Eat, Drink, Hang with Underground Société


It's always good to see a friend finding success in his business. Then it happened again. And again. The friend in question is also a former classmate of mine, Kar Heng, who, with his brother started CoffeeSociété back when cafes weren't all that big in Malaysia. The brothers went on to open Garage 51, a cafe with a concept and name so hipster that Instagrammers everywhere just went gaga over it.

Well, they say that 3rd time's the charm, and I have no doubt about it. The Choong brothers have opened up their 3rd cafe, hipsterly named Underground Société. Why the name? "It's whatever you want it to be," Kar Heng told me, as he sipped his ice-cold coffee on tap (no, seriously! More on that later). "We don't like to put a label on ourselves."

And label he won't have to. Contrary to popular belief, Underground Société (US for short) isn't located underground, much to the chagrin of its owners who believe that the idea of a literal underground cafe would be "the coolest thing ever". US is like...a superhero. A nice respectable cafe by day, and when night rolls around, that's when the awesome gadgets come out to play. 

"Defy the norm", screams the About Us section on their Instagram account, and I won't disagree. Located snugly between a row of car workshops in Bandar Sunway, just a few steps away from Garage 51, US isn't your typical cafe. For one, Kar Heng states as a matter-of-factly, "Underground Société is an alternative lifestyle & artistic expression", one that doesn't reflect the normal standards set by other cafes in Malaysia. US exists to push the boundaries for cafes. They proudly stand by their slogan, Defy the Norm. 

Eat with US. 
Drink with US. 
Hang with US. 

The double meaning behind the slogan plastered all over their walls, on coasters and seats become apparent as soon as you enter through the wooden glass doors. Waiters greet you with a warm smile and graciously seat you. Your hand won't even have to shoot up fully before a waiter pleasantly appears in front of you, ready to take your order. It's all about the concept of their namesake, société. 

"We always want our customers to feel welcome, like: "Welcome into our cafe! Take your time, browse through the menu. and hang out with US. There's not rush!" It's always about that sense of togetherness." Kar Heng's eyes are glazed over, as though deep in thought. He finishes his glass of water. A waiter appears almost immediately and replaces it with another glass. It's efficiency at its finest.

The waiter brings me my pint of coffee on tap. It's something I've never heard of before, but is apparently big overseas. I've had tons of beer on tap before but a pint of coffee served like stout beer was definitely a first. Kar Heng laughed at my incredulity, "Yes, it looks exactly like a nice cold stout. That's what we do to push the boundaries and do something that no other cafe in Malaysia has done yet."

I took a sip. It was strangely refreshing; the bitter black coffee goes down smoothly...sort of like a stout. Kar Heng laughed again. 

If you ever need a place to chill for the afternoon or at night, maybe down few safe for work pints, then Underground Société is definitely the place for you to be at. Besides, if their signs are any indication, the entire crew behind US wants you to go hang out. Believe me, you'll definitely be better off.

Underground Société is open daily from 11am to 2am and is located at No.68, Jalan PJS 11/7, Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya.


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