The great thing about our cafes, apart from their convenience as hangout spots and Instagram inspiration, is that they bring the world to us with their myriad cuisines and coffees. One day you could be having a sumptuous American breakfast, and sip Australian coffee the next. What makes it even better is when the café owners take a risk and fuse them with local flavors, giving their menu an edge that is literally out of this world. If you are a regular enough patron of cafes, you’ve probably clued in to the Aussie coffee culture that’s invaded them. With so many out there, how would you know which ones are worth going to? Here’s our guide on where to go downtown for Down Under.
#1 Yellow Brick Road, KL
The brainchild of the husband-and-wife team behind the Australian-influenced brunch spot The Red Beanbag, Yellow Brick Road is practically a sister to the former. While you won’t see any blatant Wizard of Oz references on the menu, you will find satisfying meals in their Asian-Western fusion dishes and the Oz-Some house blend, which is specially roasted by Artisan Roastery. Some of the hot favorites include Beef Rendang Cottage Pie, French toast with kaya sauce (wittily named I Wanna Be Kaya) and Chicken Char Siu Pasta, which marries aglio olio with chicken char siu. There are also cakes available, which you may order by the slice.
Address: 8-7, Jalan Batai, 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel. No.: 03-2035 5922
Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs 9am – 5pm, Fri – Sat 9am – 10pm, Sun 9am – 5pm
#2 Pulp by Papa Palheta, KL
Residing in what was once a paper cutting factory, Pulp stands out from the rest for its authentic industrial chic aesthetic. Spun off from Singaporean coffee boutique Papa Palheta, Pulp has earned quite a reputable name among coffee lovers in a relatively short time, thanks to the knowledgeable baristas and consistent quality of its brews. Also, its somewhat obscure address lends itself to the cozy ambience, which evokes Australian café vibes and makes it more appealing for genuine caffeine addicts who just want to sip their long black in peace. The flat white here is one of the most highly recommended, as is the cold brew, which is infused in 100% pressurized nitrogen. Fancy a bite? Try the carrot cake or the chocolate truffle cake.
Address: 29-01 Jalan Riong, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel. No.: 03-2201 3650
Operating Hours: Mon – Fri 7.30am – 10pm, Sat – Sun 9am-11pm
#3 League of Captains, KL
Rising from the ashes along with the rest of The Row on Jalan Doraisamy, League of Captains’ namesake is the most telling sign of its Aussie heritage. A tribute to head barista Danial Naim’s two favorite Melbourne coffee spots – The League of Honest Coffee and Captains of Industry – the name also extends to Danial’s aspirations for League of Captains. The people behind this dramatically named café are also responsible for Pestle & Mortar, which explains the retail section on the second floor of this establishment. Minimally decorated and a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city outside, the café serves up a menu that plays right into its comforting vibe. If desserts like rose pistachio cake and strawberry blueberry pavlova cake (which are supplied by The Accidental Bakers by the way) sound good to you, it’s time to pay the League a visit.
Address: Lot 42-50, The Row, Jalan Doraisamy, 50300 Kuala Lumpur
Tel. No.: 019-211 7234
Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs 8am – 11pm, Fri 8am – 12am, Sat 9am – 12am, Sun 9am – 11pm
#4 Nara Kitchen & Co, Damansara Uptown
Need a break from your heavy desserts and pastries? Nara Kitchen & Co remedies that with a menu chockfull of dishes to help you eat clean. And no, it won’t be a miserable affair either, not unless you consider carrot soup with shaved parmesan or béchamel mushroom truffle samosas to be miserable. Oh, and did we mention they have a Soup of the Day entrée that actually gets changed up? So far, patrons have already enjoyed mushroom soups and curry pumpkin soups, so that gives you an inkling of what to look forward to. If you’ve got a sweet tooth that just won’t quit, you can always sink it into a bite of Lemon Curd Cheesecake or Blueberry Chocolate Cake. You can also get good coffee here, as it is supplied by Papa Palheta.
Address: 61 SS21/1A, Damansara Uptown, 47400, Petaling Jaya
Tel. No.: 03-7733 5897
Opening Hours: Tue – Fri 12pm – 10pm, Sat – Sun 10am – 10pm
Literally encased inside a metal box, to call Metal Box a cozy spot would be an understatement. At the helm of this new establishment is the former main chef of The Red Beanbag, Chef Ryan and Taiping native Chef June, so shades of the Australian-inspired café from Solaris Dutamas in the offerings here are inevitable. Here, café and brunch staples like Eggs Benedict and Big Breakfasts are present, but all with a Metal Box twist. The Eggs Benedict becomes The Red Benedict, while the Big Breakfast transforms into The Metal Breakfast. Alcohol is one of the unique dashes employed often to spice up the menu, such as in the case of the Guinness Pancake, which – you guessed it – is laced with a shot of Guinness.
Address: G12, Empire Damansara, Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya
Tel. No.: 03-7731 9560
Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10am – 10pm
# 6 Fifth Palate, Kota Damansara
Featuring standard café fare with an Asian twist, Fifth Palate is run by a father-brother-sister trio who manage different departments to keep the gears rolling. The family patriarch makes the restaurant’s signature yogurt and chutney, while his children take care of the kitchen and customer service. Some unexpected but well-known tummy pleasers are the Everybody Loves Ramen and the Sous Vide Sake Chicken. As said earlier, the yogurt is a must-try, especially in Wheatgrass and Soursop. It’s homemade and certainly a few notches higher than your average supermarket aisle variety. If you’re in the mood for something absolutely sinful, The Drunken Frenchman is as crazy as it gets with peanut butter, bacon and ice cream from Forty Licks.
Address: Block D-G-1, Encorp Strand Garden Office, Jalan PJU5/1, 47810 Petaling Jaya
Tel. No.: 03-6144 0055
Operating Hours: Mon – Tues 10am – 6pm, Thurs – Sun 10am – 6pm
#7 Second Sunday, Damansara Jaya
Relatively minimal in terms of decoration, this popular café tucked away in a corner of a row of shop houses nonetheless holds a solid menu in its arsenal. Once you enter, you are required to peruse the menu before ordering at the self-service counter. Although it doesn’t have the widest range of dishes, it does offer up some consistent winners such as the signature Number Five and pancakes. The Number Five packs a real gastronomic punch with two crispy tortilla wraps containing pineapples, grilled chicken breast, melted mozzarella cheese and sautéed herb mushrooms laced with pesto sauce, with sides of fries and salad. As for the pancakes, you won’t go wrong with the Malaysian-inspired Local Pankek and poppyseed pancake with orange crème Anglaise and orange marmalade, vanilla ice cream, almond flakes and pumpkin seeds.
Address: No.31, Jalan SS22/19 Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel. No.: 03-7731 7126
Operating Hours: Mon 11am – 11pm, Wed – Fri 11am – 11pm, Sat – Sun 10am – 7pm
#8 Standing Theory, SS2
Built by local lad Perng, who was based in Melbourne for five years before flying home, Standing Theory has risen to prominence on the strength of a Best Coffee accolade in Time Out KL in 2014. While the house roast changes periodically as the owner believes in rotation, you can be assured of a flavorful, strong kick every time. If you crave something a little icier, you’re in the right place again as Standing Theory serves a mean cold brew, which is steeped for 48 hours and tastes of bourbon. The menu isn’t the most extensive, but patrons will be happy with what they’ve already got, like waffles topped with house-cured pork bacon, orange poppy seed cakes and peanut butter chocolate cakes.
Address: Jalan SS2/103, 47300 Petaling Jaya
Tel. No.: 011-1233 1455
Opening Hours: Tues – Sun 11am – 11pm
#9 Crave, Ara Damansara
The Aussie heritage of this café is unmistakable the moment you arrive on its doorstep, due to the wittily designed A in the logo, which is a boomerang. The coffee here is roasted using Arabica beans from Toby’s Estate, a reputable coffee roaster from Australia. One of the signature beverages brewed using them is the Dirty Chai Latte, which mixes spiced black tea with espresso based café lattes. Food-wise, patrons get to enjoy a selection of hearty dishes clearly designed for Aussie-sized appetites. Their Big Breakfast, with a rose-shaped rolled beef bacon and Bratwurst sausage is worthy of mention, while the decadent Aussie Burger is excellent for sinking your teeth into on those super famished days.
Address: BG-03, Block B, Oasis Square, Jalan PJU 1a/7, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya
Tel. No.: 03-7734 3192
Operating Hours: Sun – Thurs 7am – 7pm, Fri – Sat 7am – 10pm
#10 Thursdvys, Taman Tun Datuk Ismail
Taman Tun is fit to burst with chic cafes and hawker stalls, and Thursdvys is just one of the must visits that falls in the first category. The interestingly named café is designed with the aesthetics of a Melbourne café – simple with that essential dash of edge. If you’re forever nursing a sweet tooth, the cakes here are sprinkled with a fun sweet or two, such as the Cheesecake from Mars, which is cheesecake laden with – yes – chunks of Mars bars, and peanut butter cheesecake with M&Ms. Those in need of a full meal will be quite happy with the Mac and Cheese, which you can choose to have served with beef or chicken. On the caffeine side, Thursdvys has impressed aficionados with their ristrettos, which are espressos with a short shot of coffee extracted with half the usual amount of water.
Address: 22 Lorong Dato Sulaiman 1, 60000 TTDI, Kuala Lumpur
Tel. No.: 03-7733 6722
Operating Hours: Sun – Wed 8am – 11pm, Fri – Sat 8am – 12am