Huck’s Cafe, Jalan Gasing PJ: A Secret No More

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Jerry Maguire used to be a typical sports agent: willing to do just about anything he could to get the biggest possible contracts for his clients, plus a nice commission for himself. Then, one day, he suddenly has second thoughts about what he’s really doing. When he voices these doubts in a written manifesto entitled “The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business” to the applause of his peers, but ends up losing his job and all of his clients. In the now immortalised silver screen moment, before he ‘eased out’ of the office with a box of his belongings and a gold fish, he mouthed the famous last words,”Who’s coming with me?”.

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I would imagine the scene was far less dramatic for Huck Seng when he decided to throw in the towel on his previous job as an ad man, for something more fulfilling. It was a gutsy move. He then picked up cooking with his spare time (which he then had ample of), posted some food porn on Facebook, then his friends “like” ‘em pictures and kept pestering him to cook. And that’s how his dinner parties eventually became Huck’s Cafe, a secret supper club for his friends. His friends brought in more friends, soon a Facebook page was launched, EatDrinkKL blogged about it and just like that, the cat got out of the bag. Today, one would have to book some two weekends in advance depending on availability (you can try your luck last minute and see if any parties have pulled out on their reservations). Otherwise, weekdays are your best bet.

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While the concept (or cult?) of an underground home bistro has been steadily growing in popularity, operating outside the realm of official restaurant in places like London and other many other American cities, where small groups of food-minded strangers gather at long tables to meet others and eat well. Although Huck’s Cafe is designed in this fashion, different group of diners would have the luxury of their own table in the upper floor of his suburban home in Petaling Jaya. Opening his doors to only about 15-20 people every night, Huck lovingly prepares and cooks all the dishes himself with the help of two kitchen staffs.

In an awkward case of you didn’t had me at “Hello“, the Mushroom Tom Yum Soup was a weird concoction of vegetables and mushrooms swimming in a diluted fish sauce broth. And brocolli, really? Clearly a false start. His hearty Cream of Mushroom, however, wowed everyone else and cleared our doubts. Our first sight of the handsome chef was when he brought out a foil package to the table. He cut it open with a pair of scissors to unveil tender pieces of chicken breast marinated with thyme and white wine baked with potatoes and 5 types of mushrooms. He called this dish “Sealed with a Kiss“. The famous Cottage Lamb Stew Pie was delectably sweet and peppery with chunky lean meat hidden under a mountain of baked mashed potato. Every bite was a screaming “Show me the Money!” moment. I like the taste of his Grilled Lamb Chop with Pepper sauce, but my friend found it to be too undercook for his liking. So, remember to specify how you like yours done. Your meal comes with desserts and a hot after-dinner drink too, just make your choices on the day itself.

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While Huck’s cooking will not blow your mind off, it will definitely touch the heart simply because his food is soulful and bursting with homemade flavours – qualities lacking in run-the-mill restaurants. I’m so glad I’ve made my way here enjoyed every little bit of my time dining at this ‘secret’ supper club. Oh, what a discovery!

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Huck’s Cafe
Reservations and enquiry can be made only through Facebook.

17 Responses to Huck’s Cafe, Jalan Gasing PJ: A Secret No More
  1. KY
    January 18, 2011 | 3:22 am

    the thing i need most now, is that cup of kopi! :D

  2. Small Kucing
    January 18, 2011 | 3:40 am

    not bad. will go and have a try

  3. Sean
    January 18, 2011 | 6:28 am

    wow, i love how you matched the bruce springsteen song with this place. it actually makes me think of huck's cafe in a whole new light, seriously! and with all the beautiful quotes that you used (i'd forgotten all about renee's 'i love him for man that he almost is' one), this review feels so warm and romantic, it would make a wonderful valentine's day entry! :D

  4. J
    January 18, 2011 | 6:39 am

    All those lines really bring back good memories of the super sweetness of Jerry McGuire….
    :)

  5. Lyrical Lemongrass
    January 18, 2011 | 7:34 am

    You're such a lohmantic man, mah BFF!! Love this post.

  6. gfad
    January 18, 2011 | 7:35 am

    Hahahahaha… I luuuurve how you put that froggy in!! You have such a whimsical touch! :)

    Looks like a nice place for a family to enjoy a homecooked meal not cooked by mom! :)

  7. J2Kfm
    January 18, 2011 | 7:36 am

    What a beautiful post. Yeah, that Secret Garden laced with dialogues from the movie was one of my personal favourite tune ever.

    He gave up his 9-5 job for Huck's Cafe? A clever move. But seems that he increased the price to RM88 now huh?

  8. PureGlutton
    January 18, 2011 | 8:33 am

    Sounds like a good biz venture hoh? Cook for friends & have them pay for the meals!

  9. CUMI & CIKI
    January 18, 2011 | 9:21 am

    ohhh shuttup. u had me at hucks.

  10. thule a.k.a leo
    January 18, 2011 | 9:37 am

    Wow!! The ball has started rolling :) everyone made their way to Huck's! except for me :(
    I have weakness for homecooked food… now I only have to find the right time to make reservation

  11. UnkaLeong
    January 18, 2011 | 10:11 am

    @Leo : Yahlor, I oso have not been there. If you make reservations, include one pax please, me :D

  12. qwazymonkey
    January 18, 2011 | 10:32 am

    KY: Can you smell the cup of local kopi calling for you?

    Small Kucing: Hope you have a nice time there.

    Sean: Who would've guessed that you're the romantic sort. That's clearly LFB's department. But yea, his place is sorta a secret garden doncha think? I'm sure he's all booked up for Vday already

    J: Yeah, I feel like rewatching it.

    LL: Eh, I think you've gotten the wrong blog lah. Lohmantic is Life For Beginners.

  13. qwazymonkey
    January 18, 2011 | 10:35 am

    GFAD: The frog was actually there in Huck's balcony! Bring your family.

    J2KFM: I see we share the same taste in music. Good stuff my friend. You know, even at RM88 I still think you'll get your money's worth – taste, portion, service, and feel good factors all considering.

    Pureglutton: When you wanna start a business like that?

    C&C: You…complete me!

    Thule & unka: Make a reservation today and bring Unkaleong. Put him in a baby's chair. Haha

  14. ccy
    January 19, 2011 | 5:59 pm

    Jerry Maguire + Bruce Springsteen (Secret Garden) = fantastic

  15. Alisa
    January 20, 2011 | 2:22 am

    what a wonderful post. The reference to jerry maguire and the delicious food photos really did it for me :)

  16. Life for Beginners
    January 20, 2011 | 3:50 am

    "You had me at 'Hello'?"

    There was a time when someone said to me, "You had me at 'Nice arms.'"

    *muahhahahhaha*

  17. iamthewitch
    January 20, 2011 | 5:16 am

    Oh I love this post! And I love the movie, the song, the actors, everything! :) And it helps that the food looked gorgeous too ;)