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Guide to The Row

We find out how cool the new openings at The Row on Jalan Doraisamy are

Twenty-two 1940s shophouses on Jalan Doraisamy – formerly the epicentre of KL’s nightlife scene, Asian Heritage Row – are now home to cool cafés, restaurants, shops and live music venues. But just how cool are they? The Time Out KL team finds out.

Limapulo: Baba Can Cook
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Limapulo: Baba Can Cook

Cool factor: The food at Limapulo has earned as much fawning praise as its charming retro decor – there’s real magic to be found. A majority of the furniture in the shop were sourced from all over Malaysia and Indonesia but owner Uncle John (also one of the last pure Baba descendants from Malacca) cherishes a particular foldable wooden chair – it’s the one piece of furniture he brought back from his kampung, where he also used to teach English. If you spot a tower of old soft drink crates by the corner, those are from Uncle John’s hometown too.

If you only do one thing here: Have their creamy Nyonya laksa – mellowed out with santan but still draws huge flavour from the sambal and fragrant bunga kantan.

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Common Grind at The Row
Photo: Joyce Koh
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Common Grind at The Row

Cool factor: There’s a curious sense of calm at Butter + Beans at The Row; the space is attractive, boasting an alfresco area and plenty of plug points, with sunlight streaming into the sleek, surprisingly well-spaced café.

If you only do one thing here: Settle in for a cuppa and cake – coffee and tea brews are available, and we recommend the almond salted caramel mille cake, a Butter + Beans bestseller.

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Mojo Restaurant and Bar KL
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Mojo Restaurant and Bar KL

Cool factor: Mojo is the only outlet to have remained on Jalan Doraisamy since its Asian Heritage days. The restaurant has cleaned up good, now abutted by an outdoor garden where you can wine and dine. Long tables and benches are parked right in the middle, like centrepieces, to encourage parties. A fun fact: The long tables were fashioned out of a beam from the old Mojo building when it was demolished for refurbishment.

If you only do one thing here: Order a Mojo No 8. It has an interesting backstory: A customer didn’t fancy the cocktails on the menu and handed the bartender a recipe of her own. It was a concoction of Bombay Sapphire, lime, hot sauce and sugar. It tasted so special the owners made it a mainstay ever since.

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League of Captains
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League of Captains

Cool factor: A café and boutique in one that comes with an open air balcony area – perfect for Instagramming (hanging leaf vines included). It’s also owned by the guys behind Pestle & Mortar Clothing.

If you only do one thing here: Enjoy a cup of coffee and shop for clothes and accessories by Dr Denim, Publish, Bellroy and more.

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The Co.
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
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The Co.

Cool factor: Designed by Singaporean design firm FARM, boutique co-working space The Co. does double duty as an event and community space for freelancers and tech start-ups.

If you only do one thing here: If you don’t want to work at home in your pyjamas, come here to work with like-minded folks. Guests are welcome to get a feel of the place through one-day trials, but for more permanent arrangements, ten-day passes and monthly memberships (which include access cards, highspeed internet and free flow of coffee and tea) are available.

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Slate at The Row
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Slate at The Row

Providing the ultimate blank canvas, this multipurpose space encompasses a 2,800sq ground floor area and a 500sq mezzanine. It's also furnished with state-of-the-art events equipment. Attached to League of Captains, Slate has already hosted an art exhibition and a Pestle & Mortar party.

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More new places to visit

Wheel Love Skateshop at The Row

Tricked out with all forms of inline skates, blades, bikes and skateboards, Wheel Love (you may know them from their PJ outlet) equips you with everything you need to survive KL’s harshest streets. You’ve got only one wheel? They love unicyclists too.

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Bacchus Wine & Tapas Bar

Bacchus assumes two different personalities from Monday to Friday: a café by day and a wine and tapas bar by night. On Saturdays, it’s a supper club for the avid diner.

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Timbre @ The Row

The live music restaurant and bar features full-on band gigs as well as acoustic sets, lending either a sense of occasion or an intimate feel.

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2OX

In a city overrun by ‘fusion’ restaurants, French bistro 2OX is a welcome addition to those who enjoy Francophile fare with a laidback ambience.

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