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The long stretch that is Petaling Street can get real touristy at times, so if you need to take cover, walk a bit further down the road and head to Merchant’s Lane. Joining The Front Door and Einstein Café, Merchant’s Lane is a cool addition to the Chinatown café scene. This calm little hideaway is located above an old shop next to the Advance Tertiary College building. No main signage is up yet for now but don’t worry, there’s a small sign leading up to the place that’s not too hard to find. Fun fact: Before it was abandoned more than five years ago, the space was a brothel.
Inside, the café uses a teal and pink colour scheme on their counter and display cases – a nice pop of colour from everything else in the shop that sports a rustic look. However, it’s the outdoor area that really shines with the building’s original design. Co-owner Kenneth Tan explains that they’ve tried conserving the outdoor components as well, like the window and railings, but some things couldn’t be preserved due to old age. Most of the furniture are custom-made, including some of the benches which were fashioned out of old wooden staircases.
Kenneth and another partner were previously with Butter + Beans, but having their own café was always in the pipeline. The menu will see some changes in the coming months, but items so far include breakfast and Asian-inspired comfort food. For example, the aglio olio is served with an option of prawns or chicken rendang; and the Cantonese-style Hongkie Beef Stew is slow-cooked for 12 hours. They also have their own house-made caramel and potato hash. For drinks, they serve the basics like coffee, tea and some juices, with interesting choices like the jasmine black coffee and the rose honey milk.
150 Jalan Petaling
|Opening hours:||Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri, 11.30am-10pm; Sat-Sun, 9.30am-10pm|