Nature Calling: 9 Biophilic Cafes & Restaurants In Malaysia For Plant Lovers

Nature Calling: 9 Biophilic Cafes & Restaurants In Malaysia For Plant Lovers

The outdoors appeals to us for a good reason — we’re innately connected to it. We’ve got a list of cafes and restaurants built to satisfy our plant mama needs. (Left: Image by @gardenagemy. Right: Image by @rowan.parsley.)

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With relatively even temperatures all year round, Malaysia’s tropical and subtropical plants thrive just about anywhere, and with proper care, they make excellent indoor companions. While many have been planting parents long before the pandemic, the hit we got from COVID-19 and multiple lockdowns saw some gain interest in a newfound hobby, and before we knew it, our homes were filled with these beautiful pieces of nature.

So, it is only natural that biophilic design has found a home in many of our local eateries, connecting guests to the natural environment outside. And how they truly add beauty to any space!

Here are some plant-loving cafes and restaurants in the country worth dropping by:

The Farm, Bangsar South

Tucked away at The Sphere in Bangsar City South, The Farm, formerly known as The Farm Foodcraft, is a farm-to-table-styled restaurant. Growing their own vegetables and herbs, they concoct healthy seasonal menus of contemporary Asian and Western dishes. What they don’t grow in their hydroponic urban farm, they source from local farmers and vendors.

Passion fruit vines, okra, kaffir lime and calamansi trees, parsley, basil, and sugarcane plants skirt the pathway leading to the restaurant’s entrance. Inside, this stunning glasshouse space is adorned with vines and ornate driftwood planters hanging from overhead beams, making it an Eden amid a bustling city.

Address: Unit G-01 & G-02, Level Ground, The Sphere Bangsar South City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6014 993 3880

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Planter Chin, Bangsar

Who doesn’t love an unassuming cafe in the middle of the city that serves up breakfast, coffee, and an equal share of succulents, monsteras, and alocasias? The potted plants scattered all over the cafe’s white floors are not merely for decorative purposes; you can buy a plant to take home.

Offering workshops, consultations, styling, and live plant gifting services, Planter Chin is changing cafe culture one cup of coffee and one potted plant at a time.

Address: 6a, Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6019 616 5193

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Sipping Corner By Plant & Pot Studio, Puchong

Hidden in Bandar Puteri is a plant studio that doubles as a dessert cafe. Seating is limited here, but you wouldn’t want to be seated for long with much to see and cakes to sample. Airplants, cactuses, succulents, terrariums, and gardening accessories are available for purchase here too. But if you came just for the cakes, a slice of their Ondeh Gula Melaka or Russian Honey Cake will have you coming back for more.

Address: 78G Jalan Puteri 5/5, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor
Contact: +6018 578 6311

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Gardenage By Craftman, Shah Alam

If you find yourself in Kota Kemuning, make your way to the Gardenage, a plant boutique cum garden restaurant cafe. Live plants housing Bulbul nests and tasteful ceramic pots can transform even the most savage plant killers into horticulturists. Speak to one of the friendly staff members to help get you started on your plant journey or stick around and enjoy a meal.

Their Tiger Prawn Oil Togarashi Pasta, Croffle Sabayon with Onsen Eggs, and their Brioche Butterscotch Bananas (a sourdough brioche soaked in eggy custard, served with burnt caramel ice cream on top), will leave you with a full and happy tummy.

Address: 8 Jalan Anggerik Aranda A 31/A, Kota Kemuning, 40460 Shah Alam, Selangor
Contact: +6012 505 6028

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Jumbo Garden, Kuantan

Serving up Thai and Chinese fusion cuisine, Jumbo Garden in Kuantan is surrounded by garden plants, a fountain, and indoor and festoon-lit gazebo outdoor seating. You’re not going to be able to take a plant home with you when dining here, but it is still a delightful restaurant to have a good meal at while enjoying the stillness of this garden restaurant.

Address: A-2024, Lorong Kubang Buaya 8, Taman Suria, 25250 Kuantan, Pahang
Contact: +6017 387 9251

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Rowan & Parsley Food Atelier, Johor

Rowan & Parsley is a Texas-style barbecue smokehouse found in Masai, Johor. Its steel and concrete industrial-type interiors are softened by plenty of greens surrounding the building, including vines cascading down the rooftop.

The cocktail bars, bannisters, and front desk are dotted with custom dried foliage arrangements that have become a centrepiece for many wedding receptions hosted in the venue. The indoor and al fresco dining spaces offer plenty of room to feast your eyes and your gut on everything this place offers.

Address: 17 Jalan Cenderai 20, Taman Perindustrian Kota Puteri, 81750 Masai, Johor
Contact: +6011 1005 4747

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Fika Farmhouse, Johor

Nestled in The Yard, a food and farm-centric community hub, Fika Farmhouse serves up farm-to-table, top-end Asian and Western fusion cuisine and drinks. Personally, we think places like this should be found everywhere! Organic vegetable plants line the restaurant’s fence, and indoor potted plants deck every nook of the space in a warm and cosy manner.

After your meal, stop by Farmer Boy, an urban farm and farmer’s market within the grounds, supplying produce to the restaurant. Pick up a bunch of fresh fruits and vegetables to take home yourself.

Address: Y2, 1 Jalan Hijauan 1, Horizon Hills, 79100 Nusajaya, Johor
Contact: +6011 1054 9166

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Lunabarcoffee, Penang

If you’re a reader and plant lover, this is the place for you. Lunabarcoffee understands the art of taking it slow. As you enter the cafe, you’ll be greeted by tropical plants covering almost the entire storefront, only to be welcomed into a space with stacked bookshelves, plenty of seating choices, and delicious food.

Get yourself a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, pick a book, settle into a seat, and enjoy some quality off-screen time. They also make ice-cold lattes and homemade cold brews, perfect for combatting the midday heat.

Address: 10D Jalan Clove Hall, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: +6010 932 2810

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M’atural, Penang

Not all cafes are created equal, and this place is a treat for bonsai and kokedama plant lovers. Located in George Town, this bonsai studio and cafe is a place that provides custom ornamental plants, workshops, and landscape design services. Their small menu offers a range of small bites, from quiches to sweet pies, and hot and cold beverages.

Book a two to three-and-a-half-hour workshop that includes hi-tea to learn how to wrap kokedamas, plant and care for your bonsai tree, and arrange ornamental plants on driftwood. Plant varieties may differ based on the seasons.

Address: 32 Jalan Imigresen, 10300 George Town, Penang

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Tabitha is a designer and photographer, whose idea of a good day involves spontaneous trips to the beach with her pooch. Outside of her love for all things design, she has a fondness for handwritten notes, movie nights and long drives with friends.