It's always exciting to see friends start business ventures. As we move through our 20s, more and more friends begin to shun the rat race for a road less traveled, trying to make it in the world on their own terms. Potpourri Cafe in Jaya One is opened by one such friend whom I met as a banker, and is now an entrepreneur. =)
Potpourri Cafe takes over what used to the Fireman steamboat restaurant, next to the entrance to the carpark and down the same row as Old Town White Coffee. We never went to Fireman, but we hear the furnishing is still a little similar, with a few extra tables here and there.
Food here offers a mix between middle eastern fare and local fare. My friend's husband is Middle Eastern, which explains the influence on the food. We went on the 2nd day of opening so the menu was still a work in progress, but since then we hear there are a lot more choices in the menu! =D
For starters, I spotted there was Deep Fried Sotong (RM 12.80) which I'm always a sucker for! The calamari here are fresh and juicy, with a mixture of squid rings and legs. I particularly like that there were squid legs, a tad more texture in my humble opinion, since a lot of places tend to only serve the rings. We were slightly disappointed with the portion size, which we were told would be changed over time. =)
For mains we tried a bit of both middle eastern and local, opting for the Potpourri Moroccan Lamb Stew (RM 24.80). This may not look like the most appealing dish in terms of presentation, but boy, was it tasty! The lamb tasted like a result of a good slow cook, leaving the flesh succulent and soft. The gravy was also extremely flavourful and appetizing, fragrant with a mixture of spices and sweetness. We would return to have this.
For those not feeling so adventurous, there's always familiar names like the Beef Hor Fun (RM 10.80), slithery kuey teow noodles with beef, in a thick spring onion & ginger sauce. In case you were wondering, Potpourri is a halal restaurant, so Muslim friends can come here and enjoy simple Chinese-style cuisine as well. And I would recommend Potpourri for their Chinese food too, because this Hor Fun had plenty of flavour, it wasn't too salty or bland, and it didn't taste like a lot of MSG. The beef was also tender, leading us both to give this a stamp of approval. =D
Drinks at Potpourri deserve their own special mention. The bartender at Potpourri definitely has a creative flair, as he makes up his own recipes like this Summerino Ice Tea (RM 6.80). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually liked this drink, since it was really very refreshing and fruity. Some may say it's a bit too sweet, but I put that down to the sweetness of the fruit rather than added sugar.
Wendy on the other hand gave the After Eight Chocolate (RM 7.80) a go, and her gamble paid off. While iced chocolates can sometimes be thick and filling, the use of After Eight chocolates that have a minty centre ensure the drink turns out much more lighter and easier to drink, with a lovely lingering chill from the mint. This is one of those drinks that leaves a lasting impression on you, one that we haven't forgotten after over a month! =D
So with food that's simple, affordable and worth a second go, there's no reason not to make Potpourri a regular haunt. They have also inherited an upstairs portion, which has now been turned into a more relaxed dining and chill-out spot. An added bonus? There are extractor fans left in the restaurant since the previous owner served steamboat, but now instead of extracting steamboat steam, it now conveniently turns the upstairs area into a possible indoor shisha area. We think that's a really unique point of the place, that can definitely attract a crowd. =D
And yes, I did say shisha in the previous paragraph. So whether it's for a quick lunch meal, a more satisfying dinner meal, or just a quick hang out with friends, Potpourri has it all covered. We certainly wish them all the best in this new venture! =D
Potpourri Cafe | Facebook
(few doors away from Old Town Kopitiam, facing the main road)
Lot 43, LG2, Block C, Jaya One
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti
Petaling Jaya, Selangor