serendipity... is deciding to stop making the excuse of being too busy to venture out with colleagues for lunch and try out a new ramen place... and along the way back, stumbling across a gem of a find: LOKL, a cosy little nook tucked away behind a small glass shop front that stand in stark contrast to the rusty, grimy shoplots that line jalan tun h. s. lee.
we'd noticed the eye-catching hipster / minimalist logo a few days back, but the cafe's interior was hidden behind frosted glass and a big wooden door so we assumed it hadn't opened for business yet. now, our bellies stuffed with ramen, we decided to peer into LOKL again to see if it had opened for business yet.
to our delight, it was indeed open, and coincidentally, being patronised with a few acquaintances who happen to be coffee connoisseurs as well. i realised then it wasn't a mistake stepping into LOKL.
deciding to give the coffee a try and come back for lunch another day, i stepped up to the counter to place my order with an extremely petite barista who seemed vaguely familiar but i couldn't place her until i noticed her nametag that read, hi, i'm cheryl.
curiousity piqued, i couldn't help but ask, you wouldn't happen to be cheryl samad, would you? i noticed your nametag... and trailed off, suddenly realising i sound like a bit of a fangirl. she laughed and said yes, i am, explaining that she owned the place with her husband, ping.
i wanted to order a mocha but there was none on the menu, so they gladly accommodated my request to combine a shot of espresso with hot chocolate. i won't go into detail, but good coffee is good coffee. and LOKL serves good coffee.
the very next day, we were back to try their food. we arrived to an almost full house; thankfully, there were just enough chairs left for our party of four. three of us ordered the lunch set, with a choice between the pulled beef burger and hainanese-style meatloaf as a main.
i opted for the pulled beef burger, while the rest, the meatloaf. our sets came with a deliciously creamy mushroom soup with thick, chunky slices of fresh mushrooms and a hint of cheesy goodness.
the pulled beef burger did not disappoint either. served with a tangy, almost-as-fresh-as-straight-from-the-garden peanut slaw, the portion was generous and beefy, with an oriental, slightly spicy taste to it.
we finished off our meal with dessert - they had only one last creme brulee left, so the rest of us opted for panna cotta to round off our set.
the panna cotta was smooth, silky, decadent, and satisfying - a sweet end to a good meal.
i returned to work, tummy-happy, and reinspired for another round of drafting copy and designs. it is quite amazing what wonders a good meal can work. it's such a pity that we'll be moving office next week so we won't be around to enjoy good coffee + food within walking distance for much longer!
LOKL coffee co.
30, jalan tun h. s. lee
open: weekdays during office hours only