Runners.Cafe (we run we eat): Malaysia's first runners' meetup cafe by runner, for runners


Recently, I had an opportunity to join my running friends to patronize Malaysia's first ever runners' meetup cafe owned by sub 4 runner Chua Wen Kiat for runners.


I must say I was very impressed by the wonderful cozy, warm ambiance of the cafe tucked away in a quiet shop house in Esplanade, Bukit Jalil.


It's not an ordinary cafe. It's a very extra-ordinary, special cafe


It's a cafe filled with running spirit and soul which every runner who walks into the cafe can feel it immediately.





I chatted with Chua Wen Kiat, the owner of the cafe. His passion for running and the cafe undoubtedly permeated through the air in the cafe. I could feel his excitement and fire. And by listening to his short sharing, I was so inspired and I told myself I must recommend this place to as many people as possible.



Let's start from the story behind the Runners.Cafe which was shared by Chua Wen Kiat himself through his Facebook:




How did Runners.Cafe start?


Runners.Cafe's proud owners: Chua Wen Kiat and his girl friend! Kudos to both of you!! Well done for opening the Malaysia's first meetup cafe by runner for runners!

Chua Wen Kiat, "It started at home with her cooking nutritious food for me cause I run a lot and she wanted me to eat properly. As I shared her food photos on my Facebook, responses were good. At that time, we have no intention of doing a café. One day, we heard someone is selling off a café. Out of curiosity, we went and checked it out. It wasn’t suitable but it lead us to thinking that there was no café dedicated for runners. Since her passion is in cooking, dream of having a café and nobody has done this runner’s café concept before, that is when both our passion and business opportunity came about. One likes running, One likes cooking."

He continued, "Both of us started from zero experience, planned, executed and opened for business in around 3 months. My responsibility is in business plan, setup, renovation, purchase of equipment, marketing, sales, business growth and floor operational while she is responsible for food menu design, purchase of ingredients and kitchen operational."


He then ended with, "Every day we face new challenges but as days go by we learned and improved."



What's the Concept of Runners.Cafe?



From the main page of the menu, it's very clear that Runners.Cafe wants to promote running through activities, sharing of experiences and offering nutritious food designed by runner for runners.

The bread is made from natural yeast. butter and olive oil.


The pasta is cooked with olive oil.


The food contains no added MSG and no pork.


As for the 100% running-concept decor of the cafe, I managed to take some photos during my visit to share with all here.






Runners.Cafe's proud owner Chua explained tirelessly to his customers-  mainly runners and their friends and family members - the decor of the cafe. I'm sure he must be explaining many many times over already. Thank you Chua for your patience. Your passion is truly amazing!

This is the wall decor of Runners.Cafe. Beautifully and tastefully decorated into 4 main areas: 1. Finisher Medals' Wall (not in this picture). 2. Finisher Tees' Wall  3.. Running bibs' Wall    4. Running Group's Bulletin Wall. Truly impressive decor!! Simple yet relevant, reflective of the theme / concept of the cafe.

Running Group's Bulletin Wall
Running Group's Bulletin Wall

As you can see, most of the running groups are given a space to put up their running group photos and event listing to encourage more runners to join them. This is excellent idea as it helps to connect runners together

Which running group do I belong to? I mostly join TPRC weekend running group during their Sunday runs. That's the only time when I can do weekly LSD. I also join a few friends who run regularly at Genting Sempah - may be once or twice a month. My legs can't take it if I run at Genting Sempah every Sunday. :) Surely my legs will koyak!! lol! Occasionally, I will run at Bukit Jalil Park alone after work if time permits. But it's very rare though.  


Anyway, I see the whole running community as a big running club / group. And I really look forward to be inspired by each individual runner that I cross path with. Everyone is a teacher and I can learn lots from each person.





Running Tee's Wall
Running Tee's Wall











Do you see the Runners.Cafe , We.Run. We.Eat tee-shirts? Those are limited edition! :)

How about the black color 42 km top 200 finishers tee-shirt? That's Kuching Marathon 2015's finisher tee-shirt for the top 200 full marathon finishers. I was lucky to have received one myself too last year. 

Route 68? Oh wow! That's ultra marathon at Genting Sempah. Hmmm - I am yet to try running beyond full marathon. This motivates me to try it out - may be next year. :)


The Day We Unite? Cool! What running tee is that? I haven't seen before. Next time I shall ask Chua.





Running BIB's Wall
Running bib's Wall



Seriously, I don't know where I have put most of by running bibs. I still keep them but not so organised. I think I must start to organize my own running bibs. 

Do you see Tokyo Marathon's running bib? That's a marathon which I have signed up 3 years in a row for balloting but I failed 3 times to be chosen. Sigh!!! How I wish I get to run Tokyo Marathon in this lifetime. Never mind - the balloting will start again on 1 August for Tokyo Marathon 2017. I shall try for the 4th time. I will continue to try and try and try and try until my ballot is successful... hahaha!! It's a must-run marathon.


Finisher Medals' Wall & Running Trophies
Finisher Medals' Wall and running trophies of Runners.Cafe

This a very cozy corner with red sofa (one of my favorite colors! :)) for runners and like-minded individuals to chit chat, gather, laugh, and have fun! I didn't have a chance to take a look at each and every finisher medals hung there to see which one I don't have yet. But I'm sure there are many many finisher medals which are not my collection yet.

Do they have Tokyo Marathon's finisher medal? How about Boston Marathon's finisher medal? How about Seoul Marathon's finisher medal?  How about Phuket Marathon's finisher medal? How about Bangkok Marathon's finisher medal?

These are some of the races which are always in the back of my mind that I want to join one day. 

Next time I shall see closer the finisher medals. If I find finisher medals that I don't have and yet look forward to have, I'm sure by touching the medals can further inspire and motivate me to train harder for such races. 


Connecting Runners

Mr Wong celebrating his birthday and sharing his running advice with us.
By the way, before I forget, I was introduced to Barkley Wong's father who was celebrating his birthday there with Barkley and his family. 

Wow - his dad is a 3 hour 17 min full marathon finisher!!! My jaws dropped when my friend Kelvin and Jason told me!! We quickly grabbed the opportunity to talk to him to hear his sharing on his running tips. 

He did mention about running in swimming pool, strength training, and also about the hand swing movement. We were so blessed to meet a running guru. I must try to train my hand swing movement next. I never use my arm swing to help in my running.  I must consciously try to train on this.. Thank you Mr Wong!! Appreciate it!

hmmm ... this is what Chua's Runners.Cafe concept is all about - connecting runners!!! Awesome experience!


Treadmill and Shower Room in a Cafe?
Treadmill - for the die hard runner!
You might be thinking, "You must be joking! Who would want to run on a treadmill in a Cafe? Before meal or after meal?"

Hey - make no mistake!! It's a real, functional treadmill. And you are most welcome to run on it. After that you are also most welcome to use the shower room provided for you to freshen up before you end your day with a sumptuous healthy nutritious food.

How considerate is the owner Chua for all the runners!!! I really salute him!! 

Hey - come to think of it - may be one of these days he can also throw a "treadmill challenge run" contest!! :) I'm sure it will draw a big crowd!! 


How is wholesome meal?


I haven't had a chance to try out any of the main dishes yet but from the reviews of the customers who have tried, the food is simply delicious!! 


And I understand that it comes in big portion too!! Perhaps that's why it's for carbo loading!!! haha! Perfect for before and after race!! 



From the menu, what caught my eyes are the creative names of the meals. By reading the names of the wholesome meals which runners could resonate with, I couldn't stop myself from having a big grin on my face!! 


Here are my top 6 wholesome meals with wonderfully creative names:


Marathon Big Breakfast

Wholemeal sweet potato bun + chicken bacon + chicken sausage + mashed potato + sunny side up eggs + grilled banana + mushrooms + baked beans + mixed nuts + mixed salad

Chicken Cheesy Run

Wholemeal walnut bun + chicken bacon + sunny side up eggs + cheddar cheese + tomato salsa + mixed salad

Cannot See Smoke

Wholemeal walnut bun + smoked salmon + sunny side up eggs + mango salsa + mixed nuts + mixed salad

Sunny Heat Training

Wholemeal sweet potato bun + chicken bacon + sunny side up eggs + tomato salsa + mixed salad

Hash Runners

wholemeal walnut bun + hash browns + mango salsa + mushrooms + mixed salad

Feels like Sayuring

9-grain pumpkin barley bun +  hash browns + mango salsa + tomato salsa + mushrooms + mixed nuts + mixed salad


Hmm - now I'm hungry writing about it!! And it's 11 pm now!!


 Can you imagine what will happen when I actually put the food in my mouth?


I must get some friends to visit there again so that I can get to taste them for myself!! 


Let me think - what shall I eat yeah? So many choices? haha!


Let's see  - I love nuts. I love salad. I love fish. Perhaps I shall start with "Cannot See Smoke" or "Feels Like Sayuring" or "Marathon Big Breakfast" for my next visit? :) 


Oh my goodnesss - this is making me hungry!! I'd better visit Runners.Cafe soon.


Oh oh by the way - I did ask Chua if there are vegetarian dishes. He said that when the meal comes with "V" mark, it means it's "meatless" dish. Awesome!! I can also bring my 'meatless' friends there. And I eat little meat myself too. So I must try myself as well.


Oh no - what sound is that? My stomach is growling already!!! 


Chua Chua Chua - do you do late night home delivery? :)




How's the Dessert?


Chua is preparing the chia seed pudding dessert for me! What an honour! Thank you Chua!
Since I had my early dinner already, I didn't manage to order the wholesome meals during my first visit. 

Upon Chua's recommendation, I ordered the super delicious, not so sweet super food: Blueberry Mixed Nuts Chia Pudding



Blueberry Mixed Nuts Chia Pudding  - yummy yummy! Super delicious and super nutritious and super healthy!

According to Wikepedia and Runners.Cafe's menu, Chia Seed is a rich source of the B vitamins, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and folate. It's also a rich source of the dietary minerals calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and znk.


After I read it, I have my mouth full of unfamiliar medical terms. :) So I quickly asked Mr Google about benefits of Chia Seeds. So I would like to share with you the 7 benefits of chia seed in layman's term you and I can understand. :)

7 benefits of chia seed:



  1. Help weight loss. Chia seeds are popular for weight loss. They reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes them a great diet helper.
  2. Feel fuller faster: They can also help your diet by making you feel full. This is because they absorb 10 times their weight in water, forming a bulky gel.
  3. Hydration for athletes: They are also great for athletes because the "chia gel" can hydrate the body.
  4. Reduce your blood pressure: There's evidence to suggest they can reduce blood pressure.
  5. Omega-3: They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 (the vital fats that protect againstinflammation—such as arthritis—and heart disease). In fact, they contain more Omega-3 than salmon!
  6. Benefits for diabetes: Because chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, studies indicate they can control blood sugar. This leads scientists to believe chia seeds may have great benefits for diabetics.
  7. They are easier to digest than flax seeds, and don't need to be ground up.




Ok - back to the Blueberry Mixed Nuts Chia Pudding.

It's really suitable to my liking! I don't like sweet things and this blueberry mixed nuts chia pudding  has instantly become my favourite dessert!! I love it! And it's very filling too despite it's a dessert only. No wonder Chua told me this is the most popular dessert!!

If you visit Runners.Cafe, I highly recommend you to order this dessert!!! Thumbs up and finger licking good! haha!



Do I recommend Runners.Cafe?



Taking photo with Chua, the Runners.Cafe's owner with the Runners.Cafe's own trophy!


Most definitely I will recommend Runners.Cafe to anyone who enjoy healthy nutritious food in a nice cozy quiet friendly environment! 5 out of 5 ratings in my book!! Highly recommended

And what more to be surrounded by runners and sports people in same cafe? :) Such a wonderful feeling and experience!


I look forward to visit again for the wholesome meal!!!! (oh no - making me hungry again!)



Here are the details of Runners.Cafe:



Address    : 21 Jalan Jalil Perkasa 14, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia   ( Google Maps )


Telephone  : 019-265 6568


Website    : http://runners.cafe


Facebook  : https://www.facebook.com/we.run.we.eat/



Check it out!! You won't be disappointed!! :)



Written on 2016.07.07








vincent

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