Nestled in the shallow ends of Subang Jaya Industrial Estate is a place called WhupWhup, a restaurant and café housed in a 10,000 square-foot warehouse. It may seem strange at first, but the recent rise of the third-wave coffee industry in Malaysia has seen many industrial warehouses being repurposed this way. Artisan HQ in Petaling Jaya comes to mind as one of the pioneers in this area.
Upon entering WhupWhup, the first thing that greets you is the size of the place. While waiting to be seated at the edge of the massive warehouse, you’re sandwiched by a dessert counter to the left and the kitchen to the right. The tables and chairs look sparsely placed ahead, but this is a welcomed contrast to cosier diners in the city which offer little room to move and socialise in ease. The abandoned machinery and industrial drawers, jazzed up with a few floral hints, certainly add to the aesthetic charm.
The food choices were a pleasant surprise for a restaurant that also identifies as a café and goes by WhupWhup – we still find it hard to pronounce it without sounding like a child about to fall over. Dishes range from filet mignon and beef bourguignon to glazed lamb shanks – food that surely require more time and finesse to prepare than your standard café sandwiches. But if you walked in hoping for a sandwich or a simple pasta, they have those too.
Meaty indulgences like the beef bourguignon and duck confit were tender and strongly seasoned with rosemary – the latter a seemingly recurring theme in many of WhupWhup’s dishes. Both were paired to a smooth and creamy potato mash that was rich in flavour, although neither dish was without flaws. The beef, for one, felt more like a goulash than a bourguignon due to its lack of sourness. As for the duck, we simply wished there was a bit more of it.
Interestingly, we got a more generous serving of duck in the ‘Duck Three Ways’ pasta, which also incorporated duck bacon and the yolk of salted duck egg. WhupWhup has less complex pasta dishes on offer too, and the ‘No Cream Carbonara’ is the epitome of simplicity – it was flavoured elegantly by a coating of parmesan cheese and egg yolks. Both pastas can be had as a fettucine or spaghetti. We went with the suggested pairings (spaghetti for the carbonara and fettuccine for the duck) and had no regrets.
For dessert, we tried WhupWhup’s berry cheesecake and caramel mille crepe. The former was made using fresh strawberries and blueberries but the cheesecake itself felt unexpectedly dense. However, the crumbly lower crust was delightfully salty with a strong rosemary aroma (again!) coming through. It was a great crust. Meanwhile, the caramel mille crepe had an enjoyable bitterness, which was most likely derived from the burnt caramel. It’s also the lighter dessert of the two, making it our go-to cake if we could only pick one.
On two separate occasions we visited WhupWhup, there was always someone throwing a party, such is the restaurant’s functionality as an event space. Big corporations have used this warehouse for events before, so it can definitely accommodate private functions as well. However, parking can be an issue for big crowds as it is still an industrial area after all. For casual visits, WhupWhup is easy enough to locate with the help of navigation apps. Just keep in mind that it is closed two days a week (Monday and Tuesday), which is rather unusual in the Klang Valley’s competitive F&B scene. Then again, you don’t expect a place that calls itself WhupWhup to do things normally, do you?