“Coffee meets” are the new antidotes to corporate lunches, especially when all you need is a no-frills setting to talk business. A coffee bar is a convivial extension of a staid office meeting – it’s serious enough to host a private conversation but casual enough to segue into a laidback session for clinking glasses. Plus, if you’re a discerning java aficionado yourself, work to your advantage and charm your clients away with your coffee smarts.
For one-to-one meetings
What’s On Tap
The business hub in Mont Kiara is flush with Korean restaurants peddling chimaek (that’s fried chicken and beer for you in Korean slang) but getting your clients in a “sticky” situation should be the last on your list. Usher them to What’s On Tap, a “modbar” with minimalist design that doles out coffee from chrome taps. Manned by dedicated baristas who can tell apart their ristrettos from a redeye, coffee here is a ritual, which means you’ll never be served a bad cup.
With just the right level of background noise to stimulate creativity, the café sports individual tables for one-to-one meetings but also a long table with multiple power plug points should you need to present your work from a laptop. The informal environment with just the coffee machine humming in the background allows you to work long into the evening without being distracted. If you need a cuppa to re-energise your meetings or brainstorming sessions, pick from the many filter coffee selections that include varietals from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Costa Rica.
B-G-05, Plaza, Mont Kiara, KL. 03 6419 6794. Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-5pm.
For business travellers
Lucky Coffee Bar @ KLoé Hotel
Reliable WiFi and a working desk were all a person needed when travelling on business but a phrase of choice in the hotel industry these days is “a sense of place”. Business travellers often moan they rarely get to explore the cities they visit but KLoé in Imbi stands out from the clutch of hotel chains downtown. Designed from the ground up by local firm Domaine Architects, the 80-room building, which showcases homegrown talents from the specially commissioned furniture to the ceramics on display, offers a snippet of KL’s creative spirit. Think of it as the Kinfolk of hotels.
If you’ve managed to convince your clients to put up at KLoé, dissuade them from using the coffeemaker too and head to Lucky Bar Coffee instead. Far removed from your traditional hotel lounges, the coffee bar – also the sister café of LOKL Coffee Co in downtown KL – with a Scandinavian vibe offers your caffeine fix with a local twist such as nitro kopi susu and iced coffee with coconut water. If you need a breather from a heated business negotiation, the towering bookstore and in sun-bathed courtyard with a water feature are always calming distractions.
227, Bukit Bintang Steet, Imbi, KL. 03 2772 1313. Daily, 7.30am-6pm.
For group meetings and after-work drinks
Tapestry KL is a fairly new addition to Chow Kit’s Jalan Kamunting in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Located a street away from The Row and opposite YTL’s Hotel Stripes, the corner lot café is recognisable by its arching metal beams guarding its pale brick façade. Inside, the dining area is modest and inviting, with plenty of natural light pouring in from the expansive windows and overhead skylight. Make a request to be seated at a round table – up to six people — so everyone can face each other and engage in better discussions.
The coffee at Tapestry KL is courtesy of Eight Ounce Coffee Co, which uses 100% Arabica beans from top producers in Brazil, Columbia, Guatemala and Indonesia. Tapestry KL also sources its ingredients and produce from local farmers, fishermen and small-scale manufacturers to create its popular fusion brunches to go with the java. If your meeting is a rather casual one, the alcohol menu offers a selection of wines, bubbles and beers. Bonus: a section of the space can be cordoned-off to accommodate larger groups (maximum 18 pax and with additional charges). This option is available on weekdays only and reservations have to be made a few days prior.
Tapestry KL, 28, Jalan Kamunting, Chow Kit, KL. 03 7622 8720. Mon- Fri, 8am-4pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-5.30pm.
For offsite meetings with office amenities
Common Ground at Menara BT, Bangsar
For a more formal setting, Common Ground’s latest coworking outpost in Bangsar South has boardrooms available for rent. Equipped with a big screen TV, HDMI cables and high-speed internet, all the boardrooms can be booked by the hour, for half a day or a full day according to your needs. In adherence to the RMCO SOPs, the small rooms — both formal and informal spaces — can now only accommodate four people while the big rooms permit 15 persons at most.
If you decide to book a room, your team can enjoy lounge and pantry access as well as printing services. The in-house café is operated by Rage Coffee, which serves a decent cuppa at an affordable price. Those who can’t consume dairy would be happy to know the range of alternative milks offered, including coconut, oat and soya. But while the café might not be back in business just yet, the friendly folks at Common Ground are happy to do your coffee runs for you from the Rage outlet around the corner. All you have to do is place your order via Rage’s mobile app. If your team is up for a lunch break, there are a plethora of F&B outlets around the neighbourhood.
Common Ground, Level 1 & 2, Menara BT, Tower 3, Avenue 7, Horizon 2 Bangsar South City, No 8, Jalan Kerinchi, KL. 03 2711 2736. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.