Therefore marks the third chapter in a trilogy (so far) of PJ-based cafes by the Forefront creative agency; after launching with Foremula in 2017, followed by Forebidden last year, the team takes flight from Ara Damansara to Section 13’s Symphony Square, orchestrating another beautiful space (the tropics-themed mural outside, with Borneo birds hovering over the rafflesia, should be increasingly inescapable on Instagram) that offers playful Asian-inflected pleasures.
Forgoing the formulaic, Therefore challenges expectations with its Tex-Mal nangka nachos, layering a pile of tortilla chips with shredded jackfruit for a pungent sweetness, balanced with an Asian-style salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cheese sauce (RM20). It makes for merry munching, best followed by the Cheesy Gratin-tude, which doubles the decadence of butter rice with a gratinated blanket of curry sauce made creamy with cheese, with the texture of a Japanese curry but the taste of a Malaysian one, lavished further with clams, mussels, prawns and squid for a seafood worshipper’s should-order (RM32).
Therefore’s kitchen is a capable one, ensuring the Well TEMPE-red Salmon (RM36) surfaces with the lusciousness that customers love in this fish; the tempeh crust is understated, evoking crushed crackers more than fermented soybeans, but this plate still packs intriguing herbaceous nuances, courtesy of flavoursome vegetables with green pea puree and lime basil coconut sauce. The Rendang-erous Burger (RM35) is also more subtly spiced than expected, but it earns honours for a freshly minced Aussie beef patty, done to juicy medium perfection, crowned with onion marmalade and complemented by crisp fries.
The Money Bag Guarantee won’t have you demanding a refund of your RM24, a sizable signature dessert wonton of caramelised apples wrapped in a vanilla crepe, sprinkled with cinnamon and salted Gula Melaka for what tastes like a cross between a strudel and pie, with a side of house-made coconut sorbet. Reviving coolness can also be found in the Assam Lemonade (RM14, tangy with sour plums) and Black Apple (RM15; for a coffee twist, a long black blended with apple juice).
All in all, Therefore is fun enough to have us wondering – wherefore might Forefront’s fourth cafe be?