Ahh.. The bliss of having afternoon tea from the comfort of your home, paired with hot flower tea and fresh, home-baked goodies. I've had the pleasure of visiting a famous bakery in JB recently and even got to shadow the bakers to see what goes on behind the scenes at most traditional bakeries like these! It's certainly an interesting experience, plus I got to savour so many cakes and breads. Yummm...
There is a well-known family-owned bakery at Permas Jaya that is a household name amongst residents there. Established since 1994, Warung Kek Fuji is still going strong and prides on making all their baked goods from scratch using the freshest, seasonal and well-sourced ingredients. Located along a row of shops at Jalan Permas 4/4, it can be easy to miss the shop if you do not keep your eyes peeled. A tip though, it is the only store painted green along that row.
Once you walk into the shop, there is no denying from the rustic, homely feel that this established bakery has retained their roots for the past 22 years in order to assure the highest quality and finest taste. When I was there, I noticed many mothers bringing their kids to buy the breads after school, so it's safe to say that they have many loyal customers who are mainly family-orientated.
Check out the wide array of breads and cakes on display, nostalgia much? I used to eat buns and swiss rolls like these frequently when I was still in school :D I noticed that most of the goodies are reasonably priced and even if there are SO many choices, they are all freshly baked on that day itself!
At the back of the shop is where the magic happens. This wide-space and naturally-lit area is the bakery where the workers and bakers work from as early as 5am everyday. Once you walk in, you can smell the scent of freshly-baked bread, I love it! While most of the baked goods are made via the traditional method, Warung Kek Fuji have also employed machineries like these to speed up the process of preparing some of the goodies.
This mini air-conditioned area at the left of the shop is where the perishables are prepared, mainly the cakes. Cakes need to be kept in cooler temperatures and the baker & owner Mr Wang, personally decorates all of them here. I got the privilege to watch him work for a day.
Pandan Layer Cake | RM2.50 per pc
RM25 per 0.5kg
RM50 per 1kg
The first thing I watched Mr Wang prepare was this pandan layer cake. This particular cake brought back feelings of nostalgia for me as my mum used to buy it for me a lot when I was younger. This cake is prepared daily and consists of 5 layers of cake and 5 layers of pandan kaya. Mr Wang said that the process is a little tedious and takes up some time as the kaya needs to be cooked, poured onto the thinly-cut cake base, chilled and repeated until a solid cake is formed. No artificial sweetener is added and all the flavours are naturally extracted from pandan leaves, which makes it all that more fragrant. The cake is not overly sweet indeed and because they're cut so precisely and in such large pieces, it's dangerous because I can keep eating and eating non-stop :p Trust me, I'm someone who doesn't fancy sweet food and I love this so you should defo try it!
Chiffon Cake | RM8.20
Chiffon cakes are one of the basic cakes that all bakers need to know how to make. While it seems like a simple cake, there is actually some level of skillfulness needed in order to make sure the chiffon cake "rises" and is soft & fluffy. This cake hits the nail on the head. It's soft and smells great as Mr Wang removes it from the oven. No preservatives are added and again, fresh pandan juice is used to make this beautiful cake.
Coconut Bread | RM3.30 (pack of 6)
It's interesting to note that the coconut used in this bread is self-shredded at the bakery every morning and cooked meticulously until it turns fragrant. So not only do you get the fluffy bun on the outside, you get to enjoy the added texture of the shredded roasted coconut cooked with natural sugars for a delicious snack!
Fuji White Bread | RM2.70
Wholemeal Bread | RM3.50
This isn't the first time I've had homemade white bread, but it's the first time I've seen how it's done and sliced using a machine. Pretty cool and now you know too! I kinda envy Mr Wang's kids that they get to have fresh bread everyday, the best kind of carbs :p Both the white bread and wholemeal bread have no added preservatives, which means they have a shorter shelf life and has to be consumed within 3 days. But it's worth noting that this is also a much healthier alternative to generic white bread which interestingly has a sour taste to it? For the wholemeal bread, brown sugar and grains are used so it's definitely a better option for me. The bread is very soft and tastes great on its own or with condiments!
Fuji Bakery also has a wide selection of cakes on display, suitable for any occassion. From the designs of the cake, you'd know that they are decorated by hand and the ingredients use are only the finest. The Hello Kitty and chocolate-covered ones really caught my eye. Best part? They're all reasonably priced! For the same price or less, you can get a much fresher cake than those at commercialised cake shops, which is also a reason why my family has been getting our birthday cakes from family-owned bakeries instead of the big players, for years.
Chocolate Ganache Cake/ RM47 per 0.5kg
SOOO pretty huh! I managed to see this whole cake come to life as Mr Wang decorated it right in front of my eyes for me to bring home :D It seems like an easy feat for him but I'm pretty sure it's not that simple as you have to have a steady hand when layering on the cream on the spinning cake stand. It's somewhat therapeutic to watch even XD The cake is just as good as it looks. My little cousins were so thrilled when I gave them a slice cos of the smooth, chocolatey taste thanks to the premium chopped chocolate used. I'd prefer a thicker fresh cream layer in between the cake, but the rich, sweet chocolate is enough to make up for that.
So that concludes my day at Warung Kek Fuji. It's my first time experiencing what goes on behind the scenes at any bakery for that matter, and it's really an eye-opener. They're so hardworking and sincere, something that is translated into their baked goods and this is what makes customers come back to them. If you asked me which is my favourite, I'd say the Pandan Layer Cake is their signature cake that you should try! Other goodies I'd recommend are the banana cake (some say it's as good as the one in town ;) ) and carrot cake, all made using real ingredients. It's not often that you find family-owned bakeries like this these days. If possible, go support small businesses like these to purchase your daily breakfast and what not because you're also helping them to sustain. Oh yea.. Did I mention that you can preorder their cakes now for this coming Mother's Day, or any upcoming events? I'm sure your family will appreciate this lovely gesture and enjoy the yummy goodies!
For more information on Warung Kek Fuji, log on to:
WARUNG KEK FUJI
Address: No. 21, Jalan Permas 4/4, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750 Johor Bahru, Johor
Tel: 07-3875087 / 016-7467379 / 012-7955175
Opening Hours: Tues - Sun, 7.00am - 9.30pm
Disclaimer: Even though the review is sponsored, it is based on my honest personal thoughts, experiences and preference after personally trying out the food and services offered.
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