1Utama has seen a lot of changes over the last few years. From a foodie's perspective, it's been a wonderful boon as the New Wing in 1U has seen many new restaurants and snack joints opening up. Of course, business in any industry is unforgiving, especially in the F&B line, so it's no surprise to see such high turnover. But then there are places like Charms Cafe that have weathered the changing times and continue serving customers with their own special menu of food. =)
Charms occupies a small shoplot along the walkway that connects the Old Wing and New Wing (of course these days the once-old wing is now the newer wing... yeah, haven't figured out how to refer to either wing yet :p) and a spot in the middle with hanging swings and lanterns, which is the more popular area for diners.
We started coming here way in the beginning of our relationship, although we can't remember why exactly we chose to try Charms that fine day many years ago.
But since that day, we've always remembered Charms for it's one particular snack that both of us thoroughly enjoy. It's been our secret all these years, but now we're willing to share!
How generous we are =P
And the secret is... the aptly named Charms Mini Mayo Dip (RM 8.50) By all accounts it looks pretty plain and ordinary from the outside, but dig into it and the truth is revealed!
It's hard to describe this snack. It's even harder to find something to compare it to. Imagine piping hot baked mayo, mixed with some egg and bits of what we think could be mushrooms and onions. Every time, we try to guess what actually goes in... but, I think we'll just ask the wait staff next time. Haha. It makes for a perfect, yet simple dip with some plain bread, which which is served with the dip. Be warned that it gets very filling though; there's actually a bigger version, but we usually can't finish this mini version between the both of us. Order the regular size dip for parties of at least 4. And make sure they are not small eaters. =D
Continuing the list of snacks, we also like the Cucur Bawang (RM 5.90) here at Charms. Charms' version of the common cucur bawang, loosely translated to be onion fruitters, was a very addictive snack.
The batter holding the strips of onion and carrots together was light and extremely crunchy, and it went well with their special Charms' green chilli dip. Doesn't sound like much, but it's one of those once-start-can't-stop kind of snacks! =D
Want more meat? Have some Boxing Chicken! The Boxing Chicken was actually pretty typical of fried chicken drummets and wings served elsewhere, with nothing much setting it apart. Some days though, we just crave some fried chicken and that was one of those days. Slug this out with 2-3 others to claim the title of boxing champion. =D
Fried chicken may be common in KL restaurants, but what is definitely special is this Spicy Gizzie (RM 7.50)! Without any description on the menu, we had to make a uninformed guess on what it was, but I had a feeling it would be the chicken gizzard, and I was right! Of all the inner parts of a chicken, the gizzard is my favourite, perhaps the only part I will eat. (I don't like liver or heart.. =/) So, I was quite happy to have a whole plate of fried gizzard! It's tasty, with the batter spicy and appetizing, but definitely way too much for one person to finish. Make sure you bring a like-minded gizzard-loving friend along with you, or it's going to go to waste. =D
Charms also has a few special main dishes, but on this particular visit we only had one of the mains from their new menu, the Green Curry Spaghetti. Fusion food is all the rage these days, but a good five to six years ago, I probably would never have entertained the thought of trying green curry with spaghetti. As it turns out, it was pretty good, with a fragrant green curry sauce that's thick but not cloying, and a reasonable amount of chicken, prawns and squid. Again, it's not something I'd recommend for one person to finish, but it's more than enough for 2 to share. =)
Charms is a place we hold pretty close to our hearts. We're glad the Mayo Dip and their other dishes have remained consistent and tasty, just the way we remember, while maintaining reasonable prices in the myriad of (pricier) F&B outlets in 1 Utama. If you find yourself in 1 Utama, tired after a long day of shopping, or needing to kill time waiting for a movie to start, why not stop Charms for a snack?
*All photos taken by iPhone 5. For the full set of photos, click here.
Charms Cafe | Site
Situated near Factory Outlet Store
Lot S206, 2nd Floor,
1 Utama Shopping Centre,
Lebuh Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +6 03 7722 2206
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am-10pm