Charlie’s is a cheerfully likeable neighbourhood eatery with a social conscience, opened by Malaysian couple Sonny & Debra with a view to benefiting indigenous workers from Sabah & Sarawak as well as people who might not be able to afford a meal.

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2. Charlies

Pay it Forward

There are two components of Charlie’s mission. Behind the scenes in the kitchen, the Borneo-born Sonny & Debra employ mainly folks from East Malaysia & try to use a fair bit of indigenous produce for their menu. Secondly, for customers who want to help out, a pay-it-forward sponsored-meals system is available: Give the cashier RM5, take a receipt & post it on the board; other people who come in can claim a free meal using your receipt if they’re short of cash or struggling to make ends meet.

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Encouragingly, it turns out that Charlie’s food is easy to endorse; the curry laksa (RM8.90) comprises mee or bee hoon with chicken, shrimp & fish balls in kitchen-made curry that’s thick, spicy & robust – the sort of broth you slurp to the final spoonful – & super-punchy sambal. Most of the frills-free menu is Asian, with basic nasi lemak (RM5.90), dry chicken noodles (RM7.90) & tom yum noodles (RM8.90), though there are also crispy chicken or streaky beef ciabatta sandwiches (RM9.90-RM11.90).

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Home-made cakes are worth indulging in: Now in season, Debra’s Musang King Durian Cheesecake (RM15.90), creamy but not cloying, with a pleasantly mellow but distinct flavour. Alternatively, try the cheaper Durian Sponge Cake (RM9.90) or a scone with cream & strawberry jam (RM4.90), croissant with coffee caramel dip (RM6.90) or even Pisang Goreng Cheese (RM6.90). A bit of trivia: There isn’t actually a Charlie here – it’s simply a catchy name that sounded right to Sonny & Debra.

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Location and Contact Details

10. Charlie's

Charlie’s Cafe @ Taman Desa

Address: 29 Jalan Bukit Desa 5, Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur.

Mon-Sat, 730am-930pm.

Tel: 03-7988-0247 / 012 816 00 03

Find: map and contact details of Charlie’s here

12 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Sheri Lam July 24, 2015 Subscriber

    Lisa Teo! Jom, with the girls…

  2. Victor Low July 24, 2015 Subscriber

    Ming Jen Linah Lim

  3. Kerry Gan July 23, 2015 Subscriber

    Gary Lee

  4. Huey Tzi July 23, 2015 Subscriber

    Lesley Tai

  5. Fredda Joseph Lojiun July 22, 2015 Subscriber


  6. Vicki Ng July 22, 2015 Subscriber

    NicoLe Foo

  7. Millionaire's Top Secret July 21, 2015 Subscriber

    He was as fresh as is the month of May.

  8. Lye San July 21, 2015 Subscriber

    Tracy Koh Sing, Tan Ai Lin!

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