Brunch has become Kuala Lumpur’s favourite weekend pastime. Cafés across town are filling their menus with breakfast and lunch hybrids, featuring sweet and savoury waffles, big English fry-ups and eggs every which way. So let us guide you to the best cafés in town to kick start your weekend.
Table & Apron (formerly known as The Kitchen Table) by restaurateur Marcus Low draws inspiration from world-renowned bakeries and restaurants to serve up modern comfort food that showcase local produce. Known for its sharing platters, this bustling restaurant in Damansara Kim focuses on robust, rustic flavours best exemplified in dishes like pulled pork with apple sourdough and cilantro salsa, Sanbanto pork chops with charred charleston pepper puree, ulam herbed crab rice, and earl grey crème brûlée with shortbread and grapefruit.
Roast Factor Glee wins on account of being a specialty micro-roastery – a feature that enables owner Shyue Chin to control the signature roast of the café; a medium roast with slight acidity, sweetness and a smooth finish. Alternatively, you can opt for their cold brews: Black No Regrets and milk-based Like a Virgin.
Not only everything here is MSG- and preservative-free, it's also made from scratch; from the levain-based bread used for the hot food, to the gluten-free pastries, right down to artisanal jams. Even the pork sausages were specially ordered from the meat supplier for the just-right taste and texture. You’ll also find Scandinavian inspired dishes on the menu inspired by Shyue Chin's husband. As a gourmet eatery, their artisanal ice creams run the gamut of the alcoholic variety such as red wine and beer, along with bold flavours such as matcha with toasted rice and Belgian chocolate with sea salt.
Wild Honey offers up a huge menu with all the brunch staples, but all very well executed and kept interesting – their Levant baked eggs come with grilled Halloumi, and the Greek open-faced omelettes feature fragrant lamb moussaka, Japanese eggplant and Greek cheese. More standouts include wild mocha dolce sweetened with royal honey, a New York bagel platter available on weekends, and fluffy Belgian waffles with grilled mango.
Huckleberry’s breads are made the old fashioned way, using sourdough starters, and the loaves are left to rise longer than usual to produce a lighter texture while letting the flavours develop. Their signature is the Miche Sourdough range, but they also have the classic multigrain, organic meteil, farmer’s bread, and flaky, buttery croissants, just to name a few. There are brunch classics such as eggs Benedict, shakshuka, banana French toast, and the punchy chilli cheese toast with fried eggs (a Mumbai breakfast staple). There are also salads, pastas, pies and sandwiches.
Taman Desa folks are lucky to have access to fresh loaves of focaccia in the neighbourhood. When we dropped by at 12.30pm, the focaccia was fresh out of the oven, comfortingly warm, with the crust baked to a deep golden brown and topped with Maldon sea salt and slices of lightly salted cherry tomato. A bite through the crust revealed a soft and fluffy centre. It’s delicious, flavourful, but simple – just how a good bread should be. Note that the preservative-free focaccia at Red Kettle – using olive oil, rosemary, bread flour, still water and yeast – is baked fresh in-house every day. By the way, there’s a bacon version as well.
Common Man Coffee Roasters (of our neighbours down south) has landed in KL with a swish new brunch space; this café and roaster from Singapore that started out as a pop-up in October serving espresso-based brews and mini pastries is now a full-fledged operation. Design-wise, there’s a distinct modernised vibe going on: Peranakan print upholstery, rattan-woven walls, gold accents, ambient pendant lights, CMCR merchandise and coffee paraphernalia lining the shelves. In terms of food and drinks, there will be about ten brunch dishes from CMCR Singapore as well as a dedicated brew bar for coffee (beans will be roasted in Singapore only).
One of KL's most good-looking cafés is perched on Jalan Galloway, a curiously unusual option for a contemporary coffee spot. The café is remodeled from a building on-site, while much of its original charm and old-world feel are retained. On the ground floor is a dim, narrow seating area where coffee machines whiz, baristas chatter and tempting cakes parade. Climb up the steep stairs to the first floor for an airy, breezy, rattan-chaired setup. Coffee wise, the folks here don't believe in house blends. Instead, single origins rotate fortnightly, save for the Valrhona hot chocolate that retains a permanent slot on the menu. Cakes here are bang on form with the most indulgent being The King Cake, banana cake layered with peanut butter frosting, banana slices and chocolate.
Finding this pâtisserie-café can be a chore as it’s hidden in a less trodden corner of the confusing labyrinth that is Plaza Damas. But it’s worth the effort. The alfresco space, though small, permeates with the smell of freshly baked cakes and pastries, with highlights such as the Felchlin Chocolate Mousse, lemon tart and perfectly formed macarons. Rubberduck also serves savoury meals for lunch. The roast chicken with salad is simple yet hearty, while there are also burgers, Vietnamese spring rolls and more.
The Red Beanbag is a modern Australian inspired café serving up hearty portions of eggs Benedicts, burgers and French toasts among other brunch delights. If you're in for a full meal, steaks, pastas and the like are also on the menu. Coffee is a specialty here but non-caffeine consumers can try out their chocolate drinks, smoothies and juices. Cakes and other creamy treats are available for afters.
At La Juiceria's first offshoot, Goodness Greens, you can have vegan-friendly dishes, customisable salads, superfood-packed smoothie bowls and even rice bowls and pastas, alongside the juices that started it all of course. Part of the appeal of Goodness Greens is its customisable salads – and by customisable, we mean you get to pick everything from your base (brown rice, salad leaves, romaine lettuce or warm potatoes) and mains (choose from a long list of proteins, grains, veggies and more) to your topping and dressing.
If you prefer warm meals, order one of the vegan soups (homemade with almond milk instead of cream) available in pumpkin, zucchini, carrot with rosemary and classic mushroom, or get the summer or pesto pasta. For snacks, try not to get too full on GG Dip (spinach and mozzarella dip with baguette slices), and for a light but nutritious breakfast, the açaí berry and dragon fruit smoothie bowls.