Feeka & Pizza Mansion: Bringing Italian and Swedish dining customs together
Food is a common denominator for people all around. Not only is it a form of sustenance but it is also a form of enjoyment, be it of our own or as part of our social calendar. But what differentiates us is how we dine. Wherever you go, you will find that dining varies from country to country with individual, social, cultural, and religious factors influencing how we eat. Undoubtedly this makes food the greatest expression of a country’s culture.
Here in Malaysia, we would be hard-pressed to say that we don’t eat at all hours of the day. We may observe the usual meal times: breakfast, lunch and dinner but is there any hard and fast rule saying that you shouldn’t have nasi kandar for breakfast or kueh for lunch or hard-boiled eggs for dinner? We love our all-day breakfasts as much as we love our 24-hour mamak shops. But when we go abroad we also understand that every culture has its own quirks when it comes to dining.
Try ordering a pizza in Italy for lunch. Unheard of! Unless you are looking to get pizza al taglio (a.k.a. pizza by the slice) which is commonly served at lunch and eaten while standing, but not so much for dining in. Noons are also for riposa when most shops would close. You would be in for a shock to find that you won’t be able to eat out until restaurants open again much later in the afternoon.
The act of drinking coffee in Italy is also a culture in itself. While coffee finds its origins from Yemen, Italy is protective of its reputation as the coffee capital of the world because of their invention of espresso thanks to Milanese inventor Luigi Bezzera. Coffee breaks are quick – it is una pausa, a pause, only for you to return to your daily routine feeling a bit more energised. Italians aren’t accustomed to hanging around in cafes for hours.
But coffee culture is different if we look north of Europe to Sweden. The Swedes take a fika, a coffee break which is unlike the pausa of the Italians. A Swedish fika is a relaxed affair with key ingredients of having a coffee, a snack, and at least one other person. The goal is quality time and connection with an ethos of cosiness and breaks away from the haste of your hustle and bustle, creating more time for you to connect and be present.
Here we see how dining cultures converge and diverge. Unlike the Italians, Malaysians enjoy all kinds of food at all hours of the day. But like the Swedes, Malaysians definitely enjoy our own kind of fika over an endless combination of dishes and beverages. And fika happens throughout the day, from the early mornings before the blue-collared folk go to work all the way to late at night as the parties wind down.
At The Five, you will see this convergence and divergence of different dining cultures brought to you by Feeka and Pizza Mansion.
Say hello to Feeka and Pizza Mansion!
A little while ago we had the chance to drop in to visit Feeka and Pizza Mansion at their respective outlets in the quaint Happy Mansion, Seksyen 17, Petaling Jaya before their much-awaited arrival at The Five.
Not unknown to the Kuala Lumpur coffee scene is Feeka, whose name finds its origin in the Swedes’ culture of fika. They have been around since 2013, with their first outlet located in Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang.
At Feeka you will find an all-day fika of different people. From singles, businessmen, families, or couples, they come together, coexisting and spending time together over a good cup of coffee, pastry, and sometimes for heavier meals. The menu is filled with selections for a leisurely brunch, lunch, tea time or a romantic night out.
Although Feeka is known for their first outlet, regulars coming to Feeka’s outlet in Happy Mansion would find that its essence remains the same. The design sees a rustic finish. Their size in Happy Mansion creates a cosier vibe bathed in light, with outdoor and indoor seating. Much like Jalan Mesui, the Happy Mansion location is filled with a diverse group of people, coming to catch up, having a business meeting, digital nomads doing work, or couples getting brunch.
A few steps away from Feeka is Pizza Mansion. The two brands are essentially neighbours (and this applies to their Jalan Mesui location as well)!
Pizza Mansion is much younger than its neighbour, Feeka, but looking at how the show is running you would think that they have been around for quite a while. Since its opening, Pizza Mansion has never been short of the hustle and bustle of diners coming in to have a taste of Pizza Mansion’s deliciously charred pizza pies baked fresh in the wood-fire oven.
But Pizza Mansion aren’t purists – they neither serve New York nor the traditional Neapolitan pizza, but it’s something in between.
Here you will find pizzas made with a gourmet touch. Of course, you have the classic margherita pizza for the fans of Neapolitan pizza. But as you scan through the menu, you will find their own take on pizza with names such as Silence of the Lambs (here’s hoping that Hannibal Lecter didn’t have a hand to play in Pizza Mansion) or the Big Brunch, brunch in pizza form.
While these two names are located close to each other in their Jalan Mesui and Happy Mansion outlets, they are coming together at the end of 2022 and sharing a space at Block E @ The Five! It is fitting that these two brands of completely different food cultures are joined together to make for quite the Malaysian dining experience. Malaysians are undoubtedly united in our food and this unity of Feeka and Pizza Mansion fits right into that ethos.
And with the two brands under one roof in our latest F&B location, the Damansara Heights community and of course KL-ites are in for a treat.
Stay tuned as we unveil more tenants who will be joining us at The Five.