First opened in late 2013, Awesome Canteen is nestled in Taman Paramount, on a quiet street lined with auto repair workshops. The famous Chinese roasted duck restaurant, Loong Foong, is a few shops away on the same row.
The cafe is the brainchild of Diane Ong, who together with a few of her friends from a graphic design firm, decided to pursue their dream of running an F&B outlet. A second outlet was opened successfully at Sekeping Victoria in Penang quite recently.
Awesome Canteen is a tastefully decorated cafe with a bright and inviting atmosphere. Fitted with small wooden table tops and metal stools, the cafe is big enough to cater to a decent sized lunch or dinner crowd, whilst still maintaining a sense of coziness.
Adorned with large sepia-filtered photos, long hanging lamps and vertical lush greenery on the back wall, the cafe’s interior design is contemporary, yet classic. Vintage items like metal mugs, wash basins, a rotary phone and an old typewriter are scattered around the cafe, giving off a strong nostalgic vibe.
If you wish for more privacy and visit with a big group, you can choose to sit at the large table at the back of the cafe next to the vertical greenery wall, with the sunroof directly above you. This table is the only one in the cafe that looks like an authentic canteen table, by the way.
Awesome Canteen has a good selection of breakfast specials, pastas and gourmet burgers, catering to both the office crowd and families. It is also one of the few cafes around to offer a paleo menu, if you want to try that.
What is “paleo”, you ask? Essentially, paleo is also known as the “caveman diet”, meaning that we only eat food that a caveman would have been able to hunt or gather - such as meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Dairy, grains, processed food, legumes and starches are to be strictly avoided in the paleo diet.
After browsing through the menu, we decided to go for one of the Awesome Set Specials - the Tomato Brown Rice Saikoro Steak (RM 33.90), which was highly recommended by our friendly waiter.
First off, we liked the presentation of this dish. It was quite attractively and cleanly plated.
Taste-wise, this Tomato Brown Rice Saikoro Steak will get you out of the fast-food gutter and into the clean side of food in no time.
The contrasting flavours of the dish ran from sweet to savoury, which tickled our taste buds.
The steak was sliced and diced perfectly, then marinated and cooked with beetroot sauce for a hint of sweetness. We found the steak to be really quite juicy and fork-tender.
To give some balance to the dish, mashed potatoes with dressing and fresh rockets were added as layers on top of the brown rice. Every mouthful of this dish certainly got our taste buds dancing with joy.
So in summary, we really liked the Tomato Brown Rice Saikoro Steak, although the pricing is a little steep.
Next, we ordered one of the Gourmet Burgers from the menu. We heard that Awesome Canteen’s burgers were reputed to be one of the best around the Klang Valley, with the Paleo Burger being their signature dish. So we decided to check it out for ourselves.
Instead of the Paleo Burger, we had the Mushroom Swiss Cheese Melt Chicken (RM 20.90). Served with a poppy seed bun, the burger had a minced chicken patty and was loaded with mushrooms, tomatoes, caramelised onions, lettuce and melted swiss cheese.
It also came with a generous serving of french fries on the side.
We quite liked this burger. It was bursting with flavours and each bite made us feel warm and tingly inside. The sweet caramelized onions and gooey swiss cheese complement the burger well, while the chicken patty was delightfully moist. The french fries were salty, crispy and not too oily, which is how it should be done.
Overall, we found the Mushroom Swiss Cheese Melt Chicken burger reasonably priced and quite filling. If you’re looking for some hearty comfort food, look no further than the gourmet burgers here. They even serve the Vegetarian Burger, which we have heard is quite delicious.
We finished our lunch with a nice Hot Latte (RM 11) and a Paleo Smoothie – the Avocado Banana Smoothie (RM 13.90).
Awesome Canteen also has a variety of cold pressed juices (with catchy names like ‘Drink Me Skinny’ and ‘Beet The Flu’) and an assortment of cakes for your dessert cravings.
The Paleo Smoothie is a refreshing drink to cleanse your palate with. If you don’t have time to eat fruits, get a smoothie and you’re good to go!
Too beautiful to drink? Coffee art lovers, the espresso and steamed milk in the hot latte will get you all wired up for the day.
If there is still room in your tummy, you can have a slice of one of these cakes on display: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Dark Side, Salted Caramel Choc Cookies, and Red Velvet.
Verdict: Awesome Canteen certainly has an interesting concept and lives up to its name.
We would gladly visit again to try the other dishes here, especially from the paleo inspired menu.
19, Jalan 20/13, Taman Paramount,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor DE, Malaysia.
Tel: +603-7868 8048
Tue – Thur: 11.00am to 10.30pm
Fri – Sat: 11.00am to 11.00pm
Sun: 11.00am to 10.30pm