KUALA LUMPUR: Deep in the heart of bustling Kuala Lumpur, within the walls of a rustic old bungalow, is a café that serves all types of customers. And when they say all types of customers, they mean it – even furry and feathered ones.
Welcome to After One, a health-focused eatery and event space that prides itself on being one of the biggest pet-friendly cafés in the city.
Visitors here are likely to be greeted by barks and meows as they step into its spacious compound: seats and tables are set up outside so they can eat and spend quality time with their animal friends.
After One, which opened circa June last year, is the brainchild of friends Yiew Cji Hong, Philip Yiew, Jet Low and Denon Lee, who is also its head chef.
The venue occupies a former abandoned 30-year-old bungalow, rented by Philip from another party. The four friends liked it so much, they turned it into a café.
“I’m a pet owner myself, and I am always looking for places I can bring my dog. So, we decided to move in that direction,” said After One marketing consultant Yevon Yiew.
“We have a lot of pet owner visitors who are very grateful for a place like this, a wide-open space for their pets to run around.”
Both human and animal customers can enjoy top quality food here. Head chef Lee cut his teeth at Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant Nix in New York for many years, training under the thumb of acclaimed American chef John Fraser.
His mission is to dispel stereotypes that healthful food is bland, by creating fresh, nutritious meals that are still tantalising to the taste buds.
“Our menu is heavily plant- and produce-based, although we also have meat options. We don’t use processed ingredients,” he said, adding that although it is challenging to keep the prices affordable, it’s more about striking a balance between the business going forward and serving the best food.
Their café sports an open concept, with a brightly lit interior infused with elements of Scandinavian design. Its modern furnishing is accented with abundant touches of green to emphasise life and health, and orange, the restaurant’s signature colour.
Its ample space makes it perfect for pet-focused activities. After One has previously played host to pet food launches, a pet market, and even sessions of doga, or dog yoga.
Even if you don’t own a pet, the venue’s lively atmosphere and delicious food still make After One a very fun place to stop by.
Lee said he tries to ensure a wide variety for customers. There is, of course, a slight tilt towards Northern American cuisine, thanks to his years in New York. His menu is pork-free, and vegetarian- and pet-friendly.
If visiting in the morning, try their Breakfast Quesadilla (RM28): enjoy farm eggs and pulled duck meat wrapped in a soft tortilla, complemented by zesty Pico de Gallo and rich guacamole made from fresh Australian avocados.
This dish is best enjoyed with their signature Jawa pandan coffee, an enticing blend of pandan, espresso, milk and homemade gula Melaka.
Another great choice is the Corn Succotash, a dish inspired by Native American culinary traditions. This is a mouthwatering mix of pinto beans, grilled corn, halved avocado, chipotle aioli and corn tortilla.
One of the most popular choices here is the Eggs Benny. Two orbs of luscious eggs-tasy sit thronelike upon a house-made Belgian waffle, blanketed in a vivid orange-hued tomato Hollandaise sauce enhanced with smoked Norwegian salmon.
An accompaniment of apple arugula salad completes the meal, making it a top dining choice no matter the time of day.
Furkids, on the other hand, can enjoy the Pawpaw Bowl, a delectable combination of brown rice, farm eggs, chicken breast and vegetables.
If seafood is more their paw-ference, get them the Nomnom Bowl, an artfully composed medley of pasta, tuna chunks and vegetables rich in both colour and taste.
Which customers did they prefer to serve, pets or pet owners?
“We are good with both. Although pets seem much easier to please. People have so many complex tastes and preferences,” Lee said.
“Whereas pets, especially dogs, you give them anything, and they will happily finish their plates! They are not choosy. Although I once met a dog that refused to eat his broccoli!” he laughed.
Lee and his friends plan to expand the business, with sights on another After One branch in Johor soon. Here’s hoping they continue serving healthful meals to both people and animals for years to come.
After One KL
1, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
9am-10pm (Tuesdays to Saturdays)
Closed on Sundays
Contact: 03-2181 0436