Kl & Sur­rounds

Time Out Malaysia Eating and Drinking Guide - - EATING -

Be­neath the bright, sil­very lights of the swanky twin tow­ers or the bare bulbs of a hawker stall, din­ers in Malaysia’s cap­i­tal are in store for a waist­line-ex­pand­ing feast of world cuisines. From Amer­i­can to veg­e­tar­ian, from ha­lal ren­dang cur­ries to roasted pork, there’s a dish for ev­ery ap­petite. For more great restau­rants, visit the Time Out KL web­site.

Kuala Lumpur

The Amer­i­cas


Arthur’s Bar and Grill

Shangri-La, 11 Jalan Sul­tan Is­mail, KL (03 2074 3900/www.shangri-la.com).

Shangri-La’s wa­ter­ing hole, Arthur’s Bar & Grill, is a Man­hat­tan-style bar and grill with con­tem­po­rary fur­nish­ings. Apart from a vast va­ri­ety of bev­er­ages be it cock­tails or a long list of wines, Arthur’s posh pub grub in­cludes favourites like fish and chips, shep­herd’s pie and buf­falo wings, served by ex­em­plary staff. A live band plays here ev­ery evening but on Sun­days it’s a great place to un­wind.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Dis­abled friendly. Mon–Thu, 12noon– 1am; Fri–Sat, 12noon–2am; Sun, 5pm–12mid­night. $$$$

Burger Bobby Sim­pang 3

5 Jalan AU 5C/1, Ta­man Lem­bah Kera­mat, KL (013 640 2237).

Named as one of KL’s top burger stalls, Burger Bobby has been serv­ing up greasy, messy and de­li­cious burg­ers for the past seven years. Apart from your nor­mal chicken and beef, you can also choose from rab­bit, deer, and fish pat­ties. This stall is spe­cial be­cause the owner, Bob, adds an ex­tra touch to his burg­ers by mak­ing his own sauces, and fry­ing the onions in but­ter and Worces­ter­shire sauce. Bobby’s Triple Spe­cial Cheese is the burger in ques­tion, and fea­tures three pat­ties wrapped in egg, topped with cheese and spilling with sauces.

Daily, 4pm–4am. $

The Daily Grind LG8, lower ground, Bangsar Vil­lage 1, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar, KL (03 2287 6708/www.thedai­ly­grind.com.my).

The Daily Grind was at the fore­front of the gourmet burger revo­lu­tion in Malaysia and half a decade after open­ing, it’s still go­ing strong, serv­ing up some of the city’s best burg­ers to a le­gion of loyal fans. Of course, the key is the meat. Fresh, high-qual­ity pre­mium cuts of meat go into each patty, whether chicken, beef or fish. No preser­va­tives or ad­di­tives are used in the mak­ing of ei­ther the burg­ers or the sauces, all of which are also bot­tled in house. The lo­ca­tion on the lower ground floor of Bangsar Vil­lage has al­ways made it a popular choice for so­cial oc­ca­sions, with win­dows over­look­ing the foot­fall of Bangsarites go­ing about shop­ping or par­ty­ing. The menu is broad and deep. The clas­sic burger and cheese­burg­ers are safe, the foie gras burger a more ex­trav­a­gant choice but as de­li­cious as it sounds. A hid­den gem is the ba­con av­o­cado burger, which loses lit­tle from not hav­ing pork ba­con and in­stead gains from a per­fect dous­ing of avo. The non-beef se­lec­tion is just as wide, with Tar­ragon Mush­room Chicken, Viet­namese Jai Ho, a red snap­per ‘Down By The Sea’, Cher­moula Sal­mon Fil­let, lamb and feta ‘My Big Fat Greek Burger’, Por­to­bello Mozza Stack, and tem­peh and chick­pea ‘Green With Envy’ just a hand­ful of the ex­am­ples of how this place goes beyond the beef. It re­ally is a menu that pays to ex­plore, with many more mains, snacks, soups and sal­ads, as well as a de­cent kids’ menu that al­ways hits the mark. Eat­ing burg­ers in KL doesn’t have to be such a hard grind.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit Cards ac­cepted. Dis­abled friendly. Daily, 11am–11pm. $$

Fat­boy’s the Burger Bar

Lot 30 G2, Pub­lika, 1 Jalan Du­ta­mas 1, So­laris Du­ta­mas, KL (03 6206 1352); L3-8, Level 3, Av­enue K, Jalan Am­pang, KL (03 2181 2559); B-GF05, ground floor, Sky Park One City, Jalan USJ 25/1A (03 7451 6233/www. fat­boys.my).

If you’re of a per­nick­ety na­ture, build­ing your own burger is the best route to sat­is­fac­tion. Start with the bun – a fluffy white sesame seed for the tra­di­tion­al­ists, whole­meal for healthy eaters or honey oat for the ar­ti­sans. Then your choice of beef, pork, chicken or lamb patty can be topped with, well, nearly any­thing. Our favourites are the su­per spicy chilli queso and a clas­sic fried egg. If you’re feel­ing fruity, throw on a few slices of grilled ba­nana or pineap­ple. If you’re not a fan of bar­be­cue sauce, try the roasted garlic aioli, curry re­moulade, blue cheese dress­ing, peanut but­ter or... Nutella? Maybe too much choice can be a bad thing.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon–Thu & Sun, 11am–11pm; Fri–Sat, 11am– 12mid­night. $$

Hard Rock Café

Ground floor, Wisma Con­corde, Jalan Sul­tan Is­mail, KL (03 2715 5555/ www.hardrock.com).

‘Love All, Serve All’ is the motto of this iconic home of clas­sic rock mem­o­ra­bilia. You won’t go wrong with their best-sell­ing Jumbo combo, an ar­ray of popular starters such as Santa Fe Spring Rolls, Hick­o­rySmoked Chicken wings, Onion Rings, Potato Skins, and Chicken Ten­ders to share. The per­cik burger, where the patty is basted with Malaysian spices, is the only re­minder that you’re in KL.

The live band plays ev­ery night from 11pm till 2am. Now you know where to go when the crav­ings for Amer­i­can fare hit you like a bus.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon–Thu & Sun, 11.30am–1.30am; Fri–Sat, 11.30am–2am. $$$$

NEW Mikey’s Orig­i­nal New York Pizza

17 Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar, KL (03 2202 0080/www.mikeyspizza.com.my).

Take in a sliver of the Big Ap­ple in the heart of Bangsar, where floppy pizza is served by the foot-sized slice. Na­tive New Yorker Michael Helf­man man­aged to lure no­to­ri­ous pie man An­drew Bel­lucci to our shores, and the ovens of Mikey’s have been full ever since. We sug­gest you start with the NY clas­sic (tomato-based moz­zarella and olive oil) be­fore pro­gress­ing to the oth­ers (five-cheese, meat­ball, or buf­falo chicken). To up the carb in­take, cheese-doused waf­fle fries are at your ser­vice.

Kids’ menu (drinks). Mon–Thu & Sun, 12noon–10pm; Fri–Sat, 12noon– 11pm. $$$

NEW Samba Level 3, Av­enue K, Jalan Am­pang, KL (03 2181 8212/03 2181 8112/sam­baa­sia.com).

This is one of those Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde restau­rants that do an about-face come din­ner time. We heard so many good things about the chur­rasco din­ner ser­vice and end­less buf­fet spreads that we fig­ured the lunchtime pizza buf­fet would be good too. It turns out that the same level of qual­ity doesn’t follow through to the mid­day meal, where a dras­ti­cally re­duced spread is aug­mented by oily, overly cheesy pizza. It might be a good place to bring the kids – there are a cou­ple of un­fa­mil­iar dishes that par­ents can oc­cupy them­selves with while the chil­dren en­joy safer dishes like lasagna, grilled vegetables, garlic bread and fried rice. In another pos­i­tive, we found the ser­vice to be at­ten­tive and friendly.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 10am–10.30pm. $$

T@ste6 Swiss-Gar­den Ho­tel & Res­i­dences Kuala Lumpur, 117, Jalan Pudu, KL (03 2141 3333/www.swiss­gar­den.com).

This brasserie boasts swanky decor in the way of sprightly wall green­ery and mar­ble pan­els. Main cour­ses look fa­mil­iar on the menu but are served with a twist: the char­grilled skirt steak with chilli salsa, oven-roasted duck breast and beer-bat­tered fish and chips are must tries. If you’re not keen on sit­ting around the hec­tic open kitchen, re­pair to the pri­vate din­ing room.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 6.30am–10.30pm. $$$$

TGI Fri­days Level 6, Pavil­ion KL (03 2148 3766); First floor, The Gar­dens Mall, Mid Val­ley City (03 2287 7611); Ground floor, Wangsa Walk Mall, Jalan Wangsa Per­dana 1, KL (03 4142 7366/www.fri­days.com.my).

The fa­mous Amer­i­can chain has good rea­son to spring up ev­ery­where around the world – it still of­fers qual­ity sta­ple Amer­i­can cui­sine such as burg­ers, chicken fa­ji­tas, na­chos, buf­falo wings and fried mac and cheese. Best­sellers in­clude the Texas Bar­beque Chicken Que­sadil­las and Fish n’ Chips.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon–Sun, 11am–11pm. $$$


Pam­pas Grill & Bar

24 Changkat Bukit Bin­tang, KL (03 2148 5548/www.pam­pas.com.my).

The high­lights of the menu here are bovine so be sure to or­der the per­fectly done steaks and lamb shanks. For those who pre­fer oth­er­wise, the menu also fea­tures chicken, seafood, and pas­tas. The help­ful staff is al­ways ready to ac­com­mo­date re­quests for smaller por­tions for the kids. The wine list is ex­ten­sive with a slight em­pha­sis on Chilean and Ar­gen­tinean wines. Def­i­nitely a good choice for a classy night out.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 4pm–12mid­night. $$$

Mex­i­can Fresca G-242A, The Gar­dens Mall, Mid Val­ley City, Lingkaran Syed Pu­tra, KL (03 2201 2893/www.fresca.com.my).

Fresca of­fers Mex­i­can sta­ples such as tor­tilla chips with gua­camole, fish ta­cos, que­sadil­las, fa­ji­tas and bur­ri­tos. We rec­om­mend the Jalapeno pop­pers as a snack, crumbed chilli stuffed with Mon­terey Jack and mince beef served with mango chipo­tle salsa.

Pork-free. Kids’ menu. Mon–Thu & Sun, 11am–11pm; Fri–Sat, 11am– 12.30am. $$$

La Mex­i­cana The Ter­race at Hock Choon, Jalan Ni­bong (off Jalan Am­pang), Am­pang, KL (03 4253 5251/www. au­th­mex­i­can­cui­sine.com).

It’s tough to find re­ally au­then­tic Mex­i­can flavours in KL but you can at La Mex­i­cana. Chef Carmela whips up the usual ta­cos and gua­camole along­side some more un­usual treats like grilled cac­tus and bright beet­root soup. Served in colour­ful sur­round­ings, the dishes are well com­ple­mented by a tequila-filled drinks menu.

Daily, 12noon–11pm. $$$ Las Car­retas 22 Per­sian Am­pang, KL (03 4257 1668/www.las­car­retas.com).

Mean­ing ‘The Wagon’, Las Car­retas is far from dry in the al­co­holic sense. In fact, it has a good wine list and serves some of the best mar­gar­i­tas in KL. The food is very good too with a nice se­lec­tion of steaks, ribs, seafood and all man­ner of Mex­i­can treats like fa­ji­tas, chimichangas, en­chi­ladas and ta­cos. It’s a bright, ex­cit­ing and com­fort­able venue, and mood mu­sic is pro­vided by the wait­ers who walk about at ran­dom, play­ing the gui­tar and singing. The out­let is very child friendly as they of­fer colour­ing kits and piped-in cartoons to en­ter­tain the kids.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon–Sat, 12noon–2.30pm; 6pm–10.30pm; Sun, 5pm–10.30pm. $$$

South Amer­i­can NEW El Sid's Cock­tail Bar 1 Jalan Se­ti­a­puspa, Bukit Da­mansara, Da­mansara Heights, KL (03 2095 7437/www.face­book.com/ElSid­sBar).

It’s a fan­tas­tic place for a Pisco sour or mar­garita but don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the food menu here. Hearty ta­males, zesty ce­viche and mor­eish al­fa­jores for dessert top our list of dishes to try. As with owner Ge­off Sid­dle’s other en­ter­prises, you can ex­pect friendly ser­vice and a fun, re­laxed am­bi­ence that wel­comes the whole fam­ily.

Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. $$

NEW Fuego Troika Sky Din­ing, Level 23A, The Troika, Jalan Bin­jai, KL (03 2162 0886/www.troikasky­din­ing.com).

In­no­va­tive cock­tails with a twist, tan­ta­lis­ing and unique ta­pas dishes and a hell of a lot of gua­camole – that’s what you can ex­pect at Troika Sky Din­ing’s new­est ven­ture. Gaze out over the Petronas tow­ers from this slick and lively South Amer­i­can bar as you en­joy smoked quail eggs, soft-shell crab na­chos, braised beef back rib, and sweet, crunchy churros.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 6pm– 12mid­night. $$$$$

La Boca Third floor, Pavil­ion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bin­tang, KL (03 2148 9977/ www.laboca.com.my).

Mex­i­can food is not yet well rep­re­sented in KL but adding to the cui­sine’s cat­a­logue of restau­rants in KL is La Boca. La­belled a Latino bar and restau­rant, its bright colours are ac­com­pa­nied by a slew of fun South Amer­i­can dishes. Not only is Mex­ico cel­e­brated, you’ll find food from Ar­gentina, Peru, Cuba and Brazil too. High­lights in­clude the em­panadas, Ar­gen­tinian folded pizza, tor­tillas and ad­dic­tive Al­fa­jores cook­ies. Creamy Kahlua-in­fused cock­tails are no­brain­ers on a loungey week­day night.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 9am–1am. $$$

Cafés Acme Bar and Cof­fee

Ground floor, The Troika, Jalan Bin­jai, KL (03 2162 2288/www. acme­bar­cof­fee.com).

In an era in which ‘good enough’ seems to be the mantra, rare is the gem where bound­aries are stren­u­ously pushed and ev­ery pos­si­ble de­tail, how­ever minute, is tended to with metic­u­lous care. Breath­tak­ingly stun­ning in­te­ri­ors (pic­ture a con­verted loft in a fin de siè­cle build­ing in the heart of New York) are com­ple­mented by a mood that is ir­rev­er­ent but stylish, play­ful but chic, and with a mod­ern retro sen­si­bil­ity that is ir­re­sistibly in­fec­tious. By ex­ten­sion, the menu is sim­i­larly thor­ough, and fa­mil­iar food is given a well-thought twist to pro­duce cre­ative new of­fer­ings. This is per­haps best en­cap­su­lated by the dunk­ing salad, which con­sists of un­adorned honey ro­maine and a jar of dress­ing. De­cep­tively sim­ple, the salad is both vis­ually and tex­tu­rally ap­peal­ing, just as the crab and grilled wa­ter­melon salad, another os­ten­si­bly ba­sic dish, is here made com­plex with the ad­di­tion of mirin soy mayo and toasted al­monds. This wit­ti­cism is car­ried through to mains and the time­less aglio olio is play­fully tweaked when sam­bal hebi is tossed through it. Recog­nis­ing that some things are best left un­changed, Acme’s menu also en­com­passes clas­sic items that are un­tam­pered with but in­ter­preted with in­tegrity. To wit, the slow-cooked duck ren­dang with bar­ley-in­fused rice yields mes­meris­ingly ten­der flavours while the Moroc­can lamb stew is suit­ably feisty.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon–Thu, 11 am–12 mid­night; Fri, 11am–1am; Sat, 9.30am–1am; Sun, 9.30 am–12 mid­night. $$$


Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar (03 2284 2880); The Gar­dens Mid Val­ley (03 2287 2281); BSC (03 2287 1388); Great East­ern Mall (03 4260 2288/ www.alexis.com.my).

Spa­cious and charm­ingly dec­o­rated, Alexis is the place for jazz mu­sic lovers in KL (sec­ond to the bet­ter known No Black Tie). The bistro con­sis­tently fea­tures live in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal jazz acts ev­ery Fri­day and Satur­day night. The food is av­er­age at best, but the desserts – es­pe­cially the cakes – are fab­u­lous, mak­ing it a per­fect spot for cel­e­bra­tions. Mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment should be your main in­cen­tive to visit.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Dis­abled friendly. Mon–Thu, 12 noon–12 mid­night; Fri–Sat, 12noon– late; Sun, 10 am–12 mid­night. $$$

An­tipodean Café

2013 Run­ner-Up Best Place for Cof­fee

20 Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, KL (03 2282 0411); Me­nara Tan & Tan, Jalan Tun Razak, KL (03 2161 0752/ www.an­tipodean­cof­fee.com).

Mak­ing fre­quent ap­pear­ances in the Time Out KL Food Awards, An­tipodean Café has be­come a stal­wart brunch favourite since open­ing in 2011, which was also in­ci­den­tally when we last re­viewed it. We skipped the week­end brunch crowds and the re­sult­ing half-hour queues and headed for a late-af­ter­noon week­day meal at the Bangsar branch in­stead. Pos­sess­ing a buzzing at­mos­phere that still al­lows for con­ver­sa­tion, the café it­self is scrupu­lously clean and mod­ern with a tiled mo­saic floor that brings warmth and hints of the past. The menu is writ­ten on the wall, a chic con­cept that doesn’t work well in prac­tice. The all-day break­fast menu seems almost uni­ver­sally loved so we try the pump­kin, sage and feta pasta and a cap­puc­cino. Our pre­vi­ous re­view be­moaned the bit­ter­ness of the café’s fre­quently burnt cof­fee but there’s no trace of that now. The cap­puc­cino is warm and im­me­di­ately drink­able – no milk was scalded in the mak­ing of this cof­fee – and the taste is smooth with an acidic tang. There are small, not un­pleas­ant, bursts of bit­ter­ness but the co­coa seems to be the cul­prit. A bowl of large pasta shells quickly ar­rives, al dente and well bal­anced by a ju­di­cious sheen of olive oil, big juicy chunks of pump­kin, warm baby spinach leaves, pan-crisped sage leaves and a delectably salty and gen­er­ous mound of feta. This is an in­cred­i­bly aro­matic dish with flavours that marry well: in fact our only crit­i­cism is that fen­nel turns out to be the most per­cep­ti­ble of th­ese. It’s tasty no doubt but not men­tioned in the menu de­scrip­tion. In­trigued by the charge of burnt cof­fee, we or­der an espresso and, to round things off, a slice of le­mon meringue pie. The espresso turns out to taste much as ex­pected, smooth and creamy with a more in­tense help­ing of that acidic tang. Savour­ing it, we try to ig­nore the am­ber beads on the meringue, warn­ing lights that the pie has been over­cooked. A small but suf­fi­cient por­tion, the pie has the begin­nings of the right flavours but the tex­ture is right off. Dis­turbingly firm meringue sits atop le­mon cus­tard that looks like left­over jelly dry­ing out in the fridge. Where’s the wob­ble? Where’s the cus­tardy creami­ness? The bis­cuit base also be­trays signs of ma­lin­ger­ing in the oven but it has a pleas­ing crum­ble and is but­tery in flavour. An­tipodean has more com­peti­tors than when it started. It’s eas­ier th­ese days to find good cof­fee, that much prized con­tem­po­rary ‘Mel­bourne cafe’ feel, and well-made in­ter­na­tional dishes but we’d still re­turn to An­tipodean, just not for dessert.

Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon–Thu & Sun, 8am–10 pm; Fri– Sat, 8 am–11 pm (Bangsar); Daily, 7.30a m–9 pm (Tan & Tan). $$

Ar­ti­san Roast Cof­fee

2013 Run­ner-Up Best Place for Cof­fee

4 Lorong Ka­jai 14, TTDI (03 7733 6397/www.ar­ti­san­roast.com.my).

Ar­ti­san Roast places im­por­tance on hand­crafted cof­fee good enough to drink on its own, as proven by the full-bod­ied espresso with just the right amount of acid­ity and sweet­ness – there’s no such thing as syrups here. They per­son­ally roast their beans at RAW cof­fee (which the founders of Ar­ti­san Roast also have a stake in). How­ever, don’t ex­pect the same blend all the time as it con­stantly changes, with the Su­ma­tra Mand­heling blend the most fre­quently used.

Ha­lal. Mon–Fri, 8am–12 mid­night; Sat–Sun, 9am–12 mid­night. $$

NEW As­presso Cof­fee & All Day Break­fast

16-1, Lot B-8-1, Plaza Usa­hawan Gent­ing Klang, Jalan Danau Ni­aga 3, Ta­man Danau Kota, KL (03 6270 0016/www.face­book.com/ as­pres­so­ma­laysia).

Hand-dripped, espresso, and even wicked cock­tail cof­fees – As­presso is all about the cof­fee. Don’t miss the all-day break­fasts ei­ther. For a slen­der RM11.90, you can choose from a list of break­fast bits and pieces like hash browns, omelettes, eggs, ba­con, mush­rooms, and baked beans to cre­ate your very own per­fect way to the start the day.

Mon–Fri, 12 noon–12 mid­night (Closed Tues­days); Sat–Sun, 10am– 12mid­night. $

The Bee

36B Level G2, Pub­lika, So­laris Du­ta­mas, Jalan Du­ta­mas 1, KL (03 6201 8577/www.the­bee.com.my).

This popular café be­gan life in Jaya One and now has a sec­ond branch in Pub­lika shop­ping mall. Both cafés host open mic nights and serve up a hearty menu of break­fast meals, burg­ers and pasta, but the Pub­lika branch is much larger and also plays host to reg­u­lar stand up com­edy and live mu­sic acts. This is a popular spot with the young and arty crowd, and it's easy to see why: It’s hard to re­sist the buzz here. Aside from that, come for fuss-free food and good qual­ity cof­fee.

Mon–Thu, 10 am–12 mid­night; Fri, 10 am–1.30 am; Sat, 9 am–1.30 am. $$


6 Jalan So­laris 4, So­laris Mont Kiara, KL (03 6211 8829).

Amidst the bustling, dou­ble park­ing chaos of So­laris Mont Kiara, Brew­men café is an isle of calm that serves no­tably in­ven­tive con­coc­tions, in­clud­ing Espresso Bomb, Queen Bee, and Re­verse Cof­fee – an ice ball of espresso ac­com­pa­nied by a glass of frothy milk. Com­ple­ment your caf­feine fix with a slice of cake (try the sum­mer orange poppy seed cake), home­made waf­fles, or one of the sand­wiches (we rec­om­mend the Philly steak fo­cac­cia, with its thin juicy slices of beef and caramelised onions).

Tue–Thu, 11.30 am–10.30 pm; Fri, 11.30 am–12 mid­night; Sat, 10am– 12mid­night; Sun, 10 am–10.30 pm.


Lot 1A, 83-95, Level UG1 Pub­lika, Jalan Du­ta­mas 1, So­laris Du­ta­mas, KL (03 6209 1740/www.the­big­group.co).

Be­witched, both­ered, and be­wil­dered are we about the sand­wiches, wraps, and toasties at B’wiched. Try the fin­ger-lick­ingly sweet and crispy peanut but­ter and ba­nana toastie or the pi­quant mixes of flavours in the crab­meat brioche and banh mi baguette. Cakes, pas­tries, and buns too make this café, sit­u­ated within Ben’s In­de­pen­dent Gro­cer, the per­fect place to pause for a mid-af­ter­noon snack while you do your gro­cery shop­ping.

Daily, 9 am–10 pm. $$

NEW Caffe Bene

K-G-04, So­laris Mont Kiara, KL (www.caf­febene.com.my).

This South Korean café chain has been colling down res­i­dents of Mont Kiara and Ban­dar Sun­way with smooth gelato – to be found atop Liege waf­fles, in af­fogatos, and in pat­bingsu, the tra­di­tional Korean shaved ice dessert. Com­pe­tent cof­fee and sweet honey breads add to this crowd-pleas­ing menu.

Daily, 9.30 am–11 pm. $$

Café Vi­enna

Third floor, Suria KLCC, KL (03 2161 8268); Sec­ond floor, Lot 10 Shop­ping Cen­tre, Jalan Sul­tan Is­mail, KL (03 2141 7858/www.cafe­vi­enna.com.my).

There’s an Aus­trian se­cret nes­tled in KLCC. If you haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced Aus­trian cui­sine then head down to Café Vi­enna for a taste of weiner schnitzel (veal cut­let) and a slice of sa­chetorte (rich choco­late cake).

Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Dis­abled friendly. Daily, 8.30 am–10 pm (KLCC); Daily, 10am– 10pm (Lot 10). $$$

Cof­fea Cof­fee

2013 Run­ner-Up Best Place for Cof­fee

8 Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, KL (03 2201 3338/www.cof­fea.my).

Cof­fea Cof­fee closely re­sem­bles Mel­bourne’s Seven Seeds, a ware­house­like setup serv­ing se­ri­ous cups of cof­fee. The fran­chise was founded in Korea by barista Ti­mothy, who has rep­re­sented his coun­try twice in the World Barista Cham­pi­onship, the Os­cars of the cof­fee world. In­ci­den­tally the company also roasts its own blends (a se­lec­tion of beans from Ethiopia, Gu­atemala, Brazil, Columbia and Costa Rica), with its two sig­na­tures be­ing the Maestro and Madonna. The for­mer is punchy and great for a caf­feine shot while the lat­ter is smooth and well rounded. Cof­fea Cof­fee will have to find its foot­ing next to An­tipodean and Ar­ti­san Roast, but killer blends and an unadul­ter­ated pas­sion for good cof­fee are great yard­sticks to mea­sure against the heavy­weights. Also, the place doesn’t pride it­self on trendy para­pher­na­lia or in­die mu­sic reruns, re­in­forc­ing it­self as ex­actly the kind of unpretentious hang­out Bangsar needs.

Sun–Thu, 9 am–12 mid­night; Fri–Sat, 9 am–2 am. $$


2013 Win­ner Best Place for Cof­fee

Block D4, Level G3, Unit 3A, So­laris Du­ta­mas, 1 Jalan Du­ta­mas, KL (03 6211 5523/www.face­book.com/Cof­feeSo­ci­ete).

This café pro­duces strong lat­tes us­ing its house blend. Sam­ple the chilled ver­sions too as the iced hazel­nut choco­late cof­fee is fra­grant and flavour­ful. The cof­fee beans are roasted by Cof­fex Cof­fee, a spe­cialty cof­fee roaster in Malaysia. Cof­fee So­ciété also whips up com­mend­able desserts to go with your cof­fee – the mac­arons and red vel­vet cakes are worth sam­pling.

Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon–Fri, 8.30 am–11 pm; Sat–Sun, 10.30 am–11 pm. $$

Cof­fee Stain by Joseph

2013 Run­ner-Up Best Place for Cof­fee

D4-G3-01, So­laris Du­ta­mas, KL (03 6211 2022/www.face­book.com/ Cof­feeS­tainByjoseph).

The old Joseph@Kitchen un­der­went a re­brand­ing ex­er­cise at So­laris to make the most of its very tal­ented baris­tas. Whilst still of­fer­ing sim­ple, well-done food (think sal­ads, cia­batta sand­wiches, and ten­der steaks), the fo­cus is now very much upon the art­ful brews, served amidst clean black and white min­i­mal­ism that nev­er­the­less man­ages to be comfy. We like the medium body espresso; its in­tense, long fin­ish is a re­sult of a del­i­cate blend of beans from Pa­pua New Guinea (for the smooth acid­ity), Gu­atemala (for that touch of sweet­ness) and Colom­bia (a bal­anc­ing act to round off the flavours). Es­pe­cially roasted in Sin­ga­pore, with a KL-based Ja­panese master over­see­ing the tast­ing and blend­ing, the beans are brewed us­ing a top-class Nuova Si­monelli ma­chine. Like your cof­fee pure? Then try the sin­gle-ori­gin cof­fee pre­pared by siphon, dripped, or brewed us­ing the re­ally cool, hour­glass-shaped Che­mex man­ual cof­feemaker. There are around ten dif­fer­ent beans avail­able at any time, but we sug­gest you watch out for the highly prized Panama Geisha, an auc­tion-favourite known for its light body, honey and cit­rus flavours, and a sur­pris­ing jas­mine-like aroma. It’s not al­ways avail­able, but when it is, be ready to part with RM60 for a taste (price may vary ac­cord­ing to mar­ket).

Pork-free. Mon, 9.30 am–9 pm; Tue–Thu, 9.30 am–11 pm; Fri–Sun, 9.30 am–12 mid­night. $$


K-G-03,Jalan So­laris Mont Kiara, KL (03 6206 3485/www.cosans.com).

Serv­ing fresh sand­wiches on flavour­some home­made bread and good cof­fee, this ris­ing star of the café world now has an out­let in So­laris Mont Kiara. Cour­tesy of the Big Ideas Group (not that other BIG), this stylish café has a clean, wooden, split-level de­sign that re­minds us of a New York loft.

Sun–Thu, 9am–12 noon; Fri–Sat, 9am–1am.

The Daily Habit

Chi Fit­ness Cen­tre, Lot 1-02 BRDB Tower, 285 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar (03 2202 3219/www.thedai­ly­habit.com.my).

Sit­u­ated in Chi Fit­ness Cen­tre, The Daily Habit was al­ways go­ing to be a health food haven. The fo­cus here is on in­tro­duc­ing peo­ple to un­pro­cessed, fresh in­gre­di­ents and mov­ing away from an­i­mal sources of pro­tein. You can find plenty of meaty dishes on the menu but dive into their su­perb veg­e­tar­ian friendly sal­ads. Own­ers Elisa and Jac­quie set up the place to bring about clean, min­i­mally pro­cessed food. Jac­quie says, ‘If you see any­thing pro­cessed in the menu, it could be a cheese.’ The women also don’t be­lieve in com­pro­mis­ing on taste. For your dose of rab­bit food, go else­where as

The Daily Habit’s menu is a ro­bust, hearty se­lec­tion of mains and snacks, all which are well thought out. Daily of spe­cials ro­tate ev­ery month and you’re bound to come across items like lamb shank with apri­cots, al­monds and chick­peas with rye grains and red rice. Per­ma­nent à la carte items also fill the menu, and a must-try is the pomegranate-adorned quinoa salad. If you’re in the area for break­fast, the quinoa power pack (quinoa lay­ered with fruit, gra­nola and ri­cotta) sounds like the kind of break­fast we like. The items in the chiller also tempt. A dish of baked pep­pers stuffed with spinach and tomato topped with an­chovies and bread­crumbs is oc­ca­sion­ally in stock and is warmed up to serve. Mean­while the Por­to­bel­los stuffed with spinach and tofu with pesto is the kind of dish we could eas­ily lunch on ev­ery day. Ev­ery­thing is well planned, the sea­son­ing isn’t ex­ces­sive and most im­por­tantly, flavours don’t fall short. Elisa makes sauces, pre­serves and jams on site in­clud­ing the vanilla bean and pear jam, jalapeno sauce and basil and pine nut pesto. All are packed in cute jars and can also be pur­chased. The whole­meal scones (in flavours like fig and pis­ta­chio) are al­ready cult favourites, and cus­tomers as far as Shah Alam drive out to sam­ple th­ese.

Pork-free. Mon–Fri, 8 am–8 pm; Sat, 9 am–8 pm. $$

The De­par­ture Lounge

2013 Run­ner-Up Best Place for Cof­fee

10 Jalan So­laris 4, So­laris Mont Kiara (03 6203 0362/www.face­book.com/ CafeDepar­tureLounge).

As one of the first cafés in KL to bring in spe­cialty cof­fee, De­par­ture Lounge has stood the test of time (and com­pe­ti­tion) with con­sis­tently smooth lat­tes. This is largely thanks to the baris­tas who con­sis­tently froth the milk to full-bod­ied pre­ci­sion and to a com­fort­ing tem­per­a­ture with­out the bub­bles. Also try their range of cold cof­fees that ex­tend well beyond your reg­u­lar iced cof­fee and head into (vir­gin) cock­tail ter­ri­tory. In case you’re won­der­ing, they get their beans from Aus­tralia’s Five Senses Cof­fee.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon–Sun, 8 am–10 pm. Closed on Tues­days. $$

Es­pres­sa­mente Illy

2013 Run­ner-Up Best Place for Cof­fee

Level 3, Pavil­ion KL (03 2141 0028); Bangsar Vil­lage 1 (03 2287 7078/ www.espres­sa­menteilly.com.my).

Es­pres­sa­mente Illy takes pride in its well trained baris­tas (there’s a train­ing school in Malaysia!) and spe­cialty cof­fees. Be warned that drink por­tions are smaller, but the unique­ness lies in its taste; at first sip, you’ll no­tice the smooth, creamy tex­ture un­matched by most cof­fee chains. Also com­mend­able are the sim­ple Ital­ian sand­wiches and sal­ads.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 9 am–12 mid­night. $$


Lot 3F–1B, third floor, Bangsar Vil­lage II, 2 Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar (03 2287 5001/www.fitfor2.com.my).

For fam­ily-friend­li­ness, Fit For 2 Café is in a league of its own. Cook­ing up

sim­ple yet yummy food, the kids’ menu in the café is not short on va­ri­ety and in­cludes dishes rang­ing from baby pan­cakes and toasties to home­made chicken or fish nuggets and veg­e­tar­ian fried rice. Kid­dos can also in­dulge in the healthy ice lol­lies made from real fruit juice. Dessert lovers should look out for the popular banof­fee pie and le­mon cheese­cake. Kids get baby­ci­nos and baby muffins on the house. Be­sides hav­ing a play area spe­cially de­signed for tots, the cafés recog­nises the needs of new mums with a pri­vate baby feed­ing area as well as baby chang­ing facil­ties that pro­vide free Hug­gies nap­pies.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Kids’ Menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. Dis­abled friendly. Daily, 9am–5pm. $$

Juice Works

Ground floor, Mid Val­ley Mega­mall, KL (03 2287 7066); Con­course level, Suria KLCC, KL (03 2161 3157); Level UG1, Pub­lika, So­laris Du­ta­mas, Jalan Du­ta­mas 1, KL (03 6211 9983); Level six, Pavil­ion KL (03 2141 0030/ www.juice­works.com.my).

Sat­isfy your sweet tooth with th­ese healthy yet de­li­cious fruit juices and smooth­ies from Juice­works. To quench your thirst on a hot day, grab a cup of re­fresh­ing Pink Lemon­ade, made with juicy watermelons and zesty le­mons, or try the Mango Sen­sa­tion, a flavour­ful blend of lo­cal fruits such as mango and ba­nana mixed with trop­i­cal juice and low fat mango yo­ghurt that is rich enough to dou­ble as a light meal. With over 40 flavour com­bi­na­tions to choose from in the menu, one (or more) of the mouth­wa­ter­ing blends will surely please your taste buds.

Ha­lal. Daily, 10 am–10 pm. $

Just Heav­enly

Sec­ond floor, BSC, 205 Jalan Maarof, Bukit Ban­daraya, KL (03 2011 4866); 47 Jalan Terasek, Bangsar, KL (03 2287 9866/www.justheav­enly.biz).

Just Heav­enly has long been a by­word for baked goods in the Klang Val­ley, and re­cently it’s ex­tended its reach to in­clude a café in BSC, with mixed re­sults. The space is a clean white one, with pale wooden ta­bles and pride of place oc­cu­pied by the de­servedly prom­i­nent cake counter. The BSC café has a fairly pre­dictable se­lec­tion of Western café favourites, which of­fer noth­ing spe­cial to the palate but you could do worse than try­ing the flavour­ful BLT burger and spicy crab aglio olio. Your main rea­son for vis­it­ing should be the desserts: cheese­cakes, fruit­cakes, tiramisu; they’ve got it and it’s good. The fa­mous Death by Choco­late cake should not be missed.

Daily, 10 am–10 pm (BSC); Mon–Fri, 9am–6pm; Sat 9am–5pm (Bangsar). $$$


2013 Run­ner-Up Best Place for Cof­fee

C-0-7, Plaza Da­mas 3, Jalan Sri Har­ta­mas 1, KL (03 6206 3062/www. face­book.com/top­brew­cof­fee­bar).

Pre­vi­ously Top Brew by famed lo­cal barista JH Yee, it is now revamped as Kaf­feine, op­er­ated by two of Yee's friends as the barista jets off to Jo­hor and Sin­ga­pore for greener cof­fee pas­tures. Kaf­feine is in the ex­act same lo­ca­tion as the old Top Brew in Plaza Da­mas. A few months in the business, the crowds seem sat­is­fied by Kaf­feine's for­mula of great ser­vice, good cof­fee and quirky in­sta­gram-wor­thy mu­rals.

Thu–Tue, 10 am–6.30 pm. $$


1 Jalan 25/70A, Desa Sri Har­ta­mas (03 2606 2327/www.face­book.com/ kafekantin).

The restau­rant’s artis­tic ef­forts with the decor don’t carry over to the food – which is a good thing. In a city over­run with restau­rants plac­ing style above sub­stance, Kantin’s food and prices are re­fresh­ingly no-non­sense. There are no fancy in­gre­di­ents here; the dishes are hearty and gen­er­ous, rem­i­nis­cent of a can­teen. The daily set lunch, which in­cludes a main course and a drink, costs just RM9.90 to RM11.90.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 8.30 am–2 am $$$

NEW Ko­mugi

Var­i­ous lo­ca­tions (www.ko­mugi.com. my).

With eight lo­ca­tions across KL and Se­lan­gor, Ko­mugi bak­eries and cafés turn out fresh, hand­made Ja­panese breads, pas­tries and desserts. Aro­matic and crusty baguettes, creamy brioche and rich cakes are all on the menu. At the cafés there is also a se­lect menu of hot mains in­clud­ing dishes like the chicken katsu curry, omelette with mush­room or the seafood pizza.

Daily, 10 am–10 pm. $

Lev­ain Boulan­gerie Patis­serie 7 Jalan De­lima, KL (03 2142 6611/ www.lev­ain.com.my).

Housed in a ren­o­vated cosy bun­ga­low off Jalan Imbi with high ceil­ings and neo-clas­si­cal decor, this lovely restau­rant serves mouth-wa­ter­ing freshly baked pas­tries, bread, cakes, cook­ies, pra­lines and mac­arons. Pasta and sand­wiches are also avail­able as rea­son­able lunch fare.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon–Sun, 7.30 am–9 pm. $

NEW The Li­brary Cof­fee Bar

Lot G-8B, Ground Floor, Av­enue K, 156 Jalan Am­pang, KL (03 2181 6077); G-2A, Ground Floor, Nexus Bangsar South, 7 Jalan Ker­inchi, KL (03 2856 9329 /03 2856 9330/012 353 4351/www.face­book.com/ the­li­brarycof­fee­barMY).

The city’s new­est haunt for iced cof­fee, The Li­brary Cof­fee Bar, is a com­fort­ing blend of sleek so­fas and plen­ti­ful WiFi, all decked out like a li­brary out of an IKEA cat­a­logue. Be­fore you write it off, the cof­fee shakes here are de­cent (try the espresso mocha) as are the Kahlu­aor Bai­leys-in­fused blends. Ku­dos to the team for only us­ing or­ganic fair-trade beans. Star­bucks, you’d best pre­pare for bat­tle.

Pork-free. Daily, 10 am–10 pm. $$

The Loaf

Lev­els 3 & 4, Pavil­ion KL (03 2145 3036); Ground floor, Bangsar Vil­lage II, Bangsar (03 2856 9912); Lot 17, ground floor, Great East­ern Mall, KL (03 4265 0520/www.th­eloaf.com.my).

Go near the Loaf and you’ll be lured in by that heady aroma of fresh bak­ing. If you can make it past the bak­ery and the pas­tries, the main dishes are well worth a try too; the Cae­sar salad and the roast chicken with mush­room ragout are tried and tested.

Mon–Fri, 11 am–9 pm; Sat–Sun, 10 am–9 pm. $$$

LOKL Cof­fee Co.

30 Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, KL (03 2072 1188/www.lokl­cof­fee.com).

The Daily Grind


Mikey's Orig­i­nal NY Pizza

TGI Fri­days



An­tipodean Cafe

Acme Bar & Cof­fee

Caffe Bene

The De­par­ture Lounge


The Li­brary Cof­fee Bar

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