksa johor, mee jawa, mee/bihun sup and mee kari on Tuesdays only.
These are kueyteow goreng, bihun goreng and mee goreng. More options for those who prefer a heavier breakfast.
10. What I absolutely love about Seri Talam
It’s clean. Like Grade A clean. Like if I see a cockroach in the establishment, I would be more inclined to believe that a competitor is trying to sabotage them rather than them having an infestation. Huge thumbs up for cleanliness.
All the food was properly and adequately covered which I love. Like THANK GOD here are people ACTUALLY serious about food cleanliness.
The whole restaurant was also air conditioned, so no smokers. Perfect for people like me who are allergic to cigarette smoke.
Summary for you TLDR lazy ass bums
Seri Talam Cat Cafe in Setapak gets a solid thumbs up from me and my dad. We would gladly recommend this restaurant to people who love kuih talam.
My main recommendations would be the coconut pancake, banana pancake, the beef rendang, the beef murtabak and the red velvet cake.
The restaurant is extremely clean and comfortable, the service is good, the food is tasty and affordable and the owner is a Malay Muslim, which means you can rest assured the food is halal.
There are no cats where you eat. If you want to play with cats, they are available next door for RM10 per hour.
Some background story about Seri Talam Cat Cafe
The owner is Zaiton Abd Mayas who learned how to make and sell traditional Malay kuihs from her mother who owned a small kuih stall, which she helped with since the age of 17.
She worked as a kindergarten school teacher before becoming a businesswoman. The loss of her husband more than 15 years ago propelled this single mother of one to supplement her income by selling kuih. As demand increased, she expanded her business into the establishment we see today. I believe her son is helping her manage the business.
I have not spoken to the owner personally, but the people working in the restaurant all sounded like they’re highly educated. They are well-spoken and mild-mannered. I have a feeling a lot of the workers are somehow related to the owner.
The restaurant used to be located in Section 1 Wangsa Maju. That premise was closed in March 2017 and all operations have since moved to this address:
No 13, Jalan Seri Rejang 1
Rampai Business Park South
Taman Sri Rampai
53300 Setapak, Kuala Lumpur
So if Google Maps is showing you the address in Wangsa Maju, that’s the old address.
If you want to communicate with them directly, they are very active and responsive on their Facebook page.
Below is an image of their business card should you want to speak to them directly about their catering services.
Just in case the image does not load properly, here are the details:
Zaiton Abd Mayas
03 4141 8008
03 4144 1008
019 293 5191
Azril Asmawi Nasaruddin
012 238 9461
The business is open every single day including weekends and public holidays from 7am to 6pm (or is it 7pm? I can’t remember). Really hardworking lot. I hope they find a sustainable way to keep this up because I would love to keep coming back to the same level of quality.
I have a soft spot for single mothers who work hard to build a better life for their family, so this post might have come from a slightly emotional place. But then again, isn’t food an emotional thing?