10 Cafes For The Hungry Soul In Kuala Lumpur.
There’s no denying that food makes hungry people warm and more open to conversations. It keeps you relaxed and busy while your head is thinking about a thousand different things for the day. In my previous post on 10 Cafes to visit when you’re hungry, I shared with you places-to-meet friends on a weekend for a good catching up session. Since I left Kuala Lumpur, I have been scouring for local cafes here which has unique ambiance coupled with a good menu (don’t forget the coffee) to which the amount is relatively small.
In this installment I’ll share with you a few more places that we went to while we were still in the city and some memories that were attached to it. Do you remember the last cafe you went to and the fond memories you had there with your family or friends?
1. Syarikat Kopi LOKL
LOKL sits next to the Backhome backpackers hostel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. I knew this because this was the first time I came here to meet Juno (from Runaway Juno) and Anis (from FiveFeetFlat) to brainstorm about the Asian Women Empowerment 2013 Conference (AWE) in Kuala Lumpur. On another occasion I was with my friends Louise & Sue Yin doing some street photography in Pudu Road when we decided to drop by here for a quick bite and also to meet Ali who was back for the a break.
The rooster icon on the door and part of the art on the wall is something familiar for frequent visitors here at LOKL. The cafe certainly has a quirky interior decoration with artsy prints on history, culture all framed in an organized mess on the wall. Red bricks line behind the long bench with wooden chairs and tables giving it a cozy homely feeling while you munch on a smoked salmon & cream cheese bagel (RM14.90, expensive with this portion) with warm cappuccino. I would recommend you to go for lunch, cakes or coffee instead. The indoor cafe seems small with its narrow layout but there’s also the outdoor area if you need some air and sunshine.
Location: LOKL, 30, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Call: +603-2022 1899 | Opens: Tuesday-Sunday, 8am-8pm | LOKL Website | Remarks: Go for the cakes & any coffee here. | Directions here |
2. ACME Bar & Coffee.
I’ve only been to ABC once due to curiosity on its cempedak (jackfruit) dessert cake that was getting a lot of hype when it first opened its’ door in The Troika, an ultra condominium in the center of Kuala Lumpur. The cafe sits on the lower ground floor where you’re sure not to miss it as it can be seen from the streets. During one brunch session with my parents, I couldn’t help but admire the industrial layout of the cafe which makes it look very spacious and classy. The walls, the tables and even the restrooms were all decorated with vintage fittings and elements. Behind the hosts’ table is the dining area with a row of cake display as the centerpiece.
The food were mostly fusion and I like to call it confusion because sometimes the mixed cooking style ends up tasting like one. My dad loves lamb so he ordered the Grilled Marinated Lamb Shoulder (RM43) with ABC kicap chili marinade, peas and shoestring fries. Looking at the menu I felt like having pasta so I went with Sambal Hebi Aglio Oglio Spaghetti (RM29) with dry shrimp, spicy sambal, fresh prawns & a dash of olives. We had also ordered the lemongrass shrimp wantons (RM17) and creamy cempedak cake with pistachio nut coating (RM15/slice). If you’re not into fusion I would recommend going for the starters, salads, desserts and coffee which are ‘safe’ options. Otherwise have a little sparkling adventure and go for the mish mash of east meets west options in ABC.
Location: Acme Bar & Coffee, The Troika, Jalan Binjai, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Call: +603-2162 2288 | Opens: Mon-Fri (11am-12am), Sat-Sun (9:30am-12am) | ACME Website | Remarks: Go for the cakes & any coffee here. | Directions here |
3. Cafe Lapis
I came back recently for a quick break and to hang out with my dad for the weekend when my friend Raina asked for a meet-up here at Cafe Lapis in Wangsa Maju. Together with Hellie we met at the cafe for tea time. We parked right in front of the shop where patrons sat enjoying their food while chatting with their friends. Inside were booths which reminded me of a 50s diner, with wooden planks stuck on the walls creating an artsy decoration effect. We read the menu board with specials and desserts written in white chalk, deciding on an early dinner for the evening.
Since I was missing our Malaysian food while living in Cambodia, I ordered the Laksa Johor which came in a generous portion, Hellie ordered the Mini Pizza Balls with marinara sauce and fries (RM6.50), Bart had the Monte Cristo (RM12) consisting of beef pastrami, cheese with white bread and homemade jam, served with salad. Raina had mentioned that their Chicken Tikka Masala was good, but we need to come back for it the next round. Slices of desserts were seen on most of the tables in the cafe which meant that probably this was one of their most preferred item on the menu. Not bad for a newly opened cafe in Wangsa Maju giving the town more food outlet options for the weekend.
Location: Cafe Lapis, Jalan Wangsa Delima 1A, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Call: +603-4141 8297 | Opens: Mon-Sun (12pm-11pm), Fri (3:00pm-12am) | Cafe Lapis FB Page | Remarks: The kids menu is in super cute portion. | Directions here |
4. The Bee @ Publika
I’ve visited both branches under The Bee and love both of them. The one in JayaOne mall feels artsy and you could spot many local artists having discussions over coffee as the Performing Arts Centre is located right above them. The one in Publika however is larger and has spacious indoor as well as outdoor seating areas. It’s also the closest to our office. Whenever we come here, we would observe people coming in with their friends, mostly artsy and creative folks with unique hairstyles and fashion. It is definitely one of the places ‘to be seen’ in the city.
On weekends we would go here to listen to live band performances, have dinner and ice cream. My favorite is the Nutella flavored ice cream from The Last Polka who are also the creators of the Teh Tarik, Deep Dark Chocolate and Gula Melaka flavors. Since I love pasta, I usually order the Chilli Prawn Pasta (RM22) or the Hawaiian burger (which is taken off the menu now I think). There’s also the cappuccino and lemongrass citron press which keeps me awake while we chat late into the night. They are usually packed with people so it’s better to come earlier on Friday evenings or weekends so that you can get a good seat inside near the stage or outside.
Location: The Bee, 36, Level G2, Publika Mall, 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Call: +603-6201 8577 | Opens: Mon-Sun (10am-12am) | The Bee Website | Remarks: Live music performances on weekends.|
5. That Latte Place
It was another weekend with my parents when we decided to have breakfast in the city and decided to go somewhere else besides Levain Boulangerie. I’ve heard and read about this place through friends and online mediums but have not really had a chance to visit it. That Latte Place used to be first spot for Artisan Roast Cafe before they moved to other locations in the city. This was where they started their business and this was also where they were replaced with new owners of That Latte Place. Located in Persiaran Ritchie or Embassy row, we parked outside the bungalow house and walked towards the back where a garden with outdoor seating were located. The place was packed with the young, hip and wealthy I presume from the cars that we saw outside. Nevertheless the staff were friendly and we ordered a big breakfast which came neatly arranged on a big plate. The environment was nice except that we had to wait awhile for a free table, otherwise everything else was quite enjoyable.
Location: That Latte Place is now closed sadly. Just found out about it as I was writing this.
6. The Bakery KL
Now this place is only well known among the people living in Ampang Jaya area and I knew this because this was where Nina often has her breakfast with her friends. She asked out her one weekend to catch up and we almost got lost searching for the old SPCA building as we entered from the main traffic light in front of Flamingo Hotel. The Bakery is a corner lot shop which used to be a popular hang out place for local celebrities back in the days as a studio was located on the same row. We all ordered big breakfast which felt like the ones we would get from a hotel buffet table because there were salmon with scrambled eggs, toast, grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms with more side breads, butter, coffee and juice. Yes it’s all in 1 set!
It was simple and delicious mostly because I think they cooked the scrambled eggs in butter instead of oil. We sat outside since it a smoking area, convenient for my friends while inside, families were seated having breakfast of bread and pastries. There’s also a display for desserts and food that can be taken away such as the mac n’ cheese, already packed up, ready to go. Since the place was cozy and quiet I took my family out here the second time and my mom loved it. We ended up packing a few salad items and break back for my dad that day.
Location: The Bakery, 1, Jalan Chong Koon Lin, Off Jalan Kerja Ayer Lama, Ampang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Call: +603-4260 1606 | Opens: Tues-Fri (8am-8pm), Sat (8am-6pm), Sun (8am-230pm) | Remarks: They have such good breads here. |
7. Kaffe Cafe
You can see by now that I spend most of my breakfast mornings in cafes when I was in KL and this version of a big breakfast in Kaffe Cafe is no different. It was more like brunch by the time we reached TTDI and chose our food for the day. Mine came with coffee while Li Lis’ came with a smoothie. There was toast, hash brown, grilled tomatoes, sliced turkey, sausages, baked beans, mushroom and scrambled eggs. For your info I am not a fan of baked beans and I cannot stand it when it get mixed up with other items on the plate. I would usually request for my companions to have it instead while I finish up the rest.
The cafe can get quiet on weekends because it is located at the back alley away from the main street in this town. However parking can be difficult and it takes awhile to get one. I would suggest sitting outside because the interior had a more formal setting while we had wooden box crates for our tables and a nice cozy sofa. It’s a nice place to chill on a Sunday if you wish to avoid a crowded cafe and wait for your order to arrive.
Location: Kaffe Cafe, 23, Lorong Rahim Kajai 13, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Call: +603-7722 2237 | Opens: Mon-Sun (10am-1am) | Remarks: When they say big breakfast, it really is BIG.|
8. Quar/Tet TTDI
Now if you want to be adventurous for your morning pick-me-up drink, Quar/Tet would be a good place to start as it has drinks from coffees, teas to milkshakes in interesting flavors. There’s the Aztec Hot Chocolate with Mediterranean spices, Nutty Kopi Milkshake made of vanilla milkshake, roasted peanuts and crunchy bits of roasted coffee or the Holiday in New York tea which is a mix of black tea, summer blossom berries and a hint of coconut, for you to chose from. If you feel like having a clean, cold pressed juice, there’s always the Original Gangsta (orange), the Fat Burner (orange, grapefruit, wild honey, lemon, lime) or the Heat Exchange (watermelon, hint, lime).
I loved how they utilized the space on the corridor and placed it with benches so that there’s extra seats should the cafe be crowded that day. A door panel is placed before the entrance door which states their social media account, menu and opening time. It also said that the cafe is a self-service place so we had to choose our seat, and then head to the counter to see the menu, placed our order, paid then went back to our seats to wait for the food. Therefore it is important to know what you want so that you don’t hold up the entire queue.
Location: Quar/Tet TTDI, Lorog Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Call: +603-2857 6041 | Opens: Mon-Sun (8am-10pm) | Quar/Tet TTDI | Remarks: Quar/Tet is your friendly neighborhood supply.|
Eating in Wondermama reminds me of a warm home cooked meal as they serve local dishes in a very homely setting. My favorite has got to be the Nasi Lemak 2.0 and Nyonya Laksa. With other menus such as Special seafood maggi mee goreng, Nyonya mee siam, soft shell crab salad, it’s no wonder that this place is popular amongst its’ customers. The one I went to is located in the Bangsar Village 1 shopping mall, on the ground floor, visible from the main road on Telawi. The decoration, which looks like a local rumah kedai (shop house) can be seen inside the cafe while menu are written in chalk on the ceiling above us, in white. I didn’t notice it at first until I looked up and saw the large words.
Presentation is key here in Wondermama and this can be seen on their burger platter which is arranged neatly in a row or their hot beverages which comes in a steel mug just like the olden days. There’s also the delicious kuih muih for those who prefer light bites in the evening. Although parking in Bangsar can be tough but it’s worth the challenge as you get to savor the Peranakan dishes in such a cozy setting.
Location: Wondermama, G6, Ground Floor, Bangsar Village 1, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Call: +603-2284 9821 | Opens: Mon-Sun (9am-11pm) | Wondermama | Remarks: Live music performances on weekends.|
10. Pickle & Fig
Pickle & Fig was my first introduction to a hipster cafe what with the place looking far different than any normal cafes in KL back then. Bart took me here one day and I was delighted in its’ spacious seating inside with industrial cemented floors and wall while a large chalkboard menu hung next to the counter. All we needed to was stand right in front of it and choose our food before placing the order at the counter. Yes it is a self-service establishment which i didn’t mind because the place was not packed yet. Their menu, just like their space is laid out simple with a few options under the hot pressed panini, cold gourmet sandwiches, fresh salad and drinks.
My order came in a square silver tray laced with brown paper wrapping, consisting of bread filled with raisins, alfalfa sprouts, cheese and chicken, potato wedges and salad as a side dish. The place was pretty quiet and we talked softly, out of respect for other customers in the cafe. The servers are friendly as they go about asking if we got our food and whether everything was alright. I would highly recommend this place for people who wish to try a menu rich in vegetables as a healthy option.
Location: Pickle & Fig TTDI, 26, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Call: +603-2858 9960 | Opens: Mon-Sun (9am-11pm) | Pickle & Fig | Remarks: Healthy menu with plenty of alfalfa sprouts for the liking.|
Locations of Coffee spots in Kuala Lumpur.
About Yafieda Jamil
A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.