I've been hearing about The Humble Chef for years now, back when they were just a food van parked on an overhead bridge at Pusat Bandar Damansara. A popular haunt for the hungry and nocturnal, they usually catered to an after-hours crowd - the van starts operations at 9.30 pm. I'm not much of a night owl myself, so when my boyfriend, Nick heard about The Humble Chef cafe opening in Plaza Damansara, we were eager to give it a try. Following the success of the food van, this cafe was opened last year in early 2012, making it more available to lunch-seekers. Even so, the food van is still in business at its usual spot.
The main attraction of this place is the price of the food - I've never seen simple Italian food so cheap before! Pastas go for only RM5, while other regulars on the menu include pitas (RM4) and omelettes (RM2.50) with meat of your choice; either lamb, chicken or beef. The best part about the cafe is that it didn't raise any of the prices from the original food van menu, making it just as affordable and a touch more comfortable in an air-conditioned environment. There's not enough parking immediately outside though, so be prepared to park a little further away and walking.
Nick had the lamb-filled pita and a lamb-filled omelette. You get what you pay for here, so the pocket pita is a little on the dainty side. Even so, I liked the creamy texture of the lamb mince - apparently it's mixed together with the Humble Chef's own tasty mustard sauce.
The omelettes served are pretty much like a pita pocket ... without the pita. Like the sandwich menu, the omelettes are stuffed with meat, and I chose the chicken option for mine. The shredded chicken is mixed in mayo and folded into a warm, eggy wrap. I think it's pretty clever pricing this at RM2.50 - it ends up accompanying many a main dish.
For my own main, I decided to go with some lamb pesto. There are a standard variety of pasta sauces available, including carbonara, bolognese, olio and pesto. From there, you can have your spaghetti with either chicken, lamb or beef. There's also a tuna option for one of the dishes. For RM5, the serving is really good! If I had ordered this anywhere else, the price would have been at least RM10. I enjoyed the pesto, which was tasty from the herbs and minced lamb.
After finishing our meal, Nick still had room for more and decided to get a chicken pita before calling lunch over. The chicken pita seemed a little bit bigger than the lamb one before, and the filling was the same as what I had in my omelette. The pitas in general are pretty good, hot and toasty as you order.
Having a cafe open is definitely a good idea for The Humble Chef, evident from the people who turned up just after us for lunch. Their opening hours are from 12 pm to 3 pm, then 6.30 pm till midnight. The cafe is modestly furnished with colourful artwork by local artists adorning the walls. Besides the offering of pastas and pitas, they also have laksa goreng for those looking for some local flavour. There was also a different menu at the counter for other dishes such as panfried chicken and shepherd's pie at around RM20. As for those with a bit of a sweet tooth, there are even desserts served as well, such as brownies, cheesecake and creme brulee - I hope to try these out for my next visit.