Feel Good Coffee
Nestled in the back alley of the neighbourhood restaurant Castell is the unassuming spot where you can find Roast & Grind standing out among the general whiteness of the other shops on the lot. Having started its operation just this past May by business partners Shah and Faizal, the place is evocative of their friendship, where the atmosphere is very inviting and it feels much like stepping foot into your bohemian buddy’s home. Bohemian because of the eclectic chairs that were painted, refurbished, and upholstered with patterns and colours, along with the Instagram-friendly ‘60s inspired signage that creatively incorporated the owners’ personality and interests, which can be summarised as two gentlemen who love the beach, boxing, Vespas, and obviously, coffee.
They decided on a whim to open up a coffee place when they came upon an empty shop lot that was for rent while they were having a drive around the area after a night of hanging out. But it was not really an impulsive move when you realised that Shah has some legitimate heritage in the coffee business—his grandfather founded the Hang Tuah coffee brand a year after our country’s independence. In addition to being in the business side of things and attaining a barista certificate from Melbourne, Shah also has a passion steeped in the craft of roasting coffee beans. Though currently roasting small batches, he explains the meticulous process with simple clarity that makes even the casual coffee drinker invested. Faizal, who left a decade long career as a football player for the field of property consultancy, was similarly struck by coffee and its varying degree of flavours. They have set up the café with the aim of making coffee the main priority.
Roast & Grind sell their own brand of coffee beans in the shop and the café’s small food menu serves as a side to the coffee that ranges from the regular suspects to an ode to old school nostalgia – Kopi O. The Kopi O tasted refreshingly of the blissfully uncomplicated mix of water and coffee essence. Because of their small kitchen, sandwiches are the only sensible thing that could be assembled for peckish customers. One of their bestsellers is Le Poulet, a balanced creamy mayonnaise chicken sandwich, topped with slices of hardboiled eggs with flakes of dried chilly. If a savoury accompaniment to your coffee isn’t your preference, there is a selection of cakes and desserts to whet your appetite.
Other than coffee, Shah and Faizal also made it a point to make Roast & Grind a place to not only house friends and family, but also to support them. Shah’s sister, a culinary arts graduate brainstorms and prepares the food and there’s a pop-up store displaying Faizal’s brother’s business venture – Crispy Duck, a Balinese streetwear. Of course, it goes without saying that they treat their customers like one of their own. Roast & Grind’s hospitality can be found not only in the way they greet customers but also in the tiny gestures they do, for instance, the PlayStation console at the sofa area and the complimentary used coffee ground that acts as both fertiliser and holistic body scrub.
Poised to be one of the new hot joints for your next coffee sessions, be sure to put this endearing place in your café hop list.
LORONG UNIVERSITI B
46350 PETALING JAYA
T: 012 252 0855 / 019 393 1399
OPEN: 11AM – 11PM (CLOSED ON MONDAYS)