Now, you might be wondering: “What’s the difference between an acai bowl and a smoothie bowl?” Well, the difference lies in their origin and ingredients used.
Acai bowls are typically made with acai pulp as the base, and is sometimes blended with a sweetener or other fruit, like bananas. The texture is thick and creamy, almost like a sorbet. The finished antioxidant-rich slush is then topped with fruits, nuts, and cereal — or whatever you fancy, really.
These juicy berries are native to Central and South America, and have been a diet staple for the indigenous people of northern Brazil for centuries. The berries are easily perishable, becoming inedible three days after they are harvested. To prepare them for export, the berries need to be pulped, pasteurised, and frozen, all within 48 hours. Which explains why the freshest way we can get acai berry here is in frozen pulp form.
In contrast, a smoothie bowl’s bases are commonly made of fruit and a liquid, whether it’s cow’s milk, nut milk, or even yoghurt. Sometimes, crushed ice, vegetables, and whey powder are added. Yes, it’s similar to the smoothies you drink from a cup, but with additional toppings! You can get creative with these bowls, as the base and toppings are easily customisable.
This is not to say that one is better than the other — it all boils down to personal preference in terms of taste and nutritional needs. These bowls are so rich in vitamins and antioxidants, that the best advice you can take away is to have everything in moderation. We don’t want to have too much sugar in one bowl!
Without further ado, here are some places where you can enjoy a good ol’ acai or smoothie bowl!
1. Açaí Lab, TTDI
Wild grown acai berry pulp from Belem, Amazon, Brazil is what you’ll get at Açaí Lab. With no sugar added in the pulp, you’re getting the purest form of the berry. These berries are harvested from the deep Amazon forest by locals for a truly Brazilian experience.
At Açaí Lab, they offer homemade toppings like creamy peanut butter and crunchy golden granolas, so you can satisfy those sugar cravings without the guilt. Make your own acai bowl at home with these toppings, paired with a pint of their acai mix!
Address: 17, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6016-345 3554
2. Cabana, Publika
You’ll find the best of both worlds here at Cabana, with acai bowls and smoothie bowls available for your indulgence. Cabana’s Acai Berry Sorbet and Organic Acai Berry Pulp are available in local grocery stores, or through their online store — talk about convenience! Their acai berry pulp is unsweetened and with no additives, making it perfect for homemade acai bowls and smoothies.
Address: Lot 63, Level UG, Publika Shopping Gallery, No. 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
3. Lushbowl, Plaza Damas
It’s customisation at its best at Lushbowl. Choose from a selection of their curated smoothie bowls or build your own! Starting from bottom to top, select your smoothie base and then your desired toppings. For the health-conscious, you’ll enjoy their cold-pressed juices and wellness tonics as well. If you’re looking for something other than fruits, Lushbowl also serves rice bowls for a nourishing lunch!
Address: Plaza Damas, G-0-3, Block G, 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603-7890 2038
4. Rubberduck, Plaza Damas
With ample natural sunlight and greenery, Rubberduck is a homey space with wholesome food. Choose from a variety of breakfast and lunch favourites, but of course, we’re here to talk about their popular smoothie bowls. Their smoothies are available in both cup and bowl forms, and you can pick from flavours between Acai, Berry, Sunshine, or Cocovan.
Address: 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Plaza Damas, Lot K-0-8B (Ground Floor), Dorchester Service Apartment, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603-6412 7434
5. Pickle & Fig, Shah Alam
You won’t find acai bowls here at Pickle & Fig, but their smoothie bowls are just as worthy to rave about. Here, the smoothies are creatively handcrafted, so come with an open mind and be ready for an explosion of fresh flavours! Pick from a selection of non-dairy and dairy smoothies, topped with granola, nuts, mixed fruits, and chia seed. Delish!
Address: No 36-G, Jalan Eco Ardence C U12/36C, Eco Ardence, 40170 Shah Alam, Selangor
Contact: +603-5033 6074