Old Hands Cafeteria: Japanese cafe in PJ with cream cheese taiyaki & unsweetened matcha lattes

My first thought upon entering Old Hands Cafeteria in Petaling Jaya: peace. Every patron had their noses in their laptops, working away with light jazz music playing in the background. The shop was decorated with bright green plants, posters of Japanese scenery, and drawings of Ghibli characters. A piano sits in the corner of the store, and they even had scenic nature videos playing on the TV.

Old Hands Cafeteria - Store signage

Old Hands Cafeteria - Drinks and taiyaki stalls

Right at the storefront is where you’d find the half the kitchen. Fresh taiyakis, filled buns, and drinks are made to order here. They had upbeat Japanese music blasting from the speakers, making this cafe pretty hard to miss.

Old Hands Cafeteria - Wall of drawings

Old Hands Cafeteria - Drawings on whiteboard

The cafe had a homely feel to it, and there weren’t that many tables either. A lot of conceptual cafes tend to feel atas and intimidating, but Old Hands Cafeteria was not like that at all. Instead, it was warm and welcoming.

What I tried at Old Hands Cafeteria

Like many places nowadays, their whole menu is available online, and you have to scan a QR code to place an order. 

Old Hands Cafeteria - Matcha-Anko Latte

First to arrive was their Matcha-Anko Latte (RM18), presented in 3 immaculate layers of anko (red bean), milk, and matcha. One unique thing about Old Hands is that they don’t use any sugar in their matcha drinks, so you get to try matcha lattes in their purest form. Don’t come here expecting the conventional matcha drinks you’d get at other cafes.

The red bean acted as a natural sweetener while adding some texture to the drink. Because it wasn’t sweetened, I found myself sipping on it slowly— usually, when it comes to matcha lattes, I pretty much inhale the whole beverage in seconds. Surprisingly, the matcha flavour remained strong even after the ice had completely melted.

Old Hands Cafeteria - Cream cheese taiyaki and Anko butter bun

Next came the Cream Cheese Taiyaki (RM9) and Anko Butter Bun (RM8.50)

Old Hands Cafeteria - Cream cheese taiyaki

The taiyaki had a crispy exterior while maintaining a soft interior, which produced a satisfying crunch with every bite. When I tore the dessert in half, the filling came oozing out—  the taiyaki was fresh and warm, which helped in softening the cream cheese. I was so glad to have chosen this flavour, with its slight sweetness and mild tang.

Cham Dessert Cafe: Ipoh white coffee, cham & bandung-flavoured sweet treats

Old Hands Cafeteria - Cream cheese taiyaki cut in half

I ate its head first; it’s more humane that way.

The anko butter bun was essentially a bun sliced down the middle, filled with red bean paste and a very generous slab of butter. I enjoyed the red bean paste, as it tasted more homemade. It wasn’t overly sweetened like the commercialised kinds you typically get elsewhere.

Old Hands Cafeteria - Anko butter bun

Paired with some lightly salted butter, it created a perfect balance of flavours. The bun itself was soft and appeared glossy on top. Overall, the anko butter bun came with a good bread to red bean to butter ratio. It didn’t have a particularly strong flavour profile— this bun was more of a snack you’d much on while doing work.

Old Hands Cafeteria - Anko butter bun cross-section

Their service was excellent; they were very attentive and fast. About 10 minutes into my arrival, a man came in to tune their piano for an event that was going to take place the following day. As an apology for all the noise, they gave every customer a small plate of rich, indulgent chocolates. They were very similar to Royce chocolates, but because I already had a drink and 2 snacks, I could only eat 1 piece. 

Final thoughts

The food was good, and the atmosphere even better. The only downside to Old Hands Cafeteria would be the price. Admittedly, it is on the higher side. This is a great place to relax and get some work done while trying out delicious Japanese snacks, but I wouldn’t say it’s a must-try. You could definitely drop by once in a while, though.

They offer red bean daifukumochi and strawberry daifukumochi that’s made fresh everyday. According to a few Google reviews, these desserts sell out quickly on weekends, so be sure to drop by in the morning if you’re interested! 

Expected damage: RM14.50 – RM40 per pax.

Flaaah The Bakery: Beautiful, creative & fresh bakes in the middle of KL

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 3.5 / 5

Old Hands Cafeteria

1-13 Glomac Centro, Lorong Masjid 1, Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia 47400

Our Rating 3.5/5

Old Hands Cafeteria

1-13 Glomac Centro, Lorong Masjid 1, Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia 47400

Telephone: +60174017991
Operating Hours: 7.30am - 4pm (Tue to Fri), 9am - 5pm (Sat & Sun), Closed on Mon
Telephone: +60174017991

Operating Hours: 7.30am - 4pm (Tue to Fri), 9am - 5pm (Sat & Sun), Closed on Mon
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