Baby, It’s Safe Outside: 16 Al Fresco Restaurants In KL To Dine At

Baby, It’s Safe Outside: 16 Al Fresco Restaurants In KL To Dine At

Head over to these 10 al fresco restaurants for some fresh air. (Left: Image by @wanderhat. Right: Image by @frangipaani.kl.)

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It’s safe to assume that many of us were overcome with joy and breathing a sigh of relief once news broke out that eateries in Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Selangor were allowed to accept dine-in guests. Granted, only those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will get to enjoy this benefit amongst a bevy of other Malaysian vax benefits, but it’s something to look forward to. After all, restaurant-and cafe-hopping is an unquestionably very Malaysian thing to do (especially on the weekends).

Nevertheless, SOPs should still be diligently adhered to for the safety and consideration of all. And there are those still on the fence about dining out. To appease both the anxious cautioners and eager easy goers, al fresco or outdoor dining could be that elusive middle ground.

Owing to the fact that unrestricted cross-ventilation or free-flowing air occurs in an open space, this will minimise the spread of respiratory droplets and allow potentially harmful aerosols to disperse more quickly.

With safety in mind, we’re here to help you make an informed decision with this list 10 al fresco dining spots worth a visit.

Ruma Puteh, Titiwangsa

 
 
 
 
 
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As the new kid on the block, Ruma Puteh (translating to ‘white house’) has deservedly stirred up quite a storm with its MoMA-esque backdrop. We bet that the stellar combination of striped walls, pebbled flooring, alabaster multi-arched pathway, along with the vibrant, yet randomly injected 60s pop art colour palette in the open garden would garner favour with Andy Warhol himself.

In terms of the menu, devour crowd-pleasing Johor delicacies such as laksa bugis and kacang phool. You’ll also find northern favourites on the menu — like nasi kerabu — in a sea of well-known Western cuisine.

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Jibby By The Park, Desa Parkcity

 
 
 
 
 
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Evoking the romance synonymous with Victorian greenhouses replete with flourishing foliage and endless sunshine is none other than Jibby by the Park. Although the interior is undoubtedly gorgeous, sip on piping hot chamomile tea and munch on delicious cultural fusion dishes (please say hello to the unconventional-but-certainly-succulent tiger prawn wok-fried spaghetti) at the outdoor seating area furnished with glass tables, rattan-woven chairs, and long steel benches for a contemporary Bridgerton feel.

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ChoCha Foodstore, Petaling Street

 
 
 
 
 
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Clean. Fuss-free. Sustainable. It appears that ChoCha Foodstore has it all. Exuding rustic charm thanks to the crudely preserved old buildings and reclaimed items, the retro ambience of this unassuming restaurant is further enhanced by stripped-back walls with flaking paint, a retractable roof, and an oasis of potted plants.

On top of that, we absolutely adore the Tudor-style extended dining hall tables in the outdoor area that indicates an inviting communal feel. Going for a grounded approach, their succinct seasonal menu is filled with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients (including herbs from their humble garden) to produce stellar Asian fusion culinary art.

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Kafe Kleptokrat, Jalan Tun HS Lee

 
 
 
 
 
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Tucked away in the heart of the bustling concrete jungle that is KL is Kafe Kleptokrat — a pandemic-born vintage cafe thriving within a (mostly) untouched century-old shophouse. It’s fair to say that the pièce de résistance of this Melbourne-inspired rustic establishment is the stunning outdoor pool in the courtyard.

Apart from Aussie-originated Cottle Coffee and brekkie options, their reimagined local dishes such as the soto ayam, lontong kering, and nasi lemak with fried soft shell crab have been a huge hit!

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Lisette’s Café, Bangsar & Bakery

 
 
 
 
 
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Odds are you’ve already heard of the ever-so-pleasing to the peepers Lisette’s Café & Bakery tucked away in the serene suburban residential quarters of Bangsar. With its faux yet iconic outdoor feature wall embellished with hundreds of pretty pink peonies, did you really expect us to not include this hotspot onto the list?

Tuck into a wholesome meal (we can’t stop raving about the black rice nasi lemak and crispy duck mantou served with plum sauce) while inhaling the wafting dulcet aroma of freshly-baked puff pastries and loaves out in the cosy, unpretentious front garden.

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Three Years Old, Bukit Bintang

 
 
 
 
 
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Minimalists rejoice! Three Years Old is your creamy-hued dream come true. Inviting tranquility courtesy of the monochromatic colour scheme, this vintage two-storey townhouse building has an al fresco area that offers ample elbow room with its clever incorporation of white furniture placed atop gravel that also conveniently sticks to the chosen colour code.

Moreover, a few trees have been planted in between the elongated benches to enhance the ambience designed with the young-at-heart philosophy adopted by the restaurant’s founders. While the bistro meal choices are indeed excellent, don’t forget to nibble on sweet treats like the genmaicha pie and passionfruit tart.

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POKOK KL Cafe, MAHSA Avenue

 
 
 
 
 
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As the name implies, expect to be encased by bountiful trees or pokok along with other gorgeous greenery while having a meal here. Although the main eatery operates within a glasshouse, pop out into their outdoor garden to dine under one of their multiple patio umbrellas where you can fully immerse yourself in Mother Nature. Accompany your clear state of mind with a satisfying hearty brunch special before finishing off with a slice or two of their onde-onde cake.

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Fuego at Troika Sky Dining, Persiaran KLCC

 
 
 
 
 
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Instead of manicured gardens, head up to the clouds! Or, more specifically, Fuego at Troika Sky Dining, for a complete change of scenery. Situated at the epicentre of our capital city, marvel at the panoramic view of KL’s metallic skyline as you munch on an upscaled version of the clásica but still deliciosa Latin American cuisine from tapas and ceviche to tacos to churros.

Apart from striking metal chairs, the intricately patterned and multi-hued mayólica floor (Spanish glazed ceramic tiles) will have you thinking you’ve been magically transported to the birthplace of the paso doble.

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The Farm, Bangsar South

 
 
 
 
 
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Easily recognisable its crystal clear glass walls and bountiful greenery seen in the form of potted plants and hanging vines, The Farm is a stunning glasshouse restaurant that has adopted a firm belief in the garden-to-plate philosophy. Dig into their hearty-yet-refined dishes imbued with their own freshly-grown and harvested ingredients. Of course, we recommend opting to settle comfortably onto the wooden chairs or rattan couches fluffed with soft tiffany blue pillows in the al fresco section.

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Hornbill Restaurant and Cafe, KL Bird Park

 
 
 
 
 
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Hidden in the majestic Kuala Lumpur Bird Park that houses over 3,000 exotic birds is the one-of-a-kind Hornbill Restaurant and Cafe. Constructed in the architectural design of a traditional wooden kampung house, many have flocked over to book a spot at the open-air verandah to get a closer view of the inquisitive feathery creatures that are perched on the railings. Among the cafe’s recurring guests is the eatery’s namesake bird.

Enveloped by lush greenery and numerous trees, get a taste of the flavourful, rustic and authentic Malay cuisine prepared here. Just keep your eyes peeled for the peckish egrets who’ll to nick a morsel off your plate!

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Joloko Bar & Restaurant

 
 
 
 
 
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No stranger to the al fresco dining scene, Joloko takes you on a trip to a Caribbean-like tropics while only travelling to KL. Boasting colourful murals that are Instagram-worthy, this restaurant has a bright courtyard area where you can enjoy their delicious fusion dishes and drinks that everyone’s raving about.

Their bamboo straws, banana leaf coasters, and other interior elements like bright tiles and plenty of natural lighting will have you feeling like you’re on holiday!

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Finch

 
 
 
 
 
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Looking to hide away from the city but not leave it entirely? Finch in Bukit Bintang is the perfect hideaway for patrons looking to spark their gastronomy senses. With whimsical decor that’s sure to delight the eyes, their menu is also presented in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

The decor is not the only thing done well, as their Japanese-inspired menu will have you coming back for more. To complete an unforgettable culinary experience, Finch also offers an extensive menu of alcoholic drinks that are perfect to pair with your meals or to have on their own.

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Nero Nero

 
 
 
 
 
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Good Italian food in KL is hard to come by, especially if you have a discerning palate for this particular cuisine. Still, Nero Nero nails it down pretty well. Situated at DC Mall in the upscale area of Damansara Heights, this eatery has an outdoor dining space that’s perfect for those date nights or outings with loved ones.

With a menu as eclectic as it is comforting, Nero Nero promises guests a truly robust culinary adventure of Southern Italy. You don’t have to jump on a plane to treat yourself to one of the best gnocchi dishes ever made.

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Luca, Bangsar

 
 
 
 
 
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A new addition to Bangsar Shopping Centre’s list of restaurants is the newly opened Luca. This upscale eatery offers its patrons an all-day dining vibe with a unique East meets West menu that covers European and Indian cuisine. Their fare is also prepared with only the best ingredients and come in portions that’ll keep you feeling full for long.

There is a lot more than just their luxe Art Deco interior to love (plus, you’ll be seated outside). Besides their impressive decor, the staff here are worth shouting about and, of course, their expansive wine list. There’s also a bar area for an intimate pub-like ambience, minus the overcrowding.

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Frangipaani, Damansara Heights

 
 
 
 
 
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Looking to satiate your Northern Indian cuisine cravings? The next time you’re in the upscale suburb of Damansara Heights, grab yourself a table outdoors at Frangipaani. We promise you won’t regret it. Located within the newly-renovated Republik in the neighbourhood, Frangipaani is perfect for a lunch hour spot or an intimate date night dinner with a loved one.

While you should sample pretty much everything on their menu, we must recommend the Butter Chicken, which is simple but full of flavour, and accomplishes the perfect amount of creaminess needed in this famous dish. Their Mutton Biryani is also worth ordering.

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Dusun OpenHouse, Bangsar

 
 
 
 
 
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Another one worth noting on this list is Dusun. Located in Bangsar Shopping Centre, a visit to this restaurant will transport you to Bali. With incredible decor that truly highlights the beauty of nature and the easy-going vibe of al fresco dining, Dusun has made its rounds on social media.

The food here is, of course, delicious and best enjoyed with family and friends as some portions can be pretty generous. As it’s received quite a bit of attention on social media, many are flocking to this restaurant – they currently don’t accept reservations, so be sure to get in line way before your preferred mealtime. Check out their menu here.

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Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 1 October 2021, and has since been updated to include more locations.

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Armed with a penchant for balancing eloquence and heartfelt informality, Monisha tries to imbue any story that comes her way with a pocketful of candor. Also, she takes a rather quick liking to those that can appreciate the humourous gem that is Arrested Development and vilify the unspeakable abomination that is mint chocolate.
A mother of two, Emma is an avid lover of movies, Korean bbq and lululemon. Her favourite form of exercise is CrossFit, and couldn’t live without sunscreen as part of her skincare regime.