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The best restaurants and cafés in Bangsar

Featuring the neighbourhood's best places to eat

Photo: Stacy Liu

From the busy streets of Telawi to the more laidback Jalan Bangkung and Jalan Kemuja, we round up the best restaurants and cafés in the neighbourhood. 

RECOMMENDED: Bangsar area guide

Restaurants and cafés

Agak Agak
Restaurants

Agak Agak

By food entrepreneurs Ili Sulaiman (of Dish by Ili) and Basira Yeusuff (of Root Cellar KL), Agak Agak (meaning ‘more or less’ in Malay) is a new food-based social initiative that’s modeled after Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, where underprivileged youngsters are trained and mentored for a career in food. Setting up shop at APW Bangsar, Agak Agak is an eatery that provides one-year apprenticeship programmes for kids from underprivileged communities. These kids will not only learn skills in the kitchen, but they’ll be picking up training in managing and operating an eatery (kitchen service, sales and marketing, food delivery, etc). Agak Agak will be open to public October 31.

Ashley's by Living Food
Restaurants

Ashley's by Living Food

Living Food bistro’s maiden offshoot stays true to its health food roots without sacrificing panache and élan. Spruced-up comfort food like the quinoa salad as well as baked brie with almonds and cranberries share the spotlight in this quirky, stylish spot on Jalan Telawi 3. Other dishes to try here include the scrumptious saffron-spiced paella with shrimp, scallop and pearl snapper as well as the Portobello mushroom and buckwheat polenta stack.

Bakar
Restaurants

Bakar

Bakar’s affiliation with charcoal fire is far from opportunistic – spend one night here and it’s easy to see that boundaries are meddled with, for KL standards at least.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Breakfast Thieves Kuala Lumpur
Restaurants

Breakfast Thieves Kuala Lumpur

After Pulp, APW adds another café to its premises, and it’s a very handsome one. Already attracting brunch hunters and Instagrammers in droves, Breakfast Thieves (yes, it’s the sister of the one based in an old chocolate factory in Fitzroy, Melbourne) is a stunner: a glasshouse-like space with lots of pale wood, white tiles, pastel railings and concrete, punctuated by the occasional plant and exposed light bulb. Founded by a team of Malaysians (Brandon Chin, Kevin Foo and Edwin Koh), KL’s Breakfast Thieves features a minimal brunch menu of modern Australian dishes with Asian influences – think berry compote yoghurt with granola, ginger apple crumble and soft-boiled eggs; spicy baked eggs with beef salami, onion jam and okra; and even eggs Benedict is given an upgrade with braised beef cheeks, honey apple compote and yuzu hollandaise. What you can look forward to: an upcoming lunch menu with more Malaysian-centric dishes such as polenta soft-shell crab burger with lemongrass-chilli sauce and a side of kaffir lime salted chips, a nasi kerabu dish named 1MBT, popiah stuffed with shredded crab and honey herbed ricotta, and more.  Rounding out the deal is a simple coffee menu (sorry, no filter coffee for now) with the usual latte, double espresso and cappuccino. But the Magic is the one you have to try: it’s a double ristretto topped with steamed milk.

Botanica+Co
Restaurants Book online

Botanica+Co

With a light-filled space dominated by two Ficus trees and with plants dotted around, Botanica + Co restaurant and bar can be best described as lush. It reminds us of a glass house in a botanical garden; it’s a beautiful space, one that’s made for a leisurely meal. And the diverse menu plays into that theme very well.Helmed by Sam Neoh, the chef behind the popular PS.Café in Singapore, the crowd-pleasing menu features a balanced mix of cuisines. The pizza list is long, and it’s complemented by Asian and Western comfort food the likes of rotisserie chicken, duck rendang, seafood bisque linguine, Hokkien mee, fish and chips, burgers and more. If you prefer something light, there are a few choices for salads and sandwiches as well.On the bar side, Botanica + Co serves cocktails featuring Asian ingredients – think yuzu, papaya and mango. Selected cocktails are available in carafes as well, perfect for sharing between two and four people.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Book online
Chef Low
Restaurants

Chef Low

November 2012 Sandwiched between oleaginous car workshops in a grimy back alley of grimy Lucky Gardens, against all odds Chef Low has managed to survive the curse of its predecessors. It’s the latest in a long list of doomed eateries to attempt a business in that specific address, but unlike the rest has garnered a following of regulars that attests to its status as one of the go-to destinations for reliably good, home-style Chinese food in KL. With all of its energy invested into the food and none whatsoever in the décor, Chef Low’s menu is – when you’ve taken in the pink tablecloths and plastic furniture – impressively ambitious. From seafood to poultry and medicinal foods to game, the plastic encased a la carte menu contains virtually every gastronomic staple that’s available in Chinese and seafood restaurants. Happily however, the jack-of-all-tradesmaster-of-none saying doesn’t apply here: At Chef Low’s, the food is consistently well prepared and infused with the confidence and verve of a cook who knows his trade well and isn’t afraid to show it. A signature dish is the Chinese-style fried bacon with marmite sauce, chilli padi and lime, which also happens to be a dangerous thing to order. Apart from the delightful dance it performs on the palate, the fried marmite bacon also proves two other things – the cooks at Chef Low a) love cooking with marmite and b) are very good at creating dishes that include marmite. To wit: marmite spare ribs which are crispy, chewy and rip

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Devi's Corner
Restaurants

Devi's Corner

Bangsar’s most treasured Indian restaurant is built on the foundation of rich curries and generously spicy condiments. While most of you may frequent Devi’s at ungodly hours of the night, it’s the restaurant’s daytime banana leaf section we like the most. Tucked away upstairs, the banana leaf range is an impressive one – opt for the creamy, dreamy Kerala fish curry but be wary of the chilli-laced mutton masala. This isn’t the cheapest banana leaf meal in town but air-conditioned Bangsar corners come with a price. Awards Food Awards 2011, 2012, 2013   Devi's Corner won Best Cheap Eats in the Time Out KL Food Awards 2013. It was shortlisted Best Banana Leaf in 2012 and voted Best Mamak/Hawker in 2011. Our food awards are 100% voted for by the people of KL. This way, we guarantee that popularity and consistent performance are rewarded.

Fierce Curry House Bangsar
Restaurants Book online

Fierce Curry House Bangsar

The biryani here is authentically prepared; unlike most other pilafs in KL disguised as biryani, the rice is first partially cooked in basic spice and later steamed with marinated meat.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Book online
The Ganga Deli and Café
Restaurants

The Ganga Deli and Café

In the tiny enclave of eateries on Jalan Kurau, Ganga Café is indubitably one of KL’s better-kept secrets.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Idli Only Cafe
Restaurants

Idli Only Cafe

There are no surprises as to what this small café serves – steamed lentil and rice cakes served with chutney, podi and sambar, or better known as idli. Make this your new breakfast spot as they have at least five different variations of the South Indian delicacy, including podi, masala, rava, Manchurian and idli upma (a popular variation typically made with crumbled leftover idlis). When you’re done, complete the meal with masala tea. In spite of its name, Idli Only Café does serve uthappam and thosai – just in case you don’t feel like having idli. But if you want a more extensive menu, Indian Kitchen is right next door. If you come in a large group, order the sets and have yourself an idli party. A set for four comes with 12 idlis for RM30 while a larger set includes uthappams and a pot of coffee or tea. There are even lunch sets during which selected idlis go for RM10 for three pieces, but take note that since the idlis are made to order, expect a wait time of around ten to 15 minutes.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Kaiju Company
Restaurants

Kaiju Company

APW is transforming into a cool new arts and dining venue, and one of its latest tenants is a 30-metre long origami dragon that lights up after dark. This is Kaiju Company, a Thai-Japanese fusion restaurant offering interesting selections of rice bowls, salads and pastas with fun and bold flavours. Try the tom yum udon. Or get the Hawaiian Kaiju rice, which is a fresh take on the classic Japanese curry rice. This rice dish is topped with chicken patty, fried egg and mushrooms, and drenched in Japanese curry. For drinks, there are sake cocktails, with flavours such as Ribena, lemonade, asam boi, lemongrass and more. Visually, Kaiju hits all the right notes, thanks to the fuss-free but captivating interior by design powerhouse pow ideas, as well as graphic elements by L I E. Solo diners won’t feel out of place here as there’s a bar seating area right up front.

Mario & Luigi
Restaurants

Mario & Luigi

In a KL overrun by concept-dining restaurants, it’s reassuring to eat at an Italian restaurant that is quite simply, an Italian restaurant. Mario & Luigi is the descendant of Hit & Mrs, what was once The BIG Group’s passion project complete with a first-floor bar kitted out like a retired minister’s home. BIG’s Benjamin Yong’s trademark restlessness means that in the swish of a wand, Mario & Luigi emerged from the rubble of Hit & Mrs. And in the five months it’s been operating, it buzzes with life. On a Tuesday night, the restaurant is full. (Reservations are recommended; customers can choose between the 7pm or 9pm slot.) I’m seated by the glass window, at a small table draped in white from where I see alfresco diners clouded in wispy cigarette smoke on my right, and well-heeled Tengku-types on my left. The perilously low-hanging light bulbs from Hit & Mrs’s heydays remain above each table, but take a more contemporary form. And to mimic the way most Italian restaurants prove their worth, a blow-up of a young Sophia Loren in a plunging neckline is slapped on the wall. The menu doesn’t wander too far off the classics, but by golly, it ain’t cheap. Pastas start at RM58 while the mains go up to RM128 each. With Mezze only a few kilometres away where one of the city’s best pasta dishes, pappardelle of oxtail, can be wolfed down for under RM50, the peppering of ingredients like truffle, sea urchin and bay bugs in Mario’s menu seems like an attempt to win us (and our money) over.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Best places for dessert

Inside Scoop
Restaurants

Inside Scoop

Bangsar’s unofficial ‘happy place’ churns out some of the best ice cream in the city. Owner and in-house ice cream churner Shiew Li uses gelato techniques to achieve full-bodied consistency and concentration of flavour, best sampled in a scoop of the Valrhona chocolate, durian or the naturally green pistachio. Whether you have your ice cream on a freshly baked waffle cone or slightly melted on a warm, buttery waffle, Inside Scoop provides momentary joy for the restless and the overworked.Inside Scoop has another outlet in Damansara Jaya. 

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Jaslyn Cakes
Restaurants

Jaslyn Cakes

You may have stumbled upon Instagram photos of the decadent sweet rolls, pastries, cookies, chocolate truffles and cakes by Jaslyn (@jaslynr), who used to supply to Wondermama Restaurant.

Morelli's Gelato
Restaurants

Morelli's Gelato

For a sundae that meets your childhood aspirations, Morelli’s Gelato fits the bill with gelatos that are made from scratch daily. Their sundaes are placed in the -15C blast freezer after every layer is added to ensure it retains its shape and temperature. The Berry Pavlova, a concoction of wildberry sorbet, raspberry yoghurt, soft vanilla gelato with raspberry coulis, meringues and seasonal berries, is one that stands out. Adults can go for Baileys, a satisfying sundae made from hazelnut gelato and chocolate sauce, served with a single shot of Bailey’s liqueur in a chocolate cup.

Om Shakti Chelo’s Appam Stall
Restaurants

Om Shakti Chelo’s Appam Stall

This modest 26-year-old stall in Bangsar churns out appam so good you’ll wonder why it hasn’t joined the ranks of Antipodean and Yeast at weekend brunch time. While you can opt for plain appam with coconut milk, we go weak for the brown sugar variety; coconut milk and brown sugar are liberally applied onto appam batter and swirled in a pan so the edges remain fluffy while the sides are brittle. The sugar is intentionally left in chunks, so every bite hits you with a burst of caramel-coconut goodness.

Best places for coffee

Bean Reserve
Restaurants

Bean Reserve

Not far from Jalan Kemuja's row of eateries like Southern Rock Seafood and Fierce Curry House is Bean Reserve. Operated by the same team as Brewmen, the café serves as a coffee spot for folks using co-working space The Co. Of course, that shouldn't stop the café-hopping crowd from hanging out here, because what awaits them is soft-serve ice cream, among other things.  Bean Reserve makes their own cereal milk soft-serve ice cream and in the future will add more flavours such as chocolate and coffee. Unlike other KL varieties of soft serve, the topping here is simple – cornflakes. If you want something a little more complex with a little more coffee, get the soft-serve affogato. For a quick meal, they serve simple sandwiches like smoked salmon, pulled beef, and a turkey ham pineapple variety dubbed the 'Hawaiian'. While Brewmen is famous for their nitro coffee, Bean Reserve adds one more choice to the nitro variety – Earl Grey tea infused with nitrogen to give it a foamy top, which may easily get mistaken for a pint of beer. Besides that, there's also chai latte (with chai syrup made in-house), a drink that is slowly creeping into the menu of KL’s cafés. With nitro drinks and soft-serve ice cream, Bean Reserve is a refreshing addition to the local café scene. But if you're here for just coffee sans nitrogen, you can't go wrong with a flat white.

DR.Inc
Restaurants

DR.Inc

At DR.Inc, the coffee menu is devised by barista Neil Liew. A highlight on the menu is the Presso Bomb featuring a shot of espresso in Malacca-sourced ice cream soda.

Pulp
Restaurants

Pulp

Get serious in a cupping room where you learn from baristas who work their gear with topflight technique. Or marvel at the mementos of the warehouse over a Blue Batak brew.

Thirdwave
Restaurants

Thirdwave

The coffee enthusiasts at Thirdwave are so serious about their java they established a special coffee counter just to educate you about hand-brewed coffee. Think of it as a caffeinated bar: You can sit on the high stools and sip on a cold brew but minus the cheesy pick-up lines. Thirdwave gets beans from a variety of sources including Three Little Birds, and the resulting brew is a full-bodied coffee that pairs well with the upside-down starfruit cake, the root beer float cupcake, and – if you can handle it – the papaya cheesecake. Here’s a laidback café that manages to avoid the rustic wood/metal decor of its peers.

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