From 21st-century taufufa to inventive spins on kakigori, these dessert cafes in KL are making the most of local flavours
Whether you are hankering for something cold and refreshing like a shaved ice dessert, or something nostalgic like butter cake, Malaysia’s capital offers plenty of options. We present you five establishments to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Dáo first made waves with their traditional, silken taufufa (bean curd). Honed from a family recipe, it easily charmed those with a conservative palate and also won new converts. Whether paired with ginger syrup, black sesame paste, red bean paste or pumpkin tongyuen, dáo’s signature taufufa is impeccable. But save space for their newest entrées: soft serve soy, cream puffs filled with soy-based custard, or if you’re lucky, the limited-edition soy gelato. Outlets in Subang, Damansara, Kuchai, Puchong, Cheras
You’d be excused for thinking that butter cake doesn’t sound particularly Malaysian. But whatever its origins, butter pound cake has now gained a firm foothold in Malaysian family recipe books. Fany Malaysians, a simple slice of warm butter cake is one of the surest ways to evoke nostalgia. Hideaway serves one of the best versions in town – golden, fragrant, rich and moist without being dense. And the retro delights don’t stop there. Hideaway also makes excellent pineapple turnover cakes, as well as lemon drizzle, poppyseed and the bestselling Thai Tea Cake. AG7, Block A Happy Mansion Section 17, Jalan 17/13, Petaling Jaya
3. Aftermeal Desserts
There’s plenty to love at Aftermeal Desserts, so come with a group and try as many desserts as possible. Most popular on the menu are Aftermeal’s playful local variations of kakigori, the Japanese shaved ice dessert. Here they come laced with childhood favourite Milo, in the Dark Milo Kakigori, or blended with the rich flavours of durian and coconut. If you’re after something lighter on the palate, the sunny Royal Calamansi Yokan is packed with bright citrus flavour. Outlets in Damansara Utama and SS2.
Sugirl’s refreshing takes on Malaysian fruits, flavours and recipes have claimed a whole new category of desserts. First-timers have to try Sugirl’s signature milk-based desserts, available with mango sago and lychee rose jelly, blue pea pulut (sweetened glutinous rice coloured naturally with blue pea flower), or rich durian purée and gula melaka syrup. Perfect for a hot afternoon, all desserts come with bowls of crushed ice on the side so you can keep cool and top-up as needed. No 1-15, Glomac Centro, Lorong Masjid 1, Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya.
5. Pandan Republic
Pandan Republic is tucked into the recently restored Kwai Chai Hong, a quiet stretch of KL’s Chinatown now brimming with colour, cafés and artwork. Their specialty, as you may infer from the name, is everything pandan flavoured. Must-tries include their famous pandan soft serve, as well as the pastel green pandan layer cake which features delicate layers of sponge and pandan jelly. The café also serves a fine array of Nyonya kuih – these are made fresh every day, from the vibrantly coloured angku kuih to pulut tai-tai. Kwai Chai Hong, Lorong Panggung, Kuala Lumpur. instagram.com/pandanrepublic