Four best cafés in TTDI
It’s calmer than Bangsar, cooler than PJ and cheaper than Changkat. Where is this magical place? Formerly the sleepy neighbourhood of the discreetly rich and famous, TTDI has been transforming itself over the past few years into one of KL’s most underrated dining spots. Most people know it for the stretch of pubs: the ubiquitous Sid’s, Tom Dick & Harry’s and Deutches Gasthaus. But the new restaurants combine neighbourhood charm and city savvy – pardon the cliché, but isn’t that the best of both worlds? Photography by Stacy Liu
Souka & Mukha
Mukha is gaining ground with their mismatched chairs and Arabic-tinged fare, but if you’re not ready for a complete meal, check out the inset Souka’s dainty range of red velvet cupcakes, carrot cake, and ‘chocolate muddy’. They’re the perfect accompaniment to the thick Arabic coffee Mukha serves up, and everything is made inhouse so you know it’s all fresh.
Surisit Thai Kopitiam
With bare concrete floors and marble tables, Surisit Thai Kopitiam is just like a kopitiam – but Thai in nature. They serve super-authentic, non-halal Thai food prepared by Thai chefs and eagerly consumed by former Thai residents. Park yourself on a chair, order a plate of their signature crispy pork marinated in shrimp paste, and contemplate life while sipping an imported Thai drink from a tiny glass bottle (RM3.90 only). These imported drinks include red and green Fanta and super creamy soya bean milk.
Artisan is dominated by a long coffee bar, bookended by a cake fridge and a huge coffee machine. In between are various things that change daily – a stack of paper wrapped sandwiches to be toasted, a jar of ‘Amirah’s muesli’, a jug of water and cups from which to help yourself, all bedecked with handmade orange paper signs. With raw brick walls, terracotta floors and dark high wooden tables, it’s a cosy place to savour your (always) syrupless coffee and talk out the world’s problems. And please, only come here if you take your coffee seriously.
Literally the new kid on the block, French-Italian restaurant Topshelf opened in April this year to bring classical French dining to the suburbs. It’s the brainchild of Yeap HY, the man behind last year’s brief champagne lounge Chin Chin, and he and his team have devised a menu that covers all the classic French bases without being intimidatingly highbrow. You’ll find duck confit, escargots and coq au vin, with a few pizzas thrown in for comfort’s sake. The restaurant itself is a clean, minimal space, outfitted with stainless steel kitchen tables and loads of room, purposely designed for those who like to bring many things with them when they go out.