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Chocha Foodstore @ Petaling Street, KL


Living in the city of Kuala Lumpur do have it's perks in terms of the endless streams and popping up of new eateries be it cafes or restaurant and even bars! The endless choices gave us a variety of choices to choose from but for foodies like us; it is the hardest answer to come a conclusion to when we are constantly being asked this grave question " What shall we eat today/later?". And most of the time, I can guarantee you that most of our time would be spent on drooling those delicious and mouthwatering pictures of food on instragram but when the time comes to answer such question, we tend to have a conflicting idea on what to eat! Especially if you're a picky eater or constantly have cravings which are hard to curb in KL.. 

There is one eatery which never cease to amaze us in terms of it's retro decor, the biodynamic drinks list to their organic and traditional approach on their food creations.. Yes we are talking about the Chocha Foodstore.. I know! I'm very late to this eatery as it was always on my wishlist on the places to visit but haven't gotten the chance to do so! 


But with their latest venture of the bar upstaris known as Botak liquors which champions the concept of being environmentally friendly bar with the surrounding of the greens and it also reflects on their bar menu of drinks being made on tap and it is inspired with the Malaysian food culture!
Well let's come back down to the Chocha Foodstore.. This restaurant has retained all of it's old world charm of the pre-war era buildings and the interiors with the slight modern furnishings.. 
The restaurant doesn't have a hugely lit signage that makes it noticable.. But it is easier to find once you know the location of it's famous neighbours of Merchant's Lane & PS150..


Their service staff would greetly you warmly and there are several seatings which is either the open air seatings, the long family seating or the couple seating which is the space that greets you the moment you enter.. The furniture also brings out the old world feel of the P.Ramlee era restaurant days which you can spot from his films.. 

After much studying and pondering on what dishes to try out from their array of creative yet intriguing flavour combinations dishes, we finally decided to try a few from it's categories.. 

First off would be the Cured Mackerel Potatoes.. 
This is a new addition of the menu and was quite popular on the Instragram feed.. 
Well we decided to try it out to find out what is so alluring from this dish.. The idea of curing mackerel with potatoes was intriguing as usually the curing method would always be associated with meats, poultry and seafood but seldom being incorporated to a root vegetables.. 

Cured Mackerel Potatoes (RM32)
This dish was built with a vibrant beetroot cured mackerel then it was accompanied by the savoury roasted potatoes and finally it was sprinkled with jewels of beetroots!
In terms of presentation, it was really colorful and full of contrast.. 
No wonder it was such an Instragrammable dish and most photographed dish.. 
In terms of taste, it was really an interesting combination of textures from the cured mackerel that has a slight smokey note together with a hint of dill and together with cubes of savoury roasted potatoes that stains the color with beetroot with it's natural sweetness and earthy notes.. 

Mushroom Fritata (RM22)
The second appetizer to arrive to our table is the Mushroom Fritata..
This is a dish which is under the category of the Vege/Not Vege section of the menu..
And it is suitable for the days if you're going meatless other than on monday's!
This is a thick and fluffy fritata which is made primarily with Shitake & Oyster mushroom and it was being married together with a generous portion of hearty diced of potatoes and sweet leeks..

This is the dish to go if you're a huge fan of fungi(mushrooms) as this is omelette is full on fungi!
In terms of presentation, it may look very plain jane but that plain jane appearance does make up for it's reputation in terms of it's taste and the first bite of this fritata would just make you wonder about it!
The omelette has an extremely fluffy texture that would made us assume that we were eating a cloud or savoury cotton candy with an soft yet sturdy cube of potatoes that slowly brought down the weight of that fritata and it was filled with an interesting earthy and umami taste on a plain omelette with that final touch of sweet leeks that gave it a refreshing and sweet note!
Zucchine & Kyuri (RM20)
The third appetizer that we ordered was something unique for us as the outlook of this dish may seem to be reminiscent to a Japanese pickled vegetables served on the side..
Well it is known as Zucchine & Kyuri which is found in the Vege/Not Vege section of the menu..
The portion of this vegetable appetizer is relatively small and perfect for sharing if you're ordering alot of dishes to try out..
After much documentation of this vegetal and green tone dish, we started to have a go of this appetizer.. Zucchini is a summer squash which either comes in the color of green or yellow and it takes a shape somewhat similar to the Japanese cucumber but heavier..
The summer squash and japanese cucumber was finely sliced into delicate strips that was mixed together with thinly sliced green apples(Granny smith) and it was sprinkled on with diced celery alongside dustings of sweet basil and semi-dried tomatoes and it was finish off with a generous dust of toasted walnuts and cumin vinagrette..
In terms of taste, it was a refreshing appetizer as the green apples gave a tart and acidic taste that was accompanied by the earthy summer squash and the celery.. The toasted walnuts was a nice touch to this green appetizer by giving it a crunchy texture and smoky taste to the zucchini & kyuri..
Malabar Snapper Ceviche (RM30)
After a fluffy mushroom fritata & the green yet refreshing Zucchini & Kyuri appetizers, we finally we greeted with a seafood appetizer.. Malabar Snapper Ceviche is one of the Chocha Foodstore signature dishes that keeps people clamaring for more! This ceviche is a clever play done by the chefs of Chocha to meld together the influences of the Latin American and the Asian influence which gave it a twist to this famous Latin American seafood dish and invention..
This ceviche is made with the freshest snapper which sourced daily and it was treated sashimi style and the fish was accompanied by the tiny wedges that acts like a building block and it was finally sprinkled with a dash of citrus juice and soy vinagrette which cooks the snapper together with sprinkle of toasted sesame and sweet leeks! It does sound mouthwateringly good just by the description of it..
Appearance wise, this ceviche looks really attractive yet pleasing to the eye and the portion wasn't really generous so if you got hooked on it please do yourself a favour and order more to avoid disappoinment!
So we had the first taste of this ceviche and it was a burst of flavour and varying texture that would sort of questions the pairing of this dish based on the ingredients that reflects the asian twist to the otherwise plain preparation method of the ceviche.. The snapper was really fresh and sweet with a meaty texture and it has a slight umami soy vinagrette and the zesty zing from that citrus juice which used to marinate the snapper.. The addition of that grapefruit wedges gave the snapper a very tart dimension to this dish!
No wonder this dish has gather a huge fan club!
Crushed Potatoes (RM15)
We also ordered some interesting side dishes that would be an interesting sight to behold on the menu.. First on the table, Crushed Potatoes and it isn't the ordinary and boring crushed potatoes that you would normally find in a western restaurant..
This crushed potatoes were given a Chocha magical twist of texture and flavour by marrying the english favourite spud dish and cooking method with a touch of french and chinese to this plain spud..
This crushed potatoes was given a transformation the Chocha style with the magic touch of the duck fat that was being blanketed with tangerine peel to have that refreshing mandarin peel aroma and sweet taste with that ever popular herb rosemary that would give this duck fat potatoes a very aromatic earthy and slight similarity of eucalyptus aroma and oil to the rich spuds!

The appearance wise isn't that much to shout about except that it is really homey but the taste would be worth while in every spoonful you devour it.. Portion however is slightly on the french side that is just suitable for 1 person with a small appetite..
Well we still gave this dish a chance besides the fact it's portion was too small for our own liking to share.. The taste of this crushed potatoes was really enchanting as they treat the potatoes as the blank canvas for their Monet as the potatoes absorbs tremendously the rich and creamy yet gamey taste profile of the duck fat which was paired along with the zesty tangerine peel that gave it a rather slight tart and refreshingly sweet taste and aroma!

We just couldn't stop eating this bowl of spuds!
It was really creamy which is maybe a substitute of the vegetarian version of foie gras!
Duck Rendang Hummus (RM32)
This dish isn't the sides option but it was on the Poultry column of the menu as it stated meant for sharing and we were inquisitive towards their idea of making a hummus and married it with a spicy duck stew..
To ever satisfy our immense love for food, we took it upon ourselves to order this dish to taste it for ourselves whether such bold yet spicy combination able to live harmoniously in your tongue and leave an ever lasting impression!

The moment of truth came when the Duck Rendang Hummus decided to grace us with it's fiery presence.. The presentation of this hummus dish was really elegant with a touch of earthy tones from the dish and also the crockery..
Hummus is actually one of the main reasons that made us have this dish as it was one of my favourite component of this dish.. From their menu description, it says that this hummus dish is a magnificent marriage of chickpeas, eggplants and duck liver mousse and the bold yellow under tone was contributed from the turmeric leaf!
After much documentation of it, we decided to have a sample of this interesting yet fiery dish.. The hummus was really interesting as the liver mousse was really dominant with it's rather oily and gamey after taste that still lingers and then it slowly gave the chickpea a chance to showcase itself with the creamy and nutty notes.. They are a little heavy handed with that salt towards the hummus but it wasn't fiery as it acts like a second skin or blanket to wrap that duck rendang with turmeric leaf of fire to mellow down that effect on our tongues.. As the duck rendang meat was really tender and melt in your mouth but it do pack a punch and fire alongside it..
Thankfully the hummus was there to soften the fire!
Duck Fat Rice (RM6)

We usually aren't a huge fan of rice but there are certain times that the occassion arises when there is an ingredients associated with Duck Fat which is a god sent gift to the culinary world!
Well that was the exception when we saw the Duck Fat Rice was on the menu in the sides option.. And we immediately set our hearts on this side without second guessing ourselves and the taste of it! 
This duck rice is an interesting one as the duck fat is a famous ingredient being used by the French in their cooking and it was also recommended to use it for the frying of the potato wedges and it would just send you to fried food heaven!

It's a great excuse to skip your diet when you are in the same table with the duck fat rice! 
This fat rice was described rather simple on the menu which stated duck fat barley spiced rice..
But there were more than barley rice as it was genuinely spiced with star anise and cloves in that rice to give it a subtle kick towards the rice to overcome the fattiness of that duck fat..
 We taste the rice and was surprised that the rice had this amazing balance between the fattiness of the duck fat together with the bold aromatics yet it wasn't overwhelming for us to clean that bowl of rice within minutes!
Oriental Spiced Chicken (RM45)
Next comes the heavy weight dish from their menu which we had Oriental Spiced Chicken..
This is from the Poultry section and it's massive portion is made for sharing unless you're anything like my eating partner that has a massive appetite which has the magical ability in cleaning the plate of in a matter of an hour.. Then, yes you may take up the challenge of eating it alone with that generous poultry serving!

This Oriental Spiced Chicken is worth the 25-30 minutes wait as the moment it arrives to the table, yes the portion is massive but like it was stated in their menu; it is a half of the bird on a plate that has an intensive massage session by the chef to rub the entire bird in every nook and crany of it with their special mixed blend of bold yet aromatic malay and chinese spices! 
Do take note; if you aren't a huge fan of the spices, then please refrain from ordering this for your sake as the strong aroma will just knock anyone socks off (if you're a lover of anything bold and delicious!)

The patience for this Oriental feast was a worthy wait as the portion was really huge and meant for sharing..
In terms of presentation, this chicken was really plain yet photogenic in reflecting the strong earthy tones and vibe which is resonating from the restaurant in various aspects!
You can see that the chicken was lovingly marinated with their oriental mixed spices that even after undergoing the cooking process of charring and baking, the spice rub still wraps the chicken as if it's a second skin!
This coating has help the chicken to retain it's succulent meat after cooking..
Tastewise, the chicken has a very bold taste of spices from the cloves and star anise but it was cooked beautifully!
Coco Cotta (RM20)
To end the beautiful and relaxing dinner we had 2 of their unique and flavour challenging desserts which is Coco Cotta & Chocolate Meringue.. First, to arrive is the Coco Cotta ..
Well this dessert, you would thought it would only be available in the spanish tapas bar or restaurant but the cheeky chefs of Chocha has collaborate the influences of the spanish and even the Italian  dessert making like the inspiration of the Creme Catalan or even Panna Cotta with the flavours and textures of the malaysian ingredients such as dehyrated coconut flakes and sweet and sticky texture of gula melaka and the entire dessert was made with fresh coconut milk..
In terms of the presentation, it was really simple yet exudes the calm and earthy color..
The portion of this dessert is perfect for 1 person.. Texture wise, the coco cotta has a really creamy texture but it still has a strong structure and doesn't crumbled easily.. Tastewise of this dessert is that it has an amazing balance between the creamy and salty notes from the coconut milk and the crunchy element of the dehydrated coconut slices and finally the nutty character of the Gula Melaka
Chocolate Meringue (RM22)
The second dessert is the Chocolate Meringue.. This dessert has a striking resemblance to the famous American dessert of Bomb Alaska but with a touch of malaysian ingredients..
 From this striking beauty, you can expect it to be very sweet as the thick and pearly white cloud of Meringue but there are plenty of surprises hide underneath that thick blanket of sweet dreams.. Beneath that thick blanket of sweet dreams are belgian chocolate sprinkled with sea salt flakes that was paired together with the fermented soya bean and finally it was being sprinkled with a dash of crushed red pepper!
Well you may wonder that the combination of the fermented soya bean and the spicy kick of the crushed red pepper would do to the belgian chocolate..
For the love of food, we were brave enough to dive in to that desserts with a fresh new spoon to witness the pudding ourselves!
Wow it was really an explosion of layers of flavours and textures that you would never imagine it to happen in this one spoonful of this decadent dessert.. In that spoonful, there was the dark and bitter notes from the Belgian chocolate and the slight hint of sweetness that was contributed from the addition of sea salt and also that salty taste.. Slowly comes the reminiscent of the sticky sweet balsamic vinegar taste that was reduced down and slowly reveals itself to a liquorice like notes alongside the hints of baking spices aroma.. It was a pleasant surprised that all this comes from a fermented soya bean which is truly unexpected and the end was complete with a bang from that spike of crushed red pepper that brought out the fireworks of flames which just stings you ever so slightly and elegantly..

If you aren't looking for food to munch, you can actually pop by the bar upstairs through the winding old staircase that leads to the Botak liqour bar which has a very oriental yet green vibe of it being surrounded with a simple bar that features white liquors and the amazing part is that they do offer cocktails on tap which practically the first for us as usually you would have the chance to witness the bartender at work but here they have already made it in advanced.. Don't worry about the freshness of the cocktails on tap as they are made fresh daily! 


Their beverage list is actually really minimalist and quite comprehensive as they have segregate all the drinks in various categories.. You can also opt to create your very own cocktail with their clear steps by steps on choosing their base to their infusions..
 All are handmade ingredients contains malaysian flavours which we are familiar with and it incorporates very well with the white based liquors.. If you aren't into the cocktails and hard liquors, there are also a various selection of craft beers which you can get the advice from their friendly bartenders! 

Verdict:
The food is delicious and challenging with complex flavours in fusion of western and chinese influences
Reasonable pricing but small portion

Ambience:3/5
Food:4/5
Price:3/5
Service:2.5/5

Must Try:
Duck Fat Rice
Duck Rendang Hummus
Crushed Potate
Oriental Spiced Chicken

Chocha Foodstore 
156, Jalan Petaling, 
City Centre
50000
Kuala Lumpur

Contact:
03-2022-1100

Opening Hours: 

Tuesday- Sunday 
11am-11pm

Closed on Monday 

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