Thanks to our local talents and design studios, Malaysia (especially the Klang Valley) has many cleverly designed cafes, catering to the booming café-hopping scene. While some may argue that the quality of the food is more important than the interior design, we can’t argue that nice backdrops make for Insta-worthy moments. I mean, how else are we going to romanticise our lives?
In all seriousness, while not everything is about the aesthetics, we still have got to appreciate the effort and talent of our local design studios! So, while we’re here to show you some lovely cafes, we’ll also highlight the brilliant minds behind the interior designs, so you can check them out too.
1. Allo Café by Studio Kanta
Allo Café is the newest instalment under the The Owls Café franchise. While their casual owl cafes are famed for their signature waffles, Allo takes it up a notch. Located in Ami Suites, Allo comes with an all-day-dining menu, serving you breakfast, lunch, dinner and any other meal in between.
Designed by boutique studio, Studio Kanta, the large glass panels of the café’s façade offer ample natural light for meals in the day. The interior is playful yet subtle, with pastels and elements that excite the senses. At night, the mood lighting creates a romantic ambience, and carefully selected décors turn into elegant pieces pleasing to the eye.
Address: G-03A, Arte Mont Kiara (Ground Floor), Jalan Sultan Ahmad Haji Shah, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6017-636 9953
2. Oh Apong, Emporis by Newcleus Design
Proudly Malaysian made, Oh Apong is the perfect place for ice cream, coffee, and chill. Gula Apong is a special palm sugar made from the sap of the Nipah Palm Tree, popular in Sarawak. So, while you’re here, you have to try their signature soft serve that is infused with premium Gula Apong from Borneo.
Newcleus Design nailed the casual Malaysian dessert parlour look, decking it out in lounge-y Rattan furniture, hanging linen fabric, nostalgic Malaysian elements, and a soothing colour palette. Apong palm leaves were painted on the wall by the design team as well! There are so many aesthetic spots around the café for your OOTD shots — you’ll be spoiled for choice. So, don’t say we didn’t share!
Address: F01-03 Emporis, Persiaran Surian, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Contact: +603-7612 4690
3. ŌNO by Dsgnpholio
Don’t let their minimalist interior fool you — the baristas at ŌNO are very precise when brewing their beverages. Their signature drink, ‘When Two Worlds Collide’, combines the umami of REN (ceremonial Matcha) with the refreshing energy of Carbonated Ethiopian Coffee Cold Brew.
Embodying the spirit of two worlds converging, Dsgnpholio created a simple interior, but with two slabs of marbles that visually represent coffee and Matcha respectively. This, combined with timber and steel features that complement the marble, creates a space that is consistent and precise — just like the food and beverages served here.
The simplicity of ŌNO’s interior makes the perfect backdrop for their delectable sandwiches and divine-looking drinks. Or perhaps that’s the interior making them look so pleasing? I suppose that’s for you to find out!
Address: 47, Jalan SS 2/30, SS 2, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
4. Flaon by DualSpace Studio
Let’s welcome the newest addition to the Petaling Street café family! With a mysterious curved façade and an unassuming cloud-shaped signage, Flaon implores you to discover what’s inside. Upon entering, the café feels almost like a cave or hidden lair, but contemporary. There are also stairs that lead up to a wine bar called Coupe De Vin.
The name Flaon is inspired by Flan (otherwise known as caramel pudding), which means, yes, they serve Flan here, along with other cakes and beverages. Their signature Flan is served in a tall glass, covered in a caramel cage.
DualSpace Studio designed the interior with materials, textures, and alcoves that really makes the interior feel like a private space for creation or contemplation. This makes for interesting shots when taken through an arty lens.
Address: 180, Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6012-502 3683
5. Merchant’s Lane by Pow Ideas
While we’re still in the Downtown Kuala Lumpur area, there’s one café that’s definitely worth highlighting. Considered as one of the pioneers of hip cafes in the Petaling Street area, is the one and only, Merchant’s Lane. Set in a century-old shophouse, this former brothel was brought to life again by design studio Pow Ideas.
Back when it first opened, Merchant’s Lane was a ‘hidden’ café, with only a subtle mirror signage and turquoise doors leading up to the watering hole on the first floor. The signage and design of the café was built in harmony with existing characteristics of the space, creating a cosy ‘grandma’s house’ feeling, but with modern touches.
They recently reopened after a renovation to refresh the interior, but you’ll still find the same floral and turquoise elements. Head on over for lots of food, fun, and rattan swing OOTDs!
Address: 150, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603-2022 1736
6. Three Years Old by Cocokacang
Keeping the existing features of this 1920s heritage building, while keeping it clean and simple, gives Three Years Old a charming yet calm atmosphere. Cocokacang wanted to bring the outside in, planting tall trees at the building’s sides and façade, simultaneously playing with natural shadow in and around the café.
The outdoor space is a welcoming place to chill when it’s not too hot out, while the interior has cute nooks that make nice backdrops. Three Years Old boasts a large selection of cakes and pastries that can be paired with coffees and teas. If you’re looking for mains, they have pastas and sandwiches as well.
Address: 1, Jln Sin Chew Kee, Bukit Bintang, 50150 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603-2110 6666
7. Provisions by Paperspace
We can’t get over how cleverly named this store is. Besides being a café, Provisions is here to supply you with fresh baked goods, coffee, and some basic… provisions! Inspired by the bakeries in California and the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Paperspace made the interiors homey and simple, perfect for a neighbourhood store like this.
Of course, you might be wondering, what’s so Instagrammable about it then? Well, if you haven’t already noticed, it’s their famous orange (terracotta/salmon/whatever colour you want to call it) façade! The bench and tabletops outside (and inside too) are great for food and OOTD photos. Trust us, you’ll regret not getting a picture because the colour is irresistibly photogenic.
Address: 49, Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor