Nested in between shop lots in Sri Petaling lies Loving Cafe, a 100% vegan restaurant. They serve a range of Asian and Western food to satisfy your appetite. I went there on 8th October 2021 with my good friend Colleen and tried a few of their dishes. We were happy with one but not so much with the others. This is an honest review from my point of view.
Vegan Food & Drinks
Firstly, I’m so glad that this cafe has stood the test of time. It was established in 2010 and has not wavered even during the pandemic. I had been to this cafe prior to this visit but I only had one dish and ice cream. The ice cream was good but pricey.
A word of caution, the prices are quite steep. But I’d say for the Asian dishes, they are reasonable as the portions are big. I can’t say for the western dishes which go up to MYR 32 as I’ve not tried them. But if you convert it to USD it’s not even at 10 bucks!
A thing to note is that all the food and drinks are organically sourced with no processed ingredients and no artificial additives. They prioritise health, which I do appreciate. But this reflects on the price, making it more expensive than what you would normally find in other restaurants.
Anyway, let’s see what we ate!
Signature Asam Laksa — MYR 17.50 (USD 4.20)
As a general rule, if it’s your first time at any cafe, just go with their speciality so you don’t get disappointed. Loving Cafe’s Asam Laksa is one of the special items on the menu. It’s not spicy but rather it’s flavourful with all the right spices. Colleen is from Penang and she said that this is as close to the real deal. This reminded me of the Vegan Asam Laksa I ate in Penang a couple of years back. Although it was smaller in size compared to the one in Loving Cafe, the portion felt just right.
Cantonese Fried Udon — MYR 17.50 (USD 4.20)
I was so excited when I saw this on the menu. It’s been at least SIX YEARS since I’ve had this dish. Before I went vegan, I used to love this dish. It’s a “slimy” gravy-laden dish originally made with eggs. The vegan version at Loving Cafe uses tofu.
However, my excitement was dashed when I tasted it. It was just… bland. It was not the lack of eggs but the lack of spices. I’d ask for cili padi with soy sauce but I can’t stand cili padi so I just asked for extra soy sauce. I know, your girl is an embarrassment to the Asian community. But if it had more white pepper or salt perhaps, then I wouldn’t have needed any reinforcement.
Gyoza — RM 18 (USD 4.30)
I’m not familiar with this Japanese Fried Dumpling but Colleen wasn’t too pleased. Mostly with the sauce; it wasn’t the right dumpling sauce. For me, it was an OK snack. Nothing special. But I don’t think it’s worth the price.
Cincau Soya — MYR 9.50 (USD 2.30)
You’d think that you can’t go wrong with soy cincau… but it kind of did. Or at least, I wasn’t used to the unsweetened version.
Firstly, the soy milk was thick which was a bit unusual for a soy cincau drink. I didn’t mind the thick texture. It was not sweet though. But I guess it’s because they didn’t add any additives like sugar. That’s fine but what was bewildering was that the cincau or grass jelly was tasteless. I think I’m just so used to the sweet grass jelly so I assume they didn’t add any syrup to the grass jelly. I liked that they added a lot of the grass jelly into the drink but because it was rather bland I couldn’t finish it all up as I’d always do.
Organic Apple Pie — MYR 12 (USD 3)
This is a must-try! I highly recommend it! It was so delicious. The size was modest and considering the taste, I think it’s worth the price. I took away one piece and shared it with a friend.
Vegan Blueberry Yogurt Cake — RM 22 (USD 12.50)
I also took away this cake which looked so appetizing. Yes, the price looks steep but well, it contains blueberries which are imported so it makes sense. This is definitely a once in a blue(berry) moon indulgence.
I think that overall, Loving Cafe nails it with the pastries and desserts but not so much the main dishes. I think those are a hit or miss. But at least they were healthy and I did get some nutrition into my body. I wonder how their Western dishes are like. Perhaps I should visit again.
When I go to a cafe, I like to see how they decorate the place and what vibe they give off. The ambience and service often tell a lot about the cafe as much as the food.
At Loving Cafe, the vibe was calm, neat and minimalistic. You could go to the open bakery area and peruse their selection of pastries. If you walk a few paces to the left, you’ll see their cakes. It’s not a particularly big cafe but it felt spacious.
The servers were attentive and polite so I have no complaints. The food didn’t take long to arrive. So I’d say the service overall was good.
Final Thoughts About Loving Cafe Sri Petaling
While some of the main dishes were mediocre, I’m just happy that there’s even a fully vegan restaurant in the area. So it’s hard to dislike this cafe.
I think Loving Cafe will thrive as society starts appreciating organic vegan food. They already have a good customer base. The area is strategic as it attracts mostly Chinese people who are more open to vegan or vegetarian food. The cafe was indeed full at lunchtime so be sure to reserve a table as we did.
To conclude, I recommend the Asam Laksa and Apple Pie for first-timers. If they don’t have pastries for some reason, the green tea ice cream is also worth a try. Just don’t set your expectation too high and enjoy the chill vibes.