Now open: Wondermama
The perfectly twee settings paired with an innovative fusion menu are causing Bangsarians to flock the new café. By Surekha Ragavan
The old Outback Steakhouse plot at Bangsar Village I is a gold mine. Any restaurant situated there wins on the account of location alone. Now that Wondermama has set up shop there, the fate of success is only a matter of time. On our first visit, we notice one distinct feature of the café: it’s a bit twee. Upside down woks with attached light bulbs hang from the ceiling, the counter is a quirked up version of a roadside cendol stall and colourful bowls and plates serve to decorate. By rule, there surely must be a string of fairy lights hanging across a wonderfully postured shelf somewhere.
Spicy spaghetti with tomato puree, beef bacon and otak-otak, RM22.90
Before you write this off as cynicism, let’s just make it clear that the layout is impressive. Edwin Yau, owner, manager and head chef tells us a lot of thought went into the designing of the restaurant and to that, we laud the team. We get the East-meets-street-meets-Melbourne thing mainly because it’s so darn comforting. Nothing about this place is arrogant and heck, we’ll even call it individualistic.
We’d like to point out that Edwin Yao is founder of niche Japanese outlets Daikanyama, Hajime, Wabisabi and Shukaru. We’ll go so far to say that Edwin’s managed to pull in the young urbanites – the food hipsters of our generation – with his past efforts. After selling off everything, Wondermama will prove a successive brainchild for the young entrepreneur. The food at Wondermama drops hints of Edwin’s strong Japanese past but can be generally described as fusion.
All-day breakfast with sausages, baked beans, poached eggs, bacon, choy sum and otak-otak spread, RM21.90
The menu takes Italian and European favourites and spruces it up with the occasional splash of soy sauce, chunk of otak-otak and tossing of kimchi. The all-day big breakfast is served with toast, beef bacon, poached egg and in a twist of Orientalism, choy sum and an otak-otak spread. The mini naan pizza is (you guessed it) the amalgamation of two starch staples and its toppings vary from mushroom and red Goji bean to cheese and truffle oil. Interestingly, the nasi lemak is served with a side of sambal petai and soft shell crab while the roti bakar is ambitiously designed to go with tobiko.
Spicy chicken salad, RM14
At the rate Wondermama is pulling in the crowds, it’s no surprise when Edwin tells us he has plans to expand the menu to twice its current size (effective next week) with new additions being a range of burgers like the chicken teriyaki and beef burger with tonkatsu sauce. The upstairs area (dubbed Wondercafé) will be branded as a coffee bar where patrons can sip on cappuccinos or have one of their much talked-about durian crepes. The BIG Group who?
For more info on location, see venue listing.