Brunch in Damansara – Gin Rik Sha
Words: Matt Brown
Photos: Han Sen Hau
Since moving to their Bukit Damansara location in June of 2023, Gin Rik Sha has started a relaxed revolution in its new home, launching the menu for A Weekend Affair and kicking off breakfast and brunch in an area that has not had any before. What an affair it is, with their offerings completely overhauled by the talented menu consultant Bavita Dhillon and an array of tasty, healthy, modern dishes available for easing into your days off from the working week.
The best part is that a whole new menu now emphasises even more all that the team at Gin Rik Sha does so well, with Indian and Western elements combined with a very talented kitchen that basically produces all of their dish elements in-house – breads, yoghurts, jams, sauces … there would seem to be nothing that can’t be created from scratch and which tastes all the more amazing as a result of their efforts.
A Weekend Affair – Brunch in Damansara
A sumptuous offering both for the eyes and taste buds, the Vegetarian Thali (RM28) heaves under the weight of corn cheese dosa, salad, carrot paratha, poha uppuma and a railway omelette. The omelette, traditionally served fresh and simply made at Indian railway stations, this twist on a beloved travel staple is far more tasty than your basic recipe. The thali also comes with salad and a crunchy quinoa and sweet potato cake, along with an assortment of sides, including flaked rice, dahl and curdled yoghurt rice. This is a dish made most definitely for sharing.
The Mango Chickpea Spinach Salad (RM28) is a generous portion of fresh greens, including baby spinach and fresh pieces of mango, mixed through with chickpeas. This also appears as a side salad for a few of the dishes, so there are no excuses not to enjoy your veggies during a visit to Gin Rik Sha.
A Chutney Cheese Sandwich (RM20) is just what a breakfast should have in a toastie – cheddar, mozzarella and gruyere cheese all melted together with a house-made chutney. The chutney is a great balance for all the cheesy goodness, and the side salad balances out the satisfying sandwich with its leaves and mango pieces.
Corn Beef Hash (RM35) is accompanied by a sunny side-up egg. The kitchen’s take on this typical Western dish adds an Indian twist by using mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried chillies, meaning it comes with a spicier kick than usually expected.
A very satisfying Coconut Vanilla Yoghurt Granola (RM22) is a bowl of house-made vanilla coconut yoghurt, toasted nutty granola and toasted coconut. The use of coconut yoghurt means that this is an excellent vegan option for starting a morning.
Aunty Helen’s Banana Picklets (RM24) follow an Australian family recipe (but not the spelling!) and are a solid stack of banana pancakes served with house-made whipped maple butter and maple syrup. This is the type of dish that demands you order some coffee to go with it.
The final brunch item we sample is the Bombay Brioche Toast (RM24), served with dried fig and date jam. I can confidently say that this is the best French toast I’ve had in KL – each slice has been properly soaked all the way through with the egg before frying, which means that each bite is a satisfyingly solid and moist one, wonderfully flavoured with the maple elements.
Brunch in Damansara – Drinks Menu
About as impressive as the food on offer are the drinks – hooray for the continued rise of coffee-making in this city! When your food is great, you really need the drinks to be that way, too. Gin Rik Sha achieves this across the range of their drink offerings.
The beautiful Turmeric Lattes (RM14) have a little snap to them with a sprinkling of black pepper on top, which I really enjoyed as a way of warming the drink even further with every sip. (Curious fact: black pepper supposedly aids turmeric absorption, increasing its anti-inflammatory benefits.) Masala Chai (RM14) and Flat Whites (RM12) are all smooth and well-made. There is an option for most of the coffees and exotic blends on the menu to be made hot or cold and served vegan with oat or almond mylks.
It’s easy to add more bursts of colour to your meal with a choice from the Lassi, Juice Blend and Smoothie section of the menu. Our table exploded with four striking creations, starting with the Mango Kale Lassi (RM24), a tall blend of yoghurt with the two namesake ingredients. Smooth and not too sweet.
The Carrot, Apple, Coconut and Ginger Juice (RM20) is a tall glass that impressively doesn’t allow a single flavour to dominate – the theme for all of the drinks on the menu appears to be ‘balance’.
A shocking burst of colour can be consumed with the Dragonfruit, Mango and Almond Milk blend (RM24), which is subtle and highly refreshing. Finally, the Oat and Banana (RM24) was my favourite of the four, probably because to me, it just tastes like breakfast in a glass.
Gin Rik Sha – Cocktails
Bartender Rau has devised a great selection of alcoholic concoctions to enjoy later in the day (unless you’re writing an article and they arrive all at once early in the morning – day drinking is sometimes a necessity in this job).
The Whiskey Cha (RM35) smoothly blends whiskey, masala herb mix and sours in a beautiful presentation with a smoked cinnamon stick on top. This is a great drink to spend some time with and really enjoy, day or night.
Tulsi Spritz (RM35) is a refreshing mix of vodka, triple sec, holy basil and lime in a drink that looks like it should be in the juice section but which has more than just antioxidant effects on those who consume it.
Speaking of booze, Gin Rik Sha wants you to banish any Sunday scaries with their Prosecco One for One offer – two glasses of bubbles for RM38! It would be incredibly easy to spend a whole day and then evening at this place, and who could really blame you? They have also just launched Industry Nights, where professionals can gather to mix, sip and nosh together – check their Instagram page for more details.
Reason to have brunch at Gin Rik Sha in Damansara: another win for the KL brunch circuit with excellent coffees and juices, matched by delicious fresh food options. Every portion is a good size, and most dishes are fantastic for sharing with friends and family so that you can mix the flavours and sample more. The homemade elements add something special to the menu. Something great has started in Medan Damansara.
Gin Rik Sha – Brunch in Damansara – A Weekend Affair
132, Jalan Kasah Medan Damansara
Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Gin Rik Sha Opening Hours
Tuesday – Friday: 4:00 pm – 12:00 am
Saturday: 8:30 am – 12:00 am
Sunday: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
A Weekend Affair – Brunch in Damansara
Saturday: 8:30am – 3:00pm
Sunday: 8:30am – 6:00pm