Friday, 28 August 2015 Food Review: RGB and The Bean Hive @ Jalan Damai, KL.

"I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee."
~Flash Rosenberg-

RGB  and The Bean Hive is another one of those establishments I have heard of in passing but had hitherto no plans of visiting until I downloaded a KindMeal voucher for it.

I decided to stop by for a Sunday brunch on my way to volunteer at the SPCA one Sunday morning, and invited Aravind along. We drove right past the inconspicuous white bungalow which houses the restaurant as there was inadequate signage to distinguish it from the other residential homes in the quiet little area. I would suggest to the management that they improve signage, especially if they hope for more drop-in customers.

Juxtaposed against KLCC and other iconic skyscrapers in the background.

Unobtrusive and unassuming though the exterior of RGB & The Bean Hive may be, it was certainly not unknown among what I assume must be a loyal and regular clientele of mostly expatriate patrons. A queue had already formed at the counter although it was only 11 a.m. when we arrived.

The interior of the restaurant is utterly charming, and the smell of good coffee being brewed filled the air as I sniffed appreciatively.

The clean, uncluttered restaurant is filled with lovingly curated artwork and vignettes and felt most welcoming and cheery.

As we queued up to place our orders, I noticed that they have many organic and vegan products for sale, including chocolate bars and eco-friendly merchandise such as reusable coffee cups and coffee presses.

The menu surprised me further with its range of vegan offerings, including burgers, cakes and ice cream. Why have I not heard of this place before, and why don’t they advertise more eagerly and enthusiastically to the growing vegan and vegetarian community in the Klang Valley?

I used my KindMeal voucher to order a Hearty Har Har burger and ice lemon tea set, while Aravind ordered the aglio e oglio and an iced latte. We also ordered vegan ice cream – coconut for me and peanut butter for Aravind – since it was a Sunday and all.

We secured ourselves an indoor table due to the heat, despite the fact that the outdoor seating area looked a lot more attractive. Service was fast and pleasant, and the service staff was attentive without being smothering.

A credenza in the corner of the dining area placed extra cutlery, condiments and sauces within easy reach. Aravind believed it was important to have unobstructed access to tabasco sauce, and was happy to be able to help himself to it without having to ask a waiter to bring it.

Our drinks arrived first. Aravind’s iced latte (RM11.00) tasted as good as it smelled. Proper coffee, lads, none of your instant just-add-hot-water nonsense. My iced lemon tea was strong, refreshing and tart, the way a good lemon tea should be, and not syrupy and artificial.

Aravind’s aglio e oglio (RM15.00) consisted of angelhair pasta, sundried tomatoes, chili-infused olive oil and parsley and came with a side of salad. He sampled some and declared it ‘rather dry’, and then realised that he had forgotten to stir it up. Well, duh! It was one of the best aglio e olios I have ever tasted, with generous amounts of sundried tomatoes. The fine strands of angelhair were coated generously with spicy olive oil, and were delicious paired with the sundried tomatoes and garlic. It was light on the tastebuds and stomach, yet utterly satisfying.

The salad consisted of coral lettuce, grated carrots and toasted sunflower seeds tossed in balsamic vinegar, and tasted crisp and clean with just the right amount of sweetness and tartness.

My Hearty Har Har burger set (normal price RM21.00, with KindMeal voucher RM15.00) consisted of a sweet potato, bean and pecan patty served in a bun with a side of fries, although the Kindmeal deal voucher stated that it would come with a side of salad.

The burger patty was sweet, with a hint of cinnamon, and reminded me of the sweet potato pies so popular in the American south. It came with avocado relish, tomato slices and fresh alfalfa sprouts. It was surprisingly good, although there were just too many starches on a single plate. I’ve always believed that good vegetarian food entails a variety of fresh vegetables and less grains, starches and processed ingredients. Although alfalfa and tomatoes are excellent additions to the burger, I wish they had given me a side of salad, which would offset the heaviness of the combination of starches. I eyed Aravind’s salad jealously and managed to sneak some of it, not that he minded.

I know this is a really First World problem to have, but there were so many starches on my plate that I felt like I was going to morph into a tuber myself. I am diametrically opposed to food wastage, so I doggedly continued munching on the interminable pile of fries while muttering “Potato!” under my breath exasperatedly. I teach English at a community centre on Mondays, and the best thing about teaching 9 to 10 year-olds is that their favourite curse word is “Potato!”, as in, “You big potato!” So yes, potatoes to you, and potatoes to me, I don’t want to sound ungrateful for food on my plate but I really wish I had been given salad instead.

The attentive staff brought us our ice creams next. At RM7.00 a scoop, these homemade ice creams are rich, dense and delicious, despite being dairy-free.


My coconut ice cream had a slight nuttiness and crunch to it, while Aravind’s peanut butter ice cream was the perfect balance of sweet and savoury.

Fragrant and flavourful without being excessively sweet, our scoops of ice cream were the perfect way to finish off a relaxing Sunday meal.

While not inexpensive, dining at RGB & The Bean Hive is the kind of weekend treat you want to give yourself. There are many items on the menu I am eager to try out, and the coffee alone is enough to draw me back for a return visit.

The casual dining atmosphere is unbeatable, and I hope to return when I am not in a hurry so that I can browse the collection of books in the reading corner. I spied vintage board games as well and would love to come back with a gang of friends for a leisurely weekend brunch.

Families with young children are made to feel very welcome as well, as a bright and cheerful play area has been set up to entertain the young ones. You know, so you can cultivate an appreciation for good food in your children while keeping them active and occupied ;)

I’d give this establishment four stars out of five (yes, I know I am picky), and would raise the rating to four and a half stars if I had been given a salad instead of fries. Viva la veggies!

RGB & The Bean Hive
35, Jalan Damai, Off Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Opening Hours
Mon - Fri: 8am - 5.30pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 6pm
+ 603 2181 1329


Pat said...

How lovely to be greeted by the smell of freshly brewed coffee!! It looks like a perfectly delightful place, so tastefully done up. And the food looks delicious - especially that coconut ice-cream. It's been too long since I had some!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Thank you for coming over, dear Pat! The coffee at RGB smelled divine. I hope you will let me know the next time you and Chuan are in KL. I will treat you to lunch, coffee and coconut ice cream!

Thash said...

Really enjoyed this evocative review, felt like I was there. And I noticed hummus on the menu, neat! Looking forward to more of your reviews, Ee Lynn!

LeenaPaloma said...

Nice..... a great place for coffee and books!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Hi, Thash! Thanks so much for coming over! Oh good, you're a hummus fan, too! Say, we really should do ice cream soon!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Coffee and books are a great combination! Lots of cosy reading corners there. You'll like it, Leena! Thanks so much for coming over!

wilykat said...

I can't get enough of their coffee and vegan cakes!

Jules said...

Is this a dog friendly place if we were to sit outside?

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Aaah, thanks for the recommendation, Wilykat! Cakes, coffee and ice cream it will be on my next visit there. So many tempting yummy things, so little stomach space!

~CovertOperations78~ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~CovertOperations78~ said...

Hello Jules, I didn't notice any dogs on my visit. Perhaps you could call them up to ask?if

Jaui said...

I know that I'm a year late, but @Jules - dogs are allowed in the outside area in front of the main door :)

Jaui said...

BTW, great review!! (Marcus here from Davina's video)