3 laid-back cafés in KL for coffee and cakes

Perfect for a languid midday pick-me-up.

Popular patisserie Orito launched a second outlet in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL, last October (All photos: Aireena Azni/ The Edge Malaysia)

Laman Coffee Bar

Laman Coffee Bar, founded by a husband and wife team, is situated at their family residence, a stone’s throw from Sekolah Rendah Agama Sungai Penchala and a two-minute drive from popular nasi campur restaurant Sambal Hijau.

The couple had planned to set up a coffee shop for a while but finding a place to rent near where they live was difficult. They then decided to utilise an unused storage room and convert it into a café. The space is now air-conditioned with limited seating, but the arrangement is ideal for hanging out with loved ones. There is also a side yard that is perfect for al fresco dining.

The location of Laman (Malay for yard) may be a bit difficult to pinpoint as it is not a dedicated shoplot per se, but a steady stream of customers have discovered the place, thanks to social media. Opened last November, it serves as a pleasant retreat for city dwellers — especially those who live in high-rise buildings — seeking a cosy place that feels a lot like home, albeit with caffeine fixes on tap.


A husband and wife team founded Laman Coffee Bar in their backyard

Its beverage menu is rather small, comprising familiar brews and drinks. But if your palate calls for more interesting flavours, opt for its specially crafted Dirty Matcha or Dirty Latte. And for a refreshing pick-me-up that lingers bittersweetly, try the iced orange Americano.

There is also a simple variety of homemade desserts, including banana chocolate muffin, banana cake, chicken pie and freshly baked pastries (sourced from a baker friend). The croissants, available in original, chocolate and almond variations, and pain au chocolat are worthy of your calorie quota. And if you stop by in the morning, you can sample their nasi lemak bungkus for a hearty breakfast. No one’s counting.

2968 Jalan Penchala Indah 5, Kampung Sungai Penchala. Tuesday to Thursday, 9am to 3pm and 8pm to 11pm; Friday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm and 8pm to 11pm.


Kon Kon

Lately, the dining scene in the Klang Valley has seen a surge of themed cafés, with some exploring floral, camping, book or animal concepts. Kon Kon is a family run fox-themed dessert place in a business district in Sungai Besi. In Japanese, konkon means the bark of a fox, a creature that features in stories throughout Japanese myth and history and is known for its intelligence and cunning traits.

The café is located on the second level of a shophouse. From the ground floor, you can spot a line of potted plants from the ceiling to floor windows. When you actually step in, it can feel more like a plant café versus a fox-themed one because of the abundant greenery. Foliage lovers will be delighted to know that some of the displayed plants are, in fact, available for purchase. As for the main animal character, customers may have to look deeper to spot foxy miniatures, subtly placed on the tables or hidden amidst the pots and planter boxes.


Kon Kon is a family run fox-themed dessert place in a business district in Sungai Besi

Expect to savour a slew of cakes as the founders formerly helmed a baking business called Rinzbakes. Some of their signature items remain on-menu and include salted cream cheese carrot cake sprinkled with chopped walnuts and raisins and refreshing strawberry watermelon cake, layered with rose-scented non-dairy cream. Occasionally, there are specially crafted cakes for festive seasons.

One of the must-try drinks at Kon Kon is the Guava Coffee (RM18). The establishment is indeed the first to roll out such an offering in KL, featuring espresso sweetened and topped with homemade pressed guava juice. The beverage is decorated with slices of the tropical fruit, sourced directly from a family farm in Ipoh.

16-1 Jalan Tasik Utama 7, Medan Niaga Tasik Damai, Sungai Besi. Thursday to Monday, 10.03am to 5.57pm.


Orito TTDI

Following its successful first outlet in Sri Hartamas, popular patisserie Orito launched a second one in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL, last October. Located on the same road as CIMB Bank and Public Bank, the café is easily identified thanks to its distinct wooden exterior, furnished with concrete seating and lush green plants. This design concept extends to its interior, with added steel stools in some areas.

This place has been the talk of the town for its wide range of French pastries, despite its Spanish name which means “little golden one”. So is it worth the hype? We think so. That said, a bill for two drinks and desserts came up to almost RM80. Its best-selling Paris Brest, priced at RM25, is a must-have though, especially if you like the earthy, sweet and slightly salty taste of hazelnut.
The choux pastry is baked to perfection and filled with velvety praline cream and roasted hazelnut.


Orito has been the talk of the town for its wide range of French pastries

While its iconic offering is well executed, the seasonal matcha doughnut (RM13.50) proved underwhelming. The bun was soft and fluffy, but the filling, although generous, had a stronger, cloying custard flavour with the matcha itself barely detectable.

Other signature desserts on the menu include Choco-Caramel Choux, Very-Berry-Vanilla and Very-Vanilla. The cafe also has a selection of savoury croissants like cheesy chicken sausage rolls, prepared using homemade chicken sausage. Customers can stay up to date on its Instagram to find out about special weekend-only treats such as a Pistachio Paris Brest and Fraisier Strawberry doughnut. Orito is set to open a third branch in KLCC this year.

80 Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi, Taman Tun Dr Ismail. Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8.30am to 6pm.


This article first appeared on Apr 8, 2024 in The Edge Malaysia.

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