Bringing Gourmet Food to the Yard!
While Tiffin Food Court was successful in the past and spawned further ideas like RIUH, there was no permanence in all this. They come up one weekend and disappear the next.
This time around, the same guys are back and they have found an ephemeral home in the eclectic and spacious Sentul Depot. Known amongst the hip urbanites as the spot for cool events and parties, this venue is now hosting Tiffin at the Yard on Thursday and Friday evenings (5 p.m. to midnight), and Saturday and Sundays (9 a.m. to midnight). While these are the published times, based on experience, here are some pointers for those planning to dine at Tiffin at the Yard:
1. Don’t come too early. A friend came at 10 a.m., and only two stalls were open serving very light food and coffee
2. Avoid the usual lunch and dinner crowd times – 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
3. Have great patience
4. Take your time, and maybe even challenge yourself to experience as many stalls as you can!
5. NO CASH accepted, so debit, credit, and e-wallets are accepted
Anyway, back to the story. My regular lazy Sunday turned into a drive all the way into Sentul and somehow after going to KLPAC countless times, I’m not sure why I decided to trust Waze—and fair enough, I missed my turning and ended up adding an extra 7 minutes to my lunch hunger. So the final, yet crucial point;
6. Don’t come hungry! You might turn HANGRY!
Arriving there just before 2 p.m. I assumed the lunch crowd must have dissipated and that assumption was proven almost correct, as I managed to get a parking spot as soon as I turned into the car park. The big space beside Sentul Depot is the closest spot BUT please pray it does not rain as I was reminded by my soaking shoes to look for asphalt parking instead next time. The 4 p.m. rain slightly submerged the open parking. Another parking option is next to KLPAC, or you can just hop on a cab or take the KTM commuter.
After doing the necessary scanning and showing off of my vaccination certification, I realised that there is a crowd limit of 250 pax. Because of the sheer size of the venue, it’s pretty comfortable. The only thing that was lacking was the actual seating for 250 pax.
As you come in, you are immediately greeted by the Tiffin at the Yard photo wall. Besides that, there are A LOT of other Instagramable spots all over the place, with an interesting charcoal installation just before the food stalls.
Now onto the food, being our first time, we scoured the facility for a table, and after about 15 minutes of searching, we finally saw a small family leaving and rushed for their seats. It took another 15 minutes before someone came by to our table for cleanup. I have to give it to her, she was doing a great job for just one person. I realised later that there are other cleaning staff roaming around, attending to different tasks. To be fair we just needed the table and did not mind waiting for the cleaner as we still needed time to queue for our food and wait for it to be prepared.
After doing a quick reconnaissance, we were taken aback by the queue at almost every stall and thought we were smart by heading towards the stall with no queue, only to realise that they actually RAN OUT OF FOOD. Don’t worry though, when they run out of food, it just means they are cooking up a new fresh batch of goodness.
We managed to each get something for ourselves—my son got the Bao Platter from The Bao Guys and added on the Chili Crab Dip with Mantou for sharing. Wifey went for Miso, Shoyu. Love from Red Red Botak Head, while I played it safe by going for Jerk Chicken with Caribbean rice from Jojo’s by Joloko.
My son actually wanted to try Lamb Kebab Tempura from Leen’s Middle East Cuisine but it kept running out. The first time they closed till 3 p.m. for prep, and then closed till 4:30 p.m. for prep AGAIN. Later on, my son ordered an Alta Burger with Tater Tots from Alta Burger (of Alta Café), and for desserts, we got coffee from Kopenhagen, an Oatmeal and Cranberry cookie from Universal Bakehouse and we bought the last Mocha Cream Bun.
Drinks are over at the bar, so we got ourselves some fruit punch and mineral water. Please be mindful that this is not your regular mall food court, so that fruit punch was RM10, and the mineral water was RM3. Beer is RM15, and then you have the slew of cocktails from Soma Cocktail Bar. Dishes are priced from RM15 onwards, and my son’s Pao Platter costs RM48.
Other familiar stalls include Licky Chan’s ice cream and Southern Rock Seafood.
Would I come back again after spending close to three hours on a Sunday afternoon (till evening)? Definitely a resounding yes, as we still have a few other stalls to check out, namely Olivia’s Deli and their simple but extremely popular paella dishes, maybe even give Herbivore and their vegetarian options a try, and hope that Leen’s and Casa Lisboa still have dishes for me to try the next time we go.