CC By Mel
Words: Nichole Ong
Photos: Rich Callahan
Stepping into CC by Mel felt as though we were stepping into a spa or a resort. Immediately, it was apparent why this cosy, casual Japanese-fusion cafe has seen such success since its opening. With a simple yet modern design, the aesthetic wood tones of the restaurant, as well as its abundance of greenery, created the perfect ambience to sit, relax, and enjoy a beautifully decorated meal next to its open windows.
CC By Mel – Bukit Jalil
CC by Mel resides on the first floor of a shophouse within walking distance from the new Pavilion Bukit Jalil mall. It’s the optimal destination for just about any meal, offering sandwiches and smoothie bowls for breakfast or brunch, burgers, pasta, and rice for lunch and dinner or deliciously appealing confections for dessert or a snack. It also boasts a drink menu with a large variety of beverages, from coffee to soda to juice. Hence, it was no surprise that the restaurant was bustling with food and conversation even during the off-peak time of our visit at 4 pm.
The plating of the dishes is also something to be deeply commended. Each dish, whether a burger, taco, drink or smoothie bowl, looked meticulously crafted, maintaining this standard despite the restaurant being packed with patrons. This is a testament to the owner, Melanie Pong, ‘s background as a florist, which she weaves into her food with edible flowers placed precisely on every order.
Signature Trio Taco Box
We were intrigued by the uniqueness of the Signature Trio Taco Box (RM 68, RM 78 for beef taco). Unlike any taco I’d tried before, the casing was a fried, crunchy seaweed encircling a bed of Japanese rice topped with fresh seafood and vibrant seasoning. The set of three included the Tropica Nori (RM 26), Yu Nori (RM 26) and the Ebi Nori (RM 22). The yu nori can be swapped out for the Gyu Nori (RM 36) for an extra RM10. The aesthetics of the dish made it all the more appetising. Each taco came in a specially crafted box and was topped with the restaurant’s signature edible flowers. The boxes also came with a miniature syringe to drizzle soy sauce atop the tacos at any amount suited to each person’s liking.
The tropica nori was an enticing combination of salmon and tuna sashimi with fresh mango, avocado, tare sauce and furikake seasoning, perfected with ikura (red caviar) on top. The freshness of the sashimi really shone within the dish, and the ikura on top gave it a pleasant pop of flavour. The yu nori, containing tuna saku sashimi and avocado, seasoned with mentaiko (cod roe) mayo, tempura nori, and pico de gallo tasted similarly bright and fresh. I particularly enjoyed the pop of spice the pico de gallo gave the taco and the strong, salty (but not overpowering) flavour of the mentaiko mayo. Likewise, the ebi nori, consisting of prawns, braised miso daikon, ebiko (shrimp roe), and seasoned with lime, salsa, and tempura nori, provided a burst of vibrant flavours. The freshness of the prawn paired with the dynamic seasoning made it a personal favourite of mine.
Donburi Rice Bowls
From the donburi (rice bowl) portion of the menu, we sampled the Curry-tory (RM 34), marinated chicken katsu on a bed of gohan (Japanese rice) with handmade Japanese curry, topped with spring onion. The dish’s presentation was gorgeous, as the edible flowers and greenery elevated the dish to a level of unique beauty. Tastewise, the curry struck the perfect balance between sweet and spicy, complimenting the rice well. The chicken itself was also wonderfully marinated and retained its exterior crunchiness despite being adjacent to the curry. In my opinion, the curry-tory is definitely worth a try for lovers of Japanese curry looking for an added elegance.
We also tasted the Shroom Donabe (RM 32, RM34 with added egg yolk), a worthy vegetarian donburi option. The rice was topped with various mushroom preparation styles, including eryngii scallops (king oyster mushroom), tempura (batter-fried) eryngii and marinated enoki to bring the dish to life. It was also seasoned with negitami, spring shallots, shallot oil, sweet potato bits and spring onion. The overall dish looked like it had come out of an ornamental garden planter, with the clay pot being decorated with red and purple flowers, fresh green leaves and mushrooms arranged in a circle around the egg and rice. Being cooked in a clay pot gave the rice a wonderfully caramelised texture. The crunchy rice closer to the clay pot mixed enjoyably with the softer rice towards the centre. I would definitely suggest adding an egg yolk to your dish, as it coated the rice well with an added smooth consistency, enhancing the dish overall. My favourite part of the dish was the eryngii scallops, grilled to perfection on the outside with a soft, juicy exterior that was earthy with a hint of sweetness. Personally, I would have preferred the rice itself to have slightly more seasoning with salt and pepper, but the current flavour profile is great for those who prefer to enjoy the taste of the fresh mushrooms to the fullest.
We were impressed by the juicy appearance of the Burger Holy Cow (RM 58) as soon as it was served. Its wagyu beef patty was front and centre in the charcoal bun, appetisingly complemented with caramelised onion, brie cheese, tomatoes, spinach, wasabi mayo and truffle aioli with a good helping of crispy fries on the side. The burger tasted as good as it looked; a delicious mix, from the succulent beef to the richness of the onions and the freshness of the vegetables. The fries were also cooked to crunchy perfection, completing a filling and satisfying dish. The holy cow burger is a must-have for beef and burger lovers looking for a hearty meal.
Sandwiches at CC by Mel
The Sando Sun (RM 22) takes the classic egg mayo sandwich and gives it a magnificent makeover of the freshest ingredients and a burst of added flavour from Japan. The sandwiches contained smoked salmon, avocado, egg mayo, ajitama tamago (the soy-sauce marinated eggs with the perfectly gooey yolk normally found on ramen) between slices of Hokkaido loaf bread. As a generous portion topped with CC by Mel’s signature garden adornments, even a sandwich lived up to the aesthetic standards of the restaurant. We particularly enjoyed how the sides of the sandwiches were toasted to crispy deliciousness in typical sando sandwich style, and personal highlights of the dish included the freshness of the smoked salmon and the added texture and flavour the ajitama tamago added to the sandwich. The sando sun proves that the sandwiches at CC by Mel are not to be overlooked and will undoubtedly serve as an abundantly tasty snack or lunch option.
We tried the Berry Please Smoothie Bowl (RM 20), made with dragon fruit, blueberry, strawberry, fresh milk, honey, homemade granola mix, coconut flakes, and acai berries. For my personal taste, it was slightly too runny for a smoothie bowl, but the smoothie’s sweetness with the added coolness was a refreshing reprieve from a hot day. As usual, the dish’s presentation was impeccable, with the dragon fruit providing a vibrant purple base. The granola was particularly enjoyable, giving a nice crunchy texture to the bowl, and we appreciated the freshness of the fruits.
CC by Mel offers a wide variety of delicacies for dessert, of which we sampled the Choux Squad (RM 22). It was a fantastic sweet option as the choux pastry coated the richly flavoured balls of earl grey and chocolate ice cream. The pastry was very well made and just thick enough to appreciate, but not so much that it obscured access to the ice cream within. Additionally, the biscuit base was a welcome addition, providing a crunchiness to the overall dish. As per the restaurant’s aesthetics, the dish was attractively presented and topped with colourful edible flowers. A must-have for those with a sweet tooth.
Drinks Menu at CC by Mel
From their selection of sodas, we opted to taste the Dragon Lychee Soda (RM 12) which had a generous portion of fresh dragon fruit and lychee over a zesty passionfruit base. The lychees were particularly fresh and sweet, and the dragon fruit gave the drink a nice purple colour. The soda is certainly a worthy option for fruit lovers looking to quench their thirst.
We also tried the Latte (RM 9) from CC by Mel’s coffee options. For the price, the latte was served in a good portion and tasted great. It was a medium to dark roast with a chocolatey, nutty finish. We liked the balance between coffee and milk, and the foam was a good texture. It is sure to please coffee lovers.
For those looking for an added uniqueness, we tasted the Popcorn Latte (RM 18) containing espresso with popcorn extract topped with marshmallows and caramel. It was presented incredibly with a popcorn topping. The popcorn extended beyond a garnish, as the popcorn extract infused the whole drink with its flavour. Additionally, the integrity of the coffee was still maintained, not compromised by the sweetness of the extract or the caramel.
The Floral Matcha (RM 20) is also a great option for a drink, taking the popular Japanese beverage and adding an elegance emblematic of CC by Mel’s aesthetic through the inclusion of sakura powder and edible floral toppings. A good recommendation for matcha lovers looking for a treat.
CC by Mel Review
CC by Mel brings its floral, fresh aesthetic to everything it does, from its interior design to its delectably inviting dishes. Come for the relaxing modern ambience and unique Japanese-fusion dishes presented with flair.
Reasons to visit: fresh garden ambience, unique and beautiful dishes, Japanese fusion, fresh ingredients, nori tacos, desserts, coffee, and lots of stunning photos for the social media feed!
CC by Mel
Residensi Park, 2-13, Persiaran Jalil Utama, Bukit Jalik
57000 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
CC by Mel Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 9 am – 10 pm