Chunky Chicken Bolognaise with Spinach Fettuccine. Image by Lyn Ong.
Chunky Chicken Bolognaise with Spinach Fettuccine. Image by Lyn Ong.

What is it?

A pop-up kitchen at Cat in the Box café in Empire Damansara. Up for Grubs emphasises fresh and hearty food. Their menu currently adopts an “Around the World” theme, with a selected cuisine from different countries each session. These are served alongside the café’s usual fare. Being a pop-up, they usually appear every bi-monthly, either on a Saturday or Sunday. Their last theme was an Italian one.

Up for Grubs by Lene & Lynn. Image by Lyn Ong.
Up for Grubs by Lene & Lynn. Image by Lyn Ong.

Who is it?

A dynamic duo with an interest in food, Charlene and Ju-Lynn, or “Lene and Lynn”, both work full time for an international humanitarian organization. Charlene was college friends with the owners of Cat in the Box café. “It started off as a joke. ‘Charlene, cook something la that I can sell here’” that marked the beginning of Up for Grubs. With a passion in both humanitarian work and food, the pop-up kitchen was a middle ground where they could juggle both.

Up for Grubs became an experiment ground for Charlene and Ju-Lynn to serve up the favourite dishes that they would make at home.“For us, this is a fun thing to do and its more passion driven than money or business driven,” says Charlene. Customers can keep tabs on the next date for the pop-up and their latest offerings through Facebook or Instagram.

Fresh handmade pasta. Image by Lyn Ong.
Fresh handmade pasta. Image by Lyn Ong.

Go for

Everything on the menu! It’s worth trying all the dishes since they have limited items and chances are, you won’t see it being repeated the next time. From the last session, we had a Fresh Crabmeat Ravioli and Pumpkin Ricotta Ravioli combo. We also tried their Chunky Chicken Bolognaise that was filled with lots of meaty chicken bits, served atop handmade al-dente spinach fettuccine.

Fresh Crabmeat Ravioli in Sage Cheese Sauce and Fresh Pumpkin Ricotta Ravioli in Tomato Basil Sauce. Image by Lyn Ong.
Fresh Crabmeat Ravioli in Sage Cheese Sauce and Fresh Pumpkin Ricotta Ravioli in Tomato Basil Sauce. Image by Lyn Ong.

Eat with

A good cup of brew using East Timor beans from Cat in the Box. The coffees are delicious (we had the cappuccino!) and the place comfortable for catching up with family and friends for a relaxing afternoon.

Price

Will vary depending on what’s on the menu. The pastas were around RM16 per portion.

Up for Grubs, Cat in the Box, 111, Empire Damansara (first floor), Damansara Perdana, Jalan PJU 8/8, 47820 Petaling Jaya. Opening hours are usually 12pm – 4pm.

Lyn Ong

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Cat in the Box cafe in Empire Damansara. Photo: Ling Low.