Cover Lee Ziyan, Lim Heng Kit and Cherry Xiao

You can crust us on this: Provisions Café is the very definition of bread heaven

Founded by the same team behind LI Restaurant, which is listed in T. Dining's Best Restaurants Guide 2020, Provisions Café draws inspiration from the bakeries of California and the cafés of Melbourne.

"We wanted a space where we could go to in the morning or just during the day to have a simple meal," said head chef Lim Heng Kit.

The 3 co-founders, Lim Heng Kit, Lee Ziyan and Lim Yee Rui, met while pursuing their studies in Melbourne, and collaborated to open their first venture LI Restaurant. Once the restaurant gained traction, they felt confident enough to open Provisions Café. 

See also: LI Restaurant Is A Love Letter To Malaysian Classics

The trio threw open the doors to Provisions Café in August 2019. Conveniently located just next to LI, the bakery has already cultivated a second following, and it's not surprising. Existing fans of LI Restaurant's sourdough quickly spread the word that the team was opening up a modern, bright and picturesque bakery dedicated to the art of yeast.

"The root word for 'provisions' is 'provide,' which also means 'supply'," continued Heng Kit. "We wanted to steadily supply baked goods, including sourdough bread, coffee and some artisanal food products to the neighbourhood.

Decked out in burnt orange and furnished with speckled counter tops and wooden elements, the café instantly garnered attention for its eye-catching aesthetics. An outside bench allows you to linger for photo opps, and a window looking into the kitchen lets you visualise the bread-making process.

All of Provisions Café's baked goods are made from scratch. Whichever baker is on duty arrives at 6am sharp every morning to start kneading, chilling and baking. The whole process heavily relies on temperature and folding techniques. The elasticity of the dough is a surefire way to determine if the bread will be of perfect consistency.

"The starter contains just flour and water, but sourdough breads require two to three whole days to ferment and rise before finally meeting the oven," Heng Kit explained. Provisions is definitely doing something right, for their breads are fluffy on the inside but golden and crusty on the outside.

The café and bakery sells grab-and-go Asian and Western-styled baked goods for quick morning bites.

The smoked duck bun glazed with honey is the perfect balance of sweet and savoury and the cinnamon bun reminds us of the upcoming holiday season. A collaboration with Seniman Kakao saw the birth of the dark chocolate milk bun; our favourite treat of everything that we sampled, the bun uses made-in-Malaysia dark chocolate with more acidity than grocery store chocolate.

Breakfast connoisseurs with sweet tooths can feast on Provisions' brownies, carrot sesame cakes, French butter cakes, scones, calamansi madeleines, and financiers or French almond cakes.

Rows and rows of breads such as the wholemeal sourdough, walnut raisin sourdough, rye sourdough and milk bread are perfect for taking away to enjoy at home, but if you plan on staying, the kitchen will incorporate their breads in a variety of hot dishes, including scrambled eggs on toast, French toast, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

"Our customers can get simple dishes made using high-quality ingredients."

Provisions Café has adopted a signature item from LI: the sous vide kaya on sourdough toast. Heng Kit describes the dish as an embodiment of the café. Runny yet creamy and with just the right amount of sweetness, the coconut spread made our mouths salivate for more. Whole tubs of the homemade kaya can be purchased if you want to experience its glorious taste every morning.

"We're Malaysians, so we obviously grew up going to kopitiams. I have always loved kaya, but there are certain things I didn't like about it either, like it can be too chunky or too sweet. The way we do it is how we like to eat it—smoother and not as sweet," enthused Heng Kit.

A darker shade of green on brown, the avocado toast drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper will add some cheer to your morning, that is, unless you can't stomach onions, in which case, we recommend the ample other breakfast choices.

The café sticks to simplicity with the likes of slow-cooked scrambled eggs finished with homemade tomato jam. Piqued by a bit of tartness, the open-face toast is also highly recommended.

However, it's not all breakfast food here. In fact, the enticing sourdough Margherita pizza makes a stellar appearance at noon. One bite of this Italian delicacy is enough to keep you coming back for more.

Another lunch delicacy is the grilled cheese paired with tomato soup. Dip the sumptuous sandwich into the soup for an explosion of flavours—it's comfort food to beat all others.

Apart from baking delicious pastries, the café is skilled at brewing their personalised coffee blend known as the Provisions blend, which consists of 40% Brazil, 40% Guatemela and 20% Sumatra beans. Coffee lovers can get the special blend bagged to go.

Other products on their shelves include Alphabet Press postcards, coffee tumblers, and more food! “We carry artisanal chocolate from Seniman Kakao and heirloom rice from Langit Collective in an effort to highlight local artisans," underscores Heng Kit.

Provisions | 49, Jalan SS22/23, Petaling Jaya | 03-7731 7971 | Hours: 9am-6pm

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