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Alam Pasu: blissful garden café in the city centre – Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The city’s daily grid-locked traffic, perennial noise and air pollution made worse by work stress, can wreak havoc on anyone’s health and mental state.
What everyone needs is a dose of good old-fashioned nature and soul food to help restore the balance between mind, body and soul.
Lucky for you, there’s a green sanctuary right smack in the city where you can sit down to a nice meal while being serenaded by birds as you take in the serene sights and the clean, refreshing air.
Welcome to Alam Pasu, a café cum plant store located at the LINC KL shopping mall.
Co-founded in May this year by Goh Seong Kheng and Ng Juan Jin, this oasis of peace is the perfect place for couples, friends, or loners seeking some solitude.
Goh, 45, said he was forced to give up his original 10-year-old plant business called Pasu when the pandemic hit.
Later, when he was offered this current space, which encircles a majestic weeping Fig tree that’s over 100 years old, he jumped at the chance to restart his plant business, now calling it Alam Pasu.
He roped in Ng, 35, a long-standing customer as well as a co-founder of café Du Jour in SS2, to manage the food side of things.
There are about 400-500 types of plants at Alam Pasu, from outdoor and indoor plants, to carnivorous species like the Venus flytrap. Goh sources them from his own farms, and imports the rest.
“Plants are therapeutic; they help to relax your mind and thoughts,” he told FMT, adding that some of his customers have revealed that gardening helped them cope with depression.
“A plant could be dying, but it doesn’t give up. It might ‘die’ or ‘rest’ for a while, but it will slowly come back to life. I learn a lot about life by taking care of my plants; nature can teach you so many things.”
From time to time, Goh runs workshops on, among others, building terrariums, basic gardening and plant anatomy.
Music lovers can enjoy live music every Saturday afternoon, and one can also rent the space for corporate, public and private events. “Someone even proposed marriage to his partner here recently,” he said, smiling.
The food at the café is a mix of familiar western favourites like lasagne and fish and chips, alongside healthier options like salad and kombucha.
Ng, who has been incorporating more plant-based meals into his diet said that customers can request for vegan versions of certain dishes.
The beef lasagne with garlic bread and marinara sauce is flavourful and deliciously filling, whereas the truffle mushroom chicken pie served with mashed potato and gravy alongside a salad is the ultimate comfort food.
For those with an aversion to salads, the chicken quinoa salad- which comes in an explosion of flavours and colours – will definitely change your mind.
The dish comes with a generous serving of salad greens, roast chicken and quinoa alongside chunks of avocados, orange slices, tomatoes, cranberries and a variety of seeds, with tangy honey mustard dressing on the side.
The fish and chips on the other hand is served with coleslaw and a particularly delicious homemade tartar sauce.
Wash down the hearty meals with a refreshing lychee mint iced lemon tea, or try one of their flavoured kombuchas.
As for dessert, the moist cream cheese chocolate brownie is absolutely decadent, while the Valrhona chocolate brownie is just as intense, rich and sinful.
Goh is clearly passionate about spreading awareness on the therapeutic benefits of plants, and often finds himself talking to them.
“I’m happy that I get to meet a lot of nature lovers. They energise me and keep me going,” he said, adding that many elderly people drop by just to spend some time with the plants.
It’s true – food does taste better amidst nature, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a hornbill that occasionally comes by or go home with a plant in tow, the possible sweet beginnings of a pleasant addiction.
Check out Alam Pasu on Instagram.
Alam Pasu
Centre Courtyard
Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Café business hours:
Weekdays: 9.30am-4.30pm
Weekends: 9.30am-7.00pm
Plant shop:
Daily: 10.00am-9.00pm
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