Food/Restaurant Review: 12 Cafe – Semenyih

First of all, welcome back foodies! It’s going to be a delicious semester, darlings. I can just feel it! My first restaurant review was literally AWESOME. An amazing cafe with scrumptious food and satisfying ambiance, catering for kinda broke students, new lovers, loners, loud group of friends, dessert freaks, menu analyzers, antique appreciators, talkers, readers, story tellers, photographers, toy collectors, okay you know what I can go on and on. Let’s just say it’s a perfect place for everybody! And it’s right here – in Semenyih! Let’s take a moment to thank all the angels that listened to our prayers. 

I had a rough weekend and coming back to Semenyih was not exactly a soul cheery thing to do. Most of you can relate, I am sure. BUT, we do come back, we HAVE to. Partially because we are strong people who don’t run away from responsibilities and of course, if we don’t come back then we don’t graduate. I think it is more of the latter.

I remember walking into the cafe thinking, “Hmm, interesting concept. I wonder if the choice of food is different or is it just the same o’ same o’? Will it taste good? Service? PRICE?” Well, everything a typical foodie would have in mind walking into a new place. And then I sat down and felt the pulse. Indulged into the music, the lighting, the furniture, everything. You know that rough weekend I was telling you about earlier, it vanished. I felt happy almost immediately. You know it is a good restaurant if you don’t have to wait for dessert to feel gleeful.

A cheerful looking lad brought us our menu and his smile was immediately contagious! For me at least, I smile easy. I am smiling right now. ANYWAY, the first thing I did was to skim through it quickly, with my finger on my lower lips and the occasional ooo’s and aaah’s. I almost had tears in my eyes when the menu read “grilled salmon”. Really? Salmon in Semenyih? I could not be happier. My heart was out on the table tap dancing as I turned the page of the menu and saw creme brulee listed as well.

The prices were of course not equivalent to what you would pay for a Claypot Yee Mee in Broga but RM21.90 for grilled salmon? I would say yes that baby any day. The drinks, on the other hand, were a little expensive in my opinion. But I always stick to green tea. If you are a vanilla milkshake and cream person, then I am sure you would not hesitate to pay RM 10.90 for that.

They also have the archetypal Malaysian dishes as well. Rice, fish, chicken, noodles and vegetable dishes. What more can I ask for? Gorgeous Irish waiters taking my order. Well, since my rational mind has accepted that THAT’S a little impossible, there’s nothing more I could ask for.

It’s a perfect place, beautiful music, amazing interior deco, variety of choices of food and drinks and did I mention there’s a comfy homey feeling as well? Every one of us have a different definition of home, I am sure and one place may not work for all. But trust me, when you go to this cafe, do what I did. Have a seat and just indulge in everything around you. The deco, the music, the lights, the table, the flowers on the table, the air, everything. Your facebook check-ins and photos can wait.

I was lucky enough to be able to catch up with both the founders/managers of the cafe. Guess what? One of them is a staff in UNMC! Surprise surprise! Mr. Idi Ali was kind enough to show me around, tell me stories about every single thing he could point at. From tables, to chairs, to lights, to photographers, to the counter, toys, plates, the lights, the sink and EVEN the toilets. He had a story for everything. I would LOVE to write them all down for you now, but this post will the a little too long then.

The cafe itself is built from a typical wooden kampung house. The furniture are all antiques (though I find it difficult unseeing all the most probably dead people who used to own those antiques). The counter is made from an old podium and the tables outside were made from solid wooden doors. Lights were made from traffic cones, milk containers and woks.

It’s all the little details you should pay attention on. I won’t ruin the mystery for you. Go find out and if you are lucky enough to meet Mr. Idi Ali or Mr. Ali Baba just ask them about the unique things that might just take you by surprise. Oh, by the way, there are seats taken straight out of a mini bus and right into the cafe. Good luck spotting that one out.

The food was good and I went there with two of my closest buddies. THAT people, I believe, is the only thing you need to heal your soul in case of a bad day. Good food and even better company. You’d feel brand new and ready to take on the world! 

Because I can be a real tease sometimes, I have clicked a few snaps of the place. If you don’t have the urge to visit Cafe 12 after reading this AND after looking at the pictures, then you are very much in love with the SA. God bless your soul, darling.

Mr. Idi Ali & Mr. Ali Baba


"Zeal without knowledge is fire without light." - Thomas Fuller, 17th century historian

1 Comment

  • October 7, 2013


    Where exactly is it located in semenyih? That info woulda been useful too :p