Brunch in KL: 10 best buzzy cafes for pancakes, pastries, pastas, and poached eggs

Photo: VCR/Facebook

The idea of a breakfast and lunch hybrid is brilliant for those lazy weekends when the concept of time has no bearing on our eating schedules. Even better — eateries that serve all-day brunch, for those who want pancakes, waffles, toasts, and eggs in all forms any damn time they please.

Since we’ve got quite the respectable café scene here in KL – with joints specializing in everything from superb coffee brews to flaky pastries to Melbourne-style eats – we’ve put together this list of 10 great places that serve solid brunches and make for chill hangout spots, too.


 

Birch

Photo: Birch/Facebook

Brought to you by the people behind Huckleberry, Mezze, and Skullduggery, Birch is probably one of the most highly frequented eateries in DC Mall. Creating a rustic ambience with its mash-up of mismatched furnishings, hanging leafy greens, and scruffy brick walls, the café offers menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails, with a special line-up for weekend brunch.

Photo: Birch/Facebook

They’ve got dishes like muesli overnight oats (RM15), Japanese miso porridge (RM36), and sweet corn fritters (RM25) on the brunch menu, alongside sweet stuff like brûlée French toast (RM26), lemon ricotta hotcakes (RM28), and cheesy quesadilla (RM16). For heavier plates, try the sambal linguine (RM35) and lamb cutlet with Korean gochujang marinade (RM75), or sink your teeth into Korean fried chicken brioche (RM22) and truffle sirloin and brisket burger (RM59).

The menu’s pretty extensive and wide-ranging in variety here – all the more reason for you to return again (and again) till you’ve become a familiar sight.

Lot G10/11, Ground Floor, Damansara City Mall, Jalan Damanlela, Damansara. +603 2011 5966. Mon-Thurs 9am-1am, Fri-Sat 9am-2am, Sun 9am-11pm.

 

Breakfast Thieves

Photo: Breakfast Thieves Kuala Lumpur/Facebook

Sister to the original in Australia – which was set up by Malaysians – Breakfast Thieves and its edgy, industrial vibes settle in nicely at Art Printing Works (APW), a decades-old commercial printing factory in Bangsar repurposed as a creative space.

With its high ceilings, marble and wood touches, exposed bulbs, and floor-to-ceiling windows allowing in an abundance of natural light, the glasshouse is quite the epitome of Melbourne’s hipster café scene — which means it’s perpetually packed on weekends. Of course.

Photo: Breakfast Thieves Kuala Lumpur/Facebook

Here, brunch time means business – the open kitchen closes by 3:30pm – with intricately plated beauties like The Legend (RM25; beef chorizo meatballs, spicy baked eggs, herbed garlic toast), Mr Terry Benedict (RM29; braised ox cheek with porcini, English muffin, poached eggs), Gypsy King (RM29; citrus cured salmon, poached eggs, rosemary polenta log), and My French Lady (RM25; brioche French toast, kaya, raspberry cream, black sesame paste) to satiate those hungry for Aussie-style café cuisine.

Wash all that down with a flat white or double espresso for a caffeine kick.

Lot M, 29-5 Jalan Riong, Art Printing Works APW Bangsar. +603 2788 3548. Tues-Sun 9am-5pm.

 

Dotty’s Pastries & Coffee

Photo: Dotty’s Pastries & Coffee/Facebook

Lauded for a salted egg yolk glazed cronut (croissant + donut) that surfaced its name to public consciousness, Dotty’s is more than just pastries and coffee. The popular cafe, which tantalizes you with the aroma of baked goods each time you enter its blue doors, is also known for its cakes, brownies, cupcakes, and croissants. Not to mention the menu of savories.

Photo: Dotty’s Pastries & Coffee/Facebook

If you’ve got the willpower to resist the sweets, fill up on items like eggs benny (RM28), breakfast burrito (RM23), French onion soup (RM19), and smoked salmon sandwich (RM24) – or get pasta-fied with salted egg yolk spaghetti (RM29) and seafood aglio olio (RM32).

Three locations, including 20-G, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail. +603 7733 4233. Daily 8am-8pm.

 

Leaf & co.

Photo: leaf & co. café/Facebook

Old school Chinese coffee shop gone grunge — yeah, that’s pretty much what best describes the aesthetic of this gritty hideout. Home to an in-house café for boutique hostel Mingle Kuala Lumpur, with distressed walls, terrazzo floors, and traditional-looking kopitiam furniture. All totally Instagram-worthy, of course, in a raw, anti-Ikea sort of way.

Photo: leaf & co. café/Facebook

If you’re into that sort of no-frills retro vibe – which we totally dig – swing by for a menu of mostly chicken Malaysian-style dishes with a Western twist, such as the crispy chicken croissant (RM20), buttermilk fried bird (RM21), and spaghetti with chicken chop (RM24). To pair your meal with some java, try lattes in flavors such as toffee nut, salted caramel, rose, and roasted hazelnut.

53, Jalan Sultan. +603 2020 2220. Mon-Fri 10:30am-10pm, Sat-Sun 10am-10pm.

 

LOKL Coffee Co

Photos: LOKL Coffee Co/Facebook

The industrial chic eatery wants you to #supportlocal, and that’s how it brews its coffee – with buttery local blends, hand-filtered and sweetened with condensed milk. (Don’t worry, it’s also got all the conventional drinks like espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos on the menu.)

Photo: LOKL Coffee Co/Facebook

The usual crowd of eggs, bagels, pancakes, and waffles sit snug in their place on the breakfast line-up, from eggs Florentine (RM28) with smoked salmon on an English muffin to chicken liver mousse on fried bread (RM18), to fried buttermilk chicken on waffles (RM26) drizzled with apple cider syrup.

After noon, heartier plates like Cuban pulled beef burger with tapioca chips (RM24) and sardine aglio olio (RM28) take over, alongside desserts like putumayam toastie (RM9.50), which is basically fried bread stuffed with coconut and brown sugar.

30 Jalan Tun H.S. Lee. +603 2072 1188. Daily 8am-6pm.

 

Merchant’s Lane

Photo: Merchant’s Lane/Facebook

From 1980s brothel to hip café, Merchant Lane’s shop house space has seen quite the transformation over the years – with a quaint kind of charm that begins from its old school signboard at the entrance and flows through its eccentric blend of rattan furniture, wooden floors, vintage trinkets, floral paintings, and weathered walls.

Photo: Merchant’s Lane/Facebook

For a little respite from the cacophony of Chinatown, settle down in a chair and order the big breakfast with fried eggs on toast (RM27) or kuli eggs with curry dahl and chickpea sauce, melted cheese, and roti canai (RM25). Alternatively, signatures include Hongkie beef stew with mash (RM25) and Italian chow mein of stir fried spaghetti with Malaysian chicken rendang (RM24). Then there’s the cheekily-named dessert, Better Than Sex (RM20), a plate of pandan roti jala with melted cheese, kaya toast ice cream, and a splash of gula melaka.

If you’re just in the mood for a drink, nurse a cup of espresso (RM8), piccolo latte (RM11), rose honey milk (RM13), or Earl Grey latte (RM13).

No. 150 Jalan Petaling. +603 2022 1736. Mon-Tues & Thurs-Fri 11:30am-10pm, Sat-Sun 9:30am-10pm.

 

Strangers at 47

Photo: Strangers at 47/Facebook

Crepes are the pride and joy of this casual spot, which has been praised for its consistently cheery customer service. To get started on your journey with the thin pancakes, peruse the savory section (all options come with cheese) — Shore to Please (RM21.5) comes with Cajun tiger prawns, battered squid, and salted egg yolk, and A Hen’s Crush (RM18) includes pan-seared chicken, hash brown, and capsicums.

Photo: Strangers at 47/Facebook

Next up, jump on board the sweet train with desserts like Purple Rage (RM9) with Japanese sweet potato and coconut sago stuffed into a sweet potato crepe; SpongeBob’s Crib (RM10) of pineapple custard, salted caramel, and vanilla ice cream; and Dark Side (RM11) with dark choc spread and orange caramel on a chocolate crepe.

There’s also the matcha lava cake (RM13), should you need a bit of variety, or shared snacks like sweet potato fries (RM8) and nachos (RM15).

47, Jalan 17/45, Petaling Jaya. +603 7497 2409. Mon & Wed-Fri 8am-10pm, Sat-Sun 9am-10pm.

 

Table & Apron

Photo: Table & Apron/Facebook

The neighborhood nook, known for its finesse in creating recipes around local market ingredients, may not be the prettiest eatery around – it’s modestly decked out with white-washed brick walls and wooden furniture – but it sure serves up a wicked crispy plate of fried chicken (RM24/half, RM38/full). Because sometimes the best meals are simple stuff done very well.

Photo: Table & Apron/Facebook

Besides other mains like sticky pork ribs (RM30/half, RM56/full) with kicap manis glaze and pork ragu tagliatelle (RM33), the menu offers small plates for you to graze on, with standouts like pulled pork with apple sourdough (RM18) and charred eggplant slathered in miso (RM21).

To end on a sweet note, order the Earl Grey crème brûlée (RM15) or apple pie with gula melaka and whipped cream (RM18), or go for a dash of zest with the lemongrass jelly (RM14).

23 Jalan SS 20/11, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. +603 7733 4000. Tues-Sun 11:30am-4pm, 6pm-10pm.

 

The Red Beanbag

Photo: The Red Beanbag/Facebook

A Publika Mall cafe with an Aussie flair, The Red Beanbag whips up mean renditions of all-day brunch plates, including items like Croque Monsieur/Madame (RM16-18; grilled turkey ham and cheese sammie), Smashing Avocado (RM24; maple glazed beef bacon, feta, poached egg, and sourdough toast), and The Atlantic (RM25; smoked salmon with poached eggs and French toast).

As you munch on pancakes and baked eggs, you’ll find the space is warm and inviting with coffee bean bags hanging from concrete grey walls, rustic furnishings, and leafy potted plants.

Photo: The Red Beanbag/Facebook

For something a tad lighter, healthy treats come in the form of coconut rice pudding (RM22) with mixed berries and chia seeds, banana bread (RM16) with espresso butter, and bircher muesli (RM16) with fruits and honey. Otherwise, there are other options like pizzas, burgers, meats, and pastas for you to fill up on.

A4-1-08, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1. +603 6211 5116. Mon-Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri 10am-10pm, Sat-Sun 9:30am-10pm.

 

VCR

Photo: VCR/Facebook

We may have left VHS tapes back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but VCR café is in no way an outdated haunt. Step through the grey-hued entrance at its original Pudu location and you’ll be surrounded by the familiar whiff of coffee on the ground floor space, or traipse upstairs for a glass-walled view of the surroundings.

Photo: VCR/Facebook

As you savor your cup of long black (RM10), macchiato (RM11), cappuccino (RM12) or latte (Rm13), you can nosh on breakfast bites like Turkish style eggs (RM25) on sourdough, potato waffles (RM25) with mushroom fricassee and eggs, or the VCR big breakfast (RM36) with sausages, lamb Bolognese, eggs any style, and sourdough.

To toss a little sugar your way, go for the French toast (RM19) with espresso ice cream and mocha sauce, or granola (RM20) on Greek yogurt with fruits and oolong peach-infused milk.

Two outlets, including 2, Jalan Galloway. +603 2110 2330. Daily 8:30am-11pm.

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