Written by Winnie Yew
With the ever increasing popularity of café culture in KL, we also witness the evolution of desserts. From fuming ice cream to cotton candy in coffee, name it and they could be soon a reality. When I first visited Wild Sheep Chase at Taman Desa about half a year ago, I found them captivating for their simplicity among the trending fancy cafes. When I had a chance to talk with one of the café founders, Sujian, I found they have something more than their simplicity, sincerity.
Why the name “Wild Sheep Chase”
“Wild Sheep Chase” is a novel by Haruki Murakami. It mainly talks about how everyone is chasing their dreams, but their dreams need not to be big, it might be just doing what they like and live in peacefulness. I think that’s what I want to do. Also, our café started in the year of sheep. (Sujian also tells me that she and her boyfriend call each other “silly sheep”, so cute of them!)
What inspired you to start the café?
Actually, I didn’t think of starting a café before this, it’s more to chance and luck. My boyfriend, Chris enjoys coffee very much and often make me pour over coffee at home. We visited a café called Caldo café during our trip to Taiwan, which is famous for its soufflés. One day, the owner of Caldo café visited KL and we make jokes about opening a café together. But he became serious about it and we hesitated for ½ a year before making the decision. It was difficult at first because the ingredients in Taiwan are so different with those we have here. We have tried every single type of eggs (including duck’s eggs) to make sure that the flavor match well for the soufflés.
The minimalistic layout that Sujian envisioned for her cafe provides an ambience that’s just right (Image courtesy to: lifewithyen.wordpress.com)
Once I step into the café, I feel a sense at home. Can you tell me about your café setting?
At first, we wanted to hire a designer for our interior design. But at last we decided to do it ourselves (smile).We DIY our deco to make sure that everything we placed is useful. We aim for our customer to FOCUS on the FOOD and EACH OTHER, which is the most important thing for me. If a customer comes alone, that makes me even happier, because it shows that we are able to provide a comfortable environment for him or her to stay, just like home.
I found an open kitchen in the cafe, it is for the customer to feel at ease looking at the chef preparing food?
To tell you the truth, it’s the exact opposite (laugh). It is for our chef to look at the customer when they are preparing the food. I believe what it takes to make a delicious dessert (or food), is for the person who is making it to have a good mood. That’s why I hope them to able to look at the customers’ smile when the customers taste the dessert, or their face of surprise (LIKE WHOA) when they look at it being so nicely prepared. Sometimes, the chefs will even slow down their pace when they find out the customers spending a lot of time taking photos. So they will purposely make the second dish slowly to make sure it’s not cold by the time it is sent out.
I heard that all of your desserts, even your sandwich bread is handmade.
Yeah, but that’s also due to luck. It just so happens that we have a chef that previously worked in an Italian restaurant and he knows how to make bread. We tried it and it happens to be much better than what we get from the bakery outside. It’s a lot of work, but we believe that food taste better with Sincerity. That is why we persist in making our food upon order, everything should be served hot and not from the microwave. That’s also why we don’t sell cake in a fridge (laugh).
What is it that you want to convey to the customers through your dessert and the café?
I hope they can feel the warmth of the sincerity we put in our desserts and the cafe. From the vanilla beans that we carefully extract for our desserts (no vanilla extract here!), to the magazines we placed up the rack for the readers. We make sure to pay attention to the every small details, and only chose those things that we love. It is more to a feeling of wanting to share, and focus on doing one thing, to make the best of it.