Mad about open sandwiches and desserts

Eu Hooi-Khaw

The very delicious mushroom pizza. – The Malaysian Insight pic, December 23, 2023.

THE mushroom pizza was superb, unlike any I’ve had before. The base was a ciabatta focaccia, crusty and fluffy, the centre was a generous layer of mushroom pate with truffle puree and blackened kulim oil, and atop it was crispy fried shimeji mushrooms.

We were at MadHatter Desserts, which had opened just a week ago in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur. It’s MadHatter’s new location since it closed in Damansara Utama last February.

Chef/owner Marcus Low embraces a different concept in this new café, which features a large production kitchen at the back.

Savoury items are on the menu, besides his fine signature desserts.

Marcus, who was the first runner-up in MasterChef Asia in 2015, is into sourcing local native ingredients, such as the wild split mushrooms and kulim oil that are in the pate for the mushroom pizza.

He dries and grinds the wild mushrooms into powder and its high cellulose content is obviously the binding factor in the smooth pate, besides the subtle mushroom aroma.

Bagel beef with stewed beef tongue, Swiss cheese and chimichurri sauce. – The Malaysian Insight pic, December 23, 2023.

I can never resist beef tongue if I see it on the menu, and there it was, as bagel beef. It’s one of the best bagels I’ve had.

There were tender slices of stewed beef tongue sandwiched within the bagel, topped with a tangy and spicy chimichurri sauce and covered with a slice of Swiss cheese.

I sank into the bagel, relishing the lightly sweet, juicy beef tongue, its richness balanced with the sauce.

On the side was a salad of romaine and cherry tomatoes.

Open sandwich of deep-fried pomfret fish finger and tempoyak mayo on rye bread. – The Malaysian Insight pic, December 23, 2023.

The open sandwich with deep-fried pomfret fish finger and tempoyak mayo is another of Marcus’ attempts at combining local ingredients for a different sandwich filling.

The tempoyak is fermented durian duri panjang, and while I applaud this, I had problems with its overly sour flavour. Anyway, on my next visit I was assured the sourness had been tempered down.

At this point we ventured into a baked dessert – the yam salted egg galette. It had a buttery flaky pastry with a smooth, sweet yam paste, accented with a tinge of saltiness. I liked it a lot.

On my next visit there was none to be found, as someone had bought the whole lot!

Fragrant banana bread with cardamom cream. – The Malaysian Insight pic, December 23, 2023

I loved the banana bread crowned with cardamom cream. It was more of a moist banana cake than bread.

The chef had used two different bananas for this – the sweet pisang raja and pisang nangka for its acidity.

The balance was perfect, the fragrant bananas were evident and the scented cardamom cream was truly the icing on the cake!

Buttery almond croissant filled with lightly sweet almond paste. – The Malaysian Insight pic, December 23, 2023.

Another dessert not to be missed is the almond croissant. It stands out among all other almond croissants for its buttery note and the lightly sweet and delicious almond paste inside.

The croissant dough had a hidden ingredient in it – gula melaka, truly a master baker touch.

Other pastries we have tried in the three visits we made in 10 days were the yummy chicken open sandwich with century egg on rye bread, the fluffy tomato cheese garlic focaccia and the delish spring onion floss with brioche bun, butter croquelin, eggs and house-made chicken floss with spring onion.

MadHatter Desserts is at 26, Jalan Medan Putra 4, Medan Putra Business Centre, 52200 Kuala Lumpur. Call 012-370 4327 for enquiries. – December 23, 2023.

Marcus Low, chef and owner of MadHatter Desserts. – The Malaysian Insight pic, December 23, 2023.

* Eu Hooi-Khaw has been writing about food for the longest time, covering all aspects, from restaurant reviews to cooking and recipes, as well as the healthy side of it. She has written for major newspapers and magazines, published the cookbook Fresh Ingredients, and also writes for her website

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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