* Some of the establishments / dishes below are not halal.
The coffee bandwagon in the Klang Valley has indeed been overtaken by indie coffee brands, which brew and serve up honest, artisan coffees. They also offer cakes, pastries, and savory treats that complement a great coffee experience.
For all you caffeine junkies out there, we’ve picked 15 of our favorites out of the hundreds, if not more, coffeehouses that have sprung up in the Klang Valley — all of which you ought to visit! (Click on the restaurant names for addresses and OpenRice members' reviews.)
1. Artisan Roast @ T.T.D.I.
Their Bangsar Village II or Section 13, P.J. outpost may look posher. Still, nothing beats the pleasure of sipping a cuppa and digging into homemade cake or cookie on one of the rickety wooden chairs in the D.I.Y. setting of their flagship in T.T.D.I. — pretty much everything there is handmade or hand-drawn, from coffee and pastries (of course!) to furniture and murals.
To maintain quality, only coffee beans from the estates and small co-ops they know personally are sourced, which are then hand-roasted. All of this explains why their coffees are good enough to drink on their own. Like the espresso, which is full-bodied, with just the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. (Syrup is no-no there.)
But just don’t expect the same blend as things here change constantly. (Never a bad thing, eh!)
2. Mollydooker’s Coffee Bar @ Bukit Damansara
Turns out, mollydooker is a slang term for a lefty in Australia. Though it’s got nothing to do with coffee, one thing for sure about this namesake coffee place is they’re dedicated to brewing seriously good coffee — as reflected in their slogan, “We love to make coffee for the city that loves to drink it.”
Along with homemade cakes, cookies, and pastries, it makes for a cool spot to chill out at, and for a caffeine fix and sugar hit.
3. Plan b. Roasters @ Publika
At this corner café in Publika’s Ben’s Independent Grocer, it’s hard not to be amazed by the sheer variety of beans. Their house blend — a dark, acidic brew made from Indonesian, Brazilian, and Ethiopian beans, all freshly roasted and ground to order — is adored by coffee fiends near and far. In fact, it shines through in their espresso, leaving your palate with an unctuous bitter chocolate note, a slight trace of spice, and a fleeting tang.
They’ve also got other great shots to indulge in, from Piccolo Latte and Flat White to Macchiato and Australian Iced Coffee. Let’s not forget to pick up their deli favorites for a nosh, like salads, pastas, sandwiches, and cakes!
4. Coffea Coffee @ Bangsar and Subang Jaya SS15
Founded by South Korean barista Timothy, who represented his country twice in the World Barista Championship. This café has an unimposing warehouse-like interior, which gives a pleasantly roomy and cozy feel. Timothy and his team roast their own coffee beans, and create unique blends in-house with beans from across the globe.
Be sure to try its signatures Maestro, which tastes punchy and loaded with caffeine, as well as Madonna, which feels smoother and and well-rounded on the palate.
5. The Departure Lounge @ Damansara Uptown and Mon’tKiara
This chic and bookish dining café aspires to be a transit point to places of dreams. It is home to a massive collection of travel guidebooks and narratives that make you want to be on the road again!
They serve specialty espressos and breakfast items, including gourmet sandwiches, all day long. (Totally acceptable to have breakfast for dinner, and vice versa.) Definitely a hip place to be in should you miss your jolt of caffeine, or feel peckish and want a good meal, or just want to sit down to a good read!
6. Epicuro @ Damansara Uptown
A new addition to the already bustling food haven of the Damansara Uptown. Lee Yugin, co-owner of the setup, was an engineer in Germany 10 years ago before deciding to dabble in cooking. He’ll tantalize you with his unique takes on Western dishes, including Balsamic Glazed Prok Ribs, Conchiglie in Spinach Cream, and Pesto Pasta. Do try his smooth café latte, too, which is brewed with medium-roasted Brazil Santos beans.
7. Ecole P @ Damansara Uptown
Inspired by your neighborhood’s sekolah rendah, this place is certainly made to look like one. It’s co-owned by “principals” Irene Tee and Steven Heng. The nostalgic interior is adorned with wooden school chairs and has a canteen-like kitchen. The serving utensils are of blackboards and stationery. Sounds eerily familiar, eh! Be sure to order its signature apple slaw (a riff on your everyday coleslaw), Chicken Chop, Chicken Tandoori Sandwich, and Black Sesame Cappuccino.
8. The Good Batch @ Damansara Uptown
Get here for near-perfect coffee and luxurious café-style fare. Must have its well-brewed, aromatic café latte as well as signature dish like the Norwegian — which comes with wobbly poached organic egg, homemade lemon Hollandaise, smoked salmon, onion confit, and bell pepper on toasted English muffins!
9. Coffee ETC @ Oasis Ara Damansara
This café prides itself in using the freshest ingredients. Some of its must-tries include Egg Benedict and Cheesy Mushroom Garlic, which are made even better when paired with house-made pastries. Enjoy all these as well as a shot of well-brewed coffee in its rustic, cozy, and roomy space.
10. EspressoLab @ the Pavilion K.L.
The café is prized for the premium taste found in its house-blend coffees. And the beans used are purely arabica, from only Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, or Sumatra — which explains why even its latte and mocha are robustly flavored. Down these caffeine-boosted beverages with its homemade desserts, like Moist Chocolate Bite and Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse!
11. Brew & Bread @ Kota Kemuning
Want to escape further away from the congested city center and still be able to enjoy a good cuppa? Look no further. It vows to impress the most discerning palates with its gentle house blends, which utilize light to medium roasted coffee beans. That said, expect a milder latte here. Or, for fuller-bodied drink, try its Piccolo Latte! You might want to sip these with Peppermint Choc or the café’s other handcrafted desserts.
12. Mukha @ T.T.D.I.
Here, it’s Western flair meets Mideastern touches. The coffee is skillfully brewed, and the latte art meticulously drawn. Make this even more decadent with a slice of the Red Velvet cake. Craving for something savory instead? Try its Baked Egg, which appears to on every table there! Relish all the goodness in its air-conditioned, quaint indoor space, which is adorned with an artsy chalky menu board, or outdoors.
13. Backofen @ Sri Hartamas
One of those cafés that have withstood the test of time in providing you with top nosh at affordable prices. Must try its signature Austrian delicacies like Rosmarin Chicken as well as Cheese and Mushroom Broil. Don’t forget its desserts, such as Green Tea Tiramisu and Carrot-Walnut Scone.
14. Tokyo Pastry @ Avenue K
If you’re partial to anything matcha (green tea), then this is the place for you! The menu of this Japanese-French bakery boasts such delicacies as Ice Blended Green Tea, Green Tea Bun, Matcha-misu, and Matcha Red (Azuki) Bean Crepe. Of course, there are many more items on the list, including savory creations like the popular Scallop Salad with Shrimp and Baby Octopus.
15. WA Café
It might not be as famous as, say, Artisan Roast or Plan b. Roasters, but it serves mean food and coffee. No surprise here, because it’s led by Masahiro Aoki, master barista from Tokyo who’s committed to serving best-quality Japanese coffee to the Malaysian public. Its Iced Mocha is a strong statement of that — it remains chocolaty even to the last sip!
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