The regenerative wave that swept through Kampung Attap has brought an eclectic crowd to the historic locale. The Zhongshan Building is clearly one of its largest magnets — a cultural hub where artists, musicians and other creatives often convene. Bazaars, exhibitions and performances are recurring events here, resulting in a spillover effect that benefits the unpretentious hole-in-the-walls harboured within the area’s graffiti-covered backlanes.
Visitors with pooches often make a beeline for Kantata to pre-fuel before spending the day at Zhongshan, sometimes finding themselves back for cakes and coffee to review their thoughts.
The pet-friendly establishment is spacious and welcoming, with multiple zones to accommodate a range of patrons. Cushy seats and electrical sockets make the indoor space ideal for digital nomads and creatives to park for a few hours, while the adjacent rattan bench is best for coffee and conversation with a friend. People-watchers and solo diners will appreciate the quiet bar seating near the floor-to-ceiling window while the leafy outdoors allow more room for larger pets and liberty for louder conversation.
The menu is small but the dishes are mighty. Kampung Attap is the last place one would expect to find Sarawak laksa, but there it was, flavourful and luscious, served steaming hot on a rainy day. Another unexpected but equally satisfying hit was the Biangbiang noodles, splashed with garlicky chilli oil and tangy black vinegar and topped with cucumber ribbons and a boiled egg you can share with your four-legged friend, if you so please.
Kantata’s laid-back and friendly atmosphere make revisiting an easy choice, especially on Saturdays, where bringing your pup entitles you to two glasses of wine for RM60. They also host karaoke nights and dance parties from time to time.
90 Jalan Tuba, Kampung Attap, KL. Wed, 10am-6pm; Thu, Sun, 10am-8pm; Fri, Sat, 10am-midnight.
Originally intended to be an ordinary eatery, Poppy Kat became the beloved Cheras hangout it is today all thanks to the discovery of an abandoned litter of crying kittens in a nearby alleyway when the space was in the midst of renovations. Today, the café is a must-visit for those who crave tasty fare in the company of feline friends.
The menu offers an impressive drinks spread for caffeine addicts and decaf adherents alike, as well as a wide variety of food choices like brioche burgers, fresh green salads and delectable cakes.
It would be amiss, however, to leave without trying one of the many ‘croffles’ (a croissant and waffle hybrid), which are Poppy Kat’s speciality. Some of the most unique choices are the double croffles served with Japanese curry and Poppy fried chicken and the pandan and jackfruit croffle, topped with a gula melaka glaze that highlights local flavours.
While waiting for your order, feel free to approach the cats as they wander through the space or entice them to play with the assortment of toys on standby. If you wish to feed them something special, make sure to get assistance from the (human) staff at the counter first.
Cat owners thinking about bringing their pets along may do so if they are kept on a leash. In the case where your furry ward is not particularly sociable and does better left at home, then a pick from the in-store merchandise is sure to be a welcome remedy for any kitty FOMO.
While not necessary, reservations are recommended if you plan to swing by on the weekend during usual meal hours.
34A Jalan Nadchatiram, Taman Taynton View, Cheras, KL. Mon-Thurs, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sun, 11am-midnight. 011 5417 3453.
A cosy establishment situated in the affluent neighbourhood of Mont’Kiara, Slow Wood Coffee has been the subject of conversation among foodies of late. It is characterised by clean lines and a monochromatic palette as seen by its concrete tables and communal seating, available indoors and outdoors — where fluffy tribes on leash or in a carrier are also welcome.
This café builds its speciality coffee offerings around a small number of key ingredients, namely plant-based milk. For instance, Honey Buzz and Beachy Sunrise are prepared using oat and coconut milk respectively.
It is recommended that those going caffeine-free to try the latter, which features a mix of coconut and oat milk and butterfly blue pea powder, finished with a salted rim. For matcha lovers, there is Strawberry Garden, a beautifully crafted drink made using matcha, fresh milk and jasmine green tea powder. The bottom is filled with strawberry sauce that adds a note of sweetness, while the top is covered with thinly sliced strawberries.
We do not suggest you drop by the joint hungry, though, as it only offers a small menu of bagels to snack on. Choose from black sesame with peanut butter cream sauce; matcha with cranberry cream cheese; chocolate with dark chocolate cream cheese; spring onion cheese with plain cream cheese; and its best-selling poppy seed with truffle kombu butter. If you feel adventurous, swap or add to the fillings. Just bear in mind that a Slow Wood outing won’t come cheap. Our bill came up to RM69 for just two drinks and two basic bagels.
As a space that aims to connect its customers with nature — evident from the biophilic design that highlights the majestic seven pillars of merbau hardwood tree trunks in the shop and the use of flowery plants in the outdoor area — we wish the plastic cups could have been substituted with glassware for a more environmentally conscious alternative.
B5-03A, 4 Jalan Kiara 1, Mont’Kiara, KL. Daily, 9am-7pm. 010 231 2036.
This article first appeared on Sept 25, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.