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Grizzly at The Intermark is more than just a bear-themed café. ― Pictures by CK LimGrizzly at The Intermark is more than just a bear-themed café. ― Pictures by CK LimKUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 ― Gone are the days when the only places one could visit for an espresso or latte were Starbucks or The  Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. These days there must be hundreds of cafés in the capital offering specialty coffee, be it an antipodean concoction such as a flat white or Japanese-style single origin brews made using a siphon pot.

More often than not, you empty your cuppa without ever emptying a sachet of sugar in them. (It's sacrilege, apparently.) As such, everyone has their favourite café these days: some only visit coffee bars that roast their own beans; others are attracted by complicated latte art or Instagram-friendly décor.

The friendly faces of three of Grizzly's baristas (from left): Nay Blut, Jenny and Solar.The friendly faces of three of Grizzly's baristas (from left): Nay Blut, Jenny and Solar.This is a story about my favourite little café: Grizzly at The Intermark. That's right, a coffee shop in a slightly more corporate environment (smack in the city centre), instead of the usual artsy, hippie joint sequestered deep inside some little-known neighbourhood.

The bear-themed name aside (and there are plenty of ursine memorabilia from a human-sized statue of a grizzly near the entrance to a teddy bear in the tip box), there's nothing remotely furry about Grizzly.

Barista JP making coffee for a customer on the go.Barista JP making coffee for a customer on the go.This is a café where the baristas are likely to remember your name, and you're likely to know theirs too.

There is a quartet of friendly faces who pull shots of espresso, foam milk, and serve simple snacks: Jenny, Solar and Nay Blut are from Myanmar, while JP hails from the Philippines. Jenny is the one with most giggles; Solar is the Scott Summers of the team, overseeing and training with ease; Nay Blut the quiet one; and JP wears the Clark Kent glasses.

The delicious, made-to-order chicken avocado toastie with grilled cheese.The delicious, made-to-order chicken avocado toastie with grilled cheese.The comic references may be my subconscious rearing its head: weary of hipster baristas who act like superstars, it's refreshing to meet a bunch of baristas who work like superheroes to “save” everyone from caffeine deficiencies and mid-afternoon stupor, all the while wearing a smile that lights up the café.

Of course, smiles alone won't feed you if you're ravenous. Grizzly's menu makes for an easy read for the time-crunched office crowd looking for a quick lunch. Made-to-order toasties are popular, especially the chicken avocado toastie with grilled cheese. Other variations on the toastie motif include beef bolognese, lemongrass chicken banh mi, and a classic Reuben that would satisfy a hungry New Yorker.

Grizzly's signature teddy bear latte art.Grizzly's signature teddy bear latte art.Grizzly also offers pies with gravy (the chicken comes with a cream sauce; the beef with a brown sauce), and waffles adorned with blueberries or banana and chocolate syrup. Those looking for lighter bites can take a peek at the display case and glass jars on the counter: Anzac biscuits, shortbread bars, chocolate chip cookies, banana muffins, mini quiches and the crowd favourite, thick slices of carrot cake.

A mural by illustrator Hsulynn Pang celebrates a coffee quote by Scottish politician Sir James Mackintosh.A mural by illustrator Hsulynn Pang celebrates a coffee quote by Scottish politician Sir James Mackintosh.The reason for the latter is the way Jenny plates the slice, garnishing the creamy frosting with strips of orange-and-marmalade at the last possible moment so the cake doesn't get soggy. Small details like this make for a more delicious and heart-warming experience.

A cute illustration on the feature wall by local mural maestro Hsulynn Pang celebrates a quote by Scottish politician Sir James Mackintosh: “The powers of a man's mind are directly proportioned to the quantity of coffee he drinks.” No surprise then that nearly every patron at Grizzly is nursing a flat white or a long black.

Mini salmon quiche.Mini salmon quiche.What's my usual order? Ask the baristas at Grizzly; they'll tell you in a heartbeat because they often recite before I've even opened my mouth. Now that's more than service with a smile; this is a café where there's a “bear hug” in every cuppa.

Grizzly

C-12-02, The Intermark, 182 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur

Open Mon-Fri 7:30am-7:30pm; Sat-Sun 10am-7:30pm

Tel: 03-2181 2188

www.facebook.com/grizzlybrew

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