Chawan at Publika

Chawan first opened in Bangsar replacing the ever booming Dewi’s Corner which became a polling station for some time in 2008/2009? 3 years on, they are now at Publika too!

What attracted me to Chawan was the raw walls. Being an architectural graduate (no, I would never call myself an architect; I am not registered with PAM!), it was love at first sight. Just don’t think about the cleaning.

Just look, the cavities between the rocks are perfect hide-outs for cockroaches and creepy crawlies, but aren’t the rocks beautiful? Form over function – that was one of our architectural discussions at school.

After having exhausted Chawan in Bangsar for almost a year when T1 went to school in Bangsar (I can’t believe how much time I spent just sitting with Moms chatting all morning – thank God those days are over!), we were forced to go to Chawan in Publika one day because the Hubs was tired of paying big bucks (or what HE defines as big bucks) at the other eateries we usually frequent. To me, you eat what you pay more often than not, and Chawan to me, didn’t exactly have the healthiest of options.

But when I saw that they offered Prawn Mee, my eyes lit up. It’s been a long time since I’ve had prawn mee and although Chawan isn’t probably the best place to have a prawn mee, greed overtook logic and I flew into prawn mee Heaven.

Then I saw the sign saying 11am onward on the menu and my heart sank. It was 10.30am.

But luck was on my side because the waiter said he would check with the kitchen to see if the prawn mee was ready and it was! You know how it is when you’re praying for exam results??? This was it.

Unfortunately, this is what it looked like (very oily) when it arrived and it tasted sweet. Maybe it was catered to the Malay taste buds, but for me it didn’t work. I wasn’t used to sweet prawn mee. Actually, prawn mee is naturally sweet when cooked with fresh prawns but this sweetness didn’t come from prawns. It came from sugar.

And what was worse was that the prawns were so un-fresh that they were actually just powdery. I tried each prawn hoping I’d find one OK prawn but……

I guess the turnover for Prawn Mee at Chawan wasn’t so high which you would expect. I mean, who goes to Chawan to eat Prawn Mee? They have an impressive menu of local coffee though that invites you to savour all flavours of every State of Malaysia. Imagine that? Local coffee tasting!

Then an array of local desserts…..

I ordered a honey lemon juice as I was in need of some Vitamin C. It was OK. How wrong can it go?

The Hubs had his Kopi-O neat as always.

T2 wanted some hard boiled eggs which wasn’t in the menu but half boiled eggs were, so if you could make half boiled eggs, technically you would be able to make hard boiled eggs, don’t you think? I asked and they said no problem!

But when the eggs arrived……………..

There was no way T2 would eat that. Out of hunger, she had some of her sister’s toast immediately and we asked again for HARD boiled eggs.

The toast didn’t quite cut it for her so she decided to wait for her HARD boiled eggs and watched the rest of us eat, poor thing….

Meanwhile, the Hubs noticed that one of their fans were twirling on the ceiling in a fashion that suggested that it could drop any time and ¬†slaughter someone’s head off. The fan connection was coming loose so we quickly informed the staff to turn it off for safety measure and suggested they fixed it before turning the that particular fan on again.

When the staff saw the fan swaying like a drunkard, they were startled and quickly ran to turn it off.

We in turn quickly looked up to check if our own fan was a potential death sentence.

Phew, all OK. The fan was firmly adjusted to the ceiling. And then the royal eggs from the royal chicken arrived.

But it was COLD! Man, if they were going to serve their cold nasi lemak eggs from the fridge, why didn’t they just do it much earlier when we’d ordered instead of making my baby wait so long for hard boiled eggs!?? Is it so difficult to turn half boiled eggs that you usually cook for customers into some hard boiled eggs? Just for the record Chawan, it is done by leaving the eggs in very hot or boiling water just a little longer.

That wasn’t a good day at Chawan…………..

But they serve Nasi Dagang! Oh wait, there’s a sticker there that says N/A. There are mot many places one can find Kelantanese Nasi Dagang or even Nasi Kerabu in KL. Anyone with some recommendations???

I love how the menu has stained marks on it. The concept of the store is great. I guess they could do with some solid staff training and a healthier way of cooking their very lovely Malaysian menu. I realise that owners would then say, oh, but cannot sell…..but as Malaysians, we should all change our mind set into moving towards a healthier Malaysia and the Government should start imposing active initiatives on carrying this out. ¬†It all starts with education and slowly but surely, the taste buds will alter. As the mind gets cleverer, the body will listen.



Who is Mamapumpkin?
Mamapumpkin spent 7 years in London committing crimes to gain her Bartlett BSc in Architecture. She spent 7 years as a Stay At Home Mom raising her children as documented in this Mamapumpkin blog since over 10 years ago and thereafter returned to the Corporate World stronger than ever. Her last job as Country Director of a British Railway Signalling organisation saw her getting ill with an aortal and mitral heart valve regurgitation and early stage cancer. Through her journey from working to not working to working again, she sets out to prove to all women that they can do anything and everything that they set out to do; as long as they have that fire of desire burning within and the drive to work hard. Even better with oodles of love, passion and integrity.

Despite being ill, she has grown a network marketing business from very little knowledge and experience in the otherwise infamously known MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) industry, racing from an income of ZERO to RM 100,000 monthly in merely 2 years. She is a firm believer of the MLM business model but realises the pitfalls too and understands how and why the majority of people would shy away (or zoom far away) from any MLM business.

She is now pondering the title of her new book, From Zero to 100,000 RM monthly in 2 years and has a sequel in the pipeline with the aim of helping real professionals succeed in the World of MLM. Always the giver, Mamapumpkin has supported orphans for over 30 years and has now extended her care to the sick, single mothers, and even struggling families. She believes that with the MLM business model, we can all have a life of our own desires to enable real contribution into the world.

A beautiful life without limits.

Mamapumpkin currently manages the Homeschooling Hub Malaysia on Facebook. She also runs Working Women Malaysia (not THAT kind of Working Women!), Mamapumpkin - Creating A Life of Abundance, and Funky Moms on Facebook to offer REAL support to all women who want career and life success. She is a living testimony that women really can have a lot. Being financially free has enabled her to travel the world anytime anywhere doing anything, and she spends most of her day to day with her children, reading and supporting other women.

For enquiries, please contact her at mamapumpkin at gmail dot com or WhatsApp her at +6012-2333840
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  1. Haha…love your post! It’s nice to finally read some honest sarcastic (hope you don’t mind) review of our restaurants! There’s just too many blogs writing “good” stuff on the most horrendous eating places…

  2. I heard there is a nasi dagang in Sri Petaling.. let me explore that, and shall update you soon.. hehehe..

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