10 Cafes To Visit When You’re Hungry
Food is still one of the big things in Malaysia and it’s also a good avenue to catch up with friends or hang out with the family. Social media has taken up our lives so much that we tend to take for granted these meaningful face to face conversation over a hot cup of chocolate drink or eggs Benedict.
I’ve also been known to frequent the ‘hipster’ cafes which for me meant the local, independent cafes set-up by passionate people who love what they do. Friends have often asked me where’s the best places for meet-up so I thought I’d share this list of 10 cafes to visit when you’re hungry.
1 | Mukha
Sunday brunches are best spent in Mukha as they have the best poached egg with salmon I’ve ever come across. Located in Taman Tun Dr Ismail residential area, this cafe is frequented by musicians, people of the arts and if you’re lucky a local celebrity or two. Other menu items worth trying out is the baked eggs, the popular red velvet cake and the tea in an Aladdin lookalike pot. There’s more outdoor seats with different tables and chairs each (which is an issue for an OCD person like me) but otherwise its’ chillax ambiance is good for any catching up session.
2 | Jin Yi by Coffee Ritual
Now this was quite a surprise for me because I often go to Uptown Damansara area to have dinner but never really noticed that there was a cafe right above Sri Penang restaurant. This was where Bartotie took me for our first date because I had never been here for coffee before. Coffee Ritual houses various type of coffee which uses authentic processing such as coffee dripping and pressing. There’s even a tall jar which and fire underneath it which looked like a science experiment except it was coffee that was left to drip for a day to get its robust flavour. There’s a funny story to this because I wanted to try something new so I went for this coffee but ended up with a weak stomach afterwards. Besides coffee, Coffee Ritual serves a good set of home made burgers with fries and salad on the side, on a thick wooden chopping board. Both of these items go well together and so did the date.
3 | Departure Lounge
Any cafe that has a travelling concept goes into my good books but it has to be a good one of course. I’ve been wanting to go to Departure Lounge since last year but always had to skip it due to unforeseen reasons. When I finally had a chance, it was for breakfast and what I loved about this cafe is its’ concept which follows through in terms of interior decorations and menu board. There’s a shelf with books for those who wish to read before their ‘Travel Departure’ and travel photographs line up the wall to remember those good memories. It can get crowded during the weekends so its’ best to be an early worm if you want to spend your breakfast time here.
4 | Nemo’s Fish & Chips Cafe
This was recommended by one of my Bosses as it was located nearby the office area and had one of the best fish & chips around town. I’m not really a big fan of this meal because it tends to be too fishy at times but the one served in Nemo was just perfect. During lunch, you’ll be able to get a set of fish & chips for less than RM20 in its’ nicely wrapped paper, just like how it’s served in Europe. I often meet-up friends here during lunch hour break as the service is quite fast. However, there are also other options to try such as the pasta or sandwich menu which are equally good.
5| Cafe Santa Barbera
Catered to customers who prefer a fresher and tastier menu, Cafe Barberra has a history of over 140 years of the finest preparations of gourmet coffees in Italy. A legend since 1870s, the cafe also provides a warm and inviting dining experience in all their branches. It was the first time I had tried out the affogato, a coffee based beverage in the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato topped with a shot of hot espresso. The mesh of hot and cold gave the beverage a surprising jolt but in a good way. Along with it’s high quality coffee, Cafe Barbera also serves handmade shakes, sandwiches, pastas, main course meals and desserts.
6| The Warehouse Gallery
I had joined my friends for a street photography session from Central Market to Pudu Road and back to where we started. Just 5 minutes walk away stood Warehouse KL Cafe, and art gallery cum cafe on ground floor and one of the best steakhouses above it. The contemporary art displayed on the walls were by local artists and available for purchase. I personally loved the Malaysian flag art and wished I had enough to purchase it for my new home! Besides art, the cafe serves good food and Illy coffee, especially the big breakfast which lasted until lunch. The French owner is also very friendly and personally served us the breakfast that we ordered. The table is made of chalk board so you can draw anything you like while chatting or waiting for the food to arrive. I would say it’s one of the best places for conversations and ideation.
7| Joe’s Kitchen & Barber Shop
Having a tw0-in-one concept for a business is also one of the upcoming trend here in Kuala Lumpur just like Joe’s Kitchen and Barber Shop in Subang Jaya. We arrived early for a haircut and did not have an appointment but the friendly staff who was preparing for the shop to open, invited us to wait inside while she checked on an empty slot for us. We were lucky and after the haircut, we went to Joe’s Kitchen which was just a glass door away. I think it’s clever for Joe to open up a cafe for people waiting for their turn in the barber shop and also for walk-ins. The food tastes homemade especially the spaghetti with meatballs and pizza, which were all cooked on the spot. From where we sat, we could see the chef sauteing the mushrooms and rolling the pizza dough for our lunch. Everything tastes good and I certainly love a good pasta meal.
8 | + Wondermilk Cafe
Wondermilk was one of the earliest local independent cafe that started up as an art bazaar, almost 10 years ago. During that time, they introduced the mini designed cupcakes which was very convenient to eat. The business grew rapidly from thereon and +Wondermilk Cafe came about providing an artsy ambiance for their customers. Their main specialty are their red velvet and rainbow cupcakes (actually these are my favourite) but they serve burgers, sandwiches, pasta and Kopi Cap Rusa. There’s so many things to see at the cashier counter and most of them would remind you of your childhood. It’s a good place to do work and catch up with friends on weekends.
9 | Podgy & The Banker
Photos of this cafe was posted up rapidly in the few weeks it opened which made a lot of people curious about this new cafe in Hartamas. At first, I thought it was Bak Kut Teh restaurant until I saw the photos of food and menu on Instagram so of course, we had to go there to see it for ourselves. It wasn’t hard to find as it’s located at the corner lot of a row of shop houses, with a very big cinema-like signage which is hard to miss. The wooden picnic tables with cute potted money plants makes this place feel so homey and cosy. The breakfast menu is not the normal Kopitiam pricing but it is deliciously served in a good sized portion. There’s only indoors seating though which means the smokers would have to take a whiff outside if they need to.
10 | Fahrenheit 600
Alternative pizzas are in now and at Fahrenheit 600, you can choose from a list of fresh oven baked pizza to be shared with your friends and loved ones. The decoration reminds me of California somehow and its’ location in Publika is a strategic one because it provides a different food option to the shoppers there. The square Hawaiian pizza had a good portion tomatoes, pineapples and one of the best tomato sauce base I’ve ever tasted. The crust is just nice and according to Bart it won’t break your teeth when you take a bite at it!
About Yafieda Jamil
Yafieda Jamil (fienuts) is a travel blogger from Kuala Lumpur and now makes a living in The Kingdom of Wonder (Cambodia). Her blog, The Travel Chameleon is about the journey of a Malaysian girl who loves a good road trip and blending in with the locals wherever she goes. When she’s not on the road, she's at the beach with her sunglasses and flip flops, instagramming the world.