Come for the coffee, stay for the cake
Photographs by Julian Sim
It seems like a new café opens up in Kuching every few months, cafes that are usually – to the dismay of Kuchingites – more about style than substance. It seems like a strange change then to find a café like Bake & Brew which is arguably more about substance than style.
With every new café I explore, I opt for an espresso (RM5.00) to get an all-round idea of what their variety of coffees would taste like, knowing that your usual lattes and cappuccinos stem from the espresso. On top of that, I ordered their Tiramisu (Rm9.00) and ‘Choco-Choco’ (RM9.50) cakes which they recommended. The prices of their cakes all range around this price except for the brownies which go for around RM7.00.
For a place called Bake & Brew, you’d have high expectations of the ‘brew’ section. To be honest, their espresso leant more towards an Americano, having more water than coffee, so it was nothing to sing about, but as an Americano it was actually pretty good. It was well extracted as it had a good dark roasted body of flavour which I would surely come back for.
For what they’re able to do with a mini home espresso machine, they do a better job than a lot of cafés with professional ones.
The ‘bake’ part of Bake and Brew is where they really do well: Jasmine, the baker, bakes all the cakes daily.
The Tiramisu cake is light and fluffy, while balancing its mildly sweet flavour in hand with the caffeine. On a personal note, the coffee was not strong enough for me but I can understand that this appeals to a broader palate.
The ‘Choco-Choco’, a chocolate mousse cake, is the crowning glory of this cafe as Jasmine mentioned that she uses strong bittersweet chocolate and a minimal amount of sugar.
Truly, the first bite has chocolate singing in your mouth while the sugar added is mild enough to enhance its flavour. The mousse is both creamy and light while still being able to give a strong chocolaty experience. The cake is soft and fluffy which is no small feat as Kuching’s cake scene has been scarred with too many bakeries serving Chocolate cakes that are dry and dense.
When it comes to style, however, it would seem that whoever decorated the interior of Bake & Brew was confused about whether they wanted a modern, fun, or rustic layout, but then decided to go with all three instead. The use of outdoor wooden furniture also adds to the already confusing interior design.
The comfortable lawn chairs sprawled across the exterior of Bake & Brew are pleasant enough to sit in while the cake display is a good addition to give either passer-bys or those coming into the restaurant an idea of what they’re in for.
Design aside, Bake and Brew do well in the departments that really matter. The coffee is better than most, while the cakes are definitely something to rave about and come back for.
Bake & Brew can be located along Jalan Mendu or for a more specific address, Lot 10866, Ground Floor, Section 64, Jalan Mendu, 93200 Kuching, Sarawak.
To check out their time of operation or make a reservation, contact them through Facebook at (https://www.facebook.com/mybake.and.brew) or at +017 844 3363.
Hilary Ho is a teacher, aspiring writer and food traveller who writes about food and lifestyle for his blog urban-palate.blogspot.com. When he is not teaching or writing for others, he enjoys wandering the streets in search of food and the stories of the people behind them. He currently resides in Kuching.